Friday, October 9, 2009

Greenwich Village

Well, today was an entertaining day. First off, I recently got a job through the AmericaReads program. Basically, I tutor at a local middle school. It works out quite well because it is only about a twelve minute walk away from my apartment, and since it is above 100th Street, it puts me in a higher wage bracket. I've been working one on one with several students, helping them with their homework and reading things with them. During class today, the teacher asked her students, "Who wants to work with Mr. Ventura today?" Almost half of the class raised their hand--I couldn't tell whether they actually wanted to work with me, or maybe they just wanted to get away from the other students at their table. I still thought it was pretty cool.

A mechanic that works across the street from the school. I asked if I could take his picture, and I like the fact that he didn't smile--he laughed immediately after I took the picture and said he wanted to see a copy

And one of my friends (Brittney) is in town for the weekend with several of her friends from Washington D.C. We walked around Greenwich Village for a little while before someone realized that nobody had any idea where we were going--every one just assumed that someone else was the leader. We decided to cut through Washington Square Park and try to find some place to eat.

Brittney -- all of us were sitting on the steps inside the fountain at Washington Square Park

Some random performers in the park...

But I like this picture even better. This elderly man just stood there listening for awhile. He would talk to the musicians between songs, listen to them perform, and talk to them again. He wasn't rushed, and he seemed to be thoroughly enjoing himself. I wonder if this is something he does often.

The sun was setting as we were leaving the park, and I liked the way the clouds were lit. The only problem is that the best angle was shooting through one of the streams of the fountain--so if you see any random dark globs that look like they are flying through the picture, it's just huge drops of water

And in case you're wondering, yes, I am going to try and post on my blog more frequently. I am also going to try and post as many pictures as I can. One of my recent goals is to try and take my camera with me as I walk around the city. There are several reasons for doing this: I want to take in and record as much as possible; I want to improve my photography techniques; ha, and take this as you will, but I was looking at new cameras and lenses online recently. After a little while, I realized that there was so much I could do with the camera and lens that I already have. I looked through the pictures I took recently of musicians playing on old, scratched, and fading instruments--my camera isn't any of those. In fact, if you didn't look at the model number, you'd think it was a new camera. More than anything, I just need to practice and make the most of the tools that are already at my disposal. Which leads me to the last picture for this post, and one of my favorite shots of the day.

We cut through the park to get back to the subway, and I saw this trumpet player by the fountain. He was facing towards the fountain, so I set up behind him and just waited, hoping he would turn so I could get a profile shot. Luckily he did, even though I made the entire group wait just so I could get a picture. It took me a little bit to realize that he wasn't necessarily performing for the people in the park. He was facing the fountain, and he wasn't accepting tips. I don't know why he was doing it. Maybe he has to practice there because it bothers his neighbors. Maybe he was cooling his nerves before an audition. Or maybe he was simply winding down from a long day at work. At least he was enjoying the fact that he had an instrument, and that he knew how to play--and that's something I can learn from.


Chocolate on my Cranium said...

I LOVE that last picture too Jon! Such a wonderful shot!

Emma said...

You take great pictures! They are really stunning and show human life; they remind me of Dorthea Lang.

Your teaching story is cool. I'm interning in an eighth grade class and it feels so great when students like you!