I was robbed for the first time about three years ago. It happened at about 6AM – I know, because that’s when I woke up and heard someone opening my bedroom door.
At the time, I was living in a loft with other people, and, half-asleep, figured it was just someone drunkenly coming into the wrong room. I made some noise, and whoever it was quickly closed the door. I fell back asleep immediately.
The next morning, when I got up, I found that my camera, laptop, cell phone, and hard drives had all been stolen off of my living room couch. I learned my lesson – as safe as modern day New York City feels, it’s easy to forget that this stuff (and worse) still regularly occurs, no matter where you live.
Over the weekend, I received a heart-breaking letter from a reader talking about a similar experience:
Two weeks ago my apartment was robbed. Everything was taken. My 3 computers, all of my cameras, lenses and most heartbreaking, all of my hard drives. 7 total. Not to mention other personal items ( ipods, jewelry, etc)
I’m a freelance fashion photographer (still working as an assistant, testing when I can). Needless to say, this has been a major blow. Both emotionally and financially. I still don’t think i have fully wrapped my head around the situation.
I remember my own experience vividly. It was a huge setback financially, but the real hit came from losing tons of data on my laptop (literally thousands of scout photos), and the disturbing feeling of knowing that someone had access to a lot of personal stuff. On top of it, something like this can suddenly make NYC feel like a very cold and lonely place to live.
Luckily for this reader, the thieves overlooked one item…
On my book case I kept my most cherished camera of all, my Leica M3. It was passed down to me from my uncle.
With that being said, I need to shoot with the only and most important camera I have left. I have lived in NY for over 3 years now and have yet to explore it the way I would like. I’m hoping that you can direct me to beautiful beaches or someplace that showcases the hauntingly moody weather.
I just really need to shoot and move forward. Even though I usually only shoot fashion and people- I am looking forward to the open space so I can hear the sound of my shutter clicking.
Woo – that’s a big request. Rather than limit the answer to my knowledge of the city, I wanted to turn it over to you readers: where should she go? What are you favorite neighborhoods to explore in NYC? Photographers, where do you like to shoot?
Personally, my favorite neighborhood to walk around is one I’ve never been before, and for this, I can’t recommend Forgotten NY highly enough. I love reading through Kevin’s neighborhood breakdowns, picking one that sounds particularly interesting, and then going out to explore on my own, trying to find little bits and hidden gems of my own.
Then there are the places I never tire of walking around: Coney Island, and east from there – basically, all the waterfront property going all the way to Long Beach. Cemeteries, specifically old Trinity cemetery and those out around “Cemetery Alley”; the old industrial areas down near Sunset Park. Greenpoint/Williamsburg into Bushwick. Fort Totten. I love picking one long avenue or street and just walking/biking its length, like Bedford or Flatbush, and photographing how it changes.
And believe it or not, I love walking around Times Square trying to find remnants of an older age that have somehow survived the endless renovations.
But that’s just me. What are your recommendations? If you had a Leica M3 and the day off today, where would you go?
Finally, if you’ve ever been robbed before, I think it would help if you might share your story in the comments. At the very least, it helps to realize that this happens more than you might think, and that there is light at the end of the tunnel of this very terrible experience.
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