Dear London - Vigilante Art

Dear London,

A week has passed since your visit and when the weekend came around we felt that we should be going out to meet up with you to have an adventure. Manhattan is an island full of treats and although we did a lot, we barely scratched the surface with you, and we were ready to go off and explore new and exciting pockets with you. I thought that you may have been missing New York so I'll tell you about our day.

First, we decided to go on a beautiful Fall walk through the north of Central Park. It is much more wild in this neck of the woods and it felt more like wandering off the beaten track. Well cultivated, but somehow managing a feeling of rugged wilderness at the same time. The colours were incredible, the temperatures are getting cooler (although it was back up in the 17°C region yesterday) and all the coats are out. I definitely thought that my challenge for this week would be Fall in the City, but it is not. Not this week.

We ended up in The Conservatory Garden, a beautiful formal garden split into six gardens of different European styles: Italian, French or English. As we sat it became apparent to us that we were slap bang in the middle of multiple photoshoots... dog photoshoots. We saw about 10 different owners wrestling with their canine friends in order to get the perfect pooch portrait in front of the flowers and fountains. 

Having found ourselves on 5th Avenue it seemed about right to pop down Museum Mile and visit the Met, and on the way I bumped into my Shape picture, loud and proud and dominating our view as we approached: The Guggenheim. I don't know why I didn't think of it before. I had hoped to snap some more spherical aspects of NYC as your shot had been very angular and quite representative of the New York City landscape, and I wanted to find one of the exceptions to this rule. We arrived at sunset and I found that I had about five minutes of Golden Hour left to click away at multiple angles. Golden Hour in NYC never fails to impress me! I took loads of images with just the building and the sky above but the ones that impressed me the most are where you can see the impressive architecture of The Guggenheim in context.

We then meandered down to The Metropolitan Museum, deciding to make the most of our memberships and hang out on the rooftop bar after taking in some of the beautiful art (this time we focused on the early 20th century gallery, including a visit to one of Ed’s favourite paintings – “Meeting” by Manierre Dawson. Possibly recognizable as the inspiration for Ed’s large “Three Graces” painting that featured in our living room back in Newcastle...?). We arrived on the roof and were a little disappointed to be honest. Not at the views, they were spectacular as expected, but the bar felt a bit haphazard, almost college themed, rather than swanky cocktails on the museum roof as had been conjured in our minds.

It was redeemed, however, by a cool art installation based on the Bates family's sinister red-barn-style motel from Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film, Psycho. There were also two slightly drunk girls sat near us rustling around with a plastic sheet. Why did they have a plastic sheet you might ask? Well, good thinking on your part, but I didn't bat an eyelid, at least not until they stood up – one with a camera in hand and the other starkers but for being draped in the translucent plastic sheet. We had found ourselves on the scene of some vigilante photography as the naked lady posed in front of the house, with plastic sheet representing shower curtain. Although the crowd seemed to love it, offering their cell phone lights to improve the pic, security eventually booted them out. Very dramatic indeed. I couldn't bring myself to snap a pic – we were very British and flabbergasted at the lack of decorum – but we have been waiting for these images to appear on Instagram. No luck yet. 

I didn't discover the theme for this week until I got home and scoured my Fall photographs. Although they were beautiful and the colours pleased me immensely, it was a picture that I preferred in black and white that struck my fancy. Your theme for this week: Readymade Frames.

Have fun London,

New York misses you!