Monday, November 1, 2010

New York Expectations

I was just on the phone talking to a friend.  I was explaining how sometimes I'll envision a situation or event and imagine it's expectations/outcomes before it's occurrence.  I do this a lot.  This past weekend I went to New York City to attend the 2010 PDN Photo Expo at the Jacob Javits Center and every expectation I had for the photo expo and New York itself was met.  No lie.  Every single one.

First off, the Expo itself was of a mediocre regard.  And what I mean to say is that nothing was super special or shown that I hadn't already read about.  The vendors seemed a bit more random this year than last, with stalls like "Shoe Doctor MD" or something like that, I started to wonder if I had the right convention.  The seminars though, were phenomenal.  I attended a lighting lecture and two Photoshop workshops that really are going to be adding the the quality of my work from now on.  Below is an image taken from Carrie Beene's beauty retouching workshop.

Secondly, I'll share with you my lucky chance or fantasy expectation.  Usually those include things like picking up a winning lotto ticket, finding the ultimate bargain deal on clothes or the ever popular, meeting someone famous in a random situation.  The point of these expectations are that they are just-out-of-the-ordinary events that could or could not happen, which usually makes them super special to come across.

Well anyway, I had my fantasy expectation when I met Joey Laurence randomly at a McDonald's by B&H on 34th Street.  If you don't know Joey Laurence, that's okay.  This is more of a photo geek know-how rather than meeting some famous actor or actress that most people would know.  I've been following Joey L through his work, documentaries and his blog for a while now and I have to say that I'm always impressed with his hard work ethic, sense of photography and overall good heart.  So it was an absolute delight to walk into a McDonald's and see him sitting there and eating a burger.

So random and so normal.  Yet it always gets me how we all seem to lose it when we meet or encounter someone that we regard highly.  My situation was no different and if anything, I was full of excitement and the jitters.  I even shamefully interrupted his conversation and asked for a photo with him...I know, I know!  Could I possibly be any worse than the tweens out there -fighting, crying and screaming for Justin Beiber?  Probably not.  But anyway, that was my fantasy expectation of meeting someone famous while in New York.

Thirdly, there are "realistic" expectations that I'll have.  These are the sobering kind of expectations that bring my fantasy expectations down from their high cloud of daydreams.  My realistic expectations were of the normal sort of expectations, like predicting the cold weather and realizing the massive crowds of people on the sub near 5pm or so.  These helped me not to become so disappointed with New York and it's rough nature.  Knowing that I'll probably end up in the subway car with the crazy and soulful beggars is definitely an expectation at the top of this list.  This past weekend I was sandwiched between two beggars on each side of me, panhandling and telling their sad stories.  After transferring onto the L train, a series of small children came aboard and started selling candy bars.  Panhandling never ends in New York and I always manage to see it's rotating barrage of Mariachi Bands and bums from train to train.
Finally and probably because I'm just that kind of food loving person, I always have a food expectation when I travel.  Usually, it's a good expectation of trying a new food or discovering a new favorite restaurant.  (What can I say, I love food!)  Especially being in New York, this expectation is usually always met each time I travel there.

Thom and I went to Williamsburg in search of Blue Bottle Coffee.  Best coffee yet!  Though my friends are pretty much coffee snobs and my father even roasts his own, I really don't know quality coffee by taste.  Heck, I can barely tell the difference between decaf and regular.  Sad.  Verrrrry sad but I really can't.  The only thing I can ever tell is whether or not coffee is old just based on color.  Not even taste!  Ick!

But even with my poor palate, I found Blue Bottle Coffee to be the best and freshest coffee that I've ever had.  If ever in Brooklyn, make your way to Blue Bottle for the best cup around.  (And just a hint, you know a coffee shop is of premium quality when they roast their own beans, like Blue Bottle)

After Blue Bottle, Thom and I headed to Flushing to meet a college friend of mine.  We ended up at a hot pot restaurant that night.  If you're not sure what hot pot is, I say go out and try it!  Great food.  Super Asian and full of flavor.  Thanks again for the superb choice Cindy. 

All in all, a great extended weekend and an amazing photo expo.

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