In the Fall of 2015 I completed my first photobook entitled, New York City, The Quietest Place On Earth.
"The quietest place on Earth"--really?
It's true that New York City is a 24/7/365 kind of place. You're constantly bombarded with multi-sensory distractions. Advertisements, people, machines, and more conspire to overwhelm the senses.
Quiet, in certain contexts, is the ability to notice, in the midst of the city's overload, singular beauty. A flower in bloom, for example.
New York City stays busy, and noisy. Or does it? Like people, places also need to rest before getting back to the hustle. An example of this is the photo I took of the Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market. It's quiet in the early morning, yet will light up with activity in a few hours.
Approximately nine million people call NYC home. And roughly two million commute to it daily. With those numbers you could conclude that the streets are busy day and night. And yet... The in-between times afford a measure of quiet, as well as beauty. The arrival of dawn, as seen through the entrance to Columbia University, illustrates this.
NYC is much more than the living and breathing among us. The clamor of millions doesn't compare to the silence of the innumerable souls that came before us. They are ever present, regardless if we've built monuments to them or not. They speak--softly, ever so softly--to those that are ready to listen.
I named my book, New York City: The Quietest Place On Earth because I truly feel that my home is just that. As a lifelong resident, I appreciate both its noise and frantic energy, as well as its calm and quiet. The title and images, both in the book and throughout my body of work, is an attempt to highlight that quality of the city that's easy to miss, if you're not paying attention.