Saturday, August 15, 2009


As a junior in college, I often walked quickly down a street in Alphabet City in the East Village going to and from my part time job just trying to keep pace with the fast pulse of NYC life. Not wanting to miss my bus and train, I often focused on what was ahead, and maneuvered my way down the sidewalks to arrive at my destination in a timely manner. But one day, after visiting my boss's client somewhere closer to SOHO and making dozens of pitch calls to random journalists about a story they didn't care about, I was fired. It was my birthday and I went through a range of emotions, from immediate anger saying to myself, "how dare he fire me on my birthday." Come to think about it, I don't think he knew it was my birthday.

My next emotion was a little less distinguishable, but life was a puzzlement to me in this phase. I quickly moved on to visible sadness, and adopted a "woe is me" attitude as I aimlessly walked the streets of SOHO and other parts of the city. This time, I was walking at a normal pace, not speedily as everyone around. I was pushed, prodded, bulldozed .... and somehow felt like, whatever, all this being pushed around by people is nothing compared to being fired on what's supposed to be a happy day - my 21st birthday. So, my attitude quickly turned toward rebellion, not in a take over city hall kinda way, but in a "just see if messing with me is a good idea" kinda way. I guess I was challenging everyone and anyone to a fight - at least in my head.

Not so focused on trying to catch the bus before it left me, I ventured off into some unknown streets. I found myself in West Broadway, and then Houston. Along the way, I peeked into an alley, something I wouldn't have time doing if I was employed. It was shadowy, with grey brick laid out on the ground and plastered against all walls, but there, I saw a camera crew with a bunch of beautiful people (I think they were models) standing around seemingly waiting for instructions. I think they were shooting a commercial or something. I didn't stick around to see what they were actually doing. But, right there it was clear to me that amidst an alleyway that was less than inviting, can exist beauty, or hope. And, I wasn't so sad anymore about just losing my job.

So I like alleys, or at least the idea of hope in a dark place. Here are some pics of alleys in Rockport, which as you will see are nothing like the ones in NYC. Enjoy.


SHOPGIRL said...

very cool - the pics and the essay

Anonymous said...

See, I knew we were kindred spirits...I love alleys, too for the "unknown" factor of what you will find there. Beautiful pictures by the way.