New York, New York

Travel theme: Cities

Guy Garvey interviewed in the Independent, February 2014:

“New York Morning” lays out his embrace of the city he describes as “the modern Rome, where folk are nice to Yoko”.

“That comes from John Lennon,” he explains. “In his last press conference when he left England for good, he said: ‘Why wouldn’t you go to New York? Every nation on Earth represented, all getting along – it’s the modern Rome’. Then he said: ‘Besides, they’re nice to Yoko’. Quite aside from what people think, whether she was responsible or not for splitting up The Beatles – and I’m very sure she wasn’t, knowing band dynamics as I do – it was the out-and-out racism that accompanied that, so when New York clutched them to its bosom as icons, they were very flattered, and it was the place where they felt they could live together and be happy. They were never far from my thoughts when I arrived in New York, being a Northerner and a musician. Knowing the love he had for his roots, it must have been very difficult for him to transplant himself, knowing he was a national hero.”

New York

New York New York New York

New York

In Garvey’s case, of course, it wasn’t so much a national hero and international icon exchanging one form of attention for another, as an escape from attention into blessed anonymity. Whereas John and Yoko relocated to Manhattan, he settled into the more localised, bohemian surroundings of Brooklyn, exulting in the chance to make friends purely on his personality.

“I enjoyed hanging round these diners, which very much reminded me of the places in Manchester where I decided to do what I did with my life, where everybody’s a writer or a sculptor or a painter, and holding down a job in order to support that,” he says. “I enjoyed being that nice older English guy who comes in every day, like Ralph Richardson in the corner on his laptop! It also made me realise how much more inaccessible that youthful verve becomes as you get older. I prefer the company of one good friend these days, whereas these kids were very much about discovering their identity and showing it to the world. It was a lovely thing to witness.”


  1. Sreejith Nair · June 4, 2014

    Beautiful images… we could feel the vibrancy of New York 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · June 4, 2014

      Many thanks, it is a wonderful city, particularly with a camera in hand.

  2. LaVagabonde · June 4, 2014

    Tiltshift heaven! Love it. 😀

    • northumbrianlight · June 4, 2014

      Thanks Julie – entirely down to your example. I am interested to know – are you using a plugin/existing application or doing it online. I have no tilt-shift software so just use this: (and then hack them some more in Photoshop).

      • LaVagabonde · June 4, 2014

        I used to use Tiltshiftmaker, but now I have an app called Snapseed which works so much better. Sadly, it’s no longer available for desktop. There are probably a few other apps out there that have it.

      • northumbrianlight · June 4, 2014

        Thanks, I will have a dig around – I am particularly fond of freeware 🙂

  3. Cate Franklyn · June 4, 2014

    I think it is a pretty cool place too, especially for photography.

    • northumbrianlight · June 4, 2014

      It certainly is, you are right to be proud of your city. I am a little spooked by the mouse in the first image – it looks menacing, something David Lynch might have dreamed up 🙂

      • Cate Franklyn · June 4, 2014

        Mouse schmouse, it’s duh rats ya gotta worry about, ya know Whadda mean?

  4. Lignum Draco · June 4, 2014

    Nice tilt shift shots.

  5. Mélanie · June 4, 2014

    been there twice… I love NYC! 🙂

  6. Jo · June 4, 2014

    Stunning photographs. 🙂

  7. Tish Farrell · June 4, 2014

    You captured the essence, Robin. What more can one say.

    • northumbrianlight · June 5, 2014

      Thanks Tish – NY is all about people so it lends itself to tilt-shifting.

  8. elisa ruland · June 4, 2014

    I wasn’t familiar with Guy Garvey and had to google him, which shed some light on his thoughts in the interview. I’m a huge John Lennon fan and really enjoyed it. Now, about those photographs! Fantastic! Tilt shift photography…something else for me to google. It’s hard to keep up. Great post!

    • northumbrianlight · June 5, 2014

      Guy Garvey is a good Mancunian – great voice and fine lyricist.
      Recommend having a go with online tilt-shift –
      You get interesting results particularly if you then up the saturation and muck around with the levels in Photoshop.
      All the best

  9. Cindi · June 5, 2014

    Your images are so alive and vital — I can feel the pulse of the city!

    • northumbrianlight · June 6, 2014

      Many thanks Cindi – it is an inspiring place and I want to go back.

  10. litadoolan · June 6, 2014

    Your photos make my spine tingle, they are so alive! The colours are so bold yet the contrast is all there. The have a cinematic quality, the compositions have movement. Thank you for taking my imagination somewhere brilliant via your photographs!

    • northumbrianlight · June 6, 2014

      Thanks so much Lita – recommend tilt-shifting – NY was the perfect subject.
      All the best

  11. gpcox · June 6, 2014

    It’s been so long, I’d almost forgotten what it was like. Thanks.

    • northumbrianlight · June 6, 2014

      It has the same effect on me – definitely time to go back.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  12. Tina Schell · June 9, 2014

    We’re lucky to have kids in NYC so we get there quite often. I love the city and its energy. There’s always something amazing going on all day and all night! Bring you earplugs if you’re a light sleeper 🙂 Great shots!

    • northumbrianlight · June 9, 2014

      Sound advice Tina 🙂 That’s a good idea! – I must persuade one of my boys that they would enjoy living in NY – and I am sure they would.

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