Sunday, February 22, 2009

Meanwhile, in New York...

Last weekend I was in New York City for Fall Fashion Week. Surprisingly, it was even crazier than Spring Fashion Week last September. I didn't even get in to the Diane Von Furstenberg, Jill Stuart, or Tracy Reese shows. Eventually I realized that enough was enough (especially for fashion) and decided that I needed to take advantage of being in one of the greatest cities in the world.

After grabbing a slice at Pronto Pizza, I hoofed it over to Penn Station to drop off my backpack with my clothes in it. All I wanted was a locker for a few hours until my train left. The Amtrak baggage check agent informed me that all the lockers in New York had been removed after 9/11... Thanks terrorists. He did say that he could hold it until my train left though, but that it would cost $4.50. This seemed odd to me since I could check one bag for free. In any case, I certainly didn't want to lug my clothes around the city for the rest of the day, and I didn't want to check it since my train would be arriving in Baltimore late that night, so I coughed up the $4.50. All I had on me was a $20, but another Amtrak employee (who apparently dealt with a lot of small denominations) was kind enough to make change. Perhaps I should have pretended to check the bag, then picked it up before the train arrived.

Since Penn Station was so close to B&H Photo, I decided to drop in there for about an hour. They've got pretty much everything, and it's fascinating to watch their system of queues and baskets in action. The folks at IMG who handle Fashion Week may be able to take a few hints from these guys. Anyway, after a brief stop in the used department to check out a Fuji 690 III (surprisingly cheap feel) and Leica M7 (utterly solid), I picked up an orange Hoya multi-coated filter and two rolls of Ilford ISO 400 B&W film for my Hasselblad Xpan. The 45mm lens on my Xpan takes a 49mm filter, which is not as common as I'd like.

Xpan in hand, I hopped on the A train, and headed up to Columbus circle to explore Central Park a bit. I quickly polished off the roll of Fuji Provia 400F that I'd started at the top of Rockefeller Center, and switched to the Ilford XP2 400 (C-41) B&W film and my new filter.

And this is where the story ends somewhat abruptly. I'm still finishing off that roll of B&W film. I mailed my two spent rolls of Provia to the lab earlier this week for processing. I guess I won't really know how good the Xpan is until I get those back. Based on it's solid feel, and the praise it's gotten from other photographers, I'm optimistic.

Also worth mentioning is a very entertaining show called Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, which my friends and I saw that Saturday night. Buy tickets in advance so you can get in early enough to pick a seat away from the isle (unless you enjoy getting plucked from the audience). Also try to forget what a fire-hazard the theater looks like on the inside, and enjoy the show.

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