Snow York City
Location: New York City, USA
New York City. The city that never sleeps. Literally! No matter what the weather Gods have in store for the Big Apple, its people are outside. Out working. Out living. Out chasing their dreams. NYC is known for its bitter winters. It’s generally windy and in winters, which mind you, last for quite a few months; the winds along with snow can be harsh. But then, when the city is all white, it’s serene.
I was born and raised in India. Having lived in Jaipur, Delhi and Varanasi for almost 25 years, snow was such a mountain concept. I had barely experienced snow. It was either on those distant peaks in Himachal or Kashmir; or a 5 minute pleasure during my decade back Ladhak trip; or maybe a few days of fresh white excitement with friends in Mcleodganj, years back.
But, New York totally changed those concepts for me. NYC is urban. Or might I say, the mother of all urban cityscapes of the world. And; It snows there. Snow in an urban cityscape was reason enough for me to start this visual project, ‘Snow York City’.
Over a span of two winters, 2014/15 and 2015/16; I find myself creating images of snow covered New York. What started as an innocent childlike snow romance, soon became
love. Love for NY’s bitter cold. It soon made me realize much subtle learnings it had in store for me. NYC has a lot of people. Tons living and tons visiting. Winters still have a lot of people outside, but there sure were times when it was barely a few crazy heads like me out on the streets.
For instance, this lady who was shoveling snow in Central Park on a morning of a snowstorm in February, 2016. She literally paused at work for a minute. Stood still. Frozen. I captured it. Stood still. Frozen. We connected on a non verbal deeper sphere. After all, we were both working. I learn, you got to work when you got to work. Although, how may ever difficult the times be, working in such calm whites can give you a little inner peace and be a definite visual treat.
Central Park is one of the very few places in the whole of this concrete jungle that is closer to ‘nature’. The snow makes it look very pretty. Prettier than usual. There are layered whites in a park surrounded by the misty skyscrapers and barely any people, yet, a city that never sleeps. It’s visual minimalism in an otherwise visually maximalist city. It’s delightful. I’m a better self. I’m just purely happy within.
As I spend some more time traveling in the remote colder regions of America, I mature and also understand the apparent impact of global warming and environmental issues on snowfalls. Winters of 2014/15 were way more colder and had much more snowy days than in the winters of 2015/16. Erratic snow patterns and delayed winters eventually opened up a whole new sphere of my approach to this body of work.
Snow York City - New York City, will always have me creating such imagery for my love for whites, visual delight, my inner child happiness and my concern for environment.