After a few years of constant work traveling, I decided to treat myself with the first solo adventure of my life. I decided to visit New York because it is one of the most beautiful cities that have lived in my mind since my childhood. I've always wanted to walk the stairs of the MET or see the park where Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe met for the first time.
So I did it. I bought a ticket (thank you Alitalia for always tempting me with really good offers. Damn.) and right after I started to panic. I've never been on a trip by myself. I went on the other side of the Atlantic for the first time (yep, I know, can you believe me?) in a city that is not exactly designed for a 150cm tall 30something woman. What I found was breathtaking. Don't believe anyone who says that you will feel overwhelmed by the skyscrapers or by the width of the streets. They're lying. The sensation is like a huge, warm embrace, even if the wind is storming cold and the sun is a pale circle in the sky.
And the people. Newyorkers, you are the best. Thank you for making me feel at home even when I was not sure how much to pay for a coffee (Ninth Street Espresso, you made my day) or have no clue what subway to take to get back home. The East Village is exactly how you imagine: small buildings (at least three floors higher than any building we have here), red bricks, community gardens, a lot of hipsters and young people in yoga pants and yoga mattress. Basically, heaven.
Matthew, my host, was such a treasure. He is a really talented photographer, and his house was filled with plants. I mean, could I ask for more? I got the chance to shower every day with a huge fern which was taking water from the steam and I felt at peace.
Central Park was another mindfucking experience. We're not used to having a big park around here. I mean, ten-minute walk and you are in the middle of the Chianti countryside. Not bad, I know. But Central Park. My god. I decided to get to the Natural History Museum by walk and two hours later I realized that I wasn't even halfway. Loved it.
New York is an island and I've always felt at ease with the concept of being isolated. If you get the chance to visit it, do it. Let your guard down and breath. That's the best advice I can give you.
All images are made with a Bessa R2 and Fujifilm PRO400H, Ilford 3200 and Portra 400 films.