I adore NYC in the summertime. Sure, the weather is much nicer in the spring and fall - summer weather can get nasty. Sure, certain parts of the city smell atrocious when the temperature heads north. Sure, you get wet walking down the sidewalk from random, unidentified drips that you convince yourself were from an air conditioner…
HOWEVER - when the days get longer and the temperature rises, the city absolutely comes to life with a plethora of festivals and outdoor concerts that are open and free. Everywhere you turn there are theatre performances, dance festivals, street fairs, huge concerts in Central Park and Prospect Park. There are also what feels like hundreds of festivals in smaller places - many of which are experimenting and pushing boundaries. One such festival is the Intersect Festival in Bryant Park, produced by Chamber Music America, that celebrates contimporary composers who are exploring the intersection of classical and jazz music.
I was at the Friday night portion of the festival this year to photograph legendary Yamaha Artist Billy Childs and the Billy Childs Quartet. They performed an amazing set and it was a wonderful, memorable night. People from all walks of life, of many different races and probably religions gathered on the grass with the chaos and din of the city all around. People were juggling, playing games, enjoying a picnic, you name it… parents with small children, couples on dates, gay couples, interracial couples, older people, young people… music brought everyone together into a shared experience. Amazing music performed by legendary artists - and there was a delicious cool breeze that came in as the icing on the cake.
We need more nights like that in the world today.
I love my job. I love this city.