I love New York City. I love the hustle and bustle that comes from being in the crowds of people going about their ordinary lives as well as those who are just there visiting. From the myriad of people in Times Square, to the shops in Chelsea Market. The music and dog park in Washington Square to calming peace of walking through Central Park. Drinking wine and sampling cheese at my favorite wine bar in Hell’s Kitchen, to eating Afghani food in Astoria. I enjoy it all. There is one thing that I have not experienced in New York City. A large and fresh snow fall. In Vivienne Gucwa’s new book, New York in the Snow she makes the comment ‘And there was a gorgeous silence that rooted itself deep inside me until all of life seemed muffled…’. To me, that is poetry. It brought back memories of my own childhood when the snows would fall.
NY in the Snow captures what I imagine it would be like to experience a fresh snow fall in the city when everything is crisp and the big flakes are coming down making everything look clean and new. Where many of the people who normally scurry about are staying in their homes to keep warm. The unnatural quite that would be on the street where that was once was filled with the honking of cars and sirens that whistle by would feel surreal.
NY in the Snow is a hard cover book of 192 pages of beautifully reproduced images and words by the author. Each image comes with the location of the shot and, as a photographer, something I appreciate, the technical specifications of the image. There are both black and white photos as well as color and they are taken from a wide variety of locations around Manhattan. From Central Park, Midtown, Chelsea, SoHo, Greenwich Village, Flatiron District, Times Square and a whole host of places I have been to. I have just never seen them like this.
Scattered throughout is insight about the author’s take on New York City when the snow is falling. Things from childhood memories to insights that read as poetry; “If I hold still, very still, for just a moment and close my eyes, I can paint my serenity memory on the backs of my eyelids”. It is all wonderfully expressive and helps create a mystic hearth around all that is wonderful about the city
While it makes for the perfect visual book, the author also tells about herself and what over six years of wandering around the snows of New York City means to her. She also talks about being out in the snow and how she protects both herself as well as her equipment from the elements. It makes a perfect book for both photographers and art enthusiasts alike.
I absolutely love New York in the Snow! It lives up to its subtitle A Magical Vision of New York City. I hope to make my third trip to NYC later this year, and perhaps I too, will get to experience the city in a freshly fallen snow, but until then, because of Gucwa’s new book, NY in the Snow, I can experience it from afar. I highly recommend this book.