Adventures! Mister Levius Visits New York City

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I was tempted to write a lengthy, intellectual description of the “new” New York City I experienced last week before my future “big” move- but I simply don’t have the time.  There are too many perspectives of this one City to describe in one post, so I will do my best to keep it short (for your convenience.)

To be honest, I had to warm up to the City on the first day.  Not because something about it was wrong – I was out-of-my-mind exhausted since I had but one-hour of sleep…on a plane.  My excitement preceded my biological demand for sufficient rest.

I first arrived in the bustling section of Harlem off of the MTA North train to meet my college friend who resides there.  It seemed like regular Harlem for a stretch of my trek, and then you’d turn a corner and see people you wouldn’t expect to see walking around, or look across the street and see a luxury condo midrise under construction.  People weren’t lying- times in Harlem ARE a-changin’.

{New Harlem}


My head was spinning (not because I saw H&M stores downtown as frequent as Starbucks) as my college friend and I walked around the Flatiron District and Midtown. I was a little bummed to voluntarily forfeit my attendance to British songstress Corrine Bailey Rae’s concert performance; I knew I would pass out if I didn’t recharge and relax for an extended period.  I didn’t even bother taking my camera out 90% of the time- Mister Levius was beat.

{What I DID Capture}

The second day went much smoother (I wasn’t half-dead!).  After a very nice family reunion in Long Island, I prepared to meet Vogue’s famous editor Andre Leon Talley’s personal photographer at the Brooklyn Museum’s monthly Block Party.  It was then where I felt I was immersed in the greatness of New York City- I was surrounded by thousands of beautiful, stylish, liberal, creative, diverse, and cultured people. The people-watching factor and sheer vibe was on a whole new level that I’ve witnessed in Atlanta.  Maybe it was a Brooklyn thing; if so then I’m strongly considering making my home in this borough.  The remainder of the late night was spent invading the oft-desired Park Slope area, then to the buzzing East Village (the camera finally came out at this point).  I ended my night extensively discovering/shooting the legendary Times Square- possibly the only location at night in the world where the lights are so bountiful and bright that you could still shoot in automatic (See “Excursions: Exploring Times Square” Post for the images).

{East Village}

The third day (Sunday) near Central Park West was the first time I felt integrated into the New York community, meeting wonderful people in the fashion industry without the expected pretentiousness (I was there to photograph the high fashion brunch for POSHGLAM).  As I expected, New York attracts a disproportional amount of brilliant, original and driven people…and I knew from being at this brunch, in this city, that I belong here.

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Later that evening I attended the Empire of the Sun’s concert -a bizarre, polychromatic electro-pop trip-fest of a performance. Before they performed on stage to prepare for their set, the DJ/music coordinator started to play, track-for-track, one of the world’s most important albums ever produced: 1996’s Endtroducing by DJ Shadow. As a music fanatic, I become elated whenever I hear great music at pivotal points in my life.  Though the album is stellar, there is one track that will forever be in my Top 10 all-timers- the fourth track titled “Changeling.” I had hoped to myself that the featured band would stall enough for me to hear the track in its entirety; it would cement my experience in the new city on a further level if I could hear it played in that very moment. And it happened.

I tuned out the collegiate crowd in the packed venue, closed my eyelids, and transported myself into a place of serenity, elation, and most of all, confirmation. The song itself conjures a feeling of an urban heaven, fusing ambient, hip-hop, jazz, and electronica- music that personifies New York City.  I experienced aural ecstasy in light of knowing where I belong, where I’m called to dare I say. This is the place where I will make things happen…and it’s a comforting peace that should silence even the most discouraging of future obstacles.

I’m going to make it here.

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