Saturday, March 21, 2015
Cherry Blossom Girl
I've been longing for spring lately, and am feeling especially nostalgic for spring in Central Park, which was glorious. I've compiled some
of my favourite images from springs spent in New York, with the cherry blossoms in Central Park. I really miss the casual, exploratory vibe from
this area. I was able to go wherever I wanted, explore every nook and cranny, and interact with spaces any way I wished. I loved being able to
climb into branches or hide under a canopy of blossoms like a tent. I was able to take the kind of photos I wanted to with this freedom.
In Tokyo, the parks are beautifully and masterfully curated, but they also tend to be stiflingly regimented. All pathways are marked by ropes, all
trees and plants and most water features are behind ropes, fences, or chains, and no one would ever dare dream of climbing a tree. They are also
never ever not crowded. And so, with sakura season fast approaching, I find myself torn between feeling excited about being in the birthplace of my
favourite traditions for sakura, able to experience 'the real deal' hanami season in Tokyo, but also a little disappointed I won't have the same
freedom of creativity for photos, and certainly not the same seclusion and solitude.
It seems funny that I'm nostalgic for solitude in Central Park- any time I took photos there, there were plenty of other people around- some stopping
to gawk, some taking photos of me without permission- and that was always awkward and frustrating. It's not like Ryan and I were ever completely alone,
but after plenty of time exploring around the park each season, I got a good feel for places a little more off the beaten path that were wonderfully
photogenic in Spring, and Ryan became a pro at avoiding getting other people in the background. If I ever thought Central Park or New York in general felt
crowded, Tokyo has totally put things back into perspective for me. I've all but given up trying to take photos most places because of the crazy crowds
Our situation was also just so different back in New York. Ryan was going to school, and he was done around 5pm everyday. He was open to help out with photos on weekdays during the best times for light, and we lived close enough to the park and the 'good spots' that we could just walk over in the late afternoons or evenings. So we were usually able to take photos during the most off-peak times in the park. Now, Ryan works until 8 or 9 every weekday, and I've been sick every weekend since February- So even when Ryan is available, I'm too sick, and he's too tired. I'm starting to worry I'll be too sick to even try to take sakura photos this year:( I guess we'll see.
I sure am feeling homesick for Central Park after looking through these. It really was the best part of Manhattan for me,
and I don't know how I could have survived there without it. I'm hoping to still enjoy sakura season in Tokyo- it just feels
so much more intimidating because there's so much hype and so many expectations involved- and the same kind of feeling you
get about a popular parade- if you're not willing to get there at 5am to snag the best spot before the crowds, you might as
well not go at all. I'm going to have a lot of family portraits and shoots this sakura season, and not much time for myself
this year- and since the blooming is so fleeting, I might have to resign myself to not really getting any personal photos with
Sakura this year. It's hard to tell how it will all turn out. We'll see I guess!
Posted by Kitsune-kun at 11:51 AM