September the 6th - Saturday.
I’m leaving my hometown pretty soon. I just finished to pack my stuff... At least all I can remember putting in my suitcase... I should definitely take a look at the weather before closing it but instead, I am watching some lame ass TV SHOWS. It has been five years since my last trip. Things may have changed, I changed. This time it will be like a new start. I am not going there for the same reasons that's for sure. There are so many things on my mind... I am glad to leave. It's the perfect time.
I got the seat asked just next to this American couple. The situation could be much better, but I guess it could be worse. The plane is finally leaving in a few minutes & I am just wondering which song which I am going to play first. Perhaps, the sound of silence...
September the 7th - Sunday.
I just landed in JFK. It is late. However, this day isn’t over yet and while I am contemplating those gigantic tower block, it feels like an open theatrical decor full of lives... I am tired as fuck and it seems that I won't be sleeping for a moment. Long story short, my hostel was closed when I arrived. Despite the fact that I tried to call them several times... I was in Brooklyn with my luggages, exhausted, I didn't know what to do. There was no light, no sound, no nothing.
I was alone, in Brooklyn at 2 AM in the morning. At this point I felt a little bit frustrated then, I took my stuff started to look for the nearest gas station. When I found one I asked if they could point out the closest subway station (direction Manhattan). I needed a place to crash, I couldn’t really spend my first night outside alone... I picked up the phone, called my brother - it was probably 9 AM in Paris - he told me to go to this hostel where he once stayed. Once there, (OF COURSE) no rooms available. I knew that I could find some other places but I would have to spend more than 80$ just for five hours, it was pointless.
The apartment rent from Air Bnb was only available at noon, I had to wait for get it in. I walked from Uptown Manhattan to Downtown - it was a long walk from the 103rd to the 72street - I‘ve already started my tourist tour, spending my time on the public streets wishing I’d be steady mobbin’. I stopped by a Starbucks, for a fresh orange juice and continue my exploration.
In due time I managed to met the woman that was supposed to give the keys for the flat. It was located in one of those chinese neighborhood in the west south side of Brooklyn. At first glance it seemed quite calm even so I had to walk a few minutes to get to the nearest subway station. I didn’t had the time to give a proper shout out to the old lady that I felt asleep immediatly, exhausted by this endless day...
September the 9th - Tuesday.
I woke up near 9 PM, always this same annoying alarm. My friend will be there soon and unfortunately, like mine, his flight had some delay... Oh, by the way thanks, to remind me to never take a low cost company ever again, they really suck! Whatever, he finally showed up around 11 PM safe & shit he quickly put his own stuff into the place, we went outside to look for something to sip while exploring our new neighborhood. There is nothing much to see there, a few Deli Groceries here and there, nothing fancy you know. We finally managed to bought some and mostly chilled outside for the first night.
I woke up quite late, around 10. I know, it is not that bad for a second day. Dressed up on the way to Manhattan, no breakfast and only one week to enjoy myself. Needless to say that in order to spend a more than a great day, I dropped by my fav spots in town, started by Lafayette st, it’s good to be back and be able to feel the vibe from it once again. One and half hour later, it was already lunch time, excited to give a try to this classic fast food from downtown Manhattan, I am sure I won't be disappointed.
Two hours later, I went to the Vitsoe Showroom near Bond Street, a few blocks down you could also find the Inventory Store. I have been following the magazine since a while now so it was a pleasant surprise to see their expansion into a full beautiful store. Unfortunately I couldn't take any pictures of it however, the store design seemed to be effortless, straightforward and minimalist. A few good brands like South 8 West 2, Margaret Howell, were available alongside the Engineering Garments pieces. You could also get the latest volume from some of the best fashion & lifestyle magazines about & like Grind & Popeye next to other objects & goods.
However, the best surprise of the day was the splendid Nepenthes store located between the 9th & 8th avenue. I had a lot of expectation since there is only one retail store in US and it is really hard to buy the gears in Europe. The space is quite impressive within his two floors, a large selection of garments, accessories, shoes from brands such as Engineering Garments, Nepco, Needless, South2 West8, NSW, BOSTON LEATHER CO. BELTS, Trickers and a few more... The first floor is fully loaded with jackets, pants, headwear whereas the second floor is where you can get some extras a few bags and shoes were put on display.. They also curate exhibition, from designers, artists, makers and give them the space to show their creation (that is where I first stumble on the work of Tamaki Niime go to THE PLACES in the index to find more about her)
The day after, I didn't planned shit. Matter of fact, the weather great this morning. I woke up late as usual, decided to do things slowly. It doesn't really matter because I really like when it's raining, when the whole atmosphere is falling apart, colors are changing. There is this small window in the room so, I put the curtain behind the chair and from there I just began to contemplate the rain falling down with rhythm
to Bill Evans’s record “You must believe in Spring”.
It's not like I have done plently stores all week but I was just curious enough to see what was really interesting to me as I've been following some for example the Brooklyn Circus store in Brooklyn. I think the pictures speaks for themselves here. I just grabbed two pairs of PF FLYERS and headed to Manhattan to visit the Real MCCoys & Blue in Greene store in Soho. If you are a fan of Japanese denim and quality at his finest well, you could start here...
Spent the day mostly chilling and going to other spots I haven't been to yet. Later, came back home, slept a bit, ate a little and ready to have some fun! It was a coincidence - perhaps, a good one though but, I saw on a facebook event that there was going to be a party thrown by the Pigalle crew. 2h44 AM, on my way to the Box. The evening was pretty good actually, I wasn't that exhausted but as usual the show was entertaining.
It was important and it is still significant for us to take all the pictures that you see here with disposable cameras. As our journey goes, even if we planned things, we didn’t knew until the end of the day that all we wanted to do could be done in one single day. That is why we love using them so much; analog photography which randomly build those particular days with abstract elements that help us see it through when we’re lost.
September the 10th - Wednesday.
We just got back from the East - down - Side of Manhattan. I wanted to see some of the famous skate spots from the New York scene. Of course, the place was empty. No cats out there tonight however, it felt great. This feeling that you are alone in New York.. No one else present except this man who was sleeping pleasantly in the grass behind us hidden by the shadows of the trees. In front of us, the large view of the bay. There were three binoculars telescope and some benches. We sat on one of those for a few minutes. MUTE - There, a small amount of birds seemed to be contemplating the dark shape of the Statue of Liberty. The music was composed by the noiseless waves. Everything was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop..
September the 11th - Thursday.
It has already been five days. Nothing much to complain about, it all went pretty good so far, even if we have a few days left, that short break was essential. Perhaps I am not using the right words to describe what I’m feeling now but just knowing that I will wake up there tomorrow, I’m free from any disturbance. Nothing can untroubled this instant. I wish I could be travelling all year non-stop just to live that kind of emotions you know, finding yourself, simply existing. Everytime that I’m travelling I feel disconnected & I am doing things I won’t be doing on a daily basis...Ordinary things are oftenly forgotten & it shouldn’t. I have to learn how to regulate my time without hurrying, at a leisurely pace.
September the 12th - Friday.
Yesterday was relaxing. Only one day left, I’m not ready to say goodbye yet but I am aware that we have more than 48 hours to appreciate what we still have here. The energy that you receive is better than I could ever imagine. At this moment in time, it is just about moving around town, get off the train at any random station, snap up by the streets unable to find the right way to go as a result we come across new places..
September the 13th - Saturday.
It’s the last day. We tried to not wake up late, we also tried to enjoy each hour, each minute & second. It’s not a trip that we can do every three months you know..We went back to Lafayette street, where it all started.Once again, under the rain, we crossed Little Italy, two blocks away, we’re in the Chinatown neighborhood. Fifteen mintutes later we reached Greene Street, there we found our way to the Blue In Green Store. A friend of mine advised me to check it out before leaving. That’s what we did. You can find indoor quality brands like Buco, Kapital, Samuraï Jeans to name a few... Nearby there is also the retail space of the Japanese brand Real McCOYS, aesthetically one of the best store we saw. I couldn’t take more pictures of it, no more films left.
I wanted to start this latest chapter by the word : OVER. But, it would look like I am feeling frustrated... Indeed I was. New York will be definitely missed. Come on. There wasn’t a bad note to this trip. Mentally & Physically, it felt great and we are ready to begin this new chapter, this new year.We both going on our 25 years anniversary on the Earth and it’s one of the weirdest feeling ever...This isn’t the right place to talk about it, maybe we will discuss in detail in the next journal, onto the next trip ? Why not..who knows ? We left our flat this morning, on our way to JFK. Everything packed up, tired but excited, not to leave, but to have live this experience. This might be one of the longest journey ever... It’s exactly 02:51 minutes PM, I’m listening “Save The Children” from Marlena Shaw. Our flight is leaving in seven hours, you could imagine how much words we can share with you guys. But we won’t.