Monday, November 11, 2013

New York Street Style: Andrea, Mercer St

A couple of weeks back, after conducting my interview with Simbarashe Cha in Midtown Manhattan, I headed down to SoHo to shoot street style for a few hours. It was my first time shooting in SoHo outside of Fashion Week, and I had high expectations. This is the street style stomping ground of Scott Schuman, Adam Katz Sinding, Youngjun Koo, and others. I expected to catch some seriously high caliber street style action. So I wandered the streets of SoHo. And I wandered. And then I wandered some more. And I saw some cool people, I even saw a street style photographer or two (in this case Wataru Bob Shimosato of An Unknown Quantity) but the people in SoHo on a Friday afternoon in fall weren't so exponentially cooler than the people I saw on a regular basis in Center City, Philadelphia as to compel me to take their photograph. They were just cool. And there weren't even all that many of them at that. Most people, even here, were pretty normal. Cool, I began to realize, is in short supply, even in New York City. There is no street style Mecca. There is no place where cool just exudes from the walls of buildings, steams up from the subway vents. Cool is a relatively scarce commodity. That's what makes it cool. Even in SoHo it takes hours of wandering and waiting around to find subjects for street style photographs. But the backdrops are awfully nice, all converted industrial space and old-fashioned fire escapes, and maybe that's worth the trip in itself.

Eventually, I took only one set of pictures, those of Andrea up top. I caught her on break from a photo shoot she was helping out with. I dug her style. It's sufficiently urban bohemian for my taste. And it's cool. But it's cool in a familiar way, not so readily distinguished from Philly cool. 

So I guess the moral of this story is some cliche along the lines of "the streets are always cooler in someone else's city." I'm done wishing I were shooting in New York. Philly's got its thing happening, and it's good enough for me. 

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