The last 25 years has seen corporations move into the Times Square area and make it one of the most touristy and congested places in New York City. Interestingly, many of the non-corporate businesses that once dominated the area have migrated to 8th Avenue. Despite the boutique hotels that have risen on 8th Avenue between 34th and 42nd Streets, the area has somehow resisted the gentrification. The Music Building is still there as well as a vintage liquor store, various bars, luggage stores, cheap souvenir stores, blue DVD stores, and New York eateries (I love that 2 Bros. Pizza opened a location in the area) beyond the usual fast food.
Since May of 2022, I have been spending some time in the area and my eye, as well as my camera by proxy, has been drawn to some of the fashions in that area. It is certainly not high-end fashion, but still interesting. It feels like New York City.
The featured image of this blog entry was taken on the eve of Trump’s inauguration during the New York City protest around Columbus Circle. I had gone there to participate and document. I didn’t stay as long as I had intended because in the midst of it, I got a call from my sister telling me that my uncle had passed away. Until I started working on this entry, I had never looked at the photographs from that day.
The individual in the featured photograph had the absolute gall to show up wearing a (made in China) maga hat (someone had asked him to remove it so they could inspect the label). I can’t begin to convey the vitriol he encountered, which was absolutely deserved. I watched him for a while and my favorite exchange was with a woman who conveyed that based solely on his appearance, he would be thrown over Trump’s border wall. She noted that most of his supporters would only ever see him as a terrorist or criminal. She completely shut him down and I managed to capture that moment. Ultimately, I thought he did this as a stunt; a way to garner attention and trend online to get his fifteen minutes. He was recording all of this exchanges on his phone.
It has been a long year and I have done my best to do things that counter the limited mindset of Trump and his supporters. I continue to volunteer, engage in activism and create art. With regards to photography, I largely engage in it during the warm months. I consider myself to be a street photographer and hate working with my camera while wearing gloves. This year, I found myself inspired to try and capture the beautiful diversity of New York City.
It is with great pride that I present to you my favorite pictures of 2017.
A Human Right. Edwin Roman 2017. As seen at Bronx Community College during the 60th anniversary celebration.
Devious Smiles. Edwin Roman, 2017. People watching at the Coney Island Art Walls.
Wepa! Edwin Roman, 2017. As seen at the “Salsa Under The Sun” concert.
Fuga Aqua. Edwin Roman, 2017. As seen at the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park.
Dreaming in Red. Edwin Roman 2017. Actors from the off-Broadway, cabaret show, I Dream of Jackie, featuring the wonderful Jackie Cox. As seen at Flame Con 2017.
Rockland Cliff. Edwin Roman, 2017. This was my first ever visit to Rockland Lake State Park during the fall or any time other than summer.
Sharing a Laugh. Edwin Roman, 2017. This was the first time I was ever hired to photograph a wedding. This couple was just great and so laid back; they were in sync with my style of photography.
Boarding Squared. Edwin Roman, 2017. As seen on the Coney Island Boardwalk.
Brooklyn, The Statue. Edwin Roman, 2017. As seen outside of the Brooklyn Museum.
Goose Goose. Edwin Roman, 2017. A rare winter picture in Flushing Meadow Park.
Kente Color Splash. Edwin Roman, 2017. As seen in The Bronx.
Two Cameras. Edwin Roman, 2017. A fellow photographer at work in Central Park.
Sépia Fille. Edwin Roman, 2017. This lovely young woman posed for me at Coney Island Beach.
Picturing Robin Lord Taylor. Edwin Roman, 2017. This was during the actor’s panel at Flame Con. I actually got to ask the first question, which was: “If Gotham City were a real place would you want to live there?”
Boardwalk Fútbol. Edwin Roman, 2017. As seen on the Coney Island Boardwalk.
Sara the Turtle. Edwin Roman, 2017. One summer weekday at Rockland Lake State Park I actually witnessed this beautiful little turtle burying her eggs.
Touring The Hall of Fame. Edwin Roman, 2017. As seen at Bronx Community College.
Speed Walking The Boardwalk. Edwin Roman, 2017. As seen on the Coney Island Boardwalk.
Sinewy Skirt and Sloppy Star. Edwin Roman, 2017. Whenever I am in a tediously long workplace meeting, I will go into survival mode and let my imagination take over. I often create made up superheroes and villains. This duo is a pair of superheroes.
Exuberance. Edwin Roman, 2017. As seen at “Salsa Under the Sun.”
As seen from the Wonder Wheel. Edwin Roman, 2017. Picturing the world famous Cyclone from the equally famous Wonder Wheel.
The Batwoman on my Shelf. Edwin Roman, 2017. An action figure of one of my favorite comic book characters, Batwoman.
People watching in New York City is always interesting and often fun. It is especially great when I have my camera with me. I loved watching this charismatic family having fun with their own camera in Flushing Meadow Park.