09 May Tunnel or Bridge?
1977 was my first encounter with the Big Apple. The Big, wonderful world of creativity, energy, diversity, possibilities…all there, packed into a small 23-square mile island called Manhattan. It’s the most visually and sensually stimulating place I’ve ever been.
I knew I’d come back. I have, in fact, been back a dozen or so times. I keep hoping that one day I’ll say “I’ve had enough.” But just the opposite happens. I can never get enough.
My second trip back was a work stint in ‘79. I was a big time art director living in Atlanta, working on big time accounts, with big time budgets. I convinced one of our big time clients that no photographer in Atlanta could properly photograph their product, ice cream. They took the bait. Little did I know that the client was from Jersey and he wanted an expense-paid trip back home.
They sent me ahead to make sure all the props were ok. I’ll never forget flying by myself to NY, getting off the plane, walking through LaGuardia to find the baggage claim. I was SO impressing myself.
I hailed a cab and quickly barked out an address, trying to act like some seasoned New Yorker and hide my southern accent. Because I had been warned of cab drivers who drove you the long way and charged you accordingly, I pretended to know EXACTLY what part of the city I was headed. The driver then asked me if I wanted to go via the bridge or the tunnel. I had no clue what he meant.
‘Either is fine,’ I remarked, and off we went. To this day I don’t remember if we went through the tunnel or over the bridge. But that cabbie took me on the most wonderfully guided tour through New York you could ever imagine. We saw Yankees Stadium, Harlem, Columbia University, Central Park, Times Square, Chinatown, and even the Statue of Liberty.
Yep, I was taken for a ride that day. But it’s the best $85 I had ever spent.