French Cafe

Photo Walk Fridays: Nolita, NYC by Leslie

Nolita, New York City

To the east of Soho, where it's less crowded, is one of my favorite spots in New York City. Nolita (North of Little Italy) is contained within Houston Street on the north, Broome Street on the south, Lafayette Street on the west and the Bowery on the east. Compared to Soho there are smaller, independent shops and a quainter, neighborhood vibe.

My husband and I met my friend Amber on Sunday after our Camp Mighty Reunion, for brunch at Café Gitane and then we walked around Nolita taking pictures. I took pictures of the urban landscape and Amber took pictures of me. I LOVE her shots of me and I put the three pictures that I was taking below in the same order as her shots.

First though, shots from Café Gitane. Baked eggs are one of my favorite things lately, you might remember I also had them during my Valentine's Day photo walk (that was pre-photo walk Fridays.) We also had yummy avocado on toast and the mint tea was amazing and came in a little glass instead of a tea cup.  Check out all the places that we visited in Nolita at the bottom of the post.

The next three images are the shots that I captured while Amber took pictures of me, in the same order as her shots:

I love shooting the street! I find so many great juxtapositions and contrasts, between colors, textures and the things that people leave behind. I love graffiti, street art and when paper and posters are peeled, ripped and overlapping. The layers upon layers are just so beautiful. It's similar to the beauty I see in an abandoned building. Also, have a look at the two bicycle pictures above and below. It's the SAME bike. I saw it in two different places within 30 minutes of each other. I'd love to know the story behind that bike. (Check out the third picture on this page, is that the same bike?)

Places We Visited:

Café Gitane: A trendy, small, French cafe on Mott Street at Prince. There have been a number of movies filmed there and there is a new location on the west side in the Jane Hotel. I loved the baked eggs, avacado toast and mint tea.

Germania Bank Building: Most of the graffiti that I photographed was on the old Germania Bank building. I was sure that this building was abandoned, but it is in fact owned and lived in by the photographer Jay Maisel. The whole building is his house. Talk about epic! I was not all that familiar with his work, though his name did sound familiar. He hosts workshops at his home/building and for $5000 you can live with him there for 5 days and immerse yourself in his world. Incredible.

Armor Lux: This tiny, beautiful shop on Mulberry is where that adorable dog hangs out. His name is Chainsaw. Chainsaw! Isn't that an awesome name? The shop owner, Rachael, was the sweetest person ever. Her shop is the first one in the US outside of France. We bought a Wool and the Gang Foxy Roxy scarf knitting kit as a gift for Chris's Mom's birthday. She loved it. I will be sure to go back and visit the next time I am in Nolita.

McNally Jackson Bookstore: We love book stores and McNally Jackson is one of the best. I spent a good amount of time browsing the magazines and listening to two hipsters discuss art. It was funny and painful at the same time. They have a cafe, a great kids section and they specialize in everything good.

Have you been to Nolita? What are your favorite places to visit? Thanks for joining me again for a Photo Walk! See you next Friday.

Valentine's Day Photo Walk by Leslie

I took myself on a little photo walk yesterday, bought some chocolates for my family and had brunch alone at a French cafe. It was a lovely morning and when I returned home with the kids, there were white lilies from Chris. These are my best shots from Valentine's Day.

I got a new lens and all of these pictures were taken with it. I had to send in my 28-70mm f/2.8L for a calibration and a minor cosmetic repair and since it's my only lens, I had to buy a new one. I looked at the 50mm f/1.2L, the 100mm f/2.8L Macro and the 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro. I want them all, but I got the most affordable and the smallest, the 50mm Compact Macro. Tracey Clark was raving about it at ALT and I figured for less than $300 I could test it out while my big lens is gone and if I didn't like it I could return it. 

I like it.

The tones are great and it's a sharp enough lens with great depth of field, but the best part? It's small. I was able to carry it around all day yesterday without it being too heavy or bulky. It *is* a bit noisy when I focus, it's like a little robot talking to me or something, and I will purchase that 50mm 1.2 one day, but for now the 50mm Compact Macro is lovely. (Thanks Tracey!)

What lenses are your favorites? What do you shoot with your different lenses? Is there a dream lense you have been lusting after?