Here we are for the second day exploring around the most incredible city ever, this time from Greenwich Village first, then Harlem, going to Downtown to enjoy some of the unmissable attractions of NYC but also something definitely not touristy but extremely important and famous for a niche of lovers of the game. I was lucky to be with Geneviève that was pretty patient with me, a local willing to bear my excursions to these strange places around her city where she has never been before!
I was obviously with my new Canon EOS R and my Canon 17-40mm, extremely useful during a long day walking around thanking to the lightness they offered, I won’t never be tired to appreciate how easy was to take pictures with this combo plus the control ring mount adapter, all these components make you forget about the battery that doesn’t last that long due to the EVF and new electronic components!
First stop was at West 4th Street Courts, one of the most popular playground in NYC, if you are not in a rush, just eight minute far there’s Murray’s Bagels where you can try the best bagel in town, and after a good coffee you can happily reach the subway to Harlem.
I reached Harlem specifically to see Rucker Park, a sort of Mecca of street basketball, named after Helcombe Rucker , a teacher that in 1950 started a basketball tournament to help less fortunate kids and to keep them away from the streets. Every summer many players come here, most of them are well known just among the street basket world, but Rucker Park hosted also famous NBA players like Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Kevin Durant and the most venerated one around here, Julius Dr. J Erving
I have always loved basketball, since I was a kid, and as every kid I started to play on the streets and at the outdoor playground with my friends, all along the year with all the different weather conditions. Street basket is different, harder, intense, more real, less rules, more respect, it’s something that you bring inside you forever. I discovered Rucker Park following my favorite basketball blog and FB page ever, La Giornata Tipo, and once in NYC I had to visit this place in the heart of Harlem, a sort of sanctuary for me, the only one possible actually.
The feelings were great and I’m so happy to have seen this place that for many people is just a playground, but to me was a sort of end of a long path, not finished yet because next time I want to be there during a tournament to feel the real vibes that this game can give.
After the basketball stops we moved down to walk a bit inside one of the most famous city parks in the world. Clearly my time was not enough to walk through all of it and the weather was not the perfect one for my purpose since it was freezing, but I’ve been able to enjoy the atmosphere and the beautiful autumn colors that Central Park can offer! This one is another spot that I’ll visit again for sure to see the spots recounted in my favorite book The Catcher in the Rye , the movies Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and Batman Returns.
Right on time we reached one of the places that I have always wanted to see since I was able to turn the tv on on the 80’s:
If you can reach the Brooklyn bridge around the sunset time or if it’s not crazy cold, early in the morning, that is probably even better because nobody’s supposed to be there! The sunset time was perfect and magical tho and here be careful because there’s the real risk to take too many pictures because the light is growing better minutes after minute. Most of my picture here were great thanking to the Canon EOS R in particular and even when it was getting darker the results were still coming, so I can say that I didn’t miss the stabilizer at all. Since I started to take pictures in my life I had the stabilizer just on couple of lenses, but I can say that in some conditions the IS can help a bit, but it can’t change a picture, if it’s ruined, it’s ruined, no stabilizer can prevent it. Clearly if your goal are videos the story changes, in that case the IS is way helpful, anyway not my case.
The Brooklyn bridge offered several beautiful point of views and gorgeous landscapes and skylines, if you concentrate and focus a bit, into that incredible sunset there’s also the Statue of Liberty that I saved for the next trip. We walked so much that day and after crossing the bridge to Brooklyn I was super tired but I can say that it was definitely worth it!
In the next chapter other great views from my favorite place of the trip!
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