My wife and I recently moved uptown to the Washington Heights area. I can’t tell you how great it is to be out of the Lower East Side. I’m sure that may sound odd, since the Lower East Side is the hip and happening place to be, but it’s also noisy as hell, full of drunks, and groceries are exceptionally overpriced. We have a nice quiet apartment on the back of a building now, it’s quiet outside after 10PM, and we have easy access to necessary stores and transportation.
Before moving up here, I’d never been to this neighborhood before. I was even surprised to see that Manhattan could have hills. I like it, though. The different elevations of the buildings adds a lot of character to the neighborhood. Speaking of character, the buildings in this part of the city are fascinating to look at, too. A lot of the stuff downtown is new construction. I prefer older architecture. I’m looking forward to taking some time later this summer to just walk around and take photos. That’s one of the things I love about New York City in general: there’s never a lack of things to do or see.
Anyway, these are some photos that I took with my iPhone a few days ago when my wife and I went on an impromptu stroll down Riverside Drive and some of the surrounding streets. Great view! I’m looking forward to going back when I have an actual camera with me.
While walking down Riverside Drive there, we ran into a guy who was sitting on the ledge. You can probably see him in the photo I took while still under the shade of the trees. As we walked by, I noticed him giving my wife the up-and-down so I said, “Hello there. How are you?” He looked at me and started screaming about CIA surveillance. He might not have made the connection, but even if he didn’t, he’s still a nut job. We moved along at a brisk pace.
One subculture of Japan is people who have a serious fascination with figurines. I’m not talking about the Precious Moments porcelain figures your grandma keeps in her cupboard either. I’m talking about anime or manga related figurines. These collectors sometimes go above and beyond simply filling shelves with their favorite figurines. They sometimes take a figurine with them wherever they go and take photos of it along with the background scenery. That’s some hardcore fandom right there!
There are a lot of anime and manga fans all over the world. There are even people that collect wall scrolls and figures. I’d sort of expected this particular hobby to be a Japan-only thing, for fear of being socially ostracized. I was wrong! I saw a group of young guys sitting next to the dome covering the Orchard MRT entrance in front of Ion with cameras and figurines out. They were busy positioning their figurines in the perfect poses while taking photos of them against the backdrop of the Christmas shopping crowds, the lights and the mall.
Well, I enjoy anime and manga, to some extent, but this is a bit over the line for me. Still, can’t help but respect their boldness for not caring what other people think and enjoying their hobby.
The guy was nice enough to let me take these photos of his figurine. Does anyone know what anime or manga this character is from?
If you’re into this sort of thing and want to find more about it, the biggest sites I can think of off the top of my head are Dannychoo.com and also his site specifically for figures, Figure.fm. I didn’t see anything specifically about figure photography in Singapore, but you might try this site: Singapore Anime News Network. The link goes to their forum section.