Sunday, July 09, 2006

I live in NYC because of Days like Today

Among other reasons (career mostly), I live in NYC for days like today, and last weekend and a few days before that, when Italy won their futbol games. This year my husband decided to institute "World Cup Fever" in the household, and as a result, I began documenting the crazy Italians in our neighborhood through the lens of my camera.

It started when they won a few matches ago and there was a string of cars running the stop sign at my corner....probably 30 in a row, all waving their Italian Flags and honking their horns (even the firetruck participated). I hung my head out the window and snapped some shots. A few minutes later, from the other direction came a parade of people ON FOOT, taking up the entire street, carrying a 30 foot Italian Flag. Incredible.

The next time they played it was the 4th of July, so on our way to our friends gathering, I stood up through the sun roof of our car with my camera and snapped some photos while my husband drove around the block a few times. This was exhilerating.

Today I decided I would do my documenting on foot. As soon as they kicked the last goal, I ran outside and to the busiest street I could find. I just followed the noise of celebration. I was only out about 20 minutes (had to get back to my garlic mashed potatoes and chocolate chip banana cake), but I had a great time and got some great shots.

Why was this experience so compelling for me as a person and a "photographer"? (because it certainly had nothing to do with soccer) A few reasons:

A. My husband and I have very little in common as far as interests, likes and hobbies, so I wanted to show interest in his "World Cup Fever" in my own way.
B. I have a new camera
C. The unity that this event has brought for not only the Italians, but the entire neighborhood (although I didn't see many French folk out).
D. The mystery of the effect that this Italian Soccer Team has on one small neighborhood in 1 of 5 humongous New York City Boroughs.
E. Capturing people in the thrill of the moment. This is something they are stoked about, and who doesn't want a piece of that?


Melissa said...

I love that you took these pictures. Even though you don't love soccer, you can steal some the intense energy these people exude. We went to a soccer game in Argentina and the fans literally never stopped jumping and singing the entire time. What is it about soccer?

andrea said...

My brother lives in Vancouver's Italian neighbourhood. The day they won the semis I was on the phone to him and the sudden noise was deafening. I had to hang up...

Just crusing through...