I haven’t made it down to Bryant Park yet this year. The odd thing is that I don’t know why I haven’t made it down. I just can’t seem to get myself to go. The last couple of years I’ve gone to the park about once a month from May to October. I sit and draw in the park and I walk around Manhattan and take street photos. It gets me out of the house, gives me another environment to draw in, and allows me an opportunity to use my camera. So why do I have no interest in going there so far this year? I wish I knew. The mind is a tricky thing.

One of the reasons is certainly the trip to NYC. Though it’s only forty miles away I don’t want to drive there because Bryant Park is in Midtown Manhattan. The driving isn’t so much the problem as the parking is. There isn’t much parking to be found in Midtown unless you want to drop fifty bucks on a garage. That’s nothing I have the extra cash for. One Saturday morning last year I even did a little scouting around as I took photos to see if there was any street parking around the area. That’s a big no. There was not a space to be found. I was glad I didn’t drive in that morning as I was contemplating.

I think after all these years I am just plain tired of public transportation. It takes a lot of patience and I might be running out of it. The bus has been a nightmare since about 2008. It was not a pleasure before then but after the schedule was cut in half things got really bad. The buses only run once an hour. And the bus being fifteen minutes late is on time. So you’re looking at long wait until the bus shows up. And some days it doesn’t show up at all. The train from Nanuet is better but there is a transfer in the middle of the ride. You end up waiting for two trains. That’s twice the patience but at least the train is rarely fifteen minutes late. Neither option is ideal.

Drawing and painting in the park isn’t much different for me than doing the same in the studio. I don’t paint from life so it’s just a matter of packing up my stuff and making sure I don’t forget a particular tool. I have a pan kit of gouache that I use in the studio and the kit is also good for travel so that’s what I bring with me. The biggest challenge is working on one of the small round tables at the park. I’m used to a little more room that that. I’m also used to standing up and working so sitting in one of those park chairs can be hard too. It’s not the most comfortable place to work but it’s fun to be outside and in the middle of the city.

There were two Saturdays so far this year, one in May and one in June, when I almost went down to the park. They were both nice days but after I woke up I didn’t want to go. And I had no idea why I didn’t want to go. It’s a strange feeling. Last year I was always excited to head down on a nice day and disappointed when rain kept me away. I wanted to get things done down in the park. This year it’s disinterest and disappointment. Weird.

This all could be because I haven’t got much done with my street photography this past year. I took a lot of photos but I never made much from them. For me taking a photo is far from making a finished photo. Especially my street photos. With them there is no pre-planning involved. It’s all about capturing spontaneous moments. Sure there is technique, such as picking where to stand and wait (more patience), but most of what I do with my street photos happens after I get home. That’s when I look at them and get ideas of what I want to make one or two into. That’s when most of the planning happens. This past year I didn’t have many new ideas. I worked on other things.

It’s not like I stayed home and did nothing on those days I almost went to Bryant Park. I did some drawing or some such. I could understand if I was really tired and didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything but instead I just didn’t want to go there. The idea of traveling down to the city turned me off. I remember the days when I wouldn’t think twice about the ride down. Maybe I’d think once about it and complain a bit but I never let it stop me. Why has it stopped me so far this year?

Once last year I drove over the TZ bridge to catch the train from Tarrytown. It’s further away and there’s a toll on the bridge so it’s more expensive but there is no transfer involved. It’s a more pleasant train ride that takes less patience than the one from Nanuet. But parking is all screwed up across the bridge. By screwed up I mean that I have no idea if it costs money or not. Most of the train stations around here have paid permit parking during the week and free parking on the weekends. The Tarrytown lot was like that until they opened up a stop at Yankee Stadium on their line. Then Tarrytown wanted a piece of the action and stopped the free weekend parking. I think.

If you go to Metro North website to get parking info things get sketchy. For the last two years they’ve had a notice up that says there is no weekend parking because of construction. But once you’re at the lot there is no construction. On the internet in general I found people complaining about having to pay on the weekend to park there but found nothing on the official site about it. Just that construction notice. When I parked in the lot there were no signs explaining the parking rules as there used to be. I saw some cars with what looked like photocopied Yankee parking permits and plenty of cars without them. I parked and didn’t get ticketed but who knows if that was luck or not. Either way it’s annoying.

Yeah, that’s how things are going on around here lately. I’m a bit annoyed at all sorts of things. Even myself. Here’s to hoping for bluer skies.