The East Village

Fuji X100 | 1/300 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 (view large)

Sunday morning in the East Village. I always advocate getting up as early as possible to start a photo walk. The light is beautiful in the morning, and the streets are a lot less busy, even in New York.

Fuji X100 | 1/250 sec, f/5, ISO 200

Fuji X100 | 1/75 sec, f/2, ISO 200

Bridget was tired, but supportive of our early morning walk. Thanks honey.

Fuji X100 | 1/300 sec, f/5, ISO 200

Fuji X100 | 1/400 sec, f/7.1, ISO 800

Fuji X100 |  1/1,000 sec, f/2, ISO 200

Fuji X100 | 1/280 sec, f/4.5, ISO 800

Bikes! There are bicycles everywhere in New York, and the East Village is certainly no exception. What I love is that they’re all beaters. Some are just left to rust and decay out in the street, making for great photographic subjects:

Fuji X100 | 1/600 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Fuji X100 | 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800

Fuji X100 | 1/750 sec, f/2, ISO 200

Fuji X100 | 1/600 sec, f/2, ISO 200

Fuji X100 |  1/1,000 sec, f/2, ISO 200

Fuji X100 | 1/600 sec, f/9, ISO 800

Now that is a cool little bike. Would have loved to have one of those when I was a kid.

Fuji X100 | 1/1,000 sec, f/2, ISO 200

There was a downside to getting here so early in the morning, however. The wife was really into seeing the little gardens located throughout the neighborhood. Most of them weren’t open until much later, however, so we had to admire them behind locked gates. Squeezed my lens through narrow bars to get these:

Fuji X100 |  1/340 sec, f/5, ISO 800

Fuji X100 | 1/750 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Fuji X100 |  1/900 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Fuji X100 | 1/180 sec, f/3.2, ISO 400

Fuji X100 | 1/950 sec, f/2, ISO 400

My cousin Josh came along. That’s an adapted 50mm f/1.4D Nikkor lens on an Olympus EPL-2 he’s holding. Really nice combo.

Fuji X100 | 1/200 sec, f/3.2, ISO 800

Fuji X100 | 1/300 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800

Fuji X100 | 1/450 sec, f/6.4, ISO 400

Fuji X100 | 1/200 sec, f/3.6, ISO 200

Fuji X100 | 1/300 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400

The light was great and the gardens were beautiful bla bla bla. You wanna know the real reason we came to this neighborhood? Coffee.

Abraço is a tiny coffee bar nestled in the East Village. When I say tiny, I mean it. You could drive right by and not even know it’s there, and once you’re inside, you could literally stand in one place and have arm’s-length access to the entire cafe. I’ve had enough just seeing pictures of the place on blogs like this one. I needed to try it myself!

Fuji X100 |  1/450 sec, f/6.4, ISO 800

The coziness factor of this shop makes for easy conversation over a cup of coffee and/or artisan pastry. Chatted with the locals, took pictures, just chilled out. No rush, it’s Sunday.

Fuji X100 | 1/1,200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800

Fuji X100 | 1/60 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1250

Fuji X100 | 1/350 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400

Meet the cortado. Freshly extracted espresso with just the right amount of steamed milk and foam in my opinion. Not to be confused with a macchiato, it’s perhaps more similar to a cappuccino, but smaller. Enough milk to take the edge off the brew’s acidity while still kicking you in the pants with just the right amount of strength. The flavor was amazing, but it was the texture that was blowing my mind.

Fuji X100 | 1/125 sec, f/8, ISO 200

I’m normally a pretty slow coffee drinker, but I was going though this cortado like a crazy coffee-drunkard. I didn’t want the experience to end.

So I ordered a second one:

Below left is some kind of sparkly, honey-something or other,  I forget….bagh who cares, it’s all about the cortado. This stuff gives my local favorite espresso at Four Barrel a pretty good run for it’s money.

Fuji X100 | 1/210 sec, f/4, ISO 400

These are the kinds of experiences I like to have when I travel. Mingling with the locals, photographing neighborhoods apart from the tourist areas. Areas (and COFFEE) like this make me miss New York.


All Images: Fuji X100, Provia Film Sim (JPEG output)

36 thoughts on “The East Village

  1. I love this post!! The morning light was amazing and you captured it so perfectly. I wish I could’ve had more of that cortado, but you know, my stomach issues…All these posts are making me miss NY terribly!

      1. ok… b/c Nikon didn’t release any new dslr and mainly due to the fantastic images from your blog – I just reserved my x100 from Adorama 😉

  2. I have been living in East Village for years, and a Japanese incidentally. Very unfortunately this area has lost lots of its charms because the rising rent have driven out most of interesting people, but still it is home for me. Thanks for taking great pics of my neighborhood. Have you been to Williamsburg? That is the most hip place for young New Yorker to live now, and also it was originally a industrial area, and the south is the Hasidic jew area. Williamsburg is the true gold mine for the photographers. If you have a time, why don’t you visit there? the best way is to walk cross the Williamsburg bridge, and take a walker’s path, and you exit at the bedford avenue. if you go to the left, eventually you will hit the very busy area with hip young people. If you walk back to the direction of East river, you will find indstrial area including old Domino sugar building. If you walk along the bridge and keep walking for a few minuits, eventually you will find the subway stop “marcy avenue”, then walk to the right, to the south, you will find the Hasidic neighborhood.

  3. Very nice post with great pictures, again.
    I was wondering how you shoot your pictures. Do you shoot Raw or jpeg? And if you shoot jpeg which settings do you use?

    Ohh and please keep up coming with these great X100 shots. I love them.

  4. Hello Jon,

    Another great series. Really love those bicycles and coffee shop pics.

    How do u shoot all those great pics? Your pic contrast is very very nice and outstanding and it like popping out from the pics…

    Do you use any filter on this series? Care to share for some secrets? 😀

    Cant wait to see another series of X100 shots…Thanks.

  5. I really wanna get a SLR camera of my own and photoshooting the neighborhood and don’t worry about the deadline for returning it back to school = =…

    I really want my eyes to be lenses so I can record the scene I wanna keep in memory.

    Like the angles you take ur pics with 🙂

  6. omgah!
    my 'hood!

    so wish i could have bumped into you at abraco that day. you hit up some great spots in the east village it looks like. next time you're in nyc, i better get to meet you.

  7. gorgeous photos! what a trip! makes me want to visit NYC again.

    have heard so much about abraco from Alice! surprised you guys didn’t run into her 🙂 I never knew that abraco was so small. how was the coffee compared to your fav SF coffee places?

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