Over the previous 24 months I spent nearly every weekend walking around New York, camera in-hand, with the intention of documenting parts of the city I had never been to. The result has been this daily photo project; a project which has taken over my life in some manner nearly everyday since then. Though many people assume I was out to walk the entire grid, or to shoot photos of every street, I never had that endgame in mind. No, it was far simpler: I just never wanted to move away from New York and feel like I wasted my time here. I also wanted to rid myself of the frustration of hearing about all these great neighborhoods and sights, though never taking the initiative to see them. And finally I wanted to share these experiences through photos. I've always loved the small things that people either don't see or don't even bother to notice. The ephemeral elements of everyday life which change so subtly over the decades, so that by the time we feel nostalgic for them, they've already been lost. So those were my goals.
In these two years I have managed to shoot over 24,000 photos of 515 blocks over the course of 90 weekends. All impressive numbers, if I do say so myself. But with thousands of blocks in Manhattan alone, it was obvious I was never going to achieve that mythical goal of photographing every street. I'm just one person, with one camera, traveling on-foot. It was just never going to happen. Even today, looking at my map of documented streets, it's amazing I've made it this far, but looking closer you can see how much more there is to do.
So it's with all that in mind that I've decided to stop posting new blocks on a daily basis.
NYC Grid will not be going away. But with the cold weather and shorter days upon us, I'd like to take the 10-or-so hours per week that I dedicate to this site and refocus them on other projects. The blog is not dead; far from it. I'll be keeping these photos and posts online, and may still contribute new ones from time to time. But the self-imposed deadlines related to posting a new block every weekday have become prohibitive.
I'd like to thank every person that ever visited the site. It's incredibly humbling to have people be even remotely interested in something you're passionate about. The thrill that, every week, thousands of people were reading my clumsily-written thoughts and looking at my hastily-shot photos has never worn off. The support and kind words I've received from countless individuals from all over the city, country and world are invaluable to me. I treasure every comment, every email and every reader. If you've been a daily visitor I encourage you to subscribe to the NYC Grid and NYC Grid Snippets RSS feeds to stay current with any sporadic updates I may post.
Previously: 260 Blocks Later (1 year anniversary)