I've been wandering around Wall Street with my camera recently for a new commissioned project. I spent some time here last year, too, shooting for a neighborhood guide. Already the winding cobblestones, dark alleys, and busy plazas feel different to me. Instead of towering skyscrapers, slick suits and glossy buildings, this time I saw shadows, staid textures, pigeons splashing in grime, blurred silhouettes disappearing behind corners. A familiar refrain among New York City photographers is how difficult it is to shoot street scenes here: the sights are all familiar; everything's already been done. But we often forget that our landscapes feel different as we change and revisit them. No matter how we much we know about a place, how many times we've wandered its avenues and alleys, we're never seeing that place truly objectively; it's just our impressions, our memories and feelings filling it all in; the place is a blank canvas painted from the information we've consumed, reflections we've had. It's the same with returning to old books, old movies—they are never as we remember them, they change with us.
The city can sometimes feel oppressive in its power and weight, amid all the well-established stories that make up its mythology. The trick is to remember that it is mostly drawn from ourselves, that we're in control of its meaning, too, through our imagination. There will always be new stories, big and small, to be found in even the most familiar of territories, so long as we look.