The World We Share music video project in New York City turned out to be quite a memorable affair, as after doing the first shoot with Alister Parker one evening at the site of a geodesic neon sculpture in Madison Square Park, we learned of the imminent arrival of Hurricane Sandy that following weekend.
Nobody knew what to expect, and mostly people joked about it.
But as we know it was no joke. Lower Manhattan lost all power, including traffic and street lights, cellphone connection and water supply. I was staying out in Bushwick, Brooklyn and was lucky to retain power supply and avoid any storm damage, but all MTA subway train connections to the city were shutdown due to flooding in the tunnels.
Alister had to evacuate his midtown Manhattan apartment, and sort refuge in an Upper West Side hotel. The only way to get from Bushwick to Manhattan for our next shoot was to borrow Hamish Kilgour's bicycle, and make a two hour ride through Williamsburg, over the bridge, through the darkened lower city across to the West Side and on up to 77th St.
That night Alister & I cabbed down to Times Square, the location of the second shoot, and shot some sequences utilising the giant video screens as our light source. Later that week the "1" train was re-connected between Brooklyn and Manhattan, and I met Alister and Bailterspace drummer Brent McLachlan for a third shoot at Brent's 30 Below Studio on 30th St.
2012 was the 30th anniversary of my first visit to NYC. In 1982 I stayed there for a couple of months at the end of a six month Arts Council funded solo photography trip. It was also the second visit to NYC in 2012.
Earlier this year I had traveled over to film some New Zealand poets performing around the city as part of the Phantom Billstickers Poetry Poster project.
It was great to re-connect with my old Christchurch buddies Alister & Brent. My band the Axemen often used to play support for the Gordons back in the early '80s, before that line up became Bailterspace.
Tonight (Wednesday December 19) at Whammy Bar, I am drumming with the now Paris-based Bill Direen in his band The Bilders - another Christchurch connection.