New York For Me
THE SUMMER before moving to New York City, Charvi Shrimali recovered photographs taken by her father during a work trip in the mid-nineties. In a project that acquires sweeping scale, she presents her experience of the city alongside his, cutting between and across space, time and feeling.
On the day of Hurricane Ida, I had been walking on Fifth Avenue when I turned to find the road dazzling in reflections.
As I stepped out into Manhattan from the underground trains, I was stunned by the light falling on buildings that lengthened upwards until it became impossible to see the sky.
I keep finding the Empire State Building wherever I go. Why are you following me?
As I walk, I watch the old, lovingly detailed potpourri of buildings that is New York. My favourite ones look like they are just about to come crumbling down.
Tucked under the iconic Empire State is a Chipotle, and everywhere alongside the gilded, a little bit of the new. It still amazes me to find running hot water when I turn the taps.
There are flower shops at every corner, plotted like pharmacies.
I spotted the Statue of Liberty from a hill in a cemetery that stretches through hundreds of acres of Brooklyn, dotted with mausoleums and berried, fruit-heavy trees. It was on this day that I noticed the first signs of fall.
This is one of my favourite photographs of Papa’s. On my hardest and happiest days, I always want to go to water – to hear, smell and taste the wind at the shore. Here in the bustle of Manhattan, I only see the river in accidental glimpses.
Charvi Shrimali is an interdisciplinary designer with a keen interest in gardening, noodles and skincare. She is currently pursuing her MFA Products of Design at School of Visual Arts, New York.