New York Stories :: Saturday in (and around) the Park...

I've always loved capturing people when they are most natural, when they are simply being themselves whether deep in thought, in conversation, enjoying a meal, or relaxing. The photo captures a split moment in time and yet can say and reveal so much more - a simple expression, a wrinkle, a twinkle in an eye, or even a tear. New York has this gruff edge. New Yorkers are considered to be rough, rude, rushed, edgy, harsh - the truth is that really these couldn't be further from the truth. Of course during the week people are in work mode. There are meetings, deadlines, mega-million dollar deals that can put people's livelihood and well-being at stake. New Yorkers can be a serious bunch - of that there's no question. But meander through the city on weekends, especially a summer weekend, and you'll see a side of the city that is not always seen, and not always portrayed. You'll see the softer side of New Yorkers. New Yorkers at ease and play.

Even though I have not lived in the city for well over 20 years, I still and forever will consider myself a New Yorker. I love the city. I love the energy - it always pulls me in. The city is and will forever feel like home to me. There's nothing like walking out into Grand Central Terminal or driving over the bridge as her tall and majestic buildings draw closer and closer. Flying into her airports after travelling locally or abroad. There are many wonderful, beautiful cities, but there is only 1 New York. Although I no longer live here, Manhattan is my home.

I had the privilege of spending the entire weekend here - a mix of business and pleasure. I will, over the course of the next few days, share my journey with you. But for now, as it's the weekend, I will show you what New York at ease is really about - New York through my eyes.

Central Park shuts down to all cars and trucks, and the only traffic is that that is generated by the bicycles, the runners, walkers, skateboarders... New Yorkers are a healthy lot. Wander through the park and you'll also see those doing yoga, and participating in boot camps. You'll see those relaxing on the grass with friends and loved ones, reading the New York Times, enjoying a picnic or cup of coffee. There's no better place to people watch in the world for we are such a mixed cast of characters!

New Yorkers love their pets, especially their dogs. Central Park turns into a dog park, perfect for our furry, four legged friends who, after a long week, get to run around and frolic in the grass too. You will see, from my images, that New Yorkers, especially on Saturday mornings in the park, are no different than anyone else. We may be luckier - we have, after all, some of the best, museums, hotels, restaurants, and events around...




All images are property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House and may not be used or reproduced without proper attribution.

You're never fully dressed without a smile!

I'm often asked to provide a photograph of myself whenever I have something published. But I'm usually behind the camera and rarely in front of it, and when I am, I'm having fun or being silly, and often there's a glass of something in my hand. These pictures are wonderful candids and I do love them, but sometimes life calls for something a little more serious - a little more, well, sophisticated.

It was time. It is time. And so, here I am... all grown up. It's about time, isn't it?

I asked my dear friend and talented photographer, Marcy Feld of Marcy Feld Photography if she would take some head shots for me. We met in Central Park on a beautiful, warm Friday afternoon. It was our first taste of Spring. Dogs were being walked, children were running around and grown-ups were strolling around enjoying the warmth and the beauty of the oasis within the bustling city.

I just sat there and Marcy worked her magic. The pictures were all lovely. Some we both liked better than others and we agreed as to which came out best. There may or may not have been some Photoshopping done around my eyes. I think Marcy did a wonderful job of capturing the essence of "me," didn't she?

And now I've got something all ready for a book jacket ;)

We had a little bit of fun too...

Life's too short to take yourself to seriously!

Have a wonderful weekend!