Union Square Park in New York City

Poker Seat

The beauty about photography, at least when you are an “omnivore” like me, is that you constantly feel compelled/intrigued/absorbed in to trying to figure out the most interesting way to capture a particular subject – regardless of whether or not it’s animated or a still life.

I am invariably sweeping through my environment, using my eyes to frame or shape compositions of whatever it is I am looking at. I do this in real-time, but more or less subconsciously. For example, whenever I enter a room, or, stand in front of a building, without even thinking about it, I instantly move to an angle that just feels right.

For the last several years, Charlotte and I compete for what I call the “poker seat” when we visit restaurants or a café. As soon as we get in, we both immediately locate the best seat in the house. Though I’m a bit more anal about this than Charlotte, the best seat is always the one that provides us with the widest possible angle or overview of where we’re at.

Ultimately, I prefer to sit with my back against a wall, hence the poker reference. Because from there, nobody can peek at your hand (of cards). Also, if Charlotte gets to the prime seat first, which happens about 50% of the time in say, a diner on Manhattan or somewhere else in New York City, I might end up having to deal with a lot of commotion going on behind me. You know, folks literally talking behind my back, moving around and lots of noise that I can’t fully identify what it is until I turn around 180 degrees to look. Which can sometimes be a total deal-breaker for me.

Which is why I absolutely love diners and restaurants that have booths. Proper booths offer seclusion and intimacy and are usually quite cozy. I doubt it will ever happen, but should I decide to open a restaurant or café someday, you can bet on the layout of the dining area complying with my feelings on this touchy subject. Might even call the place “Poker Seat”…

The shot above is from Union Square Park during an assignment in New York where I was sent to produce a video installation for Kitchen & Table at Clarion Hotel Malmö Live. The video was to be themed on…yup, you guessed it, the Big Apple. It was one of four trips to NYC that year. Will be heading back to NYC for an assignment in October.

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