I slept nice and late on Sunday and I had no further plans other than to relax but, while sipping the morning coffee and reading Agatha Christie, the muse gave me a nudge and I got off my heiny, dressed and headed out the door camera in hand. Where to go, where to go? The muse was not helping at all, it did its job and got me outside. I turned towards Astoria Boulevard and decided to head west towards Jackson Heights and wander around a small area known as Little India on 74th Street between 37th and Roosevelt Avenues.
The sun was at it brightest by the time I got there but, I needed the street to be full so I could capture the Indian, Bangladeshi, and Pakistani population, that now call this part of Queens home. I knew there would be a lot of colors, textures and beautiful faces to fill up my memory card at this midday hour.
Wandering through the throngs dressed in saris, veils, and long white tunics, I started to feel, just for a moment, that I was standing on a small street in Mumbai. The street was lined with vendors selling fabrics, billowing lose pants and jackets, middle-eastern knickknacks, baubles, scarves, shawls, clocks, pots and pans, toys and gifts. Bearded and turbaned men stood in front of Jewelry shops calling out “gold, gold” in both their native tongue and in English. And gold there was!!!! “Mine eyes were dazzled” as I pointed my camera at the windows and zoomed in to capture the exquisite detail of the gold and precious gems. The fluid saris embedded with crystals, brightly colored beads and threads, glittered like jewels themselves.
Beautifully detailed representations of the eight armed Goddess Durga and the elephant headed God Ganesha stared out benignly at me from their shop windows. I was smitten by a tiny crystal Taj Mahal sitting beneath two bell shaped gold filigree earnings. An enchanting manikin sitting in a window, wearing a wide elaborately decorated vermilion skirt and sheer head dress. A medallion of pearls adorned her forehead and thick ropes of pearls encircled her neck and flowed down to her breast. An eye-catching display if ever there was one.
I’m so lucky to live in a city so rich in diverse cultures.