Saturday, 8 October 2011

Flesh Cuts Fridays With Luci Westphal

This week's video was supposed to be about the special meeting with my German friends Tobias and Ove on the Brooklyn Bridge every 11 years. But things turned out a little differently than planned...

At first it was just my German high school friends Tobias and Ove standing on the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time in their lives in 1989. In 2000 Ove and I (and Scott) were living in New York and Tobe came for a visit. We walked onto the Brooklyn Bridge and vowed: let's do this again in 11 years. A tradition was born.

By now Tobe lives in Portland, Oregon and Ove has long moved back to Hamburg. The guys flew in from different sides of the globe just for this weekend. By chance, Judith was visiting from Berlin (via Arizona) and of course, Scott and I moved back just in time.

We took the free (Ikea) water taxi from Red Hook in Brooklyn to Wall Street in Manhattan and then walked up to the Brooklyn Bridge - only to be stopped by the NYPD who had just closed the bridge after having arrested 700 people attempting to cross the bridge as part of a Occupy Wall Street / We Are the 99 Percent protest.

After 11 years of planning and flights from all over the world... just "No. You can't. The bridge is closed!"

So we did the next logical thing and brought to live a new tradition: to meet at the Lower East Side bar Welcome to the Johnson's every 2 years and drink PBRs (Pabst Blue Ribbon). That is where Judith, Hana and I happened to go when we first met in 2009.

And then finally, a few hours later, we made a second attempt and made it onto the Brooklyn Bridge (despite a really mean cold wind at that time, which also explains Scott's borrowed bright-yellow jacket). We stopped for a few photos, a chat with fellow-bridge crosser Derrick and a vow to meet here again in 2022. Then we walked across and back home to Brooklyn.

The only unfortunate thing: the nigh time conditions and footage weren't what I had planned to get during the day. Fortunately I had already gotten some shots on the boat and from the protest.

If you are interested, I have since spent more time at Occupy Wall Street and have published three videos and some photos.

In case you noticed: yes, I did use a different camera for this (Canon PowerShot Elph). My beloved Lumix TZ10 is broken. It cannot be fixed by Panasonic in the US. In NY I could only purchase the American version (ZS10) - which only shoots in NTSC, not PAL - so it doesn't look (or act) the same and I'm very heartbroken about it right now. 


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