Viewfinder | Rachel Wise

NYU Journalism’s Rachel Wise describes taking pictures in the East Village.


“The changing leaves and crisp autumn air make the East Village irresistible this time of year. I could spend every day outside enjoying the scenery. As I looked up to admire this particular tree, a gust of wind blew, sending leaves cascading down on me and my camera. It reminded me of the possibility of serene moments, even against the backdrop of a buzzing East Village.”


“One of my favorite things about this neighborhood is its graffiti art. Whenever I walk around the East Village, I’m constantly looking around for images and words sketched in unusual places.”
About the second photo: “This particular message always makes me laugh when I see it. I don’t know the story behind it, but I wish I did. Whatever it is, it comes off as very encouraging, and I like that.”


“I was walking behind these kids as they skipped home from school. They stopped every couple of feet to admire something I hadn’t even noticed — the changing leaves, a squirrel, a crack in the sidewalk. I especially enjoyed my walk that afternoon because I made myself stop and look along with them.”


“The architecture in the East Village never ceases to astound me. When I go to shoot photos in the neighborhood, I always come back with at least half of my shots of the beautiful exteriors. The different colors, designs and embellishments are truly amazing.”


“There are a lot of walls like this all over the East Village, but they always catch my eye. I think this speaks to the diversity and to the wide array of ideas that converge in the East Village.”


“I was on East 10th Street reporting on a story when I spotted these two men — Rocco and Phil — sitting at what I later learned is their usual spot. I snapped this photo very quickly — and covertly — because I felt it was essential to get a candid shot of the two of them.”


“I can’t get enough of the community gardens in the East Village. Each one offers something unique. I was in 6B Community Garden when I spotted this inscription etched on the wall of a wooden structure — I found it striking and beautiful.”


“On Avenue C, I ran across this crushed piece of concrete. It was jarring to me, but it didn’t seem to jump out at passersby. I found it very telling how everyone whisked past it without the slightest hesitation.”

Rachel Wise is a third-semester student in the Reporting New York graduate concentration at NYU Journalism.