Ever since my son moved to New York City last summer, I had two major concerns. The first was that Jeremy might get swallowed up by the big impersonal metropolis. The second was figuring out when I could use the excuse of his new home to make my first trip the commercial Mecca for all photographers.
Jeremy is doing great in the city. He appears to be thriving on the
|Jeremy Mixing at the Penrose|
Given that our family is now spread across the Eastern seaboard,
we decided that for Thanksgiving this year we would split the
|Jeremy & Abigail|
Sunday morning the kids slept in and I finally had my opportunity go to the Mecca. I have been ordering photographic equipment and electronics from B & H Photo for decades, but this was my first chance to visit their superstore at 9th Ave. at 34th St. All the stories are true. The Store is massive. It is the world’s largest retailer of imaging products, occupying 70,000 square feet of retail space
|Over-Head Trolly: B&H Photo Image|
|Only Part of the Photography Section|
After the initial shock, I had to devise a plan of attack on the impossible. B&H has a dizzying number of opportunities to (waste) consume money, but the practical part of my brain knew that everything in the store could be bought online, probably cheaper and without New York City's nearly 9% sales tax. The true advantage of being at B&H is the opportunity to see, touch, and yes, drool over, everything. Also the remarkably attentive and knowledgeable sales staff are amazing. During my limited time, I focused on camera bags and flash brackets, both of which needed to be seen, manipulated and hefted to judge what might work best
In the end, I didn't pull the trigger on a bag but I did come away with a better feel for what might work in the future. I did get the simple flash bracket that I have been looking for. The problem has always been to find a bracket that would accommodate my Arca Swiss L Bracket, but one of the great sales people took the time to find a reasonably priced Arca Swiss Receiver that works nicely with the Stroboframe Bracket. I never could have figured that out on line.
Remarkably, even with the addition of a 3TB external Hard Drive, I came away from my first immersion in photographic excess for only a little more that $200. Susan was shocked and thrilled, but she knows that, with Jeremy living in the city, I will be back.
I am one of the first to insist that photography is about the vision and not the equipment, but we must acknowledge that, at our core, we all love GEAR. So, when you get to New York, you must drop by the Mecca. Just remember that B & H is owned by Hasidic Jews and is closed from 1 PM Friday through Saturday and on all Jewish holidays. Plan accordingly and try to allow more than two hours to play.