I went to Golden Gate Park with my photography class last weekend, and now I have 186 photos of a place I’ve been to a gazillion times but have never really noticed before.
We go to New York almost every year. We used to go for a week at a time, but the last few years we’ve gone for a month. A month is great because you don’t feel compelled to race around trying to squeeze all the excitement of Manhattan into just one week. Plus you get some more time to explore places you might not go when visiting for just one week, like the outer boroughs, and the less famous parks of Manhattan. And you get a chance to relax in between events, a concept most of us don’t consider when contemplating a visit to the center of the universe.
When we get together with our friends that live or work in Manhattan, they are always amazed at the places we’ve explored. Mostly they are places that they have never been to, despite living there for decades. And I understand that, despite living in or near San Francisco for the majority of my life, I’ve never walked across the Golden Gate Bridge. I’ve flown 3,000 miles to walk across the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, and biked across the Queensboro and Triborough Bridges, but I’ve never biked or walked the Golden Gate.
It’s sometimes hard to give your own neighborhood the same fresh look you give a neighborhood thousands of miles away. And that is the wonderful gift that learning to use my new camera has given me: The chance to look in my own backyard with fresh eyes.
Which now that I think of it, is one of the keys to a happy retirement, making sure to look at it each day with fresh eyes.
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