UPTOWN TO 86th STREET – Holly Foster Media


I live in the suburbs. It’s a beautiful place, but I must confess that I am a city girl at heart. Since I live in Pennsylvania, you probably think the city I’m talking about is the City of Brotherly Love. But you’re wrong.

For me it’s New York. Always has been. Always will.

I love New York City. I still remember the first trip I made with my mom and dad to see a Broadway show. As we were traveling toward the city on a regional train, my dad regaled the wonders that awaited when we arrived.

My dad loved the energy of the city, and dutifully passed his passion on to me. Many years later I couldn’t wait to follow in my father’s footsteps and share that love with my daughter.

So when I get the chance to visit NYC, I jump at it.


The Q train was a good choice. My lovely niece and I were meeting my daughter and her fiancé for an appointment to check out a wedding venue, and we were running behind. It’s amazing how fast an express train can get you uptown.

As we got off the train there was a jug band playing bluegrass music. I love the buskers you see when you visit the city. They call themselves Coyote & Crow, and even though we were a little late we made a brief stop to listen and drop a few dollars in their donation box.

We headed up the escalator to the street as they continued their song. You’ll do best not to cry when I die. Funny how a sad song can somehow be comforting. We were listening to a slice of bluegrass music as we moved slowly up to 86th Street. I didn’t mind the slow pace. More time to listen.

It’s a beautiful fall day. You can see the sprinkling of leaves on the street. The colder weather came early this year, and some of the trees aren’t quite sure whether they should shed their leaves just yet. As we headed west we spied an interesting truck parked across the street, so we decided to take a closer look.

The artist is Nicholi Khan, a Trinidad native who came to live in New York in the mid eighties. This movable canvas shows a scantily clad Disneyesque girl spray-painted on the side. Two young school girls pass by without a glance, entranced with their after school ice cream cones. You can see more of Khan’s art at #ThinkNYC or on his website. On our next trip perhaps we’ll visit the MoSA (Museum of Street Art) to get another fix of this fascinating art form.

This is a beautiful outfit its benefactor will quickly outgrow. It graces the window of Bonpoint, an expensive French-based children’s shop. Modern golden slippers remind me I am not in my neighborhood. I found out later that Shiloh Jolie-Pitt is a fan. Gold is definitely the theme here.

No matter where I go or how busy I am, I always stop to admire God’s creatures. I must admit I felt sorry for this poor kitty, who seemed unhappily trapped inside his upper east side “prison.” Unlike this four-footed resident, I am free to wander about. I hope he gets the opportunity to do the same someday.

It’s time for a coffee stop, but I can’t resist taking a picture of this spritely lady. As you can see, her dog definitely wants to stop and say hello to the other puppy. If I was more fond of pink I might imagine that she foreshadows my future self. Is she a resident or a visiting dog walker? Hard to tell. Either way she’s enjoying the day.

I couldn’t resist. His owner granted me permission to pet his silky fur, which he seemed to enjoy. Besides, it’s good therapy and good manners to say hello.

What a unique place; restaurant by day, wine bar by night (5:30 to be exact). It’s called Eli’s Essentials and Wine Bar, and we’re headed inside. That’s Eli as in Eli Zabar, as in the famous Manhattan delicatessen. He owns the place, and actually lives around the corner. You can read more about Eli here. Time for coffee.

The gentleman behind the counter prepared the hot coffee and delivered it with a smile. If you prefer a cooler drink, you can get iced coffee or tea from these giant urns. Look closely and you’ll see the wine bottles and glasses lined up in the background, readying themselves for the evening clientele.

As we make our way upstairs to find a seat, clever messages entice me to come back for a more serious beverage. My favorite is “Last night, a sommelier saved my life.” A nice glass of wine always makes life seem a little easier 🙂

As I snap this picture, a elderly lady ponders her purchase. This refrigerated case holds just a few of the tasty offerings at Eli’s. I imagine that she lives close by and is just stopping to pick up a few things before dinner. Lucky her to have this unique place in her neighborhood.

This view from the second floor showcases a beautiful round light in the foreground. I’m guessing the globe creates a moonlit effect in the evening when it’s dark outside. But we must be moving on. Perhaps we’ll stop for a macaron on the way home so I can see if I am right.

An impatient taxi waiting for the light to change sits next to a parked BMW. The license plate reveals its owner’s status: Park Avenue. My daughter and her fiancé are waiting up ahead.

We still had time before our appointment, so we wandered into Central Park, arriving just in time to watch the sunset. The reflection of the west side glimmered in the background as a fellow traveler stopped to rest. The leaves on the west side trees created a colorful backdrop for this peaceful scene.

At this point we paused to enjoy the view. The busyness of the city seemed to be on hold here as we drank in the pleasant fall air. Life is good when you spend it with family and friends. Especially in the greatest city in the world. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

until nxt time …


Becker, M. (2014, November 5). How Petting a Dog Benefits the Pooch—And You. Retrieved November 17, 2019, from http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/how-petting-a-dog-benefits-the-pooch-and-you

Eli’s Essentials 91st Madison. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1oFNX0x68PkVbxihJ4D_r7YHQ5lo

Friedlander, R. (2014, May 28). Meet the Woman That Dresses Shiloh Jolie-Pitt. ELLE. Retrieved from https://www.elle.com/news/fashion-style/bonpoint-interview-innamorato

MoSA | Museum of Street Art | citizenM. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.citizenm.com/mosa

Nicholai Khan. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.nicholaikhan.com

nicholikhan [#ThinkNYC]. 2018, August 1. Retrieved from: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl8DkYJlca8/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Shurbaji, E. (2014, December 17). Photo narratives. Retrieved from: https://medium.com/learning-journalism-tech/photo-narratives-d77b812f99dd (Module 4)

Tegue, L. (2015, April 23). What to Eat and Drink, According to Eli Zabar—WSJ. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-to-eat-and-drink-according-to-eli-zabar-1429826479

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3 thoughts on “UPTOWN TO 86th STREET

  1. Holly, I love this photo essay of traveling through New York City! You really captured the essence and the energy of the city, and I felt like I was there with you.

    Your photos made me think of a concept I shared in my own process analysis – each photo I really its own “visual vignette” – a self contained story within the story! I love the places where you included links out to more information – it read like a travelogue and I could image you doing a whole series about different districts within NYC.

    In some of the photo essays I have seen, the narrative captions were not really necessary to understand what is going on. In your project, I felt differently – but not in a bad way! I felt like your images were clearly all connected by a theme of being in the city, but the creative and detailed captions you created really helped to tell your story and to involve us in the emotional complexity of your experience. Each photo was personal to you – and if you were to stick them in a photo album you would likely recall in your own mind the feelings you had when each was taken. However when presenting for an audience who was not there, your captions add the necessary context.

    The images you present tell a great story of a day spent in New York.

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