KRUSZEWSKI_Hurricane Irene 560 as Smart Object-1Sitting on a park bench facing the East River, my little dog Kodi George and I awaited the New Year.  At the stroke of midnight, 2010 would be over.

This was a regular spot for us where we would sit and watch the passing of people, birds, dogs, boats, time.  On this cold December night, shimmers of light danced across the River; in the distance laughter could be heard in celebration.

We came here to clear our heads, to appreciate the stillness and beauty of our surroundings and to find a direction for the New Year.  At midnight a clean slate would present itself.  Goals needed to be set so that great things could be achieved over the next 12 months.

Leading up to tonight, talented artists helped me define my thoughts and objectives.  Patricia McDonough was/is one of my greatest inspirations.  Her advice helped solidify my “ahaaa” moment.  She said:

“In order to find your voice, your vision, you need a personal project.  This will keep you focused on something that has great meaning to you as an individual and as a photographer.”

Kodi George

Kodi George

Kodi and I had lived along the East River for 6 years; it became a familiar friend. New York City was home. This river fascinated me; from time to time unexpected vessels would sail by.  This river centered me;  on warm humid afternoons the salt air would remind me of the happy days spent on the Jersey and New England Shores.  My love of the city and the ocean would come together here on the East River.

As the clocked ticked and midnight was closing in, my “vision” started developing into something real.

The history, the environment, the economics of NYC and how the River affects each would be the launching point for this project.  And so the journey would begin.

I could now welcome in 2011.  At the stroke of midnight the project became official.

Where to begin?  That question would be answered on March 17 (Saint Patrick’s Day);  the first chapter of this evolving story.

Welcome to NYC Strength.