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Mark Llobrera

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New York, March 2024

Took a quick trip with the family to New York City at the end of March, since Jordan and I skipped our traditional anniversary trip last December. I dug out my old Fujifilm X100S and had a lot of fun taking photos (more on that later). I’ve posted a full set on Flickr.

Day One #

We stayed near Koreatown, and on our first morning starting in the Flatiron district, stopping in at Eataly and the Harry Potter store.

A man in a gray baseball cap and glasses prepares homemade pasta behind a glass partition.
Homemade pasta station at Eataly
A bar with a back wall arching over top. The wall is decorated with dozens of bottles, some lit up by lights.
Butterbeer bar
Two girls smile from within a replica London phone booth within the Harry Potter store in New York City.
Ring ring (I like that Em is using the old folks’ sign for a telephone)

We walked downtown to Union Square for lunch and a stop at Strand bookstore.

A person reaches into the back seat of a parked sedan, their legs extended into the street.
This could have been a mannequin for all I know
A teenage girl and a woman read menus. Behind them a mounted mirror reflects a restaurant interior.
Lunch at Friend of a Farmer near Union Square
A cornmeal waffle with bananas and strawberries, dusted with powdered sugar.
Cornmeal waffle
Strand bookstore in New York City. At the checkout counter, a wall of bookshelves decorated with books organized by color extends behind the cashiers.
Reading rainbow
A building at a street corner is split by light and shadow.

We wrapped up the afternoon with a quick trip to Little Island, then had an early dinner at Her Name is Han.

A series of pillars underneath the Little Island in New York City. Light reflects off the water underneath the pillars.
Holding up Little Island
An orange construction barrier with the word “irregular” spray painted on it sits in front of a row of portable toilets.
A man and woman in a dim restaurant sit side by side, smiling.
Dinner at Her Name is Han
A bowl of bibimbap, with a single egg yolk perched perfectly in the center.
That egg!

Day Two #

Breakfast at Sullivan Street Bakery, then a walk along the High Line up to Hudson Yards

A mural on a black wall, with Albert Einstein portrayed spray-painting a message “We ❤️ NY.”
Chelsea mural
A man inside a bakery kitchen works next to a modified street sign with a large capital K and the message “Be Nice. Kindness Zone.”
Kindness zone in Sullivan St Bakery
Train tracks in the foreground of a series of buildings on New York City’s elevated High Line.”
Mixed materials on the High Line

After the high line we stopped in at B&H, Moynihan Train Hall, and then rode up to Central Park. I have to say, seeing my kids figure out the right Metrocard swipe technique after a few tries really warmed my heart.

Two men on a subway platform, shot from inside a subway car. The man on the left wears a red hoodie and a black and red Yankees cap. The man on the right wears a traditional blue and white Yankees cap.”
Subway stare
A woman in a fuzzy, multicolored bucket hat and pink shoes looks at her phone while riding the subway.”
Think pink
Christopher Doyle/Wong Kar Wai NYC subway vibes (no audio).
The Falconer sculpture in Central Park, silhouetted by the sun. The sculpture features a man extending his arm as a falcon alights on it.”
The Falconer
A tree in central park with a massive knot in the center of its trunk.”
The trees have eyes

We capped things off with a late lunch near our hotel and then got back on the road to head home.

Two bowls of ramen, one of which contains a fiery red spicy broth .”
Ajisen Ramen

See the rest on Flickr.

Camera Notes #

I have a Fujifilm X100VI on order, and it’ll probably be in my hands in May.1 In the meantime I dug up my Fujifilm X100S. I’ve owned since 2015, but I haven’t shot it much the last four years because I broke the power switch.2 On this trip I remembered how much fun it is—having an optical viewfinder is great when shooting street scenes, and the low-profile lens makes it jacket-pocketable and easy to drop into a sling/purse. It kinda made me wish I had brought it on my long trip last year.

It’s funny, too—a lot of the limitations I used to gripe about don’t affect me as much. Probably because my kids are a lot older, I’m no longer chasing them around and missing shots due to slow autofocus. Back then I had a short wishlist of improvements:

  • A tilt screen.
  • Flexible noise-reduction settings for JPG output.
  • Faster, more reliable autofocus with the focus joystick from the X-Pro2.

The first item came with the X100V, and the latter two have been solved since the X100F.

The X100 line has definitely turned into a thing in the meantime, though. Whereas people used to ask if I was shooting a film camera, or a Leica, this time around I got asked whether I was shooting the new VI. Kudos to Fujifilm, even if it means I have to wait months to get mine.

  1. Or June? The demand for this camera has been ridiculous to the point that stores have had to publish posts like this one. ↩︎

  2. I spilled a cocktail on the top plate, the power switch got really sticky, and when trying to loosen it up I broke the internal stops. It still turns on/off, but it’s really easy to nudge it to either state. ↩︎