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Warmest regards and thanks again for being here~ Michael Cress

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Black Swan ~ Chapter II

Alexa Winner

Be sure to read The Black Swan (Chapter 1) 

Sometimes to discover where the boundaries are you have to cross the line to find out.

Alexa Winner and I were having a great time pushing on to get better and better shots in Black Swan (Chapter I). Creativity, adrenalin and a mood of infallibility sets in.

Unfortunately (or fortunately for the story), the lawn area at Washington Square Park was fenced off with some dismal excuse that they had recently seeded  the grass (not true). Ironic shots are always fun so we (Alexa) had the great idea to get a shot in front of one of the signs, clearly snubbing the rules. One sign had fallen over so I stepped over the fence, boldly went to pick it up and carried it over to a spot of our liking. At least it was visible now! Seems I was, in part, being of service.

Placing the sign in the brick-hard ground was difficult, I hadn't thought to bring heavy equipment with me for the job. Finally barely in the ground and balanced to stay up, Alexa laid in front of the sign and we began shooting away. Mind you the park is crowded, the barrier fence rung with people. As if on a stage in full display, we didn't care. You don't go to these lengths to not get the perfect shot so we kept clicking away.

For the 5th time, the sign fell over from the small indention in the ground I was able to muster. Stopping to walk over and straighten in back up. I look to my right and walking across the lawn directly towards us was a lone NYC Parks ranger. Uh oh.

Given the humorous irony of the shot, I really was expecting a half-smiling request to move on to join the little people side of the fence. We got that half-smile, but it wasn't so easy. "I'm not sure if this is serious or just a test!", Ranger Rick uttered. Does the NYC Parks Department routinely send undercover rule-breakers out just to see how their employees respond? I guess this would have been a good cover. Flagrant to the inth degree. A beautiful sexy woman. Beautiful woman tend to get out of a lot more trouble than the rest of us. That's the aristocracy of beauty.

Alexa Winner
Ranger Rick is serious about his job. I can tell you with certainty he's been on the job for nine years since he mentioned it five times. For whatever reason it struck him that fact was important to us. No, not so much.

He asked for my I.D. OK, unless I'm driving or going somewhere I need to prove my age or identity- I don't carry my I.D. with me in NYC. Showing what I had... a credit card, my gold Starbucks card with my name engraved on it (sad I know!) and my business card didn't suffice. Ranger Rick turned to Alexa and asked for hers. Nope. Nothing.

Asking for all our critical information, he said he was going to call it in and if it didn't check out he would call NYC's Finest to come get us. Now we have a threat of going to jail. Pressure was really on to remember which past residence I was living in when I had my license renewed. He called in but mentioned nothing about our identities, just a courtesy call to make sure HQ knew he had a big bust taking place.

Sure enough, he's writing a ticket. Two tickets actually. For heaven's sake. I'm not sure if laughing was helping matters. Writing his ticket with full concentration I mouthed to Alexa "Oh, I've got to get a shot of this!". She smiled, nodded and mouthed back, "Oh yea!". While working on her ticket with the occasional question, I slowly started nonchalantly moving back to get a full frame. He's a serious guy. We're in trouble. I can't take pictures of him (I must assume it must be a rule). For the second time in 10 minutes, this falls under the "It's easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission" rule. This is priceless. MUST... TAKE... PICTURES.

In position, Alexa started doing her thing. He must be deaf in his right ear and blind out of his left eye- he never looked up. Above is one of the great shots. For the record, Alexa could be an actress with all the emotions she was channeling for the camera.

We got our tickets and the inevitable request to move to the other side of the fence. We were nice to Ranger Rick. We understood. He's important and we were breaking rules, we deserved to be punished. Then again, we looked at it differently. It was the cost of doing business. How much would it cost to hire a model to dress in uniform, get a ticket pad, clear the lawn and get this shot otherwise? A lot more than the tickets.

The Visa ad came to mind. Taxi fare to go meet Alexa: $8.50. Two tickets for "Failure to comply with signs": $100. Getting the perfect shot and memories for a lifetime: Priceless.

Alexa Winner and Michael Cress
Laughter all the way as we moved along. We're done. Out of curiosity, I had asked Ranger Rick if a fountain shot would be lawful, he said it would be. It wasn't necessary. How could we beat this?

Back out on 6th Avenue, perhaps the 6th person stopped us to ask if he really gave us a ticket. After answering, we asked if he would mind taking a picture of the both of us. The integrated fashion degree showed again for Alexa as she quickly made a bangle out of her ticket. For me, a new pocket square... er, rectangle.

Like I've said, style has a story. Our parents will be so proud.

Dress: Rolando Santana
Gold Cuff: Stephen Mikhail
Headband: Made by Alexa
Shoes: Bordello (Spraypainted gold by Alexa)
Stylist: Alexa Winner of course!


Matthias Pierre Lubinsky said...

Oh man, what a story!!! Come better to europe for those sessions...

Good luck from german DANDY-CLUB!

Jennifer said...

HILARIOUS! Great story, awesome profile!