Saturday, April 05, 2008

Scottish Week in NYC-April 1-5, 2008

Scottish week kicked off in NYC this week and I was the official photographer for the First Minister, Alex Salmond and the Government of Scotland which also included Linda Fabiani, MSP.
The days were long-sometimes over 13 hours, but everyone was just wonderful. The First Minister in Scotland is the equivalent to our President. He was warm, friendly, and very charming. His wife, Moira, was just like him.
Tuesday started with meeting Linda Fabiani at the Mark Morris Dance Studios in Brooklyn. Word to the people-do not use yahoo maps-they give the wrong directions. After getting lost in Brooklyn and having the wonderful receptionist at the Dance Studio stay on the phone with me until I found my way, I finally arrived. Mr. Morris gave Ms. Fabiani a little tour of the dance studio which I never knew was there. It is really remarkable.
Thursday was my first day with the First Minister and I was to photograph him with The Red Hot Chili PIPERS....I originally was told it was the rock band The Red Hot Chili PEPPERS. I thought it would be a let down since I shoot rock and roll, but it was just the opposite. This group of men were friendly, funny, cute and talented. To make sure I got the vantage point I wanted, I literally was lying on my back in the middle of Times Square. This was something that seemed to have impressed the First Minister as he told everyone about it the rest of the week. There were a lot of Scottish people in Times Square and as we walked around, they recognized the First Minister and stopped to talk with him and have their photo taken. At one point, a NYC tour bus drove by and the people on board shouted "Alex, Alex." The Red Hot Chili Pipers began an impromptu concert right there in Times Square and hundreds of people gathered around. Since they were standing on a subway grate, their kilts blew up several times and they all did their best Marilyn Monroe imitation.
At one point we were at a business meeting and the company's staff photographer was there. She mentioned that her daughter is a sophomore at the University of Edinburgh and the First Minister called over his press agent to get her information so she can be invited over to meet him at the Parliament Building in Scotland. Something like this would never happen in this country!
Friday night they were treated to a Scottish Play at the Algonquin Theater on East 24th Street for a performance of "When A Star Falls" followed by a reception.
Saturday was the Tartan Day Parade up 6th Avenue and we got lucky-the forecast a few days ago called for horrible rain today but it was just gorgeous-sunny and about 60 degrees. Lawrence Tynes from the NY Giants was the Grand Marshall along with the First Minister, his wife, and Linda Fabiani. The sounds of all the bagpipers was just fantastic. I have never been to this parade and now I know I will never miss it.
Before they left, The First Minister presented me with a present and said "I will see you in Scotland." I now have a new place to visit, and some wonderful people to look up when we get there.


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