Oct 032011

New York Can Be A Dangerous Place

On Saturday, I went downtown to drop

off a few rolls of BW film to be developed.

The sign on the door read “The C-Lab is

CLOSED.”  Is this for real?

A window washer casually walking along the ledge at the Dakota. © Adam Marelli

New York City is a Strange Place

The streets of New York can be so bizarre.  Today I saw a woman peeing into a sewer on the corner of 54th and 7th Ave.  The street was packed and she only looked mildly crazy.  In fact she appeared to enjoy the audience.  You never know what is going to happen.

Last weekend my girlfriend and I were sitting on a bench on the corner of 72nd and Central Park West.  The regular stream of tourists were filing into the park.  The guides and their little flags directed everyone to look at the building on the northwest corner.  ”The Dakota” is the famous residence of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.  While all eyes and cameras were pointed at the south end of the building, there was something strange happening at the north end of the building.  A window washer was working without a lanyard.  He was walking across the building with a bucket in hand.  I snapped a few pictures.  They are nothing special.  The lighting is flat and I was using a 50mm lens.  But it does go to show, that you never know what will happen in NYC.

A close up view of the window washer as he holds tightly to the wall. Adam Marelli

The Death of  Lab

This weekend I was surprised to read that The C-Lab closed down.  They were a New York City staple for decades.  A professor turned me on to them back in the 90′s and they handled my developing, printing, and occasional post production work.  The guys were super helpful and even went out of their way to make things right.  One time UPS crushed a 40″x40″ exhibition print and they re-printed it, no questions asked.  They were a no hassle shop that will be greatly missed.  They recently finished renovating their space, which is why the closure came as a big surprise.  Ejaz, who ran the place, said that things fell off a bit in the last few years, but the printing was keeping them busy.  They handled an eclectic group of photographers from commercial to fashion to fine art.

But it seems like their time has come to an end.  I took the rolls down to The Color House on Lafayette Street.  Hopefully they can sort me out.  It was encouraging to see the man behind the desk.  David, used to work at US Color Labs, which closed down about a year ago.  I would work with them on occasion.  He said the owner of US Color, started The Color House.  This should mean a smooth transition.  The film will be ready tomorrow.  We will see how it goes.

Until then…lets keep our labs in business and stop bringing rolls to Costco.

Halloween Street Workshop

And since we are talking about New York, who is up for a Halloween Street Photography Workshop here in the city?  There is nothing better than a few thousand, scantily clad, drunken lunatics to help you get over the jitters of photographing strangers.  More details tomorrow.


  5 Responses to “C-Lab Closed Down”

  1. What makes New York what it is, is its infinite diversity of people, some clean places and some dirty them. I am sorry to hear about another photo lab going under. I see too many places with For Lease signs on them. I do not have anything processed at Costco. I usually go through Adorama.

    I like your site. There’s a lot of good information and I hope to read it more often. Keep up the good work.


  2. Hey Joe,

    Yeah its a shame to see the “For Lease” signs on the shops we loved. I guess its a purging of sorts, though I hope a few hang around.

    Glad to hear you are enjoying the site. Enjoy catching up on the reading.


  3. That’s too bad about the lab closing. This is just going to get worse and worse until people don’t know how good a properly printed picture looks compared to a straight print. Go see a photography exhibit in a museum so you can see how good a print can be.

    Man, now I have to make a trip to the museum myself.

    • Hey Tyler,

      Indeed, too bad about C-Lab. Its so helpful to work with a knowledgable lab tech when we print. Fine printing is an art within itself. I count on their expertise to guide me which is great for two reasons. First, we develop a great working relationship and they keep me up to date on new technological advancements. And secondly, I can spend more time shooting and less time reading about printing.

      Enjoy the museum! What is your favorite museum?


  4. Seems dangerous! I’m feeling bad to know about the lab. It’s been a serious matter that should be stopped soon and reached a proper solution. Thanks for posting this.

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