Celeste & Ollie in Central Park during the start of the blizzard
I can't quite believe how lucky we have been with the weather! I have been praying for snow to hit New York for the last couple of months; I had pretty much given up on it arriving, so booked our flights anyway so we could at least get some wintery images for the book. Two days after we arrived news hit that the worst snow storm in a century was about to engulf the city, OMG, sorry New Yorkers, but I was SO happy!!! The blizzard started on Friday morning with more of a wet snow but that didn't stop Andy and I venturing into Central Park along with a number of other brave dog owners! Along with getting drenched we captured some beautiful scenery, it is amazing how snow can transform a scene, making the vista of Central Park so different from what we had seen the day before.
Rocketman patiently waiting for his ball
We have only been here for a couple of days and already we have met so many gorgeous dogs and owners, everyone has been so friendly and enthusiastic about the project, its wonderful and incredibly encouraging. The aim during this 10 day visit is to make as many contacts as possible, capture some winter images for the book, location hunting and researching areas for when we come back in the summer to create the bulk of the images for the book.
Valentino enjoying the snow in Fort Tryon Park, North Manhattan
Saturday morning we were up and out of the hotel at 6.30am, the height of the Blizzard had hit between 7pm and 2am, Manhattan was under at least a foot of snow and I have never seen the streets so deserted. By the time we had walked to Central Park, every man and his dog was out, it was a beautiful sight, it was such a joy to see so many happy excited and playful dogs LOVING the snow! The sun was out by mid morning when we got to Fort Tryon Park in North Manhatten, where we spent a good two hours with our new friends Jim and Ginetta and their gorgeous dogs Valentino and Geisha. The New Yorkers were in full snow mode, kids and parents were sledging down hills and staircases, dogs were frolicking everywhere, it was magical.
Mischka looking for the raccoon she saw in the fountain a few months back!
This trip has already been so fulfilling and we still have 5 days to go....... it has been wonderful to meet the team at The Humane Society of New York, they are all very excited about the project; they do an incredible job for the animals of this city and it will be an honour to be able to raise money through this project to assist them with the care they give. Tomorrow we are meeting with the team at Abrams Publishing, the publishing house that has produced my French series here in America and will be taking on The New York Dog. The greatest part has been meeting all the dogs, and building relationships for when we return.
Chaika, Cali & Sibi in Central Park the day before the snow arrived
One thing I have discovered during this visit is just how vast New York City is, it is going to be a huge project to cover the areas and show a true reflection of the New York Dog. We are on the streets making contacts and handing out leaflets, but we still need help with spreading the word. So please pass on the website and tell your friends with dogs here in New York to be in touch. We also need you to get behind the indiegogo campaign to help get this book produced. So please take a moment to view the campaign and if you can spare a few dollars, please make a pledge, every little bit helps to get this great project off the ground. http://igg.me/p/304538/x/2010186
The beautiful Cali in Central Park