If you’ve ever thought, “That’s so cool,” you’re not alone.
In 2017, the New York Times Magazine ranked New York City’s Best Restaurants as the Best in the World, and the New Yorker put the City’s food scene on its list of “Top 10 Restaurants in America.”
But in 2017, when the New Yorkers of the world visited New York, what they found wasn’t what they expected: A city that looked like the best it’s ever been.
“You could tell that people weren’t as comfortable with their own identity,” says Lina Shih, a New Yorker and New York-based photographer.
“And it’s a good thing, because it means that New Yorkers are just trying to figure out what’s the best thing to do.”
Shih has spent more than a decade photographing New Yorkers, and this year, she launched a series of portraits, dubbed New York Is Everywhere, that aims to make New Yorkers’ lives in the city easier and more meaningful.
New York Has Lost Its Soul When I first moved to New York in 2009, the city was a bit of a ghost town.
“I was looking for something that was exciting to see and something that made you feel connected to the city,” Shih says.
“If I were to say it was like a funeral, I would probably say that New York is like a crematorium, but it was a funeral.”
“The city has lost its soul,” Shuh says.
New Yorkers have been living in fear for the past 15 years.
The city’s streets are empty, its skyline is overgrown with trash, and most of the people that live here are in their 20s and 30s.
“The fear of not having a place to call your own has turned into a kind of addiction,” says Shih.
“In my case, it was not so much being alone, but living in this city where you are constantly in a state of anxiety.
It’s very, very stressful.”
Shuh decided to start photographing people from different walks of life and places in New York.
“A lot of times, I think people feel really isolated,” she says.
Shih began photographing her subjects in New Haven, Connecticut, where she had been photographing for the previous two years.
“There’s a lot of different kinds of New Yorkers,” she recalls.
“They have different backgrounds.
They’re different backgrounds in that they are different people.
But the fact is, people are the same.
The only difference is that they all have these very distinct experiences and perspectives.”
Shohr started out with the goal of photographing the same people over and over again, but she says she quickly realized that she was capturing a different experience each time.
“New York is not that different from any other place, even if the city itself is,” Shohl says.
But then she started seeing a new kind of person: a person who is “very different from the rest of the population” but who was “trying to find their own voice.”
“I didn’t have the opportunity to make a connection with this person,” Shh says.
In addition to photographing subjects from different backgrounds, Shih also decided to take a look at the food.
“When you look at New York from the outside, it looks like it’s been rebuilt from scratch,” she explains.
“But it was really just a big dumpster of food and junk food.”
New York’s Food Junkie Shih was able to spend time with a lot more people than the usual subjects that people are drawn to in New Yorker culture, and she started to understand why.
“Food has become this really big, weird, crazy thing that people do,” Shikuh says, laughing.
“It’s this place where people can have these experiences.
You have a person with a whole new experience.
The difference is, you’re really not able to do that because it’s so crowded.”
In Shih’s photography, the food is just as important to her as the people.
“People who are trying to connect with their identity don’t necessarily have a lot in common with each other, but I think that the food can be a way for them to get connected,” she adds.
Shuh plans to continue photographing food lovers in the coming years, and will soon embark on a book project that aims “to bring the city together as a place for people to find new friends.”
“Food is so much more than just a restaurant,” she concludes.
“Because when you go to New Orleans or New York or any of these places that you’re familiar with, there’s something different that’s going on.
And that’s where I feel like it comes in.
It can be the thing that brings people together.
It makes them feel connected.
I think it’s really a universal thing.”
Shshh has been photograpying food for the last 15 years, but this