Meet the Correspondent: Omar Jaramillo > Berlin$show=/search/label/Omar%20Jaramillo

"I was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where I studied architecture. I moved to Kassel (Germany) in 1999 to accomplish a master degree. Although I have always drawn and paint, it was not until I started studying in the Uni-Kassel, that I started keeping a travel sketchbook. I had a teacher there who used to do a lot of sketches when he travelled on university excursions. When he retired, I helped to organize an exhibition of his sketches. He brought a huge box full of sketchbooks he had filled since he was an architecture student. I spent a whole day selecting the most interesting drawings. It was a wonderful experience that opened my eyes to a new world. In the last 10 years I have the feeling of being in a long journey. I like to discover the cities where I live, to understand why a place is the way it is and what makes it different and unique from others. Drawing is for me a way to learn to love a place, to become part of it. I like to draw architecture but I am more attracted to urban scenery, portraying how people live in the city. Since I’m a foreigner, everything that locals find normal and taken-for-granted, for me is exotic. I always carry a small watercolor travel set from Windsor and Newton and my sketchbook in my bag. I always thought that drawing was a solitary experience until I found Urban Sketchers. It was amazing to find so many people doing the same thing. It is a great place to share!" • Omar's blog. • Omar's art on flickr. • Omar's website.

Meet the Correspondent: Luis Ruiz > Malaga, Spain$show=/search/label/Luis%20Ruiz

Hurricane Sandy Power Outage in Manhattan

Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeastern United States last week with a wallop, and the storm surge flooded many parts of New Jersey and New York. A water-induced explosion at a Con Edison utility on 14th St., downtown Manhattan, left all of the island below 39th Street without power for days. The power is back on in Manhattan now, but still out for hundreds of thousands of New York and New Jersey residents. I decided to venture out on Friday morning, as things started to calm down, and draw some of what I saw in a Manhattan without electricity. The drawing above was made on Broadway and 26th St., above the Flatiron building, the line where the power ended. Even in daylight the buildings below 26th St. looked dark, and all of the streetlights had blacked out. You can see the NY cop at the intersection, guiding pedestrians and traffic. It was a strange sight.

 Above is the scene at Union Square, where utility trucks from companies all over the United States were parked. The Con Edison utility headquarters is nearby, and they were all here to help - thank you!
 In the lobby of Con Edison, many local New Yorkers were getting warm and charging their phones and tablets at the long power strips the company had set out for them. Many stores along the edge of the power divide in NYC put out strips like this and it was not unusual to see crowds lined up to use them.
This was the scene at Avenue D and 11th Street, across from a public housing project. People in the projects were hardest hit in Manhattan, since most of them didn't have friends or relatives uptown that they could camp out with for the duration. The National Guard was giving out food, blankets, diapers, water and hot meals.
Even with the National Guard giving out water, more was needed. Fire hydrants in the neighborhood were opened up, and people were filling buckets and bottles with water, and washing vegetables for cooking.

There was evidence of the flooding all over lower Manhattan - trees down, cars abandoned full of leaves and driftwood, and people throwing out their ruined belongings on the sidewalks. The subway tunnels flooded out and there were long lines on Thursday and Friday night for buses bringing commuters to Brooklyn from their Manhattan offices.
There are still so many people without power and basic amenities outside of Manhattan, not to mention loss of lives and homes due to Sandy. 
There are more drawings on my personal blog if you'd like to read more about what I saw on Friday morning.
Please consider donating to the Red Cross if you can. Thank you from New York City.
posted by Veronica Lawlor


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