New York City creates exciting stories 24/7 and they are as unique and special as life itself. In “My New York”, New Yorkers tell their personal story about their life in New York City.
In “My New York” we present interesting and inspiring people from your favorite city through our “Let me ask you five questions . . . ” and thereby learn valuable tips and insider information that you won’t find in any travel guide. What makes this special: they allow us to get a glimpse of their personal life in New York City and tell us their secret on how they made it in New York.
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To live in New York: the emigrant’s dream
For many it is a dream, even perhaps a goal in life: to one day work in New York – to establish oneself there – where only a few really make it. Drastic reductions in holiday time, no holidays or Christmas bonuses, a hire & fire mentality, as well as untold hours amassed in one work week that many people in the UK would never sign up for — none of that matters. The attraction of unlimited opportunity in New York City is too great.
The biggest hurdle – that often gets in the way of the dream – is the visa. Not only is it very expensive, but it is also incredibly hard to get. For the last several years, one popular route of obtaining a visa for the US is the Green Card Lottery. Your chances of getting one of the 55,000 Green Cards awarded (which also does not mean that a visa is guaranteed) is 1:25. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
That’s what Frerk Hopf thought, a German photographer in New York, who specializes in wedding photography, engagement, and other couples shoots in New York. Getting married in New York City is something magical for many couples. Whether in Central Park, the top of the Empire State Building, or on Times Square, they come to the Big Apple to say “I do” and Frerk Hopf is by their side to document their journey to matrimony.
Getting Married in New York
I met with Frerk in a small café in Tribeca, where the personable expatriate told me his unique story. New York had always been his big dream – so he took part in the Green Card Lottery and won! For Frerk, New York is more than just a city; New York is a new beginning for him – from successful management consultant to wedding photographer: this is Frerk’s story:
1. What was the driving force behind you coming to New York and how is this city different from your home?
I am from northern Germany, Oldenburg to be exact. I worked as a management consultant in Hamburg for 15 years. In 2013 came the win of the Green Card – my wife and I decided on a new beginning and the big adventure in New York. There was never a question of going anywhere else – New York was it from the very beginning. We got married here, every trip to the US involved at least a short stay in the Big Apple – well, New York has always had a spell on us.
And here in New York I turned my hobby into a profession and made my dream a reality. I now work as a wedding photographer. My clients are mainly Europeans – a lot of Germans – that get married in New York or plan an engagement here – which I (often secretly) capture in pictures. Sometimes just classic holiday photos of couples posing in front of this incredible backdrop. These extremely intimate moments are always beautiful. The difference between here and my homeland is the equanimity that Hamburg is famous for. While Hamburg isn’t exactly small, New York is much, much louder, more colorful, bigger, and faster.
2. How long does it take you to get to work in the mornings?
I live in Long Island City – which is in Queens. It is only one subway stop away from Grand Central Terminal (Line 7). What’s nice about my commute is that is is always different. I may have to go to the City Clerk for a civil wedding ceremony, meet with a couple at their hotel, or go directly to one of the big attractions in New York. I always have a different destination. And for me that means one thing: Inspiration! What I see along the way never fails to inspire me anew and I am always discovering new ideas for couples and wedding photos in New York.
3. Where do you spend your lunch break?
My lunch is always “on the fly”: When I am on the go, there is hardly any time for lunch. But I am a big fan of the food trucks in New York – they really do have good food. Unfortunately, I often see tourists having to pay a lot more than I do. I recommend that you confirm the price before ordering – then you’ll get your hot dog at the regular price and won’t have to pay $ 5 or $6 for one. If I have time, I also like to have a sandwich while sitting in Bryant Park or the Public Library.
Bryant Park in New York City
Bryant Park is a green oasis in the middle of Manhattan's hustle and bustle that enjoys great popularity among locals and visitors. It is also one of our favorite parks in New York City. In...
4. What is your favorite area in the city and why?
That’s definitely my new home, Long Island City. I live directly on the East River. Just in front of my doorstep is Gantry Plaza State Park, which offers great views of the skyline. You can see the Empire State Building and the UN Building at all times – the city looks as though it is within arm’s reach. But then if you look at how small the cars are, you realize just how big, imposing, and impressive this city really is. It is striking every time!
5. Finish this sentence: “FOR ME, NEW YORK IS…”
The capital of the world and truly the city that never sleeps…
Yes, Frank Sinatra got it right in his song: New York vibrates and pulsates. No two days are the same. You could compare New York to a fast flowing stream – it never stops moving.
Wedding in New York with Frerk Hopf
Frerk Hopf is a German photographer in New York who could not be any nicer. He is the expert for a perfect wedding in New York City. Frerk can help with preparations, function as a witness, and provide helpful hints and advice. Getting married in New York – with this kind of support – why not? Click here for more information about Frerkhopf Photography.
All of us at Lovingnewyork thank you, Frerk, for your time! We wish you lots of success and many more special moments in New York City.
I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 25 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On my blog I show you the best and most beautiful spots of the city, so that you have a really good time! You can also find lots of insider tips in our New York travel guide. Also check out my hotel finder for New York!