On Tuesday night February 18th my good friend and colleague Sean Mahoney proposed to his lovely girlfriend. His proposal was an elaborate scavenger hunt she was made to go on with him at several of their favorite spots in the lower east side. It would culminate at their favorite neighborhood restaurant Prospect in Fort Greene. He asked if I'd come along and photograph her discoveries but there was a catch. I couldn't be seen because she didn't know what was coming.
Summer had no idea she was going to answer with an enthusiastic and emotional 'Yes' that night. Sean made plans for dinner and a show but what it turned into was the wet dream of a reality television composer and something only Sean Mahoney could concoct. At every bar and restaurant was a neatly presented puzzle in a white box wrapped in blue ribbon. When solved, Summer would receive an item of mysterious purpose inside of another crafty little box. The puzzles led her to three places in the lower east side. Each one had a gracious employee whose job it was to deliver two boxes. One containing a puzzle. The other a mysterious object. My job was to go ahead of Sean and Summer and recruit these people to our immediate mission. I would instruct them on their duties then run and hide.
The final stop was Prospect. A "Modern New American Restaurant" in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. There with her main course she would receive the final puzzle which would spell out the words "Will you marry me?". Backwards.
I captured as much as I could without revealing myself. I hid in a stairwell, behind a parked car across a street, and most notably at the feet of two gentlemen having drinks and nosh. No, literally, I was seated cross legged right next to the feet of two men eating dinner and photographed under their table and across the restaurant. In the last place my zoom lens was in the personal space of the woman sitting next to me. We're friends now.
Below is a short essay of the evening.