2002, New York City, and Paul Walker
Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 4:18PM
Lori and Michael

It was time in my life when it felt anything could happen in New York City.

Paul Walker reminds us the shortness and sudden nature of life. I've been jogging my memory all day about the day I ran into him in Lower Manhattan. Specifically Soho, north of Canal Street at West Broadway.

A few short days before I ran into Paul, He had just won the 'Best On Screen Team' with Vin Diesel at the 2002 MTV Movie Awards. This was broadcasted six days before I had met him. During the broadcast I gathered one item of his trademark style was his laces out Vans sneakers.

This observation came in handy spoting Paul days later wondering through Chinatown towards Soho.

Vin Diesel and Paul Walker at the 2002 MTV Movie Awards

Diesel and Walker winning the Best On-Screen Team. Photo: WireImage

Paul Walker over taking WeeMan at the 2002 MTV Movie Awards. Photo: WireImage, Jeffery Mayer

It was his sneakers that confirmed his appearence to me. As I decided to approach Paul, I'm not sure exactly what crossed my mind. I know that the first thing out of my mouth was something about enjoying the first Fast and Furious film and that I owned a 1984 Supra– A car with alot of street creed in the Japanese car racing culture. 

He immediately made and welcomed conversation about cars with me for a few minutes. He was totally cool about pausing for a few minutes to chat on the street. 

Paul Walker and Michael Raisch photographed in Soho, June 12, 2002

As we wrapped up, I recalled one other detail about him. That was he was a big car guy beyond the film and especially that he owned a Nissan Skyline imported from Japan. He confirmed that this was true. Cool stuff to hear first hand and exciting for that time. As we parted, I asked him if was ok to do a quick photo. With my long arm I did a quick selfie (Yet to defined as such for another 11 years and with a 2001 HP Digital Camera on loan from my Uncle). My photo and abbreviated story (tweet below) was featured with similar fan stories on Buzzfeed.com


In 2002 I met Paul Walker we has incredibly approachable. We talked cars, He was cool with this #selfie @FastFurious pic.twitter.com/F33nlDYWBv

— Michael Raisch (@RaischStudios) December 1, 2013

Below are a number of my digital photos of a Post September 11th New York City. At this time I was devoted to documenting and capturing the City in the wake the attacks. They are companied along with Paul's Nissan Skyline and my Toyota Supra photographed in 2002. In my quick impression of Paul, I'll remember him this way; incredibly approachable and for all his sucess in Hollywood and a good guy. 

His death has impacted me and reflects back on a brief moment I had with him. Clearly he made alot of positive of impact on people through out his film career and his life.

Paul posing with a 2002 Nissan Skyline

Michael with his beloved 1984 Supra

Raisch Studio's 1984 Toyota Supra

Article originally appeared on Raisch Studios | Family, Films, and History (http://www.raischstudios.org/).
See website for complete article licensing information.