I finally have gotten around to editing my pictures from my trip to New York. Here’s a few I’d like to share with you all. I usually try to write a little bit about the things I’ve photographed–mostly for my own good. It makes me sad when people post pictures of their adventures online, and half the time it’s the same building or scene over and over again, from different angles. Or just a picture of some object. Not everyone is a photographer with an eye for composition and symmetry, so I understand that. But at the very least, put a little caption of why you recorded the moment. Anyway. Without further ado, here are my impressions and memories of NYC.
My plane landed at 5 am on a Tuesday at JFK International Airport. This is one of the first sights that greeted me as I began from the subway station to my hotel (a good 6 block walk.) I started the walk in near-darkness but the sun rose steadily as I went along.
On the first day I mostly walked around Nolita, SoHo, and the Lower East Side. I will never forget that epic lox from Russ and Daughters. After eating my fill, I walked, and enjoyed views like the ones above. I like brick walls and the symmetry of windows and the fire escape stairs. Interesting to me is the way light is filtered/reflected by buildings. With such narrow spaces between structures, finding light in New York is all about keeping your eyes open for moments such as these. Reminds me very much of Los Angeles and San Francisco in the way the city is organized, but NY is even better for building-watching.
The next day was spent walking the High Line, an old elevated railway that has been converted into a multi-use trail/park system. I walked several feet above the Meatpacking District and Chelsea, taking in the sights of the city from above. Doesn’t that orange beanie look familiar? 🙂
My itinerary was mostly focused on visiting historical sites and iconic buildings. While I do enjoy food and art and culture, I do so primarily through my lens. A promise of a great photograph generally triumphs most needs, even hunger (at times. within reason.) My travel days usually start with a hearty breakfast and the most important visits are scheduled in the morning. When I did shop or browse, it would be in the late afternoon or at night. I believe I visited three Uniqlos on this trip. The one photographed here is the massive 5th Avenue Uniqlo. It did not disappoint. That location is the largest I’ve seen to date and had the entire Internet catalogue (and then some!) in its space.
Rain was predicted for the third or fourth day of my trip. While the rainfall thankfully never increased (just slight showers all day), the wind and colder temperature did make it quite unpleasant to be outside for any given length of time. I sought refuge in the New York Public Library and was rewarded by magnificent ceilings in the Map Room and the beautiful marble lobby of Astor Hall.
The nearby Grand Central Terminal was a logical next step. I spent the rest of that rainy day in this transportation hub, fascinated by the rush-hour flow of people and the terminal’s grandeur. It is over 100 years old and is still such a vibrant, actively used building. The magnitude of how many people have traveled through here, and the eras that the building has seen leaves a sobering impression on one’s mind.
I wish this photo turned out better; if I could have traveled with a partner I could have left the shutter open for longer. While I wanted to capture the rush of people walking by me, I also don’t like to leave my camera alone for too long. As it was in this shot I left it on a ticket counter and hoped no one would 1. stand in front of the camera while it was recording, or 2. (most obviously) swipe and run away with it. I’m fortunate that that has not happened.
There was some time on the trip to take the train over to Brooklyn and DUMBO for coffee and dessert. Eventually, I will return to NY and focus on visiting Queens and Brooklyn over spending time in the flashy, touristy Manhattan. Nothing wrong with seeing the big famous spots but Brooklyn reminded me of LA’s Arts District which I frequent often. Next time, I know where to go.
Spent a morning photographing the Flatiron Building. It’s one thing to see it in pictures, and another to walk up and view the oddly shaped structure. When you approach it from behind or from the sides, it almost looks normal–until you come sharp around the corner and you see its iconic point. To me it is visually puzzling. I want to know how rooms are shaped inside–do they have weird corners the closer you come to the narrow point? The view is something else. What a strange, and yet fascinating decision to build on such a street corner.
I sometimes just take a photo because the light was interesting, or the colors of the facade are striking. In this case I saw the sun making areas of shadow and light on the front entrance of Le Pain Quotidien and I wanted to remember it.
I spent my last two days in NY with my cousin who traveled in from DC. I am fortunate that she shares similar tastes with me, and did not mind me directing us haphazardly all over the city. We spent a great afternoon just walking and talking, stopping for food or rest as was needed.
Was standing near the river’s edge on tumbled rocks. The Hudson River is crossed by several bridges: shown here is the Brooklyn Bridge. To the right of the photograph, unseen, is the Manhattan Bridge.
The last 24 hours went by in a blur: brunch in Gramercy and walking through Washington Square. Dappled sunlight and more brick buildings. All the fall foliage my beach-dwelling soul could ever want at Central Park. This coupled with the brisk but sunny day made our last day in the city very pleasant. I’m generally not a park-goer, but I could see why people would want to go on such a nice day as that. There’s things to see and the leaves’ colors really are a treat for someone who lives in a place with no real “seasons.”
It would be nice if we all could go see the world outside of the one we exist in. I think travel is a good way to stay humble and to appreciate what we already have. When I came back home, I was relieved to be back in a place I understand. New York is a lot faster than I am, is always on point, and brings its A-game every hour every day. I respect that, and I’m glad I was able to see it for myself. The question now is–where to next? What ways of life have I not seen yet?