New York City

New York City Finale

Wow, looking back now through all the images from New York City, it is hard to believe how much ground we covered.  Most of that was entirely on foot.  Over 60 miles in four days.  That was a lot of walking....and tons of fun.

Our last day in the Big Apple was super busy and eventful.  As usual, the day started with a quick breakfast at a nearby cafe to fuel our bodies for the urban hike.  It was October 10, a Monday. The City was bustling with activity as millions of people made their way to work.  In the streets were the usual symphony of car horns.  The sidewalks were alive and fully "infested" with business men and women eagerly running the rat race.  It was nice to just leisurely stroll along and stop for a photo now and then.  

Our first destination for the day was the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or "The Met", located up 5th Avenue.  The Met is the larges art museum in the United States, containing over two million works.  This place was huge.  We could only cover a small fraction of it in the short time we were there, but it was an amazing place to see.  There were plenty of things to see along the way.  One of the more comical scenes was two NYPD officers, who were both big guys, getting into the smallest car possible.  

After leaving The Met, we walked back a different route that took us by the United Nations Headquarters.  This complex, bordered by First Avenue to the west, East 42nd Street to the south, East 48th Street to the north, and the East River to the east, has served as UN headquarters since 1952.  

The United Nations

We also made a brief stop at the famous Chrysler Building.  The tallest brick building in the world with steel structure, the Chrysler Building stands at 1,046 feet high.  It's an architectural marvel, but is not easy to photograph amongst all the other tall buildings and busy streets.  

The Chrysler Building entrance

For sunset, we took a ride across the Hudson River to Hoboken, New Jersey.  The view back across the river at the New York skyline was amazing.  Not a cloud in the sky, but the sunset colors provided a nice backdrop.   

Finally, the night (and the trip), culminated with views from the 86th and 102nd floors of the Empire State Building.  The Empire State Building was the first structure completed that was over 100 stories.  It stood as the tallest building in the world from its completion in 1931 until 1967.  It is now only the 5th tallest skyscraper in the United States and 34th in the world.  

So, there you have it.  It was an amazing trip, and I've finally been able to get through all the images capturing the experience.  Someday, I may even go back again...

Taking the High Line to Greenwich Village

To say that there are numerous interesting neighborhoods in New York City would be an understatement.  Greenwich Village is certainly no exception.  Colloquially know as simply 'the Village', this quaint yet eclectic neighborhood is located on the west side of Lower Manhattan. Greenwich Village has been touted as an artist's haven.  It is well-known as an important landmark for American bohemian culture as well as the cradle of the LGBT movement.  With a history as colorful as its inhabitants, it was certainly an interesting stroll through the streets.  

We started the day by heading west from our hotel to the High Line Trail.  The High Line is a 1.45-mile linear park built on an elevated section of a disused New York Central Railroad spur known as the West Side Line.  Most of this section of railroad spur was demolished in 1960, and laid dormant until construction of the rails-to-trails park began in 2006.   

The view from the High Line

On the High Line Trail

A flair for the dramatic on the High Line

The Empire State Building in the distance

Most of the morning was gray and rainy.  It seems we spent about as much time hanging out in coffee shops as out shooting.  There were still plenty of interesting things to see and photography, though.  

Never know what you'll find in The Village

Lunch at John's on Bleecker Street

The Village Vanguard, famous jazz club in operation since 1935

Jefferson Market Library

We also made stops in Union Square and Washington Square Park.  Both were infested with people, doing a variety of things.  Some were feeding the local wildlife, some playing musical instruments, a few were playing chess.  There were even a few protesting for sex worker rights. We live in unusual times.  Here are a few more images, and don't worry, they are all safe for work.


Chess in Union Square

The view from Washington Square Park

Washington Square Arch


The 9/11 Memorial

I was in Murray, Iowa performing a soil and groundwater investigation on that fateful day.  The subcontractor that I was working with told me that something big was going on and it was all over the radio news.  I got in the work truck, turned on the radio, and listened in disbelief.  It seemed as though there must be some mistake, or maybe it was even a sick joke.  But it wasn't. Terrorists had struck at what they thought was the heart of America.  

Thousands of innocent lives were lost that day.  I remember driving back home, traveling south on Interstate 35, listening to the news coverage of the worst terrorist attack on US soil.  The video footage that was played over and over later that night of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center towers was so haunting.  Something to never be forgotten.  At least one would think not.  

A trip to New York City just wouldn't seem complete without a visit to the memorial that pays tribute to all that lost so much on that day.  Walking around the former building footprints, which have been transformed into reflecting pools, was a humbling experience.  Water continuously flows and falls into the voids that were left behind by the senseless violence.  Bronze parapets surrounding each of the pools contains the names of all those whose lives ended way too soon.  Tokens of remembrance are left behind by many of the names on those walls.  Whether by family members or complete strangers, I do not know, but it is evident that some have not forgotten.  

The Bell of Hope was presented by England to the people of New York on the one year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  The bell is rung every September 11.  It has also rang to pay tribute to victims of other terrorist attacks around the world and at home.  The ringing has been heard far too frequently of late.  

Bell of Hope

Construction of the One World Trade Center began on April 27, 2006.  The building was completed in July 2013 and now stands as the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the sixth tallest in the world.  The building towers high into the sky (and sometimes into the clouds) as a symbol of the enduring freedoms of this great country, reaching ever higher in spite of adversity.  You see, they only think that they struck at the heart of America.  Regardless of what some may want to believe, our heart lies much much deeper than that.  

One World Trade Center


The Flatiron Building

Let's see....where did I leave off.  Last month, before beginning my postings about my top ten images for 2016, I had been sharing some of my adventures from my trip to New York.  It's time to get back on track and share some more.  

There are numerous iconic buildings in New York City.  We visited a few of them when I was there back in October.  The Flatiron Building, located at 175 Fifth Avenue, is one such building.  The building was completed in 1902 and at the time, was one of the tallest buildings in the city.  The name of the wedge-shaped building is derived from its resemblance to a cast-iron clothes iron.  

The Flatiron Building was designated a New York City landmark in 1966; added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979; and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989.  

Flatiron Building

We started this day out like pretty much every other day.  After a quick breakfast in a nearby cafe, we were on our way to explore the city.  I think I mentioned it before, but the best way to really explore is to just hit the streets and walk.  It may take more time, but there is so much to see that would be missed if riding in a cab, a bus, or on the subway.  

The start of another work day in the Big Apple

Photographing the Flatiron Building (or any building for that matter) wasn't the easiest thing to do.  I've never done much architectural photography, but wanted to show the setting for the building.  It sure is unique and almost looks out of place.  

Along the way and after leaving the Flatiron Building, we continued on a path that led into the East Village for lunch, then on through Little Italy, Chinatown, and eventually the 9/11 Memorial and One World Trade Center.  Like I said, we did a lot of walking.  I won't cover all of those areas in this post, but will show a few images of the interesting sites along the way.  If you look closely, you'll even see some of the wildlife that we enjoyed on this day in one of the city's many parks.  

Live Bait (among other things)

We even went by B&H (the other one)

Not sure who this fellow was, but didn't look like one to be trifled with.




New York's Grand Central Terminal

You know the saying, "It's like Grand Central Station..."?  This is where it comes from.  There were a lot of people there the day we went inside.  The place was 'infested'!  But, what a building. Architectural photographers would really love shooting here.  Well, any photographer really.  It is quite something to see and a must-visit when you are in New York City.  At least in my opinion.

I figured that Grand Central Station deserved a blog post all its own.  After all, it is one of the world's most visited tourist attractions.  In my research, I noticed this landmark has been defined a little bit differently over the years.  When first opened in October 1871, it was known as Grand Central Depot.  After renovations and expansion in 1901, it became known as Grand Central Station.  When that original building was razed and a new one constructed in 1913, it took on the current moniker of Grand Central Terminal.   

Grand Central Terminal has quite a storied history.  Much more than I'll go into here.  Original construction was in 1871, subsequent renovation and expansion in 1901, complete dismantling from 1903 to 1913, construction of a new terminal in 1913, threats of being replaced by another skyscraper during the financial hardships of the 1970s, and renovations and rejuvenation into what it is today.  It has stood the test of time.  It is widely recognized as an engineering marvel. It is huge.  Covering 48 acres, it has 44 platforms.  More than any other railroad station in the world.  

Like I said, you'll just have to go there.  Here are a few images to look at for now.  Wish I would have taken more of the interior.  Maybe I'll have to go back!