If you are a New Yorker, you are obligated to walk The Brooklyn Bridge. Yes, it could be touristy just for the fact alone that the pedestrian walkway is ALWAYS mobbed with people from all over the world, every nice day from April until October. It’s like going to the top of the Empire State Building or now the Freedom Tower. If the Queensboro Bridge has the market on quirkiness then the Brooklyn Bridge could be considered a wizened old man who has seen New York grow to be the capital of the world. It IS touristy on the surface but dig a little deeper and it’s pure New York.
The Queensboro Bridge is one of the most iconic crossings in the world. It spans the East River along side the world famous Roosevelt Island Cable Car. The bridge draws thousands of tourists and commuters per day. It also is one of the only toll-free crossings in all of New York City.
One of the best parts of the bridge is that it is available to pedestrians. Along the walkway is a chain link fence where many people leave locks with messages on them. Others are blank, leaving only the ones that have placed them to know their true meaning. It’s definitely something you have to look for but priceless when you find them.
In New York City, there is no greater divide between the haves and, quite literally, the have-nots than in Midtown Manhattan. According to reports from CBRE in 2012, rents between 49th and 59th Street on 5th Avenue were $3,000/ sq ft. Tourists line up to pay $60 for a t shirt and there are 24 hour computer stores. However, lost amongst the glitz and glamor are those who have fallen through the cracks of city society. Those whose stories are too infinite to mention and whose circumstances are too complicated to explain. They sleep on church steps and subsist on hand outs and charity.
If you have followed this journal you have seen some of these photos before. One could argue that it has been some what exploitative of me to use others destitution as “art”. I assure you that was never my intention, but only to simply showcase life as I saw it. However, I think there may be some merit to that argument. In order to rectify this I am re-presenting those same photos in this journal specifically to raise awareness to their plight.
In the end, it really doesn’t matter what keeps them on the streets, be it drugs, or mental illness, or disability, or anything else; just as it doesn’t matter what you do about it, as long as you do something. Give something. Even if all you do is think about it and discuss it in polite company. I hope that by doing this journal I have done something. I hope to do more.
In the heart of New York City lies Rockefeller Center. The architecture is second to none. The art deco designs are perfect and when photographed in black and white they give off a perfect noir feel. The beauty of the gardens in the plaza and the views from the top of 30 Rockefeller Center are incomparable. When built in 1930, the 22 acres it covers were dedicated to beautiful murals, sculptures, and architecture from the most (and infamous) artists and artisans of the day. Today it stands as one of the most visited places in the world.
The people of New York City are what make it what it is. They are unique, strange, fun, powerful, humble, and hard working. All of which New York as a city most certainly is.
The East River runs through New York City separating Brooklyn and Queens from Manhattan. It’s dirty and gritty and iconic; just like New York in every way.
The Hudson River runs up the west side of the island of Manhattan. By walking up the river or taking a cruise down into the harbor, you can see great memories of a New York past in the old piers, the rising spirit of the Freedom Tower, or the natural beauty of the bluffs on the shore of New Jersey beyond. It’s a must do in New York City.
At the very heart of the vast urban sprawl of New York City lies Central Park. Call it what you will. An island. An oasis. From The Plaza to the old Band Shell. The park itself and the buildings which surround it are as quintessential New York as you can get.
Take a moment. Step back and think. How does a city the size of New York City function? Only through the hard work of those that fix the streets, collect the trash, clean the streets, work on the tugboats and barges on the river. Through the dedication of those that work the midnight shift so that when we wake up in the morning our city is all the more perfect. Without out any filters or fancy photography tricks this is the first of many journals I plan to post in their honor.
I love the variety of neighborhoods in New York City. Walk a few blocks and you can go from Little Italy to Chinatown. From Koreatown to the Garment District. In the upcoming weeks I will be spotlighting in photographs the mosaic of communities that make up New York. They will not be advertisements or real estate agent walking tours. Rather they will be what the communities look like from the street level. As if you took a stroll and simply looked around. The point is to draw the flavor out from what that neighborhood has to offer from the average point of view in every day life.
The first in this series is Sutton Place. A very small neighborhood on the east side of Manhattan. Sutton Place and Sutton Place South run from 53rd Street to 59th Street. It’s as far east as you can go on the island of Manhattan at that point. The numerous cul de sac parks offer sweeping views of the East River and Roosevelt Island, as well as the Queensboro Bridge.
Sutton Place is considered one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in all of New York City. The wealth is evident from the attentive doormen of the high rise apartments and the clothes of the women walking around on a sunny day.
It is a beautiful yet exclusive part of the city that certainly adds to the character of all New York.