New York City

A Global Power City, The Most Populous In The US & Still The Best City On Earth


Grand Central Terminal. New York City. July 13, 2013

I’m on the Amtrak en route to Boston, my last stop on this 2 week US East Coast jaunt of mine. The last three days & four nights in New York City have been great. I knew they would be. It doesn’t take much to appease me here; NYC has been my favourite world city forever so just being there is sufficient. Being honest I didn’t get up to much – I took some photographs whenever I wasn’t in Yankee Stadium, which was most of the time (& needless to say I took some pictures when I was there, too). In fact, it seems I took a lot of pictures over the last few days. I’m really only getting around to reviewing them now. There’s quite so here are 27 pictures from the last 3 days in NYC, still the best city on earth.

New York City || Day 1

New York City. It’s good to see you again, friend. It has been a while. Far too long. I took the following picture from across the Hudson river in New Jersey as I approached the city earlier this evening on the bus coming to the end of a smooth ride from Baltimore.

An iPod shot of the Manhattan skyline from New Jersey. Taken from the approaching the city. July 11th 2013. (iPod)

The Manhattan skyline from New Jersey. Taken from the bus with my iPod. July 11, 2013. (iPod)

The setting sun was illuminating the skyline, which looked great set against the ominous-looking dark-blue clouds (it didn’t rain). This was my first glimpse of Manhattan in over six years – it was a nice one, a nice welcome back. It was also my first time seeing One World Trade Centre, formally the Freedom Tower, the primary building of the new World Trade Centre complex – needless to say I’ll be down there before too long with my camera firmly pointed upwards. This is my eight visit to the city since my first visit way back in the summer of 1998. That was my very first trip outside of Europe, my first (what felt like) real independent travelling experience. I’ve had something of an affinity with NYC ever since – it’s still my favourite city on earth, and I’ve been to my fair share of those over the years. Since that first visit 15 years ago I’ve come here to do some Christmas shopping (1999); to experience a NYC St. Patrick’s Day (2000); to watch baseball games (2001); to pay homage after 9/11 (2001); I stopped by at the end of an LA-NYC road trip (2003);  & I passed through en route to an old life in Canada (2007), the last time I was in the city.

It has been said before but it’s true – there’s a buzz here that just invigorates. I’ve always felt it & I’m feeling it again. Having only just arrived, I’ve already been reacquainted with the rush of the city, the diversity of its residents & the smell of the subway which, at $2.50 a ride these days, is a tad more expensive than I remember it being. But this is New York City and everything here is expensive; $60 for a dorm bed in my hostel (Jazz on The Park, where I have always called home when in the city) says it all.

What am I going to do here for the next 3 days, 4 nights? I’m not sure yet but whatever I do will be scheduled around baseball games. Tickets for Yankees games in the new 4-year-old Yankee Stadium on all three days – Friday through Sunday – are booked (& I don’t even know who they are playing, not that it matters). Aside from that I’ll get up early, go to bed late and in between I’ll just revel in all that is NYC. I’ll probably do a bit shopping (NYC will reveal the inner shopper you never knew was in there) will probably pick a museum or two to visit & will, of course, take (a lot of) pictures. Best get into it so. New York City, take nine.

New York City || Day 2

It was an overcast July day in NYC, not a great day for photography. I took a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge into downtown & paid the first of three visits to Yankee Stadium in The Bronx.

The Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. Completed in 1883, it spans the East River to connect the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, two of New York City’s 5 boroughs.

Brooklyn Bridge, New York City. July 12th 2013.

With a main span of 486 metres (1,595 ft), the Brooklyn Bridge was the first steel-wire suspension bridge ever built & the longest suspension bridge in the world from its opening until 1903. As with any historic & ageing structure, the bridge requires periodic repairs and upgrades, with a current up-keep project due to finish in 2014. Walking across the bridge is a quintessential New York City experience, a NYC must-do and something I seem to do, and enjoy, every time I’m in the city – it was the first thing I did on this latest visit to the city. Brooklyn Bridge, New York City (map-pointer-icon). July 12, 2013.

Are You Living Your Drea? Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, USA. July 12th 2013. (iPod)

Are You Living Your Dream? Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, USA. July 12, 2013. (iPod)

Downtown

Tour buses passing buildings on Centre Street, Manhattan, New York City, USA. July 12th 2013.

A New York Sightseeing tour bus passing the Manhattan Municipal Building on Centre Street in Downtown Manhattan, one of the largest governmental buildings in the world. Located at 1 Centre Street, the 180-metre high, 40-storey building was built to accommodate increased governmental space demands after the 1898 consolidation of the city’s five boroughs. Construction began in 1907 and ended in 1914. Designated a New York City landmark in 1966 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, it was the first building in the city to incorporate a subway station & its Beaux-Arts architecture structure was enormously influential in the civic construction of other American cities. Manhattan, New York City, USA. July 12, 2013.

NYC Subway

A subway car rolls into 103 Street subway station, Manhattan, New York. July 12th 2013.

A subway car rolls into 103 Street subway station en route to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Manhattan, New York City, USA. July 12, 2013.

(The New) Yankee Stadium – Take 1

A wet & windswept Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, New York. July 12th 2013.

A wet & windswept Yankee Stadium. Game 1 of 3 in Yankee Stadium over the weekend, a Friday night game, was a bit of a washout. A 90-minute rain delay meant I didn’t get home – damp, cold & tired – until 1 a.m. But at least I saw a Yankee win, the only one of the weekend. This was my first time in the new Yankee Stadium which opened in 2009. It’s big, shiny & bloody expensive. Yankee Stadium, The Bronx. New York, USA. July 12, 2013.

New York City || Day 3

Back to Yankee Stadium, Grand Central Station/Terminal & Times Square.

(The New) Yankee Stadium – Take 2

Game day carnival atmosphere on River Avenue, The Bronx, New York, USA. July 13th 2013.

Noon on New York City, day 3, & it was right back to Yankee Stadium for game 2 of the weekend series with the Minnesota Twins. The sun was out, and so were the crowds. This is a picture of the carnival scene on River Avenue outside Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, New York, USA. July 13, 2013.

Game day on River Avenue outside Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, New York, USA. July 13th 2013.

Game day on River Avenue outside Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, New York, USA. July 13, 2013.

Peanuts & beer. Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, New York. July 13th 2013.

Peanuts & beer remnants after the game in Yankee Stadium. It’s a hell of a job to clean this place after a game. And I’d never leave this much beer in a (plastic) glass, not with the beers costing $12 a pop. The Bronx, New York. July 13, 2013.

Yankee fans in Macombs Dam Park, The Bronx, New York, USA. July 13th 2013.

Yankee fans smiling (even though their team lost) as they walk through Macombs Dam Park, across from the new Yankee Stadium, seen in the distance. This park was, up until its demolition, the site of the old, 1923 Yankee Stadium, the so-called ‘House That Ruth Built’. It was demolished between 2008-2010 (the Yankees may be the most storied franchise in world sports but even they don’t need two baseball stadiums) and fittingly a public baseball park now stands where the old field used to be, a couple of hundred yards from the newer & (seemingly) better Yankee Stadium. Macombs Dam Park, The Bronx, New York, USA. July 13, 2013.

NYC Subway

Riding the subway in New York City. July 13th 2013. (iPod)

Riding the NYC Subway en route to Grand Central Station/Terminal, New York City. July 13, 2013. (iPod)

Grand Central Station/Terminal


Completed in 1913, in the heyday of American long-distance passenger rail travel, Grand Central Station/Terminal is, according to Wikipedia, the largest train station in the world by number of platforms: 44, with 67 tracks along them on two levels. It has been described as ‘the world’s loveliest station’ and it certainly receives its fair share of attention – 20 million visitors a year make this one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world.

The Main Concourse of Grand Central Station/Terminal, New York City, USA. July 13th 2013.

The Main Concourse of Grand Central Station/Terminal. I didn’t have much of a photography to-do list for my time in NYC but I had wanted to come here to photograph this, Grand Central’s impressive main concourse. Needless to say I wasn’t alone in doing so – look carefully and you’ll see a few other photographers with tripods. However, for some reason for the hour or so I was here no one seemed too interested in getting this shot, a 1.3 second exposure captured from the middle of the stairway at one end of the concourse. Grand Central Station/Terminal. New York City, USA. July 13, 2013.

A quote on the walls of Grand Central Station/Terminal.

The city orbits around eight million centers of the universe and turns around the golden clock at the still point of this place. Lift up your eyes from the moving hive and you will see time circling under a vault of stars and know just when and where you are.

– Billy Collins, b. 1941

Grand Central Station/Terminal, New York City, USA. July 13th 2013.

Grand Central Station/Terminal, New York City, USA. July 13, 2013.

Traffic outside Grand Central Station/Terminal, New York City, USA. July 13th 2013. (iPod)

Traffic at Pershing Square outside Grand Central Station/Terminal, New York City, USA. July 13, 2013. (iPod)

Times Square

Times Square, the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway Theatre District & one of the world’s busiest commercial & pedestrian intersections in the middle of one of the world’s major entertainment centres.

Times Square, New York City. July 13th 2013.

Iconified as “The Crossroads of the World”, “The Center of the Universe”, and “The Great White Way”, Times Square is, & according to Travel + Leisure magazine October 2011 survey, the world’s most visited tourist attraction, hosting over 39 million visitors annually with approximately a third of a million people passing through daily. And I’d well believe it. I’ve been here numerous times over the years, & at various times of the year, but I’d never seen it so busy. Ever (granted it was a Saturday evening in mid-summer). I snapped a few shots and got out of there, thankful I did. Times Square, New York City. July 13, 2013.

A mobile B&H store in a busy Times Square, Manhattan, New York. July 13th 2013.

Needless to say I wasn’t alone toting a camera around Times Square either. Moving around wasn’t the easiest but at least I was more mobile than Mr. 2 Full Frames & an oversized Lowepro bag. Times Square, New York City, USA. July 13, 2013.

Walkers in a busy Times Square, Manhattan, New York. July 13th 2013.

Walkers in a busy Times Square. In my opinion neon & crowds don’t photograph very well. A mass of legs crossing a road does. But each to their own. Again I got a lot of attention taking this picture. Times Square, Manhattan, New York. July 13, 2013.

Sharing the road in Times Square, New York City. July 13th 2013.

Sharing the road in Times Square, New York City. July 13, 2013.

New York City || Day 4

One final outing to Yankee Stadium & a visit to The National September 11 Memorial.

Central Park West, Manhattan, New York. July 14th 2013. (iPod)

Captured with my iPod outside my hostel en route, once again, to Yankee Stadium yesterday on my last full day in the city. Near the corner of 106th & Central Park West, New York City, USA. July 14, 2013. (iPod)

(The New) Yankee Stadium – Take 3

A sunny Sunday afternoon in Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, New York. July 14th 2013.

The third & final game of the weekend series was probably the worst of the lot with regard to the home team’s performance. But the sun was out again & the stadium was at its busiest so this was the most photogenic. Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, New York. July 14, 2013.

People in the stands at Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, New York. July 14th 2013.

People in the stands at Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, New York. July 14, 2013.

The iconic NY insignia outside Gate 4, Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, New York. July 14th 2013.

The NY insignia. This was the busiest stadium day of the whole 3-game weekend series against the Minnesota Twins (the game was a sell-out) and with so many people mulling around pre-game I was quite fortunate to get a clear, unobstructed shot, if only for a second, of the massive, interlocking NY insignia embedded in the ground outside Gate 4 of the new Yankees Stadium. The iconic NY insignia first appeared on a Medal of Honor produced in 1877 by Tiffany & Co. for a New York City Police Officer shot in the line of duty, the very fist medal recognising bravery given by the NYPD. In 1909 it was adopted by the New York Highlanders baseball team, the team that would, in 1913, become the present-day New York Yankees. The rest, as the saying goes, is history & today the NY insignia is a pop culture icon & one of the most recognised logos in the world. Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, New York, USA. July 14, 2013.

From Yankee Stadium on this day it was back to Manhattan, via the subway, for a visit the poignant National September 11 Memorial.

NYC Subway

On the platform of 145 Street subway station, Manhattan, New York. July 14th 2013.

On the platform of 145 Street subway station, Manhattan, New York City, USA. July 14, 2013.

The National September 11 Memorial

The National September 11 Memorial honors the 2,983 men, women, and children killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993 – of that number, 2,977 came from 90 different nations and 400 were first responders who died performing their sworn duties. The victims perished at three different sites – at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, at the crash site of Flight 93 in a field in western Pennsylvania, & here in lower Manhattan, where the majority of the victims died & where today the poignant National September 11 Memorial stands in memory of them.

The 9/11 Memorial, lower Manhattan, New York. July 14th 2013.

The 8-acre National September 11 Memorial opened on 11 September, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the attacks. It consists of two pools set in the footprints of the original towers, with 30-foot waterfalls – the largest in North America – cascading into a centre void with the names of the victims inscribed on surrounding bronze parapets. The Memorial design, by architect Michael Arad & landscape architect Peter Walker, was a winner of an international competition, one of 5,201 submissions from 63 countries. The National September 11 Memorial, lower Manhattan, New York City, USA. July 14, 2013.

The 9/11 Memorial at the redeveloped World Trade Center, lower Manhattan, New York City, USA. July 14th 2013.

The original World Trade Center complex was a 16-acre commercial complex built between 1966 and 1987. The 7 building complex contained the two tallest buildings in New York City, the 414 metre (1,360 ft) tall, 110 storey-high Twin Towers. I’d stood on top of the original South Tower three times, the last time being about 6 months before the attacks. I was also here about 7 weeks after the attacks (in late November 2011). The memories of that visit, specifically the sight & smell of the destruction of this area of lower Manhattan, will stay with me for a long time. The National September 11 Memorial at the redeveloped World Trade Centre, lower Manhattan, New York City, USA. July 14, 2013.

Signs abound at the Memorial requesting people to Respect this place, a place made sacred through tragic loss. To me that was a given but I was taken aback by the jovial mood of the Memorial hordes. People didn’t seem to realise or care too much about the significance of the site, with people happy to pose with big smiles in front of the Memorial pools. Really. That didn’t sit right with me – if you want to be a tourist, go get your picture in front of the the Statue of Liberty, or in Times Square, or in Central Park.

Video || The National September 11 Memorial

Video taken overlooking the North Pool of the Memorial.

Towers of the rebuilt World Trade Center towering over the The 9/11 Memorial, lower Manhattan, New York City, USA. July 14th 2013.

Towers of the rebuilt World Trade Centre towering over The National September 11 Memorial. Construction continues on the surrounding World Trade Centre projects. The fully redeveloped complex will include the Memorial, commercial office space, retail units, connections to public transport, & a museum, currently under construction. The plan calls for a spiral of new towers around the Memorial site. In this picture of people overlooking the Memorial South Pool in the late afternoon, One World Trade Centre, formally called the Freedom Tower, clearly stands out. At 541 metres (1,776 ft), it’s the tallest building in the country, the centrepiece of the $3.9 billion complex and a symbol of New York’s ability to overcome the worst of tragedies. Lower Manhattan, New York City, USA. July 14, 2013.

Lower Manhattan, New York. July 14th 2013.

Late afternoon light in Lower Manhattan, New York City, USA. July 14, 2013.

New York, New York
Thank you NYC. You’ve been great, as usual, and you’re still the best god damn city on earth. Period. Until next time (& I promise I won’t leave it as long before I’m back).

New York City || The Gallery

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