While the distant New Jersey countryside looks comparatively two-dimensional, the structure of Manhattan and Hoboken are so vertical.
The dividing of the southern end of the Hudson River into New York and New Jersey is subject to a great deal of mythology, but whatever the truth is, the practical reality today makes the difference between the two feel pretty fuzzy.
I caught John Wick Chapter 3 in theaters this weekend; that movie’s take on New York City inspired me to finish processing my RAWs from my October 2018 trip to photograph its downtown skyline. Perhaps that sense of a hidden world lurking around every corner is captured in the details along the shore.
Manhattan has been the site of an unsurprisingly large number of climactic cinematic showdowns. In the dramatic golden light of an autumn sunset, this particular image contrasts two tall towers on the horizon: in the east, the Empire State Building, site of King Kong’s climb, and in the west, the new Hudson Yard buildings that bear a marked resemblance to Stark Tower from the Avengers.
New Jersey and Pennsylvania are divided by the Delaware River, site of some serious naval shipyards. In black and white, the whole region takes on a seriously twentieth-century look.
New York was once famous for its oysters, grown in the harbor—a truly unbelievable number of them. Looking over the pier towards the still-glowing skyline of downtown Manhattan, I guess I’m not surprised they’d make an appropriate substrate for oyster growth.
From New Jersey’s Liberty State Park, the view of downtown Manhattan is unimpeded. The view extends all the way up to Midtown and landmarks like the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings. With nothing but the water’s reflections between me and the skyline, there’s an odd calmness to a multimillion-person city.