Though it may be a semi-intended consequence of Manhattan’s zoning rules regarding floor space, setbacks, and public space, public art in downtown Manhattan is still refreshing. Jean Dubuffet’s Groupe de Quatres Arbres and its curving lines fits so nicely against the linear structure of the building behind it that I’m naturally drawn in.
Given the catastrophic cost of real estate at the southern end of Manhattan, a look at the use of rooftop space reveals a sharp contrast: roofs are either lush garden spaces or barren mechanical utility areas. I had expected to see more “in between” spaces among the penthouses—casually or informally used rooftops. I guess nothing spends more than a few hours on a New York rooftop without a reason to be there.
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.
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.
In the Berkeley Hills, above the National Lab’s Advanced Light Source, the view over Oakland’s twinkling night sprawl entrances. Look at all of those light-emitting objects! As LED lights have replaced sodium vapor models, I’m particularly fascinated in the shift as cities glow white, instead of orange.
My past couple of posts have been images of San Francisco, foregrounded by nature and suburbs—the style I like to call a “civilization gradient”. This image similarly presents downtown Oakland, California, past the hilltop homes and Cal fields of Strawberry Canyon and through the invasive alien leaves of Berkeley Lab’s eucalyptus trees. The HDR processing techniques that Brendan and I use are perfect for settings like this, with an array of light intensities across a broad landscape.
“Teenage” is a category that remains linked to California, and there are few places where the California/teenager overlap occurs more than in an older-model car jammed full of your best friends on a sunny Saturday afternoon in downtown Berkeley. There are plans to be made! We have to pick up that guy from the BART! What about hitting Grizzly Peak? Time to drive!