Though Midtown’s 20th-century skyline is iconic, it’s quickly being amended with needle buildings. Time will tell how these impact its icon status.
The West Side Highway has fascinated me ever since I saw it in this very illegal lap around Manhattan years ago, but the road was mostly empty on this Sunday morning for a different kind of race: a running road race.
Cityscapes were the images that first really drew me to photography—those images with seemingly infinite detail. Zooming deeper and deeper reveals trees and cars and people down at street level. Surpassing the current limits in this respect will probably mean a new camera (or a real commitment to multi-shot panoramas.)
I’m aware that this picture technically contains three bridges, but it is nonetheless an image of the Two Bridges neighborhood just after sunrise. There are so many sunset pictures of New York; I think the dearth of morning shots is correlated with the sleep schedule of the average photographer.
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.
Neighborhoods like Greenwich Village, Chelsea, and the Bowery are remarkably low-rise until they suddenly run into the wall that is Midtown Manhattan. The new pencil towers under construction may look out of place, but at least they don’t block the views of nature to the north.
Liberty Island played such a huge role in the media I consumed as a child—the most iconic symbol of New York (far more recognizable to a child than e.g. the Empire State Building)—that seeing it from One World Observatory was surreal.