New York City – a small bite of the big apple

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My first ever trip to New York city was busy, but fun.  Most of my time was spent in Midtown Manhattan but I did venture down to the Financial District on my last day.

The Empire State Building was completed in 1931 and was the tallest building in the world for almost 40 years.  It is an iconic New York building, but there was no sign of King Kong!

The Empire State Building

The Empire State Building

There are plenty of opportunities for reflections shots in the store windows.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Turkey
NY Subway
signs in the subway

Radio City Music Hall

Rockefeller Center Nutcrackers

The Christmas tree at Rockefeller was up, but still hidden by the scaffolding.  And yes, its pretty big although it doesn’t look it next to the skyscraper!

Rockefeller Center
St Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Ave



The Chrysler Building was completed 11 months before the Empire State Building and for that short time it was the tallest in the world.

The Chrysler Building
Iconic Yellow Cabs


Grand Central Station was opened in 1871.  In June of 1910, just after the last train left the station, the building was demolished to make way for the new, very grand, terminal that would eventually open in February 1913.

It’s a massive, beautiful building and a testament to the grandeur and opulence of the golden age of train travel.

on of the many Grand Central chandeliers

The building was the first to use of ramps rather than stairs which allows for a better flow of pedestrian traffic.

Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central reflections

Grand Central is a “Terminal” as opposed to a “Station”.  When it was built, it was the end of the line and as far south as the trains could go.  It was built to accommodate the new, cleaner electric trains which eventually changed that.

Grand Central ticket windows

Everyone has a story and an “explanation” as to why the constellations on the ceiling are backwards.  I think the answer is simply that the painter made a mistake!

the main hall at Grand Central Terminal

Times square is always lit up, day and night.  It’s also typically full of tourists!

Times Square
Times Square
the famous New Year’s ball

Bryant Park

Having some fun playing with long exposures & flash… (a special thank you to Zim, my guide for the day and the model)

Creating abstract photos…

Times Square
Times Square 42nd Street station
Times Square in the rain

My goal for the rainy day was to visit the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, arguably the most well know of New York’s public libraries.

Stephen A. Schwarzman Building main foyer (the public library at 42nd & 5th Ave)
Ornate ceilings of the NY Public Library
the ceiling in the Rose Reading Room

The Rose Reading Room is magnificent; it’s what I imagine a library should look like.

The Rose Reading Room

outside at the main entrance of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

The 2 marble lions that guard the building are known as “Patience” and “Fortitude”.  This is Patience.


Looking up 43rd street to the Chrysler Building

Chrysler Building at night

More fun with long exposures…

Chrysler Building abstract

The United Nations Building itself is nothing spectacular, but it does make a good subject for some abstract fun!

The United Nations Building
The United Nations Building

A little light painting, and yes, I do love New York!

Light painting
Chrysler Building reflections

Getting up close to the corrugate panel creates an interesting effect at night…

Above the entrance to Grand Central sits the world’s largest Tiffany clock at 13 feet in diameter.

Pershing Square, outside Grand Central
The Chrysler Building and the Grand Central eagle

The four faces of this beautiful clock inside the terminal are opal; it’s estimated that it’s worth $10-20 million!  It doesn’t look very big inside this massive space, but my guide told me it’s over 7 feet tall.

Grand Central’s clock
Grand Central at night
the main hall at night

On my last day, I walked south from my hotel towards the financial district.  Along the way I passed through the Flatiron district and Soho.

The Flatiron Building was built from 1901 to 1903 and was built triangular to fit the shape of the lot.  At the time, this was one of the most prominent locations in Manhattan making it one of the city’s most prominent landmarks.

The Flatiron Building

When I took this photograph I had no idea what this building was, I just liked it.  Turns out, its the Metropolitan Life Clock Tower.  Completed in 1909, it was the both the world’s tallest building and the highest timepiece for only 4 years.

Metropolitan Life Clock Tower
Beautiful old buildings in Soho
Soho – looking north towards the Chrysler Building
iconic fire escapes of Soho

looking south towards the financial district

St. Patrick’s Basilica

looking towards the old police headquarters

Cobblestone streets of Soho
Ornate ironwork in Soho

One World Trade towers over the 9/11 memorial and it’s said to be one of the safest buildings in the world.

One World Trade
the Oculus – the new World Trade train station

For me it was very surreal and somber to be at the site of the 9/11 attacks.  The memorial is very tastefully done and really brings home the events of that day.

9/11 Memorial North Pool
the North Pool and the Oculus

Around both pools are the names of those that lost their lives that day.  A white rose in the name indicates that it’s that person’s birthday.

marking the birthdays of the fallen

After the 9/11 Memorial, I took the subway to Brooklyn and walked back to Manhattan via the Brooklyn Bridge.

crossing the Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge
the Manhattan Bridge
the Financial District of Manhattan

This next photo shows how perspective is everything.  One World Trade is the tallest building in Manhattan (and I suspect it will always be), yet from this angle, this wavy building looks significantly taller!

Perspective is everything

Another of New York’s landmark buildings, the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank building was once home to a bank formed to protect the assets of the city’s Irish Catholic immigrants.

New York Supreme Court building
Rockefeller Center at night

The lights on the Empire State Building are used to honor different holidays, groups, charities etc.  On this night, they were purple and red to honor the Lupus Research Alliance.  If they aren’t honoring anyone or anything, the lights are white.

Manhattan skyline & the Empire State Building

the ice rink at Rockefeller Center

Once a year Sak’s 5th Avenue has a multi media event to launch the Christmas season, revealing their display windows and festive lights.  I stumbled upon this and it was quite the show!

Sak’s holiday lights unveiling

Iconic NY pretzels and roasted chestnuts for sale on every corner!

Chesnutt’s roasting…
one of many NYC food carts

That’s it for this trip.  I could easily have spent more time wandering around the city.  Perhaps another time…