Wandering in Manhattan

We were in New York and we had a room in a hotel in Manhattan but we weren’t very happy with it. It was a bit too much like living in a railway station. The room itself was OK but there was no communal areas, nowhere to sit down and meet people and the only internet was down in the lobby which was like hanging around in the access area of a very crowded shopping mall. As well as that, each time we caught a lift we were imprisoned with American TV, specifically CNN. At the time that meant mainly the weird and disturbing ravings of Hermann Kain, the Republican candidate for the Presidency.

So we decided to try to find somewhere better and wandered over Manhattan for places from the guide book until we eventually gave up and settled for what we had. Of course when we returned we were told of better alternatives had we but known.

Bleeker St

I found I recognised many of the names in New York.  This was Bleeker Street, which I was familiar with from the Simon & Garfunkel album Wednesday Morning 3AM many years ago.   I was intrigued here by the sign.   How do you determine whether noise is necessary or not?  Can you get arrested for farting or is that necessary noise?

Opposite the Central Post Office

This is a building that caught my attention opposite the Central Post Office.  If it looks as though the building is curved that is a remarkable perspective effect caused by the fact that the building is curved.

Times Square

And here we have Times Square.  You can tell it’s Times Square because there’s a sign that says Times Square.  And just as well.  If it had said Red Square I’d have been wondering what had gone wrong with the architecture.  I was rather disappointed with Times Square.  Having heard it frequently mentioned I was expecting something with an architectural flourish.  Instead it’s just a big intersection with lots of shops and clubs.  Also curious that in the heart of American commercialism there’s a sign at the top saying “Xinhua brings the world to you!”.  I didn’t think that takeover had happened yet.

I’m not sure exactly what and where this building is.  A bit of a contrast here between the old and the new.

Grand Central Station

This is one of the side-passageways of the massive and magnificent Grand Central Station.

Chrysler Building stairwell

I had just taken this shot of the stairwell in the wonderful art deco Chrysler Building before a security guard told me photography was not allowed.

Reflection of Chrysler Building

I don’t know if it does it to you but for me the lines in the image create an illusion that the top of the image is wider than the bottom.

Eagle and Chrysler Building

Some time before we wandered past, an eagle had dropped out of the sky and turned to stone and was posing in front of the Chrysler Building.

Foyer of Empire State Building

As you can see, this is the foyer of the Empire State Building.  We were staying nearby so I popped in for a quick view late in the evening.  What I didn’t appreciate was the unusual absence of people.  We often observed huge queues here, snaking out and around the building.

20 October 2011.

9 comments on “Wandering in Manhattan

  1. […] Wandering in Manhattan […]

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  2. I’ve always been a little suspicious of the therm “The Empire State.” Which empire are we talking about?
    Interesting report.

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      • Murray Foote says:

        Well, the Americans do have a curious fascination with royalty and they do have an Empire. At the Empire State Building’s creation in 1931 there was the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Eastern Samoa, the Panama Canal and surrounding area, Guam, Nicaragua, Haiti, Marshall Islands, Palau, and they’d just left the Dominican Republic while Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California were conquered from Mexico and Hawaii was annexed without the consent of the population. And not to mention the indigenous population.

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      • 1931. Very good point, Murray. Not too different today, really…

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      • Murray Foote says:

        Well no, except that they had 50% of world gross national income in 1950 and now have about 18%, so their imperial capacity has greatly diminished. They still have 50% of world military expenditure but that’s also one of the main reasons for their relative decline.

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  3. Good points (above) well made Murray, could not agree more really. Delighted to find your wonderful blog, love your photography and the whole sensibility really (the lighthouse pictures I’ve seen so far are brilliant) I’m following now and looking forward to seeing more in future. Regards and great respects from Dublin- Arran.

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    • Murray Foote says:

      Thanks very much indeed Arran. Actually, I’m expecting to be posting a series of lighthouse images in a couple of months, images taken in 1987, mainly 5×4. I scanned them years ago but never processed many. It will be time-consuming because there’s a lot of dust on the scans but computers and software have improved markedly and so have my processing skills. Regards from Canberra.

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