Posts tagged “NYC

Tongues and Flames

Rain Drops Keep Fallin' On My Head

This was taken on a walk to the Flatiron Building. I was just getting dark and the facade lit up like fire!

The Gershwin Hotel at 7 East 27th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues in the NoMad neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City was built in 1903-05, and designed by William H. Birkmire in Beaux Arts style. The building, which has 12 stories and a penthouse, was originally intended to be an apartment building, but its function was changed before the building was completed. It was at first called the Brotzell Hotel, and later was part of the Latham Hotel. The Gershwin, named after composer George Gershwin, features contemporary artworks in its public areas, including Finnish artist Stefan Lindfors’ “Tongues and Flames” on the hotel’s facade. It is located within the Madison Square North Historic District

Tongues and Flames

The Waiting Room

Musical Chairs Anyone?

This was shot at the back of St. John’s cathedral with my camera mounted on a trusty Gorilla Pod – we didn’t want to violate any Tripod Restrictions.

On the morning of December 18, 2001, a fire swept through the unfinished north transept, destroying the gift shop and for a time threatening the sanctuary of the cathedral itself. It temporarily silenced the  Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ. Although the organ was not damaged, its pipe chambers had to be removed and laboriously cleaned, to prevent damage from the fire’s accumulated soot. The organ is currently the 38th largest every constructed.

In 2003, the cathedral was designated a landmark by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission; however, shortly thereafter, the designation was unanimously overturned by the NYC Council, some of whose members favored landmark status for the cathedral’s entire footprint, rather than just the building.

In January 2005, the Cathedral began a massive restoration, which was completed and the cathedral rededicated on Sunday, November 30, 2008.

Hello Brooklyn

This was taken on the Brooklyn Bridge of traffic leaving Manhattan with the ubiquitous Yellow Cab leading the way.

There are many Yellow Cabs operators around the world (some with common heritage, some without). The original  Yellow Cab  Company, based in Chicago, Illinois one of the largest  taxicab companies in the United States.

In 1908, Albert Rockwell, (founder and General Manager of the New Departure Manufacturing Co. of Bristol, Connecticut) traveled to Europe to evaluate their taxi systems, hoping to develop a similar one in Washington, D.C. Wyckoff, Church and Partridge’ had a number of orange-yellow colored Rockwell taxicabs operating on Manhattan streets in 1909. By March 1910, the Connecticut Cab Co. (essentially the directors of New Departure Manufacturing Co.) assumed operating control of  Wyckoff, Church and Partridge’s taxis.

The ‘Yellow Taxicab Co.’ was incorporated in New York on April 4, 1912. Its fares that year started at 50¢/mile (about $11.38 today.) Among its directors and major stockholders were Albert F. Rockwell and the Connecticut Cab Co. Shortly after incorporation the Yellow Taxicab Co. merged with the Cab and Taxi Co., and with the strength of Connecticut Cab with whom its name was interchangeably used, the young business assumed a large share of the New York market. Its independent corporate life was fairly short, however, as fare wars and restrictions forced a merger with the Mason-Seaman Transportation Co. on March 3, 1914.

The Peace Fountain

This is another look at St. John’s Cathedral in NYC.

On the grounds of the Cathedral, toward the south, are several buildings (including a Synod Hall and Cathedral School), and a  Biblical garden, as well as a large bronze work of public art by the Cathedral’s sculptor-in-residence,  Greg Wyatt, known as the Peace Fountain, which has been both strongly praised and strongly criticized.

Wyatt, who considers himself to be part of a “representational art underground” bases his work on the philosophy of “spiritual realism,” merging realistic images and abstract masses of form, space and energy.

In 1972, Wyatt was involved in an accident in his garage studio in  Yonkers, New York which he says “defined [his] career”, when he poured 150 pounds of melted bronze at 2100 degrees Fahrenheit (1148 degrees Celsius) into a home-made crucible intending to make a casting from the wax mold of the upper torso of a female model named Helaine. The resulting blast blew up the floor, sending molten bronze and pellets of Helaine flying and injuring the artist’s left arm. Wyatt has refused to sell the remains of Helaine, which he dubbed Volcanus.

Money Never Sleeps

After superb lunch at Grimaldi’s Coal Fired Pizza in Brooklyn (easily one of the best pies ever) and a stroll across The Brooklyn Bridge, we ended up on Wall Street where we encountered the usual craziness. This time a random singer and a passionate Preacher, and Police in riot gear. 

This is dedicated to the 1987 movie, Wall Street which starred Micheal Douglas, Tamara Tunie and our current bad boy, Charlie Sheen.

As you may recall, a young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing. I am still partial to this version compared to the 2010 version which just, in my opinion, had a very contrived ending.

Gateway to Millions

This is a shot of NYC’s Grand Central Station – surprisingly the No-Tripod Police were nowhere in sight.

There are two peculiarities to this ceiling: the sky is backwards, and the stars are slightly displaced. One explanation is that the constellations are backwards because the ceiling is based on a medieval manuscript that visualized the sky as it would look to God from outside the  celestial sphere. According to this explanation, since the celestial sphere is an abstraction (stars are not all at equal distances from Earth), this view does not correspond to the actual view from anywhere in the universe. The stars are displaced because the manuscript showed a (reflected) view of the sky in the  Middle Ages, and since then the stars shifted due to precession of the equinoxes. Most people, however, simply think that the image was reversed by accident.

When the embarrassed  Vanderbilt Family learned the ceiling was painted backwards, they maintained that the ceiling reflected  God’s view of the sky.

There is a small dark circle in the midst of the stars right above the image of  Pisces. In a 1957 attempt to counteract feelings of insecurity spawned by the  Soviet launch of Sputnik, Grand Central’s Main Concourse played host to an American Redstone missile. With no other way to erect the missile, the hole was cut so the rocket could be lifted into place. Historical Preservation dictated that this hole remain (as opposed to being repaired) as a testament to the many uses of the Terminal over the years.

Follow The Light

This was shot inside St. John’s Cathedral in NYC.  There are no rstrictions on Tripods here, other than to respect the Patrons who are praying. What is interesting about this shot is the camera White Balance (pls email us if you would like a short description on this White Balance thing). I had set it for Incandescent for the lights above the pews, and the result for the natural sunlight from the Rosarie is blue.  This is a three shot High Dynamic Range (HDR) image.

The building as it appears today conforms primarily to a second design campaign from the prolific Gothic Revival architect Ralph Adams Cram of the Boston firm Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson. Without slavishly copying any one historical model, and without compromising its authentic stone-on-stone construction by using modern steel girders, Saint John the Divine is a refined exercise in the 13th century High Gothic style of northern France. The Cathedral is almost exactly two football fields in length (601 feet or 186 meters) and the nave ceiling reaches 124 feet (37.7 meters) high. It is the longest Gothic nave in the world, at 230 feet. Seven chapels radiating from the ambulatory behind the choir are each in a distinctive nationalistic style, some of them borrowing from outside the gothic vocabulary. Known as the “Chapels of the Tongues” (Ansgar, Boniface, Columba, Savior, Martin, Ambrose and James), their designs are meant to represent each of the seven most prominent ethnic groups to first immigrate to New York City upon the opening of Ellis Island in 1892 (the same year the Cathedral began construction).

Flatiron Building

A Brave New World

This is another in the NYC Series shot as the sun was setting on this magnificent building. We purchased a “Gorilla Pod” from B&H Camera so as not to get in trouble with the No-Tripod Police – email us if you have any questions about this amazing contraption!

The Flatiron Building has become an icon representative of New York City, but the critical response to it at the time was not completely positive, and what praise it garnered was often for the cleverness of the engineering involved.  Montgomery Schuyler, editor of  Architectural Record said that its “awkwardness [is] entirely undisguised, and without even an attempt to disguise them, if they have not even been aggravated by the treatment. … The treatment of the tip is an additional and it seems wanton aggravation of the inherent awkwardness of the situation.” He praised the surface of the building, and the detailing of the terra-cotta work, but criticized the practicality of the large number of windows in the building: “[The tenant] can, perhaps, find wall space within for one roll top desk without overlapping the windows, with light close in front of him and close behind him and close on one side of him. But suppose he needed a bookcase? Undoubtedly he has a highly eligible place from which to view processions. But for the transaction of business?”

But some saw the building differently. Futurist  H.G. Wells wrote in his 1906 book The Future in America: A Search After Realities:

“I found myself agape, admiring a sky-scraper the prow of the Flat-iron Building, to be particular, ploughing up through the traffic of Broadway and Fifth Avenue in the afternoon light.”

Original Batman

Robin, To The Batmobile

The Original Batman gaurding Gotham City? This was shot in St John The Devine  Catherdral in NYC. Just an amazing place – reminded us of Rome!

In 1887 Bishop  Henry Codman Potter of the Episcopal Diocese of NY called for a cathedral to rival St. Patrick’s Cathedral in  Manhattan.  A 11.5-acre property, on which the Leake and Watts Orphan Asylum had stood, was purchased by deed for the cathedral in 1891. After an open competition, a design by the New York firm ofGeorge Lewis Heins and C. Grant LaFarge in a Brzantine-Romanesque style was accepted the next year.

Construction on the cathedral was begun with the laying of the cornerstone on December 27, 1892, St John’s Day when Bishop Henry Potter hit the stone three times with a mallet and said “Other foundation can no man lay, than that is laid which is Jesus Christ.”. The foundations were completed at enormous expense, largely because bedrock was not struck until the excavation had reached 72 feet (22 m).  The first services were held in the crypt, under the crossing in 1899. The Ardolino brothers from Torre di Nocelli, Italy, did much of the stone carving work on the statues designed by the English sculptor John Angel. After the large central dome made of Guastavio tile was completed in 1909, the original  design was changed to a Gothic design.] Increasing friction after the premature death of Heins in 1907 ultimately led the Trustees to dismiss the surviving architect, Christopher Grant LaFarge, and hire the noted Gothic Revival architect Ralph Adams Cram to design the nave and “Gothicize” what LaFarge had already built.

Hey, Yo! TAXI!

You Talkin' To Me?

This is the first of a Series from The Big Apple. Shot from a busy Time’s Square, zooming Taxis, the lights, the energy is something that just has to be experienced first hand.

Formerly named Longacre Square, Times Square was renamed in April 1904 after The New York Times moved its headquarters to the newly erected Times Building, which is now called  One Times Square and is the site of the annual  Ball Drop on New Years Eve. Times Square, nicknamed “The Crossroads of the World” and “The Great White Way,” has achieved the status of an iconic world landmark and is a symbol of New York City and the United States.