55th Street; 7:34 a.m.

I like the way the morning light hits the façade of that building in the foreground. [It’s more dramatic in person. I’m disappointed with this shot.] It only lasts a minute or two. And how about that Chippendale dresser top on the crown of the Sony building? Petty fancy.



Fun line art on a Times Square subway stanchion.

If you resist the urge to read the name and just look at it in conjunction with the reflection, it makes an interesting glyph. Two hour glasses. An infinity symbol. An end tag.



The girlies admiring Pollock’s One: Number 31.

*     *     *

Anaïs Nin called New York “an ugly prison.”

I don’t know. I just don’t see it.

17 thoughts on “55th Street; 7:34 a.m.

  1. AK: Thanks, pal. Do you get into town often? It’s a short trip across the Hudson.Kono: I wish I knew what it looked like through their eyes. Their minds have not yet been corrupted by years of overexposure to order and rules. Especially the 5-year old.

  2. Did I mention that I was in New York, last year? November? I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the city. I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it. I found it overwhelming. Times Square especially. But this doesn’t mean that I won’t be back. I still NEED to check out a Broadway show! Also loved Coney Island. Unfortunately it was closed for the year, when I arrived.

  3. Sid: This place isn’t for everybody, that’s for sure. If you come here and are overwhelmed, that means you are “normal.” Thinking you can live here indefinitely indicates some psychological damage, which I apparently have.SF: Sounds like a hell of a position but the commute would be murder.

  4. daisy: Pish. I can’t picture you overwhelmed by anything. Especially this old broken down town.Pat: Those girls better grow to appreciate how fortunate they are to live so close to stuff like this. They’re too young to know it right now.

  5. it took me until i was about 34 to visit Chicago. As an architect, I was thrilled to visit the city that was the birth of the skyscraper and the elevator, the proving ground for Frank Lloyd Wright, etc. And as much as I loved it, I was kind of underwhelmed. Its TINY! And then I realized that all of my comparisons will be based on growing up in the shadow of NYC. I suppose its not fair to most other metropolises [although, I bet Tokyo (for its density and verticality) and places like Sao Paolo and Mexico City (for their shear scale of the whole thing)] but this will always be my touchstone for all urban experience. I couldn’t handle the intensity long term (hence a residence in Raleigh), but it will always be affectionately referred to as “The City”….AND…(you dangled it in front of me, i supposed you wanted me to nibble)…the Chippendale Top building was built as the Manhattan Executive Offices for AT&T back in the day. Philip Johnson was the architect. Philip was the godfather of the architectural social elite in NY. Philip’s street cred goes way back: He mounted the first shown on Architectural Modernism at MOMA in 1932, is given some credit along with Mies Van Der Rohe for the Seagram Building on Park Avenue, out did Mies’ glass box with his house in New Canaan (now open to the public) and then proceeded to hip hopped styles whenever he was moved to do so. A barbed tongue, independently wealthy, smart but somewhat of an architectural hack, he’ll never be one of the architectural titans for the buildings he created, but more so for the fact that his life time spans almost the entire 20th C. and he was the embodiment of all the provocative changes that occurred in architecture during that period…..hogged the boards again….sorry fella….

  6. I’ve only been to New York once (10 years ago) and I expected fast paced aggression, and to feel slightly claustrophobic. But, actually, it felt like I’d come home. I do love the MOMA sign picture, especially the melting building to the left. Does it really look like that or have you cleverly distorted it?

  7. That’s why I’d need to stay in NYC a while until I could grasp the sheer volume of the place (or just take lots of drugs and let it overwhelm me 🙂 ). It’s often the fine details that become interesting in a city though, not the scale of it.

  8. Jon: I always enjoy your mini-lessons. Never dull! I remember that being the AT&T building. At one time, the opening cast montage of Saturday Night Live featured a giant Martin Short picking up a phone off the top of that building. The receiver was resting in the cutout. Eryl: No photoshop trickery was used in the making of that picture (aside from cropping). That’s exactly what it looks like. looby: I’d love to spend an extended amount of time in London for the very same reason. It takes a resident to pick up on all the nuances.

  9. Not wanting to rain on the I ❤ NY parade here, but I was born at Lennox Hill Hospital, lived in and around NY for 19 years, excepting a side trip for 5 years to Rome (but we came back for holidays) and such, and I could not wait to leave. When we moved back in '98 for 8 years it felt like punishment. So, I am really glad that there are those of you who love it, and cherish it, so that I don't have to.Now, if I could only figure out a way to move back to Rome….

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