New York City
Growing up in Queens, a borough of New York City, I was surrounded by a general attitude of contempt and disgust regarding anything tourist related. My father who worked nights as a newspaper pressman in Manhattan hated going into Manhattan for anything other than work (his job was back-breaking) and my mother echoed the same jaded sentiment towards ‘touristy things’ in Manhattan as her other outer-borough friends. The ‘city’ (as many people still call it) was something to be proud to live in very close proximity to but anything too popular in the ‘city’ was the subject of eye-rolls.
I grew up mimicking this sentiment; a sort of ‘been there, done that’ mentality. We would only ever go to things like Times Square and the Empire State Building when relatives or friends visited and there was a silent stoicism related to showing ‘the sights’ to ‘out-of-towners’. I always found this amusing. These sights that were derided as nothing more than trite spectacles were the same sights that my parents deemed worthy to spend time taking people to when people came to visit us.
When I moved to Manhattan a decade ago, I carried this attitude with me. It wasn’t until I started taking photos that I fully opened my eyes (so to speak). Granted, I had always found beauty in the things many people passed over; architectural details on tops of buildings, the way that sunlight hit buildings at different times of the day. However, when I finally discarded the jadedness that permeated my early years I started realizing how utterly phenomenal and fascinating all those ‘touristy’ things are.
It may have taken me many years to fully grasp why people come from all over the world to gaze lovingly at sights and architectural marvels like the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building but now that I know it’s hard not to gaze at these sights with anything but wonder. There is so much to be in awe of in this spectacular city.
This is an early morning view from the top of the Empire State Building looking out over the huge variety of skyscrapers that populate the skyline of midtown Manhattan.
Central Park stretches out in the distance with the MetLife Building and Chrysler Building to the right in this image and Bryant Park and Rockefeller Center towards the left and center. The Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge (also known as the 59th Street Bridge) is to the right of the Chrysler Building in this view and Queens can be seen to the right of the bridge disappearing into the haze.
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