Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Shoot: New York City Christmas

*For optimum viewing pleasure, I recommend listening to this song while reading this post.

Long story short, I'm alone in the city for Christmas this year. Obviously, the temptation to make a slew of Home Alone 2 jokes is great, but sadly my situation is neither by accident nor am I being pursued by the Wet Bandits -- actually, since I'm in New York I should say I'm not being pursued by the Sticky bandits.

I've had the whole week off and spent it trying to win tickets to The Book of Mormon (unsuccessfully) and seeing every movie that has come out in the last month. I didn't ration my time, however, because I woke up this morning with nothing to do.

(did you notice the man with the cane? I didn't at first)

So, after some much-deserved sleeping in I headed into the city for one last try at some BOM tix (fail) and then made my way first to Grand Central station for their holiday fair and then to the 9/11 Memorial to check that spot of my bucket list.

I love Grand Central. It's an altogether modern building, with (I think) 3 Starbuckses (question, if one store is a Starbucks then what is the plural?), multiple subway lines, an Apple Store (recently constructed and not as garish as I feared it would be) and some very delicious canoli, but it also seeps nostaliga from it's pores. It's a relic of the yesteryear of railyards where life came together and moved apart from a single central location. Plus, it's completely gorgeous.

This picture didn't work out as well as I'd hoped. I could get the light/shutter speed right plus, since it's winter, everyone is wearing drab clothing which makes the blur look muddy.

I really like this picture. I've been trying to do more focus-y pictures lately. Plus I always notice when I see payphones because I wonder if kids know what they are and the black sheep just cracked me up.

This was at the World Financial Center and, admitedly, would have been better if I'd waited until nighttime. I thought about going back after the sun set but by then my hands were freezing and all I could think about was getting home and taking a hot shower. I was going to go to a church on Park Avenue for some Christmas music but I -- the Utah boy -- got freezed out. Not my proudest moment.

I wasn't going to include this picture but then I noticed that once my eyes left the One World Trade Center building on the left, it took my brain a second to figure out what I was seeing. I like when that happens.

From there it was off to the memorial. I had seen photos of the falls (built in the footprints of the two towers and holding the records for largest man-made waterfalls, at least, that's what I heard somewhere) but I really wasn't prepared for the sight. The fountains are gorgeous, brilliantly back-lit so at night the cascading silver water just vanishes into black nothing.

The names of the victims are inscribed around the edges of the pools. Intermittently you'll see where someone has found their loved one and left flowers or some other such emblem behind.

If I wasn't a journalist, I think I'd like to be an architect. I've always been fascinated by perspective (horizon lines, vanishing points and all that) and I love that way that a good architect can take that knowledge of naturally-occurring sight lines and turn it on its head.

A panoramic lens, a panoramic lens, my kingdom for a panoramic lens.

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