Travel Photography in New York City
My Amtrak vacation continued in New York City. After visiting DC, and after loving my first day in New York City, the next day began with a clear sky and a brisk chill in the air. The first stop, for the second day of my travel photography adventure in New York City, was to be Roosevelt Island.
I took the the F train from Queens into the belly of Roosevelt Island. Roosevelt Island is a narrow island that sits in the East River between Manhattan and Queens. I enjoy just walking around the island. The island is always a nice change of pace from the city. It is about two miles tip to tip. The views are pleasant and if you can get here in the Spring, there are many cherry trees in bloom.
The “NYC experience” on the island is pleasant, one can take in the skyline of Manhattan across the East River and go about it at an easy pace. The views are strikingly NYC, yet detached from the claustrophobia one feels on sidewalks in Times Square or many other spots in Manhattan. Also, the traffic on Roosevelt Island is limited, which grants visitors a break from the noise and exhaust fumes of the rest of the city.
After grabbing a venti macchiato at the island’s Starbucks I hopped on the Roosevelt Island Tram for a few trips to get some pics from the gondola over the river and high above 59th Street.
I usually get a MetroCard whenever I visit NYC and the Roosevelt Island tram is well worth the $30. If you can ride this near the sunrise or sunset, you can get some great light pouring over the skyline, the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, and the East River. I was lucky enough this particular morning to get the sun rising behind me and the moon setting in front of me. I got on the tram just in time to catch the moon before it disappeared behind the skyline.
After several trips back and forth over the East river, I headed uptown to the Upper East Side via 2nd Ave. I usually try to head down this way so I end up walking down hill towards Central Park.
I think this picture sums up how I perceive the the area. The Upper East Side is filled with well dressed beautiful people rushing to either get somewhere or get some thing. I always feel out of place running around in a ball cap, jeans, and a tattered messenger bag loaded with camera stuff. It is just another part of the city and you have to keep a space in your heart for all of its pieces. Plus, all of the good museums are there, so you will learn to love it.
I headed down to the Met. Unfortunately my second day in NYC was a Monday and on Mondays the Met is closed. I just settled down for a few minutes in the wind tunnel that the steps up to the front of the Met usually is. The drone of the fountains and the aroma of the hot dog stands still make it worth the experience when the museum is closed.
I headed south from the museum and stopped by the Apple store to see what all the commotion was buzzing around the area. There was a breast cancer awareness popup out in front of the Apple Store and FAO Schwarz. I was going to stick around to see if any celebrities would pop up, but I was starting to get hungry. I decided to head down to Chinatown.
NYC is so diverse and that the subway adventure from the Upper East Side to Chinatown sort of feels like you walked into a magic portal under the sidewalk and “POOF,” you arrive thousands of miles away. The culture shock from a 10 minute trip can be very eye opening. The colors change from the cool modern palette of the Apple store to the warm rich yellows and oranges of Chinatown.
After spending some time in Chinatown ending up with a full belly, I decided to head back to the hotel for a little editing before I went out to dinner with an old friend for some Korean food.
The sun was high in the sky and light was beginning to get harsh. So I headed back to the Roosevelt Island tram to grab the train back to the hotel in Queens. I rested up and met a friend around 7:00. We had a wonderful conversation and some equally wonderful bulgogi. We parted ways and I really wanted to head back to the city for some night shots of the madness that is Times Square.
The sun was already setting and it was already pretty dark when I emerged from the depths of the Times Square – 42nd Street Station. I was greeted by the skinny, tanned, bikini clad person I would refer to as Bikini Man for the remainder of my trip. That, my friends, is the epitome of Times Square as the sun fell over the Hudson.
So many sights to see, but I knew I had a full day tomorrow before I needed to catch the Northeast Regional Amtrak for Boston. I decided to call it a night and head back to the hotel. I knew the next day would offer more challenges and adventures. The forecast was for rain off and on. I also had my ticket to go to the 9/11 Memorial; I needed to rest up.
In case you wanted to catch up on the first few days the links are below.