The view from my window changed dramatically this week when I found myself in New York City for a few days. I only had 36 hours notice before travelling so it was a case of making a quick decision to accompany himself (going for work) packing a bag and jumping on a 777 bound for JFK.
The view from my window in NY turned out to be Downtown with the Freedom Tower as the centre piece. Every morning I watched the sun rise in the east over the Brooklyn Bridge and then in the evening set behind the golden baubles of the skyscrapers near Madison Square Garden. The light plays on the towers and the glass and steel of everything, and you couldn’t help but hear soaring and romantic Gershwin music in your head at the beauty of these changes.
When I came here on my J1 student visa in 1979, I lived under the shadow of the World Trade Centre on Greenwich Street. I love to tell tales of us Irish girls taking turns to sleep in the actual beds in our apartment (or be like sardines in a can on the floor) and drinking cocktails in a sleazy little bar downstairs. I had three jobs, learned to chew gum and cut my long hair into a punk hairstyle. Great days!
All week the Freedom Tower was calling, and so eventually we went down there and took the 60 second lift to the viewing area at the top. I had often gone to the top of the World Trade Centre in the old days, but since then I have developed a total reluctance for heights. From a safe distance and without looking straight down at any point, I followed the layout of the city around the top of the tower, viewing the city from every angle.
It’s not mentioned anywhere up there, what happened, but it must be on everyone’s mind. They talk a lot about how strong the new building is, the strongest building in the world. And it feels sad as if the whole project is standing not only on the bedrock of the Manhattan black granite but also on the memory of so many who died here.
As always NY feels like a date with the future as well as a blast from the past. The people I meet, are keen to talk about Trump and Hilary, the economy, their passion for the city, about visiting Ireland. And as always it feels like a kind of a home from home, like the next village, an alternative Ireland where we thrive and pine all at the same time. And wasn’t I just saying that it would be great to go there? And wasn’t it just amazing to find myself there so suddenly this week…..? And isn’t life full of surprises…..
The skyline is unmistakable – beautiful and somewhat repellent all at once. All that concrete and so little sky – but, oh, the bustle and excitement of a real city. It’s been years since I was in NYC and I’d love to have a re-visit.
O I think I agree! “A terrible beauty is born” and there is a price to be paid……but yet there is a kind of romance to it all and in small doses it is captivating. I hope you get back there and get to visit your old haunts too!!
Fabulous pictures. I never saw the Freedom Tower finished ‘in real life’. I was in NYC with the enormous building plan, Ground Zero, where once the Twin Towers were. In 1976 I was on top of one of the towers…. Now I see the skyline and I love it.
Life is full of surprises and grab the moment, it can be over in a split second. Yes NYC is home away from home. I love the city, I have been there a few times and it is always alive.
Thanks for sharing these fabulous pictures and I am so glad you could make the trip.
I like that Astrid….grab the moment……I notice more and more how I love to do that. It is such a change for me to be around a big city for a few days and I soak it up and store it like fuel for my days in the meadow:~)
Beautiful images from my city! Thrilled you had the opportunity, but but bummed I wasn’t there! Next time!
Ah Robin, I thought of you a lot. I am going to write about how NY has been photographed to death, but how tempting it is to photograph every damn thing that moves or not…….I was like a whirling dervish until I eventually settled down!!!! Yes next time! We must get all the Vision and Verb crew there some day…..
Diane J. Reed says
I LOVED reading this! It’s fun to hear about your romp as a young adult in New York City (something I always wish I’d done at that age) and to see that your photography skills are as beautiful in a cityscape as in the Irish countryside. Have a lovely spring!
Thank you dear Diane for your upbeat words. “Romp” is such a great one! I love the idea of a 61 year old like me romping around NYC!!! Have a lovely Spring you too x
So very full of surprises! I have also acquired a dislike of heights but would do exactly as you did because, well, you’d just have to, right? So glad you got to journey to the city with your Mister.
Catherine Drea says
Yep! It has to be done. I just manage the whole process by getting in behind the camera and going into denial. I’m also getting better and better at that btw!!!
Julie Clancy says
It’s Julie. I’m 12 and I LOVE your photography! I would take pictures for my blog but my camera is not working properly at the moment, and I can’t wait to get it fully fixed. You are my role model in photography and I could hardly dare to dream that my photography and blog posts are even half as good as yours! Keep posting awesome photos and blog posts! 🙂 xxx
Julie how lovely of you to visit me here. I remember meeting you at the Commemoration? We must have so much to chat about!! Your kind words warm my heart and I hope we can both keep going for the love of it and because we are learning so much every day. I know when your camera is back in action, and you are the ripe old age of 61 like myself you will be so much better than me……and that’s for sure. x
Donna@Living From Happiness says
What a grand surprise….I am so glad you enjoyed your stay, and what memories you shared!
It’s always a treat to go to NYC. But I will go anywhere any time at the drop of a hat Donna!!! Thank you!