NYC in 1 Day – From the Eyes of an Architectural Photographer

I had never been to NYC.  I did not particularly hanker to.  Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, the Big Apple had no appeal to me.  I left the Pacific Northwest to settle on Oahu, and embraced the laid back lifestyle of Hawaii.

I become an architectural photographer, and traveling and photographing buildings in various  cities become work.  Never NYC though.

My daughter was invited to participate in a Broadway program over summer, and my wife insisted we go to NYC as a family.

I had every intention of not particularly liking the place.  I tried to plan a work/play trip to another locale, but that did not fly with the family.

NYC – First Impressions

It was as crowded as we expected.  The first day, we waited patiently for the crosswalk as New Yorker’s rushed by.  A kindly resident quickly told us there were no jay walking penalties in the city, and we got the hang of rushing with the flow.

The food drew us in first.   Food of all ethnicities.  Authentic.  We pleasantly found NYC not as expensive as we had anticipated.  Living in Hawaii had inured us to a higher cost of living.

It was peak summer, and the NYC was as busy as we had imagined.  The city was rather fragrant.  The pong of street-side garbage awaiting collection in the summer heat,  the body odor of sweltering humanity with limited personal space, the sickly sweet aroma of pot in unexpected places.

We did the usual touristy things.  The Met, Guggenheim, Central Park, etc. 

The Photos

I took all these on the one day I had a proper camera vs a cell phone.  On that day, we visited the Empire State Building.  We spent an afternoon in Central Park and then took a 90 minute Twilight Cruise on the waterways.

I used my battered and trusty Mark 3, with an all around lens.  I was truly enjoying the sites, and the photography was very much as a tourist and not a pro.

I did not have a tripod, and did not swap any lenses.  I am rather pleased with what my camera captured in the one day of sightseeing.

Alas, my battery pack died on the river cruise, so I was not able to get any night photos from the harbor.

Myths Busted

  • New Yorker’s are rude.  Not so, they are just busy.  They have places to go and tune tourists out.
  • The subway sucks.  Yes.  It is hot/smelly/busy in summer.  And winter.
  • The NY cabbies are rude.  True. 
  • The food is amazing.

The Upside

We ended up enjoying our stay in NYC immensely.  I enjoyed the energy, diversity, history, food, culture, noise, smells – all of it.  I have been back twice in six months, albeit for work.

Live there?  NEVER!