Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Trip - New York City Pictures

Riding around New York on the top of a double-decker bus, you look up most of the time. And that's where my camera wanted to point. A couple times, I saw other people on the bus try to take a picture then give up, because their cameras couldn't get the picture they wanted. Their troubles made me glad I ended up with a lens that goes down to 18mm, instead of the 28mm that I had planned to get.

Here are some of the views upward:

This is one of my favorite buildings, the Chrysler Building. Notice the replicas of hood ornaments sticking out from the sides of the building. I didn't get any good shots of the building from a distance, though.

And this one surprised me after the fact with the way the clouds reflected on the sides of the building.

Our first stop, where we left Dominic to continue the tour without us, was at Ground Zero. They have a tent-cover over a four-sided presumably temporary monument. Behind the fence, construction has started on the future memorial and buildings that will go in the place of the Twin Towers.

Next door, in St. Paul's Chapel, is a memorial for the firefighters and other victims of the attacks on 9/11. This is just one tiny corner.

Our second stop, after Ground Zero, was at Battery Park, where we caught the ferry for Liberty Island and Ellis Island. After 9/11, they moved this piece of artwork to Battery Park. It had stood at the World Trade Center, and was damaged by debris during the collapse of the towers. In front of it is an eternal flame.

No trip to New York is complete without a good view of the great Lady Liberty. I noticed, as we rounded the back of the island, that her right foot is behind her, as though she just took a step forward with her left. It seems the Lady is walking forward, leading the way to liberty.

About the time we were at Battery Park waiting for the ferry, the wind kicked up. A couple of the workers were talking about when the rainstorm would hit. One estimated the rain's arrival between 1:00 and 2:00. The other said he heard on the weather report that rain was due around 5:00. Considering we were about to catch the 12:30 ferry, I told them that I liked the 5:00 guy's guess better. They both agreed that the rain was coming much faster than that.

They were both wrong. It didn't come until late evening. But the wind kept blowing all afternoon. This lady's hair and blouse reveal the weather perfectly. Notice her reflection in the window showing the way her pants are being blown against her shins. It was very invigorating in the afternoon.

At Rockefeller Center they've turned on the ice skating for the winter, even though the temperatures have been in the high 70's. Skating in T-shirts... That's the way to live.

Finally, this building has the most ornate exterior. The decorations you see continue all the way up and all the way around. Dominic called it the "Salamander and Crown" motif beneath the windows. But I must nit-pick (I kept my mouth shut on the tour). The fire-breathing salamander was the symbol of France's King François I. He believed a salamander, who lived in water, would never have his flame extinguished (salamanders do not breathe fire, by the way). He had his symbol carved into all the buildings he built or renovated. This Wikipedia article about the Château de Chambord has a picture of François I's salamander (scroll down to "History"). 'Nuff said.

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