Jessica Tallman Photography | New York City, Part I

New York City, Part I

April 06, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Last August my mom and I went on a quick trip to New York City.  Neither of us had been before, which is reason enough to go, but what made it even more special was that it was the realization of one of my mom's bucket list items: a Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden!  Now that I have some time on my hands to dive deeper into photography, I thought there could be no better photo album to practice my editing skills on than this one.

Peace, love, and liberty from NYCNothing like a 10-foot-tall statue of Lady Liberty flashing a peace sign in Times Square to make you feel like you've arrived in NYC.

We arrived in NYC first thing in the morning after a red-eye flight from Sacramento.  I was prepared for the jet-lag, but not for the stifling humidity!  The first day was the worst, and I couldn't WAIT to hit the showers after a day of touching shoulder-to-sticky-shoulder with the swirling mass of humanity that makes up this amazing metropolis.  While Mom caught up on her zzzz's, I ventured out into the city.  With new camera in hand, I eagerly hit the streets and caught one of my favorite images of the trip, a roasted nut vendor crossing a busy street with his serving cart, humidity-driven sweat beading on his brow.

NYC is NUTZThe Big Apple, in a nutshell - literally!

I had never been anywhere before where there were buildings as tall, and as tightly packed together, as NYC.  I am used to seeing the horizon, at least at some point in the day, but for meany people living in New York the horizon is one building, and then another.  If you can't look out, you must look up, which is what I did at the Ernst & Young building on my way to Times Square.

City SkywayAlthough the views looking down from the Empire State Building are pretty sweet, the views from the bottom-up aren't too shabby, either.

Times Square is the ultimate sensory assault.  If you've been there, you'll know what I mean.  And if you haven't, then these pictures should give you a good idea.

Fashion In MotionThe amount of color, texture, detail, and activity in just one square meter of NYC is mind-blowing - and often makes for some interesting tableaus.

I just loved the people watching in Times Square.  There was always someone doing something or wearing something interesting, and just as many people taking pictures, so there was an endless supply of willing subjects to practice street photography on.  Below is a sweet one of a young girl on vacation, petting a police horse.  The police presence in NYC is very noticeable, as you would expect for a city this big and dense, but they are also very friendly.  I especially love the mounted police because the interaction between the public and the horses encourages conversation between the public and the police.  They have a hard job, so it's nice to get a positive gig like this to reconnect with everyday citizens.

Mom, can I have one?The quality of light in this picture really surprised me, for an overcast day in the shade. The look of wonder on her face is priceless.

Ah, the ubiquitous selfie stick.  It seemed like everyone in Times Square had one.  But really, what better way to include yourself in your travel pictures?

Just a little more to the left...A man taking a picture of himself with Times Square in the background.

When you grow up with a backyard, a front yard, or property that extends beyond the four walls of your home, you forget that people who live in big cities don't have that.  So where do they go to relax outside, take in fresh air, and interact with other people?  Outdoor esplanades such as this one outside of the flagship Macy's store, which pop up during the warmer months.  

Takin' it easyI liked how this man was gazing upwards, deep in thought but also deeply relaxed on this hot, muggy day in New York City.

After checking out Times Square, it was time to rouse Mom up for a trip to the Empire State Building, which was located conveniently around the block from our apartment. 

I will never forget when I first caught sight of the Empire State Building from the street.  I rounded a corner, and there it was, a masterpiece in Art Deco!  Every night the top floors and observation deck are lit with colorful lights that change depending on the season.  One night they were a red, white, and blue beacon guiding me home after an evening run.  Spectacular.

Deco for daysThe Empire State Building is Art Deco architecture at its finest.

My mom and I getting windswept on the Empire State Building's observation deck.  Ladies, watch your skirts - it's breezy up there!

What a view!Not us - the cityscape, silly! But we are certainly flattered. ;-)

Even with the limitless views looking OUT from the observation deck, I still couldn't help but continue to look UP.  With its geometrically intense design and flat, steel-gray color, the top of the Empire State Building looks like something off of the Death Star.

The Empire Strikes BackFrom this perspective, it looks like NYC has its own Death Star, lunar rocket, space capsule, interplanetary laser...etc, etc. Cosmic.

And yes, when you DO look OUT, the view is positively breathtaking.  From here, you can see the northern tip of Manhattan, with New Jersey across the river.  And that tall building far away, gently lit in the early evening glow?  One World Trade Center.

How all of this fits into one little photo, I will never know...NYC is a busy, bustling, densely populated city that apparently never sleeps. But from up here, it looks so small and fragile. And lovely.

That's it for this installment.  Part II follows Mom and I as we journey to St. Patrick's Cathedral, take a Manhattan Island boat trip, hit a play on Broadway, and see the incomparable Billy Joel perform at Madison Square Garden!  And I may shove our epic trip to Central Park in there if I have the time.  Or a New York minute.





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