120 Hours in New York City

At the end of February I attended a five day trip to New York with my college. It wasn’t my first time, (having visited the city in the summer of 2016), however I couldn’t help but return. It honestly lives up to every cliché you’ve ever heard about the ‘Big Apple’. There is a constant energy and flurry of movement, which on a trip with 70 other students becomes a bit of a stress, as we were permanently and unavoidably in the way. You get the impression that every person you pass on the street is leading an incredibly exciting and productive life, just because they’re bustling past you with a contorted look of annoyance on their face. The reputation for New Yorkers being rude I find is a little unfair, I’d be pissed off too, if every time I made my way to work I was stopped in my tracks by a group of tourists.

The extreme height of the buildings and eternal noise and light almost feels alien, especially for someone who spent their childhood in the rural countryside of Dorset. The scale of the city makes you feel extremely small, something I find strangely quite reassuring. It’s extremely photogenic, making it a dream for any keen photographer, which seems to be every millennial with an Instagram account. However the rich and diverse culture makes it a city like no other. With the still very early months into Trump’s presidency, it was strange to be in a concentrated hub of acceptance, (NYC majorly voted Democrat and is know for it’s liberal views). It felt almost like we were being spared of seeing the injustice in the rest of the US, creating a false sense of “Who on earth voted for Trump?” The very same question I asked when the Brexit polls came in, having been surrounded by those who preached the same views as my own. Our group very awkwardly walked past Trump Tower, outside of which had four of the most heavily armed men I had ever seen, standing stoically behind barriers. They seemed slightly threatening, holding barbaric weapons, but perhaps it just seemed that way to a Brit, as we are used to much tighter gun laws. I couldn’t help but wonder what the security’s personal views on the election were. Apart from that brief moment, there was little evidence of Trump, we had (to my disappointment) missed the protests which were a few weeks earlier. I was looking forward to showing my support for minorities in America, however the streets seemed fairly quiet, with no signs of the huge protests from earlier in the month.

The trip was excellently organised, as we were able to see all of the key sights, such as the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, the MOMA, the MET and even a broadway show amongst other things. Our tour guide was an eccentric old man called Dick, who had the most energy out of all of us. He was proclaimed ‘Mr New York City’ by our tutor, a title he definitely lived up to. He spent his time singing on the subway and educating us on how to hold a slice of pizza. His confidence and happiness was contagious, and I doubt any tour guide could live up to his legacy!

Seeing New York for the second time cemented my love for the city and the very unrealistic idea that I might be lucky enough to live their for a short period in the future. As soon as it came to an end I was wondering when my next opportunity would be to visit this amazing city for the third time, however due to a lack of money I doubt it will be for a while. Until then however I’ll be eternally scrolling through the stream of photos I took whilst there. Here are some of my favourites from my 120 hours in New York City, enjoy!

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I was pleased to capture this view of the iconic American flag, contrasting with the vividly blue sky above.

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The reflections of the sky in the glass buildings creates the illusion of a bigger space between the huge skyscrapers.

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St Patricks Cathedral

The intricate St Patricks Cathedral looks extremely odd nestled amongst the minimal and modern architecture of New York City skyscrapers.

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West 4th street courts in Manhattan

I was extremely happy with this shot I captured of New Yorkers playing handball in the West 4th street courts. I was lucky that I captured them as they were both facing towards me, appearing as if they are walking towards the photographer.

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Minetta Garage, 122 West 3rd Street, New York

This is another photograph where timing was on my side. I saw the cyclist approaching and took the shot, managing to get the street seller in the background also, brandishing an american flag. I also love the white typography of the Minetta Garage at the top.

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Girl sits on the steps of a beautiful brick house, laughing as her friends film her from across the street. I realise I probably put a bit too much grain on this photo.

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Skyscraper disappears into the clouds, demonstrating the frightening height of the buildings.

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Fumes escape upwards between the skyscrapers. Something about this photograph makes me feel it could have been taken 60 years ago.

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Liberty Island

I’m not going to lie, it took me a long time to wait for this shot, however it was worth the wait for the perfect positioning of the seagull next to the Statue of Liberty.

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The view from the Liberty Island ferry

I was very lucky that this seagull loved flying right next to the ferry, allowing me to get the bird in focus, cruising above New York City.

I hope you have enjoyed looking through some of my favourite shots! Where would you go if you had 120 hours in New York City?

All photographs used in this post are my own and I am the legal copyright owner of this material.

 

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