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TwoBridgesJune2016My interest in urbanism has recently shifted to absorbing its visual elements and textures. Working in Lower Manhattan has given me a chance to process the city’s massive urban fabric much more deeply. I use my lunch hours to explore, and I try to go slowly. Also, my S.O. lives in Battery Park City, so I’m often here in the evenings. Being in the city has led me to more photography and less writing. I’ve been able to absorb common law urbanism on a spatial, tactile level: walking the old blocks with their pavements of slate, cobblestone, and concrete; studying the varied architecture, from pitched-roof, colonial row houses to futuristic Art Deco skyscrapers; sitting on park benches in triangles and churchyards; touching the iron and stone and cement. It sometimes surprises me how much there still is to discover in this embryonic core of New York, and how the organic city still lives and exerts its patterns, in spite of all the modern forces that promote homogeneity.

Since I’ve had less to say lately, I’m going to start posting some of the pictures I’ve been taking, in place of frequent commentary. I will add links to Flickr albums with particular themes, and will backdate them to (roughly) when the pictures were taken. (I was hoping to embed entire albums directly into the LT page, but that turned out to be more time consuming than I can handle, given the amount of material I’d like to share. So, a cover photo that links to the Flickr album will have to do, for now). Hope my readers enjoy. And please do comment on the photos. : )

One last thing: if you have a Flickr or Yahoo account, please SIGN IN. Doing so will prevent you from having to occasionally click through distracting ads when navigating my albums. Thanks!

Trinity Church
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Liberty Tower
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My favorite early skyscraper in Manhattan. Beautiful!

Also, Pound & Pence, on the main floor, makes a pretty good burger.

Battery Park & Castle Clinton
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Out for a walk one evening in June, while Honey was attending a class, I wound up at Castle Clinton, near the tip of Manhattan. It is a national landmark that I had heard of, but whose claim to fame I did not know, so I read one of the NPS guides that was posted on site. Apparently, Castle Clinton was an unused military facility after the War of Independence; then a public amphitheater in the mid-19th century; an intake center for European immigrants, before Ellis Island was established; and, finally, the original NYC Aquarium. Today, it’s back to being a presentation space. That night in June, I walked into an incredibly well acted performance of Romeo and Juliet, just in time to catch the last few dramatic scenes. Afterwards, I walked back along the Hudson River.

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Two Bridges (From Below)
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Old Jewish Lower East Side
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This is a big album. Enjoy. I spent several lunch hours walking around the Lower East Side, mostly around Delancey and Houston Streets, and out East Broadway. Also took a few night photos. I will probably go back again, so check back for new photos!

A supplement to Harper’s Weekly, from May 6, 1871 — 145 years ago!

NewYorkFromABalloon1871HarpersWkly

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