Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October, 2012

The Proverbial Calm: New York Awaits a Storm Named Sandy

With a large and rather unfathomable storm spinning off the coastline and headed our way, New York seemed to operate in parallel universes today. While visitors lined up to see the city attractions, many New Yorkers spent the day at crowded grocery and liquor stores to stock up on emergency supplies.

The early afternoon seemed like almost any Sunday afternoon in the city, although many who were out and about were aware of the official announcements. People chatted about the parks closing at 5 p.m. and the subways and buses curtailing service beginning at 7 p.m. By mid-afternoon, the city started looking a little lonely, as New Yorkers headed for their lofts, townhouses, temporary shelters, studios, brownstones, highrise apartments, or wherever else they considered home. And they would be there for awhile.




Prospect Park: Walking Into Autumn

Prospect Park, the resplendent landscaped oasis in the heart of Brooklyn, makes a fine destination for a long walk, especially during the fall season. Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux designed the park on top of a deep glacier, echoing similar features of their Central Park. Here we have The Long Meadow to the north and west, the southern Lake, and the thickly-wooded Ravine, the latter as deliberately confusing as Central Park's Ramble. Prospect Park provides plentiful opportunities to disconnect from civilization, at least for a little bit, and become blissfully lost.



Prospect Park opened officially to the public on October 19, 1867. The park is home to 30,000 trees, many of them over two hundred years old. Contemporary visitors to the park would see the same trees as those who initially wandered through here during the days of its autumn opening, just two years after the end of the Civil War.



A good place to begin and end a walk would be the Audubon Center at the Boathouse

The Panoramic City: Sweeping Views of New York with the iPhone 5

The panorama plays a special role in the history of photography, as the practice of capturing exceptionally wide-angle images of the city dates to the earliest days of the medium.


In the mid-19th century, marvelous images of cityscapes and natural landscapes were made by placing daguerreotypes side by side, and they were a wonder to behold. Subsequent photo processes involved taking sequential exposures of the scenes and then printing them from wet-plate glass negatives. Panoramas become so popular that in the late 19th century manufacturers began producing special cameras specifically for the effect. In the early 20th century, Kodak mass-produced panoramic cameras for the consumer.* Their popularity continues with digital photography.



New York City, with its sweeping broad views of harbor, rivers, and skyline, lends itself well to panoramas. The NYPL Digital Gallery and the Library of Congress (see the LOC's Panoramic Photograph Collection), among others, include several examples…