Fragments - Overlooking Two Bridges - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa There are areas in lower Manhattan where fragments of the city's history have settled like fine dust, fragile and prone to the whims of time. Around these hallowed enclaves, newer history reaches higher towards the sky and rises from the ground borne from the dust of the city's past. This particular spot is known as Two Bridges and sits along the East River. It borders Chinatown and the Lower East Side and has long been a dwelling spot for many different immigrant communities over the years. It sits alongside the infamous and historic Five Points area where Irish, Jewish and Italian gangs battled to the death in the mid-19th century. It is currently home to a large community of Chinese immigrants and many of the buildings are tenements dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. ---
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Transience - Washington Square Fountain on a Summer Night- By Vivienne Gucwa The inherent romance that pulses through the city at night grows stronger in the summer. Lamp posts and surfaces weary from the noonday sun glisten in the moonlight while night breezes carry the whispers of lovers along slowly and deliberately. ---
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Perspective - The Empire State Building and the New York City Skyline- By Vivienne Gucwa The Empire State Building was designed (from the top down) by William F. Lamb from the architectural firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, which produced the building drawings in just two weeks, using earlier designs as a basis. The building was officially opened on May 1, 1931 in dramatic fashion, when United States President Herbert Hoover turned on the building’s lights with the push of a button from Washington, D.C. It was the first building to have more than 100 floors. ---
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Dusk - City Hall Park Fountain - NYC- By Vivienne Gucwa Buildings that pepper the lower Manhattan skyline surround City Hall Park fountain at dusk. ---
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On Rainy Evenings Like These - Chinatown - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa There is nothing like a rainy evening in New York City. The streets, darkened by the rainfall take on a beautiful sheen while walls and storefronts glisten. Couples huddle under shared umbrellas and inviting scents of dinner fill the streets. ---
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New York City - Staple Street Skybridge
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Vesuvio Bakery - Soho - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa This beautiful storefront is around 100 years old and while the original bakery no longer owns the space, the current owners have opted to maintain the old historic storefront since it is such a vital part of the landscape of the neighborhood it sits in, Soho, New York City. ---
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Oxidation - Domino Sugar Factory - New York City
- By Vivienne Gucwa
There is something remarkably touching about urban decay. It is as if sorrow and longing can be traced in the peeling layers and crumbling brick. In warm sunlight, the rich colors created by iron oxidation produce the most beautiful textures on old pipes and metal framework. The memory of those who graced the intricate insides of these structures is delicately preserved by the faded remnants that remain.
During the period following the Civil War, New York was the top provider of refined sugar to the United States, and for a period of time the Domino Sugar factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn was the largest sugar refinery in the world. At one time, the factory employed over 4,000 workers and processed 3 million pounds of sugar a day.
After nearly 150 years of service, the factory shut down in 2004 due to a decline in demand. There is a new plan for this space to make it a residential space which is being actively protested by groups like the Waterfront Preservation Alliance and the Landmarks Conservancy who believe that huge development in this space would destroy the history and architectural legacy of the sugar factory. I am inclined to agree with their assessment.
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New York Autumn - Central Park - Trees and Fall Foliage
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Winter - Soho - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa Streets, trees and buildings in a neighborhood of New York City called Soho covered in snow at the peak of winter.
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Reverie-wayfarers - East Village - New York CityAt night when the city pauses, street lights flicker; electrical synapses trigger dream sputters and whirring blinks of sleepy eyes open and shut in the darkness. Traversing this elaborate noir dreamscape, reverie-wayfarers pause; stop-motion refugees lit only by the cool blinks of neon signs. In these solitary single frames, night’s blackness vignettes these stolen illuminated interludes cradling them in its steady embrace. ---
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Central Park Winter - Poet's Walk - New York City
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The Infinite Sprawl - The Empire State Building and the New York City Skyline- By Vivienne Gucwa On a hazy day, New York City stretches on indefinitely: infinity sprawling out like a somnolent feline. Clouds cast a bone-white hue on the tops of skyscrapers that jut out of the landscape: their axis-mundi-aspirations propelling them skyward. The day languidly yawns, its heavy eyelids blurring the horizon. --- Despite growing up in New York City, I hadn’t been to the tops of any of the iconic skyscrapers with observation decks since I was very, very little. The Top of the Rock is an observation deck on the top of Rockefeller Center. It closed in 1986 for renovations and reopened in 2005. When I was younger, I went on a few school trips to Rockefeller Center to go on the NBC Studios tour which was a lot of fun but since it was the late 80s and early 90s, the top was closed to visitors. In recent years, I decided to finally visit the Top of the Rock. The Top of the Rock is the top of what is also known as the GE Building. It’s an Art Deco skyscraper that is in the center of Rockefeller Center. The GE Building used to be known as the RCA Building until the mid 1980s when GE incorporated RCA and NBC. The building is 850 feet tall (70 stories) and since the address is 30 Rockefeller Center, it is usually referred to as “30 Rock”. What I find really incredible about the observation decks at Top of the Rock aside from the views is that there is so much room. There are three observation decks in total and all three are designed to resemble the upper decks of a 1930s luxury ocean liner complete with deck chairs. Two of the decks on the the 67th and 69th floors include outdoor terraces which are enclosed in transparent, safety glass. The top deck which is on the 70th floor features a completely open air, unobstructed 360-degree view of New York City and beyond. The day I went, there were barely any people up on the top deck with me since the weather wasn’t ideal. However, I think it’s often less crowded than the Empire State Building’s observation deck even in beautiful weather. At 850 feet above street level, the view is jaw-dropping and includes complete views of Central Park and the Empire State Building which you can’t really complain about. ---
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New York City - Night - Nocturne
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The Manhattan Bridge and the New York City Skyline at Sunset
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Galactic Projections - Night Lights - Soho- New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa At night when the sun drops below the buildings, lights twinkle like urban constellations against the cool black backdrop of the sky as night wraps itself around the city. Late night explorers speed past the city’s galactic projections like starships whizzing from one urban planet to another. --- This view is of La Esquina Corner Deli at night located in Soho, New York City.
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Against the Clouds - New York by Gehry and the New York City Skyline- By Vivienne Gucwa New York by Gehry is a newer skyscraper designed by architect Frank Gehry that is situated at 8 Spruce Street. As one of my favorite new additions to the New York City skyline, I think it looks especially impressive against the other buildings that make up the iconic lower Manhattan skyline. It’s especially fascinating in juxtaposition with the Woolworth Building which sits beside it since the Woolworth Building is one of New York City’s oldest skyscrapers. In this particular photo, the Woolworth Building is the skyscraper with the green roof to the left of New York by Gehry. It is now the tallest building featuring residential space in the entire Western Hemisphere. At 76 stories it’s striking due to the rippling panels that run down the surface of the building.
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Two Suns - The New York City Skyline at Sunset- By Vivienne Gucwa Before the night trails across the sky leaving darkness and whispers in its wake, the sun melts over the city’s towering silhouettes pouring its essence into the water like liquid gold. The city lights illuminate the urban landscape like stars while each and every last ember of daylight fades: extinguished sparks exhaled in the long sighs of evening wanderers.
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Deliquesce - San Remo - Central Park Winter- By Vivienne Gucwa In the yawning hours of the morning, the earth stretches its snow-laden limbs skyward and the clouds leave a dissolving trail of heart-heavy whispers in their wake as all of the city’s structures deliquesce into nothingness. --- This is a view from the top of Belvedere Castle during a snowstorm overlooking the iconic towers of the San Remo during the winter in Central Park, New York City.
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Timeless - The Empire State Building and the New York City Skyline- By Vivienne Gucwa I had the good fortune and pleasure of getting to visit the Google NYC headquarters recently. This particular vantage point is from the outside terrace of their cafeteria. What a view, right? I absolutely love the grandiose scale of the Empire State Building in relation to the Chrysler Building. When viewed side by side, the contrast is enormous.
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Steel Arteries - The New York City Skyline Viewed from the Brooklyn Bridge- By Vivienne Gucwa If the Brooklyn Bridge and New York City have been engaged in a reciprocal love affair for decades. It’s hard to argue that the Brooklyn Bridge’s heart isn’t completely devoted to New York City. Its steel arteries all seem to lead away from its center towards the magnificent skyline that dominates lower Manhattan while its metal veins travel from Brooklyn to its very core.
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