Dream Sputters - Bow Bridge Central Park Winter- By Vivienne Gucwa
In the silent stillness of winter the world stops rotating temporarily.
All sound, speech and thought is muffled as the earth slumbers briefly under a blanket of freshly fallen snow.
In each snowflake rest the hopes and dreams of all who have ever felt the warmth of an anticipatory heart-flutter: dream-sputters that wrap the earth in the weight of their desires.
Built between 1859 and 1862, Bow Bridge is one of Central Park’s most iconic structures. Taken during a snowstorm in Central Park, New York City, the bridge is covered by a beautiful layer of freshly fallen snow and is surrounded by snow laden trees.
The Urban Forest Primeval - Conservatory Garden - Central Park - New York City
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New York Winter - Central Park Snow
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New York City - Winter - Snow Falls on 5th Avenue
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New York Winter Night - Bryant Park Covered in Snow- By Vivienne Gucwa On a beautiful winter night in midtown Manhattan during winter storm Nemo, snow fell onto the city creating the most enchanting winter landscapes. This photo was taken in Bryant Park while the snow was still falling. ---
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Heart of it All - Above Chinatown - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa This is one of my favorite views of Chinatown. The view is of East Broadway, a main street in Chinatown that extends into the Lower East Side. A girl sits on one of the rooftops eating a bowl of food in the upper right hand corner of this photo. The Municipal Building sits in the distance. This particular spot is a Chinatown neighborhood known as ‘Two Bridges’. Two Bridges sits along the East River 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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The New York City Skyline and the Chrysler Building- By Vivienne Gucwa
I have always been partial to late summer skyline views here in New York City. The haze that hangs over the horizon like a misty veil seems to lend a special sort of immediacy to the skyscrapers that assert themselves in the foreground.
The Chrysler Building, New York City's art-deco masterpiece of architecture, always looks so regal positioned in front of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge (also known as the 59th Street Bridge). Four smokestacks playfully draw the eye towards the rest of Queens that sprawls out in the distance towards the fading horizon.
It's as if the sky is locked in an embrace with the rest of the city while the skyscrapers that make up the midtown Manhattan skyline are enraptured and wrapped up in their own special moment with the Chrysler Building.
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In Another Place and Time - Chinatown - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa
New York City changes and evolves at a rapid pace. In certain areas, changes occur faster than others. Lower Manhattan is one place that has changed the most in the last decade. Development happens fast and the current trends are extremely tall buildings constructed mostly of glass, chain stores and luxury boutiques. In neighborhoods that were once bohemian and home to artists and rebels, these current changes have been hard to swallow for long-time residents who run the risk of being out-priced out of the neighborhoods they have called home for decades.
Despite these changes, there are still parts of lower Manhattan that recall earlier decades. New York City suffered economically in the 1970s and it was during this decade that much of lower Manhattan was transformed into a danger zone full of abandoned lots and buildings and rampant crime. Having grown up in New York City in the 1980s and early 1990s, I have vivid memories of riding graffiti-covered trains from Queens into Manhattan. I was taught to ‘watch my back’ at all times since everyone seemed to know someone who had been mugged. Things were still different in those days prior to the initiatives by mayors Koch and Guiliani to ‘clean up’ the city (and discourse is still rampant regarding how they handled it).
When I came across this section of Canal Street initially, my heart almost leaped out of my chest. Here I was staring at a section of a spot in Chinatown that seemed as if it had been dipped in 1980s New York City and had become frozen in time (thankfully I had my camera). It’s hard to put into words how powerful this scene is for personally. It’s a bit like staring at something that once existed in a distant life.
A city may change rapidly discarding pieces of itself, but it’s the people who carry it’s broken pieces with them in their hearts who imbue the city with its memory.
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Distillation process - The Brooklyn Bridge - New York CityWhen the clouds pull their veils back from the sky’s face after a storm, the light hits the world at such an angle that even the most rigid man-made creations glimmer like the water’s surface in the sun. If you could distill New York City down to an essence so pure that it glimmered in such a way, it would look like this: captured, cooled, magnificent in its indistinguishable hand-woven-steel beauty. ---
Sidewalk Dream - Street Art - New York City
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New York City - Times Square at Night in the Snow
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East Village Balloons - St. Mark's Place - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa Festive colorful party balloons blow in the wind on St. Mark's Place in the East Village, a popular neighborhood in lower Manhattan. ---
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New York Autumn - Central Park Fall Foliage at The Lake
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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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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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New York Autumn - Central Park
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New York City Skyline Rooftops
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New Hope Springs Forth - Chelsea - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa The world opens up in the spring drenching itself in new warmth: heady intoxicating warmth that bubbles up beneath the surface for months before rushing over the parched earth. And as the sun washes away all of the fears that have been buried beneath winter layers, petals open up one by one yawning delicately into the light of a thousand sparks of promise and hope. ---
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New York City Snow on a Winter Night
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New York Winter - Snow on 42nd Street- By Vivienne Gucwa
New York City resembles a snow-globe when snow first falls. As the snow swirls, the trees reach over the city streets as if they are trying to catch snowflakes with their bare, graceful branches.
This was taken at night during a winter storm in New York City that dropped enough snow to turn the city into a winter wonderland momentarily. This is the area on 42nd Street next to Bryant Park across from the Grace Building which can be seen partially on the left-hand side of the image. It's one of my favorite spots to snow-gaze at night.
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New York City - Perry Street - West Village
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New York City - Rain and Wet Sidewalks
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Chinatown Rooftop Graffiti - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa New York City is an urban layer cake. This is another one of my favorite views in lower Manhattan. It’s a small segment of an entire universe that exists above millions of New Yorkers. Layers of colorful graffiti cover the rooftops of these Chinatown apartment buildings as rooftop doors blow open in the wind and colorful clothing sways on clotheslines high above the city below. ---
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New York Winter Night - 42nd Street in the Snow- By Vivienne Gucwa A bicycle sits covered in snow along 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan during winter storm Nemo. As the snow falls on the ground and on the beautiful fence that lines Bryant Park, a person with an umbrella makes their way through the snowfall in New York City. ---
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New York City Skyline and Empire State Building - Top of the Rock View- By Vivienne Gucwa
When the night pulls its cobalt blanket over the city
the lights flicker like stars
in a magnificent universe.
And the world pauses for a minute or two
enthralled in a reciprocal gaze
of epic proportion.
The hour right after the sun dips below the horizon is one of the most enchanting hours of the day. It's not quite day and not quite night but it's a blended mixture of the two. There is no better place to witness this transformation in New York City than 70 stories up in the air on the observation deck of Rockefeller Center (known colloquially as Top of the Rock). After feeling the elation that comes with watching the sun set over the city, all of the city's lights come into view twinkling little by little until they all seem to build up to the most intense crescendo of illuminated splendor.
This view is looking south towards lower Manhattan past the Empire State Building. This is the result of a 30 second exposure completed by placing my camera on one of the ledges (while tethered to a very, very still me with gloved hands in pockets barely breathing for fear of moving the camera/camera strap). The Top of the Rock and Empire State Building are rather strict about their no tripod policy. Sometimes you can catch a kind security guard who doesn't mind a gorilla pod but for the most part, you have to get creative if you want to take super long exposures. In this case, since it was so ridiculously cold, there weren't many people on the deck and I staked out my ledge during the pre-sunset time period (the sunset was stunning!) taking photos while waiting for this particular moment. There is a special clarity that comes with this time of year. While this spot is a popular vantage point in the summer, there is also a lot less visibility due to the thick summer haze that hangs over the city in the warmer months. In the dead of winter though, it's crystal clear if you catch a clear day (another rarity!).
Locations of interest in this shot include: The Empire State Building, One World Trade Center (also known as the Freedom Tower or 1 WTC, the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan Bridge, the New York Life building (one of the buildings with a gold top), Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower.
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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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Brooklyn Bridge and New York City Skyline - City Lights- By Vivienne Gucwa
It's interesting how photos take on a life of their own with long exposure photography. This was taken on a cold night recently as a storm was rolling in. I waited patiently in between stubborn sustained wind gusts as the water from the East River lapped at the edges of Brooklyn Bridge Park gushing over the sides every so often as if to foreshadow what the clouds were hoping to do to the city.
As storm clouds moved in and the increasingly darkening sky turned various shades of purple and blue shortly after a relatively subdued sunset, there were a few minutes of calm silence. And as the water played nice and the wind decided to run its own marathon elsewhere, 4 seconds were there for the capturing before the skies unleashed their watery exclamations in the form of rain.
This is one of the more popular vantage points for photography of the Brooklyn Bridge. The skyscrapers belong to the Financial District. Prominent structures and buildings include: the Woolworth Building, New York by Gehry (at 8 Spruce Street), One World Trade Center (also known as 1 WTC and/or the Freedom Tower), Pier 17 and the South Street Seaport.
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Manhattanhenge Sunset Overlooking 42nd Street and Times Square - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa There is nothing quite like the intensity of seeing the sun spread it's light like wildfire through the streets of midtown Manhattan. The red light glows with the ferocity of a supernova showering its splendor onto the urban landscape. In honor of tonight's Manhattanhenge sunset which may or may not be hidden by storm clouds since New York City's weather has been highly unpredictable and stormy as of late, this is a photo I took exactly a year ago during last year's Manhattanhenge. The buildings in this photo are the buildings in Times Square (you can make out the Madame Tussauds sign). Manhattanhenge is a semiannual occurrence in which the setting sun aligns with the east–west streets of the main street grid in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The term is derived from Stonehenge, at which the sun aligns with the stones on the solstices. It was coined in 2002 by Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist who is the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. ---
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Central Park Winter - Snow on Bow Bridge - New York City
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New York - Spring - Cherry Blossoms - Brooklyn
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Afternoon Sunlight on a Greenwich Village Street - New York City
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New York City - Night - Nocturne
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New York City Winter - Snow at Night
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New York Autumn - Central Park - The Mall
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Manhattan Bridge - Night - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa
The world stops spinning on its axis
as the city's lights search through the night
for hearts that flutter to the
syncopation of its pulsating lights.
This was taken on a stormy night in Brooklyn as the waves in the East River pounded the piers and the wind whipped against the faces of the few brave souls who were still standing at the edge of Brooklyn Bridge Park hoping to catch a first glimpse of the city's lights as they flickered into view.
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St. Mark's Place at Night - East Village - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa
When the days concede to night in the winter, there is a certain comfort in the glow of neon city lights.
This particular view is of St. Mark's Place in the East Village. The cow belongs to the restaurant Mark and the neon belongs to Andromeda Tattoo and Piercing. The sign that is partially concealed is Rockit Scientist Records which was a great records store that dated back to the mid 1990s when the East Village was home to far more records stores and had a more eclectic vibe.
There is a coldness to neon that is eclipsed by a peculiar sort of warmth when the windchills dip into the single digits. It's a sign of life. People tend to huddle under the glow of the lights in the winter with a frequency that isn't seen as much in warmer months as if they are city moths drawn to the glowing promise of warmth.
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New York City - Rain - Greenwich Village
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Night Visions - Street Art - East Village - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa
When I was really young, I used to imagine that at night when the majority of people went to sleep in New York City, all of the graffiti and street art on the walls would come to life. Every figment of an artist's imagination, previously bound to the confines of a wall, would finally get to roam the city streets with abandon.
I still like to think this is the case. While reality is never quite as vivid as my imagination, the magic of photography keeps those sorts of dreams alive. I remember waiting in front of this mural for a long time at night for the right person to breathe life into the scene.
As the star of the cinematic scene in my mind approached, I couldn't have been happier. She walked onto this colorful urban set and it was as if she had merely leaped out of the mural only moments before.
This colorful street art collage of pop culture and comic book inspired figures once graced a wall on the corner of Houston and the Bowery in the exciting neighborhood of the East Village in New York City.
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New York City Skyline - Skyscrapers at Night- By Vivienne Gucwa
In the blink of an eye the city's lights twinkle like stars in a universe that rises up from the ground to the surface of a darkening sky.
And all at once, everything else seems to fade away.
This was taken on a frigid evening at Gantry Plaza State Park in Queens with wind gusts that roared across the river to the rocks I was teetering on with nothing more than my tripod and utterances of hope that the wind would let up for just a few seconds.
But as I stood there frozen in place for what seemed like the longest 30 seconds of the night, the city’s glow rivaled that of a roaring fire and everything else seemed to pale in comparison.
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New York City Skyline
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The Empire State Building and New York City Rooftops- By Vivienne Gucwa The Empire State Building always seems to stand out when viewing certain cross-sections of the New York City skyline. I have always imagined it to be an urban lighthouse helping all urban wanderers navigate through the dense sea of buildings that surround its distinctive shape. This vantage point is from a rooftop located as far west as you can possibly go in Chelsea before landing in the Hudson River. ---
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Rain - Greenwich Village - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa
I love rainy days in New York City. Rain is the sky's love song to the city.
The sky opens up revealing an other-worldly light that cloaks the city in effervescent splendor.
Sidewalks and streets, slick with promise, mirror the movement of urban explorers navigating the sleek concrete as taxi lights shine their refracted, blurred lights into the vast expanse of the rain-soaked landscape.
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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Chrysler Building and New York Skyline - Roosevelt Island View
Chrysler Building and New York Skyline - Roosevelt Island View- By Vivienne Gucwa
This is the result of a 30 second exposure taken late last week from Roosevelt Island. Roosevelt Island is a tiny island that sits in the East River overlooking the Upper East Side and midtown Manhattan. The Chrysler Building is a beacon of white, sparkling lights in a sea of skyscrapers lit by the yellow glow of the lights on the FDR Drive. It's a rather calm place to visit at this time of year since it's not quite warm enough for people to take full advantage of the promenade that runs parallel to this amazing view.
The night tends to fall quietly over the lights of Manhattan when viewing the skyline from this vantage point. The only sounds that are prominent are the sound of waves lapping up against the sides of the promenade as the rare boat speeds by. I find it endlessly fascinating how a long exposure can calm even those sounds down visually - smoothing out the water's surface until the lights seem to melt into the water like liquid stars in a watery universe.
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Cobble Hill Brownstone - Brooklyn - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa I had severe brownstone envy when I was younger. Growing up in Queens (another borough of New York City), I visited Brooklyn frequently and the brownstones found in Brooklyn tugged at my heart. Their ornate doorways were flanked by enormous and extravagant stairways and every window seemed to be a frame encapsulating an enticing painting. There wasn’t anything that came close to these beautiful works of architecture where I grew up in Queens. Watching the Cosby Show fueled my envy of course. I had no idea at the time that the exterior shots of the Cosby’s brownstone were shot in Greenwich Village and not in Brooklyn Heights where the Cosby’s fictional residence was located (why they did this is beyond me since Brooklyn Heights has some of the most beautiful brownstones). All I knew was that these masterpieces of architecture just seemed more ‘New York City’ than any of the buildings I grew up surrounded by. ---
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