Tag Archives: photography

New York Skyline Serenade

New York SKyline EMpire state building

Manhattan — The sky, the weather, the color and clarity of light, each change by the second.  New buildings rise and old buildings fall.  But for those photographing the iconic skyline, the greatest variations come from behind the camera — from emotions born within, formed by our relationship with the city and then recast, consciously or not, in megapixels that reflect our momentary disposition.  The result is not always rosy–it is New York.

New York Skyline Empire State Building

The city is a kinetic force, strong enough to unhinge its inhabitants and fast enough to keep them in a perpetual state of striving. “If only this place could be still for a second,” we say.

New York SKyline EMpire state building

The city can feel detached, cold, and we may walk its streets blindly, without recognizing the available warmth of so many who share in our hopes of happiness and contentment.


Choices abound — almost too many to grasp — and focus is sometimes lost.  Yet the essence of the city and of our dreams remains.

New York SKyline EMpire state building

But oh! there are the rich and resplendent times, when the city is as colorful as a comic book, deeply saturated with opportunity, and where we are limited only by our imagination. These are the times to hold onto.  Reflect.  Print them, hang them firmly on walls and place them on cubicle desks in beautiful frames where they can be seen everyday.  Give them to a friend.

New York City skyline in a wine glass

Ultimately, we have the power to shape our city lives, and from time to time we need to reassess, to pull back or charge forward, to shake things up a bit.  Eventually our lives and the skyline regain clarity — perhaps more than before.  And although it may be seen from a different perspective, the image is still classic New York, and we are still classic New Yorkers simply trying to capture it.

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Cool Building in the West Village

Who wouldn’t want to live in an ivy-covered building in the heart of the West Village?  This one is at 11th and Greenwich.  Pretty awesome.


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A Walk to Nowhere

Seriously, a walk around 1 block (West Village) can be interesting. At least to me.  iPhone in hand.

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This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef

On 1st Avenue between 9th Street and St. Marks Place you’ll find a tiny sandwich place barely big enough to turn around in. It’s fitting, because I wouldn’t recommend leaving anyway.  The place is “This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef” and it’s sole purpose is serving up hot roast beef sandwiches so delicious even the most hardened Philly cheese steak enthusiast would give a tip of their Eagles cap to the chef.  (Yes, they come with cheese wiz.)  Perhaps the msot interesting aspect of the shop is the decor — a seemly endless assortment of bills, written on in Sharpy and taped to the walls and cieling.

The food becomes secondary as you scan the hundreds of bills, each unique and telling some sort of story (Mookie visited NYC 9-26-10 and “Dave P. Runs this sho”).  But then the sandwich is placed on the counter and the full scene starts to take shape – the strangely textured walls, the cramped space, the savory aroma of perfectly cooked roast beef on a hero with aujus and cheeze wiz filling the air.  It truly is a carnivore’s fairy tale.


This Way: roast beef on a roll with aujus and cheez wiz.

That Way: roast beef on Italian bread hero with gravy and fresh mozzarella.

The Other Thing: pastrami on rye with coleslaw and spicy brown mustard.

Something Else: roast beef on Italian bread hero with cheez wiz, fresh mozzarella, gravy, aujus & hand-cut fries.

There is also beef stew and some sides. But really all you need is the roast beef, aujus and cheese wiz. Any way you slice it, if you like roast beef sandwiches, consider This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef to be the Arby’s on steroids. Delicious.


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New York Photographic Memories

Lonely Snowy New York Street, originally uploaded by marc.cappelletti.

I was going through my iPhone this morning and found this shot from the last snow storm we had. Something about it just spoke to me, and not because I liked the shot, but because I had forgotten that I even took it. So many times our memories betray us. Sometimes by skewing the facts, other times by cutting out altogether. Photography is one of the only tools we have to capture our memories as they were, and then have the ability to tweak them ever so slightly. Or, as it is not a black and white world, adjust them in a more profound way, to layer on another dimension of feeling to the memory.

Go through your phone and computer often and revisit photos, your visual journals. You may find memories you never thought you had. And that’s a good way to spend a gloomy Saturday in the city, any city..

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Take a picture

No particular reason, just because.

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Manhattan Snow Piles Up Over Time

Snow Piles Up Over Time

Now that we’re in the middle of an icy, wet, sleety mess it’s the perfect time to reflect on the snow that was — in those early hours when the first flakes fell, to inch after inch, covering the city as the days and nights went on. It was debilitating, but at least it was pretty.

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New York City Snowtography

If you made it out of your apartment this morning you probably noticed that, in between awkward slips and hesitant steps, everyone was taking photos of the snow.  It’s a pretty snow (for now).  The kind that clings to tree branches and accents buildings like icing on gingerbread houses.  Great for photography.  In some places, it was actually more difficult to navigate around the photographers than the snow banks. Yes, I was one of those people slowing down your commute.  Hopefully these shots give you enough reason to forgive me for clogging the sidewalks…

Winter Serenity in Gramercy Park

Snow Paparazzi Line Up to Shoot Madison Square Park

Mine is Bigger.


No way, dude.

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Favorite New York City Photos of 2010

This weekend I went through all of the photos I’ve taken this year. Way more than I thought. In fact I can’t believe how many it is, yet still feel like I’ve not even cracked the surface of New York City.  Here the ones that got the most clicks, were picked up by Gothamist and other sites, or that I just like for whatever reason. I hope you enjoy them, and would love your comments on which you like the best.

Click Here to View My Top NYC Photos of 2010 Flickr Photo Set.

And few of the shots can be purchased at my ETSY store.

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New York Dogs

Dog waiting for his owner in the supermarket. 

Took this shot with my iPhone, by the way.

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Morning Clouds and More On the East River

I spent another early morning out on the East River today. The clouds were billowing up and down the skyline in all shapes, shades and patterns. Some grew straight up.  Some lay flat.  Others dotted the glow of morning against a background of gray. Altogether, it was a beautiful way to start the day on a river that gets a lot of flack for it’s “lack of beauty.”  Well, maybe these photos (and those from other posts) will help people come to check out the waterway and care for it.

And I had to find some way to make the ConEdison building look kind of quasi ok-ish. In doing so I found that graffiti really pops in the morning light.

There were some lone birds nibbling on whatever scraps they could find.  Then, they gather for flight. It reminded me of Henry Beston’s classic nature memoir, The Outermost House, where he says this of the birds on Cape Cod, “Birds which have been feeding yards away from each other, each one individually busy for his individual body’s sake, suddenly fuse into this new volition and, flying, rise as one, coast as one, tilt their dozen bodies as one, and as one wheel off on the course which the new group will has determined.”

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An IKEA Adventure in Red Hook

It was Friday evening after a busy work week.  In this city, although you can really do anything and everything you want at any hour, if you’ve got the cash of course, finding peace and relaxation can be difficult.  I asked for a few suggestions in the office and was surprised when a coworker said, “You’ve got to check out the IKEA in Red Hook! Take the ferry!”  I’m all for easy-to-assemble furniture and Swedish sensibilities, but is IKEA really an escape?  No. It’s big and it’s blue.  But the five dollar ferry, and Louis Valentino Jr. Park just up the street will take your mind off just about anything.

Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge from IKEA Water Taxi

The water taxi, which you pick up at the pier at the end of Wall St., provides fresh views of Brooklyn and Manhattan. You get in a little closer, see the movement of cars and the inner-workings of the nation’s first “suburb”. But if you’re in it to take pictures, be careful.  This thing hauls!


On the Edge of Town

It’s when you pull into Red Hook that the views really get interesting. I’ll spare you the industrial shots, although one could say it’s all well and good. Instead of actually going in IKEA and wandering a maze of furnishings with names like Flurgen and Murgen, walk up to Coffee St. and bang a left until you hit, Louis Valentino Jr. Park.  You’ll know when you do.  This is what it’s all about.

Fisherman on the Pier

The man in this photo, let’s call him Morris, has been fishing this exact pier since he was 12.  Now in his early 50’s, he told me of when the pier was wooden and you had to watch your step or you could fall through.  There were also times he said where certain people in the area might want to push you through if you looked at them the wrong way.  He’s thrilled at the revitalization the area has seen. But for Morris, all that really matters is the fishing. “Caught a 38 in striper last week. Whoo boy, some nights this is some good fishin.”

Other Brooklynites gather for sunset as well.  Some are families, others on a date, and some, like me, just there to take it all in.  Each finds peace in the park.

The Perfect View, Louis Valentino Jr. Park

As a Water Taxi passed I realized I’d missed the last one from IKEA. Woops!  Luckily, there are a few busses that run routes from Red Hook to downtown Brookyln and Fulton Mall.  The stop is in front of the IKEA, where you made the left to get to all this good stuff in the first place.  Even though you feel a world away, it’s actually easy to stay until last light, when the sky begins to burn.

Liberty Catches Fire

A Real New York Sunset

Then, the moment we’d all been waiting for.  No one talked as the sun dipped behind the Statue of Liberty, melting into the swamps of Jersey.  At least I don’t think anyone spoke. I’d reached the place I needed to find — peace and a focus on the beautiful moments this city and this world provide.  My zen status was broken when Morris turned and said, “Beautiful, man. One more sunset. Now all I need’s a sunrise tomorrow and I’ll be cool.”  He cast his line and I walked to the bus smiling.  Had I just found philosophy courtesy of IKEA?

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What is this? A house for birds? Avian Real Estate on 7th Avenue

Location, location, location.  These are still going for $3,500 a square foot. Deal with it chickadees.

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Does Everyone Have to Run Because It’s Spring?

My alarm went off at 5:52 this morning. The goal: be out on the East River for sunrise to take some photos. But man, the sun is popping up earlier and earlier these days. My viewfinder was still looking blurring to my morning eyes. Within minutes I was surrounded by crazy people, these swift and agile gazelles hurling their bodies along the East River Greenway.

Every shot I lined up, every scene and angle, had runners cutting in and out.  So I embraced it. And, putting them in the shots burns calories, I think.

And of course, a good time was had by all.

Download the waterfront map here.

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