Lens-Artists Challenge #78 – Special Spot Shots
“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.”
This week Ann-Christine’s challenge gives me an opportunity to highlight some of the many special spots we visited during last week’s holiday visit to NYC. I’ve opened with an image that feels as if it might have been made a hundred years ago or yesterday. As I captured the scene, it reminded me a bit of Paris. Interestingly the building on the left houses a wonderful French market, bar and restaurant – Le District. I’ve included a colorful capture of its interior below.
“Every true New Yorker believes with all his heart that when a New Yorker is tired of New York, he is tired of life.”
Le District’s food is authentic French, down to the perfect sandwichs au jambon (ham sandwiches) which took me right back to my days as a student in France. Back then we’d lunch almost daily on crusty French loaves smeared with butter and filled with fresh, thick ham and sometimes delicious brie cheese. Le District makes them exactly the same way, and if you’ve a mind to, their pomme frites (french fries) bar offers 20+ varieties. As a true melting pot, one of the beauties of NYC is its ability to deliver most any cuisine, done perfectly, around virtually any corner.
“New York City, it is a place apart. There is not its match in any other country in the world.”
Pearl S. Buck
Like most NYC holiday visitors, we’ve spent time in midtown Manhattan visiting the magical Rockefeller Center area and the incredible holiday store windows. This time however, we stayed with our family and took in some of lower Manhattan’s special sights. The image above struck me as quintessential NYC – skyscrapers next to crazy wall art, across from the winged, white Oculus and of course the ever-present crowds awaiting a change of the light.
“New York is the biggest collection of villages in the world.”
In the image above I’ve captured a small piece of the interior of the Oculus, a spot made special by its innovative architecture. Once inside one instantly understands the architect’s vision, which he has fulfilled masterfully. The building is filled with light, even two stories underground. Directly overhead there is an end-to-end row of windows showcasing the nearby towering skyscrapers. It is truly a special must-see for anyone visiting New York.
“A son for a flag is a lot of sacrifice.”
Speaking of special places, the area also houses the 9/11 Memorial and its Museum. The ground has been beautifully preserved and is revered by all who visit. There are two massive, square granite waterfall pools located on the twin towers’ footprints, each covering over an acre of space. The names of each of the 2,983 victims are engraved in bronze around the pools. 400 white oaks surround the ponds (shown in today’s header image), as well as a “Survivor” pear tree found severely damaged at Ground Zero and nursed back to health. The memorial and its incredibly moving museum are imperative special spots for NYC visitors.
“New York…the most exciting, magical, fraught-with-possibility place that you could ever live”
Having grown up across the river in New Jersey, NYC was always a magical place to me. When I was younger I found it immensely exciting, a bit frightening, and happily only a stone’s throw from my more normal life in the Jersey suburbs. In the image above the man at the fence is looking across the Hudson River toward New Jersey – so close by but worlds apart.
“New York. The world’s most dramatic city. Like a permanent short circuit, sputtering and sparking up into the sky all night long.”
I’ll close (at last) with my image of an iconic snowman in the holiday-adorned Oculus. Most everyone walking by took photos of their loved ones in front of this special spot, including yours truly. I thought it took a hint from Chicago’s beloved bean, and did so admirably. I’m anxious to see if it remains, perhaps sans cap and scarf, at holiday’s end.
Thanks as always to our many followers for their thoughtful responses. Patti, Amy, Ann-Christine and I look forward to virtually visiting your Special Spots. Remember to link them to Ann-Christine’s challenge here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you.
Here’s to 2020, may it be filled with peace and moments of joy for us all.