Lens-Artists Challenge #88 – CHAOS

airplane over NYC


“New York; a whole cacophony of sounds and tastes that all somehow came together to form something beautiful”

Aishabella Sheikh

This week Ann-Christine’s Chaos challenge comes just one day after the U.S. declaration of a National State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 virus. As we entered New York City just last week, we were aware of a whole new level of chaos about to descend, especially in high-density areas like New York. In the opening image I’ve shown our plane’s wing as we flew over lower Manhattan on our approach to LaGuardia Airport. In the photo you can see One World Trade Center under the far end of the wing. It is the tallest building in the  western hemisphere, standing where the Twin Towers were located prior to 9/11. Many have noted parallels to the heightened state of awareness the world now faces as nations work to protect their citizens from the spreading pandemic.



“The city was a hive from this height, the people and the yellow cabs moving about in the street below like insects.”

David Levien

Home to over 70,000 residents per square mile, on weekdays that number more than doubles due to the commuting population. During our visit the city seemed slightly less crowded than usual, as businesspeople began telecommuting, schools began teaching on-line and tourists began to cancel their travels.

Virus not-withstanding, during normal times NYC residents speak over 800 languages. Stand on any street corner in Times Square to get a clear picture of the chaos that can bring. On the other hand there are oases of calm, such as the city’s Central Park shown in the image above.  Measuring 843 acres (341 hectares) the park hosts 42 million visitors each year. Note the line of uber-expensive apartment buildings on the park’s edge – John Lennon and Yoko Ono chose one of them as their NYC residence.



“New York…the crowds, the noise, the traffic, the expense, the rents; the messed-up sidewalks and pothole-pocked streets…”

Bill Hayes

Recognized as one of the world’s busiest commercial centers, the city also features fabulous museums, incredible theatre, an amazing music scene, world-class shopping and beautiful architecture ranging from elegant brownstones to towering modern-art skyscrapers. Not surprisingly, it is also rife with chaos. Can you imagine the amount of infrastructure it takes to keep the city going? There is upkeep and maintenance of the airports, bridges, tunnels, trains, subways, roads and schools. Beyond that, a complex water system delivers a Billion gallons of drinking water daily. Massive energy systems, intricate state-of-the-art telecommunication systems, and over a million buildings all require constant attention. I honestly felt we saw or heard some level of maintenance or new construction at every corner in the city.

Citi Field, NYC


“When you leave New York, you are astonished at how clean the rest of the world is.”

Fran Lebowitz

All of this week’s images were made with my iPhone 8+ . Those taken from the air are cropped and edited for detail. The final image seemed a bit “vintage” to me due to its pixelation. As a former Nikon photographer, I shot it specifically because of their huge sign in front of Citi field (home of the NY Mets baseball team in the Queens Borough of NYC). I loved the way Manhattan appears in the background, rather like the Emerald City of Oz 😊. Seeing the density of the homes between Queens and Manhattan highlights the immensity of the obstacles we face in controlling the chaos of the spreading virus.

Sincere thanks to Ann-Christine for challenging us to rise above despair and focus on more positive possibilities despite our fears. Timing, as they say, is everything. She, Amy, Patti and I look forward to seeing your interpretations. Be sure to link them to Ann-Christine’s original post here, and to add the Lens-Artists TAG so that we can more easily find you.

We all very much appreciate Miriam’s joining us as last week’s Guest Host, and enjoyed going through your many beautiful responses to her Reflections Challenge. We hope you’ll join us next week as Amy brings us Challenge # 89. In the meanwhile, follow the recommendations of certified authorities, avoid fake news, and stay safe!





89 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #88 – CHAOS

  1. I don’t think it’s possible right now, but I hope that one day I can go back to New York.
    I’ve been looking at and commenting on this week’s challenge articles and I recognize that they help me not to feel so alone in these moments of global chaos.
    Great post, Tina.
    Take care and stay safe.

  2. Pingback: Lens-Artist-PC-88-Chaos-in-Nature – WoollyMuses

  3. Tina, I have a request. I was supposed to fly to Amman this week, but since I’m grounded, as it were, I’m thinking of creating a “virtual travel post” on Jordan. All I can do is link to the posts of other bloggers, but readers will see gorgeous pictures from those who have actually gone there. Would you allow me to link to one of your posts? And share the link to your gallery pictures of Jordan? No pressure. I’ll go along with anything you decide.

  4. Nice shots from on high. Love the pixelation in the Citi Field photo – it gives the feel of a painting. For a moment, I thought that’s what you did.

    A lot of things are shuttering up here – restaurant dining rooms, bars, really anywhere that draws a crowd – for at least 30 days. Besides the run on toilet paper, paper towels, and paper napkins, both supermarket chains (Kroger and Safeway) were out of potatoes (bagged and loose). Don’t know why, lol.

    Stay well. 🙂

    • Thanks David, I really liked the effect too but didn’t do it on purpose 🙂. Shuttering here too, same list, no end date announced. Batten down the hatches, it’s ugly out there. You be well too.


  5. Wow. Great shots, great perspectives. They give one a good sense of Mankind’s ‘sprawl’. I think the ants are jealous of our building proliferation.

  6. Whew, I don’t know if a country girl like me would cope in a place like New York, with more than the entire population of NZ squashed in. Great photos though Tina.

    • well that IS an interesting way to look at it Wendy – I hadn’t thought of that! Yep, they are squashed in for sure. Not the place you want to be right now but in better times tons of fun – even for a country girl 🙂

  7. Great shots of NYC Tina. It’s an amazing place that everyone should visit at least once. Nice shot of Citi Field…hopefully we’ll get this stuff behind us and it will be filled with fans watching baseball, enjoying the game and the only thing they’re thinking about catching is a foul ball 🙂

  8. It is a huge city and I am glad to be living in the countryside – I was only saying to the kids today how lucky they are to have a big garden and fields where they can go and walk and run and to think of the children stuck in cities. Stay safe and well Tina.

    • I agree MM, I surely wouldn’t want to be living in a city right now, that’s for sure. I’m a nature lover so our little corner of the world suits me just fine. But the city is tons of fun when the time is right.

  9. Amazing images to capture the immense size of NYC and perhaps why this city is struggling with the current situation, Tina! Where you are in South Carolina is probably similar to Sacramento, smaller city, more open spaces. Ironically, speaking of chaos, we are getting tons of Sierra snow but resorts are closed due to current events. :/

  10. Pingback: Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Chaos | HX Report

  11. Wonderful aerial views Tina. I have not been to NY and hardly likely to now, at least for a while. I’m not that excited by big cities any more, too crowded and too chaotic – so an excellent choice for the challenge this week 🙂

    • I know what you mean Jude. But for me, having family there means visits. I often think, well, it could be some hard-to-reach spot in the far corners of Iowa or somewhere else LOL. I do enjoy our visits but am always happy to get back home

  12. Pingback: Pedestrian Scramble | Picks of Pics

  13. Excellent example of organized chaos, Tina! Love your first shot especially, your brilliant quotes and explanation of the city’s structure. It is indeed amazing that it all runs as smoothly as it does. From a distance – I love visiting NY too. And remembering your fantastic images of some famous buildings from up close – of course it is a spectacular chaos!
    Stay safe on your beautiful island.

    • Many thanks Ann-Christine. NYC offers a perfect opportunity to illustrate chaos – just as equally they illustrate how to navigate and control it. In these trying times it’s the latter we need to focus on and emulate. Friendships , family and access to online communications are all helpful as we navigate the current storm. Your challenge is perfectly timed!

    • Thanks very much Margaret, it’s a magnificent city which offers a great example that chaos really can be managed. Hopefully we’ll navigate the current storm equally well.

  14. I love New York City and myfirst tie there I was only 4 and I loved it then too. Thanks for sharing these photos. As for the chaos…..it is good to focus on the positive.

  15. Great photos of the big Apple, Tina. The first capture is remarkable.
    Home to over 70,000 residents per square mile… a brilliant post to express chaos.

  16. Thanks Patti – the timing of Ann-Christine’s challenge, it turns out, was perfect. As for us, we were fortunate that the event that was the purpose of our trip, which was critically important, happened when it did and not two weeks later. As for interconnection, yes thank goodness we live in an age when social interaction does not have to be in person!

    • Thanks Jane. Sadly even the bubble is unsafe these days. As you know we have so many visitors on the island every day it’s frightening to think about what germs they’re bringing with them. You be safe too!

      • We’ve been self-isolating for a couple weeks now. Different story in a big city, for sure, although everyone should be practicing it now. It’s alarming being in a high risk demographic. Stay healthy!

  17. Beautiful images, Tina, as always, and much food for thought. I love your header shot and the aerial image of the city is marvelous. You had a fabulously clear day. How wonderful! I share your wish that there are positive outcomes from the pandemic. For one, we’ll realize how interconnected we are–even when we are quarantined.

  18. Just turned on the laptop for the first time in a few days, Tina, so I haven’t yet seen Ann Christine’s post, but if anyone can motivate us to rise above these troubled times it’s you lovely ladies. Thank you all for being our cheerleaders, and please stay safe. 🙂 🙂

    • Jo, I so appreciate your comment and will forward it to the other ladies of the team. These are troubled times indeed and knowing we are not alone is part of what makes them tolerable. You stay safe out there too.

  19. This is my favorite way to see New York City… from a distance! 😉. We love to watch “Blue Bloods” on Friday night and whenever they show a beautiful picture of the city from above, I always think the same thing. Lovely shots, though, and be well.


Please Tell Me What You Think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: