Looking Up, Not Just for Tourists

Ever since the iPhone came out in 2007, I’ve relished in the notion of only having to carry a single device that can seamlessly operate as phone, mp3 player and camera in one. With the convenience of one device far outweighing any initial issues of quality, I quickly ditched my digital camera and iPod for this single chic object I could slip into my pocket and take everywhere. Nine years and probably an equal number of iPhones later, I finally freed myself from the iPhone camera prison I was living in. While the camera quality has no doubt improved over the years, model by model, I’ve often found a decrease in quality with each phone I’ve owned the more I use it; with many of the cameras not working at all by the time I traded in for a new phone. Beyond that, the quality you can achieve with a basic digital camera is typically far better than what your iPhone is equipped with.

The result?  I can’t stop looking up!  With my new camera (a humble Nikon Coolpix S7000) I can zoom in to see details of buildings I’ve walked by for 10 years and have never really looked at. It’s as if there’s been an entire layer of New York City hovering invisibly over me, I just didn’t have the tools to see it. While it can be a hassle to carry around an extra device, the ability to see and discover these hidden-to-the-naked-eye treasures, is well worth it.  

There’s A Whole New (Old) City Out There, Just Look Up!

Potters Building, 38 Park Row by Norris Garshom Starkweather – 1886

Potters Building, 38 Park Row by Norris Garshom Starkweather – 1886

Park Row Building, 15 Park Row by R. H. Robertson – 1899

Park Row Building, 15 Park Row by R. H. Robertson – 1899

141 5th Ave by Henry Edwards Ficken – 1900 (original base building, Robert Maynick)

141 5th Ave by Henry Edwards Ficken – 1900 (original base building, Robert Maynick)

Flatiron Building, 175 5th Ave by Burnham & Dinkelberg – 1902

Flatiron Building, 175 5th Ave by Burnham & Dinkelberg – 1902

Trinity Building, 115 Broadway by Francis Kimball – 1904 & 1907

Trinity Building, 115 Broadway by Francis Kimball – 1904 & 1907

Germania Life Insurance Building, 201 Park Ave South by D’Oench & Yost – 1910

Germania Life Insurance Building, 201 Park Ave South by D’Oench & Yost – 1910

Woolworth Building, 233 Broadway by Cass Gilbert – 1913

Woolworth Building, 233 Broadway by Cass Gilbert – 1913

Manhattan Municipal Building, 1 Centre Street by William M Kendall – 1914

Manhattan Municipal Building, 1 Centre Street by William M Kendall – 1914

ITT Building, 75 Broad Street by Buchman & Kahn – 1928

ITT Building, 75 Broad Street by Buchman & Kahn – 1928

Bank of Manhattan Trust Building, 40 Wall St by Severance & Matsui – 1930

Bank of Manhattan Trust Building, 40 Wall St by Severance & Matsui – 1930

Empire State Building, 350 5th Ave by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon – 1931

Empire State Building, 350 5th Ave by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon – 1931

Stone and Webster Building, 90 Broad St by Cross & Cross – 1932

Stone and Webster Building, 90 Broad St by Cross & Cross – 1932

 

Edward Mulligan, Designer