Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New York State of Mine

By Andy Lopusnak,
October 18-20, 2013

With the combination of Giants and Jets games, I’ve covered 17 NFL games in NYC (aka East Rutherford, New Jersey). The 17 games would, if the two NY teams were combined, it would make the Giants/Jets the most by any team (Baltimore is the actual most with 15). There’s some things I’ve always meant to go and shoot, but just haven’t in the past. Also, I’ve slowly started to replace old photos from the summer of 2006 (before I knew how to use my camera). That summer, I was in NYC for a few days because my wife, Bethany, was here for a work conference, and shot a lot (just not very well).
This time, I walked all over the city and drove around to get lots of shots. On Friday alone, I walked 14.99 miles (31K steps) and climbed 66 floors. All told in the three days, I walked 65K steps, 30.7 miles and climbed 108 floors. My weekly goal is 70K, so nearly getting that in three days is pretty good. Additionally, I purchased the unlimited ride pass for the subway. They only offer an unlimited ticket for seven days; but it’s still well worth the $31 though I used for just two days (my fares would’ve been over $40 if I purchased them separately.  

After landing at JFK, I headed to Oyster Bay (about 40 minutes away) to snap a shot of Theodore Roosevelt’s final resting place at Youngs Memorial Cemetery. I now have shot all four grave sites of the presidents on Mount Rushmore, and hopefully next year will get a chance to shoot it.
Once I got into the City, I headed up near Harlem and added Ulysses S. Grant’s grave. That now makes 12 presidential graves that I’ve photographed. You can very this dozen BY CLICKING HERE. The Grant tomb took a dozen years to build and stands as 150-feet high making it the largest mausoleum in North America. This makes 12 out of the possible 37 presidential grave sites (almost a third).

The US Open tennis tournament is held here, but there are two main remnants from the 1964-65 World’s Fair that highlight Flushing Meadows-Corona Park: the 140-foot stainless steel model of the world with three rings representing the three man-made satellites launched in the 1950s named the Unisphere; and the New York State Pavilion, which  is three observation towers.
In addition to the World’s Fair in the 1960s, the 1939-40 one was also held here. Though I did get to walk where the water runs to get underneath shots of the sphere. The 1997 original Men in Black film used the towers as spaceships with one of them being shot down in front of the Unisphere.

With about 53 million items this is the second largest public library in the United States (behind the Library of Congress) and third in the world.
It’s an amazing building and free to enter unlike its inception when they charged admission and didn’t allow physical access to any literary items. Check out more of my photos of this place by CLICKING HERE.

I stopped briefly at the Franklin Street subway station to snap a shot of the firehouse used in the movie Ghostbusters. There’s no plaque or anything noting that the flick was filmed here; but with so many things shot in NYC it’s not surprising at all.

I tried to get American Museum of Natural History earlier, but arrived an hour before it closed. There’s no entrance fee the final hour; so it saved me $22 and I went snap crazy in that last 60 minutes. This place is HUGE covering four floors. I’m going to have to come again in the future (once again an hour before closing).

The Museum was founded in 1869 by a group of wealthy New Yorkers including JP Morgan and Teddy Roosevelt’s father.

The photographic highlight at the American Museum of Natural History is the six-story tall glass cube housing an 87-foot sphere representing the Sun and then models of the other planets in our solar system at their respective scale sizes.
When walking by the Museum, there’s a great view of the cube from the western side on 81st street.

On my way to the Grant burial site, I decided to get an exterior of the Low Memorial Library building at Columbia University. It’s one subway stop away from the U.S. Grant burial site. Built in 1895 and it still has the largest freestanding granite dome in the U.S.
I photographed this last August, but with the Freedom Tower (now known as One World Trade Center) exterior essentially complete I decided to return. Sadly, the museum is still under construction and is supposed to open next year (it looked like no work has been done inside since I was here last October). The museum was supposed to open on 9/11/2012 – the exterior was done a year ago and only the interior needs to be completed.
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum opened a decade to the day of the terrorist attacks. In just three months, over a million had visited and it has since become one of the most visited sites in NYC. Where the Twin Towers once stood are two pools with the largest man-made waterfalls in the U.S. cascading down 30 feet. Each pool is the exact footprint of the original towers (one acre each) and the sound of the water falling is supposed to drown out the sounds of the bustling city. 
There are 2,983 names of the victims that lost their lives in the four plane attacks that day as well as the six that died in the 1993 WTC bombing. It took five and a half years to build the memorial with a cost of $500 million.
With construction all around the memorial, they restrict access and you need a ticket. I got mine online to ensure my 11am time. Once the construction of all the other buildings in the Ground Zero vicinity is completed, then the memorial park will be open from all sides at all times.
The Freedom Tower (1 WTC)  will have an observation deck on the 100th floor when it’s completed in 2015, which will be the highest public observation deck in New York (I’m hoping for non-reflective glass, but you and I both know that isn’t going to happen). The exterior of the tallest tower in the Western Hemisphere (at 1,776-foot tall) and currently fourth in the world (the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest at 2,717-foot tall).

Near Ground Zero this was designed to honor the 1.5 million Irish that perished from 1845-52 famine. There’s a famine-era cottage as well as stones, soil and native Ireland vegetation in the 25-foot high memorial that takes up nearly half an acre.  
This is the third church named Trinity at this location. The first was built in 1698 and the current one was completed in 1846. Upon its completion, the third Trinity had the highest point in NYC (at 281-foot high) until the New York World Building (349) was built in 1890. Directly across the street from the church is the American Stock Exchange.

Built in 1811, the New York City Hall is the oldest city hall building in the United States. To see my collection of City Hall buildings from across the USA, please CLICKHERE.

The New York State Supreme Court building, a granite-faced hexagonal structure, was built from 1913-27 with a delay because of World War I. It’s one of the primary backdrops for the long-running TV series Law & Order

It’s been a few years since I shot from Liberty State Park and in 2011, a 9/11 Memorial dedicated to the 746 New Jersey residents that lost their lives that day back in 2001. Named the Empty Sky Memorial, from a Bruce Springsteen song, it has twin walls, transecting a "gently sloped mound anchored by a granite path that is directed toward Ground Zero." 

The Jets overcame a 21-10 halftime deficit to beat the Patriots 30-27 in overtime. New York rookie quarterback Geno Smith threw a touchdown and in another. His counterpart on the other sideline, Tom Brady, completed just 48% of his passes and didn’t throw a touchdown for the second time in his last three games. Both quarterbacks tossed interceptions returned for touchdowns.
In the extra frame, New York kicker Nick Folk missed a 56-yard field goal, but one of the New England blockers illegally pushed his own player resulting in a 15-yard penalty and new life for the Jets. Four plays later, Folk nailed a 42-yarder for the win. This was my second Pats-Jets game covered and New York has won both (the previous in 2009).
New England tight end Rob Gronkowski made his season debut after four surgeries in the previous ten months. He tied a career high with eight receptions for 114 yards, his tenth career 100+ yard game.

I set up my Canon 40D in the high right corner of the stadium. One photo was taken every 45 seconds.

UP NEXT: Buffalo at New Orleans
Last year when I was in Nawlins, I shot a Tulane game and then did the Saints game. This year, I’ll be doing the same. I’ve shot the Bayou numerous times and probably won’t be doing very much shooting other than the games.

Here’s a selection of my top shots from NYC this weekend. For more of my New York City photos, please CLICK HERE.

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