A still photo misses the pulse of New York City. It singles out a tender moment or shows the scale of skyscrapers, but the heartbeat and energy flow too fast for a static shot.
Nine million people live in NYC, and sometimes it feels as if all of them are in one subway car or crosswalk with you. Time lapse photograph takes scenes and encapsulates them nicely into a few seconds. Packaged together, those brief moments are a quick glimpse into what makes the city so fun, intimidating and full of life.
This video is a compilation of scenes from our five weeks exploring the city. Central Park, Times Square and other iconic areas appear, along with random moments from our wandering about. I’d never played around with time lapses before – it’s quite fun! I parked my SLR camera the entire visit and shot everything (photos and time lapses) on my iPhone 5.
Without further ado, enjoy! Here’s the link to the short video on YouTube, or just click play below in the embedded version.
On to the next adventure,
https://www.traipsingabout.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/07-IMG_6615.jpg9001200Dakotahttps://www.traipsingabout.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Traipsing-About-logo-white-background-450x156.pngDakota2014-12-05 08:49:432015-09-02 13:23:20NYC's Pulse and Beat - A Time Lapse Video
New York City is a potent, fully-stocked bar. And, in five weeks here, I’ve enjoyed it straight up via rocking musicals on Broadway, on the rocks with a singer strumming tunes in a dark bar, or sipping the club soda of an indie movie night.
Other giant cities pack a punch too, but are grape juice compared to NYC’s deep red wine rush and sheer intensity. That crush of orderly mayhem turns ripples from New York’s art, finance and fashion morph into waves as they crash around the world.
Times Square and its insane advertising barrage.
In one run-on sentence, life here forces me to marvel at bike delivery guys zipping between taxis that are dodging delivery trucks unloading pallets of food into basements of billion dollar buildings as pedestrians zip by texting and eating lunch at the same time. I’d rather take a gut punch from Mike Tyson than pay rent for a studio apartment in midtown, yet people do it. Forget the yellow bus to get to school; throngs of youngsters navigating subway turnstiles with their moms are the norm.
Rather than shell out big cash for plays, we hit up rush, standing and lottery tickets. Here, we’re crossing fingers to get into Wicked. Third time was the charm!
Calming down in MOMA in front of a Rothko piece.
Small niceties disappear as well. Take the driver of an armored truck leaning on a blasting horn for a solid minute at a stopped taxi. Few people appear to think outside themselves—“oh, the taxi is picking up a customer.” Eye contact is a foregone conclusion; agendas and destinations trump all. Summing it up perfectly: a guy in a suit shoulder-checked while crossing a busy street. In a high-pitched voice, he cried out for all to hear (but none to care), “Can’t you even say SORRY? I’m so SICK of it. Where are the manners, people?”
Logistics for simple things are daunting in NYC. I balk at exorbitant prices in restaurants (but wow the food is good) and sigh at the snaking lines in grocery stores (Whole Foods has an automated voice and TV screen directing traffic to 35 registers.) I’ve learned to be careful buying stuff from bodegas because the expiration date may be the previous decade (record so far: raisins from 2006. Mmm, dried gravel). And shouldering through Saturday night traffic in subways after a long day in the city tries my patience. It makes me dream of a quick bike ride home or a run in Central Park, which (surprisingly) has quiet winding paths away from the crowds.
The end of a pier on the Hudson River during a run through Riverside Park.
Other than devouring the city’s offerings, my goals for New York were deliberately few. A writing class. Running in various parks and attending butt-kicking spin classes. And plenty of space for reading, writing and reflection on the past year. (Meanwhile, go-getter Chelsea is rocking frequent yoga and volunteering at Wild Bird Fund, a wild bird rehab center). After traveling for a year straight, decompressing in our own place feels great (thanks Erin!). The luxury of a couch and *gasp* sleeping in the same bed (and zip code) nightly. The small things make nomads happy.
Not that we’re sitting around. After all, the best – and most intimidating – thing about New York are the endless activities. Broadway shows are a new-found pleasure – the stunning, intricate sets coupled with star performers is so entertaining (we’ve seen seven musicals and are pro at scoring cheap tickets at this point). Fantastic plant-based restaurants abound (most memorable: Beyond Sushi, a delicious vegan take on sushi). Events like the NYC marathon, free art exhibits, concerts, indie movies and dance performances fill the hours and getting to sleep before midnight is a rarity. It’s a menagerie of entertainment into which we dived. So. Much. Fun. We logged the first ten days at Mach 3 explore mode and then realized our feet, minds and pocketbooks could crack into 12 million frayed pieces if we didn’t slow down. Quiet mornings followed by time for exploring provide a good middle ground.
When we are out in the flow of the city, I watch people with fascination. They jaywalk, whistle for cabs and non-stop hustle. They’re pushing hard, often with tense faces and quick strides. I get it – in a place where a hot dog stand permit to sell $2 franks costs $289,000, I feel a jagged, angry edge in my personality at times too.
Still, we see glimmers of humanity shine. A homeless woman brought in an injured bird to Wild Bird Fund and donated $10 in crumpled, panhandled dollar bills to help out. A different homeless woman with white hair shivered in her thin blanket on a freezing day. We bought her a hat, which she refused. Startled by that, we watched two other people offer her money; she denied them too. On a Park Avenue street corner in the blasting wind, we four strangers bonded over the plight of another, put aside our schedules and discussed how we could help someone in need. I suspect this happens all the time on a variety of levels, from individuals to nonprofits to huge contributions from businesses.
NYC marathoners heading toward the finish at the southern end of Central Park. 60,000 people ran this year!
Beneath it all, people make New York City a magic place. It’s not the rules, population stats, expensive permits or the billions in revenue on Wall Street. The individuals make the city sing (there’s a reason “Humans of New York” is so popular – it puts a face to the madness). Their unique labor cranks out world-class art, business, and food mixed into an ocean of chaotic energy that is as overwhelming as it is fantastic.
And now, even as I’m dreaming of a shifting balance in the form of quiet waves on a warm beach or the crunch of a mountain bike trail under my tires (with no sirens to be heard), this stay indelibly etched the pulse and beat of NYC into my chest. I feel most content in nature, but have loved basking in the brilliance of the city’s offerings. Whether sipping a walk through Central Park or a downing a shot of an energizing theater performance, fond memories abound. I can’t wait to come back.
Backstage and blurry at the Broadway performance of Wicked with a cast member. Thanks to Merideth for introducing us to her friend Betsy!
Enjoying a walk in Central Park.
Chelsea’s wildlife rehab skills helping out an injured pigeon.
https://www.traipsingabout.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/03-IMG_6543.jpg9001200Dakotahttps://www.traipsingabout.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Traipsing-About-logo-white-background-450x156.pngDakota2014-12-03 09:59:582014-12-03 09:59:58New York City, Straight Up
I wonder how foreign tourists feel in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day. Do they search for “local” flavor the same way backpackers clamor for an obscure, off the beaten path scene during an overseas festival? Fireworks and tango in Spain; paint-throwing in India. Here, it’s “We need to find a down-home American family cooking turkey, cranberries and potatoes. We’ll watch football and gorge ourselves. It’s a tradition!”
Even living here for five weeks, we remain tourists in NYC. So, waking to falling snowflakes on Thanksgiving Day, we did what any red-blooded New York visitor does: shouldered through crowds to watch the Macy’s Parade. And as Spiderman, the Pillsbury Doughboy and Sponge Bob Square Pants floated by on Central Park West, we mashed in with everyone and laughed at the scene, chatting amiably with people.
A little girl watches in delight as Sponge Bob Square Pants floats on by.
Stomping our feet to stay warm, holiday cheer jingled in the air. Balloon sellers hawked replicas of the floats; kids perched on police car roofs, gaping at the floats and cheering at marching bands. Eventually, Santa’s sleigh slid by followed by giant red stars proclaiming “Believe” and the holiday tradition finished. Sporting smiles, the crowd dispersed to watch the Bears and Lions face off and roll their eyes during drunk uncle Henry’s rants about how the Democrats are screwing everything up.
Kids snag a better view of the parade. (C photo credit)
Last year, we spent Thanksgiving hiking and camping in California redwood groves. Enjoying it with a million people in Manhattan is 180 degrees (and a lot of biking) away. And it’s all good! Because even as a tourist, when you’re in the middle of a country’s tradition, holidays knock down walls. People are more gracious when lights twinkle in storefront windows. Everybody says “happy holidays” after a short conversation with the restaurant table next to them. And if a parade of inflated icons facilitates that in a busy city like New York, sign me up.
Hope you had an awesome Thanksgiving!
P.S. Join us in celebrating Buy Nothing Day today on Black Friday to focus on friends, family and experiences instead. Here’s the Minimalists’ great post about it.
Papa Smurf rolls on by as kids watch from the top of a police van (C photo credit)
https://www.traipsingabout.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2-IMG_6862.jpg9001200Dakotahttps://www.traipsingabout.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Traipsing-About-logo-white-background-450x156.pngDakota2014-11-28 07:36:312016-01-02 10:06:22When in Rome, Wave at the Pillsbury Doughboy