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Wake Up Call

Wow is all I could say as I stood at Times Square looking west along 42nd Street into one of the most amazing sunsets I have seen. This stretch of 42nd Street is already quite dramatic at dusk or at night. But this sunset was remarkable, with the heavily stratified clouds and beautiful color gradation of orange to deep blue. One could have easily seen the sky as part of the artificial spectacle. Drama added to drama. Perfect for a world that knows no bounds when it comes to sensory overload. It really looked like Batman’s Gotham City.

One can easily live a lifetime in New York City without hardly a hint of the natural world. With the exception of the sky, occasional tree, squirrels, and birds, we live in a place that is almost entirely man-made. Some are fortunate and have park, river, or garden views. But for most, this is a life of concrete, stone, brick, steel, and glass. We look to other things – culture, business, restaurants, architecture, and human interaction.

Some seek out nature in the city. It is can be found in promenades, parks, gardens, and waterways. And occasionally, when you least expect it, it slaps you in the face. A wake up call to nature…

23 Responses to Wake Up Call

  1. First, beautiful photo. And your thought about the absence of nature reminds me of some friends who’d grown up in New York, seeing the sky in small slivers in the canyons of skyscrapers. They took a trip out west once and in the Badlands they had serious agoraphobia for a couple of days, surrounded by so much sky.

  2. seriously amazing view extraordinary

  3. Anonymous says:

    Very nice! What a great photo.

    I love the contrast between the fake, slick, and some would argue unnecessary…against the natural, very real sliver of nature.

    Absolutely beautiful.

    Thanks for the blog.

  4. Wow! Love the shot, it really does look like something out of Gotham City. I can’t imagine living somewhere thats all concrete/brick/steel.

    Mab :)

  5. Brian,

    I was gonna ask you what time it was when you took the picture, then I saw the clock above the New Amsterdam marque.


  6. thanks all. It can be a real shocker when you haven’t left the city for a while and experience a new season – you realize how much you miss as far as the impact nature has on you.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Yes, it’s really…. City Lights!



  8. Love this photo

  9. I left the city for the Summer to come back home (to Fort Myers, Florida) and I’ve been reveling in the nature that I took for granted before my move up north. I’ve had trouble trying to come to terms with the ups and downs of living in and out of the city.

    P.S. Great photo

  10. babooshka says:

    It is a marvellous photo, so animated and alive. I am the opposite on a small island, next to nature reserve and each day I aprreciate the mive here to this quiet, green part of the world. Geat post image and words.

  11. • Eliane • says:

    Brian, c’est magnifique! Really gorgeous!! I particularly like that type of sky whith clouds mixed with the deep dark blue. Just that alone is gorgeous. Add the orange of the sunset: superb. Add the neons of Times Square and it is just magical. I also like the sleek reflections on that taxi in the foreground and the fact that the road is still wet from the rain. Gives an added atmophere.

  12. hi, I’ve just found your glob, I love it. I’m especially moved by this post as I’ve been thinking about relation between nature and man made world. Personally, growing up in a city (not such a NY, but still…)I rarely need a contact with a nature. I’ve got a kind of woody allen’s attitude and when I find myself in a forest or such I feel rather beleaguered than free. I sure I’m not the only one. I think nowadays we can call man made environment natural, cos isn’t man natural:)? if urban place is the one I get use to from the beginning why should i desperately seek for something which is completely strange and alien to me? keep it up, Nyers!

  13. pedrowesterman says:


  14. Brian,

    I have no idea how you do this; to even outdo your brilliant photos with one like this!

    This is a gorgeous shot!!

    Love our website!

  15. MmeBenaut says:

    You are so right Brian – a tiny sliver of nature in an unnatural world. I live in a completely contrasting environment; I’m surrounded by nature. I’d love to visit New York but I couldn’t live there – I’d feel too claustrophobic I think. Looking at your incredible photo, I feel a yearning for that sky beyond. The colours are simply stunning.

  16. Wow! wonderful! Thanks for your blog: an everyday gift for all us!

  17. Just Roaming The Cities says:

    Beautiful, beautiful shot. I love the height. And I’m dying to go to that Madame Tussauds…

  18. Urban (r)Evolutionary says:

    wow indeed.
    amazing photo.

    love your blog.. you clearly love your city, and i really like the way you capture all it’s facets..

  19. Great Shot!!! I was curious as to where you were standing on the street. It looks as if you are in the middle of 4 lanes of traffic~!! Was that really the case???

  20. perfectisfake says:

    This is really pretty, but how did you take it? It looks like you’re standing in the middle of the street. Haha.

  21. yes – i was standing in the middle of 4 lanes of traffic. just have to time the lights.

  22. delphidailyphoto says:

    may all your sunsets be so pneumatically creative. thanx for sharing ;-)

  23. Chuck Pefley says:

    After spending a couple of weeks visiting the city I suddenly realize that what I’m missing most is “grass”. You’re so right about the city being man made and devoid of nature. These facets are both a draw and a drawback.

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