6.2: Max and Grace’s excellent USA adventure: icons of New York

Here are some images I took on our New York (Noo Yark) sojourn that I feel iconically symbolise our favourite city.

Destination of relentless waves of immigrants from the late 1880s to the peak post-World War II years, the first sight of Lady Liberty, framed by the lower Manhattan skyline, lifted tired and desperate souls.

Now, in these straightened times of foreign policy, the iconic light of Liberty needs to shine even more.

It was the immigrants to the New World, rising above the crashing times of the Great Depression that built the Empire State Building. It is iconic to this day, symbolic of what the ordinary man is capable of, with courage and determination. It may have been financed by the rich, but it was the common man who built it, and that fact is still celebrated to this day.

It’s shadow and presence can be experienced throughout modern 21st century Manhattan, rarely obscured from view.

It was also immigrants from the Old World that brought food to New York. Even now, there is nothing more evident of this than the street food carts that sprinkle the city, from monied 5th Avenue, to Central Park, to Downtown.

New Yorkers make the most use of their built environment – putting aside Central Park, a place designed for the ordinary person.

Walking the dog…

And now more than ever, getting around by bike.

My favourite icon of New York?

The fire escapes of brownstone tenements. Used by countless generations of families to cool off in a summer heat wave, to get in touch with a neighbour across an alleyway, and to replace the balcony of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, in Bernstein and Sondheim’s West Side Story.

Next stop, Washington DC.

 

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