Friday, February 23, 2007

Empire State Building, February 2007

New Yorkers always make fun of people who walk around the city looking up. It’s a kind of snobbery, a way to differentiate ourselves from tourists and gawkers. But looking up can be just as valuable as looking down.

With the temperatures easing the last two days, I’ve finally been able to walk to and from work. Our soot-black snow is almost entirely melted, the streets puddled with water and dark silt. We even got a little rain yesterday afternoon to help wash things clean.

My path to the office takes me basically right beneath the Empire State Building. Whether I walk up Broadway or Fifth Avenue, and regardless of which side streets I choose, I’m zigzagging around the omnipresent monolith.

Every once in a while, I like to look up, to see the spire in a cloud or standing clear above the lower rooftops. The view above is from Broadway, around 32nd Street.

It’s already dark by the time I walk home at 6:30 or so. On Wednesday evening, the ESB was backed by a small sliver of moon. The colored lights at the top change regularly, depending on the holiday or the time of year. Right now, they’re red, white and blue for Presidents’ Day. (The building’s Web site provides a guide to the lights.)

I stopped several times on Fifth Avenue, looking up, with camera in hand, before taking this photo. I don’t much care if people think I’m a tourist. After all, tourists see things with fresh eyes, and aren't weary of the spectacular.

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