My husband (then boyfriend) surprised me with a trip to New York City in December of 2000. I had always wanted to visit the city, especially at the holidays specifically to see the tree at Rockefeller Center. Armed with my 35mm SLR and several rolls of film, we left Atlanta on Friday, December 1st, on an early flight into LaGuardia. We didn’t know it when we boarded, but we somehow lucked out and were seated where we had a great view of the city while flying in. When we caught our first glimpse of the Manhattan skyline, the most recognizable buildings were the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
That weekend was filled with a typical tourist’s visit to the city including Times Square, Fifth Avenue, The Empire State Building, Central Park and of course Rockefeller Center to see the famous tree. I feel like we walked all over Midtown Manhattan and were exhausted and nearly frozen each night when we crawled into bed. On our last day in the city, we talked about visiting the Statue of Liberty, but wouldn’t have time before we needed to head back to the airport. We decided that a trip to see the World Trade Center would be a great compromise and could see the Statue of Liberty from there.
I choose to shoot with black and white film that day, hoping I’d capture some classic views of the city. Knowing that it would help me keep my photos more organized, I stopped to take a photo at the entrance to the south tower where we were headed to the observation deck.
My husband and I still can’t remember who then decided to look up and take a photo of the building itself, but I am so glad now that one of us had the foresight to do it.
On September 11, 2001, I was attending a training class in the Atlanta suburbs where I lived at the time. The class started at 8:30 am, and like all good participants ready to learn something new, my cell phone was off so that there were no interruptions in the class. At our first break just after 10:00 am, each attendee turned their phones on and found a quiet place to call their offices or loved ones to check in and talk to someone while stretching their legs. I called my husband to see if he wanted to meet me for lunch since he was scheduled to be near the location of my training class that afternoon.
Before I could even ask him about lunch, he told me about the events unfolding in New York. As he said that America was under attack and that one of the towers of the World Trade Center was gone. I couldn’t comprehend what he was telling me and asked him several times to repeat himself and to slow down. As I was trying to understand, I noticed that others on their cell phones looked confused and upset and someone inside had turned on the television. We all sat in silence and watched the second tower collapse and were then sent home for the day.
On this tenth anniversary of that horrific day in American history, my thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost loved ones. Our country changed forever on September 11, 2001 and we will never forget.
I have recently found that I need to be in Buffalo, NY, in July and plan to visit Niagara Falls when I am in town. I’ve been twice, once on the American side of the falls and once on the Canadian side. My first visit to see the falls was a few years ago when my husband and I ventured into Canada. Friends in Buffalo mentioned that the views were spectacular from the Canadian side, and they were absolutely right! I remember being simply amazed at the color of the water in the midday light. My visit last year to Niagara Falls State Park in Niagara Falls, NY, was at dusk to capture the sunset and the illumination of the falls. I’m not sure which side I’ll be visiting this July, but know that either will produce some great photographs. This photo is a view of Horseshoe Falls from Victoria Park in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
As 2010 comes to a close, I took a look back at some of my favorite photos from this year. The highlight of the year by far was the trip my husband and I took in the spring to California. In a week we drove from Napa to Los Angeles, and I would have loved to have had more time. The scenery along the Pacific Coast Highway was simply stunning, so it’s no surprise that several of my favorites are from that trip. It was hard to narrow it down to only ten, and there isn’t really any rhyme or reason for why these photos are my favorites. There is something about each one that I love, so I hope you enjoy them all and have a wonderful 2011!
Niagara Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America. Along the Niagara River the forms the border between the state of New York and Ontario, Canada, Niagara Falls is comprised of the individual waterfalls. According to the New York State Parks Department, 3160 tons of water flows over the falls each second – 75,750 gallons over the American and Bridal Veil Falls and an amazing 681,750 gallons over Horseshoe Falls. This enormous volume of water falls at a rate of 32 feet per second. As a natural power source, Niagara Falls is capable of producing over 4 million kilowatts of power that is shared by the United States and Canada.
The Genesee River flows through Letchworth State Park located about 35 miles southwest of Rochester, NY. Carving a gorge through the park, the rock walls climb up to 550 feet in some locations, hence the nickname the “Grand Canyon of the East”. There are three large waterfalls in the park, named only for their locations: Upper, Middle and Lower Falls. All o f the falls are located in the southern section of the park, known as Portage Canyon. This photo is of the Middle Falls, located in the most narrow section of the gorge where only 400 feet separates the two rock walls.
The Niagara River forms the border between New York state and Canada, and is technically a ‘strait’ that connects Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The most famous feature of the river is the Niagara Falls which is actually comprised of three separate waterfalls. The American and Bridal Veil Falls are on the US side and Horseshoe Falls is on the Canadian side. To view the falls from the US, you’ll visit the Niagara Falls State Park, established in 1885 making it the oldest state park in the country . Each evening, the falls are illuminated by a changing combination of white and colored lights that give Niagara an entirely different look. This photo was taken from the Niagara Falls State Park in New York with a view of the American Falls, a portion of Horseshoe Falls in the distance, and the skyline of the city of Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada.
Located in New York City, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral hosts over 5.5 million people each year to visit and pray. Opened in 1879, the cathedral is the largest Gothic-style Catholic Cathedral in the United Sates and holds up to 2,200 people. It’s location on Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets is directly across from Rockefeller Center makes it one of the iconic New York landmarks to visit while in Manhattan. While exterior photos that capture the contrast between the Gothic-style cathedral and the modern skyscrapers that surround it are fantastic, I found the ceiling inside illuminated by the soft lighting of the chandeliers to be even more intriguing.
About 35 miles southwest of Rochester, NY you’ll find Letchworth State Park. Billed as the “Grand Canyon of the East” the Genesee River travels through the gorge over three large waterfalls offering spectacular views. The rock walls are as high as 550 feet in some areas with a width of only 400 feet near the middle falls, thus earning the name the “Grand Canyon of the East.” The park is named after William Pryor Letchworth who gave a 1000 acre estate to the state of New York in 1906 that now comprises the heart of the park .The park now covers over 14,000 acres offering views like this on the 66 miles of hiking trails.
One of the biggest tourist attractions in Manhattan is Rockefeller Center. At its center is the GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, easily one of the most famous and easily recognizable office buildings in the country. Opened in 1933, the 70-floor, 872-foot sky scraper is home to the ”Top of the Rock” Observation Deck that allows a unique 360 degree panoramic view of the city. One of the largest and most well known tenants of “30 Rock” is NBC which houses their main headquarters, many of thier New York studios and the live operations for NBC News and MSNBC there.
Located in New York City, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is on Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets. Across from Rockefeller Center, Saint Patrick’s Gothic-style sits in stark contrast to the towering modern skyscrapers that surround it. The cornerstone for the cathedral was laid in 1858, but construction was stopped during the years of the Civil War. After construction resumed in 1865, the cathedral was completed in 1879. Officially opened on May 25, 1879, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is the largest Gothic-style Catholic Cathedral in the United States and was named as a National Historic Landmark in 1976.