A Photographic Meandering

At the Skyscraper Museum: A photograph of the rooftop testing track of the Fiat Lingotto factory in Turin, 1916-23

At the Skyscraper Museum: A photograph of the rooftop testing track of the Fiat Lingotto factory in Turin, 1916-23

A colleague, Jason, and I walked out last week to take some pictures. But it turned out to be a meandering because we covered almost every single corner of our district.

It started simply enough. We wanted to change the home page image and wanted to take a picture of an exhibit at the Skyscraper Museum. We left our office on the Pine Street side, walked over to Rector and then headed down Trinity Place to the pedestrian bridge over the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel entrance. We continued on to Battery Place and ambled along until we curved up to the museum.

Unfortunately, I forgot to check when they are open — and on Mondays, they are not.

Incredibly, we bumped into someone who works there outside the museum, and she was kind enough to help us gain access to some pictures they have of the exhibits. One down, two to go.

Next up was the African Burial Ground National Monument. We walked up West Street along the bike path, which Jason called the best bike path in the city. We crossed over through the maze of cars coming out of the tunnel, and then up to Rector where we made a right and then a left on Trinity. We walked through Zuccotti Park, because I like the illusion that we’re walking through nature (and because the greenmarket opened there on Tuesdays so I can start getting my weekly supply of delicious apples).

Then we walked up Broadway, out of our district, past City Hall, all the way to Duane Street where we made a right. In all my years of being down here, I’ve never seen the African Burial Ground and it is a pretty powerful monument.

African Burial Ground National Monument

African Burial Ground National Monument

We snapped some pictures, which you can find here,  and remarked on what a unique location it was.

Two down, one to go.

Now we headed over to Peck Slip, the part of the district I know the absolute least because I have spent almost no time up there. We started down Centre Street (which turns into Park Row near City Hall) and made a left onto Spruce, drawn by the captivating ripples of the new  building going up at 8 Spruce Street, a 76-story residential tower designed by Frank Gehry.

Frank Gehry's 8 Spruce Street

Frank Gehry's 8 Spruce Street

As we got closer and closer, Jason and I marveled at it, the complexity of the design, how neither of us would’ve wanted to be the project manager on this building. You absolutely could not put a piece in the wrong place. We probably spent 20 minutes taking pictures and admiring it from different angles. It is the tallest residential building on this side of the Atlantic Ocean (870 feet) and already has an elementary school in it (as well as incredible amenities such as a golf simulator on the 6th floor).

After we returned to the office, we uploaded our photos, which you can find here. I shared them with colleagues — and even with my wife and kids, I thought they were so cool — and  I realized two things.

One, in the excitement of the Gehry Building we completely forgot about another place we wanted to photograph. (We had to go out another day). The second thing I realized was that I took some pride in the fact that one of the coolest buildings built in the last 50 years in this city of incredible skyscrapers was built right down here in Lower Manhattan.