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Old Jul 19, 2011, 9:29 AM   #1
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Default Gantry Plaza State Park, NYC

Gantry Plaza State Park on the East River bank in Long Island City, NY offers an expansive view of the eastern side of Manhattan. Compared to other spots where one may take postcard pictures of the New York City skyline, it is also probably the easiest to get to -- it is just one subway stop from Grand Central.

Gantry Plaza is at Hunter’s Point and was created in 1998 to take advantage of the dramatic view. The once derelict riverbank lined with abandoned factories, rotting wharves, and graffitied cranes was transformed into a modern park attraction complete with high-rise condominiums.

During the height of the American railroad, Hunter’s Point was a hub for transporting goods. Cranes hoisted rail cars from barges on the river and placed on land which then continued their journey on the Long Island Railroad. Pepsi Cola’s bottling plant with the big Pepsi Cola sign was also nearby.

After the decline of the railroad -- brought about by the switch from coal (which was transported from Pennsylvania mines by rail) to oil (which was imported from the Middle East) as energy source, the growing popularity of automobiles, and the efficiency of highways -- factories and cranes at Hunter’s Point came into disuse. By the 70s, the waterfront was abandoned.

At around the same time, artists were being driven out of SoHo in downtown Manhattan by rising rent. They congealed at Hunter’s point because they found the rent cheap, “loft space handy, and proximity to Manhattan excellent”. (source: New York Magazine) Since then, Long Island City “has among the highest concentration of art galleries” in New York City. (source:wikipedia.org)

Then, realizing that the artists were sitting on a goldmine, developers came and built Gantry Plaza State Park.

If you’re ever in New York City and would absolutely have to have a souvenir picture of its skyline, visit Gantry Plaza State Park. You’ll find it very modern and mixed with curious relics -- the hulking cranes and the cursive Pepsi Cola sign were restored -- from another time. And the view -- one of astounding human achievement -- is something you can’t find anywhere else in the world.

#1) Midtown Manhattan skyline seen from Gantry Plaza State Park.


#2) Stargazing deck chairs and condominium high-rises at Gantry Plaza State Park.


#3) Gantry from which the plaza got its name.


#4) The Pepsi sign was dismantled in 2008 and relocated to make room for the park. The 59th Street Bridge is in the distance.


#5) Long Island City (with Gantry Plaza State Park at the waterfront) seen from Manhattan (at the 37th Street Esplanade).


Thank you for looking. C&C welcome.
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Old Jul 20, 2011, 4:57 PM   #2
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Vibrant photo art, vv. Have you heard of another NY photographer, Andreas Feininger?

Pretty heavy equipment in this one. Wonder what would have been his position on programs like Photoshop. His pictures are "historical" in the best sense of the word. Would his work have been as appreciated had he used massive picture alteration?

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The pictures are optimized for slideshows. The slideshow button is at the upper right. Please use your loudspeakers. There is some music, progressive music from the seventies in the different galleries.
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Last edited by Torgny; Jul 20, 2011 at 5:13 PM.
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Old Jul 21, 2011, 10:20 AM   #3
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Thanks, Torgny.

I'm sure he'll be in shock. Much as the Renaissance painters would if they were given a tour of Pixar labs. (And much as I am in shock looking at his gear...)

#6) Long Island City at sunrise. This was taken in October last year. Notice the building in construction in #5 hasn't begun yet.
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