New York in Living Color

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The  West 40s are the Theater District. Six blocks beyond, the needled spire of the Chrysler Building, the tallest building in the world when it was completed 1930, is a masterpiece of deco architecture that remains an iconic midtown landmark.

New York in Living Color

The glass skyscrapers  of lower Manhattan face Freedom Tower, the 1776-foot centerpiece of the redevelopment of Ground Zero. A large memorial park  (open 10 AM to 6 PM through March 2013, extended hours likely thereafter)  marks the footprint of the Twin Towers, providing a dramatic perspective to Freedom Tower and the six other glass towers under construction, with three that top 1,000-feet. When the buildout is completed in several years


An eagle takes off from the balustrade of Grand Central Terminal, a Beaux Artes masterpiece on 42nd St. with the Chrysler Building in the distance.
Text and images by By Allan Seiden



The metallic-panal-clad Mobil Building, a 1956 architectural landmark on 42nd St. and Lexington Ave. , with the Chrysler Building taking aim at the heavens.

When I was a kid growing up in the 1950s, New York City’s eight million people made it the largest city in the world. New York for me was always Manhattan, even though I grew up in Queens, a largely residential borough across the East River from Manhattan, where my father was born a century ago. With skyscraping towers and urban energy, Manattan was the real New York.


Times Square has become the revitalized heart of Manhattan.

 Today, cities around the globe, including many in Asia, Africa  or South America you’ve never heard of, are home to more people than New York, but no city captures News York’s cosmopolitan, creative energy attracting people from all over the world, a place alive with opportunity where the rich and famous can anonymously hobnob with their peers.


The ultimate New York skyscraper, the 1454-foot Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world from the time it opened in 1931, after little more than a year under construction, until 1972 when the title passed to the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

 It is a city of skyscraper canyons where architecture confronts the senses and reality seems bigger than the sum of its parts. It is welcoming to those willing to play in the big leagues, its promise a constant temptation.

Light and energy in constant motion are the addictive combination that make New York an ultimate urban reality.












In detail and in overview it is a dynamic work of urban art, forever in the process of remaining current, a place to be enjoyed in living color. 

Reflections of a glass city. The brick and stone-clad city  has been enhanced by towers of glass that dynamically mirror the cityscape.
Heading uptown on Madison Avenue.
Battery Park City was built on landfill along the Hudson shoreline. Much of lower Manhattan has been built on landfills dating back to Dutch Nieuw Amsterdam. The worst damage from the water surge created by Sandy was on landfill extensions to the island.
The simplicity and scale of Freedom Tower provides a powerful aesthetic anchor to lower Manhattan.
Times Square: A world all its own.
The memorial arch outside of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.
The Manhattan tower of the George Washington Bridge. Opened in 1931, it gracefully crosses the Hudson, linking upper Manhattan with New Jersey’s Palisades.
In the mid-20s, facing east. The Metropolitan Life Insurance Building tower, completed in 1899, adds an elegant spire to the skyline.

Fifth Avenue apartment houses face the green acres of Central Park north od 60th St..
Night in the city.
Above the altar of the Eldridge Street Synagogue in the Lower East Side. Once the tenement home to Jews from Eastern Europe, it’s now the young and hip East Village. Tours are offered to the beautifully restored synagogue and at the nearby Tenement Museum.
The clock ticks toward midnight in the city that never sleeps.





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