I decided to approach the day 3 rushing a bit to be able to see few thing without bothering nobody. After an amazing breakfast at home in Brooklyn I took the subway for a long trip. That day I decided to bring my Canon EOS R and just a lens, the 17-40 f/4 because I knew that I would have spent a lot of time in a place that defining amazing is still reductive! I was going to have a breathtaking photography experience
I had a specific plan that I have been able to follow thanking to the great app City Mapper that offers ALL the transportations and time schedules around the city, public and private ones. My aim was to take a look to the Grand Central Station and to continue. Since I was in the area, I enjoyed also the Public Library and I took a beautiful walk around taking advantage of the spectacular sun and blue sky of that day.
Then I moved to the Upper East Side to enjoy the view and the architecture, even if just from the outside. One of my favorite building ever, designed by the genius of Frank Lloyd Wright. The one that I studied with more passion at the high school and at the University while studying art history. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Since I was there I couldn't give up to a walk in Central Park!
From there I went down to enter the Rockfeller Center to go up to the panoramic terrace which I booked 2 days before. Remember always to book, it's easier and faster. I spent a lot of time there, about 3 hours, but on purpose. When I went there the first time the Top of the Rock was fully booked because I arrived there just one hour before the sunset, the most popular time, but It was a good thing!
I booked online for the time slot before sunset, which is more expensive but I can understand why. I would suggest to book at least 2 hours before the sunset, you won't get bored. Inside there are many controls before and after the elevator that brings you up in just 43 seconds! As soon as you have the first view you can realize that you spent 40$ ticket in the best way possible and the breathtaking photography experience begins.
I turned around many times, changing different floors to capture different perspectives. From Downtown to Central Park with the new sky scrapers that lop over it
Then, minute after minute, I realized the chance that I had to take so many different pictures that I should have selected once at home. But the variety of different lights made the process way easier and not too boring. I mean...
Again, thanking to the Canon EOS R and the control ring mount adapter the capturing process has been extremely easy and fast. I have been able to do not too many shots and pretty much all of them characterized by the correct light. Moreover no need of stabilizer even when the light was going to disappear.
These pictures, the last one in particular, are the result of a patient process because the terrace started to be overcrowded. Making it super difficult to find a spot where to be able to be static and take the best pictures through the big glasses. Officially tripods are forbidden (even if someone had really small tripods, but with the crowd is really difficult to arrange it) and I didn't bring anything, not even the gorilla pod, and the pictures I took are all freehand.
I can easily consider the Top of the Rock the highlight of my trip speaking about attractions in general, a breathtaking photography experience. I know it's pretty touristy but it's truly breathtaking and I consider it the place that you can't miss if you are in NYC.
I was there on a Friday, which means free entrance at the MoMa, the longest line I have ever seen in my life but also the faster one. Clearly the experience is not the best possible considering how many people there were inside. Anyway it was good enough if the time that you have in the city forces you to make choices!
To complete the day being in that area there's no better choice for an hamburger than the Burger Joint. Small place hidden behind a red curtain inside a fancy hotel. There's always a long queue but not slow. The inside is pretty cozy and nice with many posters and items directly from the 80's/90's and the hamburgers are pretty good!
Stay tuned for the next chapters. In the meanwhile check my website looking for the best options to explore Venice with me during your next trip!
Here we are for the second day exploring around the most incredible city ever. This time from Greenwich Village first, then Harlem, going to Downtown to enjoy some of the unmissable attractions of NYC. Actually also something definitely not touristy but extremely important and famous for a niche of lovers of the game and I was able to take the pictures I've always dreamed of. I was lucky to be with Geneviève that was pretty patient with me, a local willing to bear my excursions to these strange places around her city where she has never been before!
I was obviously with my new Canon EOS R and my Canon 17-40mm, extremely useful during a long day walking around thanking to the lightness they offered. I won't never be tired to appreciate how easy was to take pictures with this combo plus the control ring mount adapter. All these components make you forget about the battery that doesn't last that long due to the EVF and new electronic components!
First stop was at West 4th Street Courts, one of the most popular playground in NYC. If you are not in a rush, just eight minute far there's Murray's Bagels where you can try the best bagel in town. After a good coffee you can happily reach the subway to Harlem.
I reached Harlem specifically to see Rucker Park, a sort of Mecca of street basketball. Named after Helcombe Rucker , a teacher that in 1950 started a basketball tournament to help less fortunate kids and to keep them away from the streets. Most players coming here in summer are well known just among the street basket world. But Rucker Park hosted also famous NBA players like Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Kevin Durant and the most venerated one around here, Julius Dr. J Erving
I have always loved basketball, since I was a kid, and as every kid I started to play on the streets and at the outdoor playground with my friends. All along the year with all the different weather conditions. Street basket is different, harder, intense, more real, less rules, more respect, it's something that you bring inside you forever. I discovered Rucker Park following my favorite basketball blog and FB page ever, La Giornata Tipo. Once in NYC I had to visit this place in the heart of Harlem, a sort of sanctuary for me, the only one possible actually. Here I had the chance to take the pictures I've always dreamed of.
The feelings were great and I'm so happy to have seen this place that for many people is just a playground, but to me was a sort of end of a long path. Not finished a finished one yet because next time I want to be there during a tournament to feel the real vibes that this game can give.
After the Rucker Park we moved down to walk a bit inside one of the most famous city parks in the world. Clearly my time was not enough to walk through all of it and the weather was not the perfect one for my purpose since it was freezing. Anyway I've been able to enjoy the atmosphere and the beautiful autumn colors that Central Park can offer! This one is another spot that I'll visit again for sure to see the spots recounted in my favorite book The Catcher in the Rye , the movies Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and Batman Returns. Unfortunately here I didn't had the chance to take the Pictures I've always dreamed of.
Right on time we reached one of the places that I have always wanted to see since I was able to turn the tv on on the 80's:
If you can reach the Brooklyn bridge around the sunset time. If it's not crazy cold, early in the morning, that is probably even better because nobody's supposed to be there! The sunset time was perfect and magical tho. Be careful because there's the real risk to take too many pictures because the light is growing better minutes after minute.
Most of my picture here were great thanking to the Canon EOS R in particular. Even when it was getting darker the results were still coming, so I can say that I didn't miss the stabilizer at all. Since I started to take pictures in my life I had the stabilizer just on couple of lenses. I can say that in some conditions the IS can help a bit, but it can't change a picture, if it's ruined, it's ruined, no stabilizer can prevent it. Clearly if your goal are videos the story changes, in that case the IS is way helpful, anyway not my case.
The Brooklyn bridge offered several beautiful point of views and gorgeous landscapes and skylines. If you concentrate and focus a bit, into that incredible sunset there's also the Statue of Liberty. I saved it for the next trip. We walked so much that day and after crossing the bridge to Brooklyn I was super tired but I can say that it was definitely worth it!
In the next chapter other great views from my favorite place of the trip!
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NYC finally! It was my first time there and I was super curious to visit the most famous city in the world. Since I was a kid New York was THE place of multiple movie spots. The city where Michael Jordan offered the best performances of his career at the Madison Square Garden. The temple of modern architecture and a street photography paradise.
A city that I always wanted in my pictures, a street photography paradise. The place where I dreamt to be sooner or later in my life. To reach my aim I brought with me my new Canon EOS R , a Canon 17-40mm f/4 and a Canon 50mm f/1.2, the perfect combo talking about weight and performances. An amazing chance for me to catch huge buildings, street photography and enjoy the city.
I stayed there 5 full days, clearly not enough to see everything. You could easily spend more than a month there and there would be still something left for sure. Anyway enough to feel the vibes of an incredible city that has a lot to offer. As soon as I started to walk I have to say that I was less overwhelmed than I thought,. Probably because I saw it so many times on tv and books that it was exactly like I imagined! In few minutes anyway NYC unveiled itself as as the street Photography Paradise I was expecting!
I started my long walk from Midtown to Downtown messing completely with my original plans. So missing a few things, but I can say it was worth it. Despite of the cold, it was a beautiful sunny and clear day, with a lot of contrasts and the colors. They were simply amazing and offering me the perfect chance to try my Canon EOS R. I was a bit hesitant to pull out my camera, I was already late, I was freezing too. I looked around, I noticed many things and I stopped being a tourist. I immersed myself in the atmosphere appreciating the most quiet areas through Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Soho.
Walking in this street photography paradise, arriving to Lower Manhattan at the World Trade Center you can immediately recognize the Oculus designed by Santiago Calatrava. It identifies the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, representing a dove freed from the hands of a kid. This suggestive architecture is right under the Freedom Tower. The name changed in One Word Trade Center, from the original project of Daniel Libeskind.
The atmosphere changed once at Ground Zero, maybe it didn't change too much but I felt it was appropriate to approach that place respectfully. Obviously thinking a lot about what happened there but I realized that all in all everybody were relaxed and the spirit around was good. Looking at the place where once lopped the Twin Towers I felt the power in the air, inevitably.
In that jungle of skyscrapers the wide Canon 17-40mm was simply perfect to catch everything those architectures had to offer. It gave me the chance to create strong impact images. I have also been able to manage the exposure easily thanking to the control ring mount adapter, the best tool to pair to the Canon EOS R. The process is way easier and there's a reduce mistake margin, so less mistakes, less pictures to select, more space on the memory card.
After this loooooong walk, I went back first to take a must look to the house of "The Cosby Show" in Greenwich. Then the aim was to go up to The Top of the Rock..but it's another story...(next chapter!)..so since I was close by I decided to try the most famous banana pudding in the world at Magnolia Bakery according with the suggestions of my two favorite travelers ever Fedo and Emma. Well...huge experience
I took a walk around Midtown where the jungle of buildings offers views that I loved. About the Empire State Building in particular, my favorite architecture so far. While waiting for a friend, since I was close, I decided to take a look to the Mecca for every photographer, B&H. Man...if you are looking for something..well.. you are going to find it there! I was so overwhelmed about the huge variety of stuff they had inside that I forgot to buy the only thing I had in my mind. If NY is a street photography paradise, B&H is simply a photography paradise! I just didn't like the fact they had many cameras, I don't know if second hand, repaired, to be repaired, but with the sensor at the open hair. I forgot to ask why. You know I was busy and shocked wandering around!
I've been suggested to visit the Hudson Yards and a friend brought me there. I was pretty happy about it, the area is new and pretty nice with its symbol, the Vessel or Social Climber. Then we took a walk on the High Line, a park and footpath built on a disused raised railway. I would have really wanted to explore this place during the day but hey, NYC it's huge, too many things to see..next time for sure!
Here the combo Canon EOS R + 50mm f/1.2 was great, this camera gave a second life to this great old prime lens!
As an end of a long and freezing day I couldn't have hoped for a better place than Totto Ramen, great place in Hell's Kitchen where I tried one of the most amazing ramen ever. It's crowded probably everyday, since I was there on a Wednesday and I waited for more than 30 minutes, anyway don't miss it! I'm not going to talk about food on every chapter, just sometimes, but I particularly love ramen, I couldn't help it in this case!
Great first day in NYC. Just the beginning of an amazing trip discovering one of the most fascinating places in the world, more pictures are coming with more stories about them.
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