Today’s Tiny Tuesday image is a photograph that was inspired by an artist whose work I saw many years ago.
In 2001, just a few weeks after September 11, my company’s offices were relocated to a building on the corner of Hudson and Spring Street. Thankfully, we had a mild Fall and early Winter, and I spent many mornings simply taking the 6 train straight down to Spring Street from 96th St, and I would walk across town to the West Side. I often chose this version of my commute instead of the alternative – a three subway (two transfer) version.
On those mornings, I would leisurely stroll with my Sony discman listening to my favorite mix CD. On the way, I would pass Gallery Revel, an art gallery on Spring Street, and in the window for many months was the work of an artist – Tony Magner.
Tony had a nostalgic style with paintings of couples reminiscent of the 1940s and I noticed that in the background of most of the images was The Empire State Building. Maybe it was the timing of the events occurring that year, but something about these images moved me. The images reminded me of old movies, perfect love stories, good romantic novels and everything I loved about living in Manhattan. And I found I had a new affection and place in my heart for the Empire State Building, looming tall above our city. I wanted one of those paintings, although it was definitely out of my budget.
About six months later, my boyfriend (now husband) and I signed a lease for our first apartment together located on the corner of 23rd Street and 6th Avenue. While looking at apartments in that building for rent, we were shown one that had a perfect view of the Empire State Building from the living room. It was gorgeous. But, as is often the story in NYC apartments, this particular apartment did not have a single closet and had less than 450 square feet of space. It was a very difficult decision, but we chose to be practical, and selected a slightly larger layout in the same building that included three closets for the same rent, but did not have a view of the Empire State Building.
While I was unable to see The Empire State Building from my apartment window, it still became a large part of my life that year. Every evening, when I would exit the subway station at 23rd Street and 5th Avenue, I would walk up the stairs and turn to see the beautiful lights on The Empire State Building. Her place in my heart grew larger. Now that I am living in New Jersey, and no longer commuting to Manhattan, I miss seeing that beautiful view on a regular basis.
And then one day, this image happened. We had spent a rainy morning visiting the Liberty Science Center with our children. But when we left that afternoon, the skies had mostly cleared and the sun was shining. We took a short drive to visit the historic Central Railroad of NJ station located in Liberty State Park. And there she was, the view of the NYC skyline and my favorite building. And I was thrilled to have my camera with me to not just capture the view, but capture my children enjoying the view. As I sat on my computer later that evening processing images, I had a moment of inspiration. I remembered Tony Magner’s artwork from Gallery Revel, and now I had an image of my daughter with the NYC skyline and the Empire State Building looming in the background. I spent a little more time processing this image to capture that nostalgic feeling that I saw in Tony’s paintings. I absolutely love this image of my daughter enjoying the view of the skyline. And seeing The Empire State Building standing tall in the background just warms my heart.