Manhattan, briefly

A delayed flight home at the end of a holiday can have its benefits if the airport is Newark-Liberty, a few miles from Manhattan Island.

I’ve spent innumerable hours in the airport en route to and from my wife’s family in Virginia, but had never had the opportunity to visit the city shimmering on the horizon through the terminal windows.

An unexpected 24-hour stop-over due to east coast storms gave me the opportunity, at last, a couple of days ago, to spend a few hours in downtown New York, on a blue Spring morning. The city is even more monumental than I had imagined, seeming more a phenomenon of nature than a human creation. The impression is of extraordinary density, the towers clustered so closely together as to form sheer walls of concrete and glass. The city points both to the past and the future, the great stone ziggurats of the early 20th century rising alongside modernist steel and glass.

Fortunately my camera phone was fully charged, and the memory card, at least until I emerged from Penn Station onto Seventh Avenue, not overburdened. Here are some of the images I was able to gather, in no particular order, rather like my incoherent amble through the streets. The full set is available on Flickr.

Anyone who has read anything on this site will know that I am rather obsessed by cities and the urban landscape. I hope to write more about those New York skyscrapers some time. But in the meantime I’m content simply to allow these and other images of that brief bright day to linger in memory.