Three weeks later, my ankles still remember with pain this almost hundred of miles walked in the Big Apple…
Previously, on 24 hours in New York City.
The day of our hero (I am!…) has started at 7:00 a.m. at the 88 Orchard. Joined by Antoine, they both ran the streets of Chinatown and Little Italy, following a lead that finally appeared to be a dead-end. After meeting Livingston — their informer — at the top of the Rockefeller Center, they went to the LEGO Store (just for fun), and then down to Battery Park, in the South of Manhattan. Once they got the package on the ferry, a fantastic research for clues began at the feet of the Liberty Statue, continued on Ellis Island, before finishing in a frantic pursuit, Downtown.
The following takes place between 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
12:00 p.m. Brooklyn Bridge.
Leaving Downtown by the South-West area, we end up in front of Brooklyn Bridge. This colossal and emblematic bridge, one of the oldest ones in New York, its flags flapping in the wind, its masonry and its metallic web. Beautiful. Impressive. On two levels (the vehicles in the lowest part, the pedestrians and bikes on the upper part), the view is always clear, as we cross the East River and we move away from Manhattan.
Going down from the bridge, you arrive in…
12:40 p.m. DUMBO.
DUMBO has its name from its location: Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. The area has the status of “Historical neighborhood from the 90s” and really looks like a place out of the end of the XXth century by its appearance. This is where the heart of the Art is, In New York, with a lot of galleries and art-oriented stores…
The area is not really big, but you can walk to the East River banks, from where you can have a new look at Manhattan.
The architecture is really beautiful and well-preserved. A complete change at just a couple of minutes from Manhattan.
You can almost think that you’re in another city…
Everything seems to come from the past.
But the bridges — which look really huge from underneath, (Manhattan Bridge here) remind you that the city is not far from here.
Brooklyn Bridge over the little houses in DUMBO.
Taking the metro again, and we go up the East bank to…
1:40 p.m. Williamsburg.
DUMBO, it’s a bit like the past in the city. Williamsburg, it’s more like the village in the city. No tall buildings or huge residential places, all the houses just have a few number of levels in the heart of Williamsburg. A lot of little stores, from antique shops to small restaurants, butchers or cheese shops. Amazingly disturbing. A little time or some hours in this neighborhood and you will forget about the city-that-never-sleeps but which still roars not far from here.
Little village, really colorful… So beautiful and pleasant!
A “Cheese Shop” on Bedford Ave. that speaks directly to your stomach. Too bad that its products are so expensive here…
From there, if you walk to the West, you end up on the East River, and beyond, Manhattan. At this location, you’re almost facing the Empire State Building or the magnificent Chrysler Building.
A little 360° with the Sprocket, for a little panoramic picture in front of the East River.
Manhattan, as seen from the same boarding on the East River. The big one on the left, it’s the Empire State. The point at the center, the Chrysler.
The director makes a sign to me, saying that the time is running (which makes no sense), and that we have to go to two more places before the end of the episode. Go!
We run at the subway and enter a station with a name that inspires me: Metropolitan Ave..
Thank you film. You don’t care about any “white balance”, “luminosity” and so. You just capture the right ambiance of the station. Yap, in many stations, the color is a bit greenish/yellowish, result of the neons and the underground atmosphere…
… not like here. Here, my digital camera has done its job… By the way, if you cross that guy’s path, the one who is playing the double bass, stop for five minutes, he’s really good!
3:00 p.m. MOMA.
Back to Manhattan, on the 53rd St. MOMA: Museum of Modern Art. I think that the name speaks for itself, as this museum is a reference: 3 millions of guests every year, a collection of 150,000 painting, sculptures, drawings, woodcuts, photographies, models and art objects, a film library of 22,000 movies et documentaries…
I’m going to Talk to me, an exhibit about the design and the communication between humans and objects. A not-to-miss thing for the technophile-ergonomics-lover-and-interested-about-human-machine-interactions-(HMI) that I am. Really remarkable, impressive… and really astonished to see there a name that I know: Etienne Mineur, hell of a guy in his domain who was one of my teachers during my last year in university. Memories…
Follow the guide!
When you arrive, you are welcomed by Carl, a little red friend, really funny, with whom you can interact by your touch (on the small screen) or your voice. Yes, he answers to you!
I then fell in love with these little creatures, from a project named Suwappu. Using your cellphone or a computer, you can see these little guys in a living and augmented-reality world.
I had the privilege to meet Tweenbot, a little robot that only goes forward, and whom survival and destination only depend on the willing of the people he meets. A nice experiment on the human-machine interactions.
If you want to know more, here is the website of the exhibition: MOMA — Talk to me.
A couple of minutes to see a photographic exhibit about crazy ideas on the creation of new cities, an exhibition about typography and objects… and it’s time to go, a few blocks up North, for a little break.
4:00 p.m. Central Park.
We can already feel that the day is almost over. The sky is getting a bit cloudy, the New Yorkers who finish early are already napping in the grass. 341 hectares of green. Reported to a humanly understandable scale, Central Park represents… 448 soccer grounds, or 32,703 tennis courts. You can lay down 158 Eiffel Towers in it, if you’re good at sorting and placing. This is immensely… immense. We got into the park by Colombus Circle (South-West angle), it took us 2 hours walking North to arrive at the central reservoir, a bit… below the half height of the park. Yap.
We found there Marlena Diamond. She’s doing fine.
At the central reservoir, you can see some buildings. You really feel like you’re outside of the city.
You can find a big ring in the park, with baseball, soccer fields… and Japanese girls who jump with grace.
And violinists who perform in tunnels.
Not a good time to nap though, the day is not over yet and many discovers await us in the city.
4:59 p.m. To be continued…