The Big Apple

Summer of twenty sixteen some of my colleagues and I were invited to the US of A to get some ITIL training and to take part in a number of brainstorming sessions for the company we work for.
Since we were going to spend the weekend there, I thought it would be fun to do some sight seeing in New York and write a blog post about it.
The brainstorming was a success, the sight seeing was awesome, but writing the blog post proved to be a bit more challenging.  But here it is : Chris in NYC

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Departure from Brussels Airport – 16mm f/8 ISO200 1/900sec

Right after take off, looking down you can spot the “Koning Boudewijn Stadion” and a bit more to the left the Atomium, built for the world fair Expo58. The Atomium building forms the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times.

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Koning Boudewijn Stadium and the Atomium – 16mm f/7,1 ISO200 1/300sec

Only about 30 minutes later we were crossing the Channel, the 33 kilometer wide natural divider between the European mainland and the UK. On the left you can see France (Calais) and on the right you can spot the White Cliffs of Dover.

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Crossing the Channel – 16mm f/8 ISO200 1/340sec

After a pleasant 8 hour flight we arrived in the US and descended towards Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). I was lucky to have a seat by the window -thanks Joeri- so I got a nice view on NYC, with the One World Trade Center peaking out.

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Descending towards EWR – 35mm f/8 ISO200 1/340sec

We dropped of our luggage at the hotel and put on our tourist hats. Visiting the US for the first time (for me that was) we thought it was a fun idea to check out a local baseball game. Not far from our hotel, in Bridgewater, The Somerset Patriots played the Lancaster Barnstormers.

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Somerset Patriots vs Lancaster Barnstormers – 23mm f/2 ISO800 1/640sec
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Somerset Patriots vs Lancaster Barnstormers – 56mm f/1,4 ISO1600 1/1600sec
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Joseph “Joe” Patrick Mauer – 56mm f/1,4 ISO3200 1/3500sec
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TD Bank Ballpark, home of the Somerset Patriots – 16mm f/2,8 ISO800 1/125sec
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TD Bank Ballpark, home of the Somerset Patriots – 16mm f/2,8 ISO1600 1/100sec

The next evening, after meeting our US colleagues and finishing the first day of brainstorming, we decided to drive into Hoboken. From there our tour guides took us to Stevens University, where you have a nice view on the NYC skyline.

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NYC seen from Stevens University, Hoboken – 35mm f/4 ISO400 1/125sec

From Steven University we jumped on the subway to get us into the city center, bringing us close to the infamous Times Square.

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Subway – 16mm f/1,4 ISO1600 1/320sec
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Times Square subway – 16mm f/2 ISO1600 1/220sec
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Billboards on Times Square – 16mm f/2,8 ISO1600 1/160sec
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NYPD on Times Square – 16mm f/2,8 ISO400 1/250sec
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Times Square – 16mm f/2,8 ISO800 1/180sec
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Times Square – 16mm f/2,8 ISO800 1/125sec
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Billboards on Times Square – 16mm f/2,8 ISO800 1/125sec
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Tourist I – 16mm f/2,8 ISO800 1/125sec
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Tourist II – 16mm f/2,8 ISO800 1/125sec
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Local snapping Tourist I – 16mm f/2 ISO800 1/125sec
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Father Duffy Square – 16mm f/2,8 ISO1600 1/125sec
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Turn to Jesus – 16mm f/2,8 ISO1600 1/125sec
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Times Square – 16mm f/2,8 ISO1600 1/125sec

The next day Michelle, one of our US colleagues, agreed to be our tour guide (again), so we went to her place and from there we took the bus into “the city that never sleeps”.

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The Stars and Stripes – 56mm f/4 ISO200 1/1250sec
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New York skyline seen from the front row of the bus – 35mm f/6,4 ISO400 1/2700sec

Exiting Penn Station you immediately run into one of the 13.347 Medallion taxicabs. These cabs got their nickname from the medallion issued by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), attached to their hoods. The cab numbers currently range from 1A10 to 9Y99.

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Medallion Cab 2C21 – 35mm f/1,4 ISO200 1/1250sec
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Friendly Mr. Cab Driver – 35mm f/1,4 ISO200 1/500sec
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Medallion Cab 3A49 – 23mm f/2 ISO200 1/340sec

The Medallion taxis are allowed to pick up passengers anywhere in the five New York boroughs, but we decided to walk up 8th Avenue and enjoy the beautiful weather and the vivid colors.

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8th Avenue Police Line – 35mm f/2,8 ISO200 1/2000sec
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8th Avenue – 23mm f/5,6 ISO200 1/300sec
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Dunkin’ Donuts – 23mm f/5,6 ISO200 1/55sec
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8th Avenue – 23mm f/5,6 ISO200 1/250sec
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8th Avenue – 16mm f/5,6 ISO200 1/80sec
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8th Avenue – 16mm f/1,4 ISO200 1/2500sec
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8th Avenue and Saint Malachy’s – 16mm f/1,4 ISO200 1/4000sec
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8th Avenue – 23 f/1,4 ISO400 1/1100sec

The Times Square Church building on 1657 Broadway was originally the Mark Hellinger Theatre, home of musicals as My Fair Lady and Jesus Christ Superstar. Over 8000 people of over 100 nationalities come here to pray every week.

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Times Square Church – 23mm f/2,8 ISO200 1/90sec
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Times Square – 23mm f/2,8 ISO200 1/950sec
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Radio City Music Hall at Rockefeller Center – 23mm f/2,8 ISO200 1/420sec
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Del Frisco’s Steakhouse near Rockefeller Center – 23mm f/4 ISO200 1/250sec
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Rockefeller Center – 23mm f/4 ISO200 1/800sec
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Rockefeller Center – 16mm f/1,4 ISO200 1/4000sec
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NBC Studios at Rockefeller Center – 16mm f/1,4 ISO200 1/2700sec
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Subway at Rockefeller Center – 16mm f/2 ISO800 1/100sec

Arguably, the best way to travel from one part of the city to another part is the New York City Subway, with its 469 stations and 375 km of routes.
In no time we traveled from Rockefeller Center to the Chelsea Market in downtown New York. The Chelsea Market complex, which fills an entire city block, was built in the former National Biscuit Company factory, where the Oreo cookie was invented and produced.

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Chelsea Market as seen from 9th Avenue – 16mm f/2,8 ISO200 1/480sec

The High Line is an abandoned, elevated railroad track that was opened to the public in the spring of 2009. It now forms a route between the Javits Convention Center and the trendy Meatpacking District.

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View on Chelsea Market from the High Line – 35mm f/2,8 ISO200 1/2000sec
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One World Trade Center seen from Greenwich Street – 35mm f/4 ISO200 1/1100sec
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World Trade Center metrostation – 16mm f/4 ISO200 1/250sec

The new One World Trade Center tower, opened in 2014, is built right next to where the original World Trade Towers were before the September 11 attacks. The view from the top is spectacular and you can stay up there as long as you want (or so we were told). The only downside is you’re not allowed to take any kind of tripod, no matter how small, and that makes long exposure night shots a bit of a challenge.

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One World Trade Center – 16mm f/4 ISO200 1/250sec
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Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge seen from One World Trade Center – 35mm f/4 ISO200 1/200sec
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NYC with Empire State Building seen from One World Trade Center – 35mm f/5,6 ISO400 1/180sec
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Brooklyn Bridge on iPhone – 35mm f/4 ISO800 1/40sec
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Left to right : Manhattan Bridge, Murry Bergtraum High School, Brooklyn Bridge and  Beekman Tower – 35mm f/4 ISO800 1/170sec
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New York rooftops seen from One World Trade Center – 35 f/4 ISO800 1/150sec
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Jersey City seen from One World Trade Center – 35mm f/2 ISO800 1/4000sec
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NYC with Empire State Building seen from One World Trade Center – 56mm f/5,6 ISO200 1/8sec
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One World Trade Center – 16mm f/5,6 ISO200 1/400sec

The National September 11 Memorial is located at the World Trade Center site, the former location of the Twin Towers, which were destroyed during the September 11 attacks.

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National September 11 Memorial – 16mm f/6,4 ISO200 1/500sec
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National September 11 Memorial – 16mm f/2 ISO400 1/4000sec
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National September 11 Memorial – 16mm f/5,6 ISO400 1/150sec
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National September 11 Memorial – 16mm f/5,6 ISO400 1/100sec

Trinity Church on the corner of Wall Street and Broadway with her 86 meters once dominated the skyline and served as a beacon for ships entering the harbor.

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Trinity Church – 16mm f/1,4 ISO800 1/2900sec
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Trinity Church – 16mm f/4 ISO800 1/300sec
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Trinity Church – 16mm f/4 ISO800 1/140sec
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Corner of Wall Street and Broadway – 56mm f/2,8 ISO800 1/450sec

From Wall street financial district (FiDi) we took the subway to go under the East river and surface in Brooklyn. The views from Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park and Main Street Park on the Brooklyn Bridge and the NYC skyline are amazing, especially on a sunny day when you can capture the sunset.

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Brooklyn Bridge and NYC skyline – 16mm f/5,6 ISO200 1/2000sec
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Brooklyn Bridge and NYC skyline – 23mm f/11 ISO200 15sec
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Brooklyn Bridge and NYC skyline – 23mm f/8 ISO200 8sec
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NYC skyline seen from the Brooklyn Bridge Park Greenway – 23mm f/8 ISO200 30sec

For the last time we took the subway to get back to Penn Station where we took the train back to our hotel.

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Brooklyn Bridge subway station – 56mm f/2 ISO800 1/140sec

If you’re lucky and you have to be at the right terminal, you get a last view on the NYC skyline before boarding your flight back.

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The Big Apple, seen from Newark Liberty International Airport – 56mm f/8 ISO400 1/950sec

Some Technical details

All pictures in this blog post are taken with the Fujifilm X-T1 on SanDisk digital film.  Lenses used are Fuji’s 16mm f/1,4 – 23mm f/1,4 – 35mm f/1,4 and 56mm f/1,2. Post processing was done in Lightroom mobile on an iPad Air and all the gear used was carried in the Tenba DNA 11 Messenger bag.

For the night shot at the One Trade World Center -since tripods are not allowed- I had to improvise and put my camera on the ground. I used the raincover of the Tenba DNA as a “bean bag” to support the X-T1 and to compose the shots.

For the night shots at the Brooklyn bridge I used a tripod and the Fuji camera app as a remote.

As always, all comments welcomed.

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