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All I can say about New York

[If you can’t see the pictures, view this post here. Press F11 if the images are too large for your browser.]

When I try to describe how I feel here, all that comes out is clichés — there’s a certain energy here, it’s a buzzing pot of humanity, it’s so diverse, so rich with potential experiences, too vast to comprehend, a city with ten million stories, or any other inadequate language you might find in the intro section of a Lonely Planet.

I heart NY, I really do. So many have said so, and with words as my medium there’s little I can add that isn’t already a part of your consciousness, whether you’ve been here or not. I hope that photographs, though, might begin to relate something beyond the cloud of familiar superlatives that surround anyone’s account of this amazing place.

Take your time. Enjoy.


















Photos by David Cain


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Understanding alice January 30, 2012 at 2:11 am

I have ALWAYS wanted to visit New York, I shall add these lovely photos to my reasons why :D

Carole Lyden January 30, 2012 at 4:04 am

I’m saving up to go. Great photos. Glad I discovered this blog

cheers Carole

Alex January 30, 2012 at 4:52 am

Good photos! I like the one with the Empire State building in clouds (at least I think it’s the Empire one). Never the less NY is definitely on my US travel list! I think it should be on everyone’s list. Although I don’t know about living there I don’t like the rush in it it’s confusing.. I would go to LA rather :)


David January 30, 2012 at 10:13 pm

It’s not the Empire State building, it’s a smaller building right on the Manhattan end of the Brooklyn bridge. Really beautiful.

Tony Draxler January 31, 2012 at 1:22 am

Maybe he’s talking about the picture of Grand Central with the Chrysler building to the side, that’s definitely one of my fav photos. Wish there were more! As a poor boy from a small Kansas town I’ve always dreamed of visiting New York. The opportunity to be immersed in different culture is exciting beyond belief. I want to see the art, hear the music, appreciate the architecture, talk to the people, experience the “buzz” that flows from such an energetic melting pot. I WILL go before I die (barring a freak accident of course :)

Alex January 31, 2012 at 6:35 am

I’m talking about the 5th picture (https://www.raptitude.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/DSC_0114.jpg)

The city is amazing! The skyline of it is brilliant!

Hana January 30, 2012 at 7:26 am

“There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born here, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size and its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter — the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. […] Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion.”
–E.B. White, Here is New York

David January 30, 2012 at 10:14 pm

E.B. White is so smart.

Tony Draxler January 31, 2012 at 1:32 am

So true. It’s sad that there are people who take for granted the amazing cultural opportunities that lie within the city. Much like anything that becomes commonplace through overexposure I suppose. Form someone standing on the outside looking in, I can only wish to have those same opportunities at my feet every single day

Nea | Self Improvement Saga January 30, 2012 at 8:48 am

I’m glad you had a great trip, David. For me, New York is one place that I can’t imagine enjoying. There’s something about all those buildings and people…everything and everyone zipping by at the speed of light. Just seeing it on T.V. gives me anxiety (I’m exaggerating here). Seriously though…I want to visit there someday just to say that I gave it a chance. But so far I haven’t heard anything that makes me want to move the trip to New York to the top of my bucket list.

David January 30, 2012 at 10:18 pm

I think if you came here it might surprise you. It sounds strange, but there’s a certain peace here I feel when I step out into the street. It’s like a warm bath. The city is just so alive and healthy, and it’s quite orderly. Everyone is busy and on their way somewhere but there’s an unspoken respect between them. It’s busy, but not chaotic, not at all.

EcoCatLady January 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I think I’m with Nea on this one. I went to school in upstate NY and made several trips to the city. I always left with the same “thank God it’s over and I survived” feeling. I just couldn’t get over the number of people… I mean just trying to walk a few blocks was like getting lost in a sea of humanity. And that was nearly 30 years ago! Frankly, I found it all to be exhausting. I also think there’s a really different sense of space in the city… as in, there isn’t any space! I know I’m spoiled living in Colorado, and even here it’s getting WAY too crowded for my tastes. I’m thinkin’ maybe rural Montana?

All that being said, your photographs are absolutely amazing! My two favorites are the one with the chandelier and the chair, and the last one with the cool reflections in the windows. What an eye you have!

David January 30, 2012 at 10:20 pm

The first few days I felt a bit intimidated, but after that I felt really relaxed among all the people. I feel more freedom to do what I like and be what I like in this city than I’ve felt anywhere else.

Glad you liked the photographs. I didn’t get a chance to take as many as I wanted, but this morning I decided to extend my stay there.

EcoCatLady January 31, 2012 at 2:11 am

Well, I’m sure that the city has a certain “buzz,” and I can also imagine that there’s a certain freedom that comes with the anonymity that such a large population provides. But to be honest, I get intimidated by downtown Denver! I think having a paralyzing fear of both heights and elevators is probably a distinct disadvantage in a vertical world!

Anyhow… wherever your travels take you, just take more pictures!!

Réjean Lévesque January 30, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Most excellent photography!
I visited New York 11 times and every time, I felt like a happy electron in the formidable energy emitted by the city and its people, but I’m not sure I would want to live there.

David January 30, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Yes, happy electron! That’s perfect. I’m also not sure I would want to live there, unless I was rich and had a big, quiet place to live.

EcoCatLady January 31, 2012 at 2:04 am

I think that’s what I’m reacting to when I recoil in horror at the mention of the Big Apple.

One time when I was visiting Manhattan, I stayed with some friends who had a studio apartment… these were 2 straight guys, although everyone assumed they were a couple. Anyhow, the apartment had one room that was about 150 square feet, no kitchen, just a hot plate in the bathroom. One of them slept on a hide-a-bed, and the other on a futon… when you added in the sleeping bags for my friend and I who were visiting there was literally NO floor left! We called it the “room d’bed.”

And here’s the kicker… they were THRILLED at how much space they had for so little money… this was probably 1988 and they paid $800/month for that tiny, tiny little space. I just couldn’t wrap my brain around it.

Pettina26 January 31, 2012 at 3:36 am

I never been in new but i have lots of beautiful things hear from it, In fact my family looking forward ti visit that place.

Jullian Pont January 31, 2012 at 6:52 am

Thanks for sharing all those lovely pictures. Does it really look as beautiful as they seem here.
Would love to visit soon.


Leah January 31, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Love your images.
Just discovered your blog. Love it too.

Nelson January 31, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Having visited New York this past summer, I also ‘less than 3’ NY. Adjusting from the ‘cross the street wherever and whenever you please’ of Winnipeg to the ‘establish yourself in the middle of the road even before the light turns green’ of New York was ceremonial. Walking with intent brought me past the tourists…errr, other tourists to destinations I didn’t have in mind. It was fun not having any plans or maps on me. Though the first few days were intimidating (arrived in Brooklyn at 9pm), it didn’t keep me from exploring the New York you have dazzlingly captured in photos. Nicely done!

Lovejoy January 31, 2012 at 6:28 pm

I did a three-day trip to New York and loved it. I think I saw everything! But if you have already been I will pick out the highlights that you may want to re-visit. In New York City you can visit the Museum of modern Art – MOMA, free on a Friday from 4pm – 8pm. Wander through Central Park and see the Pulitzer fountain, the zoo and through the wilderness of the Ramble. I thought the view from the Belvedere Castle was good. Come out by the Natural History building West-side.

Go to Chinatown, The Dumpling House or Lower Eastside’s Russ and Daughters deli for some great food and atmosphere. Walk from the Tin Building in the Seaport Historic DIstrict where there are some interesting old ships…continue along Wall Street. Check out all the historic details of Wall Street (I think there is a trail describing all the important buildings) – Trinity Church and the Federal Reserve Bank tour (gold bullion) and the 1884 clock in the pavement etc…. continue to Ground Zero if you haven’t been. It is very moving. Then onto the Trade Center which is always buzzing.

If you don’t want to go up the Empire State Building try the UN Millennium Hotel’s 44th floor for views! And turn up two hours before a show in Broadway to go in a draw to get last minute cheap tickets for a show like Jersey Boys – fabulous!.
Have a great visit!

Chris Walter January 31, 2012 at 6:31 pm

NYC really seems to be one of those love hate places. Some people totally fall in love and others hate the madness :)

Photos look awesome, really cool to see how you see the city. Keep the photos coming.

Mehri January 31, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Dear David, I’ve just found your page while googling a quote by Nietzsche…you have an amazing page..as a sociology/political science student I’m so glad that from now on I’ll be visiting your page…by the way fantastic pics on this post

Enrika February 1, 2012 at 6:38 am

I want to go to New York someday and for sure, I will enjoy my stay there…

Noch Noch | be me. be natural. February 1, 2012 at 9:34 am

i love the photos – but i find new york sometimes rather brash and too pushy… no?
but i still love M&M world haha
Noch Noch

Willie R. February 2, 2012 at 9:32 pm

It is quite obvious that you are confining your love of New York to the boro of Manhattan. The City. The Big Apple. There has been quite an improvement over the past two decades, for sure.

An extended visit to any of the other 4 boros will be enough to convince you that life is pretty much the same as in any other large city. Wealth and poverty, beauty and ugliness, hope and despair.

David February 3, 2012 at 7:27 am

Oh really? You were able to discern quite a lot from the fifteen photos and one hundred words I posted here. I’ve stayed in three of the five boroughs so far and it’s all New York to me.

jean20 February 3, 2012 at 8:43 am

Most of my friend suggested to went in new York, Because according to them its a perfect place for all the happenings.

Fletcher February 13, 2012 at 1:31 am

I amazed myself by falling in love with Manhattan when I visited for a couple of weeks. Being from Hawaii and loving the outdoors I never felt a desire to go to NY. But being there was wonderful. Great energy and people. Easy to get around and had an intimacy that surprised me. I could easily live there if I could afford it. It is truly special.

Athena February 15, 2012 at 10:56 am

Last month we are planning to went in new York, But It’s getting late to if we will pursue our plan base on the schedule of my husband.. I hear so much about beautiful things just like there delicious menu. But now, I am trying to fixed it up.

Angela February 25, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Lovely photos David! You capture a definate perspective on humans that is caring and quite observational. I go to NYC every year and this year, I am taking my parents who have never been on a commercial airline! I have a wonderful tour planned for them that I hope they enjoy. It is a trip of a lifetime for them and I am taking it very seriously. Happy to hear you were moved by your NYC experience. We leave next Saturday!

Mary February 27, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Although the City can be breathtaking, perhaps sometime you will visit the “other” NY- Upstate. :) There’s something to be said for miles of rolling hills, sparkling cold lakes and beautiful vineyards as well.
Happy travels!

Michelle Bowen April 29, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Thanks so much for this article. I am going to NYC for the first time in my life (I’m 42) with my husband for our 20th anniversary. I could go anywhere and it’s the one place I’ve ALWAYS wanted to go! The pictures are incredible and I’m so excited to see them in person. I can hardly wait. South Carolina will never be the same again. Also, I enjoy your blog. A friend just turned me on to your list of thoughts – very provoking – in a good way! -Michelle

Maxim P March 4, 2013 at 10:00 pm

David, as a life-long New Yorker, I can honestly say you’ve gone far beyond what most tourists see and captured some of the really, true, deep beauty of the city. I felt great looking through the photos. So glad to hear you liked it here. Hope you come back soon – I’d love to buy you coffee when you do.

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