Sunday, September 24, 2006

I was way due for a picture change, so I chose this one that I took last night at dusk. No make-up, no fuss, just au' naturale this time. To view a larger version click on the picture and it will take you to my Flickr account.

It was a warm night, so I decided to scale the fire escape to my rooftop. I laid on my back and looked up at the sky. As I took the shot, a lone balloon sailed up into the air. The roof was still warm from the day's sunshine and soothed me into a relaxed state.

When I'm high up, in this case three stories, I can't look at the sky too long before becoming terrified. It's so huge, endless and unknown, and the thought of that can bring me to have to look away for fear that if I gaze too long it will seize me and toss me into its vastness. The same thing happened to me on the Eiffel Tower, where the fear wasn't in looking down, but looking up. You hear all the time, "Don't look down," when someone is navigating a high space. Well, I do better if I don't look up. Same with the Empire State Building, and when they were there, the World Trade Center towers.

I used to live in a building that was on the same block as the Empire State Building, and many times went to the rooftop to marvel at the city around me. Macy's was cater corner from my building, and Broadway and Sixth Avenue intersected in front of me. The Empire State Building, being 102 stories tall, towered above my 35 story building. I could see every landmark building from that rooftop. The Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and the World Trade Center Towers. Three major thoroughfares intersected in front of my building; 34th Street, Broadway and Sixth Avenue. I lived there for about two years, then moved to 13th and 5th Avenue.

empire state building Empire State Building in FogIf I was on the roof during the day, I'd look up at the top and see tiny heads peering over the side. I'd wonder if they were looking at me and saying, "Look, there's a person on that rooftop," the way that I used to do as a tourist when I spotted a tiny spec on a rooftop far below. That was usually followed by, "I wonder if they can see us up here." There are serious guard rails on the ESB, but one can still peer through. So to you future visitors to the ESB observatory, if you see someone on a rooftop and wonder, the answer is "Yes, we can see you."

Both pictures I took from the same spot from my rooftop. They are scans of a regular photographs, so the quality isn't that great. The photo on the left shows how the Empire State Building towered over us, as I was about 35 stories up when I took that photo. The photo on the right was taken during a low cloud day. Same shot, no Empire State Building. Well, it's there, but completely cloaked in thick low hanging clouds. Compare the two shots by using the gutter line on the right as a guide. Every single day the view up there was different. I never got sick of it.

Looking downtown, this was the view I saw. Of course, that view looks different today.

apt_view

All photos can be viewed in larger size if you click on them. It was weird to pull them out of my photo albums, as it seems so long ago.

But here I am, many years later still rooftop dreaming.

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