21 Comments


  • Wow! That’s quite the view. Do you think they planned it that way or is it happy coincidence?
    Anon

    January 04, 2009
  • That right there is a fine photograph.

    K.

    January 04, 2009
  • nice shot

    Cobble Hill Or Bust.

    January 04, 2009
  • Neat! I would never have known that.

    January 04, 2009
  • Definitely a happy coincidence, Shelly Rae: because of the competing street grids (you can plainly see three or four in Brooklyn in the satellite image above), New York has a lot of quirky sightlines. This one is the result of an elevated platform, a subway track that precludes tall buildings in the line of view, and the fact that there just happen to be no tall buildings in Manhattan directly in the line of sight.

    Driving west on Avenue M in Brooklyn, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge looms straight ahead—a striking sight, especially at night.

    When I worked at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, the windows in our suite of offices faced north. One day I was instant messaging with a colleague two offices down, and I remarked that the Empire State Building looked pretty that day. Breezy IM-ed back to say I must mean the Chrysler Building. It turned out our offices, maybe 50 feet apart, had two very different sightlines: she could see the Chrysler Building, but not the Empire State Building; the reverse was true for me.

    January 04, 2009
  • Thank you. It ain’t Rapa Nui, but it ain’t bad.

    January 04, 2009
  • Re: nice shot

    Thanks, John. In this image your gaze would travel more or less directly over Cobble Hill.

    January 04, 2009
  • Thanks, Karen. See the discussion of sightlines in my response to Shelly Rae, above. There’s also another photomap with legends here.

    January 04, 2009
  • Whenever I see satellite images of Brooklyn, it just looks so massive. How could anyone explore all of it? What little subneighborhoods, districts, and enclaves does it have?

    January 04, 2009
  • Also, the Brighton Line was built before there was an Empire State Building.

    January 04, 2009
  • That’s lovely. Although I hope you didn’t take it on the way to work.

    January 04, 2009
  • Hey Luke. Brooklyn is about 72 square miles: about three times the size of Manhattan, and by itself would be the nation’s fourth-largest city with more than 2.5 million people. (The Borough of Queens is half-again larger than Brooklyn in area, but less densely populated.)

    In the photomap I directed Karen to above, refers to the five separate towns that Brooklyn was incorporated from. I would say there are probably fifty or sixty distinct neighborhoods (more than a hundred if you ask the realtors, whose pursuit of cachet will one day lead them to declare a specific apartment its own neighborhood).

    Having lived here much of my life, I can say I know parts of Brooklyn really well, and can find the rest of it when I need to (I drove livery cars at several different points in my life).

    January 04, 2009
  • Ha! Thank you. No, I was actually on the way to meet El at Barnes & Noble at Union Square.

    January 04, 2009
  • I didn’t even think of that, but of course it’s true. (Though for the conspiracy minded, you could say they built the Empire State Building where it is just to gratify the riders of a particular subway line.)

    January 04, 2009
  • Re: nice shot

    Sigh.

    January 04, 2009
  • I also see in the “photomap you directed Karen to above” a very similar comment by me — hah! Oh well. But thanks for the link again.

    January 04, 2009
  • Had to go back and reread the comments. That’s funny.

    January 04, 2009
  • I guess for a city, geography is a good part of destiny. I drive the George Washington Parkway on my way to work every weekday. The view of DC is pretty spectacular in places, especially when the sun is just coming up. You would never guess it used to be mostly swampland.

    January 04, 2009
  • I’ve only been to DC twice, but I love it. I love the Mall and the museums and the monuments and all the little streets around the White House. People who know the city better tell me I’m a naive tourist.

    January 06, 2009
  • “naive tourist” Isn’t that redundant? -)

    Actually, people talk about New Yorkers as unfriendly and rude, but on my trips there, I always found them to be helpful. If you stand on a street corner in NYC and open a map, within a few seconds someone will stop and ask, “What are you trying to find?” I think it’s partly because they’re very proud of the city, and of their knowledge of it.

    And of course, you have to be sure no one can pick your pocket while you’re waiting with your map!

    January 06, 2009
  • “I think it’s partly because they’re very proud of the city, and of their knowledge of it.”

    And because we’re pathological know-it-alls. I work right across the street from Carnegie Hall, and I have seen arguments break out between the natives over the best way to get to some destination while the tourist they’re ostensibly helping wants to slink back to Paris or Bonn.

    January 11, 2009

Leave a Comment


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Copyright © Robert J. Howe