Posts tagged new york

8,336,615 (New York)

The paradox of feeling lonely in a city of 8 million.

A visual monologue.

The mean streets of the borough that rappers like the Notorious B.I.G. crowed about are now hipster havens, where cupcakes and organic kale rule.

..but soon enough he started to realize what his fundamental objection really was.

The whole point of the city was to fortify itself against nature.

But Manhattan failed to do that: an “open” city with a limitless sky above, it let nature in on every side. It was, of course, an island, and thus too exposed to the elements: to storm, hurricane, snow, heat, wind, floods.

It had no real protection against anything. “I feel as though I were camping in the heart of a jungle crawling with insects.”

Therefore he learned to appreciate it only while crossing it in a car, as if he were “driving across the great plains of Andalusia.”

What will future civilizations think of Manhattan Island when they dig it up and find a carefully laid out network of streets and avenues?

Surely the grid would be presumed to have astronomical significance, just as we have found for the pre-historic circle of large vertical rocks known as Stonehenge, in the Salisbury Plain of England.

For Stonehenge, the special day is the summer solstice, when the Sun rises in perfect alignment with several of the stones, signaling the change of season.

For Manhattan, a place where evening matters more than morning, that special day comes twice a year.

From ‘Manhattanhenge’ by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History.

Tonight is the second night this year that the sunset will align with Manhattan’s grid—producing a luminous effect.

(via npr)