Tuesday, 25 October 2016

New York 2: Flatiron and water tanks

Broadway slices across the otherwise regular grid of New York streets, forming a series of narrow triangular areas.  Fortunately, someone found a building with exactly the right shape for the lot.  The Flatiron building is elegant, ornate and a challenge for two-point perspective.  To add to that, you have to sit almost on the street to get a view of both sides of the building.  It's a popular place for tourists, and since everything on the street in New York is a show, me and my sketchbook were photographed by a German tourist, a French couple, a group of Japanese girls and possibly even one native New Yorker.  I think the Japanese girls were responsible for some of the top rows of windows going a little bit wonky.

Our 15th floor hotel room looked out across rooftops, with the Empire State building in the background.  Not a bad view, especially for an urban sketcher!  One morning we found a crew of workers installing  a new wooden water tank across the street.  They were climbing around on make-shift scaffolding 120 feet off the ground, with no sign of any fall protection.  I was a nervous wreck, and I was just drawing them.

The water tanks are a picturesque feature of many rooftops.  They look quite incongruous against the stylish old and new architecture, but they make a lot of practical sense.

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