Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Water Towers

If there is just one thing that says New York to me, it's water towers. Ian and I took the train up to the Bronx last night to see the Yankees play the Rangers. We were overwhelmed by the excitement of a stadium game and spent way too much on souvenirs for our grandkids. I could show you the pictures I took, but they wouldn't necessarily say New York. After all, the Mets are also a New York team.
We took the train down to the Fulton stop, which is where I snapped these three water towers. We were on our way to see the Fulton Fish Market and the seaport museum. I had questions the staff couldn't answer so to our delight, we were turned over to the charming museum historian, Jack Putnam - a wonderful experience.

On the other hand and in another place, we toured a historic sailing ship in Boston, also a city with a seaport past.
Mr. Putman offered to provide me with a couple of websites and mentioned that he was also a painter cum photographer, which is about when I mentioned my "thang" for water towers - I have a portfolio of photoshopped water towers. We both laughed at the modern architects who try to camouflage theirs. I caught both in this photo. That blue crown on the left is "hiding" one. Water towers are required above five stories to provide pressurized water in the event of a fire.
I was so pleased when Mr. Putnam came back to us as we walked through the Alfred Stieglitz New York exhibit. Not only did he have the web sites for me, he'd written them inside of a greeting card of his own painting - so very cool!! I thought the water towers and church spires in this image weren't pretty, but pretty funny.
And I could go on and on and on and on. I discovered two trips ago that people who live here just don't seem to see them anymore, or at least don't feel inclined to put them in paintings or photography. Perhaps they're so ubiquitous, they no longer notice. They say New York to me.

I will stop now and show you some of my new obsession - manhole covers! I'm trying to find some literature on them - help if you know where I should be looking.

Not all manhole covers are equal. I have more pictures, but you get the idea here. I came across an interesting article here on their current state of manufacture.

BTW, I picked up a book at Barnes and Noble on their remainder shelf called American Eve. It's the story of Evelyn Nesbit and Stanford White. I could not put the book down and am leaving it here in the apartment because it's also a story of New York City. He was the White in the architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White, architects for many of New Yorks historic buildings. Two thumbs up.

I'll be sad when we fly out tomorrow morning. As always, there's more to see than we have managed to see. This city is the kernel that our country grew from, not a very pretty story, but a fascinating one. And as always when we leave, I hope it's not for the last time.


Anonymous said...

I have really enjoyed your N.Y. diary. The manhole covers are great - especially the one that looks like huck lace!

rich said...

It is true, water towers really sum up New York to me, so it is great to see you have put photos of them on here. Great stuff.

woolydaisy said...

i love the manhole covers-they are beautiful! i better not show them to my son-he might want to start collecting them!!!!

Leigh said...

Sharon, you pick out the most interesting things to notice! I never would have thought about noticing water towers, and manhole covers, wow, I can see a collection of photos in your future!