Photos and words by Liza Herlands
I feel I must be biased as a born and half raised resident of “The Greatest City in the World”. To which I feel holds a bit of weight in its truth. New York is not your conventional city when it comes to sights. It’s drab to the eyes on its surface: grays, whites, black, beige, but there is a genuine rush to connecting your feet with the concrete this city is built upon. The population of all boroughs combined is 8.4 and growing rapidly every year. This is the city people sing about; dream about. Behind these mono-chromatic colors is life. Car lights dot the streets with waves of red, the opposite: a reciprocating wave of yellow. A veritable stories-high-lite-brite, the city that never sleeps has life breathing at all times. A lawyer in his office finishing a brief, a young couple stumbling into bed after a night out for “casual drinks”, new parents waking up to a screaming infant, tourists hold their selfie sticks high in Times Square with a worn and pill-y life sized Elmo. This all is happening on one block, in and in front of one building. All of these things are happening in this one second. The sky is masked with a haze of orange burning off into the air from the lives inside, so no stars will be seen tonight, or any night. However, the sun will rise to the east in a burning neon pink painting the clouds lilac as it fuses with sky.
In daylight hours, the vibrancy of yellow on black transforms to its original function slate-- florescent dims to daylight. To keep these New Yorker's awake, coffee is a necessity; a way of life. Not just a ‘must’. Gridded streets are freckled with shops that breathe lives of their own. These little spots steal just a bit of spotlight from the world buzzing, whizzing, almost hovering on its own.