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Metropolis gone by…

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When I was a child, I often played pretend. An only child until the age of 11, I spent a fair amount of time simply wandering in my own imagination. Perhaps this forged the basis of a life of creativity, who knows? But one thing is certain–I still tap into this side of my brain with regular frequency. The image above was born out of this type of exercise, when I was in New York several months ago. I’d certainly seen the iconic Chrysler Building for many years, and marveled at its unique brand of metropolitan architecture, its needle tip piercing the sky. But until recently, I’d never actually stepped inside. When I did, I was instantly transported back to an earlier era. It was almost magical, really. I literally could hear the click of heels, elevator bells, and the bustle of what must have felt like the center of urbane modernity, back in its heyday. While the exterior of this building has captured much acclaim, the attention to detail on the interior is astounding by today’s standards. The beautiful marble, glass, and iron work that were the hallmark of the Art Deco period are still gracefully intact some 80-plus years later.

Given the maelstrom of sound and movement just a few feet outside on Lexington Avenue, a block away from New York’s Grand Central Station, it was amazingly quiet during the few moments I spent standing in the Chrysler’s cavernous lobby, framing different distinct images with my camera. I enjoyed just experiencing “the moment”–watching business people come and go, the elevators dinging and opening as they have for so many decades, and the quiet work of the window washer, maintaining the dignity of an architectural monument clearly deserving as much. These images tell a story for me; I hope they do for you as well…

 

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