Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Atop The Rock

February, 1986

One of my favoritest pictures, 'Southern Exposure' was taken high above midtown Manhattan at Rockefeller Center. I was walking with my friend Higgs through the lobby of the RCA building, a black marble art deco frenzy, on what seemed to us an unseasonably warm and overcast February afternoon. It was on a whim that we decided to see if the observation deck was open.

Well not only was it open, but there wasn't any line, and we had the elevator to ourselves all the way up. Two elevators, I seem to recall, both with operators. And at least one walk along a corridor near the top. Maybe a flight of stairs, too. The indirectness of the logistics was in direct proportion to the lack visitors to the site. That and, regardless of the relative warmth of the day on the ground, it was cold and damp nine hundred feet in the air, with a steady wind off the harbor. No wonder it wasn't crowded.


This is not Higgs, by the way. But this gentleman and his odd-looking friends were about the only other hardy souls up there besides us that Sunday afternoon.

These were shot on Kodak Recording Film, exposed and processed at 1600 ISO to get every bit of its pebbly grain. I used my original Pentax ME Super with a 70-200 f4-5.6 Toyo zoom lens. I've made several different sized silver prints of the skyline image; I also use it as the masthead picture for The Time Machine blog.

3 comments:

Sharon said...

A picture of Higgs, now THAT would be worth a thousand words...
and OMG, that photo of you...isn't that She's favorite?

anyway, interesting to see the other shot from the roof. I wonder if the observation deck still has an open-air section, or is it all enclosed now? I wanna go up there.

Sharon said...

and oh, I clicked on your new photo and I swear I had a visceral reaction to the plaid of the tie...what clan WAS that, d'ya think??

Neil J Murphy... said...

It's not enclosed, per se, but there are large plexiglass panels right about where the guy is resting his hand.