The Whitney's Downtown Groundbreaking: Renzo Piano's Meteorite Museum

Last week I was invited to join the Whitney Museum for their downtown building ground/glassbreaking ceremony. And what a ceremony it was! The Whitney brought the show to the south end of the High Line with an all-star cast: Mayor Bloomberg, architect Renzo Piano, and the Streb Exterme Action Company. Here's a mashup of photographs from the event.

Click above to see LARGE.

Enjoy this video of Steb in action--co-starring me! Your's truly is the silhouetted figure in the lower middle of the frame taking photographs from next to the stage stair handrail. They actually provided safety glasses to the first few rows of the audience. We photographers were on our own, with just lenses to protect us from the flying sugarglass!

I'm excited about the building design and what the Whitney will bring to the neighborhood. I think the partnership, location, and timing are genius. Curious about the design? Check out the stats over on the Whitney's website. Renzo described the building as the Whitney's "meteorite".

If you like sketches and renderings, I've gathered the best the web has to offer from various stages of planning--enjoy!

And to round out this post, here's the introduction video that was played at the groundbreaking. I was amazed at the level of realism in the rendings and flythrough, but considering those rendering guys use all the Hollywood tricks and tools, I shouldn't be surprised. The piece really brought the building to life.


I Built the High Line: Impromptu Portraits (Part 3)

Here's part 3 of the my High Line builder portrait series. For those of you up on the line asking when you're gonna be on...maybe this is your post. If not, your time is coming.

Part 1 is here.
Part 2 is here.

I'm really having fun with this portrait project! So many good people worked on the High Line and it seems that each time I return in anticipation of the opening in June, I find more familiar faces to photograph. I'll probably be able to stretch this out to at least 6 or 7 parts!


High Line: 30th Street Then and Now

Two different views from under the High Line at 30th Street. The first is from October 2007, the second is from last week.


Iphone: NYC Spring Afternoon

Last week I was uptown for a meeting which was cancelled at the last minute. Liberated for an extra hour, I decided to head out on foot. I picked up some prints for a prospective client at the lab and ran some errands. Of course I took a few photos on my journey. There are worse ways to spend a beautiful spring afternoon. Shot with Hipstamatic for the Iphone.


I Built the High Line: Impromptu Portraits (Part 1)

Last week I went up to shoot progress on Section 2 of the High Line and was surprised to see the thing is almost wrapped up with a bow and ready to go! Warm sunny weather certainly makes the days go by and the work fly.

The prospect of seeing this second section finished is exciting and bittersweet. It will certainly be gratifying to see all the past few years' work open to the public. I'll say it again as I've said it before--people will love Section 2 just as they love Section 1. The Thicket, the Lawn and Seating Steps, the Flyover, and the Wildflower Field all promise another healthy helping of High Line magic. You'll see in about a month.

My excitement is tempered with a bit of sadness about this bit of the construction and my documenting of it being very shortly complete. I'll miss having the lone lens up on the line and the warm feeling of having this special place to myself. I'll also miss seeing all the friendly faces of those who built this wonderful new section of park. I can return and walk Section 2 any time I want, but I may not see any of the workers again. With that in mind, I thought it would be fitting to once again showcase those who built the High Line--here's a portrait of each of the folks I encountered while walking the line this past Friday.

Part 2 to follow on Wednesday...


Combitory Urbanism: The Complex Behavior of Collective Form

A few years ago, I was approached by the folks at Morphosis Architects, who were working on a book about urban design. They wanted to use an aerial shot I had taken of New Brunswick NJ for their book. Being an admirer of the firm's work, I was happy to oblige.

Fast forward a few years and I just got word that the book has been published. If you are into urban design, architecture, and great book design, go check out Combitory Urbanism: The Complex Behavior of Collective Form. Purchase here.


Iphone: Around Sea Cliff

Shot with Hipstamatic for the Iphone.

I decided to break down and spend the $2 for Hipstamatic this past weekend and now I'm kicking myself for not hopping on the bandwagon earlier. What a great photo app! Here are a few shots from around Sea Cliff.