Visually Conscious in New York

Visually Conscious. A small piece of street art on the Manhattan Bridge.

Visually Conscious.
A small piece of street art on the Manhattan Bridge.

Recently Matthew and I were in America.  One of my favourite days of the trip was an overcast New York Saturday when Matt and I walked across the Manhattan Bridge, through part of Brooklyn,  returning on the Williamsburg Bridge.  Under a leaden sky we enjoyed unrelenting urban bleak and layers of historic grunge.  I invite you to walk with us.  (All the photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.)

The expert in concrete walks through a desert of the stuff.

The expert in concrete walked through a desert of the stuff.  I think this was Delancey Street.

Street art on the entrance to Manhattan Bridge.

Street art on the entrance to Manhattan Bridge.

So much noise. Constant deafening trains roaring past.

Constant roaring trains thundered beside us.

Other visually conscious people.

Other visually conscious people.

Matt strides ahead.

Matt strode ahead usually not noticing that I had stopped to take photos.  I had to run to catch him.

This is where the "visually conscious" eye was.

This is where the “visually conscious” eye was.

Juxtaposition of glamour and grunge.

Juxtaposition of glamour and grunge.


Urban textures

New York pigeon

New York pigeon – looking slightly rough

I love a good water tower.

Skyline with water tower

A wide view of the East River and city.

A wide view of the East River and Brooklyn Bridge.

YO. Literally - a YO structure on the Brooklyn side of the bridge.

Literally – a YO structure as seen from above.



sign of change

sign of change to come

I requested that Matt pose with a couple of fellow Aussies.

I requested that Matt pose with a couple of fellow Aussies.

Residents of Williamsburg.

Residents of Williamsburg.

I felt like I was in deepest Europe.

I felt like I was in Eastern Europe.

Bedford Avenue. Williamsburg fascinated me. It was monotone and there were no shops. Bleakly neat!

Williamsburg fascinated me. It was rather stern and bleak – in a neat way.

I was entranced by the Hasidic Jews who live in Williamsburg. What marvellous clothes!

I was entranced by the Hasidic Jews who live in Williamsburg. What marvellous clothes!

Just before returning to Manhattan over the Williamsburg Bridge I noticed some big street art.

Just before returning to Manhattan over the Williamsburg Bridge – street art grey like the sky.

I am thinking about L.S. Lowry paintings and Dickens novels as I photograph this.

I was thinking about L.S. Lowry paintings  as I photographed this.

Encased within the Williamsburg Bridge.

Encased within the Williamsburg Bridge, we walked back towards Manhattan.

Matthew and I were completely exhausted but it was a great walk and far more interesting, in our opinion, than glitzy Upper Manhattan.


About juliepodstolski

I am a realist artist who works in coloured pencils.
Image | This entry was posted in photo portraits of cities, photography, street art, travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Visually Conscious in New York

  1. Jasmine Anderson says:

    Great photos Julie and lovely to see a pic of the model Matt

  2. I am always fascinated by these two interests of yours, the mako and street art. One is so contrived, painstakingly prepared and hasn’t changed in countless decades, while the other is thrown up, ephemeral and often grungy. Both highly valid art forms but worlds apart. Love your style Julie, and the way you see a city. Karen

  3. Lesley Jane says:

    Amazing Julie, I could never have imagined !! Thank you x

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Wonderful as it all was, Lesley, it was terrific to get back to good old Fremantle. Staying in the heart of both New York and San Francisco was so noisy. Nights were diabolical.

  4. Tina Walsh says:

    Than you so much for these FANTASTIC and INTERESTING photos Julie. Have a wonderful and safe holiday. x Tina.

  5. SO ANNOYED that I can’t post comments anymore on your blog posts. I messed up somehow a while back. Grr.. Here is what I wanted to post:

    Such marvelous pictures and SUCH A GREAT EYE you have…find compositions and textures and roughness that isn’t heartbreaking. So happy you share!!

    Ann Kullberg We Teach. We Inspire. You Shine.

  6. Sometimes a grey day offers much more interest than a sunny bright one. Lots of interesting shapes and forms here, and like you, I love the clothing of the very smart Hasidic Jews!

    • I photographed some of the cute Williamsburg children too – but then a boy of 11 or 12 told me in German that photos were verboten. So because I didn’t want to feel I’d stolen children’s faces, I deleted those photos off my camera.

  7. Merilyn Elson says:

    Hi Julie,
    Loved your pictures. We are off to New York soon and keen to see some ‘off the beaten track’ stuff like this.

    Merilyn Elson

    • Honestly, I haven’t seen much of New York…but another fascinating place (and I think it WAS off the beaten track) was Roosevelt Island. It’s like its own world perched in the East River.

  8. Karen Hull says:

    You really do have a fabulous eye Julie! Your photos look as much a part of you and the way you see the world as your artworks. I think I would walk past most of these scenes and never see the potential!!!

  9. sherrytelle says:

    Once again I rise, grab a coffee and sit down at my computer to find a treat to go with my morning coffee! Loved the photos, they inspire me to take my camera and look for the beauty in the not so obvious! I have been photographing the peonies in my garden, perhaps I should aim the camera in another direction for awhile! I really must share a story of “verboten” photos! My husband wanted to get some action shots with his new lens, and I had mentioned to him that I wanted to get some shots of the children to draw. So he put two and two together and nearly got himself arrested. He took his camera over to the tobogganing hill to get shots of the children sliding down the hill…. A young father came over and threatened to break the camera and beat him up! My poor shocked husband! It never dawned on him that someone would think he had ulterior motives.

    • I think this is one case where it is an advantage (maybe) in being a woman. Possibly less people would be worried by a woman photographing children than a man photographing them. However, whichever gender we people-holding-cameras are, we have to be extremely mindful of others’ sensitivity and their wish not to have their faces “stolen”.

      • sherrytelle says:

        So true! When we are taking photos for use in the graphic business, market scenes, children playing, farmers in the field, we get release forms signed. I have taken photos of kids playing at the water park, and amusement park without a concerned parent approaching me at all, there is a double standard there.

      • There you go. That is the ONE thing of life where it is easier to be a woman than a man!!

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