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THE SOUTHERN ROUTE
From the series "New York by the bird"
For this photo, I thought suddenly about the tortoise formation by the Roman infantry. I imagined these skyscrapers like a bunch of soldiers in heavy armors, as stiff as pokers, upright in their blood needs, looking the horizons without a glance for whom die at their feet. These centurions, shields on bellies and above heads, they were striding on the grass surrounding 5 points in the 1830's, and now they besiege the last remains of nature. They encircle Central Park. Do you see Mark Anthony with his troops, waiting the surrender of these trees with shaking leaves and of this lake covered with meagre ripples? Can you imagine the power of balance? This army of steel, spears and helmets, against this pack of old roots and grass in which play grasshoppers? You can only hope for a better resistance, and despite your great heart offered to the destitute barks, you can't not feel an exhilarating desire to hear this cement giants singing a song to a black moon. The horror has its charm. That's awfully human. We crave for a simple life but can't forget the call of the inflated humanity, so ugly, so beautiful. Some of you will never wish to exist in New York city, yet a part of you is a sheep endowed with the same herd instinct than in our flock of city dwellers. Maybe not. The fact we are built only by and around paradoxes are the compost for our stories and arts.
On this photo of Central Park with Midtown (west) and Upper West side (south)
** The striped tall guy on the left: General Motors building, Modernism, 1968
** His huge neighbor, black with a white frame: Solow building, Modernism, 1974
** In front, with a steeple: Sherry-Netherland hotel, Art Deco, 1927
** Behind, kind of castle: Plaza hotel, Second Empire Baroque, 1909
** Behind again, along Central Park, with black stripes on main facade: Helmsley Park Lane hotel, Modernism, 1971
** On the corner up right with a pointed roof: Hampshire House, Beaux-arts, 1937
** Now, around the bottom of the photo, the tower with a mansard-style roof: Pierre Hotel, Art Deco, 1928