Where The Sun Sets

August 9, 2009 § 60 Comments

After a long day at work I step out to face the evening. There is a hurtling mass of human projectiles in the streets. In no time, I morph into one too, one with the crowd. Heading here or over there. On to the next thing, over to the next stop!

The energy surging through this city is capable of recharging my batteries any day. It propels me on. But some days, it is just not enough. On days like these, what I need is not another To-Do on my calendar, but an embrace with quiet and solitude. A visit from infinite skies, perhaps, cool crisp breeze and a honeyed horizon. So, I get to where the sun sets.

No, not in your window, not the Manhattan henge in the cross streets, and not even at West Highway for a view over the New Jersey skyline. For me, the sun sets at the Red Hook Pier, Brooklyn. And here, it is served with a delicious helping of serenity.

If you are not in Brooklyn, arriving at Red Hook might seem like quite a trek since there are no direct trains to take you there. Hop on the subway, then take a bus or opt for a longish walk. But believe me when I say it’s more than worth the ride. Finally, when you have the Red Hook graffiti on the concrete boulders to your right, the Statue of Liberty in the middle of the distant horizon, and rumbling shipyard docks on your left: you will know you are at the right spot.

Feel free to feast on the sky, colors shifting like sand, a dipping horizon with tranquil waters below and the fiery sun slowly diffusing into a sea of gold.

No distractions punctuate my recluse here, except the occasional dots of distant steamers and ferries. Make it on a weekday, and only a small company of fishermen and locals is around.

Here’s a taste from my lovely walk :

——-

———

Red-Hook——

Red-Hook-Pier-Sunset——-

Red-Hook-Pier-Sunset-Silhouettes———

Red-Hook-Sunset-Statue-Of-Liberty-Silhouette——

Red-Hook-Sunset-Statue-Of-Liberty——-

Red-Hook-Sunset-Shipping-Docks-Cranes——

Red-Hook-Pier-Sunset——-

I was so taken by the colors lighting the sky, I suspect I lost some intended perspective in some of the images above. Tell me what you think. I have a mind to go back there on the next clear day, and click shots with the horizon line a little higher up in the frame. Your feedback is welcome.

And now, some playful shots of lights and color. No need to squint, these little delightful blobs of color are here to stay:

—-

Horizon-Abstract-Colors

——–

Horizon-Abstract-Colors

——-

Horizon-Abstract-Colors

——

This unique part of New York City, has a very interesting history. Semblances of it’s rich industrial past have stayed in it’s dilapidated warehouses, abandoned docks, ghosts of factories and a sparse yet passionate community. However, a recent effort to economically revive this part of NYC, is changing the neighborhood visibly. The process of tearing down of some 19th century industrial buildings began a few years back: it has already given way to commercialization, with the likes of sprawling Ikea and Fairway stores.

You would have to get here fast to experience what remains and what might become history tomorrow. More of that in my next post! For now, I leave you with this sunset’s beatific sights and murmuring sounds.

Pick your bag (or don’t!), ditch the calendar, and head over to Red Hook for a delectable treat.

——-

– The Juicer at work

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§ 60 Responses to Where The Sun Sets

  • What a gorgeous sunset!

    Hop onto the train, take a bus ride or a longish walk..and pray that you don’t get mugged is more or less what most of Los Angeles is about and that’s something I would envy New Yorkers for. The absence of that thought/fear.

    • The Juicer says:

      Thanks Joy!
      Interesting note about LA, which areas are you referring to? There are areas in NYC, where you’d be concerned about security, but perhaps not as many? Red Hook used to be a notorious area until a few years ago, really high crime rates actually. But is quite a safe place to be in now. A nice healthy crop of youngsters and artists has settled in. But not too many here yet. Was the best kept secret in Brooklyn until a couple of years ago, and as soon as transit becomes easier, you can be sure a hoard of hipsters and yuppies will follow!

  • tomajhardin says:

    I was surprised you had finished your post. I love the sunsets, it seems you had to get those clouds in the frame, I like , but think it could look good horizon a little higher myself, if the sky is either clear or more cloudy.
    Have you ever been inside Ikea? It blew me away down here in Dallas. I never thought I would get out of the building ,it went on and on.
    TTYL,
    Loved the writing and shots.
    Tom

    • The Juicer says:

      Were you expecting more images?:) I will take that as a sign of good editing:) This is just a taste Tom, more of Red Hook to follow in the next posts…and a lot more trips scheduled. Gimme a couple of days and I will be back with more to satiate your appetite!
      Regarding the pics, you are right, I was torn between keeping the sky in the frame, needed that blob of cloud in, and the horizon line just kept sinking:) Will try another day.
      Yeah, have been to Ikea, many times. It’s a mammoth giant! The proposal to open one here met with quite bit of resistance by the local community, since ushering in an Ikea meant tearing down of an old sugar refinery, and changing the landscape of the place. Opinion is still divided on that one.

  • God, I miss the city! That was incredibly eloquent and spiritual! Amazing shots as well!

    • The Juicer says:

      Thanks- hard to do justice to such a lovely sight with just words and images!
      Come back and quit enjoying yourself in Spain! Heh I have a secret agenda on this blog- get all the expats longing to get back, and perhaps, even get them back?:)

  • bip mistry says:

    I too need a return visit!
    Fab.

    Bip.

  • beyondtheendoftheroad says:

    Thanks for the neat post.

  • sudeesh says:

    Nice shots :) nothing like a sunset or a sunrise .. i think its time to take some photos :)

  • pcadams says:

    Shipra,

    Thank you for the beautiful sunsets. I love pictures of clouds. For me clouds perfectly represent the fragility and ephemeral nature of all existence. They remind me to stay present in the here and now!

    Peace,

    Phil

  • y says:

    love this series – thank you for sharing! the sun also sinks his toes into manhattan (smile).

  • Amit says:

    This is what I call the walk of tranquility and serenity.. awesome shots and narration!

    I must pack my bags soon and leave on the jet plane..:)

  • Surfaraz says:

    wow… love the “Red hook” bricks pic… beautiful lighting… seriously, I need to check out this neighborhood…

  • rubelphotography says:

    OK, now these make me REALLY want to come there. The colors are wonderful! Love the silhouettes, great shots. It would be cool to take a few “Senior” shots on the Red
    Nook (?) blocks (2nd pic).
    Wish I was there, thanks for getting me as close to NY as I can right now!

  • Vicki says:

    So what you’re sayin is….I need to add “Red Hook” to my list of places to visit….of course with you! I love the tropical sunset pics and especially the “Red Hook” photo!
    I agree with Scott…you have some “mad talent” !!!!
    Just for doing such an amazing job…here’s a bear hug!!!! XOXOXO!!

    • The Juicer says:

      Thanks a ton for the hug Vicki, I have been struggling on the next post- and boy did I need a little snuggle!:)
      A change of scenery for sure..and a tempting little invitation your way, to ensure your visit.

  • Just so u know – this stuff is B-E-A-U-tiful!
    I absolutely love the statue-of-liberty shot! It is gorgeous.
    [you’re doing such work these days that I fall short of words to compliment you and constantly get reminded of how poor my vocabulary is!]

    The pier shot is quite amazing as well! :) Very nice.. and quite inspiring!

    • The Juicer says:

      Wow- thanks Yashasvi! Your comment is at once ingratiating and exhilarating!:)
      I am so overwhelmed by your feedback that I too am falling short of words to express my gratitude and joy! The pier shot is my favorite from this evening, handheld, and I am mighty proud of it:D

  • Fabulous shots, makes the rush out there all worthwhile!

  • Zach says:

    Great work! There are two that really stand out… The silhouette of the man against the railing staring into the sunset… Overall that is a great exposure, good color, and good use of black foreground… The other would have to be the shot down the pier with the street lights lined up… Again, great exposure for the time of day, really portrays twilight… Also, great use of leading lines… My eye easily travels throughout the image… My favorite by far…

    Keep up the good work…

    By the way, my mom says hi, lol… AKA Vicki Horton…

    • The Juicer says:

      Well hello Zach, and a big welcome!:) Thank you for the detailed notes on those two shots. I am loving ’em! Regarding the first one, a little trivia:
      I had been waiting for that guy to finish and move away from that vantage point…for an eternity. Since I had been hanging around and clicking in full view for the longest time, I just knew that he was quite aware that I was waiting my turn. But no, he didn’t budge. Some more time passed, the light was changing rapidly and I said to myself- “Stop waiting and take that goddamn shot with the goddamn guy in it!”
      Heh. In that split second when I made the decision, I knew this shot would add more spice to this series:)

  • Gorgeous Images. I especially like the one with the Statue of Liberty & the one below that of the cranes. I actually like the horizon low in the frame. It reinforces the beauty and expanse of the sky. Beautiful work.

    • The Juicer says:

      Americanvirus- so good to see you again!
      I am glad for your input, because it is different from the general opinion, and I believe rules can be broken…with good intentions:) All in all, the horizon line is nothing but a trade-off, and I will need to remember that the next time. Up or down, it’s what I choose to photograph, that speaks more truly. And it’s really important to preserve one’s own perspective. I am past that wave of doubt now. I love to experiment and try…and I would hate to get bogged down with the rules of composition while clicking.

  • Simone says:

    These pictures are very beautiful, recreate an atmosphere of calm and serenity. After the ugly incident that has affected my compatriot.
    With your photos I would like to dedicate a salute to the fallen with this beautiful sunset. Thanks…

  • Rabi says:

    Fantastic shots, my favourite is #5. The silhouette is fantastic and the small silhouette of the Statue of Liberty below the person’s arm just adds to the shot. I think I know what this person is looking at :-D

    Regards,

    Rabi

  • Paulina says:

    Stunning photographs! The colors are so beautiful and rich. And I also really enjoyed the abstract/out of focus shots. I cannot wait to visit NYC.
    You definitely have a way with words. :)

    • The Juicer says:

      Thank you :D The out-of-focus pics were so much fun! I plan to experiment quite a bit with that in future.
      You know you have a way of dropping by here and making me smile!:)

  • Justin says:

    wow hey i dont think u need to make the horizon any higher. the textures created by the clouds and the different colours is so awesome.

    and the last photo before the blurred ones really does look like shifting coloured sand! like when u buy those glass things with colour sand and you turn it upside down and it makes like patterns..

    haha i need to take my SLR round more often

    and i am also very fond of ur statue of liberty photo

    • The Juicer says:

      Thanks Justin- your comment is so generous!
      Point noted- many are noting that the horizon is just fine. And I on my part, have decided to stick to my instincts hence forth:)
      Colors have a way of making us exclaim, don’t they?! If the world was meant to be seen in black in white, it would have been so! Eh, am not dissing b&w photog, just a mild case of sour grapes I guess:) Lots to learn there still.

  • Feanare says:

    I’ve used the past five minutes trying to pick a favorite picture, just for the sake of exercise, and I can’t (!). They all fit so well into your words, and your words blend with the colours and become vibrant images.
    For the past month I’ve been in a part of the world where the sun does not set or rise all summer. It’s simply there at all times. So right now you gave me the feeling of watching the sunset for the very first time, all over again.

    :)

    • The Juicer says:

      Feanare…where have you been for the past month..and is it a temporary move or a permanent one?
      You sound so nostalgic! And your note seems to make the distance even more palpable. I can’t imagine a month without sunsets!
      Thanks for taking the time to peek, and for the lovely words of encouragement. I do love to write so. Every time the words stir, it’s such a joy!

      • Feanare says:

        I’ve been up in the Northernmost part of Norway visiting family. Just got back though. For like three months a year they have no sun at all, and for three months every Summer there’s nothing but sunshine all day. It’s really strange, but not that hard getting used to. – at least not the sunny part :)

        • The Juicer says:

          Aah Norway! Of course! But I dared not take a guess, because I wasn’t sure if you were talking in metaphors :)
          So that fabulous image, “A Storm Is Coming II’ was shot there?
          Interesting that you say the fair absence or constant presence of sun is not hard to get used to…I would have thought otherwise. But then, we never know what we are capable of adapting to until we need to:)

  • Maybe this is getting tiresome, but you continue to amaze. The shot of the pier w/ streetlights is sweet as Type II diabetes. Nice.

  • shirley says:

    Lovely, lovely post…your photos are so rich and warm, even though the day is over and the evening begins. What a treat for me to visit and experience Brooklyn with your words and photos. I wouldn’t even have noticed the horizon issue you brought up – so it wasn’t something glaring or bothersome in your shots..in fact, the photos with bold blue and gold and those gorgeous clouds are all shot so beautifully – love the statue of liberty in the one…so tiny, but so triumphant standing there. : )

    Really lovely work, as per usual..it’s a complete treat to visit! Have a wonderful week ahead!

    • The Juicer says:

      Thank you Shirley…love when you drop by…as always. Made quite a few trips to the Red Hook pier, until finally one day, it seemed like the perfect sunset at the perfect time:)
      The summer slips through our fingers quickly; I am glad I could hold on this evening for good.

  • seanfraser says:

    Loved the pics and the narative, I’ve been to NY 3 or 4 times I feel I need to return for a visit.
    ps love the sunset

    • The Juicer says:

      And so it is with all our visits to any place…it takes more than a few visits to truly experience the fabric and the rhythm of the life there. Even for those who have been living here for years…I can say with certainty that there is still more to explore:)

  • saundra says:

    Always love your shots. Have not been to Red Hook for many years but definitely will make my way over there for a look/see. Sunsets are always beautiful, I think. Keep up the good work showing us the beauty in our world.

    • The Juicer says:

      Kind Saundra! Thank you, I love sunsets too!
      I would highly recommend a trip to Red Hook, it’s landscape is changing fast, and the quiet desolation that marks the place now, will soon give way to a bustling neighborhood.

  • sunset photos + ligh bulbs in blur mode never fails to capture attention, at least my attention! (:

  • bookbloggy says:

    hey, you dropped by my blog, talented lady! thank you!
    Uma

  • Nishank says:

    havent seen anyone play with out of focus shots as laterally and beautifully as u do. u have a warped eye out there miss :)

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