Photography: Lower Manhattan And The Oculus


I had to actually google the word oculus because I didn't know its meaning:

Definition: oculus

1.an eye.
2.Architecture. a circular opening, especially one at the apex of a dome.

And then I had to google oculus in new york city to find out exactly what it was:

The state-of-the-art World Trade Center Transportation Hub, completed in 2016, serves 250,000 Port Authority Trans-Hudson daily commuters and millions of annual visitors from around the world. At approximately 800,000 square feet, the Hub, designed by internationally acclaimed architect Santiago Calatrava, is the third largest transportation center in New York City. The “Oculus” serves as the centerpiece of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, incorporating 78,000 square feet of multi level state-of-the-art retail and dining.

Last October when my brother and I went to NYC for three days, we spent an afternoon in Lower Manhattan. Not only did I want to show him One World Trade Center, but also the pools at the 9/11 Memorial. You may recall a post I shared in which I took a photograph of a building I had never seen before but admired. Well, ever since then I've been longing to go back to that building and explore the ins and outs.

So, since I'm on vacation this week, I decided to take a day trip into my best-loved city on the East Coast. As usual, I spent eight hours walking around with my camera and smartphone in hand, snapping picture after picture. When I got home last night and uploaded my camera to my computer, I discovered that I had taken almost 200 photographs. And that's not including the photographs I took with my phone.

All day I acted like a lunatic scurrying all over the city at warp speed while taking photos with my camera, then rapidly grabbing my phone and taking more. I'm surprised I didn't drop and smash my phone because I was switching back and forth so quickly.

But I couldn't help it, New York City is one of those places where you can find a BILLION things to photograph and still not take all the pictures you want because there are simply not enough hours in the day. The eight hours I was there flew by as if it had only been an hour.

Today I would like to share photographs of the Oculus. Now to me, the architectural design of this structure is mind-blowingly brilliant. The second I entered through the glass doors, it felt as if I had walked onto the movie set of a gigantic space ship in Stanley Kubrick's science fiction: 2001: A Space Odyssey.




(above) Exterior view of the Oculus from the 9/11 Memorial Pools

As I walked inside, this is what I saw...


When I looked down onto the lower level, it didn't even appear as though I was looking at other human beings walking around, but rather figures that looked almost like alien robots. I found it utterly fascinating that every single person was wearing practically the same color. Black. Like it was their alien robot uniform. I mean come on, doesn't that photograph look like a scene from a sci-fi film??


And you can't see it in the photograph above because I didn't get close enough, but on the lower right-hand side of the bottom level, there is a HUGE Apple Store. I smiled at that because it seemed so fitting for such a high-tech space age building to have such a store. And I'm sure Steve Jobs is smiling from somewhere above as well!



This is a view of the Oculus ceiling, which I felt resembled the vertebrae within the spine.


In the photograph below, videos are projected on screens along the walls (I edited this photo by keeping the color in the videos, yet used black and white for the surrounding area to give it more of a "spacey" feel)...


Just to give you an idea of how large the Oculus is, notice how small the people appear below the widows looking in from outside...


I spotted this guy (another alien robot - ha!) on the top of the staircase and quickly snapped a picture...



In this final shot, I actually laid on the floor to get this view (And I love it because no one in New York City even bats an eyelash when you do something like that. It's like, whatever) ...


In case you're interested in watching, I've concluded this post with a 2:13 minute EarthCam time-lapse movie showcasing construction for the Oculus, from July 2011 to May 2016. It's quite impressive!


Have a super weekend everyone!
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