Friday, March 7, 2014

A Cold Walk to The Penumbra Foundation

Brisk weather but clear light.

We set off towards the floor district past the sort of building that has exterior metal fire escapes - as fewer and fewer buildings do.

Too cold for there to be many flowers around

but cold enough for the water leaking from the fire hydrant to form a shiny puddle.

We pass the rectory of The Little Church Round the Corner - rather Dickensian pretty high up on my list of 'places I definitely would like to live in'.

We arrive at The Penumbra Foundation which is utterly fascinating to anyone with the least interest in photography and history. Do hit the link to learn more about it. Geoffrey Berliner showed us everything: the tintype studio, dark rooms, the north light studio

the astounding collection of lenses (here looking a bit like a Dutch still life)

the amazing large old cameras, the dark rooms, the library of books pertaining to the history of photography (including Conan Doyle's "Spirit Photography"  and so on and so on.  It made me realize how utterly ignorant I am about the history of photography and optics. How lazy it is to rely on the wizardry of the iPhone!

A view south from their roof.

The inescapable Empire State Building from a different angle than usual.

Yes, and it's still cold.


  1. Hello Elizabeth:

    A fascinating walk full of interest. The Rectory is utterly charming and certainly could easily find a place on our wish list of houses in which to live.

    Although clearly very cold, we are somewhat relieved to see that for you and others it is now possible to take a walk without endangering life and limb. What a winter you have had.

  2. Such wonderful photography, enchanting, I felt as if I was walking with you.

  3. Oh what a wonderful selection of images Elizabeth! I particularly like the old fire escape pic as they are my next favourite thing to NYC snow, and water tanks on top of buldings!

  4. I too look at buildings and think could live there too.
    The Rectory looks so charming.

    cheers, parsnip

  5. You can't imagine it being cold when you see that beautiful blue sky!

  6. What a beautiful pictures, Elizabeth! Love so much that building with metal fire escapes.
    So NY to me...
    Love The Little Church too.
    Thanks for this amazing walk. :)

  7. A real treat Elizabeth - thank you. It's really war,med up here so I'm sorry you're still suffering Arctic conditions. x

  8. {{ Love these photo*treks
    with you around NYC, elizabeth,



    that one
    DOES look like
    A Dutch Still Life }}


I look forward to hearing from you!