Thursday, January 11, 2007

Pennsylvania (Penn) Station

New York City is served by two main train stations: the Grand Central Station on the east side and the Pennsylvania (Penn) Station on the west side. Although Penn Station does not have the architectural beauty and pedigree of the Grand Central Station, it is nonetheless one of the most important and busiest train stations in United States. Penn Station is the center of the Northeast Corridor shuttle that connects Washington DC and Boston. It is also the main departure station for Amtrak, the New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Railroad. In addition, there are six subway lines that connects the station to the rest of the city.

The current Penn Station is not visible from above ground because it is located under the Penn Plaza complex on 34th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenue. The original Penn Station, completed in 1910, was an above ground Beaux Arts structure. It was demolished in 1964 to make room a multipurpose urban complex. As a result, Penn Station was relegated to the space below it and to this day, there is no identifiable stucture to represent it.

This photo was taken during rush hour traffic at Penn Station. Notice the interesting tunnel structure overhead. On the left are a series of ticketing booths and terminals leading to the trains. And on the right are retail and dining facilities for the commuters.


don said...

wow what a nice shot those moving people good capture

Dsole said...

Yeah, I like a lot this kind of phantasmagoric photos! That's cool the man on left quite still, and the other people like shadows walking by... Great! ;)

Keropok Man said...

I see Haagan Dazs ice cream. yum yum...

Are people allowed to eat in the trains in NYC?

Phil said...

Nice shot! Tripod again? ;)


Delta Movies said...

Oh I love this shot! Great eye. Nicely setup. On the technical side...I get a strong sense of depth due to the angle you choose allowing the viewer to just notice the emmense length of the tunnel without it being a focal point of the pic. I also really like the way the geometric lines meet the edge of the photo. Great use of 1/3's. And I like the strong anchor point on the left side. The subject matter is nice too, the nice looking guy obviously taking things a bit slower today amid the rush of peeps everywhere around him. Is the guy listening, talking, observing something interesting...? The world may never know!


angela said...

The sense of movement is terrific. i can almost feel the people moving. How did you do that?

Olivier said...

j'aime beaucoup ta photo, avec le contrasme entre les gens en mouvement et l'homme qui attend. bravo

I like much your photograph, with the contrasme between people moving and the man which waits. cheer

Zsolt72 said...

i like that your site is VERY informative. Everybody knows New York...but visiting your site I realize that there is much more to explore:)

Ming_the_Merciless said...

don & dsole & olivier & zsolt72 - thanks for the comments and compliments.

keropokman - yes and no. We can't eat or drink on the subway train but people do it all the time. There are dining cars on the long distance trains like Amtrak. Incidentally, Long Island Railroad (LIRR) just banned alcohol consumption on the train after an out-of-town teenager got drunk, fell on the tracks and died about a year ago.

Phil - no, but I was very resourseful. :-) I used the top of the telephone booth/box to stabilize the camera.

deltamovies - HA! I have never heard of "the thirds" until last night at the photo meeting I told you about. Apparently, it's a big thing; the thirds, I mean.

angela - I use a simple automatic digital camera. Set it on slow shuttle speed and shoot. What happens is the people who are NOT moving come out on the photo and the people who are moving end up looking like ghosts. But you have to set it on a stationary object or a tripod or else everything becomes blurry.

annulla said...

Hmm, Penn Station looks surprisingly un-repulsive in that photo. Must be some kind of trick.

I read a lot about the *original* Penn Station. It was remarkably beautiful and was considered to be architecturally superior to Grand Central Terminal.

It was torn down in the early 1960s in the name of "progress" - the outrage over its demolition led to our current historical preservation movement.

At the time, the New York Times editorialized, "Any city gets what it admires, will pay for, and, ultimately, deserves. Even when we had Penn Station, we couldn’t afford to keep it clean. We want and deserve tin-can architecture in a tinhorn culture. And we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed."
- "Farewell to Penn Station," October 30, 1963

Here's more including LOTS of photos of the vanished masterpiece:

Ming_the_Merciless said...

annulla - I agree with you about the current Penn Station. I would not have gone there to shoot some photos but was in the area for a meeting so I said, what the heck. I took over 40 pictures from 5-6 different angles and it was hard to come up with a good picture.

BTW, thanks for the great link to the original Penn Station building. It was absolutely amazing especially the iron work and space. What a shame they tore it down in the name of "progress".

They almost tore Grand Central Station too except Jackie O campaign for its preservation instead.

Sally said...

Hi Ming - ,ove those "walking ghost" type shots.

I answered your Sydney vclimate q back on my site by the way.

Annie said...

Gee, it looks like a city underground.