NYThroughTheLens: Seeing Touristy Things With New Eyes

Vivienne Gucwa


Growing up in Queens, a borough of New York City, I was surrounded by a general attitude of contempt and disgust regarding anything tourist-related. My father, who worked nights as a newspaper pressman in Manhattan, hated going into Manhattan for anything other than work (his job was back-breaking). My mother echoed the same jaded sentiment towards "touristy things" in Manhattan as her other outer-borough friends. The "city" was something to be proud to live in very close proximity to, but anything too popular in the "city" was the subject of eye-rolls.

I grew up mimicking this sentiment; a sort of "been there, done that" mentality. My family would only ever visit places like Times Square and the Empire State Building when relatives or friends visited and there was a silent stoicism related to showing "the sights" to "out-of-towners." I always found this amusing. These sights that were derided as nothing more than trite spectacles were the same sights that my parents deemed worthy to spend time taking people to when people came to visit us.

When I moved to Manhattan a little over a decade ago, I carried this attitude with me. It wasn’t until I fell in love with photography that I fully opened my eyes (so to speak). Photography allowed me to pause and take in my surroundings with unabashed wonder. Photography was the vehicle with which I could finally find beauty in everything, from the way that the sunlight poured its light onto the city at different times of the day to the most grandiose of architectural structures that stopped tourists and natives in their tracks.

Camera: Sony A99

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5

Check out more of Vivienne's work at her blog. 



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