It’s finally springtime in New York, though you can’t quite tell it yet from the air; or trees; or things people are wearing. I was out walking with a photographer friend and he took this lovely picture of the Central Park Reservoir, one of my most favorite spots in the city:
I love the skyline from this perspective, and looking at it in the bright, bright sun a few days ago reminded me of this lede by Mike Sager, one of my favorite magazine writers:
At twilight on Tenth Avenue, the sidewalks of lower Chelsea, in the island kingdom of Manhattan, are thronged with creatures of every ilk—dewy working girls and snugly tailored metro boys, polyethnic couples and Euro-tourons; a burly man in a white apron splattered with blood; a fashionista pushing a rack of clothes; a bodybuilder leashed to a pug. Cars honk, buses whoosh, the sun setting over the Hudson River casts an energetic glow.
I don’t know why the picture made me think of the lede: the former is of the city’s heart, the latter is of its lower extremities. I think it’s just that line, “In the island kingdom of Manhattan…” Something about the way the light hits the buildings across the reservoir makes everything look sort of surreal to me, evokes a sense of magic and of possibility. Something about the juxtaposition of the words “island” and “kingdom” does the same.
In the island kingdom of Manhattan… a thousand wonderful, terrible, mundane and mediocre things are happening every single second. Stories are beginning and ending and intersecting in more ways than you can possibly count or even imagine…
Anyway, it’s a great lede (especially when you consider that it’s for a profile of Peter Dinklage from Game of Thrones). And it’s a great picture. And the combination’s got me thinking about how words and images evoke one another — how the best pictures tell a story, and how the best stories paint a picture… etc. etc.