Biking the car-less streets of New York City after Hurricane Irene

I’ve suddenly found myself stuck in New York City after my 3-day Rome trip canceled. Watching the news last night, it looked like Manhattan would be without power and struggling even to survive the ‘storm of a lifetime’ on Saturday.

Instead, after Hurricane Irene passed through the city earlier this morning there was an erie calm. As I woke up, I wondered if we were in the eye of the storm.

It turns out, Irene may have some strong winds on the back side, but for now, a little fun could be had by biking through the empty streets of the city.

Here’s what I found at 5th Avenue, Central Park, Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, the U.N. Building the Queensboro (59th Street) Bridge and the East River. Wide open streets and unencumbered riding! A video is the best way for me to describe the morning:


There was a atmosphere in the city today. One biker told me he saw people playing Wiffle Ball in Times Square. Tourists, with nothing else to do, gathered on Broadway, umbrellas in hand, just to look at the streets.


New York is an amazing city, but after a snow storm or situation like we had today, the break in monotonous city life offers a chance look around them and see just how great this place is.

I thought I’d had enough of Irene after experiencing it from the air, but today Irene brought many of us a pleasant surprise, and some time to reflect on how thankful we are that it wasn’t worse.

Photo of the day (11.25.10)

photo of the day 11.25.10

The busiest travel day in America has come and gone, was it really that bad?! After all the hype and hubbub, I figured we could all used a nice zen picture of an empty airport and this shot by jrodmanjr was a perfect palate cleanser.

By this time on Thanksgiving Day, you’re either stuffed full of turkey in front of the tv, or putting on your stretchy waistband pants in anticipation of an epic feast. Instead of bitching about airlines and TSA searches, be thankful you’re with loved ones. Be thankful you *can* still travel. Be thankful you have a vacation coming up free of family, traffic, and overeating. Just be thankful for something.

Take a photo of something you’re thankful for on your travels? Upload it to our Flickr pool and we could use it for a future Photo of the Day. Happy Thanksgiving!

Picture London without the people

If you’ve ever had a chance to visit London, you know what a hive of activity the city can be. Huge red double decker buses rumble past your field of view, pedestrians stroll through Trafalgar Square and the pontificators mass at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park.

Perhaps it’s a surprise then to see photos of these places, completely devoid of any human being. That’s exactly what Flickr user IanVisits has done in his recent photo project titled “Abandoned London.” Ian had the opportunity recently to capture images of London at its most desolate. On Christmas morning, as many Londoners remained curled up in bed or at home opening their holiday presents, Ian was riding his bike through the empty streets, capturing these eerie street scenes, frozen in time.

The normally bustling stairs in front of the National Gallery sit vacant, strangely forlorn. The pulsing neon of Picadilly Circus is dark, the advertisements yelling their goods to nothing but empty air. Hungerford Bridge anxiously awaits the stirrings of foot traffic.

Despite the absence of any Londoners, each image in Ian’s Abandoned London set seems to create its own sense of personality. It raises an interesting question – is a city defined by its people? Or is it an entity of its own, breathing, sleeping and existing as if it was alive? In any case, if you’re looking for a unique view of London you’ve probably never seen, make sure to check out his gallery.

Many thanks to Ian Mansfield for letting us use his photos!

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