Making Correct Change

Imagine a time when Manhattan was all forest.  Now the surviving trees are like living things herded into a corral of concrete and steel.

We have careened through time like a car without brakes…

In our wake a city of skyscrapers has sprung up where once a forest grew, but the city remembers its roots…

The past lurks, like a silent ghost, peeking out from dirty windows in the attic…

…Or a little lost child, peering from between the legs of strangers in a crowd.

But beneath all the the glitz and glamor and bright lights…

…the old grand dame still thrives.

From past and present must come the future.

If we proceed with caution…

…and careful reflection…

…with respect for all living things…

…the heart of the city will always be strong.

All images and words copyright 2013 Naomi Baltuck

Click here for more interpretations of Sunday Stills: Buildings Over Four Storeys Tall.

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Travel Theme: Environment.

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Photo Challenge: Change.


  1. Proceeding with caution doesn’t sound very New York, does it, and yet, as you say, the city’s thrived on incremental change. I love your journey through the forest of buildings to the trees.

    1. Hi Meredith,
      I’m sure you’re right here. New York is unique, but it’s story is similar in many ways to every big city’s story. It’s wonderful that they had the foresight to set aside the land for Central Park!

  2. naomi, you are such a wonderful photographer! your words and images come together like poetry. i love reading your blogs…

  3. Masterful composition…succinct and meaningful. I love how you take these themes and do something different with them….I thought maybe you’d be sharing stories of currency from your various travels!

    1. Thank you, Scilla. One of the things I love about the Weekly Photo Challenge is how much leeway there is to play with a theme. You are always very good at going straight to the heart of theme, and offering up a different perspective, which I always appreciate.

    1. Dear Tess,
      You are really generous. I think you are a very fine writer, and I take that as a high compliment, especially coming from another writer. Thank you so much for your encouragement.

  4. Beautiful photos and good lesson! I had taken St. Louis’ green spaces for granted until frequent travelers remarked on the amount of green to be seen when flying in . . .
    St. Peters, the not-too-distant suburb where I live, has strict rules requiring builders to preserve or replace trees.

  5. Boston took down the Upper deck and lower deck and made a new tunnel and all above is Green Space and a pretty place in memory of Rose Kennedy it makes air to breath with all the exhaust emitted by millions of cars and rigs but also pretty for those who love TREES like me

  6. Beautiful post What you say rings true, like classical music. And the pictures bring me joy. So much has been written in praise of the big city, and of New York in particular, and most of it is justified, but it doesn’t seem necessary to bulldoze all remnants of nature in the city. We need the signs and the beauty of nature to maintain our balance when living in dense population centers. May your voice be joined by many who enjoy the city life and wish it were fuller and healthier.

    1. Dear Shimon,
      I have been to cities where a weed growing up between the cracks in the sidewalk would be a welcome sight. I am proud of Seattle for working so hard to stay green. Thank you so much for your thoughtful remarks, and your generous encouragement.

  7. I really liked the writing you did to go with the photos – it moved it all along nicely. I really liked the keystoning on the skyscraper right before the Morgan Stanley one (that looks like it’s curving out and back again). My favorite though is the photo three down, the skyscraper with the reflection in it. That turned out great!


    1. Me too! I think autumn is the best time to visit NYC. The autumn colors were spectacular, especially reflected on the water, and all those lucky ducks were very happy camping out in Central Park! Thanks for the visit, Paula.

  8. Beautiful images of the city and thoughtful words. I love the tours of Central Park that are given by the CP Conservancy group. They tell you why it was laid out the way it was and draw attention to the details of the past making them come alive again. 🙂

    1. Hi Kourtney,
      That is something I will have to put on our to -do list next time we are in NYC. We went to to visitors’ center and read about it, but we didn’t make it into a tour group. I would love to know more of the history of this amazing place!

    1. Thank you for stopping by! The day we went to Central Park, the water was reflecting all the autumn color, and the duck just made the picture! The building wasn’t curved, but somehow I managed to capture the illusion of curvature.

  9. Dear Naomi,
    I love the message you have so thoughtfully and beautifully merged with such great photos for this Weekly Photo Challenge on Change. It was a pleasure to scroll from start to finish. Sharon

    1. Thank you so much! I have a lot of fun putting these together. It’s sort of like completing a jigsaw puzzle when all your components come together for a good fit, only with results that you can share.

  10. Yes, I can still imagine it. When we passed by the bridge connecting New York and New Jersey I was like “Wow” it is a breathtaking handwork of Nature but then man has to change it. I wanted to say for the better but somehow part of me wished we kept much of Nature as we can but alas it’s too late. Much of it is a cold, concrete jungle. The price to modernization.

    1. Dear friend,
      I remember reading your post about your trip. It is a shocking amount of concrete and glass and steel that goes into the building of our cities. More and more, it seems, city planners are becoming aware of the need to break up the concrete with green grass, trees, parks and gardens. Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

    1. Dear Madhu,
      I really thing that is one of my favorites too, but you are the first one to mention it. Sometimes something just catches at your eye, or tugs at your heart in a certain way. Thanks so much for the visit, and for your thoughtful comments. It is always good to hear from you.

  11. Love these photos. What a great eye you have. I especially like the one with the tiny stone building in between the skyscrapers, but the all tell a story somehow. Thanks!

    1. Thanks, Kathy. I think that’s probably my favorite, too. It reminds me of a picture I loved when I was a kid, in which the city grew up all around a little house. Thanks for taking the time to stop by!

  12. Beautiful. Love all the photos. My fave is the Mallard duck looking at you. I love Mallards and their personalities. I had one chew me out in Amsterdam and he made me smile.

    1. That is so interesting! My Aunt Loena has a fondness for ducks, and especially for Mallards! Thanks so much for stopping by, and taking the time to share a story.

  13. What a wonderful way of looking at New York, it is definitely on my wish list of places to go and I hope that in the excitement of being somewhere new that I don’t forget to really look at what is around me.

    1. Thank you, Judy. I had a lovely wander through your blog–looks great! Thanks so much for the visit, and for taking the time to share your kind response. I enjoyed your response to the photo challenge as well.

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