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. kathy says:

    Beautiful pictures, Naomi! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. Thank you! I’m really glad you could stop by, Kathy. It’s always good to hear from you.

  3. brushstroke5 says:

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

    1. Dear Linda,

      You are too kind! Thank you so much for visiting! I always love hearing from you.

  4. bulldog says:

    There are some marvelous photos here… showing a talent of exception.. thank you for sharing such wonderful photos…

    1. Thank you so much. Coming from you that is quite a compliment. I am really enjoying following your blog.

  5. pattisj says:

    Nice post. You got some unique perspectives in the photos.

    1. Thank you, Patti. Wandering through New York, there is so much to catch your eye from every angle.

  6. Wonderful observations and images too, Naomi. As always.

    1. Dear George,
      It is so good to hear from you!! Thank you for your kind words. I bet Boy is shooting up like a weed! I hope you are well.

  7. J.D. Gallagher says:

    Great pictures and a riveting tale. Loved it.

    1. Thank you so much. I love it when a just seems to fall into place. I appreciate your visit, and the kind words.

  8. Amy says:

    Beautifully described the change of a great city. Thank you, Naomi!

  9. scillagrace says:

    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. Hi Amy,
        Thanks for stopping by!

  10. rutheh says:

    Thanks for the good words on my blog today. I enjoyed your gallery of change, too. Nice!

    1. Thank you, Ruth. It is always a pleasure to drop in at your site–I am never disappointed.

  11. Naomi, this is the most poetic blog journal I have read here. Wonderful and awesome pictures.

    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.

  12. 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.

    1. That’s wonderful, Mary! It’s so important to look ahead, and be mindful about these things. Thanks so much for the visit, and for sharing your story!

  13. restlessjo says:

    So thoughtfully done, Naomi. I so love that reflecting photo. It’s beautiful.

    1. THank you, Jo! It is so kind of you. I always get a boost when you visit.

  14. nutsfortreasure says:

    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

  15. ShimonZ says:

    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.

  16. megan hicks says:

    consistently delightful and amazing — verbally; visually; viscerally.

    1. Thanks so much for the pingback!

  17. dogear6 says:

    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. Thank you, Nancy! I love knowing which ones appeal to which people. Have a great rest of your weekend!

  18. Paula says:

    Duckies at the heart of the city 🙂 Hope they will stay there….

    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.

    1. Thank you for the visit, and the pingback!

  19. I loved this post! Thanks for stopping by!

    1. I appreciate your dropping by, and taking the time to comment. I really enjoyed visiting your blog as well.

  20. Kourtney Heintz says:

    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!

  21. taniamend says:

    that duck and the hanging m&m’s are my fave plus the curved building? is it the way you shot it or it really seems curved 🙂 Great as ever!

    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.

  22. 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, Sharon, for your very kind words! It is always a pleasure to hear from you!

  23. adinparadise says:

    Wonderful post, Naomi. Love your photos and words which blend so seamlessly.

    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.

  24. niasunset says:

    Wonderful post dear Naomi, I loved them all but especially number 3 fascinated me because of the reflections… Thank you, love, nia

    1. Dear Nia,
      Thank you for visiting, and sharing your response. I have waited a long time for just the right moment to use that photo.

  25. Jamie Dedes says:

    Beautiful. Homesick and nostalgic now! A couple of these are exceptional, memorable. Lovely.

    1. Thank you, Jamie. Putting this post together made me think about going back too.

      1. Jamie Dedes says:

        I just reread this. I love it and #3 is just a stunner.

    1. Thank you, Liz. I appreciate your stopping by.

  26. 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.

  27. Wow! Very nice images. 😀

    1. Hi Sara,
      Thanks so much for stopping by, and for taking a moment to comment.

  28. Madhu says:

    Another wonderful one Naomi! Loved “Or a little lost child, peering from between the legs of strangers in a crowd” 🙂

    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.

  29. kathy says:

    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!

  30. TBM says:

    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.

  31. 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.

  32. rfljenksy says:

    Amazing photos!!

    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.

      1. lifelessons says:

        I’m honored that you read so many of the posts, Naomi. Hope to see you again!!! Judy

      2. I appreciated your stopping by my blog, and enjoyed my visit to yours. I’m sure we will meet again!

  33. Reblogged this on Writing Between the Lines and commented:

    In observation of Earth day…

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