Featured Life Photography Travel

New York City through the lens of my iPhone


(Photos taken with the iPhone 3GS)

NYC: A city that is dead serious about yellow taxis, car horns, smoking, noise, fashion, firemen & late night diner food.

As soon as I step out of the plane in Newark, NJ, I am in full sensory overload. The stifling, muggy heat is a shock to my system. It reminds me of Toronto in mid-August during an unbearable heat wave. The city is sticky. My flip flops slap against the side walk and actually stick for a fraction of a second, until they get a dunk in something wet. I’m hoping it’s left over rain water. *crosses fingers*

Sex & the City sign in Chinatown.

Before coming to NYC, the only things I knew about the city came from flagrant fictional tales spun by the writers of movies and tv shows like Sex and the City. But what about the real NYC?

NoHo Firestation.

New Yorkers seem to have a very strong attachment to their city, something you just don’t see in Canada. I certainly felt immense pride during the 2010 Olympics, but six weeks later I’m already looking to ditch my hometown for the opportunities and sunny weather of the cities in SoCal.

The Fanfare of Little Italy.

My first taste of New York City pride is in Little Italy. It’s the stuff of dreams: Bold, brash, and colourful with the smell of Italian Roast and pungent pizza pies lingering in the stagnant air. I am tempted by wafting scent of mozzarella and oregano, but ultimately pulled inside by indulgent pastry display at Ferrera’s Bakery and Cafe.

Eating Canollis at Ferrera’s in Little Italy.

The cheerful waitress is happy to fill my plate with Canollis, Neapolitans, & everything and anything stuffed with sweet creamy cheesy goop. Mmm.

Kitschy souvenirs sold in Little Italy.

Bada Bing is right. After gorging on sugary snacks, I take a stroll down the back streets of Little Italy. Enter John Jovino, the oldest gun shop in America. If the pictures of deer with target marks splotched between their innocent eyes displayed in the store front didn’t give you the warm and fuzzies then the vast array of weaponry sure would.

This shop scared me.

At some point Little Italy merged with Chinatown and a strange zone of nothingness that no one had bother claiming.

No-man’s land in between Chinatown, Little Italy & SoHo.

No one except monstrous, multilevel parking lots that reminds me of my beloved Hot Wheels Parking Garage set I had when I was a kid. Except this fun game charged you $10.50 per half hour! And I thought parking prices in downtown Vancouver were ridiculous.

Insane vertical parking-lot fills the void.

At this point, I am dying for some Air-Con and a Starbucks. Just as my mouth started watering for a skinny, half-sweet Chai Latte, a Starbucks magically appears right before my eyes. That seems to happen more and more these days.

Starbucks on Canal St, Chinatown.

Douchy Starbucks’ drink in hand, I set off to explore Chinatown. The combination of smells and noises on this sweltering day, is not for the faint at heart. Most of the knee-jerking aromas are difficult to pin-point, but if I have to wager, I’d bet on something fishy, or as the picture below suggests, once ducky. :(


After a moment of silence for my fine feathered friends and purchasing a gorgeous pashmina scarf for $5 –is that even legal?– I press on to SoHo.

Broadway St, Soho, NYC.

The scent of hot dogs & pretzels drift down Broadway St. as high-end shops mingle with discount boutiques in one of the best shopping areas in Manhattan.


Broome & Broadway in Soho.

Being useless at shopping for anything other than electronics, I look for someone to guide me in the right direction. Out of the corner of my eye, I spot the girls of Sex & the City: The Real World. Unfortunately, they have little time to talk as they are on Red Alert for a “cute pair of this season’s to-die-for strappy sandals.”

Shop til you drop gfs!

Unsuccessful at finding anything wearable I turn my attention to SoHo for my newly acquired NYC sport: Model watching.

The tall, leggy beauties dance among the mortals, draped in expensive swaths of cloth, cigarette in one hand, $3K handbag in the other.

The day is closing out and I’m due at a Mashable shin dig in TriBeCa. I hop in a taxi that gets stuck in traffic on the same 3 blocks for 30 minutes RRR.

Canal St., TriBeCa.

$20 later I arrive 5 blocks farther where the NY tech scene is gathering to celebrate Mashable’s new NY Office.

Mashable Team NYC: Adam H, Adam O., Pete Cashmore, Brenna & Sharon (5DMKII).

I have a few too many “just surprise me” drinks and end up taking skewed artsy pictures of men in suits.

4 hours later we are all packed into a diner, kitty corner to the 14th St. Apple store. What a trip!

Though I didn’t venture in the direction of Time Square due to the crazy bomb scare, I feel like I took in a lot of the city.

The 14th St. Apple Store. (NB. I still don’t want an iPad :P)

NYC is a photographer’s paradise with both the city and it’s people as potential muses.

Making smoking sexy since 2000.

A city that seems to strike both stereotypical poses…

NYC Taxis are scary!

Doggy-walking in SoHo.

God Bless Soft Serve.

and surreal ones…

The skyline at sunrise from my hotel room.

Skynet? LOLzorz.

And with that I bid adieu to the city that never sleeps… I’m tired and need longer than a New York minute to recover. Back to the frozen north I go…

Mukmuk sees the Rockies! Almost home.

Timbits in hand :)

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  • Reply
    Jack Amick
    May 8, 2010 at 5:17 PM

    A new iPhone camera app? Well, I’m excited, the photos look great! When I was in NYC a few months ago I was addicted to Pano and TrueHDR :P

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 6:37 PM

    Wow, those are great freaking pictures to come from an iPhone, I can never get my iPhone pictures to come out that good (though I’ve gotten a few of those “Artsy” pictures before with to many drinks also. I hope you try and do an Android version of the app also (just switched to a Nexus One much better camera than my 3G)

  • Reply
    s h e r r y
    May 8, 2010 at 11:05 PM

    This is getting me SO pumped. I’m leaving for the east coast on Wednesday and will be in NYC next weekend! :)

  • Reply
    May 9, 2010 at 2:13 AM

    Do you find yourself shooting differently while you are just using an iphone compare to using a SLR? Like do you still find yourself trying to “follow the rules” or do you just basically “go for it” and shoot whatever way you want?

    Also, as a former model yourself, I would have thought you would be better at clothes shopping and fashion :-p

  • Reply
    Jackie Dinwoodie
    May 9, 2010 at 2:16 AM

    Stunning images! I adore the post so much! ;)

  • Reply
    Jerry Knaus
    May 9, 2010 at 6:34 AM

    Nice pictures, and by your commentary it sounds like you’ve recaptured the joy of taking photos! You’ve motivated me to take lots of snaps at WWDC next month, although I’ll probably see tons more geeks than hot models.

  • Reply
    eric f.
    May 9, 2010 at 7:12 AM

    That was one damn fine blog post.

  • Reply
    May 9, 2010 at 8:34 AM

    LOVE your take on the city :) Can’t wait for that App!

  • Reply
    May 9, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    Those from SF were great, these from NY are just awesome !!

  • Reply
    May 9, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    i love your take on NYC… cant wait to see the app, looks awesome

  • Reply
    May 9, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    Hope you had company in the pastry shot (who’s holding the camera/phone)-or is that a self-timer app?
    Love the B&W shot-that expression.

  • Reply
    May 9, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    Some great shots Lisa, really gives you a sense of NYC. thank you for sharing.


  • Reply
    Robert Dall
    May 9, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    Great Blog Lisa. The parking lots look insanely busy and crazy expensive. . .

    Really liked the photos!



  • Reply
    May 9, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    Awesome. I am currently obsessed with Hipstamatic and that with the 3G. Looking forward to your app.

  • Reply
    May 9, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    I love them!

  • Reply
    Michal Fanta
    May 9, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    I love this! I combine my DSLR with my iPhone for my street project, I am currently working on.

    Thanks for posting the shots!

  • Reply
    Jeff Wilson
    May 9, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    Well done Lisa, Looks like you did a lot the short time you were there. I love iPhone (and yes, iPad) photography apps. Keep us informed.

  • Reply
    Stephen McGrath
    May 9, 2010 at 8:20 PM

    Love the doggy shot.
    Your images look like they’ve been processed by Hipstamatic to me.

    Fun as these filter apps are, I could do without all the fake processing and would be happy if the 3GS simply possessed a half-decent camera. I’m tired of taking shots that need to be heavily processed and overly-sharpened to be enjoyed.

  • Reply
    clarke thomas
    May 9, 2010 at 8:56 PM

    NYC used to be my center; it was the core of the World; expansive, hectic & wild. (no longer the case)

    Your iPhone travelogue was great; it re-envisioned NYC for me.

    N.B., the Firefighters were not so pronounced till post 9/11; NYC is very expensive, you have to know where to park (there are safe & free places to park in Manhattan); It’s a wild landscape, the old definitions no longer apply.

    N.B.B., as much as I believe people should move away from their home cities; I’m not sure L.A. is your town. SF seems more the place, & as a fellow geek maybe around Silicon Valley?

  • Reply
    May 10, 2010 at 2:12 PM

    Yay for Mukmuk!! A skilled attack marmot would be a handy companion in NYC.

  • Reply
    Inga Sarda-Sorensen
    May 11, 2010 at 4:59 AM

    Love the NYC pics, Lisa! You really caught the color and spirit of the city. Hope you enjoyed your time here. Oh yeah, and you’re right: NYC taxis ARE scary. :)

  • Reply
    New York City through the iPhone. | Nerdlike.com
    May 11, 2010 at 8:35 AM

    […] Mostly Lisa grabbed some quick shots with her iPhone, and in my opinion, she was spot on. […]

  • Reply
    May 11, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    Great photos. Nice to hear that you have a good time in NYC. Too bad that you came when it was so hot. The temperature flops every week. It has been great here this week. :)

  • Reply
    Jeff H
    May 11, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    Sticky? Humidity? Come back in July/August for REAL muggy weather. Nice pix though.

  • Reply
    May 12, 2010 at 7:51 PM

    Any chance that iphone app has an android brother? camera apps on android have been pretty bad for the most part.

  • Reply
    May 20, 2010 at 3:29 AM

    Love your reports, and you still stunning like always!. Kisses. Paula

  • Reply
    Weekly Photography Links: 05/21/2010 | Your Photo Tips
    May 21, 2010 at 10:18 AM

    […] don’t need an expensive camera to create beautiful photographs. Often times, an iPhone will work wonders depending on who is clicking the […]

  • Reply
    Weekly Photography Links: 05/21/2010 | Photography Tips
    May 22, 2010 at 1:12 AM

    […] don’t need an expensive camera to create beautiful photographs. Often times, an iPhone will work wonders depending on who is clicking the […]

  • Reply
    Ann Stone
    May 24, 2010 at 9:13 PM

    I’m a huge Mukmuk fan – snaps to AlanD on the attack marmot comment. Great commentary and pics – thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    May 25, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    Love these shots! I did a more serious B&W Manhattan series, and see a lot of familiar corners in your photos. This city looks good most any way you choose to take it….

    Thank you for creating such a lovely and informative space : )

    I’d like to invite you to win a piece of my fine art through a giveaway on my blog.

    I wish you all my best.


  • Reply
    May 26, 2010 at 2:08 AM

    Awesome shots Lisa, Thanks heaps.

  • Reply
    MostlyLisa.com » Blog Archive » Camera+, The Ultimate iPhone Photo App
    June 7, 2010 at 8:07 AM

    […] Flickr stream, you’ve probably noticed a lot of iPhone shots pop up recently from my trips to New York and San Francisco. Now I can finally share the amazing app that created all those cool FXs, Camera+ […]

  • Reply
    Sase Antic
    June 10, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    Wonderful photos!

  • Reply
    June 19, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    Great photos! Can’t wait to get the iPhone 4 and Camera+!

  • Reply
    Lila Johassen
    July 1, 2010 at 2:42 AM

    Lisa!!! It’s been soooo long. Happy to see you are traveling the world as you always planned. Can’t believe you are dating Pete Cashmore OMG!!! so dreamy!! jealous lol! xox Lila

  • Reply
    Dennis Yap Photography
    July 6, 2010 at 11:30 PM

    Great pictures, really envious for such nice lighting in your region. I’m from the other side of the world in Malaysia. :) nice to meet you.

  • Reply
    Camera+, The Ultimate iPhone Photo App | techmavens
    August 21, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    […] Flickr stream, you’ve probably noticed a lot of iPhone shots pop up recently from my trips to New York and San Francisco. Now I can finally share the amazing app that created all those cool […]

  • Reply
    December 2, 2010 at 1:31 AM

    Excellent lu , c’était dr?le …, Je suis impatient de lire d’autres dans un proche avenir!

  • Reply
    Kinza Ahmed
    November 19, 2011 at 2:51 AM

    I love the pictures!


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