April 28-29: A Stop in Frankfurt, Germany
January 8-11: A Weekend in California
Return to the Index for 1981


January 26-30, 1981
A Week in New York City

 

I went to New York City this week to work with Chris Gane on some modifications to the STRADIS Methodology, and to help develop some course materials. We also made a call on an AT&T office out in New Jersey; they were asking us to develop a custom class for them, and Chris wanted me to work on it. I decided to get to New York City a day early so that I could walk around some. The weather was perfect.


At left is a map of the part of Manhattan where I was this week (except for the trip out to New Jersey, of course). I have marked some of the landmarks that appear in the few pictures that I took on my walk around this part of the city on the day before I showed up at the Sarson & Gane offices on 44th Street on Monday morning.

On Sunday, I wandered around for a while in the afternoon. It was a beautiful afternoon, and I got some nice pictures.


It may be of interest to you to see an aerial view (actually, what Bing Maps calls a "bird's-eye view", so named because instead of looking directly down on the city you are looking at an angle, so you can see the relative heights of ground features) of the area I walked around.

The aerial view is, of course, current; such material was not actually available to me in 1981. So much time has passed that many things have changed. For one thing, the building you will see in one of my pictures, the Pan Am Building, is no longer called that (mostly because the airline whose headquarters it once was no longer exists); it is now the MetLife Building. The Empire State Building is still there and still has that name, but the World Trade Center, which you will see in the distance in one of my pictures, is, of course entirely gone.

I suppose I could also mention that IST itself no longer exists. Gane and Sarson began to back out of the business five or six years after they sold the rights to their Methodology and associated materials to McAuto. Trish moved back to England while Chris Gane did some non-Methodology classes on different subjects before he, too, got out of the systems development business in the early 1990s.

In any event, here are the pictures I took on Sunday afternoon:



I checked into my hotel just west of the offices of IST, and then went out for my walk on this beautiful afternoon. I began by walking south on 6th Avenue, and I captured the view at right that looks all the way down the avenue to one of the towers of the World Trade Center in the distance.

I walked a good distance south, and then came back north on the Avenue of the Americas, turning east when I got to 34th Street (one of the main east-west streets across Manhattan).

After walking a couple of blocks I came to the Empire State Building on 34th Street, seen in my picture at left. I was already too close to the iconic structure to get it all in, so I had to settle for a picture of the top two-thirds of the structure.

The 102-story building is located on Fifth Avenue between West 33rd and 34th; it has a roof height of 1,250 feet (if you include the antenna, its height is 1454 feet. It stood as the world's tallest building for nearly 40 years, from its completion in early 1931 until the topping out of the World Trade Center's North Tower in late 1970. Since then, it would never regain the title of "World's Tallest Building", although it would, temporarily, become once again the tallest building in New York City (from late-2001 until early 2012).

Height records have come and gone, but what has never changed is the building's status as an American cultural icon. It is designed in the distinctive Art Deco style and has been named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The building and its street floor interior are designated landmarks of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, and it ranked number one on the AIA's List of America's Favorite Architecture.


Park Avenue and the Pan Am Building
(Picture at left)
I decided against going to the observation deck of the Empire State Building again, but instead headed a bit East to Park Avenue, turning north on this beautiful Avenue. I could immediately see the Pan Am Building. Now called the MetLife Building, this 59-story skyscraper sits above Grand Central Terminal in Midtown. Built in 196063, it was designed by famed architects and designers Emery Roth & Sons, Pietro Belluschi and Walter Gropius in the International style. The world's largest commercial office space by square footage at its opening, it remains one of the 100 tallest buildings in the United States.

 

(Picture at right)
I am constantly amazed at the extent of this city. I know that Chicago is big, but it is also very spread out. Most of the population and business of New York City is packed onto the small island of Manhattan, and when more space is needed, the only way to go is up. Each of the cross streets (the numbered streets) is a veritable canyon of concrete and steel.


Looking West on 50th Street

For anyone who hasn't been to New York City and walked around, the pictures you so often see really don't capture the sheer size of the city. Every time I am there, and look up or down one of the avenues, or across the island on one of the numbered streets, I always have the feeling that the single street I am looking at has more skyscrapers than all but a few of rest of the cities in the country. Any one of those streets, in other words, would, by itself, be a large city- and Manhattan has ten or so Avenues and a couple hundred crosstown streets.


As I might have mentioned, on one of my days here this week, Chris and I made a call out in New Jersey at an office of AT&T- one of IST's (and now McAuto's) larger clients. I happened to take my camera with me, and took the picture at left of New York City as seen from Interstate 95 in New Jersey. Almost this whole week had been beautiful weather in the city. It was very chilly, although not as cold as January usually is in the city, and there was no snow to foul things up.

I do remember that about a week or so later, the weather in the Northeast did turn quite bad, and the whole area had a fair amount of snow. On Friday, I returned to Chicago, and the next week began a two-month period of a class every week in one city or another.

I have wished for some time, actually ever since joining Cullinane in 1974, that good cameras were shirt-pocket size. It would have been fun to have recorded just about every city and town I have visited in my jobs that have involved so very much travel.

 

You can use the links below to continue to another photo album page.


April 28-29: A Stop in Frankfurt, Germany
January 8-11: A Weekend in California
Return to the Index for 1981