New York in Color
I've long been a fan of Obvious State, not only because of their stunning literary designs, but because following them on social media allows me to get a my New York fix, because while I don't miss living there, I miss the idea of New York.
I lived in New York City for five years, and for the first two I imagined I would live there forever. But eventually I felt like I was grinding against the city at every turn, finding only the rough edges of the sights, sounds, and smells of the city.
Now, happy in the quiet greenery of my upstate hometown, I welcome the occasional visit and the reminder of the unique vibrancy that can only be found in the city.
When I learned that Nichole Robertson would be following her gorgeous Paris in Color with New York in Color I was absolutely thrilled- here was my chance to have a bit of the city at home.
In the introduction Robertson talks about the contradictions inherent to most cities, especially New York, saying "I wanted to capture the mix of the high and the low, the gritty and the grand- the contrasts that give New York its tense, infectious energy."
The book is almost entirely without people, a rare way of looking at city that is home to 8.5 million human beings, but one that still captures the life there. There must be a person in the story that every picture tells- the orange construction cones set up by someone, the bicycle waiting for its owner to come collect it, the open yellow cab door that has either just deposited someone where they need to be, or is waiting for you to get inside.
Organizing the photographs by color scratches that great mental organizational itch for me, adding some order to the chaos.
It also made me surprisingly nostalgic for the 1 train.
If you've never been to New York, but you're fan of beautiful, colorful books, this is definitely worth the addition. I so rarely buy photography or coffee table books, but this is soothing sensory experience.
And if you've been to New York, or even live there now, this book is a love letter to a city, daring to show it as it is, but in the sweetest way possible.