This was originally shot for an Instagram contest for city-related LEGO photos and how city life impacts our creativity — which, like usual, I didn’t win, nor even get an honorable mention. At the risk of sounding salty, I’ll spare the rant about how there are too many LEGO Instagram aggregate accounts with the word “brick” in their names, but alas rarely ever showcase anything involving LEGO bricks. Rather, we’re subjected to same tiresome minifig photos of Stormtroopers or that stupid backpacker guy.

As for the actual photo itself, I took this in Tudor City in Manhattan, which is a rare, secluded part in the city that has quiet streets. After searching for various vantage points to shoot this image, I found a really cool view of 42nd street and the Chrysler Building facing from the east. I moved a police barricade closer to the part of the sidewalk where the view was good, and used it as a makeshift platform for my Amish man. I used a slow shutter speed and deliberately only snapped photos when cars drove by, to give the background a cool time lapse effect. Plus the slow shutter added the lens flares from the street lights.

Original picture caption for the contest:

As some of you know, I’ve lived in the New York metro for over eight years after growing up in rural Pennsylvania in Lancaster County. What does life in this city mean to me? Although life here has been very stressful compared to the small town where I once lived, I’ve had more opportunities in this area than I could have in my hometown. Back in Central PA, I was stuck in blue collar jobs due to my lack of a high school diploma, but shortly after moving to New York in 2010, I found an entry level job as a graphic designer for a small electronics company on Madison Avenue. Since then, I’ve worked as a creative designer in a variety of industries — sports, consumer goods, apparel, and as of lately, investment baking — as I’m currently a graphic designer for Goldman Sachs. I don’t quite know if I’ll continue living here beyond the next few years, as I’m simply seeing where my career takes me at the time being. This city has its benefits and drawbacks, and it’s definitely not for everyone. Being an introvert with reclusive tendencies, it was certainly hard to get adjusted to initially, but I was definitely captivated in this city for all it had to offer.

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