Early Mornings in New York…

manhattan bridge morning

Rising early is a certain way to go about one’s day. Today I woke up at 5am to get some “night” or rather morning photography done. I wanted to experience the blue hour. Not in the evening, like I usually do, but rather in the morning hours.

I rarely get up this early, unless I have to go to the airport or take care of something else (out of the ordinary). I wasn’t as tired as I had expected to be, especially since I had only slept five full hours.
At 5:50 am, the subway station was less alive than during rush hour. There were still a good amount of people on the platform. Taking the 2/3 train to Clark Street, I could have sat if I wanted to. But only two stops down, all seats were snagged. The train was not as empty as I had imagined beforehand. This was the first time I realized how many people work odd jobs or have to commute a long way to school. Or whatever else the reason would be to sleep in a car during such an early hour.

It reminded me of the time when I had temped for a finance firm and once had to be at work at 7 am. It also reminded me of the time when I had come home in the morning after an eventful night out.

From pitch black to...
From pitch black to…

By 6:20 am, I was strolling around Dumbo, getting my gear ready. Even though I had consulted the Bluehour Site before, blue hour did not happen until roughly 6:40m, which was half an hour before sunrise. I didn’t mind waiting, though. The morning was not chilly, a warm day was awaiting. A few joggers were sprinting around. You see more of these during the hot summer days and up to fall. I was certainly the only photographer with a tripod close to the water. This area next to the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge is usually clustered with tourists. Today it was a nice change to see how silent the spot can be. The sky changed from a pitch black to a dark blue. I was ready to photograph away. Morning blue hours, I’ve noticed, don’t last as long as evening blue hours. I had to work fast to get the pictures I wanted.

... blue hour!
… blue hour!

A single tourist or homeless person walked past me (sometimes they are hard to tell apart). At 7 am, I was still pretty much all by myself at the pier. For the first time while being down here, I noticed the waves hitting the rocks when a boat sailed across the East River. Boat and ship traffic was not as heavy as during the evening but it still existed. Seagulls flew above my head and landed at the railing close-by. Their cries were the only sound disrupting the silence. On my way back to the subway, shops started opening. The delivery trucks had went on to the next district. More people were on the streets, but it was still half-way deserted. I counted three people in the station waiting for the train. The car back to my stop was less crowded.

Beautiful, peaceful setting
Beautiful, peaceful setting

Afterwards, I was able to get so many things done, which I usually push off because I wake up later. Getting up early is definitely worth it.

New York can be very still during certain hours. Weekday mornings belong to those.

A sole street lamp shining
A sole street lamp shining

2 thoughts on “Early Mornings in New York…

  1. Ahhh the morning commute. In NYC it always feel like people are just around… The city that never sleeps..

  2. What a great time alone! I am finally getting back into my morning routine of rising early and spending some time soaking in those early moments before the world is moving. Love seeing the photos!

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