Theme I: Five Senses, Sight

By Grace Halio 

I’ve never seen New York as asleep as it was right before sunrise. At 5:45 a.m. on a Friday morning, there were empty seats and fewer than 20 people on the downtown No. 4 train. Heading back uptown on the same train after sunrise, there was barely a spot to stand. 

I got off at the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall station, which was oddly blanketed by silence. Aside from the almost-eerie quiet, the air was frosty, even indoors. It was fourteen degrees.

Around 6:15 a.m., I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and paced around, taking everything in. I found a spot to shoot this piece from, and then I waited.

time lapse final

Photo by Grace Halio

 About a half an hour in, I found myself wondering, “Why isn’t the sun rising faster? How long is this going to take?” I’m not sure why. I didn’t have plans to be somewhere else at sunrise — except maybe my bed.

It was then that I began to realize just how unnatural the city we live in is. I often find myself rushing around, living an incredibly fast-paced life. I love the city and the energy and spontaneity it brings to life, but that morning I was reminded of how important it is to appreciate the natural, calming things in the world. Never forget to take a step back and look around, especially at the sky. Appreciate its beauty, and try to take just a little bit of that calm and make it a part of your life.


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