The View from Above



This is one of my favorite pieces: Roosevelt Island in New York City. I came upon this place quite by accident. I've been to NYC twice in my life, once in 2010 on my way from London to Chicago and once in July to meet my family and friends half-way between the two in 2013. I bought an MTA pass and wanted to go wandering. I wanted to see the HighLine and all manner of transport related things. I ended up accidentally seeing that there was a stop on an Island in the middle of the East River. 


What I love about this island is that it has a cable car (of the flying variety). You can see it next to the bridge. Check out that sky. 


The view from the cable car. It was me and a whole car full of Chassidic women and their charges. An authentic experience I think you call it.  


There's an old asylum on the Island, which adds a delightful gothic flair. 



I spent several hours walking the island and deeply enjoying the height of a glorious NY summer. In previous map cutting exercises with islands in rivers I usually just left the entire island white to signify a lack of roads at the scale of the rest of the map. However, that seemed disingenuous to the experience of the island. So I attempted to finely trace the edges of the island and then a few of the paths to give a sense of it as an accessible space.



One of the primary difficulties I have when I am drawing my lines for cutting is the shoreline. There are several different ways to approach this. It gets complicated when roads run right up to the edge as they often do in large cities. In this photo you can see that the large sections of white represent area that has no road but is not the river. This is sometimes convenient when there are parks or beaches, but in a place like Manhattan or London the roads run alongside and I have to determine how much space to give to maintain the character of what I'm cutting. In this case it turned out quite well. However, I'm likely to cut it differently again the next time because I dislike the thin line at the shore. In other pieces I've made the river boundary thin or made the river solid. This is what I mean when I talk about experimenting with representation and why I like to return to my designs and try something new.