Autumn in New York City, U.S.A.

Autumn in New York City is the most beautiful season of all. Early in the morning, Ι walk in Central Park, not needing to hurry and, with each passing step, I enjoy the foliage of the trees lit through by the rays of the sun. It's a sight I have never seen anywhere in the world, only in the paintings of the great painters.

This fascinating spectacle, both extraordinary and real, does not fade into some point on the horizon or, rather, my gaze does not sink in the golden-green foliage but, beyond this, meets the skyscrapers that rise high all around the park, reminding me that the city, first of all, is dynamic and filled with a squared logic emitting an incredible energy that in the early morning seems to descend from heaven and spread to the thousands of box/offices, whose lights turn off with the coming of day.

New York City in autumn

New York City in autumn

I walk slowly away from the park undisturbed by the hustle and bustle of New Yorkers who, as the day progresses, flood the sidewalks of Fifth Avenue. Enchanted, I lift my eyes to admire the skyscrapers. It feels very much like being before immense European cathedrals with their soaring spiers and mysterious arches. In New York, however, there is no spirituality, but only a display of grandeur: These are the temples of high finance, equally mysterious, and they attract my gaze like magnets.

However, along with this imposing and impersonal architecture that projects these towering buildings towards the sky is the fragile beauty of nature to give its touch of measure to my gaze. These are the leafless branches of the trees in autumn, delicate and playful, like those in the landscapes of Chinese painters. They make me stop for a second look, realizing that trees dance everywhere. Unperturbed, they rise in a harmonious duet beside the skyscrapers.

Barbara Athanassiadis