Photo of the Week: West 23rd Street

Photos by David Goodman

We love this recent sunrise shot by photographer David Goodman.

If you're on the High Line frequently, it's likely you've run into David. You'll find him with a wide smile and his camera in tow, ready to strike up a conversation. His favorite perch is on the High Line at West 23rd Street; you'll find him there every day – sometimes multiple times a day – working to capture his daily shot of the streets below.

In what seems like a simple project, a thought-provoking story unfolds. His photos are a study of the changing seasons, the ebb and flow of traffic and pedestrians, and the character of New York City and its streets, an understanding of which only begins to take shape after seeing many photos side by side. It's a picture of life in Chelsea, if you look closely enough.

David explains to us how the ritual began:

"In 1995 I saw Smoke, and there's a scene where Harvey Keitel is showing William Hurt his life's project: He goes across the street from his cigar store and shoots a picture of that corner every day, at eight o'clock, without fail. When I saw that film, I knew that I wanted to embark on a project similar to that. But I didn't know exactly where or when or how I would approach it.

Two years ago, I was walking along the High Line with my camera. And I saw this view – the intersection of 23rd Street and 10th Avenue. I snapped a picture of it, and I said, 'I could start shooting that on a daily basis.' And so far I've been doing that now for a year and a half. I come up every day and I shoot that scene. Rain or shine, sleet or snow. Sort of like the postman. No matter what.

It never looks the same, and at first people were like, 'Why are you shooting the same thing every day?' In the movie, William Hurt asks that, 'They're all the same.'

And Harvey says, 'You're not looking closely…'"

See more of David's photos on his Flickr page.

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