Sunday March 02, 2008

On Metatourism

UPDATE 6/26/2008: Thanks to Church Tucker for preparing this nicely edited and embeddable version of my February "lecture" on metatourism.

Last month -- several years after circumstances forced me to abandon this project -- I presented my research in the growing field of "metatourism" at Adult Education, "a useless lecture series" that takes place (like all serious intellectual pursuits) in a barroom. You can now watch a video of my talk online. The quality is not great, but I think you can still discern the uselessness of the entire enterprise.

Posted by jim at 04:47 PM

Monday August 08, 2005

The End is Near

SP&T's days are numbered. After August 17, the place where I work -- and take all these pictures -- will no longer be the place where I work. So, barring the occasional guest contribution, this adventure in metatourism will come to an end.

Posted by jim at 03:32 PM

Thursday July 28, 2005

In the Distance

I wasn't able to get so close this time.

Posted by jim at 03:01 PM

Wednesday July 20, 2005

Small Woman with Big Camera

True, I missed the crucial moment when she snapped the picture, but I was so close I had to post it.

Posted by jim at 10:38 AM

Tuesday July 19, 2005

From Yesterday

I have no recollection of taking this picture.

Posted by jim at 05:01 PM

Wednesday July 13, 2005

Just a Cigar?

This man was smoking a very tiny cigar. Like, a Clint Eastwood-sized cigar.

Posted by jim at 03:33 PM

Friday July 01, 2005

Leave it to the Pros

Either this tourist didn't want to take any chances when it came to immortalizing himself in front of the Chrysler Building or this was a magazine shoot of some kind.

Posted by jim at 11:48 AM

Thursday June 30, 2005

Another Guest Contribution

Occasional contributor JB caught this photog in action this afternoon.

Posted by jim at 04:35 PM

Monday June 13, 2005

Tourist with Pipe

This photographer was smoking a pipe. Who smokes a pipe?

Posted by jim at 10:47 AM

Wednesday May 18, 2005


This couple -- she's behind him -- took turns using the same camera so they could both have the experience of capturing identical images of the Chrysler Building.

Posted by jim at 01:26 PM

Tuesday May 03, 2005


I flubbed two or three photo ops today before finally catching this couple in the act.

Posted by jim at 04:49 PM

Tuesday April 19, 2005

Another Guest Contribution

Guest contributor JB comes through again with a picture of a man taking a picture of his friend in front of the Chrysler Building. As you can (sort of) see, this requires the friend to stand in the middle of the street.

Posted by jim at 02:27 PM

Friday April 15, 2005

Another Filmer

Chrysler Building, still not moving.

Posted by jim at 03:35 PM

Pink Jacket

Another photog. No commentary.

Posted by jim at 03:35 PM

My Bad

I guess I could've framed this one a little better.

Posted by jim at 03:34 PM

In the Shade

Caught this one as I was getting coffee this morning.

Posted by jim at 10:40 AM

Thursday April 14, 2005


I'm always surprised when I see people filming the Chrysler Building. The Chrysler Building, as you might have expected, is quite motionless.

Posted by jim at 10:29 AM

Wednesday April 13, 2005

Red Jacket

One of many tourist/photographers I saw this afternoon.

Posted by jim at 03:33 PM

Spring is Here!

And the tourists are out in droves. I just snapped a half dozen pictures in as many minutes. They were even getting in each other's frames, as you can see here with the crouching guy in the lower left.

Posted by jim at 12:58 PM

Crouching Dane

I think this kid was Danish. Why? Because he was carrying a big red bag that said "Denmark."

Posted by jim at 12:58 PM

Another Dane?

He was friends with the crouching guy.

Posted by jim at 12:57 PM

The Big Unit

This guy's gear nearly stopped traffic on 3rd Avenue.

Posted by jim at 12:57 PM

On the Way to P.O.

These guys asked me where the post office was but got distracted by the Chrysler Building on the way.

Posted by jim at 12:56 PM

Thursday April 07, 2005

Left Behind

This woman was almost abandoned by her friends as she stayed behind to snap a pic of the big CB.

Posted by jim at 03:34 PM

Tuesday April 05, 2005

Like Father, Like Daughter

The photographers here are waaay back there in the distance. I was across the street. Two cameraphones in one family? Good golly. Guess we know what Mom needs for Mother's Day.

Posted by jim at 09:35 AM

Friday March 25, 2005

Off the Beaten Path

This gentleman took his picture from a block away, eschewing a clear view of the Chrysler Building for the decentered composition typical of Robert Altman's early work.

Posted by jim at 10:32 AM

Tuesday March 22, 2005

Kneeling Man with Family

Ordinarily you would have to go to a commercial shoot to see this many people huddled around a viewfinder.

Posted by jim at 03:40 AM

Sunday March 20, 2005

Man in Red Jacket


Posted by jim at 12:46 PM

Tuesday March 15, 2005

Another Trifecta

This is definitely the season for photogs traveling in groups.

Posted by jim at 12:44 PM

Friday February 25, 2005

Three for Four

Here's a more information about free turbo fiesta rare picture of games for dog dietary supplements three different tourists photographing the Chrysler Building simultaneously! It's almost four, but the woman in blue finished snapping her picture just before I snapped mine. The third, by the way, is the guy in white behind the phone booth. You can't really see his camera but you can recognize his picture-taking posture.

Posted by jim at 12:44 PM

Tuesday January 25, 2005

Tag Team

Alright, honey, you snap the pictures and I'll shoot the B-roll. You go low, I'll go high.

Posted by jim at 12:43 PM

Friday January 07, 2005

Professional Grade

This woman was employing what appeared to be a large format 2 1/4 inch camera. I ventured dangerously close.

Posted by jim at 12:42 PM

Pay to Play

Over at Craigslist, a tourist-weary New Yorker has presented a plan for the 2005 NEW YORK CITY VISITOR BEHAVIOR INITIATIVE, which will fine/charge Big Apple visitors for engaging in various touristy activities. How much do you think taking a picture of the Chrysler Building should cost? I would be happy to collect the fees. I'm just standing around anyway.

Posted by jim at 12:41 PM

Thursday December 09, 2004

Before the Storm

This guy managed to squeeze one in before the cold rains came this afternoon.

Posted by jim at 12:39 PM

Wednesday November 10, 2004


It's been almost six months since I last posted, but—armed with a brand new Audivox SMT5600—this guy's setup was just too good—and slow-moving—to resist.

Posted by jim at 12:38 PM

Monday June 21, 2004

A Beautiful Day

It's a beautiful day in NYC. I'm expecting a lot of Chrysler Building-related activity.

Posted by jim at 09:01 AM

Friday June 18, 2004

A Guest Contribution

A co-worker, who smokes in the same place—and with roughly the same frequency—as I do, captured this artsy image of a tourist sizing up his quarry.

Posted by jim at 09:00 AM

Monday June 07, 2004

Self-Portrait with Chrysler Building (The Shoot)

I am not sure if it is even possible—from this corner at least—to take a picture of yourself with the Chrysler Building looming behind you, but this woman gave it a good try.

Posted by jim at 08:59 AM

Self-Portrait with Chrysler Building (The Setup)

This woman brings an exciting new innovation to the field of Chrysler Building photography by setting up a self-portrait of herself with the beloved monument. As you can see, she has brought a tripod for this purpose.

Posted by jim at 08:57 AM

Thursday June 03, 2004

Get Your Camera Out, Sven

When this gentleman walked by with his family—hiking shorts, rugged walking shoes, overnight bags in evidence; all heads craned back at the sight of the CB—my friend Tony nudged me and said, "Get your camera out, Sven." Happily, Sven complied.

Posted by jim at 08:56 AM

The Drought Is Over

After literally minutes of experience photographing New York City tourists, I have learned that they don't really get to town until Thursday and that they take long lunches, so mornings and afternoons are best for stalking them. I offer this as advice for anyone who dreams of setting up a tourist-based moblog of their own.

Posted by jim at 08:54 AM

Monday May 24, 2004


This man was really very tall.

Posted by jim at 08:53 AM

The Researcher

This man tore himself away from an intense session with a guide book—which probably included a perfectly good picture of the Chrysler Building—to take a picture of the Chrysler Building.

Posted by jim at 02:07 AM

Fun for the Whole Family

I know when I was a kid, my whole family would gather each night without fail to take a picture of the Chrysler Building. With the breakdown of the American family, I know this is a dying tradition, but it warms my heart to know that it's not dead yet.

Posted by jim at 02:04 AM

Friday May 21, 2004

Another One

Man. Today the tourists are snapping pictures of the Chrysler Building like AP stringers at a prison riot. The sidewalk is littered with spent film canisters and dead batteries and ...

You get the idea.

Posted by jim at 02:06 AM

Give Someone Else a Shot

This guy practically took up residence in the sweet spot of the CBPZ (Chrysler Building Photo-Op Zone). He took some shots, loaded his camera with more batteries, then took some more.

Posted by jim at 02:02 AM

A Swede?

I don't know, really, but this photographer and her companion—an elfin woman of about 50, who is lurking around the corner in this shot, whispering photographic advice—did speak in a language that contained a surplus of 'O's. I'm not much of a linguist.

Posted by jim at 02:02 AM

Thursday May 20, 2004

Slow on the Draw

I spotted this mustachioed gentleman half a greatest alice greenfingers pc block away—camera in the best download aveyond hand, the big CB on his mind. But when he set up his shot right next to me, I got so excited I accidently launched the Task Manager. (Man, moblogging is hard! Someone should come out with some sort of device that only takes pictures.) I was, however, able to capture the look of satisfaction on his face after he got his shot.

Posted by jim at 02:00 AM

A German Tourist

This man spoke German and had a very nice camera. I cut off his head. I regret that.

Posted by jim at 01:59 AM

A Couple

I'm sure this couple—suitcases still in tow—got the best two-dimensional representation of the Chrysler Building available with modern technology. They took a lot of time on it. Like 10 minutes.

Posted by jim at 01:52 AM

A Single

The man half of the couple then crossed the street in search of better angles.

Posted by jim at 01:47 AM

The View from Here

The corner where I work (and take frequent smoke breaks) offers an unobstructed view of newest games of hidden object the Chrysler Building that tourists are helpless to resist. The pictures they take probably look pretty much like this one—which I include as a point of reference and as a service to summer travelers who want to avoid Midtown. Just download it and sneak it into your vacation slideshow. Who will know?

Posted by jim at 01:37 AM