When Tom Keating wanted to capture the essence of Broadway in pictures, it took him five days. His shared his journey with us at a screening at One Center Street.
Tom walked Broadway from Bowling Green to the Harlem River. Broadway is the only street that runs the whole length of Manhattan.
At Bowling Green we saw the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House designed by Cass Gilbert. One of the most splendid Beaux Arts buildings in the city, today it has become The Museum of the American Indian.
Just north of the Custom House is the Charging Bull by Arturo Di Modica. This is the most visited statue in the city and it embodies the turbulence of the stock market crash. At Wall Street and Broadway, we had our second visit with Alexander Hamilton, only this time he was buried at the Trinity Church graveyard.
Continuing north, Tom photographed many New York City icons: Beekman Tower, the only apartments designed by architect Frank Gehry; 200-year- old City Hall, the oldest in the country; and the 1902 Flat Iron building, New York’s oldest skyscraper.
West midtown inspired photos of Times Square, the most famous location on Broadway; the glittering Broadway theatres; and a Kellogg’s restaurant!
On Broadway’s Upper West Side are the Dorilton Apartments, the most ornate building in the city. In the 1970s, the Ansonia Hotel had a gay bathhouse where Bette Midler got her start with her accompanist, Barry Manilow.
At 116th Street were Columbia University’s stately buildings. “Above 130th Street, all the glitz and glamor are gone and Broadway becomes part of a regular neighborhood,” Tom said. It has small merchants and restaurants of every nationality: Mexican, Indian, Irish, Arabic, Muslim, and Italian.
Fort Tryon Park at Broadway and 179th Street includes the Cloisters Museum. U.S. Route 9 begins here and goes all the way to the Canadian border.
Tom’s last photo of the Harlem River made us feel we had traveled along with him – the many layers of Broadway filling our minds with wonder.