Summers Above Central Park

A few years back, I was working on a film that had a camera position on the roof of a building just south of Central Park. The position required some construction, about two weeks of prep work, and I was assigned to “babysit” the crew – basically let them in, keep an eye on them while they worked, hold down the fort when they took their lunch break, and close up when they finished. Very, very simple stuff.

The building whose roof we were using would only let us work at night, so I had the graveyard shift. Personally, I love working at night in the summer – the city is a lot more manageable, the temperature is way more pleasant than during the sweltering days, and work tends to move at a more relaxed pace.

What made this job special was the location. The roof had an unrivaled view of Central Park:


I basically spent 12 hours a day up there, and it’s probably one of my favorite film job experiences ever. The weather was beautiful (warm summer breezes at 80 stories up are something special), the work was easy, and I was on top of Manhattan.  Occasionally, there would be a summer heat lightening storm, which was amazing from this vantage point (I have a video somewhere of lightening striking across the city that I’ll post someday).

Every morning as the sun came up, mist and fog would rise off the park through the trees, obscuring the city in a soft haze…


Here’s a pan I took, which looks more impressive if you click to see the full image.


Finally, after a few hours, the mist disappears to reveal the park in all its glory.


And then it was time to go home and get some sleep. I think back to jobs like this nostalgically when I’m out scouting on bitter winter days…


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  1. Absolutely gorgeous photos of my favorite city. I’m so glad I found your site last week. Whenever I’m in the city I’m always looking for unexpected architectural finds. This & the post ‘They’re watching you’ are great because you have views I’ll never get.
    Thank you for sharing them.

  2. Great shots — they remind me visually of Cloverfield, which was among the best video portrayal of the Park on film to date I’ve ever seen.

    I work a few blocks from Columbus Circle and while the summer days are barely tolerable — above ground or below — your description of summer nights was dead on.

    Thanks for those great shots.


  3. I found your site on google and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work.

  4. I just stumbled upon your site today and am amazed. Fantastic work. Glad to know someone else is looking up to enjoy the hidden gems!

  5. I love the shot of the sunrise – I just linked to this entry on my blog. You have a great site going here!