Places + Travels

Let’s pretend we’re tourists.

I’ve often thought that I’d like to be able to see New York City through the eyes of a tourist. I suppose this is probably the case with every city, but the longer a place is part of your everyday life, the less you tend to observe in your surroundings. This is especially true in “vertical” cities where above-ground traveling is primarily done on foot. Who remembers to look up? Tourists, that’s who.

So when Evan and I went to MoMA (something I do embarrassingly infrequently), I tried to pretend I was a tourist. I wasn’t really successful, but I did manage to get over my fear of looking like a dork (um, I look like a dork no matter what, so I might as well do it with a camera in my hands) and take a few pictures.

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  • Reply Agnes March 4, 2010 at 1:28 am

    Cool photos!
    Am I first??

  • Reply Lynn March 4, 2010 at 1:33 am

    Stunning images, every single one. You’ve been missed!

  • Reply Andrea Matone March 4, 2010 at 1:55 am

    This is good training to keep seeing the usual as unusual. Keeps a photographer creative, innovative. I am often confronted with this having to shoot what has become ordinary to my eyes as extraordinary for someone else. It’s a stimulating challenge.

  • Reply carol c March 4, 2010 at 1:58 am

    so good to have you back! been checking on the site awaiting your next post. it’s kinda fun sometimes to step back ‘n explore your town. you learn something new each day!

  • Reply ana March 4, 2010 at 2:16 am

    and I always imagine how it would be to live there 🙂
    great MoMa pictures

  • Reply Anna March 4, 2010 at 2:23 am

    sitting in anchorage, alaska, it is wonderful to think of you being a resident tourist in nyc. i also live in a place that is difficult to remember to be amazed by unless you are showing it to someone else. it is wonderful; a blessing; to consider what we take for granted! enjoy!

  • Reply - March 4, 2010 at 3:21 am

    you look anything but dorky here. i think youre stunning.

  • Reply Niamh March 4, 2010 at 4:55 am

    You are alive!!!

    (I was getting worried) stunning stunning photos, I just adore all of them…
    I am always wanting to do the same thing with Sydney but when do I have the time…?

  • Reply nauli March 4, 2010 at 5:11 am

    Great idea! Could make a cool series. Looking at your hometown just like a tourist. Maybe we start after bringing all our Paris photos in order…

  • Reply Caroline, No. March 4, 2010 at 5:14 am

    Love it. I was so jealous when I heard about the snow dump on NYC. Love snow, love NYC, definitely the recipe for funtimes.

  • Reply Frank March 4, 2010 at 5:50 am

    It’s totally worth doing this every now and again. I live in a big city too (London) and do try to document my life in this city – it helps you to appreciate it more. And who ever regrets having digital photos to look back on anyway?

  • Reply Marthe March 4, 2010 at 6:55 am

    I always do the opposite, I wish I was living in the city I’m visiting!

    And right now, my dream city is NYC. I visited in October and tried to do non-touristy things! 😉

  • Reply EB Finds March 4, 2010 at 7:38 am

    I live in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of NY and sometimes take it’s lakes, mountains and natural beauty (and wineries!) for granted. I frequently travel to NYC and miss out there as well because I am always so focused on work! Your post inspired me to take a minute and enjoy what is around me. Thanks!

  • Reply Kate March 4, 2010 at 8:15 am

    I live in Boston, and I took my camera to the streets of Beacon Hill last fall. I felt like such a tourist when I took pictures of things like people’s doors and window boxes, especially when someone came out of said door or looked out the window. Oops.

    I’m digging your scarf. Where’d you get it?

  • Reply dkzody March 4, 2010 at 8:59 am

    I must be a tourist everywhere I go, even the grocery store. I look and gawk and take pictures. I carry my camera everywhere, but on Tuesday I got taken aback. After taking pictures of my walk to the courthouse for jury duty, I was informed I could not bring a camera into the courthouse. I had to hike back to my car and leave it. It felt as though I was putting my child in the car and walking away.

  • Reply laura March 4, 2010 at 10:14 am

    your haircut is amazing

    great photos – i need to do this in my own city.

  • Reply greybreaks March 4, 2010 at 10:24 am

    brilliant photos. love the golden horses shot

  • Reply ClaraAnne March 4, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Beautiful- The pictures & you both too! I’ll be back in ny in june, MOMA’s going to be one of my first stops now!

  • Reply Anna at D16 March 4, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Thanks, you guys — I know I’m not a very good photographer, but I’m happy I took some pictures of stuff other than my house and dogs. 🙂 Even if it is just to document a day.

    Kate: That’s Evan’s scarf (I borrow it often…)! He bought it at H&M.

  • Reply nichole March 4, 2010 at 11:13 am

    I was standing at the corner of 50th and Madison yesterday after a client meeting, staring at the back of St. Patrick’s cathedral.

    It reminded instantly of the church architecture I so often photograph in Paris, and it made me question why I don’t see NYC in the same way.

    Your post points out that it’s important to view the place you live with tourists’ eyes.

    Really love your photos!

  • Reply Janelle March 4, 2010 at 11:50 am

    I love the Moma. The couples membership is surprisingly inexpensive. Unlimited visits, discounts at the cafe and store. It’s a good deal.

    Plus I didn’t feel bad about just stopping by for a half hour when I had the membership.

  • Reply Jenny! March 4, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I have the exact same photo dork fear.

  • Reply jennifer in sf March 4, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Ha! I always think I’m going to look like a dork taking pictures, but then I never think anyone else taking pictures looks like a dork.* So you’d think I’d get over it….

    Those chairs look so nice out in the snow.

    *Unless they’ve stopped right in the middle of the sidewalk. Then I think things.

  • Reply Wendy March 4, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Hi Anna. My comment has nothing to do with this thread but I wanted to ask you if you’re still happy with the Zinsser 123 primer that you used on the floor. I’m about to prime my old floors and I was curious to see if it has held up to foot traffic. I’m using the ben moore latex floor patio enamel for final, just as you did. Thanks!

  • Reply jill danyelle March 4, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    ha! i play tourist too!! moma is my favorite, then a walk through central park and a late lazy lunch at the boathouse cafe – perfect. i took this when my parents were visiting and we did just that! trying to explain modern art to dad is always fun – he is an engineer.

    i found your site by googling… how to paint floors… white, of course. about to do the whole apartment, thanks for all your info!!

  • Reply Stephanie March 4, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    My friend started an outing tradition called “Iconic Hollywood Excursions” where twice a month she visits popular well-known places in LA. It’s strange how you never think to visit popular places in your own backyard.

  • Reply laurenalane March 4, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    We just got back from spending last weekend in the city, and my husband wished he had a baby as an accessory so he didn’t look like the creepy older guy in Central Park just staring at the kids going down the hill on sleds! It was almost impossible not to stand and stare because it looked like so much fun! It was fun to just let go and act like kids and be tourists, since we don’t get snow here in Orlando!

  • Reply Kara March 4, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    I love these photos! I carry a camera with me almost everywhere. I find that it helps me to look around and appreciate my surroundings more. I don’t think of it so much as being a tourist, but as being a flaneur.

    How did you like the Tim Burton show at MoMA?

    What is Evan eating in that photo? It looks delicious but I can’t tell if it’s lunch or dessert!

  • Reply Maria March 4, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    My grandfather used always say to me, ” Don’t forget to look up”.
    I kind of didn’t get it until I was much older. Funny how we always forget to look up.

    great photos.

  • Reply Heather March 4, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Stunning photo of you!!

  • Reply annie March 4, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    such a good idea! i am looking forward to the warmer temps when i’m less nervous about taking out my new canon rebel for picture takings around the city. and can i just say… MORE PLEASE. i’d love to see more of the way you see new york.

  • Reply karalya March 4, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    How can you say you aren´t a good photographer? Those pictures are great!
    And they make me long to be in NYC. Hope to make it there next spring!

    What happend to your formspring-page? Did you close it down? What a pity!

  • Reply Raspberry Swirly March 4, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Did I ever ask you what kind of camera you use? If so, please tell me again because I have a crap memory. If not, what kind of camera do you use? These are lovely pictures, and I’m glad you didn’t feel quite so dorky!

  • Reply Anna at D16 March 4, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Wendy: Yep, the floor is still holding up great! I’ve used the Zinsser 123 primer on just about everything else in my house (and apartment) that’s painted, too. I love it. Excellent coverage and adhesion, even over crazy surfaces.

    Kara: We didn’t go to the Tim Burton show. It’s too crowded on the weekends, and you need to get tickets in advance. I’m going to try to go back on a weekday, though, because I love Tim Burton and I don’t want to miss it.

    Evan was about to eat “Pistachio Crusted Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Orange & Grapefruit, Pistachios, Vanilla, and Caramel Sauce”. Yes. It was goooooooood.

    karalya: Formspring was just a two-week experiment for me. It didn’t go very well, so I deleted it. It’s better if people just ask questions here! 🙂

    R.S.: I don’t remember if you’ve ever asked me, because my memory is terrible, too! I have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5. Simple point & shoot. I’m very happy with it.

  • Reply Justine March 4, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    totally understand- I lived in Guadalajara, Mexico for a little while a couple summers ago but I was so concerned with looking like a dorky tourist I never took many pictures 🙁

  • Reply the domestic fringe March 4, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Great photos.


  • Reply Dan March 4, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    1. Lovely pictures, Anna! Love the black bertoia chairs in the snow, so pretty! I was going to go to Moma on Friday (when it’s free in the afternoons) but by the time I got there the line was completely wrapped around the building. Even if we got in, way, way too crowded for my taste. Maybe this weekend…
    2. I’m so glad you posted! We’ve missed you!
    3. I’m dying to see the apartment! I’ll be apartment hunting come April… AHHH!

  • Reply Dan March 4, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Speaking of which…..
    I know you haven’t officially “revealed” it, but how do you like the Karlstad sofa? I’ve been doing crazy amounts of sofa research (for an apartment that doesn’t exist yet), and it seems like that might be our best option. I’ve seen them in the store, but does it seem to be holding up well? If you wouldn’t mind giving a quick little review response, I’d really appreciate it!

  • Reply Anna at D16 March 4, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Dan: We’ve had the Karlstad 3-seater in our house for over a year now, and it’s great. It’s really the best sofa for the money (and then some), by far. It’s just as comfortable today as it was when we bought it. The frame hasn’t lost any shape at all, and the foam is still plush and full. We didn’t even really consider buying anything else for the apartment…so now we have two!

  • Reply alex sunday March 5, 2010 at 3:17 am

    i often pretend to be a tourist to get over the photo dork feeling. i think that it feels worse to get home and know you didn’t take awesome shots that were there for the taking than it does to feel awkward when you take them. did that make sense? those chairs in the snow are beautiful.

  • Reply Holyoke Home March 5, 2010 at 7:52 am

    As long as you don’t go to times square and take a picture of a giant piece of candy, I approve.

  • Reply Jake March 5, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Isn’t is funny how us New Yorkers rarely take advantage of all the city has to offer? I’ve been here 4.5 years and have been to MoMA once. Shame on me.

    Great shots, Anna! Keep up the great work!

  • Reply Naomi March 5, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    As a neighbor (Philadelphia) and frequent visitor to New York, I am super embarrassed to say the I have never been to MOMA! My trips are always super quick and revolve around food and socializing.
    You are inspiring me to get up there again and do some intellectual touristy stuff!

  • Reply jeremy March 5, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    it’s funny since moving away from NYC when i come back i feel like i am much better at seeing the city. we are always so consumed with something there that you miss a lot of the detail around you.

    love the last picture. so very NY.

  • Reply Gwen March 5, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Just a comment that whenever I’m in a new city, I try to check out the local art gallery — not just for the art though! They often have the best restaurants in town.

  • Reply down bedding March 5, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    LOVE that first image 🙂

  • Reply sarah March 6, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    I feel like a photo dork all the time to. I’m so self conscious about the fact that people might be wondering what i am doing, which is so ridiculous. I think it’s time to step outside of that box.

  • Reply Melina Wallisch March 7, 2010 at 11:32 am

    hi. i live in tahoe and love acting like a tourist (just don’t drive like one!) i love your shot of the trees, tree silohuette (sp?) shots are one of my faves!

  • Reply Eliza March 8, 2010 at 11:39 am

    I like the one of the horses getting acupuncture…

  • Reply Fiona March 8, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I’ve never been to New York and am dying to go, especially to the MoMA. These shots aren’t helping… sigh.

  • Reply MB March 8, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    After reading your post I took some pictures of the town we are living in on this side of the pond. Sometimes I forget to look up and enjoy all the loveliness to be had. Thanks for the reminder:)

  • Reply loolah March 9, 2010 at 2:42 am

    Completely off the topic of this post, added to which you don’t know me from a slice of watermelon BUT I made your vegetarian chili over the weekend and feel impelled to thank you. You do not lie. It IS wonderful! I’ve been messing about with tofu and vegetables for ages and, frankly, the results have been sub-optimal. To say the least. No more. I ate your chili for three days running and I’m beginning to think I have withdrawal symptoms and should make some more.

    If you have any more veggie recipes that are even half as good as that, I do hope you’ll see fit to share them.


  • Reply ruth March 10, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    I think people with cameras look really cool and not like dorks, especially when they take lovely pictures like the ones you took! We have been having glorious sunshine in normally grey and wet Ireland! So I must get my camera out and take some photos! All the best from Ruth

  • Reply Fiona March 10, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    LOVE how even your tourist photos are totally on-brand Door Sixteen. Mostly black and white; check. Mid-century masterpiece chair collection; check. Pop of graphic colour; check. Floating typography, 19thC New York architecture, husband gazing adoringly at Anna, Anna rocking excellent hair and erroneously thinking she looks like a dork; check, check, check and check. But where are the puppies? 🙂

  • Reply thedoodlegirl March 10, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Really gorgeous places you’ve photographed. I’d LOVE to be a tourist there!!! It’s truly my dream. Someday…

  • Reply peggy March 10, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    I’m glad you got over your fears. I look like a dork all the time. I’m always photographing my city. I’d rather photograph India or Paris, but I don’t live in India or Paris.

    I’m so excited about your New York adventure, so it’s appropriate for you to post more New York pictures!

    And you and Evan are such a cute couple!

  • Reply Katie Peek March 11, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Well, you sure don’t look like tourists. You’re WAY to hip not to be New Yorkers. Camera or no.

  • Reply Christine March 12, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Love that last image with the bird spikes coming out of the horse statues. Makes them look like war horses.

  • Reply hannah March 15, 2010 at 4:36 am

    Hello. My name is Hannah and I am new to your blog. I just wanted to say hello and that I really like your hair. xx

  • Reply Lights March 18, 2010 at 5:10 am

    love the d&g’s, cool photos. xx

  • Reply handmadecharlotte March 21, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    hi….i love those nails…my kids are always telling me to get a new color…but i love it…

  • Reply sRa March 21, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    have to say i love your hair – so lovely on you….and your whole style sensibility – this blog is now bookmarked – i can tell it will be a new fav 🙂

  • Reply Jesse Lu March 27, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    This is a fantastic idea… I find myself ‘looking up’, and down, often in San Francisco… I think because of all the hills… but I still don’t take as many pictures as I should and I definitely don’t visit all the ‘spots’ I should. I think before the big move next summer I must make a list of all the things I want to do in San Francisco, and check ’em off one by one. And yes, silly things like walking across the Golden Gate and ferrying to Alcatraz are top bill.

    What’s the point of living in such fabulous places if we don’t squeeze them for every last drop of fabulousness?

  • Reply Núria March 27, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    I really like these pictures

  • Reply raina April 8, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    lovin the haircut!!!

  • Reply isa May 28, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    The picture with the horses:

    The horses need an acupuncture too 😉

  • Reply Vanessa June 1, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    WHERE did you get that RING??? Love!!!

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