Gantry Plaza State Park by Shuli Hallak in Long Island City, NY, USA

Old railroad tracks, Gantry Plaza State Park, LIC

Name:Shuli Hallak

Place you live: New York City, NY

Place your photo was taken: Long Island City, NY

Can you sum up New York City? New York City is so many things to so many people. To me, it is home first and foremost, in large part because of the energy and people that define it. You can be anonymous and somebody and nobody in the same breath. This city is the greatest equalizer and motivator.

But I realize that its throbbing energy is what really draws me in, time and again, despite all of NY’s gaping flaws. And when you look a little closer, underneath the seams that hold this place together, you can see traces of what put this place together.  Beneath the modern glass is an old Industrial past.

Like where I live, in Long Island City, the renovated waterfront park has kept the old Gantry’s of its past and pieces of the railroad tracks that would lead from the “port” to the rest of Long Island.

Occupation: Photographer

Preoccupation: Observing how the world really works. Especially the dawn of the Information Era.

If someone was visiting, what must they do? Rent bikes, ride down the west side highway from Central Park, down to the Staten Island ferry for a free, round trip sunset ferry ride with spectacular views of Battery Park and the Statue of Liberty. Park the bikes, buy a couple of cans of beer and enjoy.

A perfect meal in NYC? Oh, so many.  Katz’s Deli, share the best pastrami sandwich (it’s enormous) you’ve ever had with a plate of fries. Or go for noodles at X’ian famous foods, but be careful because it’s highly addicting.

A little known fact about where you live? It is thought that the name Manhattan originally comes from the language of the Lenni Lenape (Native American tribe that inhabited the area), “Mannahatta” meaning “island of many hills.” Mannahatta was once a lush, green island with rolling hills until it was discovered by Henry Hudson.

Where is your favorite place in the world? The desert.