Surrounded by the noisy four-lane avenues and daunting skyscrapers it isn’t always easy to find calm in the chaos called New York City. They say it’s the city that never sleeps. But why would you want to live in a place that never sleeps but always works? 24/7. 365 days a year.

On the streets you see grouchy businessmen hectically rushing from building to building, traffic cops yelling at unwary motorists and pedestrians arguing with other pedestrians. You barely see someone smile. I know of so many people who came to New York pursuing a dream that never came true. A dream of success driven by the belief in hard work that will pay off one day for sure. I know of so many New Yorkers who pay their rent for a tiny studio by having two or even more jobs at the same time. Holidays? What is that?

So yes, I really wonder how many people sacrifice all their money to move to the Big Apple. And in the same moment I stand at the edge of Brooklyn Bridge Park. I take a break, have a look around. I look up and see the sun set behind Lower Manhattan. I know why. Because it’s New York Fucking City.

View of Manhattan
Brooklyn Bridge Black and white photography
Furman Street in Brooklyn by Luca Massimilian

New York Manhattan black and white by Luca Massimilian

This photo essay was published on in 2019.