Photographer's Note


This photograph is a sequel to “View From the Top” that I posted last Sunday. There the vantage point was the 25th floor of a hotel/condo, looking down at Central Park, in the area known as “Central Park South.” This is the view from street level on 59th Street, where hansom cabs line up to offer romantic tours of fashionable uptown New York City.


The hansom cab is a horse-drawn carriage originally designed and patented by Joseph Hansom in York, England in 1834. Although it has evolved somewhat from its original form, it still features a wide wheelbase, large wheels, light body weight, and low center of gravity — features collaborating to create conditions to travel at high speed and maneuver corner with safety. (These words also describe design features for Ferraris and Porsches, but in the case of the hansom cab the engine is rated at one horsepower in distinction to the hundreds for modern Formula One racing cars.)

The hansom cab has figured prominently in an immense number stories and films including:

• Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes” stories,
• Renditions of “Jack the Ripper,”
• C. S. Lewis’s “The Chronicles of Narnia,”
• Robert Lewis Stevens’s “The Adventure of the Hansom Cab,”
• The tale of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,”
• The Seinfeld television episode, "The Rye." Kramer, minding a friend's Hansom Cab business, feeds canned meat to a horse, causing the animal to become severely flatulent. Subsequently, when George Constanza takes his fiancé on a ride to meet his future in-laws, the conditions become anything but a romantic horse-and-buggy experience for them.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6774 W: 470 N: 12149] (41261)
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