How to get away, even if you’re stuck

A glimpse into how our photographers de-stressed during the summer.

Sep 2, 2022

For many, summer break is for returning home, visiting family and old friends, interning and having a chance to relax. For students in New York City, the break serves another purpose: to get away. Every once in a while, we would like to “get away, take a holiday from the neighborhood.” Through these series of pictures, WSN photographers share how they find peace in or out of the city.

Camila Ceballos

A bird’s-eye view of a light blue ocean with a rocky coastline.

The best time of the year for me is summer — not necessarily because of the long-awaited warmth after the winter months, but because it’s a time to stop. This past summer, I traveled to Italy, and I stopped stressing out and constantly looking at my phone. I photographed how different the locals’ lifestyles were. I went back to doing all the simple things I’ve missed doing. It’s captivating.

People sitting on a rocky coast facing shallow water.
Black-and-white photo of people sitting around a table outside a restaurant in sunshine.

Samson Tu

A foggy sky seen from atop a mountain.
A group of three picnic tables on a field of green grass under a cloudy sky with forest over the horizon.

I can’t remember ever seeing the blue sky while living in the city. Constantly preoccupied, I don’t think about looking up when I’m outside. When I do look up, all I see are streams of buildings rising into the sky — often those sleek, stick-like skyscrapers in Midtown that draw and overwhelm my immediate attention. Looking up at the sky in Shenandoah National Park or on a rooftop in New Taipei City is how I got away.

The Milky Way Galaxy.

But you do not have to leave the city to get away. Ignoring the hurried lifestyle induced by the New York state of mind, Kevin and Manasa present how they spent their summer in the city. 

Kevin Wu

Black-and-white photo of a man lying, facedown, on a patch of grass with skyscrapers in the background.
A man and a woman embracing at a waterfront. The downtown Manhattan skyline is in the background.

Summertime in New York City makes me feel like a tourist again. I had become used to the delayed trains, the sirens and the countless visibly invisible passers-by. But somehow, this summer evoked my first time in Manhattan. I picked up my camera and headed out during the days with less hellish weather to find peace and embrace the warmth.

A woman in a light blue dress and a man in a pink, striped shirt holding hands at an intersection.

Manasa Gudavalli

A child wearing a green shirt and a brown hat looking at the Manhattan skyline from the back of a ferry.
A group of people standing on an overpass. It is just after sunset, and the sky is lit purple. The Chrysler building is in the background.

I hate the New York City summer heat. I hate the sticky, claustrophobic energy of Lower Manhattan — saturated with summer interns and sweaty bodies. I hate it all, but I’d never spent a summer in New York, so I thought I’d give it a try. I spent my summer people-watching at places I don’t get to go during the school year. From a trip on the Staten Island Ferry to seeing Manhattanhenge, the bright orange hues and New York City skyline of my people-watching excursions constantly capture my attention. For the first time in three years, my air-conditioner-less East Village apartment is no longer my safe haven — the skyline-backdropped picnics with friends and the warm sky at dusk provided me with the safety blanket I didn’t think I would need in 90 degree weather.

Black-and-white photo of a man sitting at a picnic table with a woman standing next to him. The city skyline is in the background.

This photo essay is dedicated to Manasa, our former multimedia editor. Thank you for all the vibes you have cultivated.

Developed for web by Samson Tu.

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