Some cities have a distinctive colour palette. The Lutetian limestone of Paris gives the place a look of delicately mildewed clotted cream. Vancouver is the grey-sky silver of glass, contrasted with piney deep green. London was slate, and that obvious red splashed on post boxes, buses and Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s stinky phone boxes; but alas, those all either seem to be disappearing or have been diluted under advertising (if you want to see the colours of London that I remember from childhood I recommend you watch “The Ipcress File”, it is also a great movie for making people appreciate miserable weather).
New York City is absolutely, unarguably, yellow. The density of chemical-yellow cabs crawling proudly along every street and avenue makes it unmistakable and unavoidable. Go underground, and you’ll realize that the yellow has wrapped itself around the very limbs of the subway. And that canary, jaundice, buttercup, colour is why it is a great place for blur. You can shake or wobble, you can spin your zoom through a long exposure, you can probably even dab with your camera (first you should ask yourself if you aren’t a bit too old for that sort of silliness). It doesn’t matter how many other colours light up Times Square. However much we blur New York City’s yellow, it will shine through, instantly recognizable.
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