Today was a mix of places that I had already visited, and those I was seeing for the first time, and while I was now seeing these familiar places in a new light, I found myself draw away from the “landscape” and onto the people. The weather, though warmer than I would like, made today a great day to be out and about in the city. After spending the whole winter cooped up inside, it was fascinating to see everyone out and interacting with the environment around them. In the case of Bryant Park in particular, we talked about just how much subtle changes can affect a site, and I think the people inhabiting the spaces magnified these small differences exponentially. I noticed the shady parts of the landscape more because people were clustered there hiding from the sun. The seating areas were more evident because they were overflowing with people lounging in the sun. Crowds of people taking pictures told you where there were views or points of interest. You noticed the small spaces more because the spaces in between people got smaller, and the heat was overwhelming. And the whole landscape changed as people filled up the space, changing its surface, blocking views, and filling the air with noise. People bring the landscape alive in a way that nothing else can, and while they sometimes find their way unwanted into your pictures, they are an inseparable part of the landscape. Looking back through my pictures, I noticed that there were more people than I would have thought enjoying the spaces by themselves, reading, strolling, sleeping, or just staring off into the distance or into the crowd watching everyone go by. I also noticed some important differences between the sites we visited. The Highline, while populated by groups of varying sizes walking along the length, was dominated by small pairs of people and by individuals in the areas of stasis, namely the benches and other seating. Bryant Park on the other hand saw its seating dominated by groups congregating, either out on the lawn or under the trees, playing games, eating, or simply conversing. I would love to go back at different times of the day and in different weather to see how this dynamic changes, and how certain portions of each site gain and loose importance depending on these differences. Its sometimes hard for me to understand why designers make certain decisions, but a lot of them are made clearer when I see how people react to what’s around them. I can understand why a bench is two inches higher or why a wall is where it is all because of people and their reaction to their environment.