The Big and Empty Apple: A Time-Lapse of New York City Without Humans

Here’s the latest installment of Ross Ching’s “Empty America” project, which features time-lapse videos of major cities in the United States with all the people magically removed. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve visited the beautiful cities of San Francisco and Seattle; this week, the destination is New York City.

Here’s Ching’s description of the video above:

All the bridge and tunnel people have been sent home and Manhattan has been wiped empty! Penn Station, Wall Street, Central Park, Times Square, The Met and Fifth Avenue have never looked so vacant.

The project comes at an interesting time, as some of the locations seen in the video are in fact devoid of people due to Hurricane Post-Tropical Storm Sandy.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York (MTA) has been posting a series of photographs to Flickr showing ordinarily-busy places emptied as the city prepared for the storm.

Ching told us last week that although he originally wanted to visit 10 different cities for this project, he has granted funding for 4 so far. The last one, to be released next week, will show empty Washington D.C. Although the videos are being released at a pace of one per week, he actually show them all back to back. He tells us involved 12 straight days in which he slept 5 hours or less.

P.S. If you’re wondering how the “empty city” look was created, check out the BTS video we shared a couple of weeks ago.

  • Andrew Ferguson

    Last time I was in NYC happened to be over the supposed ‘Rapture’ last May, and my first experience with Times Square was walking in at 6am on a Saturday to discover it looking abandoned:

  • NDT001

    What occurred to me here was how much more impressive the stills from this project were than the time lapse. The stand alone stills are much more powerful and attention holding than the time lapse with the hokey music and cheezy post zooms. I dont think the time lapse element adds anything at all to the project.

  • Philip Han

    That has already been done, I think it was a photographer in Beijing.

  • Alan Dove

    Looks a bit like the actual news footage from a couple of days ago, post-Sandy.

  • Bryansix

    Nothing is new under the sun.