Photographer Susannah Ray captures the New York waterways women use all year-round to sail, swim and daydream
We’ve gone wild for wild swimming in recent years and are increasingly swapping the urban jungle for a restorative slice of nature, but photographer Susannah Ray‘s lyrical coffee-table tome New York Waterways beautifully captures all three.
Inspired by the unfettered humanism of Walt Whitman’s poem ‘Crossing Brooklyn Ferry’ and the shifting light and reflective waters of urban shorelines, Ray spent more than two years exploring the waterways that New Yorkers utilitise to row, swim and sit by day in, day out to escape the hustle and bustle of inner-city life. And the resulting images take us on a seasonal journey past sheltered bays, under great bridges and over deep rivers to give us a new perspective on a mega-city we thought we knew so well.
Defined by water, many of the big apple’s shorelines are still largely unknown, but Ray’s body of work serves as a powerful reminder that the communal human connection to water is as present today as it always has been. So, if you’re looking for a holiday read in the garden this summer that will transport you to peaceful blue shores and sunnier urban climes, this soul-lifting tale from the city is a dead cert. It might even inspire you to discover the hidden havens on your own door step.
Here’s our edit of the book’s most evocative photographs. Time to dive in…
New York Waterways (pictured above) by Susannah Ray, £17.95, is published by Hoxton Mini Press and available to buy now