WTC Plaza, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt
Those of us who live in the Northeastern United States have experienced one of the wettest Springs on record, and the rain has continued through the solstice season. Perhaps as the climate changes, the regions that depend on snowmelt for water are becoming drier while those that depend on rainfall are becoming wetter, or perhaps it is just an unusually wet year. Either way, it’s a good time to appreciate the beauty of rain, so here’s a collection of my photographs from past rainy seasons in New York. Above, from early 2001, the plaza of the World Trade Center.
Storm drains in the city are easily clogged, and in a hard rain the gutters become rivers.
Submerged Curb, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt
Rain Gutter, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt
Bus Stop River, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt
In a sudden heavy downpour, you take shelter or in minutes you can be as wet as though you’d gone for a swim fully clothed.
Don't Walk, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt
LIC Downpour, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt
Bodega Rain Shelter, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt
In the photo immediately above, notice the cataract pouring into the storm drain.
After the rain, everything is shiny. Trees are diamond-encrusted.
Tree Diamonds, 2004, photo by Fred Hatt
Rain beads up on cars, especially if they’ve been waxed. Under streetlights at night, an ordinary car glitters like Liberace’s rhinestone Roadster.
Bejeweled Car, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt
And even if there are no sunbeams to make rainbows, oil slicks on asphalt will give a little chromatic thrill.
Oil Slick, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt
Every street and sidewalk becomes a rough mirror, and a whole reflected world opens up beneath our feet.
Stripes, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt
Green, Red, Yellow, 2004, photo by Fred Hatt
Wine & Liquors, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt
Colored lights are everywhere in the city, and wet streets turn them into fantastic, dramatic alarms.
Tail Light, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt
Water manifests fire in red brakelights.
Fire and Water, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt
The neon extravagance of 42nd Street becomes downright psychedelic.
Iridescent Crosswalk, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt
But even a relatively minimalist display takes on a new splendor.
Reflections in Green & White, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt
Rain produces different but equally ravishing effects in a more rural environment, and it is as important as sunshine in producing foliage and flowers. Celebrate rain!