July 26, 2011
New York City taxis. Photo: Scrape TV
The spatial identity of a city is not limited to its buildings. Urban architecture is often complemented by or competes with majestic feats of engineering or lush, elegant landscaping– universally recognizable bridges and parks (such as Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco or Millennium Park in Chicago) often become the defining landmark of a city.
In New York, the competing, ubiquitous icon is the bright yellow cab. With a supporting (if not starring) role in many New York photographs and movies, the taxi is embedded in the identity and culture of New York. In expansive lobbies and through large windows, fine design is admired by looking out onto the surrounding streets. From the tallest, most famous buildings, sightseers peer over the railings to admire the tiny taxi cabs on the avenues below. The architecture of New York is embedded in its street life, of which taxis are often the stars.