City Life

Favorite cities Skyscrapers New York City Washington, DC Other city links

  I was raised in a small town in Idaho (which accounts for my trusting nature and wholesome, "small-town" values) but I've spent most of my life in or near large cities. Since 1973 I have lived in greater Boston, and prior to that I lived in Seattle. I find cities stimulating, challenging, rewarding, and a never-ending source of things I love including knowledge, culture, and rich social opportunities. I strive for a sense of urban self-sufficiency and I am what you would call a real city aficionado.

This page started out as a section on my Favorites page, which is why it consists mostly of links. Most of these sites have photos of city life, including buildings and other structures. See Google maps and Panoramas under Favorite cities below for some spectacular views, and I highly recommend using Street View on Google Maps to see what a city really looks like.


Favorite cities

Google maps
  Here are some of the cities I have lived in or just spent time in that I really enjoy. You can see aerial photos of some of these cities at Aerial photos .
I have a description and photos of a trip we made to London, Paris, and Amsterdam on another page on my website.

I have lived in Metro-Boston since 1973. It is a great city with lots of American history. I love to walk around and see things I have heard about since I was a child. Plus, I love living in a blue state.
My Boston page

   New York City
NYC, the "Big Apple," offers pretty much everything and never sleeps. Because Manhattan is laid out on a grid it is very easy to navigate. My son, Alex, lives in Brooklyn and teaches ESP in greater New York City.
My NYC section

I lived in the U-District, Wallingford, Cascade, and Eastlake neighborhoods in Seattle from 1968-1973. It is very hilly and beautiful, with many bodies of water.
My Seattle section

   Washington, DC  (see government links on the Favorites page)
Washington is one of my favorite places to visit, with all the Smithsonian museums, the grand government buildings, and the Mall. We generally stayed in the Dupont Circle or Foggy Bottom areas when we were there because our son, Ben, went to George Washington University, which was located in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood a few blocks from the White House.
My Washington, DC, section

Amsterdam is so charming, with all the canals and the thousands of bicyles (more bikes than cars). I can remember walking in bike paths thinking they were sidewalks. It is fairly compact and the trams are easy to get around on. Our son, Ben, went to a semester of college there around 2010. (See more on or visit to him here.)
Google Maps – click Photos on left and scroll through (map in the lower left shows location of each photo)
Amsterdam photos
Dan Heller Photography
Pictures of Amsterdam
Amsterdam pics
Anne Frank House
Van Gogh Museum
Rembrandt House – Citymap kaart van Amsterdam panorama 360 view
WhyGo Amsterdam
A trip I took

It would be difficult to exaggerate the good things you can say about Paris. (Read more and see photos of a visit here.)
Mairie de Paris
Google Maps – click Photos on left and scroll through (map in the lower left shows location of each photo)
Dan Heller Photography
Paris photos
Eiffel Tower
Arc de Triomphe
Louvre Museum
Panoramiques des Monuments de Paris – 360° panoramic views
The Louvre 360°
[Notre-Dame de Paris] Panoramic views 360°
The Lifts of the Eiffel Tower
A trip I took

London contains many fantastic sites including the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, and The London Eye.
The tube is a really good subway system, and you will be warned to "Mind the gap!" (See more here.)
City of London
Google Maps – click Photos on left and scroll through (map in the lower left shows location of each photo)
Dan Heller Photography
London Pictures – by Keith Stanley
London Photos
Tower of London
The London Eye
Kensington Palace
A trip I took

   San Francisco
SF is one of the great American cities, and besides many visits I lived there in the summer of 1967 (the "Summer of Love"). My son lives there and works for Twitter, which means we will be going there again in the future.
City of San Francisco
Google Maps – click Photos on left and scroll through (map in the lower left shows location of each photo)
A View on Cities - San Francisco
     San Francisco Buildings – photos & stats of individual buildings
Dan Heller Photography
Scenic San Francisco – Pictures, Panoramas
San Francisco Victorian Home Walk
Ken Adelman's coastal aerial views
Photos from Free Large Photos: Aerial Views
     A view including the Golden Gate Bridge and part of the Bay Bridge
     Downtown, with Golden Gate Park and the Presidio in background
     Downtown and a portion of the Bay Bridge
     Golden Gate Park
     Golden Gate Park
     Golden Gate Bridge and Marin County
     Marin County
Some S.F. photos from a 2005 trip

I have only visited but I love Toronto.
City of Toronto
Google Maps – click Photos on left and scroll through (map in the lower left shows location of each photo)
CN Tower
Toronto Attractions
Toronto photos - A weekend in Toronto

One of the interesting things about Chicago is that like all the cities on the Great Lakes you think you are at the ocean when you are there.
City of Chicago
Google Maps – click Photos on left and scroll through (map in the lower left shows location of each photo)
A View on Cities - Chicago – many photos and descriptions of the city and its buildings
     Chicago Buildings – photos & stats of individual buildings
You know you're from Chicago when... – from an email

I have visited several times and lived there briefly in the summer of 1967.
City of Atlanta
Google Maps – click Photos on left and scroll through (map in the lower left shows location of each photo)
Atlanta Magazine
Atlanta Photos by Consultwebs

   Los Angeles
One of the great and famous cities in the U.S. that I've been to many times.
City of Los Angeles
Google Maps – click Photos on left and scroll through (map in the lower left shows location of each photo)
Architectural Photo Galleries – downtown 1818-1939, the historic core
Los Angeles Photos and Pictures
Downtown Los Angeles Walking Tour – USC Department of Geography
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Skyscrapers and other urban structures
  Here are some links relating to my fascination with mankind's great architectural and engineering achievements, especially tall buildings.

Building BIG – from PBS
The World's Best Skylines
How Skyscrapers Work
Skyscraper Picture Collection – from many cities and countries
galinsky – people enjoying buildings worldwide
Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Great Buildings Online
Great Structures of the World
Glass, Steel, and Stone – architecture of the world
How Skyscrapers Work – from
Hong Kong - The City of Nights (Lights)
World City Photos
The Skyscraper Web Ring
Great Buildings and Structures
The Skyscraper Museum
Tallest Buildings in the United States – the most extensive skyscraper resource on the web
The High-Rise Pages – your online guide to the tallest buildings in the world!
structurae: International Database and Gallery of Structures
Skyscrapers Collection – stats for North American metro areas
World's Tallest Buildings – as of 2010
World's Tallest Skyscrapers – as of 2015
Federation of High-Rise Websites
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New York City
  I have always been a fan of The Big Apple, the ultimate American urban experience. I used to work for a company in Boston that had an office in Manhattan located at the intersection of Broadway, 5th Avenue, and 23rd St. (Madison Square), which is also the location of the visually delightful Flatiron Building (see Google Maps Street View ¹). When I went to New York on business I would stay in a company-owned, mid-town condo, and I always found it exhilarating to get up in the morning and walk down 5th Avenue past the Empire State Building to the office. When my kids were in Hebrew School in New England, in the 90s, they went on field trips to NYC and I went as a chaperone. We toured around the city, and one of the enjoyable things we did was go to the Statue of Liberty, where we climbed to the top in the crown. (This was closed for awhile after 9/11.) When I came to Boston for college in 1973 I presumed I would be moving to New York City after college, but I grew roots and stayed in Boston. – the official New York City website
     NYC Visitors Bureau – the official tourism website
Google Maps – click Photos on left and scroll through (map in the lower left shows location of each photo)
The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
World Financial Center
Grand Central Terminal
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)
New York City Graffiti @149st
New York City Subway Resources
City Lore
NYC Street Smarts – New York area roads, crossings, and exits
Gothamist: New York City news, events, food, and fun
Worm Your Way Through the Big Apple
New York City - Wikipedia
     Neighborhoods, boroughs, & maps
          NYC map

City of Neighborhoods
List of Manhattan neighborhoods
Manhattan neighborhood Map
Big Think - Manhattan neighbourhoods
Times Square
NYC Subway Map
Queens for a Day – a great Washington Post article on Queens
If It's Noon, It Must Be Bed-Stuy – a tour of all 5 boroughs in a single day
Must See New York - Maps
The Lower East Side Tenement Museum
     Guss' Pickles – a landmark
CityRealty's Neighborhood Guide
Google Maps Street View – looking south in Times Square

     City photos, architecture, and more

Manhattan Photos – the results of a Google search
New York City Skyscrapers
     Downtown Manhattan from the air – identify downtown buildings with mouse
     Midtown from the Empire State Building – identify downtown buildings with mouse
A View on Cities - New York – many photos and descriptions of the city and its buildings
     New York City Buildings – photos & stats of individual buildings – some great views and links
A magnified satellite view of lower Manhattan (pre-9/11)
Wired New York – a great picture site
     Manhattan aerial views
Virtual New York: NYC Panoramas Map
Free Large Photos: New York City
New York City Skyscrapers – from Skyscraper Picture Collection
New York City, October 2001 – great photos and travel journal by Keith Stanley
Aerials Only Photo Gallery of New York and New Jersey
Dan Heller Photography
SMurphy's NYC Skyscraper Photos – individual buildings by address and name
Manhattan Neighborhoods Photo Gallery by Hubert Steed
©New York – many photos and panoramas
New Yorkled - NYC's Informational/Pictorial Magazine
Architecture of New York City
New York City Skyscrapers
NYC's Tallest Buildings
New York Architecture Images – includes other cities
Aerial Photography New York City Photographers
New York City Aerial and Panoramic photography by artist Rafael Rivera
Lower Manhattan Aerials – photos by Jake Wyman
Fly'in Phils's Photos – some nice aerials
New York Offices – this is a commercial site with some great photos and maps
Aerial Virtual Tour on NYC
NYC Historical Photos
List of tallest buildings in New York City
     World Trade Center
  I have to admit I am privileged to have visited the World Trade Center while it existed, including taking photos of New York City from the observation area at the top of the North Tower. Like all locals and visitors I assumed the WTC would always be around, and like everybody I was totally shocked at what happened on 9/11. I was at work in my office in Boston when I received a phone call from my mother in Idaho, who had been watching a news program on TV and saw what happened. Like all Americans I tried to get to news websites on the Internet and found them almost inaccessible from the volume of web traffic. My company closed and Boston was evacuated, probably because we were a large U.S. city but also because the 2 planes that hit the towers had left Boston's Logan airport. Earlier I had been on my commuter boat into Boston which passes by the airport at about the time the planes took off, and I might have even seen them pass overhead.

New World Trade Center
MY_WTC – a wonderful collection of photos assembled by a couple in Berlin—I posted here
NOVA | Building on Ground Zero | PBS – includes NIST study results, the towers' design, and a fascinating survivor's story
List of World Trade Centers – the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) has complexes in other cities around the world, not just NYC
CNN streaming videos
     1st plane hits North Tower, firemen video
     2nd plane hits South Tower
Ground Zero
America Remembers
September 11 · A Memorial
Special Report: Day of Terror
3-D Inter-Active Map of Damage
The September 11 Digital Archive – Saving the Histories of September 11, 2001 – memorial with photos videos & news archive of the 9/11 attack – Videos, Photographs, Petitions, Polls, Audios
GIS Community: Response to Terrorist Attack – includes some great aerial views of Manhattan
World Trade Center Damage Summary
Historic Buildings in the WTC Vicinity – with information about their current status
Twin Towers Tenants
Why Did the World Trade Center Collapse? – Science, Engineering, and Speculation
Images of the World Trade Center, by Yamasaki
Great Buildings Online - WTC
A letter to President Bush – I received this chain letter after 9/11
     Webcams and Videos
Traffic Web Cams - NYC DOT
EarthCam - New York City
     Times Square Cam – also live streaming video
     Stock Exchange Cam
     Ground Zero Cam
     USS Intrepid Cam
Google video: Wide shot aerial over Manhattan
Google video: Manhattan + Brooklyn Bridges with NYC in background – more under Related videos
The New-York Historical Society
The Gotham Center for New York City History
The Museum of the City of New York
New York City & Its History – from Columbia University

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Washington, DC

  Living on the East Coast (Boston) most of my life I have been to Washington, DC, a great American historical (and fun) city many times. My late brother, David, (who worked for the government in Washington) lived in a Northern Virginia suburb and my son, Ben, attended for 4 years and graduated from George Washington University in DC (GW is located near the White House), so we've had family connections there for years and gone to Washington many times. My late uncle Herman Welker (married to my dad's sister, Gladys), was a U.S. Senator from Idaho from 1951-1957 and we visted him in Washington in 1956. I used to work for a Boston company with a Washington office so I went there regularly on business trips, and on frequent family trips there we have stayed in hotels (often boutique) in the Foggy Bottom and Dupont Circle areas of the city. I've loved walking around these neighborhoods, seeing the Mall and all the famous Washington sites. I've been to the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial many times (here's the rubbed name of one of my 2 classmates on the wall).

Obama's house
The Kalorama neighborhood (map), Northwest of Dupont Circle, is where a lot of famous people live, including the Obamas, Ivanka Trump, Jeff Bezos, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Previous famous residents are Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Herbert Hoover. The area has a lot of nice upscale houses. Embassy Row, the location of many foreign embassies, is not far from there.

 Google Maps slideshow – Scroll through Washington photos with arrows on lower-right or select image to view on left (map in the lower left shows location of each photo)

  We have enjoyed seeing some of the wonderful Washington sites like We have also gone to other non-historical places, including eating at some great restaurants like Das Ethiopian Cuisine in Georgetown, and Mike's American Grill in Springfield.

DC photos - shown in a slideshow with a location perspective or description

Lincoln Memorial Circle
(showing locations)

Lincoln Memorial

National Mall

Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington Monument

The White House

National Museum
of American History
Jefferson Memorial

Supreme Court

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

WWII Memorial


National Geographic

Mount Vernon

City of Washington, DC
Google Maps
A View on Cities - Washington
Washington DC photos – Elliott Teel Photography
Washington, DC--Stock Photos – by Keith Stanley
George Washington University (GW) – my son Ben graduated from there in 2011
     Aerial views showing GW location in Washington
     Foggy Bottom area with GW and White House
Virtual Tour
Sightseeing map – click on the Bird's Eye view
National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary
Free Large Photos: Washington, DC – Live Traffic Cams
The White House
     The White House Museum – tour the White House
     Google photos
     Deconstructing history: White House – great history video
     Inside the White House – videos take you behind-the-scenes at the White House
     On Facebook
My photos – photos from previous trips to Washington
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Other city links
U.S. Cities
Carfree Cities – cities of the world - city guides database
Worldwide Directory of Cities and Towns
State of the Cities Data System (SOCDS)
Historic Cities: Maps & Documents
A View on Cities
Cities of Today, Cities of Tomorrow – from the United Nations CyberSchoolBus – stats about all US cities - relocation info, maps, etc.
cityscapes photos at
CityPass – the site has some nice videos of places to see in each city – city railways around the world

¹ Click on Street View to see actual location.