As Hurricane-turned-Superstorm Sandy revved up for its ominous descent upon the East Coast, it seemed only fitting to picture the Big Apple without its distinctive hustle and bustle and wonder what it might look like post-evacuation. Some of us got a rather timely made-to-order panorama of the city when Thrash Lab released the latest addition to its “Empty America” timelapse travel series, a sneak peek into a plausibly eerie, empty New York City.
The timelapse videos have previously cleared out both San Francisco and Seattle, painting an “Empty America” that allows viewers to marvel at the unsettling emptiness and also appreciate the beauty of each city in its raw, unadulterated form. It’s a simple idea, but Thrash Lab has managed to capture iconic locales in each city at just the right angles and moments.
Seeing a vacant timelapse of Fisherman’s Wharf or Lombard Street in San Francisco is one thing—but Times Square or Grand Central or the subway wiped clean? Uncanny in the same vein as “I Am Legend”, minus the whole Will-Smith-is-our-savior and post-apocalyptic thing. New York City is nothing if not a canvas for its people, so it’s a colossal relief to know that we don’t have a clean slate in Sandy’s wake.