Simply one of the great pictures ever made of the Flatiron Building. It is difficult to praise photographs of New York City and particularly ones taken from a tourist spot. This angle and so forth must be repeated without exaggeration thousands of times in rolls of film, slides, video camera captures, digital camera memory cards and so on.... so why would we become so taken with this one over the others?
Part of the answer is in the technology of the device and in the post production of the image providing a view with clarity and sharpness that with my brand new glasses would not come close to matching if I had been there in person. Part of the answer is in the lighting caught at a great moment. Some of the answer is in the humor of the foreground. Did the photographer intentionally cut him off, not know he was there or could the frame not be moved that tiny bit to bring his body on board? And why and what is that man in his nice little blue jump suit doing anyway? And part of the answer is the question of whether the photographer really intended this to be a portrait of the Flatiron Building, one of the most distinctive, generally hidden and subtle monuments in the city's architecture. I really don't need an answer to that one because I have obviously made up my mind.
Still I think this picture has a great fault in it. The sky is the wrong value for the balances of contrast and color found in the remainder of the photograph. There is simply too much of it for the composition. And, conceptually, all of that sky gets in the way of the majesty of the concrete and steel. The water works, the small patches of green work but the pale sky and weak clouds do not. Crop the sky down by at least half, pump the color a bit and the picture would improve its impact and balance ten fold (not to mention supporting even further my focus on that lovely building).