Saturday, October 17, 2020

Tsk, Tsk, NY Times.

I'm a pretty regular reporter of typos and factual errors to the NY Times, that is, at least once a month and sometimes more often than that. I count 18 this year. Usually, I send email to the paper's tell-us-the-error address; sometimes I contact the writer. Usually, I get action.

There's an error that has been up at the Times since April about which I sent email and I tried to contact the author (on Twitter, probably a mistake). It's in this Michael Kimmelman article about skyscrapers on Park Avenue.

Scroll down to the photo that's labeled as follows:

The MetLife Building, formerly known as the Pan Am Building, from 1963, squatting over Grand Central Terminal in the middle of Park Avenue.


That's the MetLife Building in the background, all right. But the photo was taken from E. 49th and Park Avenue looking south, and the building over which the MetLife Building squats is the Helmsley Building, not Grand Central Terminal. Here's a similar photo of the Helmsley Building, from Wikipedia; and here's a photo showing the MetLife Building and Grand Central Terminal

You'd think that a photo editor at the NY Times would be able to tell Grand Central from the Helmsley Building. Either the caption or the photo should be corrected. 


Robert Gordon said...

Maybe there's some ambiguity in the expression "squatting over". My understanding is that the PanAm/MetLife building is directly on top of the Main Concourse of the station (and that may be what the Times means by "squatting over"), while the Helmsley Building is a little to the north, "squatting over" the underground tracks and platforms that bring in trains from the north.

Lisa Hirsch said... are being charitable. If that's what they meant, they should have said it. The photo in question, its caption, and the text in the article that applies to the MetLife Building all imply that they mean "as seen from Park", not "it's squatting over the main concourse."

Editors are supposed to disambiguate this sort of thing.