Arts & Entertainment

Yorktown Photographer Captures Iconic Hudson River Images

2c95a5e5d003c3c5ce9b_99f9ce4cb748b3270090_42419.JPG
A collection of David Rocco’s photographs is on display at the Division Street Grill in Peekskill. Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
b5e7edeccbcbf31d38ff_42652.JPG
Yorktown photographer David Rocco captured last week’s Tappan Zee Bridge crane collapse. Credits: David Rocco
2c95a5e5d003c3c5ce9b_99f9ce4cb748b3270090_42419.JPG

YORKTOWN, N.Y. - David Rocco has made a career out of photographing prominent spots along the Hudson River.

In 2014, the Yorktown resident’s fortunate timing provided him with the opportunity to capture the arrival of one of the world’s largest cranes, which was brought to the site where the new Tappan Zee Bridge is being built. Most recently, he captured the crane’s collapse on July 19.

“It’s nothing short of a miracle that nobody got hurt or killed,” he said.

Sign Up for E-News

Rocco, who has been photographing the construction of the bridge for the last three years, likes to focus his photography on historical structures, bridges and lighthouses along the Hudson River. He has been published in magazines and newspapers throughout the state as well as in several galleries. Currently, about 65 photos are on display in the Division Street Grill in Peekskill.

After working for the New York Housing Authority for 18 years, Rocco retired in 2002. He began volunteering for community projects such as the Walkway over the Hudson, where he would document its construction. He has documented many iconic structures along the river, paying particular attention to the construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

“This is a once in a lifetime project,” he said.

He’s captured significant moments of the projects he’s been involved with, such as a crowd shot from the opening day of the Walkway over the Hudson, as well as the arrival of the gigantic crane brought over from the West Coast to assist with the Tappan Zee Bridge.

The crowd shot he took, which shows the bridge packed with thousands of people, would not be possible today, as the turnout, about 20,000 people, was surprising and the bridge can’t legally hold a group that size, he said.

“Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good,” he said, “because you have to be in the right place at the right time. You either miss [the shot] or you get it.”

In shooting the arrival of the crane, which he said is one of three in the world, luck was on his side because that photo has been featured in several publications.

Other works of Rocco’s include photos of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Photos from that series have been showcased in the Arts Westchester Gallery in White Plains and in an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York. Fifteen of his photos have also been entered into New York City’s public records.

Sticking out among the photographs of bridges, lighthouses and homes is a framed, close-up portrait of the late folk singer Pete Seeger, who Rocco befriended during his time working on the Walkway over the Hudson project. From 2002 to 2010, Rocco’s involvement in the project ranged from volunteer to grant writer to board of directors member.

“We never really thought it would ever happen,” he said. “We just needed to get someone to believe in us.”

After Seeger and other stakeholders got involved, the project took off.

Other projects that Rocco has dedicated his time to include the Mount Beacon Fire Tower Restoration Project, the Beacon Sloop Club’s “Woody Guthrie” sailing vessel, Bannerman Castle Trust, Friends of FDR State Park, the Yorktown Community Dog Park, Friends of the Yorktown Depot, and Westchester County’s SPCA in Briarcliff Manor.

The research that was conducted for the Mount Beacon Fire Tower resulted in some historically significant findings that expanded Rocco’s resume to include an historical event commemoration.

“Starting in January 2015, I had the unique opportunity to be one of the founding members of the Friends of the Mount Beacon Eight organization,” he said. “The goal of this organization is to bring public awareness of the eight Navy veterans who were killed in two separate plane crashes on Mount Beacon. I took part in a ceremony on Nov. 14, 2015, to honor these eight forgotten heroes. Two perished on Sept. 14, 1935, and the other six died on Nov. 11, 1945.”

Among those killed in the crashes was Dixie Kiefer, a prominent figure of World War II, Rocco said. The goal is to raise enough money to get a memorial plaque installed along the trail on the mountain.

“It’s been an amazing trip,” he said. “Because of all of this exposure I’m getting calls from people who served under Kiefer and family members of the pilot. It’s like peeling an onion. You get deeper and deeper.”

In addition to his cultural and environmental initiatives, Rocco is also a frequent blood donor and has donated a total of almost 22 gallons.

Rocco’s work will be on display at the Division Grill for a short time and then will be transferred to the Cuneen-Hackett Arts Center in Poughkeepsie in September.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Yorktown

God Is Just! Schneiderman Is Out!

Whenever you doubt that God is just, remember last Monday. That is the day New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned.

As you know, I have had him in my sights for a long time. He has squandered our tax dollars with more than 100 lawsuits against the Trump administration. Plus, his lawsuits against Big Oil and trying to nullify our double jeopardy laws. Most will go nowhere as ...

A Scientific Look at Decision-Making

Seven years ago, when I first began sharing my thoughts with you, I posed the question: What are the neurological mechanics of decision-making? I was referring not only to decisions about our actions, but also to the method by which we form our beliefs and preferences, political and otherwise. What inspired that inquiry, at that time, was my observation that our nation was increasingly polarized ...

Bias in Media, in Me, in You

While listening to an interview with a voter on my car radio, I thought I had excess ear wax that obstructed my hearing. The voter (whose name is Bruce) said this about one of the qualifications that a Senate or House candidate must have to earn his vote: “I don’t want anyone with ideas. We have enough of those already.”

I’m a journalist and have been one my entire ...

Cross My Legs and Hope to Die

One morning, I had a big cup of coffee as I usually do, and then I got in the car and drove 40 minutes to a clothing store I had been curious to check out. I don’t normally drive 40 minutes to go shopping, but since I am a stay-at-home mom and everyone knows we stay-at-home moms just spend our time shopping and eating bonbons, I figured, “What the hey.”

Having had the ...

Don’t Mix Politics with Business

May 17, 2018

When every year is an election year, it’s hard to avoid “talking” politics—but business leaders need to try.

The problem is that talking politics changes relationships. You quickly go from business owner or salesperson to Democrat, Republican, etc.

Putting a political sign in front of your business is a clear sign (literally) of your views. Not only do you tell your ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, May 23, 8:00 AM

Mercy College, Yorktown Heights

Business Enterprise and Employment Opportunity ...

Business & Finance

Fri, May 25, 10:30 AM

Yorktown Community Cultural Center, YORKTOWN HEIGHTS

Tai Chi for Women with Cancer

Health & Wellness

Sat, May 26, 12:00 PM

Club Fit, Jefferson Valley

Yoga for Women with Cancer

Health & Wellness

Yorktown Youth Soccer Club Roundup

May 18, 2018

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Yorktown’s Girls U9 Team, the Hurricanes, defeated the Poughkeepsie Fireflies with a 1-0 win at Hunterbrook Field in Yorktown.

Hurricane’s goalies Cameron Parise and Avery Pugliese shut out the Poughkeepsie offense with several key saves. Yorktown controlled the ball throughout the game with outstanding performances by midfielders Samantha Nastasi, Macey ...