Each year, an amazing group of more than one thousand people–from around New York and around the world–volunteer to help make OHNY Weekend possible. Volunteers play a pivotal role on-site, greeting visitors and managing lines and check-in. Kathryn Yu is a User Experience Designer living in the West Village. She has generously donated her time and talent for nearly ten years as a volunteer photographer for OHNY Weekend, taking many of the photographs that you see on our website, Facebook page, and elsewhere.


“It’s extremely difficult to pick a favorite OHNY site, as I’ve been attending and photographing spaces during OHNY since 2006. Obviously, the iconic TWA Flight Center at JFK designed by Eero Saarinen comes to mind. I encourage everyone to make the trek out to JFK at least once in their lives. I love photographing all of the curves there and observing the way people interact with the space. I also really enjoyed seeing all of the little details at Paul Rudolph’s Modulightor Building–the entire place is filled with knick-knacks, plants, small pieces of art, and more, all organized very neatly. The Woolworth Building lobby is always stunning and a reminder that New Yorkers miss a lot of beauty that’s up above us on the ceiling. There are a lot of great buildings that we walk through every day, so take a moment to look up at the ceiling; you never know what you might see. And last year, I really loved seeing the High Line at night from the perspective of an architect at L’Observatoire International, who designed a lot of the lighting to be subtle and not ruin one’s night vision.

“I started volunteering for OHNY because I had already been posting my photographs to Twitter and Flickr for a while. Someone from OHNY saw them and reached out to me. I’ve been volunteering as a photographer ever since! I always like to try to change my perspective when photographing OHNY spaces. Sometimes you notice a lot more if you spend a little extra time looking up, or by getting down on the ground…

“The funniest OHNY experience I had was several years ago, when I took a ‘Peeling Back the Neon’ tour of Times Square. The docent lead the group around Times Square to the remaining XXX shops and peep shows in the area. We must have been a strange sight, a bunch of ‘tourists’ taking photos, huddled around different ‘adult’ businesses.”

Watch for Kathryn this OHNY Weekend, as she’ll be back again taking photos! A huge thank you to Kathryn and to the 1,200 individuals who registered to volunteer during the 2015 OHNY Weekend on October 17th and 18th! Looking forward to another great year!