Monthly Archives: March 2010

New Yorkers Hit the Hudson to View “Smoking River”

(The shot above ended up being featured by the great people at Gothamist.com!)

 

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Next Stop, LaGuardia

An airplane passes the moon on its way to LaGuardia airport in Queens, New York. By the way, there are over 1.6 million people living in Manhattan, but over 2.3 million in Queens, so in terms of pure numbers, it seems Eddie Murphy was actually on the right track in his quest for a suitable “queen.”

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Scenes from Manhattan’s High Line

The High Line, New York’s recently uncovered and renovated above ground train line, is a superb feature to photograph. Especially if you’re into flocks of tourists and lounging West Villagers. The lofted vantage point also provides new perspectives on New York City life. That’s what I wanted to explore. Here are just a few from a quick stroll the other day when I met up with a friend who is moving on from a job she’s held for six years. Good luck, Anna!

And the obligatory sunset shot (Without a filter this is the best it got.)

 

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Why I Don’t Have a Car In New York City…

Taken on Washington Street in the West Village.

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Christopher Street Pier Reigns as Warm Weather Hangout

How cool is it to work in New York City and be able to talk your shoes off and chill out on a dog-free lawn along the Hudson?  Yes, I said dog-free. Not that I don’t love the little guys, but I’d rather not lay in their stuff while I’m trying to catch some quick rays before retreating to my cubicle. The Christopher Street Pier and surrounding grassy areas along the West Side Highway is the perfect spot to relax and soak up the sun.  Even on Friday, it was bikinis and bathing suits galore. No, I did not take pictures of them.

The grass is so nice I wish I had my wedge and a few golf balls to play around with. But, if the parks people zip around in their mini Urkel-mobiles to tell people to get their dogs off the grass I’m sure they’d have a few words for the guy hacking chunks out and yelling “fore!” at passers by.

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Manhattan’s Missing Its Stars

Sometimes the best way to see a place is to go outside of it and then look in. I’d say that principle has a much broader reach in our lives.  But, for now, let’s just go to Hoboken, NJ and take a look at Manhattan.

For New Yorkers, this is our mountain range.  These are our peaks.  We spend our days in the canyons, in the caves, exploring every interesting nook and every new artifact.  But, when you look upon the mountain range from afar you realize all you have, as well as all you’ve given up.

I always thought “light pollution” was a ridiculous term until I moved here. How much do we gain by living in a city where you can buy virtually anything anytime of night and day? And how much do we lose by not seeing the star-lit sky?  By not being able to tag along with Orion on his great hunt across the cosmos.  To read the fascinating stories of Perseus and Cassiopeia and so many others without being able to see the stars that inspired them?  Our connection to the Greek classics is reduced to two-dollar gyros on street carts.

It’s up to you to answer how much you lose or gain by living in Manhattan.  So we don’t have the stars.  But have you seen how beautiful all the lights reflecting off the water can be?  Have you seen the twinkling angels at Rockefeller Center during Christmas?  Maybe your inspiration comes from these man-made stars too. And trips from inside the mountain out can provide the balance to appreciate both.  What an adventurous journey that would be.

(By the way this shot was taken with a self timer, so that’s me on the railing.  Hi.)

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Warm Weather Brings Out the Sounds of New York City

I noticed something when the sun went down last night on the Hudson – I wasn’t freezing to death! In fact, it was a beautiful night. And aside from the welcomed warmth, I noticed that the weather brought new sounds as well.  Cyclists now wooshed along the West Side pathway. Joggers chatted in between breaths. All the while, I fixated on the Hudson River sunset.

Cars rushed south on the West Side Highway. In winter, they greedily hold in heat and sound. Tonight, windows were down and even as commuters blew past me, I could hear music coming from their systems. Rolling Stones, Jay-Z, and even a quick hit of Aretha Franklin at one point.  Of course if you’re on the phone or eager for a moment’s peace, this isn’t cool.  But, for anyone who like’s to sing “sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me,” forever on end, hey, that sound bite of Aretha is all you need.

When the cars were still, the sound of kids playing on brightly lit astroturf fields filled the air. Coaches blew their whistles and called out instructions. Their energy radiated to all who passed by, probably pausing to remember when they were just a kid on a field, dreaming of going pro some day.  All the while, the city skyline, quiet as the clouds, speaks louder to New Yorkers than all the joggers, cars and soccer-playing kids combined.

Here comes spring in New York City.

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Google Introduces Bicycle Routes in NYC

Anyone who follows this blog may know by now that I love riding my bike through New York City. Even though I ride nearly every day, I still find myself going down streets ill suited for bikes and second guessing routes. Now, Google has added a Beta Bicycle layer to it’s Maps (they seriously think of everything), so cyclists and map out routes ahead of time. If you’re new to riding in the city or are going somewhere far you should definitely consult the map. Unfortunately, there’s no mobile version yet (or that I can read about), but it is planned. Also, tandem bikes don’t count in this layer, and Segway users will also have to wait for respect from the online map route community.

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The Faces of the East River

So I’ve been on a little bit of an East River kick.  I walk over at sunrise.  I swing by on my bike after work, when the sun has set.  Did you know it was once known as the Sound River?  Gives it a pretty different feel, right?  Timing does the same thing.  Mid day, it’s an industrial highway, with ferries and barges crisscrossing all 16 miles. But in the morning and evening one can find magic in the water and light.  

Here’s the raw shot without any post processing. (Taken at 20th street, the same spot as yesterday’s blog photo. You’ll see what I mean about different feel. )

But then there is sunrise, my favorite time to be on the river.

As the sun rises, it casts a million different hues on the water. Each minute a different sensation.

I’m not the only one here.  Near Chinatown and the Manhattan Bridge, women do Tai Chi to wake up, find center in a chaotic place, and celebrate the day ahead. All is at peace.

Still, life stirs.  Commuters drive and take public transportation across bridges firmly rooted in the deepest depths of the river.

This is the destination.

Manhattan.  Brooklyn. Queens.  And although the boroughs are nothing but steel and cement, they wouldn’t be the same without…

The East River.

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Hello Sunshine!

Two beautiful days in a row in New York City. If only sunshine meant warmth!

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I Spy NYC – Director’s Cut

I now know why movies come with a director’s cut. I was going through some of my older and unpublished New York City photos and found a few from Manhattan and Brooklyn that I just couldn’t send to the backup drive before sharing. I hope you enjoy.

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