From the location of the Spine Summit at the Hyatt Hotel, you have a splendid view of the fountain. Since I had my trusty Canon G11 on my shoulder, it was but a moment to get this sunset. There were a few mosquitoes, so I ran inside after this shot. To the left there is an artificial island, which I am told was owned by a deceased king. The island has about one thousand caretakers who still reside until the next king/prince will take possession. Seems like a lot of wasted space at the moment. Oh, I almost forgot. The fountain is powered by a jet engine. When I looked up tourist spots this is listed but that wonderful museum remains a local treasure.
I put together this landscape. It’s interesting enough to me because the main element is my family in lower right. We had stopped by this pond/lake and there were hippos in the water. It was a non-event. The hippos were just noses barely poking out from the surface. You don’t go close to hippos. They will kill you. They have skulls in which there are teeth that look like they were derived from a saber-toothed tiger. I didn’t know they were so dangerous. But they never let us get near.
Wow the waves were going on this day. I think I would have been queasy on the ship. Yes, there’s not a lot to love with the boat being dead center. But then again, the waves and sea make this ever so much more interesting. I could have cropped and adjusted. Aside from some minor corrections in Lightroom, it is what it is.
We are at the eastern most point on the north fork of Long Island. It’s the terminus for the ferry. This ferry has had a significant part in our lives. It connects Long Island to New London, Connecticut. It is the way to summer camp, friends, skiing, Maine and so many events. It’s not a regular trip but we’ve made it often enough for the scene to be familiar. Like everything else, I take a picture of the lighthouse on each trip. Sometimes you like the shot better than others.
I spent a lot of time it the fall in Bear Mountain. I used to drive back and forth to med school through the park on the way upstate New York. Recently my memories are more vivid than my slides and images. But here’s one on the connecting road from the Palisades to Route 17. I think it’s called Route 6. The cars whiz by at 60+ mph. Standing at the guard rail you feel the breeze from the cars as people speed to their destinations. I’m glad I had a chance to stop and see the beauty.
I saw a picture someone took of the Blue Ridge Mountains and I remember a car ride in those mountains as a kid (without a camera). I take these shots whenever the opportunity allows. It’s the same trip to drop David off at Putney. We’re still hanging out with separation anxiety (mom). And wouldn’t you know it, there is my layered mountain scenic. It’s never the same shot I remember from childhood. That shot will be ever romantically embellished. But here’s a close second.
And if you look, there are houses on the mountain. What beauty. With a good internet connection, you could let the world come to you. Otherwise you are a long way from civilization.
Fiords are what make Norway famous. I imagined deep glacial valleys with high cliffs on either side. This is not too bad. I can’t say that this is what I had imagined but it’s a pretty special view.
I imagine Norway to be a hardy land in the winter. The houses along the water and nestled against the mountain is like a contest of nature versus man. Yup, that’s snow up there, and it’s only September.
You drive and drive and look constantly for photo ops. With a little more time I could have seen so much more. But I didn’t have time. The map though small did not reflect the narrow roads and time it took to get from one point to another. I was too ambitious. Still I spent a lot of hours in the car passing from one memorable landscape to another.
So after the party… I’m on my own. I didn’t want to impose upon Harald with so many guests and family still about. My traveling companion south was Kristina (that blonde) and she filled me in on some of the Scandinavian life… like how to tell if a woman was Danish, Norwegian, or Swedish. I was wrong every guess. But I think she set me up. I dropped her in the airport in Oslo and continued west to Bergan. Without accurately knowing the km conversion from mph, I was driving way to fast on the narrow roads. Arriving late into Bergan, I took a likely room. My view to the water and early morning fog was priceless.
Norway is stupendously beautiful. Was that convincing enough to make you want to visit? For the birthday party, which was biggest thing in the valley, Harald purchased a hotel. The owner had been reluctant to guarantee all his rooms for the guests. Afterward, Harald casually mentioned that he was selling a (this) hotel. The owner had gotten second thoughts and wanted it back. So Harald made a small profit on the side to cover expenses for the party.
I caught this picture of Norwegian farm life somewhere north of Oslo on the road to Unset. Remember that town with the entering/leaving sign on the same post? The directions to Unset are easy. You leave the airport and drive due north on a two lane road. It’s not divided as I learned quickly swerving back to my side of the road when I found myself facing oncoming traffic. Arriving in Unset, I saw no town (stores, gas station, restaurant) but followed a bus figuring it would lead me there. The bus turned into a driveway, the bus driver having parked in his home driveway. I asked for directions in English and a nice man who didn’t speak English motioned me to follow him. We drove up the road two houses further on and I was at Harald’s place. Meanwhile, back at the haystacks, I saw the covering on the stacks, but never quite got an explanation of their meaning. It’s not something I have seen in the United States.
On this evening January 1, 2000, looking across the bay from the Liberty ferry, we had a sunset that I have never seen repeated. It all came together as the ferry headed back to Manhattan. Perfect timing, perfect vantage, I took so many pictures knowing how special the moment was even as the light constantly changed. I’ve seen my share of memorable sunsets. This is up there with the all time best. And I can tell you exactly where I was that evening.
Sometimes I can’t figure Lisa. She decided that we would head to Ellis Island to see the immigrant wall with names on January 1, 2000. No plan, no warning, just, “Let’s go.” She had put my parents, her grandparents, and other assorted relatives’ names there by making the appropriate donations. I have not returned since then. One visit. Who knew what history would tell? So much has changed in those years since past.
That foolish biker hugging the landmark would be yours truly. Would you believe this duck is noted on the map. People come from all over to see it. Well, I might exaggerate a bit. I presume it is to commemorate the duck farm business on Long Island. More about duck farms… But meanwhile this thing sits at a crossroad and attracts the stray tourist. It is definitely not frequented by the “Hamptons” crowd.
After dropping Julia off in Camp Pinecliffe, Maine, we passed this house along an isolated road. Some many years later, I found this house again in my meandering through the backcountry roads. I probably couldn’t get back there again. I like the architecture especially the roofline, stonewall, and copper trim. The landscaping has become a bit overgrown and the house looks very different now. At some point I’ll come across the digital images from years later. For now this remains a great show house in the middle of nowhere. The memory is a should’ve, could’ve, might’ve kind of emotion… you know a ‘thousand words in a single slide.’
I’m headed back into the archives again. More underwater and fish at ImagedEvent. It’s a marsh on Long Island at sunset. Aside from PhotoShop, it’s a tough shot for the Nikon Coolscan 5000 to digitize. I took this slide scan as is. It’s not how I saw it or how the slide depicts the sunset. It’s all a matter of taste and memory. This version from the slide scanner is a slight bit washed out. But the evening colors really have no rules. So it becomes a matter of taste and not necessarily a true reproduction of the moment. It still works for me. There’s a point where you accept what the equipment, film, scanner, Photoshop etc, gives you.
It’s a pretty distinguishable landmark. After all King Kong clung to the top at one point. I actually have a picture of that somewhere. It was a balloon replica of the king that was inflated to commemorate one anniversary or another of the movie. Anyway this view is from the east looking west to the Hudson River and New Jersey. If you look near the bottom, the round building is Madison Sq Garden. Once again, it’s a shot from the Bell 47 helicopter.
Since 9/11, my files have been culled for pictures of the WTC. It’s interesting that I took pictures of it from many vantages both on the ground and in the air, both from the helicopter and from commercial airlines. I didn’t know that it would someday be gone forever. It was built in my lifetime. I have eaten on special occasions at Windows on the World and attended a 65th birthday party at the top for the chief neurosurgeon who trained me. I was only once at the top on the observation deck. I was nearby when a van blew up in the parking garage back in the ‘90’s. There is still an emotional reaction when I see pictures that I took of the WTC over the years. This one was from the Bell 47 helicopter.
To the pilots flying in the vicinity of the Statue of Liberty, she’s referred to as the ‘lady.’ So it might be, ‘Traffic inbound from the north at 500 feet at the lady.’ There’s always some action. Newark traffic control is responsible for the air space but below 1000 feet it’s mostly on the common radio frequency. All pilots, regardless, watch carefully for air traffic in the area. The big jets are way high so there’s really no problem with commercial air traffic. It’s a pretty neat view to be hovering near the lady in a helicopter.
This bridge connects Staten Island to Brooklyn. For a while it was one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. It was finished in the ’60. Before that three bridges connected Staten Island to New Jersey. In fact the island is closer to Jersey than New York City. The island became part of New York in after the winner of a row boat race around the island turned out to be from New York. Until the mid ‘70’s there were still farms on the island. Now it’s all about the biggest house you can build on the smallest plot of land. It’s a shame about the lack of urban planning. Meanwhile this aerial shot was taken after I became fast friends with Charlie, a former NYPD helicopter pilot and American Airlines pilot. He took me up in his Bell 47, MASH helicopter and we toured NYC. It was the first of many adventures. You can see the rain on the bubble in the lower right. Charlie was really doing me a big favor. He hates to fly in the rain. It gets the gears all gunky. But he had promised and we were going no matter what. It’s a view unlike anything else. And I have to say it’s about the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
Driving down the road heading east at sunrise. It could be that my wife was driving but in the corner of my memory, I don’t think so. Anyway, I say this because it’s easy to shoot going forward in a moving car. You can actually see where you’re going as you hold the camera to your eye. It’s a bit tougher shooting to the side. Of course with point and shoot, auto focus digital, this is not too much of a trick any more. Well, this shot is about sunrise, glare and powerlines. I shot through the windshield to avoid getting shot by my wife if I stopped once again.
I have been over many of the back roads again since our bike trip. I have not come across this image again. The woman is probably gone by now, ravaged by time and weather. But it was sure fun to pull up and get it during this particular bike trip. I can’t go back, but would if I knew where it was located.