Along the way
I’m an outsider looking in… I do not miss it… at all!
It’s a long trip to NYC from where I am now. We don’t come this way frequently. There is plenty to see and do. I just do not relish the crowds and traffic. Waiting has no appeal. Jockeying for position in traffic is no fun. Walking into a crowded restaurant is yuck. I admit there are more choices and plenty of more interesting places to visit in NYC.
Overall? … been there done that. Ah! Colleen would and does love every visit we make. It’s still wonderment to her. Sort of. She has claustrophobia about people and jammed traffic. It does seem that bridges are a dominant feature of our travels.
Hmmm… April fool’s, and, it happens that it is Lisa’s birthday. No greeting or well wishes, i just had to punch in the date to schedule this post…
Chinese New Year – New York City. Venerable Chinatown is located in a warren of narrow winding streets. The parade will meander thru crowds held back by metal barriers. Claustrophobic! Indeed! Colorful! For sure! It’s a spectacle. No Macy’s sponsorship it is a local event. Out in the hinterland of Flushing Queens there is a similar parade along Union Street, a wide venue lacking the charm and character of downtown Chinatown.
When we met…
…again. It was back in 2014. Little did I know. I had gotten my first iPhone. Dave bought it for me. A month later I was in touch with Colleen. It wasn’t the iPhone. But it facilitated the meeting in New York City to come later that summer. It was a long time ago since third grade… Fate? Serendipity? Dumb luck? Who knows? Time has flown… again. I chanced on these images in the catalog this morning.
Biking – I still think I have this shirt. Ha ha. Colleen knew to bring biking clothes when she traveled? Book store – did I know? Every bookstore has a “stop in here” sign on it! We were in a courtship dance and did not know it at the time.
It makes you wistful that time had played out differently and that somehow this meeting took place a long time before this one actually did.
Pin me down
Need a date? 2003. Canon G3. It was my first foray into digital camera thanks to a gracious gift from Lisa. Smart – Lisa. She saw the future. I was still heavily invested in film and film cameras. Too soon Kodak faded and disappeared in the rear view mirror.
In the space of a month I shot Ginny and Pat, my dog Nellie, sights of NY, and at Jule’s track meet. Ask me how I pulled off the selfie? Tripod and timer? It wasn’t hand held. Cellphones were not yet iPhone for years to come.
Meanwhile I was caught up building a cabinet and drawers to house my slide collection. Twenty six drawers, enough to house the current collection and for many years to come – which would be only one more (year). I overbuilt! It was a fun project and the kids helped me enormously. The completed project holds some but not all. Alas, the collection never grew much more. Film was gone in a year for me. I got a lot of drawers that sit empty waiting for slides that never came. It’s bittersweet. Digital images have far surpassed my film consumption in many fewer years than it took to accumulate my collection of slides. Progress? Improvement? Better? Worse? For the most part I think progress is/has been good. Here, Colleen and I have had a fierce recent debate over the earth and the environment and the preservation of natural resources. Stay put or go back? We, just like time, are always moving forward. We discuss and we agree for the most part.
Time is slipping by too fast. The decades go and I don’t have many to go. Maybe, none? No complaint. I’ve had a good ride, a charmed life. There were tragedies. Many. There has been great joy. Sometimes, the fries are great, others, not so much. Overall, I can only add, a happy ending is the preferred ending. Yes, it’s my post and today is my day. Happy. Happy? Happy! Yup, yep, yes!
Santacon 10 years on
Santacon. Carol reminded me. I was there ten years ago in 2011. Do you believe it? The affair is an opportunity for a flash mob to gather at a designated spot. No warning. No permits. Party, and drink alcohol. It’s a photo op. I was able to get there one time only. The subway to South Street was packed with Santas and their “helpers” headed to party hearty downtown. Neat?! There was no unruly action going on while I observed. It was a good time had by all.
Now, we have our own little Santacon going. Colleen got a few… then went back… and scooped up… all the available Santas for sale. Ha! Santacon Delaware style! Ray, the cat, is a bewildered participant. We have a Santa themed tree this year. Colleen is brilliant. Great idea! I do believe… I do believe.
The modern expression, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”, was first published in Henry G. Bohn’s A Hand-book of Proverbs in 1855. It appeared in a newspaper in 1831. (How do they know this stuff?)
I do not recall why we were in the “city.” We met Dave for lunch. Afterward we wandered the Highline. The stairway to nowhere was under construction then. Yes, I take food pictures. And even so, I cannot tell what it was we ate. Have I told you Colleen loves to eat out? More seriously, this stairway has been a place for people to commit suicide. ??? I don’t know either. We always referred to the 6th floor as LD50:
LD stands for “Lethal Dose“. LD50 is the amount of a material, given all at once, which causes the death of 50% (one half) of a group of test animals.
Most people will not survive a fall more than 6 stories. With all the bones you break, I’m not sure you would want to – survive. Of course, on this nice pleasant day – lunch with Dave, and, a pleasant stroll – who would have thunk this would be a death trap, closed at the moment (now), while engineers try to build in some more safety measures?
Fortunate? The remnants of Hurricane Ida came up from Louisiana to batter New York. I kid with Colleen all of the time that the weatherman is right about half the time. I paid no heed to the warning. Sorry. We drove up north for dinner and I was surprised to see the beach town nearly empty of the usual summer crowd strolling the streets. Hmmm? We stopped and had dinner. Afterward I took a few shots of a local landmark sign. The night shots showed ominous skies. Just as we drove into our garage, rain fell. It was nothing of particular note. Wow! New York got slammed! It was all in the news. It was not quite a disaster because everyone had missed predicting it; they had not seen it coming despite the weatherman. But, yes, it was an epic storm and a true disaster. Welcome to climate change. If you deny it, you probably did not get the vaccination either. Meanwhile, all I got was more clouds in the aftermath. We were totally spared; on the morning after – blue skies. Some days we are/were just plain lucky. It’s only now a few days later that I appreciate how fortunate we were. For unsuspecting folks around New York, lives were lost and changed forever.
Where were you at the millennium? Second, minute, hour, day, year, decade, century, millennium… what an auspicious change. We – me and the kids – were in Times Sq, the mother of the “ball drop.” Everyone grew up. We moved on. It’s been years since the ball drop was on my New Year’s Eve radar. I used to contact the kids at midnight to be sure they were alright on New Year’s. Teens and then adults, they were always out somewhere else celebrating. It’s all still good, just different. Different is good too. Nowadays, Apple message gives you fireworks. Change, it’s good.
“This must be what it felt like watching the moon landing. It was a historic scientific achievement that you just know a bunch of idiot jabronis are going to say was faked.” — SETH MEYERS
“You know that 2020 has been weird because I’m looking at a person in a face mask getting injected and I’m thinking, ‘I cannot wait for that to be me.’” — JAMES CORDEN
“This is a relief. I would hate to start another week of shows without talking about the same election results we’ve all known for the last month and a half.” — JAMES CORDEN
“At this point, Joe Biden has won the election so many times, he’s our 46th through 51st president.” — STEPHEN COLBERT
“This is also big news because this means after six agonizing weeks, the election is finally over. Stick a fork in the president; he’s done. Also, keep that fork handy because poking him in the butt might be the only way to get him out of the White House.” — STEPHEN COLBERT
SantaCon. I was there once. Look it up. It’s an enormous bar crawl. It sure is colorful. Halloween style costuming in December. It’s a guerilla event, a pop-up. Everyone knows but no one does. It’s quite the thing. I went once. Yeah, yeah, I (famously) don’t/can’t drink. I went for the pictures.
2005, February, Central Park, New York City, “Gates,” Jeanne Claude and Christos. Christos passed away recently. Jeanne Claude died in 2009 of a brain aneurysm, no less. Their signature art installation for me was “Gates.” My database and Lightroom catalog got me to the images in about five minutes. My memory got me to the only frames in which I caught the artists inspecting their work. My memory also recalls that I did not walk the park with Lisa. Strange. I persuaded Charlie to fly over Central Park in the helicopter. Alas, the (aerial) pictures were not memorable. Carol framed and hung a few of my “Gates” pics. I wonder if they are still hanging? No one else has tried such monumental works. Somewhere, I have a sample of the ‘Gates’ cloth. No, I will not find that anytime soon.
… not really. I’m not professional, strictly amateur, as far as photography is concerned. I have sold an image or two. It was a mix of surprise and curiosity that I was contacted via my blog for use of an image. The request came via an unused link from an unused blog I had many years ago. I was suspicious of a scam. But, it turned out to be a legitimate request. The image in question was cropped from the original and used strictly in an internal memo. So, what the hell, they got it for free. Dumb, maybe. I got a credit for the use. Consider it a charitable donation. The image? It was the NYC Marathon Sunday crossing the Verrazano Bridge.
It’s a shame no one really cares about flying. That is to say no one flies with nose pressed to the window looking at the scenery passing below. I do. And there must be others like me. We were fortunate enough that the flight path crossed over NYC. And the cloud cover was not too bad. Not good, but not bad. We flew over my old house. Yeah, it’s too diffused to make it out. But… hey! For reference, that blank space is midtown and Central Park.
These new generation of bridges use a different looking suspension system. Some architect made it work and it is the only new type of bridge built that I see nowadays. I first saw one in Maine. It was so picturesque and impressive. Then there are a few when I drive north in Delaware. New York builds bridges and has been engaged in some major bridge projects. This created monumental traffic jams. The Kosciusko bridge jam is legendary. Before and during, there’s never been a time we passed that we didn’t sit in traffic. But I have digressed. These new style bridges, they are just the best photo ops!
Gardening in Manhattan
I have been successful in the past. I remember it being lusher. The flowers were more robust. Is it my imagination or my memory? What hasn’t worked in Delaware is begonias, alyssum, and geraniums. Maybe it’s poor stock at Home Depot. Looking back, I am puzzled. The same principles do not apply and did not follow me. Same sun, same technique, different result. It remains a work in progress. Once upon a time I had quite a garden in the heart of Manhattan.
First time for me… We were in Liberty St Park attending a wedding. The venue was chosen for its view of lower Manhattan. There! The World Trade Center – aka – Freedom Tower. Funny, it never dawned on me till Ginny lamented the loss of the original twin towers in the picture, there’s no emotion in this image for me. It’s not the perspective I had when the towers fell on that fateful autumn day. Not the same. This view did not evoke an emotional response in me. I suppose over time the emotional impact of 9/11 will diminish. No, it was just a different point of view on this evening.
For decades I’ve hunted for parking in NYC. Now that I’m gone to Delaware, it’s a new ballgame. I’ve even paid for parking in a lot. But, I’m still lucky. I impressed my companions by finding a parking spot with hardly a struggle. That’s our car over our shoulder in the background (the little corner of a car by Dave’s left ear). You might laugh. This is not my first rodeo. We get a spot with relative ease – till we don’t. It’s worked for me in large cities – San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington and so forth. In fact we had a fight in Washington when I tried to back up on a one way street to snag the spot I’d inadvertently passed. Nope, it didn’t work. I missed/lost the spot. I’m still alive and with my loved one intact and having forgiven me for the near heart attack of backing up in DC. Sometimes you pay in ways that supersede cash. Ummmm? I don’t remember the name of the restaurant we’re seated. It was a nice interlude for lunch. As with many places NewYork, we were close enough for me to pick off the plate of the girl next to us.
Stairway to nowhere
For $150 million. It’s under construction and I vaguely remember reading something about it. On the approach to the Lincoln Tunnel I first saw it. Then we walked the High Line. And I got to see it up close. Not close enough to walk on it. It will open in 2019. But we could see the construction. It will be the conversation piece hoped for. I’m already shaking my head. Up and down, down and up, it’s the stuff of nightmares. Of course this is better than the social problems we ignore. It’s art?!
Accept no substitutes
The Naked Cowboy is/was an institution on Times Sq. Nowadays, all sorts of imitators abound. There are some very ugly copies about. And there’s Elmo and the Statue of Liberty all waiting to take a picture with you (for money). This is the real thing. Nuts. It’s tough standing in your BVD’s in the freezing cold. Worse. Women just want to hug you when you get a picture taken. That’s cold dedication. I admit that I have not seen this dude since 2014. Did he retire? Maybe he went to a warmer sunnier place.
Yes, he was out in a full blown snow storm. I think he puts the tips in his shorts?
We’re standing under the new greenhouse attachment of our recent Manhattan renovation (2001). And now? Dave is homeless. He has no official mailing address. He has no hardline phone. He’s traveled the world. Julia has been to more than 30 countries. She taught in Africa. She’s expecting her first baby. (Yay! I’m still elated…and worried.) Me? I’ve been in several jobs including a stint in the Middle East. If you had told me at the time of this slide all these changes and more would occur I’d be dizzy with the prospect. What will happen now? Anybody’s guess. I haven’t a clue. It’s always changing. Never boring. I think it’s gonna be different. Ha! When did I get all the grey hair? Not back then.
Old photos. I came across this. It’s about 2002, Lincoln Center. Barbara Cook – quite the diva. She’s starring. I didn’t know her at the time. About a decade later I discovered the American songbook. She’s a big part of it. Who knew? Lots of folks. I was late to the party. There was a craft fair that day I took this slide. Now that’s a full circle for me. Look! Sheep! A sheep shearing demo. Considering what I know about weaving, it’s odd to see that this image is in my files and I only just ran across it. How significant insignificant things seem on second look. History’s a funny thing.
Do not pass go
Some days, not many, are a complete “no go.” It’s not often it snows in New York City enough to stop traffic and business. It’s fascinating to watch the usual routine grind to a halt. For a few days things are way different. Then the snow melts and it’s messy dirty. Oh well, there are a lot of people who trudge through the snow. I’ve never not been able to go. I even did a major brain aneurysm operation in the aftermath of a major snowstorm. Ok, I’m not bragging. It’s just that there was never “no go” for me. This past winter changed that. It’s not that I got old and became a wimp. I just couldn’t go. The snow was literally too much for us to drive. We walked. We did not go far. I was lucky. “Retired” means there is no where you actually have to go. Still, it was a strange feeling to be limited. It’ll snow again in NYC. I won’t be there. I won’t go.
Yes. Every big storm brings out someone who thinks it’s cool to cross country ski down the street or in Central Park. It’s a common spectacle now. I actually considered snow shoes or cross country skis after the last winter storm. The bang for your buck is too small.
9/11 is synonymous now with the attack on the World Trade Center. I was at home just getting ready to head to work. I would have driven right past the WTC on my route to work. Instead right out my kitchen window I saw smoke. It was downtown. Not too far by my estimation. I was wrong it was from the WTC. I climbed to my roof and started taking pictures. I called the NY Times to offer the pics. Ha! There were a million pics by the end of the day. I watched it. In retrospect I can see the event unfold.
The second building was struck and new flames shot out. At first, I thought the fire from the first building had jumped to the second. Then, I realized the buildings are separated by nearly ¼ mile. No chance. Then the first building fell, collapsed leaving a cloud of smoke. It was unbelievable. I fully expected the building to reemerge when the fire was controlled. Nope! And then the second building fell.
Unbelievable! No no! It can’t be. The buildings are more than 100 stories tall. There’s no way they would simply collapse. No way. The smoke cleared. The buildings were gone. I knew people who perished. I knew relatives of some of the victims. History was changed.
My home as many others became a refuge. My son brought home two classmates who were stranded. My niece showed up. My wife charged out to try to help the survivors. Unfortunately, there were no wounded. Jules was on a school trip. The bus did not return the kids out of caution. So many years have gone by. I have seen the new building rise from the ruin and ashes. Everyone can tell a story of remembrance. This was mine.
Bright sunny day! Most beach shots are boring. It’s a horizontal view with some people and the waves breaking behind them. That would be my average. A bikini keeps the interest. But otherwise it’s not too exciting. The water in the Atlantic is cold! – for me! I’m spoiled. I’ve been in the Red Sea. I’ve been in the Caribbean and Hawaii. I’m not dropping names and destinations. I’m just comparing an ice bath to a nice warm one. I choose the warm waters. So, this is Long Island. It’s beautiful. The sand beaches are wide and the best I’ve ever seen. The rest of the world has narrow beaches. Really! But I stopped going in the water shortly after “Jaws” came out. And the cold keeps me out. Nowadays I am a great admirer of the beach. Just give me warm waters to float in. Better yet, give me a good dive spot.