Friday, December 30, 2011
I think this was the old pumphouse. This is from my father-in-law's country home where I sepnt the last couple of days, in upstate New York. A dusting of snow is on the ground, which had mostly sublimed by today when we left. I will be posting a lot of pictures from here over the next few days, so a lot of rural, nature stuff in contrast to the more usual urban material.
I wanted to get some more dramatic flare from the sunlight in this one, but it didn't work out - it's kinda lame, really.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Whatever and however you celebrate. For me it's about nothing more than being with friends and family and expressing love and gratitude through gatherings and gift-giving - an ancient and probably universal, instinctive impulse. At work the last day of school before break is little more than a party, and much as I sometimes complain about the inability to get anything substantive done, I should recognize it as an important social bonding ritual. My students crave this time with one another, but they also like to show their appreciation to teachers as well, and to spend a some time interacting with us as human beings rather than just taskmasters. It takes a really mean spirit to squash that energy going into that last week in the name of covering superficially another chapter in the already mindlessly broad biology curriculum. And my students are really wonderful human beings.
Back at home I enjoy the family get-togethers and of course the down-time that arrived not a moment too soon this year - a much needed break to decompress and to spend some time with the kids.
Not much time for shooting pictures this week. The above photo was taken a few weeks ago as part of my assignment to the photography club to take pictures with winter/holiday themes. It has a black border because it was prepared and uploaded for printing to go with our winter exhibit.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Legend has it the name means "spite the devil." from the Dutch, who of course originally settled New Amsterdam, specifically lower Manhattan, later renamed New York. Here is the northern tip of Manhattan, the bridge connecting us with the lower portion of Riverdale, in the Bronx. Another legend that I've never verified, is that this waterway (the portion that connects the "East River" with the Hudson River) was moved from a point further north. That is, the lower section of Riverdale was once part of Manhattan, and even retains its 212 area code for this reason. This was told to me by a geology professor at City College some years ago, as I remember it.
So I guess I should do a little research before posting these things!
This is actually the Henry Hudson Bridge, which I've traveled scores of times just in the last couple of years, and I never bothered to notice its real name, because somewhere long ago I heard it referred to by someone as the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge, and the name just stuck. There must be signs as you approach the bridge alerting you to its true name, but it just never registered in my brain. Funny how that works.
The Spuyten Duyvil Bridge is a small Amtrak railroad bridge just to the west of the Henry Hudson Bridge.
Then there is a small section of Riverdale (which is, remember, a small section of the Bronx) called "Marble Hill," and which was in fact once physically connected to Manhattan and separated by hook in the Harlem River from the Bronx. That hook proved to be a difficult shipping passage and thus the river was re-routed through Marble Hill, separating it from Manhattan. Eventually the original path of the river was filled in and built on. Administratively, Marble Hill is still part of Manhattan and New York County (not Bronx County)
Hope I got all that right this time. Take a look at the maps linked to above, it all makes sense.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Now that it's dark so early around here I get to enjoy the beauty of the GWB lights reflecting off the water while biking home in the evening - this is around 5:30 PM.
The colors are beautiful live, but I don't think the camera does them justice, while the b&w somehow captures the drama better...
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
The M5 bus stop outside the terminal. Working class, immigrant neighborhood. Still an ugly building with a major piece of retail space on street level shuttered up for years now (behind the waiting riders). I think the Port Authority is working on a plan to revitalize the terminal and the surrounding area, but I haven't seen anything yet.
Friday, December 9, 2011
I liked the way the light worked on these seats. I should have spent more time shooting them from different angles, but it was a very cold, windy day and I had no gloves - I was freezing. So I took a couple of shots and headed for the nearest coffee shop. Came out OK, I think, but next time I'll remember the gloves...
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
At 68th Street & Hudson River. Closed for the winter.
Here's a full view of the facade, Behind it is the bar/restaurant counter. The Bike path runs along behind that, the facade faces the river and piers. In Summer the space in front is filled with outdoor tables umbrellas.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Most of my photos these days are taken on the weekend - I try to get enough photography in to let me post a different image every day throughout the week, except on the rare occasion that I find the time to get out during the week. This one is from Saturday again. Just a deserted street around 61st or so. Took a lot of pics along this street and a little further on - a bunch of urban residential highrises that Trump put up a few years ago.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011
|Does this mirror make me look fat?|
You'll forgive the title pun, but it's my 50th birthday today. I was thinking of doing a self portrait anyway, when I stumbled upon this fish-eye mirror walking around and waiting for my son to have his high school admissions interview at Beacon High School today. Yes, the high school application process in New York City is worse than college applications.
Turning 30 meant nothing to me, I barely noticed turning 40, but 50 is something else all together. I feel it. It kinda has all the inverse significance of turning 18 (or 21 these days, I suppose). It's the point where you are officially old, half a century, waiting for the AARP invitation to arrive in the mail, senior discounts, etc. Oh, and of course the prostate exams, can't wait for that...
And apologies to s.c. for stealing his weekend reflections theme, it's just this once :-)
Friday, December 2, 2011
A view of the city looking south from my classroom window, late afternoon. One of the perks of working in Midtown. My school has an H shape, so you see two wings of the building on the left and right. I'm directly in the middle. Next week I'll post a morning view, where the buildings in the foreground are more evenly illuminated and colorful.
Sorry for the lack of posts and comments lately, it's been a really hectic week. Will try to catch up with you all on the weekend. Cheers.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I don't do many sunsets, but this one made me jump off my bike yesterday to snap a few shots. The sun is about to come out from behind the clouds as it sets over the Hudson, throwing the abandoned pier pylons into silhouette. The sun is setting pretty far south of due west as we approach the winter solstice in a few weeks
Saturday, November 26, 2011
The biggest challenge of owning a car in the city is not the traffic but the parking. That's why I leave mine at my father-in-law's upstate house for the winter. I wonder how much carbon is released into the atmosphere from people just driving around the block for an hour looking for a space...
Friday, November 25, 2011
Nothing new today, a day of rest after a typical Thanksgiving overindulgence. This was taken on the way to work a few weeks ago, biking along the Hudson River Greenway. Didn't think much of it at the time but it's grown on me.
These are essentially parking spots for boats near the 79th Street Boat Basin.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Somehow this fat squirrel seems to me to "embody" the general principle of Thanksgiving - get ready to hunker down for the long, cold winter. In ancient times fattening up made sense - food would be scarce and times would be tough. Nowadays, not so much, but traditions die hard...
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
It's been a busy week around here and this is my first post in a few days and the first time I've had the energy or opportunity to go out and shoot. I wish the Parks Dept. would come up with a better solution to protect the shrubbery than these ugly wire fences they put up.
Those yellow leaves framing the tower of the museum are from an incredibly lovely, large, and old Ginko tree sitting in a popular lawn outside the museum. I may have another picture of the tree tomorrow, but it's hard to do it justice .
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Taken yesterday from the middle of 5th Avenue, which was closed off to vehicular traffic for the Veterans Day Parade. I'm no fan of Donald Trump, but I actually like the trees growing along the terraced side of this particular building. The facade, though, is typically tacky Trump.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
What goes down, must come up. I live in Washington Heights, and as the name suggests, it is in the highest part of Manhattan. My apartment is close to a park that has a marker designating it as the highest geologic point on the island (Bennett Park). And the climb from sea level (the Hudson River that runs alongside my bike path) to the highest point is a steep one. It's not so obvious from the photo, but this is the final steep leg of my bike ride home. There's more hill after this, but not quite as dramatically steep as this one.
The nice thing about living in my neighborhood is the vantage point - living at the top of the hill has always had certain socio-economic connotations. The disadvantage for a biker is that the early part of the ride is easy, downhill fun, while the last part of my ride, when I'm already tired, is all uphill. Was mich nicht umbringt...
UPDATED: I realized it was too dark and brought out some more highlights, it looks more appropriate now to the time of day, late afternoon, when it was shot.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
A lazy shot from the seat of my moving bicycle on the way home from work on Friday. I never want to stop when I'm riding, so it's really not a particularly good way to take pictures, unless I have lots of time and ride to a pre-determined destination, with the intention of parking and walking around.
The fall colors are so in your face right now it's almost impossible not to shoot them.