Friday, December 30, 2011


Ice 1

Ice 2

Ice 3

Ice 4

Ice 5

Ice 6

Ice 7

We had a high of 26 degrees yesterday (-3C), after waking up to a temperature of 11 (-12C) so a lot of ice had formed at various points along this little stream.



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

Happy Holidays

Lights on 181st Street

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

Spuyten Duyvil Bridge

Spuyten Duyvil Bridge

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

Inwood Little League

Inwood Little League

Scoreboard stored away for the winter behind a corrugated steel cargo container over in right field.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

GWB at Night

GWB at Night

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...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

GWB Bus Terminal

GWB Bus Terminal

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

Pier Seating

Pier Seating

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



A very clean garage, with very little business on a Saturday morning.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pier 1 Cafe

Pier 1 Cafe

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.

Pier 1 Cafe Full View

Monday, December 5, 2011

No Standing

No Standing

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

Street Lamp With Reflector

Well, technically this lamp is on the recreational piers along the Hudson, but I don't think there's a special name for pier lamps. Designed to reduce light pollution, and aesthetically pleasing as a bonus.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Time for Reflection

A Time for Reflection
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

From My Window

From My Window

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.