Monthly Archives: October 2015

Boo!

Some New Yorkers really get into the Halloween spirit.  I love seeing the extent to which some homeowners go to decorate their houses. I bet that a few hire professional decorators to deck out their homes.  A few of the displays that I have seen are downright creepy with bloody heads impaled on stakes, and corpses hanging from windows.  It is fun to look at, but I have observed a few terrified children, screaming as they pass by some of the scarier homes.  Have a fun and safe Halloween! 

Peak Fall Foliage

It is peak foliage season here in New York City.  I took these pictures after a run the other day in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. The trees are breathtaking! Before you know it all of the trees will be bare and we will have to wait a whole year to see these vibrant colors again.

DUMBO, Brooklyn

I never tire of photographing bridges. They are so sculptural and each one is unique in its own way.  Bridges appear differently from various angles, so no two pictures of a single bridge are quite the same.  This particular shot of the Manhattan Bridge from the Brooklyn side is one of my favorite bridge shots.  I love the way the old mill buildings frame the bridge, which in turn frames the Empire State Building.  (The name of the neighborhood in Brooklyn where I took this photo is DUMBO, which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass).

Mum’s the Word

DSC_0008Chrysanthemums (more commonly called mums) are mainstays in autumn gardens.  Just as temperatures start to dip and daylight grows shorter, mums arrive to brighten up the cityscape.  They come in eye popping colors and maintain a dense head of blooms that last for quite a while even when it gets a bit frosty outside.  The beauty of mums is that they are perennials and will come back year after year, if cared for properly.

Running the Reservoir

There are few more beautiful places to run than around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in New York City’s Central Park. The track that encircles the reservoir is 1.58 miles long and can be accessed from multiple points along the west or east sides of the park.  On this particular October day, the sky was clear and the view looking westward to Central Park West was exquisite, especially with the skyline reflected in the reservoir.

Our Nation’s Capital

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I had never been to Washington DC before and was awestruck by the beauty and grandeur of the city.  Our trip was very brief, so we took a whirlwind tour of all of the major sites: the White House, the Supreme Court, the Capitol, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, and the Washington Monument.  The weather was perfect and the lighting was optimal, so I snapped away.  I am heading back there next month for a more extensive tour of the city.  Can’t wait!

Tech News

iPhone 6S Launch
On Friday, September 25th, the Apple iPhone 6S went on sale at corporate stores and wireless carriers around the city and the rest of the world. Sales are expected to exceed those of last year’s launch of the iPhone 6. I have not seen or tried the phone, but I have heard about some of its features, such as the 3D Touchpad that enables the user to partially press an icon to open up submenus. There is also a new camera feature that takes a hybrid picture-video. It snaps the before and after of a picture which can appear as a still picture or as a momentary video. The picture quality has improved immensely allowing the video and photo-obsessed to take richer and sharper photos. The lucky 13-15 million projected buyers will have the opportunity to test drive all of the iPhone’s new features and the rest of us will have to live vicariously through their experiences.

The Skimm – Newstainment
For the bleary-eyed Riverdale commuter who wants to stay abreast of current events, the not-so-secret website called the Skimm provides the top news stories of the day in a succinct and entertaining format. The twenty-something year old co-founders, editors, writers – they wear a lot of hats – have a background in network news.  They write their news stories as if they are talking to their girlfriends, using tongue and cheek headlines to hold the attention of their time starved readers. Subscribers can check the app daily or can receive email alerts, as I do.  As students, it is important to be a part of the classroom conversation and to be aware of worldwide events, and the Skimm enables them to do that during their morning commutes. The Skimm is not a replacement for a full length newspaper, but it is better than no newspaper at all.

Snapchat Update
Snapchat recently unveiled its new update, which provides its users with additional ways of wasting valuable time and having a lot of fun in the process.  The kooky and amusing effects, or what Snapchat refers to as ‘lenses’, can be added to selfies to make them sillier and funnier.  Pressing on the face on the screen activates the lenses. The user is given instructions such as ‘open your mouth’ or ‘raise your eyebrows’, which makes it fairly simple to use.  Adding lenses has become a social activity that friends engage in in the cafeteria and it is somewhat addictive.  Snapchat adds new lenses everyday to keep the snapchatting public engaged and tuned in. Everyone has seen the lenses of people barfing up a rainbow or with oversized eyes bulging out of their heads.   What will they think of next?

Apple Music

Apple recently launched Apple Music, its much-hyped music streaming service. The Apple Music library contains millions of songs, and users can easily integrate music that they already own with it.  Apple offered their customers a three-month free trial subscription, which helped boost their subscriber base considerably in a short period of time.  The service will eventually be comparably priced to Spotify’s paid subscription plan at approximately $9.99 per month.  Apple Music hopes to make its streaming service a way for artists to connect with their listeners by sharing new material, photos, and videos.  

High in the Sky

The Roosevelt Island tram transports commuters between Manhattan and Roosevelt Island, which is in the middle of the East River.  A NYC Transit metro card takes you there for the regular fare of $2.75.  Residents of the island commute by the tram, but increasingly tourists have discovered it as a ‘can’t miss’ attraction.  People board the tram at East 60th Street and Second Avenue. In just a few minutes, one is transported to the Island, which offers beautiful views of midtown Manhattan.  The tram rises high over the East River and runs adjacent to the Queensboro Bridge (otherwise known as the 59th Street Bridge or the Edward Koch Bridge).   One can be a voyeur and glance into the apartment buildings on either side of the tram or look down at the churning waters of the river below. The island offers a tennis facility, sports fields, and miles of beautiful walking paths/streets.  It is a fun activity on a beautiful spring, summer, or fall day– even winter, although it can feel extremely chilly as the wind whips off the river.

Birds of A Feather

I don’t know much about birds, but I know a beautiful one when I see it.  Most of the birds in NYC are sparrows and pigeons. They are so common that we don’t even take a second look. We rarely see colorful birds such as this cardinal, so when I saw this beauty out of my window on a recent rainy day, I grabbed my camera.