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Archive for the ‘NYC History’ Category

Hidden NYC Treasure

In NYC History, nyc photographer, NYC Today on September 10, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Jacob Riis National Park is a hidden jewel in NYC. The beach opens to the Atlantic Ocean. The people of the Rockaways are rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy. Here is the beauty of their neighborhood.
(shot with iPhone 5 July 31, 2013)

Until next time.

Teresa51art

adventure is life, live it! ®

How One Thing Leads to Another….

In historic places, NYC History, nyc photographer, NYC Today on September 10, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Act 1-It was summertime in the NorthEast.  Having grown up on the ocean where I learned how to swim about the same time I learned how to walk, there was a natural pull to the coast as soon as the weather turned warm.  Since a vacation was not in my future this year, being able to “get away” was going to be defined in a new way.

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Act 2-As an artist, the lines between working and relaxing continually blend together as work easily takes over more and more of the day.  To keep working without realizing that time off hasn’t been taken for days, weeks, even months becomes the norm.  Creating something unique and inspiring would (and still does) have all cylinders running-the down time could wait.  I needed to specifically plan time “off” to explore and recharge.

Act 3-Recent articles in the New York Times discussed how certain parts of the city were still having troubles rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy.  I had never visited many of these areas and was curious to see these neighborhoods first hand.   A specific article regarding Broad Channel gave me pause; my curiosity was peaked and I needed to explore.

The Connection

With all of this turning over in my mind, I consulted google.  I looked for city beaches that would be less crazy; those that would remind me of what I experienced at the Jersey Shore many years ago with my grandparents.  I wanted something I could get to by METRO card, that would bring me to places hard hit by Sandy.

A beach located in Queens that is part of the National Parks System fit the bill.  July 17th I declared my first day of my “ONE DAY OFF A WEEK” project.  I packed my bag with reading material, snacks and water for the day.  And off I went by subway to Jacob Riis Park, part of the Gateway National Recreation Area that includes The Rockaways, Staten Island, and Sandy Hook, NJ.

This first day traveling (about 2hrs) was to get familiar with the trip.  And to jump in the ocean and enjoy a bit of summer.  These beaches have waves that are great for body surfing (if you enjoy that sort of thing…)!

Since then, I have traveled to the Rockaway’s once a week on my “Day Off” to continue the exploration and discovery, getting there a variety of ways.  (Subway, Bus, Bike, Car)

One day I bicycled from Bay Ridge Brooklyn through Coney Island, over the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, into Breezy Point, (a closed community which I find very peculiar for a borough of NYC) and then on to the subway at 116th street (approx 25miles).

One day I explored Fort Tilden, a National Park where it’s beaches are currently closed due to Sandy.  Serious erosion along the shore makes this stretch of beach unsafe, and rumor has it that ammunition from WW2 washed ashore during the storm.  While there I explored the studios of the Rockaway Artist Alliance.  (More to come later regarding this organization.)

One day I took the subway to Broad Channel and biked across the Cross Bay Bridge into the Rockaways riding along the (broken) boardwalk out to Long Island.  On the way back I discovered Boardwalk Bagel at 108th street that makes the best crumb cake, the kind you can only find at the beach.  I ate it on my $2.00 ferry ride back to Wall Street.

These are just some of the hi-lights of what I discovered, and still so much more I haven’t.

There is over 7 miles of beach and boardwalk that opens to the Atlantic Ocean.  And then there is all of Jamaica Bay.  This is New York City.

The NYC Parks Department manages most of the area, and the balance is maintained by the National Parks Service. Filled with rich history, lots of natural wildlife, and miles and miles of area to explore, I am blown away that this is still NYC.  I can travel with $2.50 for the subway ride and a whole lot of curiosity.  This is why I love this town!

And the people of this community are working hard to rebuild after Sandy.  As I continue to visit this neighborhood weekly, I am discovering the strength of New York City.  These visits have also given me the basis for my next documentary project.  (Stay tuned…)

Until next time.

Teresa51art

adventure is life, live it! ®

A Simple Spring Afternoon

In NYC History, nyc photographer, NYC Today on April 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Over the past 3 months, I’ve been working toward bringing my photography business to the next level.  “Focus, stay on course, keep your eye on the prize…and so on”.  As with all artists, we constantly look for ways to grow personally, develop a style that is true to our souls, created something that we can be proud of and have someone in the world to connect with/to.

With these goals also comes procrastination.  Sometimes out of fear, sometimes out of being overwhelmed.   Although I suppose this is true for everyone when being faced with something that could potentially change your life.  [This of course is is what we want, just taking those steps to get there “we get in our own way”.]

OK, so back to the title of this piece-yes reader there is an connection!

Yesterday was the first real spring day that I had free time (or I made the time).  The temperature was in the 70’s, with clear skies above.

I joined the New York Botanical Garden in November of last year.  I visited a few times over the last couple of months, each time it was cold and grey.  The Orchid Show was in it’s last weeks and this seemed to be the perfect time to go.

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A Tuesday afternoon after all the school vacation breaks had passed, the garden was empty and peaceful.  The daffodils were in full bloom.  Small purple and yellow flowers popped up throughout the grounds.  The grass was so green and inviting I had to run my fingers across the blades.  With “Sting” in my ears I laid down on the sunny hill and let the warmth surround me.

The hour trip to the Bronx turned into a wonderful 3 hour respite.  I walked through the Pine Trees, the Perennial Garden and the hidden gem known as the Rock Garden.  I spent time in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory where the Orchids exploded with color throughout this amazing exhibit.  Outside at the water lilly pond I sat and watched the ducks and koi swim about.

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Nature in its grandeur, with a little help from man made this a glorious spring afternoon.(All photo’s taken with iPhone 3G)

Now that I am rejuvenated it’s time to continue on.  Enjoy!

Until next time.

Teresa51art

adventure is life, live it! ®

Splashing in The New Year Polar Bear Style

In NYC History, NYC Today on January 2, 2013 at 7:10 pm

I spent New Years Day on Coney Island.  An annual event had sparked my curiosity and I wanted to experience it first hand.

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Since 1903 the Polar Bear Club has been holding it’s annual New Year’s Day Swim.  I traveled the distance with camera in hand.  Clothed in my ski gear and feet protected by my yellow wellies, I figured I would be “water proofed” to get as close as possible without actually going in.

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As I waited for the event to begin, my toes started to freeze up.  Standing in the ocean, they actually began to warm.  The outside temperature was about 38˚ F, the water temperature was about 45˚F.

The first group raced to the water at 1:oopm.  It was such a rush to watch-truly driven by adrenaline.  Such enthusiasm and zest for life!  Incredibly contagious!!

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As I watched the bathers come back to shore, some had shear delight in their expressions, some had shear pain.  I myself was in about calf high and experienced just a bit of the salt water rush I was witnessing.

I wish everyone joy in the New Year.  To a fabulous 2013-take the plunge!

Until next time.

Teresa51art

adventure is life, live it! ®

24 Hours on East 78th Street

In NYC History, NYC Today on November 20, 2012 at 6:22 am

When Hurricane Sandy was on it’s way, New Yorkers were still a bit skeptical about the storm’s potential based on our experiences from last year with Hurricane Irene.

As I did with Irene, my goal was to photograph the progress of the storm.

The city shut down late afternoon on Monday October 29, 2012 to brace for what was to come. That included all forms of transportation, so I spent time in my neighborhood.

I went out on 3 separate occasions during the 24 hours that Sandy came to town.  The first was around 4:00pm on Monday, as winds began to pick up and the East River began to rise.  It didn’t spill over at this time; that would come around 9:00pm when the tide was high and the moon was full.

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During the peak of the storm, not realizing how powerful the winds truly were I headed down toward the river.  (These images in the dark were taken around 9:30pm on Monday night.)  As a result of not heeding Mayor Bloomberg’s warnings, a gust actually lifted me, blowing me up East 78th Street.  I thank the gentleman (my guardian angel) that was ahead of me, as he stopped the momentum of that surge.

Next time the forecast calls for wind gusts of 80 mph+, I will think twice.  Today I count my blessings that from that night I have just a badly sprained knee.  However, I needed to document the event and would have stayed longer if not for what happened.

I did witness the East River at a height I’ve never seen before.  As I stood on the corner of East 78th Street and the FDR Drive, the water was up to my knees.

Things could have been much worse, as many residents of my city have lost their homes.

This is why I am thankful for the many little things that come my way.

Until next time.

Teresa51art

adventure is life, live it! ®

A Long Weekend

In NYC History, NYC Today on September 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm

The work will always be there…

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Celebrate and enjoy the long weekend.

Happy Labor Day!

Until next time.

Teresa51art

adventure is life, live it! ®

July 4th, NYC Style

In NYC History, NYC Today on July 3, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays.  “Summer in the city…”

It is also the day that I kick back and see the world in a different way.  It’s a day I seriously “people watch” as you will find many wonderful things going on all around you.

Children acting without a care in the world-just relishing the  joy of being a child.  Families laughing, playing games, having picnics together.

It is also a day for hot dog lovers.  Enter Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island.

Last 4th of July, I braved the beaches and crowds of Coney Island.  Little did I know what lie ahead.  I parked myself on a bench and watched through my camera lens.  Fascinating. But then again, people watching always is….

I then ventured down to the waters edge.  And walked toward the main beach.  As I got closer and closer, the density of sun worshipers increased.  It seriously reminded me of being on the 6 train during rush hour.

Children and adults alike, did not seemed phased one bit.  Instead they were having a heck of a time rubbing suntan lotion on loved ones, digging holes and building sandcastles. Exactly what one does when at the beach.

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Tomorrow, I will probably find myself back at Coney Island once again.  Why not?  It’s how we celebrate July 4th,  New York City Style!

Have a Happy!

 

Until next time.

Teresa51art

adventure is life, live it! ®

Space Shuttle Enterprise and Kodi George

In NYC History, NYC Today on April 27, 2012 at 1:19 pm

As I woke up this morning and began the typical routine, I heard something in the news that took me from a casual approach to the day to the “photographer” mindset that kicks in anytime there is something worth noting.

Brian Lehrer, of WNYC was talking about a historic event going on right at that moment.  The Space Shuttle Enterprise would “fly over” NYC as it makes it’s way to JFK Airport.   [Early summer it will be transported to its final home at the The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.]  It would fly over the Statue of Liberty, up the Hudson River to the Tappan Zee Bridge and then circle around Queens.

Do I run across town?  Do I dash out of the house without walking Kodi?

I let a few minutes pass for logic and reality to set in.  If I were to get anything of value, there should have been a bit more planning on my part.  So I got myself and puppy dog dressed for our walk.  I took my trusty iPhone with me to document this historic flight, hoping I would be able to catch a glimpse from the East River.

As a few of us gathered at the corner of the East 78th Street Footbridge, we discovered the flight pattern and that from our vantage point the Shuttle would be crossing by the Triborough Bridge.  As we waited, Kodi also made a few new friends.  It was a joyful morning!

The Shuttle flew over at approximately 11:10am.  It was a beautiful site.  The sky was bright blue with just the right amount of clouds.  The Shuttle shimmered in the sunlight.  What I saw with my eyes was amazing.

I’ve attached a few links to close ups.  As you can see, I was a bit too far to get the details of the flight.  But I share with you what I saw, to give you a sense of the spectacle of these few historic moments.

Until next time.

Teresa51art

adventure is life, live it! ®

When Does Old Really Become Unfashionable?

In NYC History, NYC Today on February 3, 2011 at 12:46 pm

(I wrote this originally on November 3, 2004 when I was on vacation having some time to “smell the roses”. This week I feel some deja vu moments in respect to this piece and wanted to share it with you. I hope you enjoy the read. Until next time!
Teresa, 51art
adventure is life, live it!)

-It may be living in a house over 100 years old that has got me thinking about this.
-It may be that every day there is such a rush to get through it that we miss the sweet and wonderful things.
-It may be that taking a few days away from it all has brought me to this thought.

One morning a little over a month ago, I went through the process of making a pot of coffee. I filled the glass carafe of my coffee maker with cold tap water measuring out 6 cups and then poured it into the reservoir. I ground the beans and placed them in the paper lined filter. The button was then switched to “on”, glowing a lovely shade of red and at that point I knew it was safe to walk away. In a matter of minutes I would have a piping hot cup of coffee, or so I thought.

Because of the slight slope to my house and the coffee maker being at least 10 years old, the combination had my 6 cups of Joe all over the floor. After coffee cleanup and great disappointment, the coffee maker was quickly tossed into the trash without any regrets.  You see I don’t drink coffee every day, for me it is an activity that defines an occasion or a special moment that is shared with friends. So when I make it at home it is purely for relaxation, when time has the ability to stand still and the sweet things in life can be enjoyed. However, on this particular day that was not the case.

Being at home this week, I decided to go to Starbucks and buy some new coffee beans. I needed to decide between three bean types Mild, Smooth or Bold. Knowing this was special coffee I wanted to ensure I chose the most appealing for my senses. It turned out that the Espresso beans, also defined as Smooth was the right fit for my mood. Not until I returned home and entered my kitchen did I realize this was not going to work (based on the lack of coffee pot…) Do I return the coffee or treat myself to some new, slick technology in the world of coffee creation? Of course the answer was the latter and off I went to the store.

Standing there in the midst of all the sleek body types made of glass and steel, plastic and chrome, ones that will brew a cup at time or a pot for 20, those that have timers for almost anything, those that will wash your dog, was one pot different from the rest. I approached hesitantly not certain whether to consider it, since all this pot wanted to do was make coffee.

Its simple styling of stainless steel was what I remembered from childhood. Coffee then was a beverage to have at the end of a meal, not an outing; it was chock full of caffeine and served with milk or cream. Latte’s and Cappuccino’s and Mocha Java’s were not part of the coffee culture in that day. Could this simple pot compete with the coffee standards of today? This was not a COFFEE MACHINE, but a Coffee Percolator.

I stood there thinking back to when this was the only coffee pot in our house. This didn’t require special filters, a manual to read through each time a cup was desired or rearranging the household to make it fit. All I needed was the ability to understand the simplicity of the process. Before I knew it, the Percolator was in my bag and I was off for home.

I opened the box. I found a pot and a plug. Could this be it?

The Espresso beans were ground to a smooth powder and placed into the basket. The pot was filled with cold water and the centerpiece dropped in. The lid was quickly snapped down so that the brewing process could begin. The sounds were reminiscent of long ago as the water pulsed through the pot. This is how mom and dad had made their coffee. Seems appropriate. As the liquid continued to boil, steam rose out from the spout. I knew that in a moment when I had a sip of that first cup all of my 5 senses would be satisfied.

The pot quieted, it was time to pour. My favorite black mug had a splash of creamer already in the bottom, so as the rich Espresso entered the cup, the two liquids swirled together creating an artistic display. Could this cup live up to my taste expectation? Such pressure for this simple pot to endure….

Mmmmm. Perfection!

 

Until next time.

Teresa51art

adventure is life, live it! ®

New Book Published by 51art-Inspired By Notecard Line

In NYC History, nyc photographer, NYC Today on November 7, 2010 at 10:35 pm