Tag Archives: New York City

Travel Theme: Meeting Places

By Vladimir Brezina

Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge this week is Meeting Places.

Bethesda Terrace and Fountain in NYC’s Central Park—

Bethesda Fountain

where you can blow bubbles

Blow bubbles

get married

Get married

have a conversation

Have a conversation

row on the lake

Row on the lake

and dance discreetly

Dance discreetly

or not so discreetly

Dance not so discreetly

Cardboard Kayak Race, Redux

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

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Last year, I wrote about the first annual Cardboard Kayak Race, held on City of Water Day at Governors Island.  This year, I was in it!

No, it’s not what you’re thinking. We didn’t build a boat out of cardboard and then race it. But others did! And I was part of a fleet of “safety kayaks” whose job it was to rescue paddlers whose cardboard boats sank (and fish out the sodden detritus).

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Celebrity Sun

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

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In Manhattan we get our share of celebrities. Some live here year-round. Many zoom by in a blaze of flashbulbs and applause.

And some show up reliably every day, unapplauded, but make a celebrity entrance a few minutes out of the year. That’s what happens at Manhattanhenge. Twice a year, roughly three weeks before and after the summer solstice, the setting sun lines up precisely with the east-west streets of Manhattan’s street grid.

It’s  a well-known phenomenon, and has become more so with each passing year. Photographers gather at major intersections, awaiting that perfect moment when the sun touches the horizon, framed precisely between buildings on either side. For a moment or two, the sun is a celebrity.

I’ve heard about it, and Vlad has taken pictures of it many times. But this year was the first time I’d actually experienced it.

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Independence Day Spectacular

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

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“A ticket to see fireworks? Don’t you just, uh, look up?” That was my friend Kathy’s comment when I mentioned Vlad had made the long, hot trip downtown in a thunderstorm to pick up our tickets for the fireworks.

Normally, she’d be right: For the past few Independence Days, we’d gone up on the roof, or just looked out from our window on the 17th floor. Even in New York, some things are free!

But these weren’t just any fireworks.  This was the first time ever they’d be in the lower East River—even be launched from the Brooklyn Bridge! And our friend John, who, like Vlad, is a photographer, would be in town expressly to take photos, and we needed to find an uncrowded location for them to set up their tripods.

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Twist in the Sky for a Happy Fourth of July!

By Vladimir Brezina

Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge today is Twist. Just in time for the Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth!

These were last year’s fireworks (more photos are here). We’ll see what tonight will bring!

Here‘s another kind of Twist, in response to The Daily Post’s Photo Challenge, which also had Twist as its theme only a month ago.

Storm, Saved to Disk

By Vladimir Brezina

6:00 PM

Yesterday in the early evening a line of strong thunderstorms rumbled through New York City. This happens often in the summer and the sight can be awe-inspiring. But I was working all afternoon in a windowless room, and later, when I got to a window, it was too late to discern much. The building was already submerged in thick green fog. Lightning flashed and thunder cracked directly overhead.

What to do under those circumstances? Let’s go to the video replay!

And from where better to observe the arrival of the storm over New York Harbor and the Manhattan skyline than the Statue of Liberty?

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Contrasts.

Beauties and beasts—

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Beauty and the beast 2
Beauty and the beast 3

Seen at the 2013 Coney Island Mermaid Parade, the 2011 Carnegie Hill Halloween Spooktakular, and the 2012 Spooktakular, respectively.

Another set of Contrasts is here.

Nocturne

By Vladimir Brezina

Yesterday, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan—

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Sandy Hook Paddle with Kayak Cowgirl

By Vladimir Brezina

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On Sunday, we were joined on our regular Sandy Hook paddle by our friend Julie, aka Kayak Cowgirl.

This was her first time to Sandy Hook!

Her writeup begins: “Every girl knows her first time should be special. The weather should be beautiful, rose petals should line the way, and someone more experienced should take her hand.”

And it gets better from there. Go and read her story!

We can’t possibly improve on it. So here, simply, are some photos:

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Weekly Photo Challenge & Travel Theme: Split-Second Story in the Big City

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Split-Second Story, and Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge is Cities.

A perfect conjunction!

For yesterday and today were days of Manhattanhenge, that urban astronomical phenomenon in which the sun appears, for a brief moment just at sunset, at the ends of the cross-streets of Manhattan’s street grid.

Of course, the sun has to be visible at sunset. Yesterday was cloudy. Today was more promising. So I joined the Manhattanhenge-watching crowd—smaller than usual this year because of the uncertain weather—at 57th Street and Park Avenue. As we waited, a rain shower moved in. (Now I know how astronomers must feel, waiting nervously for that once-in-a-century conjunction or eclipse, only to have clouds move in at the last minute…)

But just at the moment of sunset, the sun appeared through the mist!  I got a few photos.

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But the visibility was not ideal, and in addition I realized only too late that at the end of 57th Street there is a big building, across the Hudson in New Jersey, that blocks the view! As another photographer standing next to me remarked, Jersey always screws things up…

The spectacle was much more impressive last year at 42nd Street:

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… and in 2011 at 34th Street:

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But there’s always another chance—Manhattanhenge repeats on July 11th and 12th!