Jul 29, 2009

Prominence

I took this photo, this past Sunday evening while my buddy and I played pool in Red Hook, Brooklyn. It was taken just before a terrific thunderstorm broke, while the first heavy drops of rain made impact and the sun still beat the building's face with retreating rays through patchy dark clouds. The weather immediately following was quite intense. Howling winds blew debris down the street while claps of thunder boomed making your chest rumble.

The wide range of light, threatening background and prominent stance of the building in this scene, struck a chord with me as something worth capturing.

Jul 26, 2009

Content

Yesterday I took the Nikon and walked north to Vancourtland Park and back. Cutting through the Marble Hill Projects courtyard, I came across this man enjoying the cool & breezy weather. Content coexisting with the pigeons. Later, it stormed. I'm fond of the composition of this photo, you almost look right past the man. He's nearly an overlooked foreground feature, yet he demands your attention with his expression.

Jul 20, 2009

Bubbling

Date: 7/18/09, 3:57pm | Location: Chinatown | lens: Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 | Settings: 1/500 sec, f/4.5

Jul 10, 2009

My Achin' Bones

One cool thing about Radiology Departments today is the digital x-ray machines. I was able to request a CD of all images taken of my elbows and wrist. I'm glad they included the wrist x-rays because I hadn't seen the screw holding my large scaphoid bone together (doored by car in Balitmore, 2005). The elbows are feeling quite stiff today; I'm not enjoying the constant dull ache, but look forward to a full recovery. Gotta' stay positive.



Holy Broken Elbows!

I'll be typing for Mike for a while... He's got TWO broken elbows.

After a great day of mountain biking with Alex at Blue Mountain Reservation (where he cleaned most of the gnarly sections) he almost had a collision with another cyclist 20 feet from our front steps. Avoiding the other cyclist meant stopping short after coming down a hill at high speed and flying over the handle bars (only to break his fall by putting his hands out in front of him). He got right up and carried his bike up all five flights of stairs to our apartment (the other cyclist didn't even stop!). He called me at work and assured me that he just had a bad sprain but...

When I got home from work he had already packed a bag to go to the ER and off we went.

Serious kudos to the people at the Columbia Presbyterian ER on Broadway...We were in and out in two hours flat.

Here's the prognosis: He has almost identical breaks in the tips of his radius bones, just at the top where they meet the humerus bone at the elbow. He doesn't have either arm in a cast because with this type of break it is important to keep his joints moving. He's doing alright but it's gonna be a while before he can ride again.

We'll report more when we pick up the digital x-rays we requested from the hospital.

-Natasha

Jul 8, 2009

Home Made Marmalade

Lately, I've been cooking a lot. Not so much in the way of meals, but more in the way of sauces. I must say my BYFO [Burn Your Face Off] wing sauce is worthy of bragging rights. Last week I caught Ina Garten making marmalade on the boob tube and moved making marmalade to the top of my list. So, last night I chopped up four large oranges, two lemons and boiled them down with a ton of sugar. After letting them sit over night, I simmered them for another two hours this morning, and then brought them up to 220 degrees to finish them off. I loaded the jam into sterilized mason jars and was good to go. They seem to have gelled up nicely and I'll be enjoying my labor on a fresh baguette with coffee, tomorrow morning before I head out for more mountain biking in Peekskill.

Jul 7, 2009

Blue Mountain Reservation

Today I rode the singlespeed at Blue Mountain Reservation, which is about 40 miles north of New York City in the city of Peekskill, NY. [Trail Information here] After weeks of riding Cunningham Park in Queens, this was a breath of fresh air. The landscape and scenery are completely different.

I spent about 45 minutes on a Metro North Train to get up to Peekskill and then pedaled for about 2 miles to reach the park entrance. Once I got there I wasn't able to find any trail maps so I just set off into the woods. Wow, what an extensive system of singletrack!


Ten minutes into the ride the sky turned purple; shortly thereafter the clouds let loose with a storm of biblical proportions. Thunder cracked loudly above me and the rain came down in sheets. Leafy branches fluttered and sagged low. Rocks became slicker than snot. I huddled under a young sapling for a moment assessing the situation. While becoming soaked to the bone, crouched beneath a pitiful shelter from the storm, I decided I'd be just as wet swinging my way down through the trails, so I set the cranks in motion again.

The beautifully blazed 18” wide trail wound through dark, lush, pine forest cutting it's way though loamy soil, large fern beds and over large amounts of exposed rock. Logs, build-ups and rock roll-downs littered the trail nearly every 20 feet. There wasn't much in the way of elevation changes although it is much more hilly than Cunningham Park. At one point I stopped to let several PSI out of my tires to get better traction and I was happy for the suspension that it provided. While pedaling and exploring, a couple lines from a Robert Frost poem came to mind:

"The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep."


I rode for about two hours before making my way back into town and over to the Train Station. A quick bike wash in the Hudson River cleaned the majority of mud off my ride and I caught an express train back to Manhattan.

Can't wait to head back there on Thursday after the trails have dried out!

More trail images here:


Jul 6, 2009

Vacation Time

I've been enjoying my vacation. I had planned to do a lot of riding and it looks like that's what is shaping up to happen. I attempted to ride at Highbridge Park on Saturday but the trails were almost unrideable with all the blow-downs. This past month of storms really put a hurting on this park. Such was not the case today though, as a good friend and I rode the bejeezus out of Cunningham park. The trails were in remarkable shape despite the amount of rain we've received this past month. Can't wait for tomorrow. I'll be heading up to Peeksville, NY to ride at Blue Mountain Reservation.

Jul 4, 2009

Driftwood Scluptures

















Every time I ride the Manhattan Greenway Path I enjoy the folky driftwood sculptures which someone has created. I don't know who is making these sculptures but I have to say that I like them. A bit of googling did not turn up too much information on them. Although they are mentioned here and there. These sculptures are just part of what makes NYC such a great place to live. There's an anonymity about this city that seems to encourage people to do as they feel without risk of judgment or criticism - at least that's how this city makes me feel. I love it.