The new neighborhood has two main grocery stores. The Associated and Frank's Market. Like most people living here, we go to The Associated for the cheap necessities and to Frank's for the good stuff. While in The Associated, I was struck by the Andy Warhol appearance of the tuna. This only reinforced my new found detest for mass harvested meats. A friend of mine turned me on to Jonathan Safran Foer's book, Eating Animals. The book is not intended to turn you into a vegetarian (although that's what happened to me) but instead, expose the grotesque, inhumane and unethical practices of factory farms here in the US. It's a hell of an eye opener. I won't gross you out with details here, but you should pick up/download a copy and find out what you're really eating.
I spent a few hours in the woods yesterday at Sprain Ridge Park (trail map here) just north of Yonkers, NY. The trails were in pristine condition. Me and the three guys I was with blasted through the woods sailing over logs, rocks & small animals. It was heaven! (And much needed after all the recent moving and craziness at work) My buddy Dave, tracked our 7+ mile ride with his phone which is always cool to see (take a look here). It was so great to be out on my new cannondale. I have only taken it out 4 or 5 times and each time it was in the snow. Felt fantastic to fly through the woods and put the suspension to work on hard packed dirt. So plush... so plush.
Highlights of the ride:
Steve's over-the-bars endo about 5 minutes into the ride. His tuck n' roll maneuver, seemingly well practiced, saved him from a broken neck, and provided for some great heckling from the rest of us. Dave got a great shot of him flying through the air, that I'll have to link you to when its online. (Edit: See Steve's Endo!)
Mark conquered a steep rock roll down which shook him up pretty good on his first approach. Nice going Mark!
I found a fantastic old, brown, glass jug/bottle. The date code on the bottom of it tells me that it was made by Owens Illinois Glass Company in Bridgetown, NJ in 1948. It cleaned up nicely and is now part of the many "old things" I keep in the bike room.
Dave, after crashing, and leaving some skin from his hand on the trail, cleaned a particularly nasty section of trail. Check out the Youtube video.
It was a pretty much a perfect ride. Lots of laughs, lots of fun and a good work out. I returned home tired, but not exhausted and I'm looking forward to riding more dirt next weekend. Maybe up at Blue Mountain in Peekskill; we'll see...
Above: 190th Street Station on the A line panorama
Yesterday I downloaded the Pano App for the Iphone. It's not perfect but does a decent job and is fun and easy to use. If you take your time you can create some fun panoramic images like the one above. The quality of the stitch relies heavily on your ability to accurately frame each shot in relation to the previous one taken. The app provides a transparent copy of the previous image on the display to help you align edges while taking your photos. Stay tuned for more Iphone pano's in the future. Good stuff.
Phattire headquarters, having moved this past weekend, alters my morning commute slightly. A 20 block relocation puts me on the 1 Train in the mornings instead of taking the bus to 225th where I catch the MNR Train to Yonkers.
I took the picture of the 225th Street Station on the 1 Line, at left, yesterday with my iPhone and then shook it up in my Shake It app. (I'm still not tired of this app - It makes me want to take my real Polaroid out; but I'm side tracking)
I must say, I love taking the 1 Train. Mostly because I like the R62A's a bit more than the R44's that run on the A line. The 1 Train just seems to have a lot of character. In my opinion, more character than the A Train which parallels the 1 Train along most of the west side of Manhattan. Why more character? I suppose a bullet list is in order here:
It runs above ground from 242nd to 200th street & at 125th street.
R62A's have a much cooler seating arrangement inside: just two rows of bench seats facing each other.
It's a local train and sometimes, I swear it's even faster than the A when you need to get down town.
I took this quick snap at the 200th street station on the Independent Subway System (IND) 8th Avenue Line. Not a very interesting station although it does put you at the north east entrance to Fort Tryon Park at Dykman Street and Broadway.
Are you wondering what the hell the Independent Subway System is/was? Back in the day, I'm talking pre-1930, the subway systems operating in NYC were not owned by the city. They were privately operated by two main companies: the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) & the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation (BMT). The IND system was the first system to be built and run by the city. It was built in 1932, with the 8th Avenue Line being the first line to run. Later, lines A through G would make up the IND System.
In 1940, the city purchased all operations of the IRT and BMT. Incidentally, this city takeover is what shaped today's A & B Subdivisions. Subdivision A being comprised of the IRT lines and Subdivision B being comprised of the BMT & IND lines.
This probably isn't very interesting to most people, but as an engineer working at Kawasaki Rail Car, building new R160 Cars for the city; it's good stuff.
While browsing through the App Store on my iPhone, I came across this photo app called Shake It. It's an app which lets you take Polaroids with your iPhone. The best part: You can even shake your iPhone to "develop" the image! The more vigorously you shake it the faster it "emulsifies". The result is a classic, somewhat desaturated image, complete with the Polaroid border like the one I took at left. The entire concept makes me laugh (in a good way): iPhone technology puts a camera at our fingertips and this app provides the thrill of the manual/chemical/analogue days gone by. Great app!
Another mobile post from the iPhone. This one I took as I walked from the train to the bus stop at 225th and Broadway after work this evening. I spent the next hour bouldering at Rat Rock and now I'm in Soho picking up some large Oyster Bar prints for class tomorrow night. I love this weather!
I took this photo back in February but never got around to posting it. I love the colors and soft focus of the image. This was taken at Exchange Place in Jersey City. The person on the escalator is actually my friend Mr.Seinberg.
Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park - Diane Arbus
During the past few months I've been taking a class at the International Center for Photography. The class, Photographing the Social Landscape, has really opened my eyes to a lot of opportunities while roaming the city streets and I really love it. Last night the instructor, Karen Marshall, gave a small presentation on some of the most amazing photographers I've ever been introduced to. One of which, was Diane Arbus. While I have seen the image above several times before, I never knew who took it or the back story that went with it. I had always assumed that the child was disturbed (aren't most children?). According to Wikipedia (sorry, but I do rely on the big "W") Diane Arbus took the image above in 1962. It was one of a small series of photos. The boy, was not deranged and the facial expression and contorted pose came from the boy's frustration with her taking so long to take his picture. You can view her contact sheet here. Pretty inspiring.