Mar 28, 2011


Haven't felt like blogging too much lately. I've been immersed in the real world wide web of life. Immersed is a little light actually, a better term would be saturated or steeped in it. A lot has happened in the last month. I've moved for one. My new apartment provides a somewhat limited yet pleasant southern view of Manhattan. The picture at right was taken this past Saturday morning at around 8:00am.

Work has been hectic. Lots going on with the WMATA (DC Metro) project. Some of you (You = the two people who read this blog) may know that I work for a Japanese company; Kawasaki Rail Car. My heart goes out to the people in Japan who are still suffering through the devastating one-two punch [Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami] their country received on March 11th. It's a horrible thing to imagine, let alone live through. I donated some money to the Red Cross to help them out. I encourage you to do the same. (Oh look, there's a convenient Red Cross Donation link right at the top of this blog!)

I think that's all I have to say for now. Yup.

Mar 21, 2011

The Timp

Saturday afternoon I got a call from a hiking friend asking me if I wanted to backpack at Harriman State Park. Having just finished laundry and some other chores around my place, I was stoked to get out of the city. Since we were only staying one night in the woods I was able to pack very light.

By 4:00 we were hiking along the Appalachian Trail. Our plan was to hike in to West Mountain Shelter and crash for the night. A nice 3 miles in and 3 miles out in the morning. When we were approaching the shelter we saw more and more tents which meant that the shelter was most likely already occupied. This turned out to be the case. West Mountain is a great mountain to camp on. It provides views of The Timp, the Hudson River and even the skyline of New York City.

Instead of crashing near the shelter we decided to push on for another mile and camp out on the Timp. We were pretty sure we'd be the only ones there as most people stop when the get to the West Mountain Shelter. Sure enough, we had the Timp all to ourselves. The views were amazing, there was plenty of firewood and we even found a couple of reasonably soft spots on which to pitch the tents. The topography of the Timp is really awesome, in that it's covered with huge boulders and has many little nooks where you can pitch a tent. Lots of different spots to look out over the mountains.

The full moon on Saturday night was quite intense. This particular night, the moon was the closest to the earth that it has been in the last 18 years. I wished that I had brought my DSLR and tripod but was happy to sit in the moonlight and watch the shadow of the timp as the moon rose steadily from the west. I was amazed at just how luminous the full moon was. Holding out my hand in front of me, I could see the details, wrinkles and folds. I sat on the Timp for quite a while enjoying the scene.
Dinner was a dehydrated meal of chilli mac with beef. I used my Pepsi-can alcohol stove for the first time in the woods and it worked flawlessly. I had tested it in my kitchen a couple of times but was eager to put it to use in the wild. I boiled water for my meal in less than 5 minutes and lit it up again for a cup of tea. We sat around the fire talking about all sorts of things, though Star Wars seemed to dominate the conversation. I guess the moon and stars had a significant impact on us.
I slept well in my tent. My 20degree bag kept me warm and I was out-cold (but warm!) for a solid 5 or 6 hours. In the morning I unzipped the front door and let the morning sun fall across the entrance of my tent. I could tell it was going to warm up nicely.

Breakfast was a dehydrated meal of granola with milk & blueberries. I was a little skeptical at first but it had a good flavor, the blueberries were real and I shoveled through it pretty quickly. I made a cup of coffee and sat on the Timp looking out at West Mountain and the Hudson River. Hawks soared through the air and I enjoyed my vantage point overlooking an awakening wilderness.

We broke camp around 11:00 and hiked the 4 miles out to the car. We ran into a lot of people on the way out and exchanged hellos. Everyone seemed to be stopping at West Mountain Shelter and had no interest in the Timp. They don't know what they're missing.

Mar 18, 2011

Ebb & flow after work

Today was the first really warm day of Spring. Temps stretched up into the 70's and all day long I anticipated grabbing my bike and spinning the cranks for a while. As soon as I got home I did exactly that. I tossed my camera in my bag and took off for a little adventure ride. I crossed the George Washington Bridge into NJ, turned around and came back to NY. I love riding across this bridge. I always stop half way and look south over the Hudson River. Seeing Manhattan quiet and still from my vantage point far away and high upon the swaying bridge, fools me into thinking that the city is a solid, unmoving mass. In reality it's as fluid as the rest of this world. Cars and trucks pulse past me in both directions, in and out of NY, like blood pumping through the veins of the city. Each vehicle carrying life, experience, emotion... cause and effect. Myself; carrying the same.

Coming back across the bridge into NY I turned south to grab some groceries at Fairway Market in Harlem. The golden sun was setting over NJ and a warm breeze swept across my bare legs as I locked my bike. Before going into the market I sat on a bench overlooking the Hudson River and soaked up the scene. Kids played on a welded sculpture of a fishing rod's tip. Commuters biked north and south along the Manhattan Greenway. A mother sitting next to me, peeled grapes and fed them to her 1 year old she held on her lap.
Above: Children playing outside of Fairway Market in Harlem.
Above: The Jersey Shore silhouetted against the evening sky.
Above: A pair of sneakers hung in the sunlight next to a park off Broadway in West Harlem.

Above: The George Washington Bridge and myself.

Mar 12, 2011

iPad2 and mobile blogging

It's 10:44 and I'm riding a bi-level train into NJ to visit my sister and drop a couple of prints off at her frame shop. I'm blogging with the greatest of ease on my new iPad. Yes, I joined the millions of others last night and stood in line for four hours to get the latest and greatest tablet from Apple. I have to say: this thing rocks! This tablet will replace my laptop on trips where I want to blog, Skype, edit my website, and edit photos and video. One of the coolest things about it is the SD card reader which allows me to transfer photos from my camera to the tablet, for editing and uploading via an FTP app to my website's server. That's exactly what I did with this photo I took this morning of a woman standing in Penn Station this morning. Awesome.

Mar 7, 2011

Home away from home

I haven't written in a long time and let's just say that MUCH has happened. I'm not even going to try to catch the world wide web up to speed. As I type this, I'm sitting in a hotel in East Baltimore (Dundalk). I just got back from having dinner with an old friend I used to work with when I lived here in Baltimore. My good friend Michael Long is doing well. He was a mentor of mine when I lived here and had what I thought was a crazy life. I have since learned that life is in fact crazy. Go figure.

When I got back to the hotel today the sun was pouring into my room and the heater was wafting the curtain up into the air. The natural light, mustard yellow carpeting and robotic features of the plastic heater begged to be photographed. I spent some time framing the scene with my point & shoot and really enjoyed myself. I love it when I get caught up in the moment and end up taking a zillion pictures of what some consider an ordinary sight. Like my grody bathroom series I took last year. I actually put together a nice little series of photos which I think convey a strong sense of place: the business man's home away from home if you will.