Special Summer Shots

I walk around the city with my iPhone, as most New Yorker’s do these days.  Everyone has turned into a photographer.  I live in New York, and have for almost 6 years now, but I still feel the desire to photograph my daily experiences. Every day is a different story.  It’s phenomenal. I’ve compiled a collection of some of my favorite shots I have taken this summer, which I feel are very indicative of New York — in the summer.

Central Park, Sheep's Meadow Summer Crowds.

Central Park, Sheep’s Meadow Summer Crowds.

Sunset & sailing over the East River.  The best part about summer is coming home after work and watching the sun set.

Williamsburg Bridge @ Sunset. East River.

Williamsburg Bridge @ Sunset. East River.

Summer Street Spray, otherwise known as the illegal breaking of New York Fire Hydrants to stay cool in the summer time.

Summer Street Spray

Summer Street Spray

Summer rainstorms are divine in New York.  I love getting caught in them on my way home from work, when I’m sweaty and stressed and looking for some relief.  Nothing feels better than a warm downpour on a sticky summer day.

Warm weather tropical storms.

Warm weather tropical storms.

Leaving the city on the Fourth of July is an annual ritual of mine. Although I have heard spending the 4th in the city can be quite fun, I much prefer crossing the Hudson and heading north.  This year, a beautiful American Flag was suspended from the GW Bridge.  I almost felt patriotic driving under that.

George Washington Bridge on July 4th, 2013.

George Washington Bridge on July 4th, 2013.

My neighborhood is pretty spectacular.  My transportation options range from the L Train to the J/M/Z to traversing the Williamsburg bridge on foot, all the way to the newly popular East River Ferry.  This one photo was taken at the South Williamsburg Ferry port, right next to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  I was on my way to the Figment Festival on Governors Island.

East River Ferry Waiting Zone, South 9th Street. Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

East River Ferry Waiting Zone, South 9th Street. Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

I’ve always mentioned how much I love the High Line. It is my favorite park in the city.   This summer I have had lots of wonderful reasons to walk through it. CitiBike has made it even easier to reach at lunch time.  It is so special there.

High Line Park, North End.

High Line Park, North End.

This was a photo taken on another rainy evening. I was walking from Chelsea to KoreaTown.  I love this overpass connecting two buildings. The colors are so striking, especially when the sky is grey behind it.  I’m glad I looked up.

Bridge to K-Town. 32nd Street & Broadway.

Bridge to K-Town. 32nd Street & Broadway.

The waterfront by Brooklyn Bridge Park is marvelous. The entire thing has been redone, from a pedestrian bridge, to a huge picnic area by Pier 5.  Oh, and the ferry I mentioned above will take you right there!

Brooklyn Bridge Park Sea Port

Brooklyn Bridge Park Sea Port

I often skip riding the subways in the summer and opt for biking or walking.  A bike ride home is about 25 minutes, and a walk about 60.  Walking is my favorite because I get to explore new areas.  Last week I stopped for a break on my walk home. It was in Father Demo Square.  I loved seeing the explicit quiet zone sign.  I had left work after a particularly challenging day, and this was just what I needed.

Quiet zone. Father Demo Square, West Village.

Quiet zone. Father Demo Square, West Village.

My friends and I have discovered a great new rooftop bar for dancing, the The DL on Delancey. Its lovely in the daytime. You feel like you’ve been transported to the Caribbean.  But that’s besides the point, and for another post.  I rarely take shots of the Williamsburg Bridge from the Manhattan side. I like this one.

View from Delancey in Manhattan. Brooklyn and beyond.

View from Delancey in Manhattan. Brooklyn and beyond.

I work by the Flatiron. At least once a week I walk over to Madison Square Park for lunch in the park. This was one of those days.

Empire State from Madison Sq. Park

Empire State from Madison Sq. Park

My neighborhood is full of passionate individuals. I guess that is one way to put it?  But this endeavor I found particularly cool. A group of volunteers have turned an old abandoned parking lot into a thriving mini-farm.

Old parking lot turning into Urban Farm.

Old parking lot turning into Urban Farm.

At the end of Grand Street in Williamsburg, there is a little hidden gem of a park called Grand Ferry Park.  It is great for sunset watching.

Waterfront at Grand Ferry Park.

Waterfront at Grand Ferry Park.

The rocks. Grand Ferry Park.

The rocks. Grand Ferry Park.

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Fire escapes

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Fire escapes are a defining feature of this city.  Just do a quick Google Image search on “New York Fire Escapes“, and you’ll find hundreds of lovely photographed fire escapes.  I happen to live on a pretty busy avenue, with plenty of people watching below me.  I love sitting on my fire escape on sunny summer mornings as I sip my coffee.

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I recently walked down West 20th street in Chelsea and found a beautiful vine-covered fire escape that I couldn’t take my eyes off of.  I captured a bit of its beauty in the shot above, but I remember thinking to myself — remind me to move here one day.

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This summer has been particularly strange weather-wise.  Living on the top floor of our Brownstone has made heat-control challenging.  We don’t exactly have a great A/C system.  So I am particularly thankful for our fire escape.  The shot above was taken the day the heat wave broke with a much needed rain storm.  Que gostoso!

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We’ve been having a pigeon problem on our fire escape.   Google told us that owls scare pigeons.  So we bought one.  We named her Joy after a great friend of mine.  Joy watches over our fire escape when we’re at work, or while we’re sleeping.  She makes sure the pigeons go elsewhere to do their business. Seems to be working nicely.

In a city with many apartments and few outdoor spaces, fire escapes are special treats.

Enterprise at the Intrepid Museum

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A while back I was in a cab arriving at JFK to take a flight out to LA, and I saw from a distance the Enterprise Space Shuttle parked along the other various commercial airliners at JFK.  I’ll admit, it looked clean and shiny, but not all that interesting.  This past week, I got to see the Enterprise in person at the new Space Shuttle Pavilion at the Intrepid Museum.  I was at a pre-screening of the new Space Pavilion since my boyfriend donated to the effort.  I have to say — being in there with very few people and one enormous space shuttle — it was really something else.  I guess I never imagined a space shuttle being that large.  In my claustrophobic nightmares, I had always envisioned tiny capsules where astronauts couldn’t move more than an arms reach in radius.  But this thing was HUGE!  Definitely bigger than most NYC apartments.  I can’t imagine it propelling into space, and then managing to fly around in orbit for weeks,or months…  This picture doesn’t do it justice, so go take a minute and see it.  It might change your mind about space exploration.  I was super impressed.

The Great Comet at Kazino

Last night I saw one of the most riveting pieces of immersive theater at the pop-up shop, known as the Kazino Theater.  The Kazino lies at the end of W 13th Street, in the heat of the Meatpacking district, below the towering Standard Hotel.

standard nycWe got the area early to watch the sunset on the High Line Park, and then strolled into 19th Century Russia…

kazinoI recommend reading the NY Times review, or the 5-star Time Out review for a more captivating summary of the show than I will be able to give, but definitely make time to visit to this cabaret-style evening of entertainment.

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From the moment you walk in to the temporary structure, you are struck by the intricate decor throughout.  The intimate setting immediately transports you to another time, another place, another self.  We were a group of 2 only, so being seated at a table for 4 in the “hot zone” meant both getting to know our table-mates, as well as feeling almost part of the show.  The actors walked around us, sat at our table, brushed our shoulders, ran their fingers through our hair — all in a very tasteful and inviting way.  This is not a cheesy murder-mystery dinner show, I promise you.  This is an artistically beautiful night out at a very modern theater.

A light meal is served throughout the night.  I should stress the light part — because if you are a big eater, you best come well-stuffed.  Let’s put it this way, the flights of vodka shots we did were not nearly absorbed by the mere meal we were served.  They do offer a pricey a-la-carte menu for those interested in the addon costs. The show starts at 9:30.  We arrived by 9:00 to be seated, which allowed time for a small russian appetizer and a cocktail.

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The food, although small in quantity, was decent in quality.  It is NOT the star of the show, however, and rightly so.  Delicious and abundant food would have made following the story challenging, and taken away from the experience itself. The show is based on a section of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, and set in 1812 in Moscow.  The music was perhaps what pleased me the most.  It was phenomenal.   I was expecting a more traditional Russian repertoire, but got a bit of everything — modern Russian folk, electronica, operetta, and definitely bouts of classical.

The first half runs 1.5 hours, and a light meal is served at intermission.  The second half runs about an hour, making the entire evening run until almost midnight.  Worth every moment.

It is only running through September 1st, 2013 — so go see it!