what’s been catching my eye lately…

 

Autumn in New York City

is this adorable or what?

 

Central Park, nyc

 

Heart breaking when you see the size of these trees in Central Park

and know that 650 of them were destroyed or damaged by hurricane Sandy…

central park, nyc

 

street art in nyc

 

central park nyc

 

Still life - leaf

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The World Trade Center Transportation Hub

as seen from the Freedom Tower plaza

(iphone capture)

Freedom Tower NYC

 

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And then there’s Lil…

I want to know more…

so you’ll have to stay tuned.

lil on the corner

weekend moments…

 

eye-catching moments…from the weekend…

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Very cool to check out the Super Sabado Dia de los Muertos at the El Museo del Barrio on Sunday!

For my amigos in Mexico…

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Day of the Dead Festival in NYC

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 Day of the Dead in NYC

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Super Sabado dia de los muertos in NYC - el museo del barrio

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Super Sabado Dia de los Muertos NYC

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Super Sabado Dia de los Muertos NYC

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Super Sabado Dia de los Muertos, el Museo del Barrio in nyc

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go ahead and gawk

lunch at pappardella – my favorite in the hood – iphone capture

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central park people

bethesda plaza…central park, nyc…now that could be a story…

 

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I ♥ NY car in NYC

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pink in nyc

pink in nyc…lunch at gina’s on amsterdam and 73rd – iphone capture

 

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And then…my latest still life as I move forward with my classes…

Before my dad died we would take walks together on the farm.

Even though he had Alzheimer’s, we’d still take walks…pretty much in silence.

We would walk to the farm shed together…look around…

I’d photograph…he’d just look around some more…

We had that unique ability to look at each other and know exactly each others thoughts…

and we both had that look when we came across these rag balls…

…it was love at first sight…

 

rag balls still life

rag balls

end of week eye-catchers

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Sharing a few more eye-catching moments here in NYC this week!

 

on the run

 

 

upper west side halloween decor

Now here’s the difference between the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side.

In my hood – Upper West – we have real rats.  In the Upper East?  fake.

<smile>

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monet in central park

a little monet in central park

 

 

Disappointed this capture wasn’t sharp…but still had to share….I learn so much on the streets.

Not understanding why I was seeing all of these people holding this plant bouquet with a lemon…

I asked if he’d mind sharing, so he told me all about the Jewish holiday Sukkot.

The palm, willow, myrtle branches combined with citron represented the four types of Jews.

Unity is what it’s all about during this holiday…

bringing them all together representing unity as a nation—despite their external differences.

He was so sweet…

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Central Park balloons

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upper east side door decor

 

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And sharing another still life from my class…a little avocado fun!

still life avocado

 Thanks for your visits and comments…always!

Enjoy your weekend!!

(I’m attending a National Geographic Traveler seminar on Sunday!  So excited!!)

eye-catching moments…the series

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A few days ago I posted about my brain being on overload with all this new stuff I’m learning,

but of course I want to continue to share what catches my eye here in my city,

New York City…

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So for a while there will be a little more show than tell.

upper east side, nyc

upper east side

 

New York City, Central Park Reservoir

the eldorado, upper west side

 

Guggenheim Museum NYC

guggenheim museum

 

hudson river

late evening on the hudson river

 

Lovers at Riverside Park

lovers at riverside park – Minako Yoshino – artist

 

looking across the hudson river at the jersey city terminal

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and…drum roll please…

Just tossing in a still life…results from a couple of Kim’s classes…

a small bead from Turkey and an inch tall Buddha from my Buddha collection!

namaste

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So I’ll continue for a while with my eye-catching moments series until I get these classes under my belt.

It may be architecture, abstract, people, nature…but rest assured it’ll be about my city!

Unless of course there’s just something that I just can’t wait to tell you about! <smile>

  Thanks for tagging along!

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save ellis island

When I first read the article in the New York Times…Shadows Return to Ellis Island…I was on a mission.  A mission to be part of a small group tour to see firsthand not only the opening of Ellis Island Hospital after 60 years…but also the amazing art installation by the French artist JR.

Oh my…where do I start?

How about how long it took me to get a ticket.  Hours on hold…but I persevered and got one of those precious tickets.  The folks involved – the Statue Cruises – the National Park Service – and Save Ellis Island were totally unprepared for the massive interest.  But anyway, I secured my ticket using lots and lots of patience.

Ellis Island…Today there’s a beautiful restored main building that houses the immigration museum where one can walk the same steps as 12 million others who passed through from 1892 to 1956.  One can only imagine the scene of long lines to maneuver the medical and legal inspections to determine if they were fit for entry.  And unfortunately many failed due to health reasons…thus the need for building the largest and most modern public health hospital in the early 1900′s.  So moving along in history, the hospital has been empty and abandoned since 1954 and in severe states of decay.

Thank goodness we have people that feel the need to preserve the memory by not allowing sites like this to continue to rot away or bulldoze them for something shiny and new.  So ticket prices and contributions are doing just that!  Thus the making of the Hard Hat Tour of select areas of the 750 bed Ellis Island Hospital.  And this is where JR comes into the picture.  His installation…Unframed – Ellis Island…brings the hospital to life.  He revived a number of portraits from the archives, enlarged them to life-size and pasted them across various walls and broken windows.  It’s the present and the past all in one.  A-m-a-z-i-n-g.

 

Ellis Island Hospital, Ellis Island, NYC

Save Ellis Island

Save Ellis Island

Save Ellis Island

Ellis Island Hospital, Ellis Island, NYC

Save Ellis Island

Save Ellis Island

Save Ellis Island

Save Ellis Island

Save Ellis Island

calcified light fixture

Save Ellis Island

Save Ellis Island

my side view selfie (iphone)

Save Ellis Island

As many of you know, this is THE kind of photography that I love.  The old and the decayed…wabi-sabi at its finest.  However, it proved to be the most difficult photography I’ve encountered so far.  Lighting changed constantly as we made our way from room to room, building to building.  In order to see as much as possible, we had to move at a fast pace in a very short amount of time.  Of course this provided little time for reflection, much less composing…and oh…ignorant people (thankfully only ten in a group) who stood in the way without even caring about anyone who wanted to photograph.  But, like securing my ticket…I persevered and came away with some captures that will always provide me with memories of a very special time in history.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thanks to everyone for your comments…always makes my day!

this and that…on photography

Oh my…I’m thinking my head will explode at any moment now…between my new iphone, my still life photography on-line course, my photo editing software class…well, let’s just say my brain is on overload!

But…I must tell you because this is what I’ve been doing lately!

my new iPhone:

After playing around for a few days, one thing I know.  This will only supplement my photography.  There are no plans to give up my Nikon.  What I’m finding so far is how wonderful it is to have an iphone for scouting.  Yep, scouting.  A term used for finding awesome photo spots, taking a quick photo and then returning later when the lighting is better.  But, no doubt there is merit in the camera of this little jewel.  Such as this photo of the bridge as you walk into the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park.  Hopefully one day someone will paint this bridge and I can show you a before and after. <smile>

 

Central Park - Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis -reservoir

However, I haven’t yet mastered the ease of holding the iphone for photo taking…so for now it’s difficult being spontaneous and quick…unlike my Nikon – especially for street photography.  For those of you that shoot both, did you find it to be harder at the beginning?  Does it get easier?

Here’s another…pretty good for bridge detail…also in Central Park.

Central Park bridge detail

While we’re on the subject of Central Park…did you know there’s a really cool app – Central Park NYC Lite for ipod/iphone?  With over 778 acres (340 hectares) of park…sometimes this is really handy.

Besides scouting and just being spontaneous, it’ll help me with a collection that I’m working on…Curb Your Dog.  I usually don’t carry my Nikon during the middle of the day when the lighting is so bright.  So this will really help with this collection.  What I’ve found since living in my city is that no one understands what Curb Your Dog really means, so I’ve been compiling photos of these signs now for the past several years.  Have no clue what I’ll do with them, but they’ve been fun to collect not only here in NYC, but in other countries as well.  I now have over a hundred images…a couple more from my iphone…

Curb your Dog

Curb your Dog

Because my head is deep into other classes, I haven’t found the time yet to dig into iphone photography apps or Instagram.  Soon…<sigh>

Still Life Photography course:

I’ve been wanting to take Kim’s class (Start to Finish) for a long time now.  I have tons of treasures from my travels, as well as items handed down in my family that I’ve wanted to photograph for a long time.  The key?  Using only natural light.  I don’t have any desire to do studio lighting.  So for now while I’m in New York, I have this really crazy set up on top of my bed that gives me some pretty decent light but only in the morning hours.  Here’s my first attempt at photographing my Moroccan teapot along with the Moroccan wedding blanket that I purchased on my last trip.  Again, my first attempt and so much to learn about lighting, designing and using props etc.  But such a wonderful fun class and I’m learning so much!  Thank you Kim!  My final desire is to make a book of all my treasures…the story behind them all…but that’s way in the future.  Geez..I gotta learn all this stuff first.

moroccan teapot

Photo Editing Software:

Since this is software that Kim uses in her course (and I’ve wanted to learn Photoshop Elements for soooo long)…well…yep…started a class on this software too.  But a great excuse to have a purpose every Monday afternoon to walk across Central Park and go to where the one percent live – The Upper East Side.  They don’t have Curb Your Dog signs.  I guess all the doormen know better.

Anyway, it’s busy here…which gave me the idea of posting just photos for the next few weeks until I get over this big hurdle.  Thinking I’d share just some shots throughout the day as I’m out and about with no rhyme or reason.  However, having just said that…there will be a posting coming up next on my amazing visit to Ellis Island to participate in a unique tour of the hospital complex. This is the first time in 60 years since it’s been available to the public.  Only 10 people on a tour…and it’s already booked until December.   So stay tuned!

Thanks always for following along on my journey! xo

 

a sign…a message…

I’ve always been a firm believer in signs and messages in the spiritual sense.  Whether it’s a bobcat sighting or a coyote jumping over the wall in the backyard of my desert home…I’ll pull out my Animal Speak book to understand the spiritual connection.  If something continues to be so difficult to accomplish, I’ll move on with the attitude that there’s a reason for it and it just wasn’t meant to be.

mourning doves

So a couple of days after my dad passed six months ago, two mourning doves appeared on the railing of my parent’s deck of their home.  Hanging out for a couple of days…just cooing and cuddling…just like my parents did during their 68 years of marriage.  (By the way…do you know that mourning doves tend to mate for life?)  Even when I returned to New York, a pair of mourning doves made a home under an air conditioner in the courtyard of my building giving me that all familiar cooooOOOOO-woo-woo-woo in the early mornings.  Now remember this is New York…we’re talking pigeon city here.  Then I headed west for a month or so and two pairs of mourning doves made a nest (complete with babies) near each side of my home.  I can’t remember this happening in the twenty plus years of living there.  Once I returned to New York several weeks ago, one morning I walked into the kitchen of my apartment and on the floor under the window?  A small feather.

So you see, I’m a firm believer.

There isn’t a day that passes that I don’t think of my dad, but this past weekend he was heavily on my mind…more than usual.  Sunday morning I woke up and asked my dad to send me a sign…as I was missing him terribly.  Instead of getting out in the craziness of the city, I searched for solitude by heading to this little hidden gem of a community garden that’s a magical escape on top of a garage.  I’d only visited once a couple of years ago. It’s a private community garden, but the members open it to the public on Sundays during select months.  You see my dad loved flowers so it was a perfect place to visit.  In his last few years of Alzheimer’s, he would water the flowers around their home…sometimes multiple times a day.  So for his memorial service, I had a family friend put together an arrangement in his watering can…perfect symbolism for his love…

watering can

Back to the garden…up the stairs to the rooftop and as I turned…here it was…just waiting for me.

watering can

Immediately my thoughts went to a very touching note I’d received from a friend a few months ago…

I remember not knowing where to put my “energy.”  I’ll call it that because I didn’t know what to do with the love, focus, attention I used to send my dad’s way.  Now that he has passed, it didn’t have anywhere to go.  It was that way for his first birthday, my parents’ first anniversary, for the first Veteran’s Day, for the first anniversary of his death.  And then the second.  And then the third.  Now it’s the eighth, and I find I no longer look for those dates coming up, I look for my dad in things.  Things like the flag waving on a real still day, my favorite butterfly fluttering by when they’re way out of season…stuff like that.  Of one thing I’m certain…I can keep going on being my father’s daughter forever.  I can keep doing the things he thought was important and I can keep making him proud of me.  So can you.

So yes, I’ll continue to be my daddy’s girl forever and I’ll keep doing those things that always made him proud…and I’ll keep looking for those unexpected treasures – those signs and messages – that remind me that our shared love will never end…

abstract at bellas artes

Guess what I got?  My first iPhone!  So I’ve been busy learning and getting it all set upas well as taking a couple of photography courses which I’ll share more later…so it’s been busy here in my city!

So for now…sharing a little abstract love from my recent visit to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico

Abstract…either you love it or you hate it…and I… ♥ abstract.   In fact…finding something like this in the artsy community of San Miguel will make an abstract lover’s heart totally sing.

Nestled in town center you’ll find what used to be the School of Fine Arts or the Escuela de Bellas Artes, a former convent built in 1765.  On the ground floor along the north wall in a space that once housed the nuns’ dining room is probably the most famous work of art in San Miguel, an unfinished (but oh so powerful) mural by David Alfaro Siqueiros.

You see…this famous Mexican muralist was recruited to teach at Bellas Artes when many of the students were G.I.’s from the United States who had returned from World War II.  Unfortunately he was known for far exceeding his budget, lashing out at his critics, and often throwing temper tantrums which ultimately led to a disagreement with the school administrators.  After creating so much turmoil, he stormed out leaving the mural unfinished.

What was to be a depiction of the life and death of Ignacia Allende who helped lead the movement in 1810 to free Mexico from Spain, the mural today provides so much opportunity for abstract photography and subsequently some inspiration for future abstract paintings perhaps?

Tell me how you feel about abstract…would love to know!

bellas artes - David Alfaro Siqueiros

bellas artes - David Alfaro Siqueiros

bellas artes - David Alfaro Siqueiros

bellas artes - David Alfaro Siqueiros

bellas artes - David Alfaro Siqueiros

Enjoy your weekend!

 

lincoln center

Lincoln Center, NYC

Filled with homeless people, trash, and the smell of urine…my first thought was…who would ever want to live around here?  Well twenty years or so later and the Lincoln Center is in my backyard.  Thank goodness the big makeover began around 2006 and finished in all its glory around 2012.  And WOW, what a showpiece!

Lincoln Center, NYC

Lincoln Center, NYC

Lincoln Center, NYC

People of NYC

Lincoln Center, NYC

And you know what’s fun about having the Lincoln Center in my backyard?

The Revson Fountain!

offering choreographed, five minute-long water shows daily…

Lots of opportunities to play!

abstract at Lincoln Center, NYC

Lincoln Center Abstract

Lincoln Center Abstract

But I’m sure someone was really upset to lose their binky!

Lincoln Center Abstract

 Symphonies and films and plays and operas and ballets…something for everyone at Lincoln Center.

And fabulous people watching!