As someone who lives and walks this city daily…my blog is all about delving a little deeper, seeing what it has to offer, and capturing the true essence of New York City. Whether you live in Gotham, or just visiting…feel free to look around my blog. Bet you might find something new to do!
P.S. As of the end of April 2013 my more personal postings will now be at The Next Few Years.
CopyrightAll images and content on this site are copyright ©GothamGirl 2009 - 2013, unless stated otherwise. If you'd like to use one of my photos, please give proper credit and link back to this blog.
Sign up for updates
Looking for something specific?
- May 2013 (11)
- April 2013 (18)
- March 2013 (17)
- February 2013 (16)
- January 2013 (20)
- December 2012 (21)
- November 2012 (26)
- October 2012 (23)
- September 2012 (21)
- August 2012 (19)
- July 2012 (23)
- June 2012 (24)
- May 2012 (28)
- April 2012 (29)
- March 2012 (35)
- February 2012 (30)
- January 2012 (28)
- December 2011 (31)
- November 2011 (29)
- October 2011 (32)
- September 2011 (34)
- August 2011 (39)
- July 2011 (30)
- June 2011 (17)
- May 2011 (33)
- April 2011 (25)
- March 2011 (19)
- February 2011 (13)
- January 2011 (23)
- December 2010 (17)
- November 2010 (40)
- October 2010 (37)
- September 2010 (34)
- August 2010 (32)
- July 2010 (35)
- June 2010 (11)
- May 2010 (34)
- April 2010 (33)
- March 2010 (34)
- February 2010 (21)
- January 2010 (21)
- December 2009 (20)
- November 2009 (25)
- October 2009 (15)
- September 2009 (18)
- August 2009 (3)
- July 2009 (27)
- June 2009 (11)
- May 2009 (18)
- March 2009 (3)
- February 2009 (2)
Tag Archives: Arizona
During this stay in Arizona there’s been enough rain to make the gargoyles spew!
From the day I moved from Virginia to the sleepy little town of Scottsdale back in 1987, I was astounded by the force of the flash floods here in the desert. Notorious for flooding after intense summer rainstorms, it was always beyond amazing to see the water raging down from the mountain ridges tearing through the very heart of my little city. The problem area was always centered in the area called the Indian Bend Wash; an eroded, seven mile long strip of land running north and south through the community. Being a looky-loo, I can remember driving to the area just to see the accumulation of water with cars floating around like little yellow duckies in a bathtub. But there’s good news. After years and years of politics and hard work by many, the area was completed and subsequently named one of the ten most outstanding engineering projects in the nation. But more importantly? It worked. Filled with parks and recreational facilities, the area became a gathering place not to mention providing a bike path that pretty much takes you from one end of the city to the other. A true success story.
But there still remained one area that needed a little help facilitating the flow of the water and just a couple of years ago the solution was found and provided the city with a fabulous work of art to boot! Five aluminum horse gargoyles were built representing the area’s historic McCormick Arabian Ranch, once adjacent to the site.
I’ve so longed to see the water flowing and mother nature provided that opportunity! Yes, soaked to the core and several days for my shoes to dry out…but very much worth it. Now I just need the combination of rain and night time to capture them illuminated blue on the east side and yellow on the west side…symbolic of the water and the sun. So perhaps my next visit?
Delicate and intricately detailed…
A few years ago…if someone would have told me, as I walked thru a local Hispanic supermarket, those thoughts above would’ve come to mind as I glanced at tripe…well, I’d have to say they were a touch crazy.
But that is exactly what photography has given me, the possibilities of perception that are limitless.
For those of you who don’t know, tripe is a french word for a type of edible parts from the stomachs of various farm animals. Prior to my involvement with photography, a capture like this would’ve never occurred to me. In fact, what would’ve happened would be an eeewwwwwwww and to look away as quickly as possible.
But it has been the Miksang practice or the contemplative practice that has brought me such awareness. It has given me fresh eyes to the ordinary. But it isn’t just limited to photography. As Andy Karr and Michael Wood so eloquently write in their book, The Practice of Contemplative Photography, “with or without camera, the joy of seeing can be one of life’s treasures. When a perception dawns and you don’t have a camera, or conditions are not right to make a picture, you don’t need to feel frustration or regret. That’s the time to realize how precious seeing itself is.” Well said guys. Well said.
On a side note…if you ever find yourself in Phoenix, Arizona a trip to Pro’s Ranch Market on Roosevelt Street is a must. You’ll be immediately transported to the colorful country of Mexico. And speaking of Mexico…Sunday I’ll be off to spend a little time with friends in Mexico City before I head to San Miguel de Allende to wander and photograph while visiting one of my best friends! So excited!
Cross posted today over at Vision and Verb where women from all over the world share their visions through their art and verb through their written word. Come join us!
As soon as I read Bella’s 52 Photos Project theme for the week, my mind immediately went to the song – Wide Open Spaces. Interesting, now that I’m reading the lyrics, how apropos for when I move to the desert some 25 years ago.
Who doesn’t know what I’m talking about
Who’s never left home, who’s never struck out
To find a dream and a life of their own
A place in the clouds, a foundation of stone
Many precede and many will follow
A young girl’s dream no longer hollow
It takes the shape of a place out west
But what it holds for her, she hasn’t yet guessed
She needs wide open spaces
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakes
Now this girl is so livin’ the dream in the wide open spaces of the desert, along with her tiny spot in the concrete jungle of NYC. So fortunate. No matter how many times I view this scene from the backyard…it always takes my breath away.
There were a couple of Miksang moments during my day today…and I so want to share them with you.
Both captured at the Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
You know that sayin’…you learn something new everyday? After all of these years of living in the Sonoran desert, yesterday I learned that Phoenix, Arizona has wild peach-faced lovebirds.
Aren’t they adorable? Taking a walk along the canal system in Phoenix, a noisy group of birds caught my attention. I’m not a bird watcher, but I do have a pretty good sense of various bird calls. So imagine my surprise looking up and seeing these adorable little creatures! After reading about them it seems they originated in south-west Africa where they thrive in natural arid habitats such as the Namib Desert. So how did they end up in Phoenix? Seems this area had some large aviaries that existed years ago and this particular bird bred well in their captivity and before long large flocks of them were flourishing. The aviary owners decided to let the birds go free knowing the environment here was so conducive to their needs; hot, dry and dusty arid conditions.
Ahh…the wonders of nature. Love them!
Two years ago I posted about the horrific shooting in Tucson, Arizona where (former) Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot in the head by a mentally ill young man, killing six of her constituents and wounding 12 others. Since that day, we’ve seen so many more mass shootings including the latest massacre of 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary. That got our attention, didn’t it? But, will we remember it six months from now when we no longer see their little faces in the news?
That’s why I’m standing with Gabby Giffords and her astronaut husband Mark Kelly as they launch their campaign to curb gun violence. And just so you know…in case you are a strong supporter of the Second Amendment…know they are too. And also know they are both passionate gun owners. But really now…isn’t it just common sense that we would require background checks on the private sale of guns? Work towards addressing the issue of treatment for mentally ill people in the United States? And for God’s sake…eliminate the purchase of high-capacity weapons and magazines?
Their initiative – Americans for Responsible Solutions – will encourage elected officials to stand up for solutions to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership by communicating directly with the constituents that elect them.
Join me by signing up to demand responsible solutions to reduce gun violence. Don’t let this little girl, and so many others just like her, be the next victim.
Joining Bella this week in the 52 photos project prompt. I’ve been MIA for a while so it’s nice to be back with this group and challenged with a photo prompt for the week. This week is a doozy of a prompt. In her words…”it’s all about embracing and recognizing how each moment is a new one. It’s a place we’ve never been, it’s something we’ve never tried…it’s about attempting ~ beginning ~ savoring the right here and now.” Thank goodness she said the theme is wide open for interpretation!
While reviewing a few of my captures from this past week, this one spoke to me and jumped out as a possibility. The more I studied it, the more it seemed to fit. With the reflection on the water so clear and sharp, perhaps this represents what is known and what is being experienced and savored at this very moment? And the out of focus and the softness of the lily pads is perhaps what is unknown, representing something that’s out there, undiscovered and hasn’t yet arrived or come true? Another new beginning?
What do you think?
And on a side note…for all of those that say the Sonoran desert is all ugly, brown and dead…well I’m here to prove them wrong. North of Phoenix Arizona, in the middle of a desert preserve adjacent to the Tonto National Forest is a small refugia of native fish, leopard frogs as well as riparian flora. I so love that they have a hidden camera to record the wildlife that drops by for a drink of water. Mountain lions, bobcats, mule deer, javelina, coyotes…to name a few!
For the first time ever I celebrated the birth of the new year with the coming of the winter solstice by attending Paul Winter’s Winter Solstice Concert at the Cathedral of St. John Divine in New York City. A contemporary take on ancient solstice rituals; a time to eliminate commercialism, honor the nature around us and say farewell to the old year. I’d never paid much attention to winter (or summer) solstice and my only past encounter had been attending the Inti Raymi Festival in Cuzco, Peru a number of years ago. And honestly at the time, I didn’t appreciate the full meaning behind the event.
As mentioned in a previous post, I’d lost the Christmas spirit over the years along with my New Year’s resolutions that were forgotten by February. The winter solstice experience really spoke to me and brought back the spiritual side for me as well…a rebirth of sorts of hope and goodwill. Researching more about the winter solstice brought awareness of the importance of nature which is why taking a full moon hike upon my return to the Arizona desert was top priority. But before I go there…
A friend of mine (knowing how much I enjoy the full moon – thank you Abby!) shared an app called Mooncast that shows the current phase of the moon and alerts you to the day of the full moon along with day-to-day glances of all the other phases. It even provides reminder notices with the option of having a wolf howl tone on full moon days. So guess what woke me up early my first night back in Arizona? Yep, the howl of the wolf! It scared the shit of of me. The house was so silent it just echoed throughout. A haunting howl interrupting a deep sleep. After figuring out I was in my Arizona home, my first reaction was a coyote is outside my bedroom window. But once I got my wits together, I knew the window couldn’t be open because of the cold weather. But it was so clear and loud, as if beside me. I snuggled under the covers, heart pounding, trying to figure out where the sound could be coming from. Then it dawned on me. A full moon alert from my iPad mini. So that was the start to my full moon day.
So late that evening at 7:00 p.m. I joined a number of other hikers to experience a two hour full moon hike out in the wilds of the Sonoran desert, the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation area. We made our way into the desert canyon softly illuminated by the silver moon. Surrounded by silhouettes of huge saguaros and open ridgelines, the chill of the night made the whole experience magical. The capture above was the best I could do without a tripod, but it will always be a treasure to me and a reminder of a wonderful start to a new beginning.
Cross-posted this week over at Vision & Verb where women from all over the world
share the written word and wonderful photography! Come visit us!
What a wonderful welcome home to the desert!
And I’m so looking forward to telling you about my full moon experience. Stay tuned!
A new neighbor appeared only four blocks from where i live. Boy am i in so much trouble. A fan of Paper Source for a long time, imagine my delight when this store opened in the neighborhood. But prior to their opening the location was the former home of Therapie, an adorable boutique with treasures from all over the world. For over eight years everything was hand-picked for its quality and charm, but yes…the landlord got greedy and Therapie went bye-bye. If there was any store that could help raise my spirits from the loss of Therapie…that would be Paper Source!
Walking by Paper Source this week there were subtle changes that reminded me that the beginning of autumn is definitely here…the afternoon light casting shadows, the hint of yellow in the leaves, the Halloween decorations in the store windows. And how appropriate that this week Bella’s 52 photos project is to notice the changes happening around us and to capture that magic!
Welcome to autumn…i just love that word!
P.S…i understand Paper Source recently arrived in Scottsdale, Arizona too! Yeah…happy camper!