What a day

Today was another adventure; this time taken outside of New York City. My mother had proposed that we bring the photographers out to Hampton Bays to show them one of our favorite places to eat by the beach. We wanted to give them an idea of where New Yorkers went on the weekends and how wonderfully natural and wild the beaches looked with pine trees and beach grass growing where it can amidst the sands, it truly is beautiful to behold.

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My mother had another wonderful idea; treat our guests to rotisserie duck and our favorite Briermeir fresh peach pie; both of which were on the way back home after our walk along the beach and our lunch at the Outlook Restaurant right on Shinecook Bay. Before that however we wanted to show our friends, Dune Road. Dune Road is the Road in the Hampton’s: house after house, each bigger than the other. At one point when I looked over to my left as I was driving, I couldn’t help but say “Look at those houses, they are so close to each other! I wouldn’t be happy if that were mine” As soon as the last word left my lips, Marc, one of the photographers quipped something to the effect ” funny how it’s always the poor ones who criticize things as if they were about to move in tomorrow” I burst out laughing, his sense of humour is so dry, so witty. Marc’s quip was said in French so I lost a bit in the translation, but were we laughing and laughing. We arrived at Westhampton village shortly afterwards, walked for a bit and then off to the pie and duck shop we went. There isn’t a picture of a duck because it’s duck, but I had to show you the magnificent pie, which impressed everyone at the table. They loved the duck too, but not in the same way or as dramatically.

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Our final pictures for the evening were at 7:30, the blue light hour, and these were taken at Astoria Park facing the New York skyline and the Triboro Bridge right next to Hell’s Gate bridge.

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Today was another tremendous day, we laughed, we walked, took pictures and best of all, ate extremely well with the best company. It was fantastic.

Walking, walking, take pictures

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Today was a full day spent with my cousin Francoise and her three fellow photographers and good friends. As the title tells you; we walked and walked, took pictures and walked some more. We were so lucky with the weather today, they had warned us of rain and potential thunderstorms later on and they never materialized, it was breezy, a little warm but the breeze too care of that and made our walking much easier to do.

I actually fit in very easily as a tourist, this morning bright and early we took the subway down to South Ferry in order to hop on the Staten Island Ferry to take advantage of the morning light to take pictures of the Statue of Liberty and the downtown skyline. I had never taken the Staten Island Ferry before, I wasn’t even too sure how to get there, but since I am never shy in asking for directions, I didn’t hesitate to ask whoever was in front of me for help. One of the nice men who helped us out, told me that I spoke pretty good English and asked me where I was from. I told him that I grew up in New York City and he said that my accent was hard to place. That sent my cousin who can understand English into a fit of laughter, I followed because I thought it was hilarious.

Everyone got some amazing pictures during the ferry ride and I learned a lot more about photography, which if ever I decide to take it up as a serious passion, I know who to call for any questions.

Later on we walked over the Brooklyn Bridge to get to the waterfront to replicate the setting for an iconic nighttime picture taken of the Manhattan skyline and that was another first for me; I had never even thought to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, but now that I have, I see why, the views of Manhattan are spectacular. As we were chasing the setting sun, we even climbed over huge rocks to get into the best position to be able to capture that elusive setting sun and the blue light. I think that my cousin and her friends were successful in that regard.

I know that everyone agreed that today was a day perfectly spent finding and capturing many great shots of New York.

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The beginning of adventures in New York City

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I am so excited! My cousin Francoise is arriving tonight in New York and I am going to get to spend a week with her as she travels around New York City with her photography club snapping pictures of this wonderful city, the city that never sleeps.

I am majorly excited because I haven’t seen her since 2012 and we get along like gangbusters. I have written about her before when I wrote a post involving the Daily prompt’s question of “who is your mentor, idol, model?” She is so talented and is a great person, wife, mother, grandmother and does everything so well. She is amazing.

I am also excited because this is a great opportunity for me to learn even more about New York City because I’ll be seeing it through tourists/photographers eyes.

I’ll be keeping you abreast of our adventures as it happens.

Daily prompt: Head turners

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We often hear strange snippets of conversation as we walk through public spaces. When was the last time you overheard something so interesting, ridiculous, or disturbing you really wanted to know what it was all about?

I would have titled the daily prompt head scratchers instead. I am trying to remember a weird conversation that I might have overheard, but this is so sad to say, that my ear has become so accustomed to hearing snippets of unwanted conversations that they have all faded into being background noises like the cars honking, the subway arriving and the engine noises that surround me whenever I walk down the street of any city.

If I would have seen this prompt years ago, when people speaking into cell phones or ear buds was more of a novelty, my ear would have discerned countless one ended conversations which by nature being one sided must have made for some doozies, I could have written one funny post. But I am too saturated in our tech savvy world. One sided conversations no longer seem strange, which is bizarre in a way, sadly I must walk by hundreds of funny possibilities, my ear no longer can pluck them out from the other white noise surrounding me.

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Daily prompt: August blues

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As a kid, were you happy or anxious about going back to school? Now that you’re older, how has your attitude toward the end of the summer evolved?

When I was a child, it was tricky because as any child would, I looked forward to my birthday and coincidentally it happens to fall in August, August 7th to be exact, so I would be looking forward to it, but on August 8th I always wanted to go back to the very beginning of summer because after August 8th, the countdown to school began and who ever wanted that?

These days I don’t count the days until my birthday, I am always happy to add another year under my belt, a luxury not afforded to everyone, and something to be intensely grateful for, but I don’t relish the end of summer because I do not look forward to the upcoming cold days, colder nights, and consequently the shorter days and longer nights.

I love this weather, though it is odd to have an August be so enjoyable; airy and warmish, definitely not soupy as is usually the case. The entire month of August has been glorious and I am sad to see it end. :(

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Old Town, Alexandria

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In all the times that we have been down in Virginia, this is the first time that I have spent time in Alexandria, the area, never mind Old Town, an elegant part of Alexandria which is going to be fun investigating this afternoon. As far as I could see, the architecture is slightly reminiscent of the brick townhouses of the East and West Villages of New York and a few neighborhoods in Boston. I saw while driving up to the hotel, several fun shops and gourmet food stores, I might find a treasure here or there!

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Back in the saddle

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Yes I’m back in the saddle again. As I was driving us down to New York, I didn’t feel any nervousness or apprehension on the road. I felt relaxed, comfortably seeking and maintaining my safety bubble around me as usual. I confess that I am more often in the left lane than in the middle lane, but that is only because it is more difficult maintaining that safety bubble at 73 mph in the middle lane. Honestly it is even difficult to stay at 73 in the left lane, because for some reason that speed isn’t fast enough for the majority of drivers in the left lane so I get over far more often thereby rolling along more at 70 than anything else. Am I complaining, maybe a little bit, I just find it hard to find the middle of the road drivers like me, it seems that either they want to go much faster or much slower. The happy medium is hard to come by on the highway.

Anyway we are back in New York and tomorrow it is off to Washington D.C. A nice little adventure for me and work for my husband.

What a show!

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My husband and I had a great time. When our son’s band came on “The Vanities” Zach, the lead singer/screamer, dedicated the set to my husband, which made my husband so very happy. So we were standing in the audience, beaming with pride and it must have been so apparent on our faces because after they were done with their set, three very pretty girls who were standing right in front of us turned around and asked us “You must be the parents of one of the band members” We both proudly said “yes the guitarist/singer on the left over there” The three girls told us “they are so GOOD” That was pretty cool.

While they were performing, quite a few guys were dancing and the dancing has certainly evolved from the slam dancing of my day. The dancing was really aggressive, arms whirling around really hard as well as the legs. It fit the music and I was wondering as I was looking around the crowd, most of which were dressed in conformity, even though they were dressing to make statements, where did all the angst and “anger” stem from? I was thinking probably their angst and anger stems from the power of being young and I mean that in the best possible way. When you are young that is when you should be railing against The Man and injustice as well as the “way things are just because they are”.The kids were dressed in the skinny jeans or Bermuda shorts, with either Pro Keds or Vans as sneakers and the many tattoos and piercings, none of which are inexpensive, so these kids were living within a certain means. I was thinking these things as we were driving home, just wondering where the audience was coming from and what appeal did my son’s band hold for them. It was a sociological stream of consciousness I would say and it led me to thinking back to my high school years of listening to Heavy Metal and Punk Rock, hanging out with my own group of friends, listening to the rebels and finding meaning and truth in the lyrics.

Arriving home, my husband and I got to work in the kitchen to prepare a feast for our tired and hungry musician upon his return. There was breast of duck, that my husband cooked perfectly and I made a morel mushroom cream sauce, accompanying the duck was a paillason de pommes de terre or a potato “straw mat” filled with grated Gruyere cheese, basically a large round hash brown filled with cheese, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside with the nuttiness of the Swiss cheese as a bonus. I had made the red and yellow bell pepper frittata on Friday.

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All in all, a full day and a great one at that.

Supporting our young musician

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This afternoon we are off to Worcester, only an hour away, to hang out with the youngins, hopefully we won’t stick out too much like sore thumbs, the old fogies that we are, lol. I know you are only as old as you feel. I am looking forward to seeing our son on stage, head banging, playing and singing at the same time. I can’t do that, I am lucky that I can walk and talk at the same time and keep upright. I am not adept at getting my left side and right side to do two separate things which is what musicians must do, both my hands want to do the same thing; an excellent example is the pat your head while you rub your belly, I either rub my head and belly or tap my head and belly. When I have tried, I end up cracking myself up, it is so silly.

It will be a good time tonight.

I found a gem on Youtube

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I found this video on HuffingtonPost and I had to share it with our son and then I knew that I had to share it with my friends. Christopher Walken is one of my favorite actors; his range as an actor is absolutely incredible. I knew that he started as a song and dance man, but I hadn’t realized that he had danced as much in so many films. He also grew up in Astoria Queens like me and for some strange reason that makes me feel some kind of connection to him. His father was a a baker and during a n interview on the Jon Stewart, he mentioned that Saturday mornings were common for he and the young boys of his neighborhood to take dance classes: tap, ballet and Jazz. He also mentioned that most of those boys grew up into police officers and firefighters, I forget why he said it, but I know that it made me and Job Stewart laugh at the time.

He doesn’t do many interviews, but when he does them, he is so adorable. His body of work is so prolific, it makes me a little sad that he is getting up there in years, one of these days we will lose another great talent. Thank goodness we have him immortalized on film.

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