April 5, 2016
The Plaza Hotel
Train In/Out: Milford, CT
Miles walked: 8.05
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1, m.Zuiko 17mm, m.Zuiko 8mm Fisheye 1.8
It's a sunny Monday in New York...
Not. I cheated. Monday this week was awful. Super cold, snow, rain, ice. I just couldn't muster up the enthusiasm to go into the city to shoot pictures all day in horrible weather. Again. So I waited 24 hours and went in Tuesday. A good decision. It was cold, and windy at times, but the sun was out and it was in the mid 40s. Everyone in the city seemed to be in a good mood.
I'm starting this page with a throw away image BECAUSE I was freaking out when I took it. I got my camera in some mode where it would not display an image on the back camera screen. The viewfinder worked fine, but seeing a preview on the back is pretty key for me and that wasn't working. So there I was fumbling around outside of the Grand Central Starbucks trying to get it to work. I blindly snapped this picture to see if something magical would happen to fix it. Nope, but when I looked at the image on the computer, I actually kinda liked it because of the woman on the right peeking out at me.
And a thank you to Jamie McDonald and Mike Boening from the Olympus Trailblazer program! I Facebook emailed them in my frenzy asking if they knew what mysterious button I clicked to turn off the screen. Jamie emailed me back just as I found the darn Display button (which I never use).
I found Lexington Avenue this week! (I mentioned in Week 12 I couldn't find it, and yes, I know there's an exit right out of GC [insert my eyeroll aimed at myself]). I now know those avenues go Madison-Park-Lexington. MPL which reminds me of Minneapolis where I lived for 10 years. I can remember that. AND I found out there's a Grand Central Post Office on Lex. It's big. What doesn't Grand Central have?
Do you like my blurry cab picture? Today I decided to dedicate some time practicing "panning". The general idea is that you want to show motion by focusing on a subject that is moving, freezing that subject but having a blurr to the background. To do this, you point your camera at a moving subject, turn your body at the waist as you twist to follow their speed and then time it just right to snap a picture where your subject is frozen and clear (ideally fully in your frame) and your background is blurred. The above picture is a good example of what NOT to do.
Better, but he's not sharp and he's mostly out of the frame. Oops.
And then this happened. Fortunately I came upon it just after it happened so I did not see the bike messenger go flying off his bike. But I did go out in the road to check on him. He was on his cell phone with the police and paramedics. SUPER nice guy, very calm considering what just happened.
And then the cabbie got out of his car. I have to say he was a total jerk to the bike messenger. He started ranting about how the bike went into the intersection on a red light. The messenger said that he did not. The cabbie kept yelling and insisting that he did. In the end the bike guy told him it was an accident and why didn't he just get back in his cab and leave him alone. The cabbie walked away. I chatted with bike guy a while longer, he seemed to like the company. He was dreading calling his girlfriend because she doesn't like him having this job. And he had to call work. Tough day.
The tulips did not care for the cold rain and snow from Monday. :(
It has to be brutal growing up with the last name "Asser".
Favorite picture of the day. Study it for a few moments and see if you can figure out what I was trying to create here. I'll put my "meaning" as a PS at the bottom of this page.
The Plaza Hotel, just outside of southeast end of Central Park.
Inside The Plaza. They had signs saying the lobby areas were for guests only. Between that, my being cold and hungry, and the lighting being not so great I left. I may return another time, maybe even talk to a manager about shooting some pictures with permission. But hunger called.
What? There's a food court in The Plaza hotel's basement?
Entrance (ok, this was taken when I left, hence I'm going up.)
Ta da! The Plaza food court. It's called the Todd English Food Hall. Very high end (aka $$$$). But super nice and open to the public.
I had my usual lunch of champagne and caviar.
This is where I really ate. Meh. I got a bowl of vegetarian noodle soup. For $14 plus tax I was very hopeful it would be a fabulous bowl of soup. Not great and I was hungry an hour later.
One of the many reasons I love my 8mm fishye is because it performs so well in very low light.
Back outside The Plaza, I saw this pink tutu blowing around on the sidewalk. I picked it up and clearly it was a doggy tutu. So cute. I decorated a traffic post with it.
If you follow my adventure, then you may remember this gentleman from Week 4 after the huge February snowstorm in NYC.
From Week 4.
I saw him this time by the horse & carriage area at the entrance to Central Park. I had snapped a picture of him putting a blanket on some carriage riders. He commented on my Olympus camera, said it was a nice one. And he actually knew quite a bit about Olympus and camera companies. We talked for a while and the conversation covered: cameras, Central Park and feeding the birds, that he speaks 6 languages, Hilary Clinton & Bernie on what they had to say about fracking, lies and corruption going around the world, God, Satan, the Soul, reality, what's real & what isn't, etc. You know, kinda like the chat I had with that photographer down in Washington Square a few weeks ago, light conversation between two strangers. He told me his name is Emil. I gave him a 52 Magic Mondays business card and he's already commented on the website and emailed me. I told him I would visit him again.
Can't decide what version I like better. Maybe the black & white, I think the horse & carriage stand out more.
First time over to the Loeb Boathouse. There's a restaurant there. This was the pond outside the restaurant, you can rent boats there in season.
This was funny. You have to look carefully, but the guy in red has a Go Pro camera on a stick and he's right in the face of an adorable squirrel who gave him some really fun footage.
Made my way over to the Strawberry Fields area of Central Park.
But of course.
Making my way down Central Park West. I see Nikon makes surveying equipment.
Came upon Columbus Circle. I've never been in this area before. I was practicing panning again and inadvertently shot this one. Nothing great but I liked how the bus said "Loop" right in front of the circle area. Played with selective color on this one.
Another panning fail. But it's cool, especially with the bike guy wearing a cab yellow coat.
Near Columbus Circle I spotted this gentleman. I pulled out a 52 Mondays business card and approached him. He had to pull his earbuds out but he was friendly. I told him about my project and that he had a really cool look and asked if I could photograph him. He agreed and went right back to his phone. So I couldn't direct him or pose him but I shot a few pics. I love the statues above him, like they are presenting and cheering him on. His outfit was stunning. Thank you, sir. :)
I really wish this had come out better. A second before he had his knee much higher up (I think adjusting a sock), right in front of this running store with the manequin behind him. It was just a cool moment I caught a second or two too late. And my exposure is awful.
Didn't know this was in NYC. "Hoped" it would be nice but it was filthy gross. The people eating on the corner of it didn't help. Perhaps I'll visit it again. Allegedly there is a LOVE sculpture somewhere nearby but I didn't see it.
I've mentioned in past weeks that I do not like these grates. Look how dangerous this one is! Told you they are bad news. :)
I don't know. The older I get the less I like commercialism.
A favorite image of the day.
And now I've seen everything.
A bride on a Tuesday? You betcha.
Until the next Magic Monday! And if you made it this far, leave me a quick "hi" in the comment box below, or feel free to write a disertation, I won't judge. :)
PS Monkey picture "meaning": I meant to create the feeling of the front monkey showing his disapproval of the young girl smoking in the background. And yeah, they might be chimpanzees...