May 17, 2016
The Met rooftop garden
Train In/Out: Milford, CT
Miles walked: 9.5 (!)
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1, m.Zuiko 17mm f1.8
Woke up in a great mood, I think because I was happy to be doing an early morning home by 6pm trip versus staying late to do night photography. I LOVE night photography, but it's very challenging to be out late with a couple hour train ride and 30 minute car ride ahead of me to get home. Plus, I'm a morning person. Today's weather was super comfortable, a rarity at times on a Monday in 2016.
Onward in daylight...
The Met Life building struck me as particularly green today. Pretty.
There was a lot of chanting as I approached this group of people. They were Verizon employess on strike outside of a Verizon store in the Times Square area. They boo'd a man that walked out of the store. Glad I didn't need to go in to buy a charger or something.
OK, I'll admit that I did pop into Sephora in Times Square. I've been out of perfume for a couple of months now. I kept resisting buying it in the city because I think there are extra taxes. Today I gave up and got what I needed because I don't go to the mall very often at all and I haven't done any shopping in NYC (except for some special coffee for a friend's birthday). :)
Embracing the high ISO graininess of shooting in a low light subway station to capture the man on the left who had the most awesome curly hair with a bunch of gray on top.
I took the subway up to Lincoln Center. This is the exit to the Lincoln Center plaza.
I came here to scope out what it would be like to photograph Lincoln Center at night. Very nice open plaza, will be great to come back to shoot at night. The windows and arches are beautiful. First time here.
You know I love a good reflection or two. :)
You can just make out that the building behind is The Juliard School. Had no idea that's where it was in NYC but it makes sense that it's next to Lincoln Center.
Curious if they ever use that grassy tilted area, it was roped off.
I also saw someone with a bright purple cello case but I didn't catch up to them to get the shot. Interesting Apple store across the street...
Loved the shadows in the Apple store!
This kiosk selling gum, water, magazines, etc, has not updated the magazines on the side of their vehicle in quite a while. I guess certain covers are keepers. :-/
Just missed her taking a selfie...she does look like the images behind her!
I simply must pack a lunch and make some time to have a picnic in Sherman Square on of my Mondays. Here's a better view:
:) This really didn't seem worth the landscaping effort.
And now I've arrived at the nexus of the universe. I seriously did not know how to approach crossing the street. Didn't help that I didn't exactly know where I was going. I was simply trying to head north and take a right on 77th towards Central Park...this complicated things a bit.
Instead of figuring out how to cross that intersection I opted for an early lunch.
This looked promising, but I think I'm done with any place that boasts "Voted #1 by whatever". It wasn't good. Too much cornmeal on the bottom of the crust and the only way to describe the pizza overall was "spongy"? I've had this spongy-like pizza before at other places, not a fan.
I'm not really into architecture photography but the upper west side had some of the prettiest buildings I've seen in my 19 weeks of wandering. I may actually go back and shoot some architecture pictures on another Monday.
When my daughter was in 4th grade she was part of 4H. For 2 weeks, we had 26 baby chickens living in our diningroom in a large box with a heat lamp. It was non stop "peep peep peep" all day. I loved them all, great experience. She also learned how to show a chicken at 4H competitions so for a while I was really up on my chicken trivia facts when I would quiz her before a show.
See what I mean, all the buildings around here are gorgeous.
I bet you don't taste great, Poser Ketchup. Ketchup is a primary food group for me, and there is only Heinz. Personally, I felt this was a disgrace to ketchup lovers everywhere.
Funny because I did go to the dentist this week. That's all I can think of looking at this image.
This was real, I checked the front plate and it was the same.
Is it just me, or does the guy on the right look a lot like Captain Kangaroo? (I know the real Captain died; loved that show when I was little).
I've seen this area on photography sites, was glad to find the location in Central Park. Night shots are pretty here, will put it on my to-do list but definitely need a friend with me. It's a bit of a squirrel trail walking around in this area of the park, I don't think I would feel comfortable alone at night.
One of my destinations of the day, Belvedere Castle in Central Park. It's around the middle of the park @ 77th.
I didn't even know this was here until I started researching for Magic Mondays.
Very minimalist decor.
A view from the top of the castle. Nice to get up a little higher to take pictures.
Shakespear's Garden in Central Park. It will open Memorial Day weekend. They do shows in the park all summer. Really wish I lived in the city, at least on the weekends. Sometimes I think about trying to find someone who would swap their Manhattan apartment for a house in the suburbs of Connecticut for a weekend. Win win, they can get some quiet time in the woods, I get the city on a weekend. Email me if you know someone who wants to swap! :)
This was taken later in the day, but it's a sign on 5th Ave. for Shakespear's Garden and the shows coming up. "Taming of the Shrew" is first I believe.
Making my way out of Central Park. This is the back of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met is HUGE. HUGE! This is just one small section reflecting Central Park behind it.
I was having a great day...Elmo, not so much.
The Met! The fountains were beautiful and they changed up the height of the water constantly; very festive fountains.
Here's my "How I Met Your Mother" story. I saw this girl a few minutes earlier walking. She was carrying this bright yellow umbrella which struck me because a) it was really bright yellow and b) there was zero chance of rain today. When I sat down for a few minutes she was next to me, so I just snapped a quick pic to remind me of the umbrella. I'm people watching The Met stairs and just taking it all in for a few minutes when...
Ack! She was gone! But her umbrella remained. It was kind of weird, especially if you've followed the How I Met Your Mother TV show. Of all things, a yellow umbrella. Hmmm...maybe she was a past-life soul mate. I guess I'll never know.
Rocking the tiny dog. Someday I want to be a purse-dog-lady, I would take my dog everywhere and dress it up. Seriously, this is a goal of mine.
Why yes, they are admiring the gorgeous family photo I took for them on their phone. I actually get asked a lot to take people's pictures with their phone or camera.
This litte boy was adorable because a few seconds before the water changed in height dramatically and it startled him so much he almost burst into tears. But his Mom calmed him down right away and then he was all into the water.
The owner saw I wanted a pic and stopped and tried to pose the dog. She said he had ADD in crowds. He did. This was the only passable shot I got.
She was awesome! I stopped her to admire the hair, so fabulous. She said "I'm retired and I can do whatever the hell I want now." :)
Chatted with this artist outside of the Met. Loved his work, we talked about how beautiful the Flatiron Building is in person.
Started to make my way down 5th avenue. I had a deja vu feeling, but not really, more like I definitely recognized this area from movies. I think the opening scene in Vanilla Sky with Tom Cruise has him driving up 5th Avenue along this area of Central Park. Walking along east side of Central Park and west side are quite different.
To be explored at a future visit. I've only ever seen the little sailboats in Central Park in movies and TV shows.
DUH. This is when I realized I totally forgot to go into The Met to go up to the rooftop garden. There were so many interesting people, and the fountains, that I forgot about my goal for the day. I had walked a lot already and my feet were tired but I turned around and headed back to The Met.
Did you know The Met asks for a donation to enter the museum versus a set fee? They suggest $25 but you can pay a penny to get in. You do have to pay something to get up to the rooftop garden because it's accessed through the museum.
OMG, it's amazing in there and I just saw a couple of hallways briefly. Loved the shadows here. I was more fascinated with the building itself versus the art, but I was also on a mission to get to the roof.
Why am I including this picture? Obviously my camera was not set properly when I took it. When I brought the image into Lightroom and was going to delete it. But I wondered what would I see if I increased the exposure with Lightroom?
This is the black image with the exposure increased! I was stunned there was this much data in that black image and that it looked great! I can shoot with my exposure compensation much darker than I thought I could. This is a good thing because on very sunny days I often feel that my images have this weird cartoon-like look to them, I think because the highlights are being overexposed. There is no recovering from blown out images, but you can recover from an underexposed image much of the time. I think by shooting darker and then bringing up the exposure in post-processing I'll have better luck, especially on very sunny days. Great learning experience from a failed shot.
The rooftop garden at The Met. It's free to go up there with admission (your penny, or whatever you choose to pay). They have two areas with a small bar and cafe setup (although only one was open on this day). But feel free to get your $15 mixed drink and enjoy the view!
Tthere is a weird little house on top of The Met right now. It's a rooftop art installation. It's called Transitional Object (PsychoBarn) and it's a 2/3-scale mockup of the Bates Motel, the hilltop mansion from Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Psycho.
I seem really savvy telling you this, but of course I Googled it after I got home. I didn't even realize it was the Psycho house and I didn't see a sign describing what it was; the backside was still underconstruction so it's not done yet.
One last view before heading back down.
To quote Ralphie from Christmas Story, "don't bother me, I'm thinking."
To prevent Met entrance stickers from blowing around the city, you can stick your entrance sticker on this board as you exit.
So this was disturbing story #1 of the day for me. I was behind this gentleman as he carried the large bag of cans. I couldn't tell if he was working for The Met, or just trying to make some money. I had an empty water bottle in my bag so I stopped to take it out to give to him. I saw him look into the trash can, and I figured he was looking for bottles, but instead he opened up a bag on top of the trash, took out the styrofoam container and started eating the left over food. My heart sank. That's got to be a rough life. I gave him my bottle and he thanked me politely.
Making my way down 5th avenue...again. ;) This was beautiful!
Sorry, my watermark logo obscures the word Love.
The Strand has a mobile bookstore on the outside of Central Park! If you've been following my journey, you may remember I ventured down to the Greenwich Village area in Week 9 to explore The Strand Bookstore (which I loved).
So is a woman with a camera...
I'm now down by The Plaza Hotel area at the southern entrance of Central Park. I think I can take a nice photograph, but I cannot draw a stick figure to save my life. But this guy - wow! Look at the eye he's drawn. He's got a photo of someone on his phone and is creating a portrait from that image. I want to go back and have him draw me sometime. Drawing is a fabulous skill I admire in others.
I stopped to visit with Emil for a few minutes (he sells the flags you see in the background). We met on Week 5, and then again on Week 13. We've kept in touch by email and he is following my blogging adventure. I did say I would bring him a coffee today, but at this point I had been walking for 6 hours (probably at around mile 8 here), and I also needed to catch a 4pm train so I only had a few minutes. Next time on the coffee, Emil!
Selfie reflection of the day. You'll have to work hard to see me, there's actually a few different views of me since each pair of glasses is at a slightly different angle.
Not sure what to say. They're beautiful but... Modeling is an interesting way to make a living I suppose.
VERY SAD AND DISTURBING STORY #2. Heavily cropped image because I had walked away and really debated on taking any image of this person. He was the most severely burned person I have ever seen. He had no nose, no fingers. His sign said "I need surgery." I gave him all my change and walked away and cried quietly. Of course I have no idea about his situation...was it an apartment fire, car accident, war victim, meth lab gone wrong? I don't know. But I don't think anyone deserves the situation he was in. Sending positive thoughts his way. I took the photograph only to document what I saw as respectfully as I can.
By Rockefeller Center. It had blinking lights. I thought it was a dramatic advertisement for a pool company - which now, as I think about it, is ridiculous since no one has a yard in the city for a pool.
Not a pool ad. It's another art installation, Van Gogh's Ear.
Never too early to start shopping! There are 218 days left until Christmas as of this writing!
Isn't it funny how NOT in the mood you are for Christmas in the spring? At least that's how I feel. I sometimes look at Christmas stuff and think, ugh, I think I'm done with all that forever. And then late November rolls around and out come the decorations...
Nice day of exploration. I left a bit sad after seeing the gentleman eating food out of the garbage can and the tragically burned person. I suppose that's what makes my trips to the city fascinating to me, the twists and turns of life are amazing to witness and document. Not everything is rainbows and unicorns, that's for sure.
Until the next Magic Monday!