September 5, 2016
Wall Street / Battery Park
Staten Island, Verrazano Bridge
Train In/Out: Fairfield, CT
Miles walked: 7
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1 with m.Zuiko 17mm f1.8, m.Zuiko 12-40mm PRO, m.Zuiko 40-150mm
A Labor Day trip to the city today. My original plan was to go to this West Indian Parade and Carnival I heard about in Brooklyn. You know how websites can make things look really fun (and safe!). Well I happened to ask fellow photographer Chris Gampat, who runs The Phoblographer, if he's been to the parade since he lives in Brooklyn. He advised me not to go, said there was a shooting during the weekend event last year and that it doesn't have a good reputation. Advice taken loud and clear. And guess what? He tagged me in an article on Facebook (Labor Day1) about a shooting at that carnival over the weekend. I do think NYC is very safe overall, but when you venture a bit deeper into residential versus more corporate / retail areas, you do need to know what you're getting yourself into.
Staten Island it is. Onward.
I talked a bit last week about not being that into photographing architecture, but I did share some architecture photography from my trip through SoHo. I actually heard from a number of people who said they liked seeing the architecture shots! Maybe I haven't given it enough of a chance. Included a few more today. Above is the entrance to the Bowling Green subway station at Battery Park. I like the building along with the ones behind. We were making our way from Grand Central to the Staten Island Ferry.
Loved the different styles of architecture captured in one shot.
It was Labor Day so a fantastic day to stop by the New York Stock Exchange to see the large flag they have displayed for the holiday!
My husband was with me today since he had the holiday off. FUN FACT - the thing he is sitting on? He designed! He's a structural engineer and his firm was hired to assist in the design of these "sculpture-like" barriers throughout Wall Street. They are specially designed with steel inside to make them extremely heavy. Quite the barriers yet they look kind of small (on purpose, of course). There are a lot of them in this area. He had never actually seen a finished one (it's been a 12+ years since he did the project) so I made sure he got to see one today. Stock exchange buidling is behind him with the flags.
This type of exchange I understand. Stocks, not so much.
Battery Park area, looking towards the Freedom Tower.
High tide today when we walked by the Merchant Marine sculpture. Such a moving memorial. I photographed it earlier this summer during Week 18 and share some information there on the monument.
If you've been following my journey, then you saw my photograph of "The Universal Solider" and "The Sphere" on Week 5 (omg, 30 weeks ago!). The Sphere, desgined by Fritz Koenig, stood on the plaza of the World Trade Center for 30 years. I remember seeing it a year before the towers fell, and in high school. I think that's why, as not a New Yorker, I still feel it in my heart. It was damaged during the attack but survived. They moved it to Battery Par in 2012. Click here to view a picture of The Sphere a few days after the 9/11 attack.
So the next few pictures cover an interesting thing that happened. This woman was sitting on a bench and noticed me taking some photos in the area. She asked if I would photograph her if she walked into the fountain. I agreed and off she went (image above). It was not super warm, maybe mid-70's. In a few moments, she was soaked and totally enjoying herself in the fountain, very flowing with her movements. I probably should have thought about my camera settings more, may have been able to do something more with these shots, but they are still a great moment captured. It happened quickly and was very unexpected! I gave her my card, hoping she will email me to ask for a copy of the images.
Here are a few favorites...
Look at her hands...it almost looks like she's holding a GHOST. This freaked me out a bit, I zoomed in, and looked at some other photos around the same moment. FINALLY figured out that it was a guy dressed in a sheet like outfit with a Statue of Liberty crown on his head.
Isn't she beautiful?!
She was soaked when she was done, but wanted to take out her hat and sunglasses. I've never met anyone so playful!
Loved this one, the brim of her hat with the curve of her lips.
So that was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of moment! I just never know what's going to happen on a Magic Monday.
This man was using soap and water to wash his head in the park.
Never did figure out what they were looking at (which is why I like the shot). A mystery...
Up ahead is the Battery Park merry-go-round.
Merry Go Round with a some flair.
I pointed at my camera and gestured 'could I take a picture', he nodded and smiled. People don't realize how interesting and beautiful they can be to a street photographer. :)
Not the peppiest tour guide I've run across.
Staten Island Ferry Terminal - police dog. Interesting thing happened here. I had gone to use the restroom but my husand saw one of the dogs laying flat on the floor, snoozing, his handler standing next to him. Suddenly, the dog shot up and went to a person who was walking by with a bag and started to sniff. This is what they are trained to do, notice if anything someone is carrying could be dangerous. Apparently if the dog barks, then the police take action. In this case, the dog did not bark and the guy went on his way. Cool though! My husband said he would have had no idea that the dog was actually paying attention just laying there had he not seen him jump into action from a snooze.
Playing with Dad. I love this one.
Leaving Manhattan on the ferry, Brooklyn Bridge in the background. There is also an active helicopter pad just in front of the bridge. You can see 2 helicopters on the platform and one barely in the air.
The Statue of Liberty was smokin' hot. LOL. There was quite the fire going on in the distance in New Jersey. Huge puffs of smoke billowing out, thought it made a cool background for the statue.
Special ferry passenger. I met him. He cleaned my hands for me with kisses.
"OFF THE WALL"
We were hungry for lunch once we got to Staten Island but not much was open because of the holiday. We found Steiny's, a local bar/restaurant. Loved their ice on the bar so I took a few shots while we waited for our FABULOUS veggie burgers.
I kind of expected Shocktop to talk to me. :)
He showed up as we were leaving. He kept referring to himself as the fat guy. I thought he was adorable. He agreed to a photo. Everyone we talked to was very friendly.
Guy at the bus stop we were waiting at to head to Fort Wadsworth. He saw me taking a few shots of something that was across the street. As I walked back to sit down, he said "want one of me"? Silly question, of course I do! Sweet guy, electrician, born in Brooklyn but has lived in Staten Island most all his life.
OK, so this is the first time I have EVER seen a garage door that had a service door built into it. Ha! What a great idea.
Our destination for the day on Staten Island was Fort Wadsworth. Fort Wadsworth is one of the oldest military installations in the country. More info here: https://www.nps.gov/gate/learn/historyculture/fort-wadsworth.htm
The Verrazano Bridge is in this area.
I love how tiny the people in the park look against the Verrazano Bridge. I never heard of this bridge until a few weeks ago when a friend sent me a sunrise photo from the cruise ship she was on that was coming back to New York. The bridge connects Staten Island to Brooklyn.
I would keep out. Look what happened to the last guy who tried to get in!
Underneath the Verrazano Bridge.
Below you can see the old fort.
Manhattan skyline to the left.
Not a great shot, but to give you some perspective on where the fort is located relative to the bridge.
So I couldn't help but notice this unique sign. Don't feed the goats?
Farther up, they had a sign with more info about the goats. Sounds like they do a decent amount of damage to the plants in the area. So far, not a goat in site...
Oh my, they do exist! There were a bunch of them. Very hard to photograph because there was a big stone wall and tne wood and electric fencing keeping us apart. But I liked this shot of all their backs.
The only one who would model for me.
I've only heard about the "Make America Gay Again" take on Trump's slogan "Make America Great Again". This guy was rocking the hat, and a guitar. :)
So CLEARLY this is not a garbage can. But it was filled to the brim, of course, because people can be litter jerks (ha! more on that in a bit).
Ah...so sure enough a little farther down the walkway there was a real garbage can, the metal ring meant to contain the can. Too funny.
Some people look a lot like their dog. This guy looked like the guy on his t-shirt!
There is a beautiful 9/11 memorial on Staten Island not far from the ferry. You can see the Freedom Tower centered in the shot. The names of Staten Island residents lost on 9/11 is carved into the monument, along with a profile of the person's face. Wow.
Fascinating how each profile is different. What a thoughtful tribute.
I saw this sign posted in the ferry boat after we were leaving. Hence my comment from before about people being litter jerks!
A favorite of the day.
And this was a fun shot. I saw a sea gull out of the corner of my left eye. Brought the camera to my face and shot one fast shot. This was it! The bird perfectly centered betweeen the Freedom Tower and another building. Thanks, dumb luck!
We'll never know how good the drawing is, now will we?
And that's a wrap for Labor Day.
I created another video slideshow to music the other day. This one covers Weeks 22 - 25. You can watch it here (it will be on the small side), or click the link to go to YouTube. It's a better experience when you see it on a larger screen.
Watch full screen on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORbf4Djju0M
If anyone has song suggestions for slideshows I'm all ears! Use the comment box below to send me a song suggestion...or just to say hi.
All the music slideshows accessible from this page: http://52magicmondays.com/video-slideshows
Until the next Magic Monday.