Thursday, June 30, 2011

An Urban Adventure, NYC Style - Part 1

Although my trip to New York City was back on March 19, I had a draft written up about it a few days afterward and including as many details as possible. So, I have everything about the trip as new as if I just been to NYC yesterday. Since that trip, I also found out a lot of history about the places I went to and was in the vicinity of. Now I can add that info to my post, along with a list of sites to see for a future visit to NYC.

I signed up for the trip only a few days before, to see the Broadway musical "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, starring Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette. I remember Larroquette from the TV series "Night Court." Fliers with the "Harry Potter" star in corporate attire were hanging around campus advertising the trip.

Saturday, March 19 arrived and I met the rest of the tour group early in the campus cafe. It wasn't long before we were on the bus heading for NYC's theatre district. Until that day, I had not been to NYC in well over a decade. Ready with my camera, I snapped photos of the Empire State Building upon first sight of it from the bus. Our view of Manhattan was from the opposite side of the Hudson and we passed the Newark Airport as we drew closer to our entrance into the city via the Lincoln Tunnel.

The bus followed a circular path from Weehawken, passing the town's charming library with its old-world architecture. I couldn't get a good photo of that, so I'll have to try next time. A billboard of relief efforts for the disaster in Japan was displayed just outside the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel, and directly over the entrances were some billboard ads for the Apple iPad.

Going through the Lincoln Tunnel, in a way, was an early moment of culture shock during the trip. I've been through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel before. However, the traffic in the Lincoln Tunnel was much different, crawling slowly with numbers of tour buses. I don't remember how I crossed into NYC years ago, whether by bridge or tunnel. So the sight of the traffic squeezed together into two lanes toward the city just amazed me.

A staff member from campus who sat in the seat in front of my said to someone, "Can you imagine commuting into the city every day in this?"

I think part of my own amazement stemmed from being excited to visit NYC again after so long. Although I don't consider myself a city person, NYC is a place that I love for a day trip or even a weekend stay. There was still so much I hadn't seen there, and was about to see more of NYC's sites for the first time. Regarding the idea of being a city person, I would have said on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being city person, I was a four prior to this trip.

After exiting the Lincoln Tunnel the new addition of traffic emerging into NYC was greeted with signs directing vehicles with two options. Uptown / Theatre District, go to the left. Downtown / Madison Sq. Garden, go to the right. The Al Hirschfeld Theatre was only a few blocks, and many taxis, away now.

I continued snapping photos to capture moments of everyday life in New York City, as well as any objects that reflected the feel of being in the Big Apple. Images of taxis, the overflowing streets, signs of Broadway shows and NYC businesses were already filling up my camera's memory card. This sign warning of a hefty fine for honking also caught my attention. I had never seen a sign with this message anywhere else. Despite the warning, I did hear some honking all around.

Everything I had seen to this point built up my feelings of NYC fever. I couldn't wait to see where the day would take me, besides the one known place, the Al Hirschfeld.

As our group pulled p outside the theatre, I didn't know who I'd be exploring the city with. Not really wanting to wander NYC on my own, I randomly joined four other girls from the bus once my feet hit the pavement. I didn't know them and so far didn't have any classes with them. As a sort of "survival-in-the-city" instinctive measure, I made a mental note of what they were wearing. That way, I'd be able to spot them in the crowd of people we'd share the streets with. One girl in my group of five had on a royal blue t-shirt with the name of our college sports team and slogan on the back in white letters. So she would be easy to keep track of during our urban adventure.

We had some extra time on our hands, so the five of us started out in search of a place to grab some lunch. With my pocketbook draped over one should and my neck, the strap under my sweater, I followed the other girls' lead. Two of them seemed to know more about the city, which was a great help. As we walked on, I gripped my camera tightly, snapping some photos along the way. One of the other girls also captured some images on her compact camera.

"A Slice of New York" was our lunch spot of choice, where I decided to try a slice of baked ziti pizza. I never saw a pizza topped with baked ziti before, and wondered if it was a specialty that began in NYC. Either way, it was very good, reminding me of Julia Roberts in "Eat Pray Love," when she says, "I'm having a relationship with my pizza." My trip to NYC so far, including bus, theatre ticket and lunch, cost only $45...quite a bargain!

We made our way back to the Al Hirschfeld, snapping more photos as we went. Once there, a line going around the corner and nearly to the end of that block greeted us. A middle-aged couple joined the line behind us and I overheard the woman saying with a laugh, "They're all here to see the "Harry Potter" kid!"

The line moved quickly and we were inside the beautifully-detailed theatre before long. I bought a souvenir travel coffee mug with the musical's funny line about coffee going around it, then made my way to my seat. A theatre employee directed me where to go, the 2nd row from the top, 4th seat from the right. Near center, it was a prett good view of the stage and the show's backdrop detail. Further excitement built up in me as I awaited the start of the first Broadway show I'd see.

This was featured in the waterfront Camaro Show on June 5th in Wilmington, DE. I walked around it to get the entire paint job depicting American military history on video. However, I have to edit the background audio out and try uploading it again to my Youtube channel.

Here is a view of the passenger side.

I'll probably try to edit the sound out of my video with software used on campus. Hopefully, that will work. You can get a better sense of the patriotic paint job in the video. So when the editing is finished, I'll upload it onto Youtube and add the link here.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Grand Old Ship

After visiting Independence Seaport in Philly on Saturday, May 21, I took this photo of the SS United States.

There are efforts under way to preserve it, which you can find out more about on the SS United States Conservancy website. Since I took the photo from a distance, I want to go to where the ship is docked and take some close-ups of it sometime. Anyway, I wanted to share this as someone who is interested in maritime history. Anyone who loves maritime history will find a lot of interesting stories from this great ship's past. I hope its preservation will be successful.

Friday, April 22, 2011

My Must-See List of National Parks

For Earth Day 2011, I decided to post a list of the national parks around the U.S. that I hope to visit someday for photographing nature. I also shared this on my Tumblr page.

  1. Denali

  2. Glacier Bay

  3. Grand Canyon

  4. Saguaro

  5. Channel Islands

  6. Joshua Tree

  7. Redwood

  8. Sequoia

  9. Yosemite

  10. Mesa Verde

  11. Everglades

  12. Hawaii Volcanoes

  13. Yellowstone

  14. Acadia

  15. Isle Royale

  16. Congaree

  17. Badlands

  18. Arches

  19. Bryce Canyon

  20. Shenandoah

  21. Olympic

  22. Grand Teton

Friday, March 25, 2011

Travel for the Near Future

I thought I'd share a few places that I hope to visit in the near future to do some photography and video work. I guess they could be called special interest travel, as they all represent different interests that I have, or that others have who like these places for the same reasons. Those interests include architecture, literary sites, maritime and city scenes and various areas of history.

  • New Hope, PA / Lambertville, NJ

  • Cape May, NJ

  • Florida's Space Coast

  • Gettysburg, PA

  • Indiana

  • Hartford, CT

  • Boston / Salem / Cape Cod, MA

  • Sleepy Hollow, NY

  • Charlottesville, VA

  • Washington, D.C.

  • Baltimore, MD

  • Ireland

I went back to New York City for the first time in years, so keep an eye out for my post about it. Above is one of many photos I took there on Saturday, March 19.

What places do you hope to visit in the next few months or in the next year or so?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

An Adventure at Ricketts Glen

Years ago, I went to Ricketts Glen State Park and within recent days I found out that a snowshoe / hiking trip there was being planned through my college. I was thinking about going on the trip, because I never tried to snowshoe before. The opportunity seemed to jump out at me, even though I'm not really one who likes Winter and snow. I just wanted to try something different because I haven't in a while. The trip takes place this weekend, on Feb. 20, and would be a great photo opportunity. Ricketts Glen State Park has a lot of beautiful waterfalls, and I remember seeing some of them during my past visit there. Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera with me at the time. The person in charge of putting together the event emailed me about a change in the trip's location because of difficult conditions. Even though I would have liked to visit Ricketts Glen again, a new location altogether for the trip would mean a place I haven't been to before. So that is an equally positive aspect in my opinion because I like getting to see places that are new to me. It turned out that I can't make the trip this time around. However, it's something to think about for a future excursion. I probably wouldn't have thought of trying a snowshoe trip if it wasn't for hearing about this activity through campus recreation. So I definitely give credit to my college, Cabrini, for the inspiration to try this outdoor adventure later on down the road. I have a new "bucket list" item...go on a snowshoe adventure!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


After a Winter season like this, not too many northerners could resist a trip to a sunny destination like Florida. What's more exciting is when it is someone's first time visiting, and that's just the case with me going to Florida. Of course, no official plans have been put together yet. However, I should have enough money to go this year and I'm hoping to go there for only a short stay in June.

It would be great to do some photography and video somewhere I'd be visiting for the first time, too. The experience should give me plenty of things to write about as well. I'll post updates about any Florida travel plans later on.