A few weeks ago I was reading an article about stuff to do in the city when it is so hot outside. One of the suggestions was a lobster cruise in the harbor. It looked awesome. The more that I looked into it, I realized that the cruise was on one of those giant clipper ships. I had seen the boat’s sister ship that leaves from North Cove marina. I worked in towers at WFC for 8 years. So I had seen it come an go a lot. I had just assumed that it was all tourists going for a sight seeing cruise on the Hudson (and as such, had no desire to participate). Not that there is anything wrong with tourists. They are awesome. But if I was going to be on a boat in the harbor, I want to be having fun, not listening to someone talking on a loudspeaker about the history of Governor’s Island, and indigenous marine life.
As it turns out (and it frequently does), I was wrong. The Clipper City actually has a multitude of options for on board activities that are not really geared toward tourists at all. I booked the “Lobster & Beer Lovers” Sail. It is catered by the Maine born Luke’s Lobster. We actually have one in our neighborhood and like it quite a bit. The outing did not disappoint. We even ran into one of our friends who just happened to be on the boat for an outing with her colleagues. The staff was friendly, vibe was good, weather was awesome, food was excellent and the beer was cold. I totally recommend it. We are definitely going to do this more often.
When I started my 35mm slides project, I got the camera before I had a chance to order any slide film. I was so stoked to try out the camera and get familiar with its feel and function, that I wandered into a Duane Reade down the block from my apt and bought a 4-roll pack of Fujifilm color negative film (Fujicolor Superia X-tra 400 iso, to be exact). Believe it or not, you can still pick up 35mm film at most of the pharmacies and even a lot of the corner bodegas in NYC. No guaranties that it hasn’t expired. But hey, at least it is available! Anyway, I brought the AE-1 with me almost everywhere for a week or two after I loaded the first roll of film. The POS scanner I have doesn’t really do these images justice, but here are some of the prints anyway. The green hue is not some sort of VSCO filter. This is actually how they came out. There is something really fun about having to work for the shot, and not knowing if it is going to come out or not. So, yeah… Film.
I’m basically still laughing about this instagram post. I snapped it a couple of weeks ago when I was coming out of the train at City Hall. It could have been a decent shot because the ceiling is actually very cool, as was the quality of light that evening. However, I was very frazzled and running a bit late from having to take a different train than normal due to a track fire. As a result, I didn’t even stop walking to snap this photo (which basically guarantees a crappy photo). But I mean, I still HAD to take the photo! Look how shaky it is; not sharp at all! Well, I guess if someone is shaking around the screen while you look at it, it probably looks okay. I hastily put it up on my account while I was walking. Then, TBH, I kind of forgot that I even posted it until the next day when it had somehow overnight earned roughly triple the amount of “likes” as any of my images normally do on instagram. I don’t have a popular account. My photos usually garner like 50 ‘likes’ max. My friend left a nice comment, which I am guessing was a sympathy comment. Something like “I have seen that ceiling in real life. Despite your photo, I still think it is a really good ceiling.” I’m chalking all of this up to magical new FB (who as we all know purchased/ruined instagram) algorithm which apparently knows better than the actual user what content he/she likes the most. I mean, I know that there aren’t any AMAZING images on insta account. But seriously? Shaking ceiling? Anyway, thanks FB/insta, for getting possibly one of the worst photos I have ever published in front of the max number of people that your algorithm knew would like it! Thanks random internet ppls for making this terrible image one of the most ‘liked’ images on my account!
Friday evening brought a brief squall to lower Manhattan just in time for the evening commute. Luckily, I was already home since my office was closed early for the long weekend. I decided to break out the 200mm and take some snaps of commuters with their umbrellas. Here are a few of my faves.
With each passing year, it becomes more difficult to be “off the grid.” It seems like there are new cell towers going up in every last remote region of the industrialized world. Last weekend I found myself in an area so remote that there was no cell service, and the nearest land line was a 4 hour hike away. It was refreshing. We spent 5 days in a Utah mountain range called the Uintas. My family vacationed there during the summer when I was young. Nestled between the dense lodge-pole pine trees on the edge of Moon Lake, there is a rustic ‘resort’ comprised of log cabins and a lodge dating back to the 1920s. Last weekend my family had a reunion in those same cabins. I thought that this would be a good opportunity to take B on an overnight backpacking trek for the first time in her life (something that I have enjoyed doing since I was a youngster). B and I arrived in Salt Lake a couple of days before the reunion started, met up with our good friend Sam Adams who came in from Portland (OR, not ME), and headed into the woods. We left the car at Moon Lake (which is where the road ends), and proceeded to hike to a remote glacier-melt called Brown Duck Lake. Even though the hike was only about 7 miles, there is roughly 2000 feet of elevation gain (starting from over 8000 feet). All three of us are in relatively good shape, and it still took us a little over 4 hours to complete. Our ginger pace may have also been partially attributable to the fact that I was carrying about 30 lbs in camera gear (which I broke out and used often along the way) in addition to the tent, sleeping bag, etc.. My shoulders are still a bit sore from the endeavor.
We arrived at Brown Duck Lake about an hour before sunset, in time to set up camp, build a fire and catch some fish for dinner. The lake is loaded with native trout. We caught a few different varieties, keeping only a brown trout and a cutthroat for dinner. After swapping Sasquatch stories and shooting about 300 frames of the night sky (mostly film and on Sam’s camera), we hung our packs in trees in an effort not to attract any bears, then hit the sack. We broke camp early the next AM and made it back down to Moon Lake just as some of my family was beginning to arrive. We spent the rest of our time in the mountains catching up with family, laughing, eating, fishing, hiking, playing horseshoes, and sitting around the fire. Sometimes it is really nice to be completely disconnected from the real world, especially when surrounded by amazing company.
Being photographed is tough. Some people are so good at it. They look so natural and comfortable, effortlessly cool, etc.. I look basically the opposite of all of those things in just about every photo ever taken of me. I have always felt more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. The above image is a perfect example of why. I am super awkward in photos, and have accordingly disliked being photographed for most of my life. In recent years I have thankfully come to embrace the awkwardness, and I have my little sister partially to thank for this. If there is one person who ranks on my levels of unnaturaltude when the camera is pointed in their direction, it is her. I should also mention that she is a woman who struggles with autism. Perhaps I too have some sort of social disability which causes me to lose my sense of “normalcy” when I find myself staring into the business end of a lens.
At any rate, I have her to thank for my decision to embrace my shortcomings as a subject in photos. A few years ago, I noticed that she had adopted sort of a signature pose for photos. She would hold up two fingers, peace-frogs-style and pop her hip out to the side. By doing so, she spun her discomfort of being photographed into her own brand of sassy protest (“okay go ahead and take my photo, but you are going to get this pose”). Amazed at how well this seemed to work, I took a page from her book and started throwing deuces in photos every chance I had. When possible, I will even incorporate double deuces. As ironic as it may sound, I have hated photos of me much less since adopting her approach. While the photos are ostensibly “worse” and certainly more contrived than before the advent of the deuce pose (not to be confused with the other deuce pose), at least I can laugh at them now, as opposed to just cringing. So while I will most likely never be able to look cool, natural or at ease in photos, I can thank my sis for helping me embrace a signature awkward pose.
What was forecast to be a very soggy weekend, ended up being sunny and delightful. We ended up in Beach Haven again last weekend because we needed to pick up the dog (who splits her time between Manhattan and the beach). The weather was nice enough that I actually go in the water. It was still a little brisk, but definitely doable.
Saturday was the third iteration of Beach Haven’s ‘Hop Sauce Festival.’ It is a festival that features regional craft beer, along with small batch purveyors of hot sauces. Food was available from a bunch of the local spots and the live music was also homegrown. We had a great time and left with scorched tongues from sampling all of the different sauces.
The weather here has been a bit bananas. It rained for about 10 days straight and didn’t break 60 degrees. Then Sunday happened. The forecast all week was heavy rain for Sunday. Instead we got sunshine and breeze. I normally don’t care for the breeze. But America’s Cup happened this weekend. I generally try to avoid gatherings of 30k or more humans in public spaces. But when sailboat racing happens in my neighborhood, it is kind of hard not to step out and take a gander. Also, B used to race sailboats. So I had a front row seat at one of the world’s premier sailboat racing events and expert commentary from a sexy woman. It was actually pretty awesome. Here are some snaps–