Essaouira


Essaouira is about a 2.5 hour bus ride from Marrakech. Similar to Marrakech, it has a medina and souks. Unlike Marrakech, Essaouira is on the coast. We spent our last few days in Morocco exploring the medina, and the beaches. The vibe in Essaouira is much more “western” than that of Marrakech. It felt like it could be a little surf town in any country. Here is some of what I saw:Continue reading

Ourika Valley

The last day in Marrakech, we did a day excursion and hired a driver to take us to the Ourika Valley, in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains (as seen from Marrakech in the image directly below). It rained on and off for most of the day that day, so it turned out to be a good time to spend riding in the car. Those who know the desert, know that it completely changes when rain falls. Most notably, all of the green comes out. I wouldn’t really recommend this excursion to anyone because honestly, it turned out to be super touristy. But seeing the desert in bloom from the rain was worthwhile. The fast moving clouds also provided for some dramatic lighting at times.

Marrakech

I had the occasion to spend some in Morocco recently with B. Actually, she put together the whole trip, and I was just along for the ride. As Morocco is a very visually stimulating place, I put on my shutterbug hat and went wild. During the span of our 10 days there, I snapped well over 1000 frames. And judging by the length of this post, one would think that I put them all on here, haha. The images in this post are from the five days that we spent in Marrakech. I’m have organized them into three groups:

  • Places and People
  • Things
  • Details
  • Landscape/Night

A bit about Marrakech:

I wasn’t really sure what to think about it before I went. When I arrived it certainly wasn’t what I expected. We stayed inside the medina section of the city. The Medina is the old city center, a labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways enclosed by a perimeter wall. To say that it is easy to get lost is an understatement. It took us a solid day just to get our bearings, using the riad we stayed in (seen in the first image above, and would highly recommend to others) as a reference point. It was a very invigorating and occasionally frustrating experience. I will say that 5 days was more than enough time to spend there. If I could do it again, I would probably have shortened it to three days.

Here is what I saw, starting with Places and People:Continue reading

Happy Valentine’s Day – A Love Letter to New York

Happy Valentine’s Day, New York! I have been with you now for the vast majority of my adult life. Like any relationship, we have been through our ups and downs. We have known each other through various of our phases. You put up with me when I was an annoying student who thought I knew everything. I put up with you when I had to push past the protestors in Zuccotti park for all of those weeks, every morning on my way to work.

Over the years, I’ve tried to do my part to be there for you. I can say that you have definitely really come through for me on more than one occasion, as well. I owe you the credit for introducing me to all of my closest friends, including my lovely, B. There was that time when my daughter was born. I’m pretty sure that she wouldn’t have survived birth had it not been for the deep bench of skilled professionals you seem to attract.

Your beauty constantly inspires me, often when I’m not expecting it. For every photo of you that I have taken with a camera or my phone, I have 100 more that were only recorded by the camera in my heart. I have been with you in all seasons, and have shared with you every emotion under the sun. You have taught me what it is like to be broke, and what it is like to have excess.

Despite all of the highs and lows, despite the MTA (I’m looking at you, G train), and the smell of hot trash in August, I still love you. I hope that we can spend many, many more years together.

Love, Jake

2017 Photo Recap

2017 is coming to a close and as such, here is a little video that I put together from the photos on my phone taken this calendar year (not all of which were actually taken with my phone). There were only ~6000 and change this year, down about 50% from the past two years (2016) (2015). I suspect that this is because I had such a busy year in my professional life. Each frame plays for about a quarter of a second.

Support Paws NY

Dear Jake.News readers, and others who accidentally or otherwise had this post somehow show up in your browser:

As a major departure from my usual shtick, I’m reaching out to encourage donations for a good cause; Paws NY. As an active member of the community, my partner B is constantly looking for ways to get involved, whether it be volunteering at local schools (adorable), or cleaning up after someone else’s dog (ew) while walking Lola. As such, it was a natural fit that she teamed up with Paws NY in connection with the 2018 Half. Paws NY is a local Brooklyn resource for the elderly members of our community who have difficulties taking care of their animal companions. So if you are looking for some warm holiday fuzzies and possibly a deduction on your 2017 taxes, sponsor Britt in the 2018 NYC Half Marathon by donating to Paws NY.

Happy Holidays,

–Jake

[IMG courtesy of Paws NY]

Peep this vid to learn more about the Paws NY organization-

Columbus Ride

Three day weekends are golden. Unfortunately for those who were in the tri-state area over Columbus day weekend, the weather was all over the place. Saturday (the only day of the three that did not have rain), I got on the bike and headed out of the city while the sun was still rising. My friend and I rode up through Rockland County to Harriman State Park, where the leaves are kind of changing, but not really. I’m guessing because it still hasn’t really gotten cold. It felt more like August than October the entire weekend. Anyway, riding through the woods, it was all foggy and seemed kind of twilight zoney. We stopped on Seven Lakes Drive to take these snaps. The last one was a timer shot from the bushes across the road. The bushes framed it nicely, IMO.

Tahoe: 4 Resorts in 4 Days (Final Part)

Day 4

Continued from Part 3… Monday morning we woke up to a thick blanket of fog socking in South Lake Tahoe. We threw all of our gear into the Jeep and headed toward Kirkwood, which was about a 30 minute drive away. As we turned off of the main highway and started to head up the windy canyon road, we quickly broke through the cloud barrier. Above the fog, it was another bluebird day with the sun blazing overhead. Since it was a Monday, and we showed up on the early side, we were able to get an amazing parking spot right at the base of the lift. It was so warm that we took our time suiting up, before meeting our Expedition Kirkwood mountain guide for the day, Chris.

Our first run was off of chair number 5, “Solitude.” We felt the stoke settling in as it became apparent that we were going to have this mountain mostly to ourselves, with tons of snow and virtually spring weather. Chris lead us down a couple of groomers to get a sense of our riding ability before taking us to a back bowl that was capped in a giant cornice famously called “the wave.” We rode the “Sunrise” lift for two or three runs, each time stopping to take in the view from the shoulder of Thimble Peak. Thank you to mountain guide Chris for the photo directly below.

Chris took us back to Mountain Village from the back bowl, where we caught chair number 6, “Cornice Express.” From there we traversed a massive cliff section to Sentinel Bowl. We alternated between tree runs and cat track switchbacks. I could tell that this zone would be insanely fun with a couple of inches of fresh. Even with the sun softening up the top layer of 5 day old snow, it was some really good riding.

At lunch time, we soaked in some sun and enjoyed a locally brewed beer at Mountain Village. As the afternoon waxed on, we explored various runs off Wagon Wheel Bowl, and a few other spots on the main mountain. When it came time to call it a day, we were totally spent. This was the first time in recent history that either of us had spent four days in a row riding all day long. It was pretty amazing.

After going through the longstanding ritual of changing clothes in the ski resort parking lot (at least it was sunny and nice out), we packed up the Jeep and headed back toward Reno. The drive was pretty quick and painless. One suggestion that I have for anyone taking the Jetblue red-eye to NYC out of Reno: eat before you get to the airport. Every restaurant and bar shuts down at 8:30. One more pointer, the Jetlbue desk at the Reno airport is not open until 8:45. So, take your time getting to the airport.

When B and I boarded the plane, we saw a familiar face. One of our NYC based friends was working the flight. She hooked us up with neck pillows and blankets, which is the last thing I remember before landing at JFK. This was the soundest that I have ever slept on an airplane. Once on the ground, we picked up our board bags and grabbed an UBER home. The flight landed early enough to miss rush hour for the most part. We were back in Manhattan in less than an hour, in time to shower and head to the office. And that… is how, from NYC to Reno, we rode four Tahoe resorts in four days.