ELW Photography #10

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This week features a day trip to Long Island. The itinerary was an indoor flea market, an outlet mall, and the town of Port Jefferson.

Day tripping

The outlets had great bargains including a windbreaker for Fall and a bundle of books at a discount.

Port Jefferson offered Red Shirt Comics and seafood at PJ’s Lobster House where we dined indoors for only the second time since March!

As of this writing indoor dining will return to Manhattan on September 30th.

Women’s Rights

2020 is the Centennial of the Vote for Women in America. New York dedicated its first statue of real women’s rights pioneers on Literary Walk.

Also marking the 200th Anniversary of Susan B. Anthony’s birth, this new monument is long overdue.

Central Park Wonders

I took a nature walk through the ramble recently. This is an area of the park with interconnected paths that twist through scenic woods. Bird watching here is fantastic.

A young Jazz Saxophonist played. A group of guys enjoyed a game of beach volleyball. And the police keep guard over a statue of Christopher Columbus.

The Conservancy takes great care of Central Park. Maintaining the lawns, trees, benches, and the rest every day.

This Summer has been hot and sunny most of the time. My husband and I are staying put in New York for now. These days I love my city. Have you looked at the weather across the country lately?

Park Summer

The Conservatory Garden

Located at E. 105th Street & 5th Avenue across from The Museum of the City of New York, this garden is a treasure with flowers, romantic paths and fountains placed well. A quiet zone perfect for escape from the chaos outside.

9–11–2020

19 years after the attacks on U.S. soil of 3 American planes used as missiles destroying the Twin Towers, damaging The Pentagon, and crashing in Pennsylvania killing over 3,000 people, Corona Virus has killed over 200,000 Americans.

We will all pause to remember 9/11. But never forget that then & now we had a President not duly elected by the people.

Dear Readers, until next week…

ELW Photography #9

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Dear Readers, September arrives with plenty to share. New images of my neighborhood shows the hard work being done to keep life as normal as possible. Labor Day weekend begins….

This park sits atop the FDR Drive on the far Eastside of Manhattan. As seen above the Esplanade over looks the East River. Views of Roosevelt Island, Triborough Bridge re-named the RFK, and Hells gate freight bridge can be enjoyed here.

In the collages we see all kinds of activity. A girl flies a kite. A young Dad walks home with his friend and kid. A woman confined to a automated chair enjoys jazz music. A yoga class takes place. Two men workout on the Great Lawn. A Doorman washes down the walk. A man finishes up his run checking his phone.

I have many more images to share of Central Park. The gallery below features them.

The Ramble

A natural ecosystem that is great for walks. One of the nation’s top bird watching spots.

The many paths feature charming views of forest. A great way to escape for a while.

As our city continues to re-open I am hoping the awful numbers of March do not return. If Summer 2020 proved one thing to me it’s that we are all together. No matter what happens New Yorkers will continue to support each other.

My Dear Readers, thanks for stopping by Evan’s Gate! Until next week…

ELW Photography #7

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I have a keen awareness of what surrounds me. Walking around I take notice of details that feel as though they were left for people like myself to discover. The camera is an indespensible aid in recording these findings.

August is moving fast. Political conventions will be virtual for the first time. Perhaps substance will make a comeback to the proceedings.

Summer has become tedium. I feel differently about seasons now. As I grow older I enjoy Autumn more and more.

Still I have many more images of Summer 2020 to share….

During this crisis much has recently been discussed about the future of transportation in New York City. Revel Mopeds appeared one weekend.

My first reaction was surprise. How safe could this mode of transport be in a big city.

Then a few weeks later many young people were on them. Many without the helmets that come with the mopeds in their small trunks.

The portable scooters only do 30 M.P.H. and cannot be taken on highways, bridges or tunnels.

I could safely predict that sooner or later they would go away over safety problems. Indeed a couple of recent deaths led to Revel removing them from New York City altogether.

The CitiBike share program has been the preferred mode of new transport. Many of its riders do wear helmets. People use them a lot for recreational purpose in the park.

Summer Heat

The Obelisk Cleopatra’s Needle in New York City is one of three similarly named Egyptian obelisks. It was erected in Central Park, west of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan, on January 22, 1881.

Rising from Bethesda Terrace is Bethesda Fountain, with the famous Angel of the Waters statue atop. The statue references the Gospel of John, which describes an angel blessing the Pool of Bethesda and giving it healing powers. The fountain commemorates the Croton water system, which first brought fresh water to New York City in 1842. 

Vistas and Views

The immaculate lawn of the Conservatory Garden above right corner; The Eastside of Manhattan seen across the reservoir on the upper left corner; A postcard image of the El Dorado towers in the upper middle section; Below on the left and right are The Delacorte Theater seen from above on the patio of the Belvedere Castle.

The Castle

Sitting above the Delacorte Theater this landmark provides the daily official temperature in New York City. Offices stationed here for the Weather bureau following a restoration in 2019. The site is open again.

In The City

I spend more time outside the park since August began due to hot/humid conditions plus heavy thunderstorms. The local streets are still pretty quiet. No tourists. We have more difficulties to face since services will get cut and the MTA (Subways/Buses) is talking about a fare increase.

In the gallery below are a cross section of images I took over the past 4 months. Food vendors attempt to make money; Some restaurants closed for good before Covid; Movie theaters are shuttered; 5th Avenue has lost its former grandeur; The Plaza Hotel sits sentry.

City buses are getting crowded. I have not returned to public transit. My last subway ride was in early March.

Above at the far right corner is a local school. The faces of graduates adorn many schools now. Not so long ago this type of remembrance was for victims of school shootings. Covid changed the culture.

Empty chairs at empty tables will probably be the verdict for schools in the Fall. Many local restaurants have outdoor dining now. Indoors is not allowed in the city.

Mask wearing is inconsistent in the city that was once the epicenter for the crisis. I know I cannot control the actions of others but it seems crazy not to protect yourself in the face of this virus.

Even crazier are people who are still in denial over its existence. If we ignore safety protocols this crisis will deepen.

Every New Yorker surely remembers not too long ago when horse drawn carriages were the center of a debate. Our Mayor wanted to end this practice. Now with Covid the carriages are gone.

Museums are re-opening on August 24th, my husband’s Birthday!

Thank you Dear Readers! Stay healthy and see you next week!

ELW Photography#6

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August 7, 2020

  • Avoid Crowds
  • Mask
  • Walk Daily
  • Listen to music
  • Research

Just a few of the things that keep me busy. Our city has seemingly become more normal than it has been in months. Traffic patterns are gradually building back up on 5th Avenue and Lexington Avenue.

Summer has become one long weekend for me. I break the season down as follows: June is Friday; July is Saurday; August is Sunday; September is Monday.

I know Americans think Labor Day is the unofficial end of the season. September is still quite warm. Cool weather really arrives the week of Halloween.

On a recent walk around I noticed the local teenagers have begun to return. Most of them disappeared for July. Many are not wearing masks or have taken to wear them around their necks. In better times the young often act badly; during this hard time they are opening themselves up to potential disaster.

My photos have captured people in their moments of distraction. Too many still babble away on their phones breaking the otherwise wonderful quiet of the park.

Activity is always abundant in the city that is coming back to life.

Just Being

Fair weather opened August with gentle breezes. The Summer is beginning its annual winding down. Soon we will be reminded of the number of weeks, then days until Labor Day!

You feel a commonality with the people you see around in the park or on the street. No matter the activity, we are all trying to maintain a sense of hope, a spirit of neighborliness.

Dear Readers: As Summer begins to wane I hope you can stay healthy and enjoy as much as possible…’til next week…

Tourists? Group of four in masks who are very close.

ELW Photography #5

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July 31, 2020

I was just thinking how we were told back in January to write out the full 2-0-2-0 when dating important docs. Who knew that it would be almost exclusively applied to receiving unemployment benefits.

My Dear Readers: Updates from New York City. July ends. USA continues to deny the impact of Covid—19 despite the largest recorded drop in its economy in history!

If you reside outside of North America you may have heard about how poor our safety net is here. This is showing up now during this unprecedented crisis.

I only glance at the headlines each morning. It takes until late in the day to realize how much more our country has slid in the eyes of the world.

New York City has sport once again with its expensive corporate stadiums empty. Overpaid athletes are playing with piped in crowd noise.

Several athletes in baseball are now sick. Games are getting postponed. I think baseball should cancel the season.

No Broadway/ Off—Broadway theater. No museums. No movie theaters. Broadway and Hollywood had both reached their commercial summit. I do not believe this will happen again.

If we have cinemas the interior of those spaces will have to be reinvented along with Broadway and Off—Broadway theaters.

Personally, my fear is that America will be vunerable like never before to a new authoritarian reality. Already the President floated the proto-fascist notion of delaying the Fall Election. This never happened in America before this con man took office.

People are waking to see how much damage has been inflicted upon regular people over decades of blindly adding police to streets. This has resulted in the brutality seen in recent days.

The people were empowered to fend off the awful notions of power hungry office holders. Our struggle for greater Democracy will continue.

With such heavy issues hovering over us I refuse to conform to the reactionary nature of certain friends and family. I just read “Twilight Of Democracy” by the historian Anne Applegate, seen below in the picture, argues strongly for Democratic ideals. She is hopeful Americans will reject the anti—democratic platform of Donald Trump.

Highly Recommended to everyone who cares about Democracy.

My photography is an outlet to express what I see daily to counter the ugly forces at play in today’s world.

Despite it all I am having a lovely Summer. What else can I do? November will be chilly. And by then our biggest Election will be upon us.

Museums

5th Avenue from E. 86th Street to E. 103rd is called Museum Mile. There are several along this route on the East Side. The Museum of the City of New York, The MET, The Guggenheim and The Jewish Museum are my favourites. I took pictures of their facades over the past three months. Devoid of crowds. A silence. Mourning? Will they come back as strong as before the shutdown?

The Museum of the City of New York, The Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, and The Jewsih Museum are seen below:

Candids

Another component of taking images on walks are the people you see in moments. So distracted are these strangers that I could not resist capturing them in time. What follows are the first results of my observations.

August Arrives Tomorrow

Major League Baseball attempted to start a shortened season but finds itself in a bind now that the Miami Marlins team is ill with Covid—19. Then the Phillies were struck then the St. Louis Cardinals.

All of the hot spot states are only beginning to require masks and think about shutting down again.

The Republican party is making this crisis a partisan issue; their leader floats proto—fascist ideas daily.

Here in New York City while we have settled into our Phase 4 lives a new month starts tomorrow!

What will it bring? Will we learn?

Until next week Dear Readers!

Stay in good health.

Wear a mask.

ELW Photography #4

Featured

Introduction

July 24, 2020

New York City entered Phase 4 this week of recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic. Outdoor dining and retail are back. I have gone out to dinner with my husband a few times already. We have seen some friends and family too!

Continuing to show my photographs of the Upper Eastside and Central Park I thought about my connection to these images.

This week I feature statues and buildings that have stimulated my lifelong sense of whimsy. A lover of fantasy since childhood I re-discovered places in the park I needed to explore.

I hope they bring back your sense of whimsy as well….

Statues

The base of the Mother Goose figure has characters like Humpty Dumpty and Little Boy Blue carved around it. A homeless man sleeps on a bench nearby. As enchanting as this statue can be there are many experiencing hard times.

This statue shows the famous author sitting on a bench reading his classic, “The Ugly Duckling”, with his top hat placed to the side. You can see the details of this work in each image including the sculptor of the work, Georg J. Jober. The architect who designed the work was Otto F. Lancmann. The statue was dedicated in 1956. The Park Conservancy works hard to preserve all of its treasures.

Hans Christian Andersen (/ˈændərsən/Danish: [ˈhænˀs ˈkʰʁestjæn ˈɑnɐsn̩] (listen); 2 April 1805 – 4 August 1875), in Denmark usually called H.C. Andersen, was a Danish author. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, he is best remembered for his fairy tales.

Andersen’s fairy tales, consisting of 156 stories across nine volumes and translated into more than 125 languages, have become culturally embedded in the West’s collective consciousness, readily accessible to children, but presenting lessons of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity for mature readers as well. His most famous fairy tales include “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “The Little Mermaid,” “The Nightingale,” “The Steadfast Tin Soldier“, “The Red Shoes“, “The Princess and the Pea,” “The Snow Queen,” and”The Ugly Duckling,” our subject pictured above.

Alice In Wonderland

The centerpiece of this section is the statue of Alice. I took many images of this statue. On any given day the natural light cast many unique looks at this charming monument.

Above you see the entire statue large enough for children to climb on. You see close–ups of her Wonderland cohort: The Mad Hatter, The Rabbit who is always late, and the Cheshire Cat. If you look closely at the rear view you can find the Jabberwocky!

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson , better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English writer of children’s fiction, notably Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass. He was noted for his facility at word play, logic, and fantasy.

At the base of the steps are engraved plates displaying verse from the classic book seen below…

The Eldorado

One of a series of stately apartment buildings towering above Central Park West, The Eldorado is famous for its Art Deco-inspired twin towers that mirror its predecessor’s, The San Remo. Constructed a year after The San Remo, The Eldorado is a product of renowned architect Emery Roth, whose buildings are visible all along this stretch of Eighth Avenue. Its location, at 300 Central Park West is located near the reservoir.

Art Deco Twin Towers Rise Above Central Park West In Pre-War Grandeur. This is my favourite building.

My Neighborhood

The commercial corridor has declined over the past year. Several stores closed. A movie theater shut down. The Barnes & Noble bookstore is moving to a different location on Third Avenue, a much smaller space.

Restaurants have built outdoor dining areas on the street. The ones who had outdoor tables to start are expanded now. All servers wear mask.

The Metropolitan museum of art announced a return date of August 29, 2020.

The Streets

Walking down any avenue you cannot avoid passing people. Wearing a mask is really the only thing you can do to protect yourself. Remaining indoors is only an option during horrid spells of excessive heat. As of this writing we are having our worst heat of the season.

New York City has proceeded with caution. This enabled us to flatten the curve. Now there are over 30 states with out of control numbers of virus cases. This did not have to happen. Wearing a mask is not a partisan issue. The largest problem now is re-opening the schools.

Will New York City survive? Can we invent a new economy? Do we really need to depend so much on tourism?

The retailers in our area include H&M, Best Buy, Staples, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. Independent shops are mainly services like shoe repair and dry cleaners. A major re–think must be done. New York City is not really as interesting a place as it was in the 20th Century. The internet is a powerful tool but this tech has ravaged our urbanity. If every corner is a fast food chain what is so special about living here? It seems in the past 20 years people have raised children without imagination. Just staring down at screens is Huxley’s Brave New World come to dystopian reality!

In the past 2 weeks I have witnessed a solitary officer and his car guarding a statue of Columbus in Central Park and 3 police vehicles in front of the Met museum with lights on. It was not clear to me what had happened accept perhaps a kid was playing in the fountain. We have collectively lost our marbles during this stressful time.

I have theorized our police are dispatched in groups like street gangs. This can never result in positive outcomes. We need to change how our city is protected.

People are in heavy denial. Understandably the shock of this time is powerful. But I have thought from the start that nothing will come back quickly. I do my part by wearing a mask. Such a simple thing.

I have seen horrifying results of people who think they cannot wear a mask and not get sick. The sacrifice is small yet people are unwilling in so many cases.

My photography continues in the coming weeks of Covid Summer 2020. These were just thoughts I have had while being out enjoying the weather.

Stay healthy dear readers. No matter what polls say, Vote this November!

ELW Photography #3

Featured

Over the past 3 months I have been taking walks around my neighborhood. This includes Central Park. Afternoons have been mostly hot and humid. A lot of sunscreen has been applied to protect myself from ultraviolet radiation. I read a wonderful article today in the paper that shows what a car free future could do for city living.

A 30 year old died of Covid today. He went to a Corona party. The statement he gave upon arriving at the hospital was that he thought it was a hoax. Tragic and absurd.

I always wear a mask. I discovered charcoal filtered masks this week. Even if this pandemic ended tomorrow I would still wear a mask. Filtering out air pollution is important. All of the people who live along side me in New York who wore masks long before Covid are true visionaries. They were much more aware of potential crisis.

During the Summer of Covid I have found that these walks do me good for both mind and body. Seeing people doing activities is reassuring. The outside is safer than the indoors.

I am grateful my school years were not affected by something of this magnitude. It was challenging enough during those days without a pandemic. People will adapt to survive.

Continuing my galleries of images taken during my daily walks around the city I hope you can relax a bit from the new challenges facing humanity in the 21st Century.

Heatwave

Beauty Is Everywhere

Everyday is different. You can visit a space each day. The presence or absence of people, the changing conditions of environment always create a new experience.

Nature is never boring…

The trees in Central Park are treasure in plain sight. Admission is free. The newly planted landscaped tree line in front of the Metropolitan museum is a joy to walk through each day. The reservoir has Geese and Ducks.

Look Up!

Pathfinder

The park is filled with paths that stretch out in front of you. It’s tempting to want to try them all in a single day. That would be impossible. Unless you want foot injury.

The neighborhood streets have become like a suburb. On weekdays there is so little noise I feel calm in ways I did not think possible in the city. Sorry suburbanites, city living wins out!

In The Neighborhood

If you are not familiar with New York than you do not know it is probably the closest to European any American city gets in terms of culture, easy walking, and largess of services.

Back To The Park!

Although I have walked streets around our neighborhood I prefer park walks. I have found out during these strange times the greenery is calming. I love finding images throughout my outings.

Keeping our distance; exercising; meeting friends.

Next Week: Favourite Building/ Statues

ELW Photography #2

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I posted my first ELW Gallery about a month ago! Time flies even in a pandemic. Here is a brief update from New York City….

July 10, 2020—New York Phase III—Outdoor Dining Began this past Monday. Indoor Dining was cancelled. All events in the city are off through September.

A few words before presenting my second gallery of photos from the city that now sleeps. Yes, there are more cars again, more people not concerned enough about Covid.

The young will pay a hefty price for their natural feelings of invincibility.

Our politicians are challenged on more than just the Covid front. Race and Justice are now exposed again.

People are justifiable in their needs during this crisis.

I have walked almost every day to keep sane myself.

New Yorkers need more physical space.

I hope my photos of a mostly empty Central Park help you to escape as I did for a little while…

Welcome to the second gallery of photography featuring images of a newly quiet New York City.

What’s Normal?

As I stroll around the park, walk down 5th Avenue, and any number of differing paths I note a strong feeling of loss. There is also feelings of hope and escape from a newly quieted city.

New Eyes

As a trained photographer you see the world around you with new eyes every day. During this period of extreme crisis this ability is heightened. The next set of images was taken from the July 4th Holiday and beyond.

Architecture of Central Park

I always take notice of details that seem to be missed by people busy with every activity except looking. The interior of the park has gorgeous designs both natural and man made.

Conditions Change

Tropical Storm Fay Is Pounding The City Today: 3 Inches Of Rain Expected. We need it badly.

Keep Your Distance

Thank you Dear Readers for visiting Evan’s Gate!

See you next week!