Tag Archives: Spring

Union Squared


Though Union Square can be overrun with tourists and skate kids, when the sun comes out, they really are the centerpiece of the park. The park is one of the best places to people watch. I wouldn’t say it is full of fashionistas like other haunts in New York, but there is a definite trendy edge to the many denizens of Union Square.

I am always on the lookout for cool statues, and the famous faces of Lincoln and Washington give stability to the chaotic nature of the park on a sunny day. Their stoic bronze faces peer through the endless buildings to the south. Their dark figures are the perfect contrast to the endless blue sky.


I spotted some kids boxing on the east end of the park and snapped a few pictures of the faux scuffle. I am more partial towards martial arts, but they made such a fuss with their crowd of friends, I couldn’t help but capture the moment. What I would give to come back as Puerto Rican child in New York!


The skater kids on the west side of the park were ever so cool. Wisps of cigarette smoke permeated the area. Feet covered in Vans and Chucks shuffled about. I always liked red Chucks.


I was about to be ran over by a guy who was skateboarding nearby as I wandered about with my camera, but I narrowly avoided a cement-laden demise and caught a cool blurry photo of him zipping past.

The sun is here my friends, finally. Go out into your parks and enjoy the warmth we have been waiting for!

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Hocus Crocus!

Holy Springtime, Batman! Its that time of year! Tonight everyone is supposed to set all of their clocks forward an hour to be in line with daylight savings time. Why the planet adheres to this antiquated practice of messing with time (and circadian rhythms) is beside me, however not to be outdone, Mother Nature sent some of her finest blooms up early for all of us to enjoy.

If your know the signs of Spring, there are two flowers to look for: Crocuses and Forsythia. The latter is hard to come by in New York, but there were crocuses aplenty in my old garden in Midtown. They peeked their brightly colored heads out from underneath the fall leaves in little flurries of spring color.

The Daffodils decided to join in on the party, and trumpeted the coming arrival of the vernal equinox with a splash of goldenrod and cream. Their skinny leaves fluttered in the breeze.

I made a new friend in the garden named Jamie, and he has been a resident of Hell’s Kitchen for decades. He told me about his ritual of recording the passing seasons through photos in the garden. We agreed that our little, gated slice of heaven was a perfect timekeeper for the seasons.


A ring of Tulips slowly began to unfurl their velvety bezier curve leaves in the shade of the giant Tulip Magnolia tree in the center of the garden. The bees have not woken up from their slumber yet, so it is only these hearty perennials who have arrived without their presence.


Together, these tiny flowers have set the seasonal clock in motion with their Springtime festival of color and light. The year began a few months ago, but it is now that 2012 really comes to life. The colorful clarion call of the Crocus banishes the winter, and brings an end to the bitter cold.

Spring is here. Finally.

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Happy Faces in Happy Places

Spring is all about smiles. The weather starts to become livable. The animals come out of hibernation. The trees are on fire with lush greenery. These are all simple things to be happy about.

Kendra and her boo, Jalyssa, asked me to take photos of them, and naturally the High Line fit the bill for a place full of Springtime energy. There is something electric about being up there in the mix between park and urban jungle. I have done many shoots there, as you have seen, and what keeps me coming back is that there always seems to be a perfect array of shadows and light no matter the type of shoot.

The happy couple was easy to photograph, as their positive energy was contagious. Onlookers always love to stop and smile at other people that are smiling too, so seeing reactions of others is just as fun.

I brought a friend along, Marc, who looks kind of like Jake Gyllenhaal. Just don’t tell him that. He is working on his photography at UConn and was in town for a weekend visit.

Right after the shoot with Kendra and company, I was asked to cover a birthday party in the Meatpacking District for my friend Shyori. I had designed the invite for his party, so I was happy that the turnout was just as great.

Michael was simply fierce. Only to be expected.

The king of the night had many friends over, and we danced, drank, and enjoyed the cool night. I can’t wait for the Blessed Week of Jonakah!

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A Day in the Sun + A Walk in the Park

Today was just too beautiful to stay inside. After all, my place was spotless, I was off, and I was aching to soak up some sunlight. You can’t help but be electrified by the first few days of true Spring weather after having endured the dreadful Northeast Winter for months on end.

I met up with Jaybird at 42nd street, and we went to Dallas BBQ for lunch—and managed to NOT have drinks. Our El Salvadorean waitress warned me that drinking on a Monday would lead to heavy drinking throughout the week. We will just say my glass of sweet tea had to stay full to avoid ordering my beloved frozen Texas size long island ice tea. My quarter chicken was fantastic.

From BBQ’s, we walked up eighth avenue and visited Alex for a few. He was overjoyed to be having a date later in the evening with someone interesting. We grabbed some more iced tea and walked up to Columbus Circle. There is always someone to look at there, generally in the form of a skaterboy.

We entered the park at the southwest corner, and wandered throughout the park for a couple hours—stopping to take in the sunlight every so often. The light was just golden, thats the only way to put it.

There were lots of couples on the water in boats, and even more just walking around together. Someday I will have a significant other ask me for a walk in Central Park on the first golden day of the year. However, Jay and I decided though that even though we are all about equality, two men in a boat on the water just looks hilarious. Oh well, there are still carousels. Speaking of couples on the water, we saw a guy rowing his girl through the water romantically—while she texted, tweeted, and wasted the entire experience. Bleh!

The grand angel statue in the central promenade had no water surrounding her in the fountain, which was weird at first. I’m used to seeing waterlilies at her feet in the cool pond. I thought about it for a second and realized I needed to be right beneath her for the perfect shot. Jumping in the fountain was fun, even though it was dry. I know, I’m a dork.

The highlight of the walk through The Park had to be the bubble guy. Bubble guy had a bucket full of bubble soap and two strings on two sticks for making massive bubbles. Like two five year olds, Jay and I ogled over the shimmering globes in the air that floated effortlessly past little children.

There were some dads there with their sons watching the short lifecycle of the bubbles—birth— shiny, floating life—and POP! It was kind of a moment for life to watch these parents with their kids in the sun with the bubbles going past.

Naturally, Jay was a pro at making bubbles of his own, and the bubble guy said that he must have done that before. Jay said that he had in a previous life. We enjoyed the slippery, shimmering bubbles for a long time and walked towards the southeast corner.

Only in New York can you ice skate on the 4th of April. Hilarious. We walked to the Apple store on 5th avenue to play with iPads and such, and pretty much got life from one of their employees. Should have taken a photo.

This guy that was sitting outside was pretty interesting though. I love to see guys in New York switch their style up for the coming weather in new ways. Epaulettes make me all kinds of happy, and the pairing of this fancy military coat with piercings and chain definitely give this guy cool points in my book.

In the end, the coolest guy I saw all day was this brand new statue of Andy Warhol, gleaming in the night by Union Square. I wonder who the new giants are that have filled his role as a visionary since then? Filmmakers like James Cameron, Lady Gaga, David LaChappelle?

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First Little Flowers from the Garden

I was a bit of  a recluse this winter in terms of getting out and taking photos because it was always so damn bitter cold. This was my third winter here in New York, and it seemed like it was definitely the coldest.

Despite the winter still having a hold on our newfound spring, little crocuses, irises, and tulips have been popping their heads up in the garden down the street from me. They are the little heralds of the coming sunshine.

Their presence means that the weather is going to get warmer, and that we can soon bask in the sun as they do. Their bright colors cheer you up on the last few chilly days, and remind you that there is a cycle to all that is.

There is magic in the first flowers of spring.

Enjoy these little flowers and look forward to seeing many more as the weather begins to warm up. These should hold you over for now…

Until then, just keep your head up, and your gloves on. Maybe your shoes too.

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Green for the First of Spring

Naturally everyone in New York City is getting restless at this time of year. Spring is supposed to have started already, but we still have the threat of snowflakes on the horizon. However, I spotted this little patch of green goodness at Worldwide Plaza and smiled.

Some other things that have made me smile lately:

*Finishing Patti Smith’s ‘Just Kids’ and visiting some haunts of hers and Robert’s

*Beating Carlos on Marvel vs Capcom 3 (several times)

*Repotting a plant of mine that needed a new home

*Making some new friends in interesting places, and finding old ones again

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Field Trip: Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

Jelani had been talking and listing about going to the Botanic Gardens in Brooklyn for a while, and yesterday the planets aligned and made for the perfect sunny day for us to finally make the trip. We had the added benefit of going during Matsuri festival, which is the Japanese way of ringing in the Spring and celebrating the blooming of the amazing sakura cherry trees. Small problem though—the cherries had all bloomed a couple weeks ago, because they were impatient to get over the winter. They shot their proverbial wad a bit early.

Nevertheless, our crew wandered the pathways of the gardens and had a great time eating, talking, and looking at flowers and people. The flowers were one thing, but the people were quite another. Apparently, this Matsuri festival is code for “Cosplayers unite!” because there were hundreds of elaborately dressed characters running around the gardens. Some were gothic lolitas, others were anime characters, and still others were insects. A few may just have very well been oddly dressed people. Either way, the characters walking around there were almost more interesting to me than the scenery, gorgeous as it was. I felt massively underdressed and unimpressive, because I wasn’t in some kind of ninja regalia. The fashion of some of these people was on point, so it was an interesting opportunity to photograph a little recognized community here in New York.

On the floral side of things, the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens has so many gorgeous flowers, you’d have to keep coming back through the spring and summer to see them all. It seemed as if many flowers had already bloomed, and were ready for round two. There were peonies the size of dinner plates, and azalea bushes the size of my studio apartment. The Japanese gardens and pond full of koi were quite marvelous. I would have to say though, that the wisteria that covered trellises all over the grounds were my favorite part of going there. They reminded me of the trellis that my grandmother used to cover with wisteria, grapes, and hanging baskets beside her house. Pretty much all of my lenses got a workout during the trip: my 10-22mm took great scenic shots, my 50mm macro got in a few close-ups, and my 28-135mm captured all the action of the cosplay community.

Observe the beauty that is the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens here on my blog, and then actually go hop on the Q train to Prospect Park and go see the place. I promise everything is so beautiful, you will have a hard time taking a bad photo. Make sure you make time to sit down and soak in the atmosphere over lunch while you rest on the lawns there.

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