Tag Archives: Sunshine

Union Squared

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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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Relish the Rapture

If I were a certain type of person, I would have felt really silly Sunday morning. I’m just saying. I know that there are all kinds of heathens and things wrong with the world, but when creation itself is as gorgeous as it is, why shatter it in the apocalypse? We will probably do that ourselves eventually, so there is no divine intervention necessary.

In any case, Elizabeth in all her fabulousness, had the foresight several months ago to book a reservation at Calle Ocho for the day of the rapture. I want to believe that she did this on purpose, or that her golden locks told her to do so. Her, Lee-Sean, and I all had tortilla espanola for brunch and several goblets full of sweet, sweet sangria. If you have never been to Calle Ocho, there are two things to know: book months in advance for brunch, and save room for all the sangria you are about to sip!

After brunch, Elizabeth showed us to her new pad, which is just blocks away from Calle Ocho and one block from The Park. Prime real estate we are talking here. From there, we frolicked to the Great Lawn, and then on to Turtle Pond. We ascended Belvedere Castle just in time for the rapture at 6pm, only to find that the sky was getting dark and the temperature dropped a little. Damn.

While at The Park, we took in the wildlife, and marveled at just how lucky we are to be where we are, when we are, together. Sometimes reflection like that is necessary for true appreciation of life.

Ideally, we could all appreciate life from the Beresford alongside Central Park West, but the view from Turtle Pond is just fine with me. Soak in the sun and relish the rapture.

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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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Once You Start, The Sun Don’t Stop

Broga=yoga for bros.

For some reason, we keep getting blessed with beautiful weather here in NYC. Collectively, we must have been very good boys and girls this year or something. Either way, I enjoyed basking in the sunshine by the river this afternoon. You know I have to tan as much as humanly possible before the winter sets in so I don’t look like someone out of Twilight.

This guy was cool and laughed with us at people baking in the sun.

My daily routine hardly ever sends me further south than 34th, or further north than 59th, so today was out of the ordinary when Chris (yes, another Chris) asked me to take some photos of him. We met up by my place, and then drove down to the Village to scope out a spot to take some headshots and all that good stuff.

Chris is a big ol can of ham. HAM I tell you!

It was more than gorgeous out by the time that we got there, and it was 84 degrees outside, so in between shots, bottled water was a must. Thank you Poland Springs! He took great photos and we even made some new friends out there by the water.

Nomnomnomnom.

Where they do that at?

Oh no he DIDN'T! But yes he DID.

In the middle of talking to one of our new friends that we met there at the Pier, we noticed an old guy showering outside right by us. We were  a little taken aback by the fact that there was a shower mere feet from us, and also by the fact that he had no shame in his game. I need to step it up like him.

Gushing with fun

I also got to see the fire boat in action on the river, which was awesome. I would love to ride on it someday and take photos of them putting out a fire. Odd, I know.

She KNEW she was too cool for school. So I put her in black and white.

From the Pier, we migrated to the Highline, where we saw tons of the cool kids. You know who I am talking about.

Don't hate on her shine children. Look at her glow!

I also saw this lovely lady with her photographer strutting about with her husband to be. She pretty much gave me life itself. Chris was impressed with the Highline, just as with my other friends that also happen to be named Chris.

You have to be kidding. NYPD please go find some rapists instead.

We also spied a cop giving a ticket to a UPS truck! I was just as outraged as the UPS driver was, so I had to record the ridiculousness.

I wanted to take both of them home so bad!

Afterwards, I went home and tried to take a brief nap like these two French bulldogs. Just look at them!!! Ahhhhhhhhh puppies!

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Flower Power for the Week

It’s been a few weeks since I showed you what was growing in my garden.

As you can tell, it is abuzz with life and energy.

The colors of nature alone are enough to make you happy about the day.

The shapes of nature inspire us with their organic geometry.

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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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