Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 8: The Park

Photo of the Day: Forest in the Urban Jungle

Today marks the one-week anniversary of my arrival to New York. Despite my ongoing ignorance and naivete about this city, it feels like I've been forever. I wonder when it will get to the point when every interaction I have is no longer about recommendations of places to eat and things to do and analyses of the New York lifestyle. Honestly, I miss having casual conversation about the random day-to-day.

Despite my body's insistence that I stay home and catch up on errands today, I decided to meet up with some colleagues and make my inaugural visit to Central Park. My No. 1 tip: wear sunglasses. Not because Central Park is terribly sunny (though the weather was gorgeous), but because it's the best place in the world to people-watch, and you very likely will find yourself staring. My favorite part of our stroll was stopping to watch the Central Park Dance Skaters, a club of roller skating and rollerblading enthusiasts who rope off a part of the sidewalk, crank disco tunes, and boogie down on four wheels. Some of them donned ridiculous outfits or performed magic tricks or balanced stuff on their heads. I swear my happiness quotient jumped by a billion points just by watching their joyful performances. The rest of the park was lovely if not spectacular; I enjoyed seeing the iconic sights, but it wasn't as stunningly gorgeous as I was expecting. It may have had something to do with the crowds that turned out because of the pleasant weekend weather.

It felt really good to walk around and focus just on take pictures, though I am disappointed I haven't been able to work much on growing as a photographer lately. I feel like most of my work since arriving has been more or less "tourist shots," or pictures I just happen to snap on the fly while ogling the scenery. I was browsing this evening through the work of a really good photographer, and it just made me want to try harder and hone my own artistry. It may take a week or two until I finally feel comfortable enough in this town to really improve my skills, but hopefully I'll be able to provide you, my faithful readers, with more captivating images of my time in New York.

A tree may grow in Brooklyn, but a sunflower grows in Queens. =P
Decided to do a little self-portrait on the subway.
Columbus Circle, right at the edge of Central Park, where I met up with my colleagues.
The very crowded Sheep Meadow lawn in Central Park.
Central Park Dance Skaters showing off their moves!
The huge guy with the M.C. Hammer pants and rollerblades also performed magic tricks. How could you not love New York?
This lady was by far my favorite skater. She was probably well into her sixties, but she would bust moves like no other and experiment with really interpretive stuff.
The view of the New York skyline from the Turtle Pond.
The world-famous Bethseda Fountain by the lake in Central Park.
Because of the beautiful weekend, the park was insanely crowded, which probably detracted from my experience. As my colleague put it, Central Park is the collective backyard of all New Yorkers.
I love the way the light filters through the trees.
The view from the reservoir.
On the way home, I stopped by Magnolia, a very famous bakery further popularized by Sex and the City. I got a red velvet cupcake...mmmmm....
I got a recommendation from the lady behind us in line to try the banana pudding too. It was delicious, very light and fluffy. However, coming from Texas, I think I've had comparable or better.
Another street intersection on New York's West Side. I am told that Hotel Empire, the building with the neon sign in the foreground, is prominently featured in the television series Gossip Girl. We also visited the nearby Lincoln Center, but it was crowded and roped off due to an event, so I'll have to get pictures of it later!
I want to be a better photographer.


  1. Great blog! Please keep it up for the rest of the year; it'll be awesome to be able to look back and relive the moments. And if you ever do that pizza crawl, let me know.. I still have yet to do a proper pizza tour myself. :)

  2. damn, josh

    iono if its cause you're always doing something, or cause of your photography skills, but new york seems very fun ahhaha

  3. @Talida: Haha, I feel like it's a very egocentric blog right now, but hopefully it will develop into helpful tips for future New York newbies, once I figure those out for myself. I don't know if I'll realistically do pizza (might be too unhealthy) but I do want to find a food to specialize in. And I definitely want to do Grimaldi's some time!

    @Endri: I think I'll chalk it up to New York. =P This city is super vibrant, and there's always something going on. I'm looking forward to seeing how Philly stacks up when I come visit, haha.

  4. haha.. i love the picture of the high-steppin lady skater! that must have been so fun to watch!

  5. She was my favorite! I should have taken video, haha. It really was couldn't help but feel happier while watching. Dance skating seems like a great stress relief idea.

  6. Central Park seems like an awesome place for people-watching. :)

    p.s. Do you watch Sex and the City or Gossip Girl? lol. I won't judge if you do.

  7. hahah i love the Empire Hotel - that's where i had my birthday last year!! I will have to take you there sometime. Also, everyone raves about Magnolia's Red Velvet Cupcakes and Banana Pudding - but I know this bakery in the Lower East Side that can top both. I will have to take you there too!! - Van Ann

  8. hey josh, i just visited where im staying for my job, doylestown, and i might have hyped it up a bit cause its countryyyyyyyyyyyy lol

    but, still come, downtown phillys only 40min away

  9. @Laura: To set the record straight, I don't watch either, I promise, haha.

    @Van Ann: Yes please and thank you!!!