15-03- 06 Staten Island

If you are in the area just a reminder that “Lighthouse Stories and Tales Of the Sea” opens at the National Lighthouse Museum tomorrow. Reception from 1pm-5pm. Just steps from the Ferry! I don’t know whose image is on the card but I like it.


15-02-28 Weekly Photo Challenge – Reward


I went to Staten Island yesterday to drop off one of my images of the Saugerties Lighthouse which was selected for a juried exhibit at the National Lighthouse Museum in March. That was pretty rewarding.

More rewarding (even though I lost a glove in the process) was the ride on the Staten Island Ferry back to Manhattan and the view of The Hudson it afforded. I could see all the way up to the George Washington Bridge.


Below is the information about the exhibit…reward #2 (but not my image)


Other rewarding blogs:











8-13-13 Teaser Tuesday

Fresh Kills Kayak -KHA-0052

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Open your current book to a random page

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page


Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!

Here we go:

“Shortly before her death, Mme Ren, of Lyon, had Mme Lefrays arrested.”

“They were brought back to Paris from Le Havre.”

Novels In Three Lines


Félix Fénéon

Translated and with an Introduction by Luc Sante

11-10-12 – PT 2 – Staten Island – Post Sandy/Athena

A few more pictures from yesterday that didn’t quite make the cut but I feel are worth sharing anyway.

People really do their best not to surrender, don’t they?

Thanks for paying attention and doing anything you can to help.

11-10-12 Midland Beach, New Dorp Beach, Staten Island – Post Sandy/ Post Athena

9:00 AM gathering of volunteers

130 members of the Friends Seminary community (with help from many other members who cooked amazing amounts of food and provided a massive quantity of supplies) went to Staten Island today to help in the disaster relief efforts in Midland Beach and New Dorp Beach.

The “Chuck Wagon” or supply bus

We chose this particular community because Friends is partnering with PS 52 – an Elementary School which is displaced from their building and lost their library – and these areas are their community.

We were working with two organizations that have been on the ground since early on in the relief effort. A local catering company, Ariana’s Catering, has turned a small party hall into a collection center, food distribution center and all around comfort zone.

We the People, Feed The People

A motorcycle club,  The Hallowed Sons, came in the first day and have never left. They are a collection center, they make food on site and feed both residents and volunteers, and they coordinate volunteers to help residents remove debris and their destroyed possessions from their homes.

I saw some FEMA and some National Guard presence but no Red Cross in the area I was in. My belief is that without Ariana’s and The Hallowed Sons and other local groups, this disaster zone would be in a state of total collapse.

Approximately 1250 feet from the shoreline

Doing homework where you can

I saw too many people break down in tears today and be much too grateful for the little help we could provide.

I heard people whose homes were destroyed  say: “we could use the help but my neighbor needs it more than I do.”

I saw way too much black mold, too many destroyed homes, too many lives placed on the street, waiting for sanitation to come and cart away the container that held a child’s first tooth, the album that had the only pictures of long gone parents, the sofa bought with that first promotion.

I do have to give a shout out to the police, the fire department and especially the New York City Sanitation Department. Everyone I spoke to talked about how sanitation was always there, working through horrendous strain and removing everything on the street from moldy boxes to destroyed ranges, to beds and music cabinets.

To put this in perspective, this is one small community in New York City. There are many, way too many, more in Brooklyn, Queens, and in parts of Manhattan, and that is before I even mention Long Island or the Jersey Shore, Hoboken,  and on and on.  This clean up and repair is not going to be a matter of weeks or even months, but of years.  My home needs all the help it can get.

Occupy Sandy Relief NYC

I read something from a New Orleans blogger today and strongly recommend reading it. It is worth your while.

New Orleans Slate

11-7-12 Friends Does Its Bit

Yesterday I participated in The Friends Seminary Meal-A-Thon. The community (students, faculty, staff, administration and families) gathered in the cafeteria to make bag lunches (sandwiches, fruit, desert, drink) for people who are currently homeless on Staten Island due to Sandy.  The energy was intense and great.  Two hours of the afternoon had been set aside but so many people showed up that we filled every bag within about 45 minutes. The scene in these pictures may look a bit chaotic but it wasn’t. It was just filled to the rim with enthusiasm. The community also collected several hundred blankets to donate to a shelter in Chelsea that has light but no heat.

Saturday a number of the parents and High School and Middle School students will be going to Staten Island to set up pop up food stations and help residents clean the debris from their homes and streets.

Then I walked outside to go to my Photoshop class:

5:30PM – 43rd Street and 6th Avenue

Midnight – my street

10-30-12 Luck

This was/is a really bad storm.  As always in these situations some were lucky/fortunate and some were not. We fall into the lucky category.  Yes, there were very high winds and much rain in NYC, but in the end the issue was the storm surge.  We live on one of the highest points on Manhattan Island.  That is luck, not planning. We had several neighborhoods we considered after Abigail was born.  If the right apartment had appeared we might be evacuated or without electricity and with severe damage in our apartment or house. Of course, even those people are lucky.  Breezy Point, 80 (eighty!) houses burned to the ground, around the city, houses collapsing, cranes collapsing, patients needing evac from a hospital… random chance where you are at what time.  If we had not had the warnings from the Government weather satellites, this could have been much worse. As it is, repairs will run into the billions of dollars and  Atlantic City, much of New Jersey, Long island, Connecticut, suffered equally.  They cannot predict when the subway system will be back, so no idea when the kids go back to school or people can go back to work. No idea when they will get the power back on in downtown Manhattan, or on parts of Staten island, Queens, Brooklyn or the Bronx.

8 hours before Sandy hit land – which happened at 8pm almost exactly at high tide and with a full moon – …

I was down at the river. The tide was ebbing…

The picture below is hardly the best picture I have ever taken but it shows how far the water overflowed the banks.  The fence in the background is the fence in the previous picture.  This is easily 100 feet and again I emphasize that we had it very easy.

They have closed all the City parks until further notice , probably because of this sort of thing.

The parks are closed but that doesn’t stop us…

I, again, want to thank everyone for their concern and notes. My family and I are fine. My city is not.

7-8-12 Kayaking At Fresh Kills

First as a parenthetical note…if you want to read about big kayak adventures go check out Wind Against Current. Johna and Vlad really kayak. Katherine and I just toodle.

Through a bit of luck, I happened to visit the Freshkills Park website practically the moment they posted their free guided kayak tour of a small part of the slowly developing Freshkills Park.  Currently the only way to be in the park is through guided tours (water or walking).  Closed  in 2001, Fresh Kills which is on Staten Island was the world’s largest landfill (aka garbage mound).  When completed in 2040 or later it will be the second largest park in the New York City system (Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx is the biggest).

Our Parks Department guides Carrie Grassi and Michael Callery ably assisted by Tina (and another woman whose name I did not catch…oops) from Kayak Staten Island led the tour of 30. There was a 60 person wait list and Carrie told us the tour filled within an hour of being listed.

Later today or tomorrow I will have more pictures, especially of the Osprey, up on Flickr but for now…Come paddle with us.

Carrie gathers the group before starting off

Pilot program to see if goats can help clear out some invasive species…



If you are in the NYC area on July 14th (next Saturday) check out City Of Water Day. Events on both rivers. The main areas will be Liberty State Park and Governor’s island so The Hudson is well represented even before the various activities taking place on and in it.

10-17-11 Staten Island Ferry

Did the round trip to Staten Island today to get a different perspective on the mouth of the river (and to shoot the Statue of Liberty). Boy was the perspective different.

I don’t know if every ferry now gets a Coast Guard escort but we had one coming and going. Seems an awful waste of money and more designed to frighten the citizens of the US than in protecting anything.

But the water running past the ferry was calming…

and I loved looking up the river mouth to the GW Bridge.

After that I swung by the Urban Farm at the Battery and then visited the Occupy Wall Street encampment (Occupy Wall Street Facebook Page)  since it was the one month anniversary – I hope to have a separate post about that up by the end of the day.