A New York Minute

My head is still a little askew from the sleep deprivation gymnastics I pulled off this weekend, but it was worth it. My great friends Mark and Cheree invited me to New York for a party they were having on Saturday, and I just couldn’t pass it up. Of course it meant flying out at 6am Saturday morning and getting on another plane back at 6am Sunday morning without sleeping at all on Saturday night and only a couple of hours on Friday night. So yes, I’m a bit tired right now writing this.

But it was great fun. We had a little BBQ in Riverside Park near the banks of the Hudson River near Mark and Cheree’s place. As always it was a very international guest list. France and New Zealand were represented as well as two of us from Chicago. Great discussions and great fun with everyone bringing a little something to contribute to the food menu.

Then it was out to dinner at one of my recent favorite restaurants on the Upper West Side called Purtutti on Broadway near 112th. It’s the same one a few doors down from the diner they show ever night on Seinfeld and this time I got a proper photograph of it with my good camera so it’s easier to see than the one I took with my phone camera back in March. The photo was taken from the wrong side of the diner than the shot that is featured on the TV show, but you it should be a good enough image to make you go, “Oh yeah! That diner!”

After dinner we took in a movie, Who Killed the Electric Car?, which is both amazing and really sad. So many of the world’s problems are being exacerbated by politicians in bed with the oil and car industries and an American public that refuses to think of long term consequences of our dependence on oil. It’s an important film but one that makes you sad.

The electric car is not some distant technological vision of the future. Several hundred were built by GM, widely embraced by those who managed to get to the top of a long waiting list and lease them and then were taken back by GM a couple of years ago and literally crushed to erase any trace of their existance. Gone and with them an viable alternative to gasoline powered cars.

Incredible.

It was a little after midnight by the time the movie was over, and so I bid Mark and Cheree farewell and decided to go explore Manhattan on foot on my own with my camera for a few hours before heading back to the airport and back to Chicago. I was tired by then, but it was a nice change to walk around looking for interesting things to photograph in the middle of the night.

The lens I brought with me was not the one I wanted to bring, but in my haste to leave early Saturday, just grabbed the wrong one, so my images were a little more challenging. I had inadvertently brought a 100mm lens, which is more of a telephone lens than I usually shoot architecture with, so I have to focus primarily on the detail of buildings rather than the whole buildings themselves. But it was an interesting exercise. All of the pictures here were taken last night with that lens.

About 3am, I decided to walk to one of my favorite places on the island in the Village called Yaffa Cafe. They’re open 24 hours and it’s the perfect place to go and chill for a while. Great healthy food and tea and coffee and a great staff. I ordered some Camomile tea and some fruit, yogurt and granola as a bit of breakfast before getting on the plane and just soaked in the atmosphere and talked to the guy who was waiting on me.

A nice peaceful end to a great little New York visit.

About 4am, I headed out to grab a cab back to LaGuardia and the ridiculousness that is air travel and was back at my place before 8am.

A long wonderful day.

(Inside the beautiful and cozy Yaffa Cafe)

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