Nov 30 2011

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Category: TravelRandall Kelley @ 22:24

No lice balloons here. (Daily Show reference, google Daily Show, Evacuation Day) But this is placed into two galleries. One gallery is for die hard parade fans, it is one hundred and twenty some odd pictures long and has pretty much the whole parade. Sorry. As I said parade fans only. The second is a subset of just the Macy’s Parade balloons. If you view the whole parade, these are all in there, so you don’t need to do both. The whole parade is POSTED HERE.

For the meek, the balloon only set is POSTED HERE.

Nov 30 2011

One Last Half Day in New York

Category: TravelRandall Kelley @ 17:01

Our last day in New York was really just getting ready to travel and a nice lunch at the place I had tried earlier in the week (when they had altered hours due to the holiday and we couldn’t do it). We did a bit of walking around after lunch along the waterfront on the Hudson side. It ran us into a nice little park with a bunch of cute sculptures. The kind of “cavalier” work that would have brought me the disdain of my college sculpture professor, and that I love SO much.

We had a great time in New York. We both agree that we love it and would like to live there for a while if we could. Maybe I can find a cheap sublet for a half year or a year sometime after we retire. Emphasis on cheap. New York is not a cheap place.

I have to say I can whole heartedly recommend the Wall Street location of the Holiday Inn as both a bargain and a nice place to stay. With the only caveat being they are smaller rooms, which Rita and I don’t mind, but seem to freak out a lot of American travelers. The location there (Nassau Street a half block from Liberty Street) was within a couple of blocks of numerous subway routes. And with New York’s brilliant 7 day unlimited ride pass, it was perfect.

Plus the Brooklyn Bridge, Battery Park, China Town, Little Italy, and TriBeCa were all easily walking distance form our hotel. I don’t recommend walking to all of them the same day, as we very nearly did, but still… a great location. And it helped us to have the great time by saving us a lot of time. I definitely liked it better than the other Holiday Inn location (near Central Park) where we stayed last time, and it was about 2/3rds the price of that one, if we had stayed there again. But that was a much larger business hotel, and way less personable as well.

Anyway, this is the last post on the end of the trip. I will be doing one more post about our first day, and posting more pictures from that day at that time. I also plan a few sets of photos of New York Icons. Most of those have had one or two (or a bunch if we continually walked by them) posted already, but I plan to actually develop some more than the quickie versions I have put up for the “travelogue” usage.

Until that shows up, you can see some from our last day POSTED HERE.

When rotated upside down it gets very interesting...

Nov 29 2011

Lens Test for Photo Buffs

Category: Daily DrivelRandall Kelley @ 19:36

I’ll be back to finish the New York Stuff later this week. I still have our last day, and the full set from the first day, to go. Plus a best of the real icons of New York that I want to do. But today I played with a lens that arrived from Japan while we were in New York City.

I have put up a post of test shots from the M9-P and the Perar Super Triplet 35mm f/3.5 lens from Japan Exposures. This is a hand built lens from Japan that I heard about and then saw at the Steve Huff meet-up in Seattle. I was looking at it for a super compact lens, as it folds so flat it is barely more than a body cap when not in use. I CAN fit the M9-P in my jean jacket inside pocket, but it is quite a bulge with it in there. As I don’t really have any 35mm that is SUPER impressive to me, I thought I’d give this a shot. I can’t really swear I will be fully satisfied with this yet, because I barely had time to blast off a few between here and work. But I am duly impressed with the first results. It has a very distinct style, and I like that style. It has a level of sharpness that actually surprised me considering the simplicity of the design and the low (by Leica standards) price. For those interested in this sort of things, I’m posting some results with details on the settings. There is a small batch near the end that I could easily post as my usual daily shots and be satisfied. But I’m putting them all here together as the real idea today was to test. Results are POSTED HERE.

These sculptures are pretty cool But they are behind glass and its late PM with very little light. What will I get?

Nov 28 2011

Another Busy Day

Category: TravelRandall Kelley @ 05:14

Not to plan, but it worked out. AM on the waterfront near us, Then lunch in Midtown, followed by Roosevelt Island via arial tram ride. Ending with the Empire State Building after dark, and a great meal near the Flatiron Building. Pictures POSTED HERE.

But it's getting late (so little daylight this time of year) so we have to head back.

Nov 27 2011


Category: TravelRandall Kelley @ 04:58

More pictures, and the captions there will tell more of a story. But basically we wandered around Midtown, Hell’s Kitchen, and near the Flatiron area. Several ideas managed NOT to come to fruition today, but it turned out OK. Had empanadas at a cuban place, a first for us. Loved them. Had New York pizza tonight, and managed NOT to visit a chain store OR eat it with a fork, topped Trump twice. (Daily Show reference, google Daily show pizza trump, you’ll get a treat.) Got some great pictures, entered and lost a lottery for tickets to THE Broadway show, “The Book of Mormon”. Sad to have missed it, but it was fun just to try to luck into a sold out show. Ended the day waiting half an hour for a “parade of boats lit up for the holidays” that turned out to be six, count them SIX, barely decked out small boats. In Seattle that’s some friends going to dinner in their boats. So some hit, some miss. So today’s pictures are up. Some of these are real keepers, but a lot are there just to show what we did. Check them out, POSTED HERE.

View South with Empire State Building dominant and new Freedom Tower rising behind it. Statue of Liberty in the far distance.

Nov 25 2011

Liberty Island, China Town, Little Italy, and Two Bridges

Category: TravelRandall Kelley @ 20:34

THAT’S A LOT OF WALKING Another great day in NYC. Checked it on Google maps, and WITHOUT the walking around on Liberty Island and Ellis Island, or the wandering through the park between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges it was over seven miles. Guess we earned that Cannoli!!

We started pretty early and walked to Battery Park to catch the ferry to Liberty and Ellis Islands. Last time we were here these were closed and all we could do was a river cruise. This time I knew we still couldn’t go in the Statue of Liberty because of preservation work going on. But that beats last time with it all closed due to terrorist attack. Last visit was October 2001. This is way better.

This is going to be a brief overview again, and a small set of pictures. But as I had a better plan, and as we had WAY less photos shot today, I’m putting up twenty something shots instead of about ten. Still the same idea though. These aren’t going to be the best, just the best at telling today’s story.

We lucked out (or I’m GOOD) and timed everything so well. We walked straight onto the ferry to Liberty, and the next one to Ellis Island, were seated for lunch in a near empty restaurant, only to have it filled before we finished our meal. Then after a break back at the hotel, we headed out to China Town and Little Italy. I wanted to try cannolis at a well known bakery, and waited only for one other group to be seated. When we left the line was quarter block long (no exaggeration), maybe half a block. The rest of the day was away from the crowds, as no tourist (at least no tourist in their right mind) walks the Manhattan Bridge.

We were out until Dinner time again and got some good sunset and after dark shots of Manhattan from the Brooklyn side of the East River. It was a great day, but we are bushed! (Not George Bushed, it wasn’t THAT bad!) We plan some midtown activities tomorrow. But I’m hoping for more subway, and less walking. We still have two and a half days here, but we know it will fly by. The last two have been almost instantaneous.

We hope you enjoy today’s pictures. I’m know I have a lot of work to get the really good ones sorted out when we get home. For now, I have the photos from today (the few I’m putting up for “story board” purposes) POSTED HERE.

And finally, the lights are coming on in manhattan. Brooklyn Bridge is to the far right. The BRIGHT one is the new

Nov 24 2011

Thanksgiving Day in New York

Category: Family & Friends,TravelRandall Kelley @ 22:50

Not much time left. I’m fried and barely had time to glance at our pictures. I’m just writing a short overview of our day and posting a bare handful from that day now. Hope everyone understands, it was bizz-aaayy!

We had trouble getting to the correct side of the street to meet Debbie Charboneau’s friend Berni who was getting us into bleachers for the parade. FInally worked it out, and it was worth it in the end. We enjoyed it a lot, and it will fill a too large gallery soon, just for Macy’s Parade nuts.

After that it was a crammed subway ride to TriBeCa wanting to do lunch in the restaurant at Robert Dinero’s hotel (where we can’t afford to stay) but they were opening late due to Thanksgiving. So we ate in a small diner that ended up being cheap (I know, and in New York) and excellent, to boot.

As soon as we walked out of there we were within sight of the new tower being built at the World Trade Center site. We walked down past that on our way back to our hotel for a break. But after about an hour it was back to go into the Memorial for the afternoon.

Then we walked over to the waterfront, and ended up having an early dinner there. After that a shot walk in the dark back home. I have since gotten everything off the cameras and into the computer, but definitely don’t have “do it right time”.

So here for your brief viewing pleasure is the “Reader’s Digest” version. POSTED HERE.

Debbie Charbonneau's friend, Berni (left of Rita), and her family. Thank you so much for the seats!

Nov 23 2011

Seattle to New York

Category: TravelRandall Kelley @ 17:12

OK. We made it. However, it is still a bit rainy and we were a bit “spent” (as Austin would say) on arrival. The first LINK train to SeaTac Airport got us there close enough to flight time that we were boarding when we got to the gate. That may seem perfect, but when the train left the International District just before Warbux opened, and there was no time for caffein, and very little for liquid at all, it made for a bit of dehydration and grogginess.

Still it all went well. We took the sky train out of JFK and hopped on the A Train almost right away. But since we had little caffein and just “snack boxes” for food, we were pretty fried. We went ahead a texted the people we will meet for the bleacher seats at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tomorrow morning, as they had mentioned they might make it for the ballon inflation this afternoon also, That had been my plan, arrive then see them inflate the balloons.

However, as we now have a seat at the parade we are going (I was not going to if I saw the inflation if I had to stand around in a crowd for two hours to do it). But as we were fried, I thought about blowing off the inflating. We texted our host for the bleachers tomorrow, and they said they had seen the inflating, but (unlike what all the internet advice said) they were mostly done early in the afternoon. Everything I read said they started late afternoon and by the time they were mostly inflated it was evening. So that was a relief really, as we will need to be up early tomorrow and early is three hours earlier than home on top of that. We will need to be up at about 2 AM Seattle time so an early quit today will help.

SO… no pictures today, just a heads up that the trip was OK and we are snug (not as a bed bug, knock wood, as this is NYC) in our hotel. We had a good dinner at a pub just around the corner (nearly missed it as it wasn’t well signed) after making it up to the corner where we could see Zuccotti Park, but it sure looks like they still have the Occupy people cleared out.

So, now it’s off to bed as soon as possible (which won’t be so easy with the time difference) and then we go on, gung-ho, tomorrow. Parade in the AM and 9/11 Memorial in the afternoon. Then,after that we have a list of things to do/see, but no particular itinerary to do it in. All we know is Monday afternoon it all ends and we head home.

More to come in the next few days. Hopefully with lots of pictures to go with. Our best to all. R&R

Nov 20 2011

Waterfront Walk Home

Category: Daily Drivel,Sony BaloneyRandall Kelley @ 20:21

Walked to and from Anthony’s on the Seattle waterfront today for lunch. On the way back I shot some with the M9-P and the 50mm Summilux. Rita was trying out the Sony NEX-5n, mostly with the kit zoom lens on it. Got a bunch of good stuff. I’m Posting two separate batches. The first is street scenery along the way, some from on the waterfront and some from cutting through Pioneer Square. They are POSTED HERE.

The second set is a bunch of detail shots of “bits” of the scenery, as opposed to the scenery itself. I like to think of these as “Rita Shots” even when I shoot them. Of course some could fit either, so I just tried to balance them out. Those bits are POSTED HERE.

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