Another view from above

I still always pick a window seat when I fly in and out of the City. I recently went on a trip home to Florida and when I came back I had my usual window seat on the middle, right side of the plane. Half an hour or so before we land, the pilot announces that we are "beginning our descent into the New York area" or "into La Guardia" and so I know it's time to get my camera out and get ready to capture the City from above.

First I notice the big red parachute jump in Coney Island in Brooklyn. It looks little from up above, and so does Dino's Wonder Wheel and the famous Cyclone roller coaster.

Coney Island
Coney Island

Then I see the flat land of Brooklyn, including a few parks and lots of highways. 


And for the first time this time around, I notice Governor's Island, which is between Brooklyn and Staten Island, and below the southern tip of Manhattan.

Governor's Island
Governor's Island from above

And the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.

Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge
Manhattan & Brooklyn Bridges

Once we fly past Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, we fly above Midtown and I spot my favorite building with the gold top—the New York Life Insurance Building on 27th Street and Madison Avenue by Madison Square Park and the Flat Iron Building.

New York Life Insurance Building and Midtown (Chelsea/Gramercy)
Gold top

Just a few blocks north of the gold top, is the Empire State Building at the corner of 34th Street and 5th Avenue. It is a tall, slender sight.

The Empire State Building
Empire State Building from above

And the easiest City place to spot out my window is Central Park. You can see the Reservoir and the ball-fields from above it.

Central  Park

Central Park from above

And when I see Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, I know we are close to making that right turn towards Queens and our "descent" into La Guardia airport, where I'm bound to catch the bus back home to the Upper West Side.

Yankee Stadium


A visit to Battery Park City

After visiting Ground Zero on September 11th, I decided that instead of going home to watch a movie and relax, I would finally stop by Battery Park. I've been meaning to stop by there for a while—I've only been there 3 times in the last 4 years so I took the opportunity to revisit.

I started at Bowling Green (because that's where the subway is) and came across the Flags of Honor and Heroes and then walked down by the water to take in the view of the Statue of Liberty out on Liberty Island. I could also see Ellis Island, Liberty State Park in Jersey City and even the Colgate Clock (I out in Jersey City as well (I always wonder why that thing is there!).

As I walked up the esplanade, along the water heading north toward the North Cove Marina and The World Financial Center, the Statue of Liberty stayed within my view. There wasn't a moment when I wasn't amazed by everything surrounding me. The beautiful Jersey City skyline, the sparking light on the Hudson River, the butterflies in the bushes, the many secluded park spaces and the cool, random sightings along the way, like a guy riding what I believe was a cupcake bicycle.

Passageway by the esplanade

View of the Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty

The Jersey City skyline


Remembering September 11th

Last year on September 11th I was visiting family in Florida and I was disappointed I couldn't be in the city to take pictures down by Ground Zero again.

This year I went down in the afternoon after watching some of the ceremonies on TV and despite the many crowds of protesters, I made my way to the old site of the Twin Towers. It wasn't too crowded; it was pleasant and I had the chance to reflect on the events that made history nine years ago on this day.

And I've never been downtown when it wasn't beautiful. Whether it was in the summertime for a visit to South Street Seaport, or in the wintertime for a mini-photo shoot of the holiday tree in front of the Stock Exchange, or when it's almost Fall and Labor Day has passed and it's time to visit the place I once visited as a kid.

Inside the World Financial Center, looking out onto Ground Zero

The Flags of Heroes and Honor in Battery Park

The Sphere sculpture that used to stand between the two Towers
Interesting background about the Sphere on Wikipedia


Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Ever since last summer I've been meaning to get out to Flushing Meadows to visit the park and see the famous Unisphere and Pavillion from where the 1964 World's Fair took place. But it rained almost every day last summer so it wasn't ideal for sight-seeing.

This summer the weather's been great but it's been so hot—too hot for outdoor adventures. So I waited until it cooled down over Labor Day weekend and fit in some kayaking, picnicking in Central Park and a visit to this unique place located in Queens.

Joseph from I Still Heart New York and I took the 7 train out to Mets-Willett Point where the old Shea Stadium used to be and where the US Open is taking place (nearby at the USTA Tennis Center) [sorry if I got any of that wrong. I don't know much about tennis or football].

I got a nice tour of the grounds, including a walk over Amphitheater Bridge out to Meadow Lake and past Queens Theater and the new skating park.

Best of all, I finally got to see the giant globe of the Earth that can be spotted in many movies and TV shows (think King of Queens), and even from the sky...

The Unisphere
From King of Queens...

The observation towers, which were used in the Men In Black movie!
Observation Towers in Flushing Meadows Park

The Pavillion
The Pavillion in Flushing Meadows Park

The Unisphere again


Jersey City views from West Street

On my way to a free kayaking session at Pier 40, put on by downtownboathouse.org, I had to stop along the way to take in the perfect view of Jersey City and Hoboken from my spot on the esplanade. All along West Street, just west of the West Village, you can get amazing views of the sparkling Hudson River and New Jersey across the way and even some of Lower Manhattan and Battery Park City below you.

It was a cool end-of-summer day when I went over Labor Day weekend to do some kayaking out on the Hudson, but it was windy and the waves carried me around the water, giving my arms more of a work-out every time the kayak went out of bounds!

There is also free kayaking out in Astoria off of Socrates Sculpture Park: www.licboathouse.org.


View toward Jersey City and Hoboken

The Goldman Sachs Tower in Jersey City plus surrounding businesses

View towards Lower Manhattan


Woody Allen's "Manhattan" in Central Park

A couple weekends ago, I went to Central Park's Sheap's Meadow to watch the Woody Allen movie, "Manhattan." I'd never seen it before but figured I'd get appreciate it since it is about life in the city. This 1979 black and white romantic comedy shows images of the city during the opening credits, like the skyline, famous landmarks, people on the streets and more. This montage caught everyone's attention in the park, as camera flashes went off like crazy, capturing the familiar locations, especially during the iconic scene during the movie where the characters played by Woody Allen and Diane Keaton sit on a park bench overlooking the East River and with the Queensborough Bridge in view.

The Plaza Hotel

The Queensborough Bridge scene