Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving from Roosevelt Island - Meet You at Alice's Restaurant

In addition to family, great food, the Macy's Parade, Miracle on 34th Street, March of the Wooden Soldiers and football, listening to Arlo Guthrie's rendition of Alice's Restaurant on WNEW-FM was, for me, a wonderful Thanksgiving tradition. A former DJ from the station remembers Thanksgiving and Arlo Guthrie this way on the blog All Mixed Up Radio.

Every year a couple of days before Thanksgiving, it starts. It's slow at first, and then turns into a non-stop avalanche of phone calls. And no matter how many times a station runs promo announcements telling people exactly when it will be played, the calls still come.

"What time are you playing 'Alice's Restaurant?'"
Some of the lyrics:
You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant
You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant
Walk right in it's around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant

Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, was on - two years ago on
Thanksgiving, when my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the
restaurant, but Alice doesn't live in the restaurant, she lives in the
church nearby the restaurant, in the bell-tower, with her husband Ray and
Fasha the dog. And livin' in the bell tower like that, they got a lot of
room downstairs where the pews used to be in. Havin' all that room,
seein' as how they took out all the pews, they decided that they didn't
have to take out their garbage for a long time.

You Tube link to short 2 minute video version above is here.
For those of you who want to go back in time and see the full 18 minute version of Alice's Restaurant, You Tube link is here.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Beautiful Nighttime Panoramic Pictures of Manhattan Skyline and The Encampment From Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park

More panoramic pictures from Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park. This time taken at night. Click on link here to fully view beautiful panoramic nighttime view of Midtown Manhattan as seen from Southpoint Park on Roosevelt Island.

Plus, panoramic picture from the Encampment at Southpoint Park.

Click on link here to fully view panoramic picture of Encampment public art project.

The works of the photographer, Joergen Geerds, will be part of a gallery show titled "Points of View" to be held at the Tabla Rasa Gallery in Brooklyn. More details here.

Joergen explains that to capture these panoramic images he uses a Canon XT1.
This setup gives me the same pixel amount as my graflex setup, but with less trouble with scanning&retouching. Exposure bracketing/blending gives me super rich dynamic range with 3 rows of 12 images usually and I think the results are now exactly where I wanted them to be.
Good job! Go see his show.

Earlier post of awesome panoramic picture from Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park showing the East River/Manhattan/Brooklyn/Queens skyline here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Seattle Ferries For Sale on Ebay- Roosevelt Island Could Use One

Lauren McFalls/Associated Press

According to Dan Doctoroff, NYC Deputy Mayor for Economic Development:
"Ferry service is an ideal transportation alternative because it takes cars off our streets without requiring a substantial investment in infrastructure, and it's something to which we are absolutely committed," said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff. "New York City and communities throughout our region have tremendous access to waterways, providing us with an excellent opportunity to promote ferries as a means of commuting to our business districts."
No disrespect intended, but please put the city's money where your mouth is Mr. Doctoroff. You as well as any other city official, property owner or ferry service operator (NY Water Taxi, NY Waterway) concerned with waterfront development and the accompanying lack of transportation infrastructure issues should consider putting in a bid on behalf of NYC for these Seattle pedestrian ferry boats that will be put up for sale after Thanksgiving on Ebay. According to this article in NY Times:

Look for two more items on the sale rack after Thanksgiving: the Chinook and the Snohomish, last seen ferrying people across Puget Sound. The big boats can be yours for $4.5 million each. As is. Exclusively at eBay.

W. Michael Anderson, chief executive of Washington State Ferries, said the market for a decade-old foot ferry on the larger side looked promising. He noted that foot-ferry service is set to expand in San Francisco Bay.

The Chinook and Snohomish will be offered at their appraised prices. Mr. Anderson conceded that both could use “some work,” including upgrades to more fuel-efficient engines and fresh paint. “You’d want to put a considerable amount of money into them,” he said. Still, he said, they were a bargain compared with the $12 million to $15 million such a ferry would cost new.

There were at least some signs of early interest. After news of the planned sale became public on Friday, Lloyd’s of London called, said Marta Coursey, a spokeswoman for the ferry system. Ms. Coursey said the caller was circumspect about what buyer it might be representing.

Seattle has a wonderful ferry transportation system. New York City would do well to emulate as much as possible the Seattle waterfront transportation experience. Roosevelt Islanders would certainly be appreciative.

Image of Seattle ferry is from NY Times.

Awesome Panoramic View of East River, Manhattan/Queens/Brooklyn Skyline from Southpoint Park that will be Ruined by Proposed Louis Kahn/FDR Memorial

A reader of the post, I'll Take Manhattan-From Roosevelt Island, sends in this fantastic panoramic photo that he took from Southpoint Park on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island. Click on this link to fully view incredible panoramic image taken from Southpoint Park of the East River, Long Island City/Williamsburg waterfront, Williamsburg Bridge, United Nations as well as the Lower East Side and Midtown Manhattan skyline. You can also see the Long Island City developments projects from Avalon Bay and Rockrose as well North Side Piers, the Toll Brothers Williamsburg waterfront condo development project.

It is important to note that if the proposed Louis Kahn/FDR Memorial (pictured below) is allowed to be built at Southpoint Park, unobstructed East River waterfront views from Southpoint Park like those shown above will forever be blocked. Compare these two images. If you live on Roosevelt Island or just visit and walk down to Southpoint Park, what would you rather see - clear open unobstructed views of the East River and New York City Skyline or the Louis Kahn/FDR memorial?

Image of Louis Kahn/FDR memorial is from Architectural Record.

UPDATE 11/20: More fantastic panoramic photos from Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park here - This time nighttime views of midtown Manhattan and the Encampment public art project.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Chilly Day at Roosevelt Island Farmer's Market

As I was walking past the Farmers Market on Saturday afternoon I stopped to have a hot apple cider from one of the vendors. It was very good and took the bite out of a semi-cold day. It looks like winter is coming.

Good to be Back in New York, New York with U2

I was out of town all last week finally returning on Friday night. Whenever I am away for more than a couple of days, even if I am having a good time, I start missing the streets, noise, sites and smells of New York City. That is why I love this song that captures the spirit, vitality and essence of NY as only they can. U2 does New York at Irving Plaza in 2000.
You Tube video link is here.