Saturday, February 27, 2010

Coney Island Signage...

White Sand Beaches...

The Exotic White Sand Beaches of... Coney Island!

There hasn't been any fresh snow since last night, but I though it'd be fun to see what Coney Island was like and if there was much snow still about so I got on the F train and made my way down to the sea. I was really surprised at how much snow was on the beach...

I don't think the seagulls really knew what to do with themselves.

I thought the sea would have washed all the snow away, but it looks like it only ever comes half way up the beach at Coney Island, so there was still a big chunk of the beach that was covered. I went for a stroll along the beach but walking in sand's hard enough - adding snow just made it even harder! It made me think of when we lived in Jersey and we went sledging on the golf course and on the beach.

The train was practically empty on the way down to Coney Island, and not surprisingly the area was very quiet. It's odd seeing it during off-season - everything's a bit tired looking even when it's open during the summer, so it looked even more like a ghost town now.

None of the rides were open, none of the little food stalls were open, the market wasn't open, none of the arcades were open. I think Dunkin Donuts and Nathan's Hotdogs were the only things that were, so I got myself a cup of coffee and a donut (or two) and went to sit and look out at the ocean for a little while. It was lovely and peaceful, the sun was shining on the snow which reflected it back and made everything seem ultra bright. It was lovely hearing the sea again too, it's a got a very comforting quality - I'd missed the sea.

Coney Island is such an odd place. The whole place just feels like a massive film set... just an eery unused one with no actors or cameras about.

Although all the signs are sun bleached and weathered, there's something very picturesque about them all, I think the fact that they're all broken, faded or rusty is part of the charm...

I can't believe that Coney Island is still Brooklyn, it feels a million miles away from Bedford Avenue, and feels a billion miles away from Manhattan - I love how you can travel a little way and feel like you're in a complete different world.

One More...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Snowy Central Park...

(I hope you're sitting comfortably,
because there are a fair few photos coming up...)

Yesterday it snowed pretty much non stop all day, but unfortunately it had rained for a whole day before that, and it wasn't really that cold so it was too wet and too warm to settle... however, by around 11pm last night the snow had started to settle rather nicely and by 8am this morning there was LOADS of snow! I woke up to a full thick blanket all over the road, all over the cars, all on the bushes and trees... it was lovely.

One thing I've been wanting to do is see Central Park when it's all snowy, and as today was the heaviest the snow's ever been since I've been here (it was like the amount of snow we used to get when we lived in Moorside), I thought I'd make the most of it and get on the train to Central Park...

As soon as I got out of the train, the sound of the city was completely different, everything was so quiet and peaceful, and the park was a sea of white.

The park couldn't have looked any more different from when I last went in the Autumn.

There were icicles hanging from all the street lamps and lamp posts around the park.

This person was rather well prepared for the snow... snowshoes?!

Nearly the whole pond was frozen over and covered with snow, you couldn't even tell there was any water there at all, the ducks must have been freeeeeezing.

The little hills that in the summer are covered with sunbathers and people reading had now become prime sledging locations.

The photographers were out in force and there were a fair few TV News vans dotted about too.

The ice-rink was out of action, but the little diggers were trying their best to clear the snow for the skaters, they were creating banks of snow that must have been 10-15 feet high at the side of the rink.

I've noticed that the snow plows are fast to respond to the weather, people are clearing pavements, clearing driveways, clearing their cars and clearing the cars very quickly after it starts snowing... it puts our shortage of grit supplies to shame.

The steps that usually lead down to the fountain by the Boathouse had become another sledging slope for the braver Xtreme Sledgers (that would have been me and Tom!)

Some folks even had their skis out!

Business at the Boathouse must have been a wee bit quiet today... I was hoping to get a hotdog there, but I don't think their snack counter was open.

I was amazed to see the Pedicabs were still out and about - I hope their passengers tipped well!

I think the schools must have been shut, because there were loads of keen sledgers about. There were vendors offering rubber rings for rent too, I'm always impressed by the vendors in New York, if it rains they have umbrellas, if it's sunny they have sunglasses and water, if it snows they have rubber rings!

The Promenade was eerily quiet, the benches are usually full of people reading or musicians, or entertainers... not today.

The pigeons were all huddling together and nestling in their puffed out feathers to keep warm.

It was an absolutely amazing site, I was so glad I made the trip - it felt like I was wondering through Narnia or a Winter Wonderland or something - it's funny to think it's practically March though. I've always wanted to see Central Park in the snow, and now I know it's even more beautiful than I could have imagined.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Holga Surprise...

I got my Holga film developed this week, the film was from way back in the summer - during Abi's first visit! I'd forgotten what I'd take photos of so it was a lovely to surprise getting the film back. A load of them have overlapped, so they didn't come out too well, but a couple of them came out OK. This one was taken from the Top of The Rock.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sand Art Part II...

As I walking through Union Square this afternoon I spotted the mystery sand artist in action! His name is Joe Mangrum (, and I have a feeling these Union Square art attacks are a regular thing now - so expect more photos to come...

It was great being able to see him actually creating the sand art this time, he had attracted quite a crowd too. I was a bit surprised he was doing it this afternoon because it was a wee bit windy - it obviously wasn't windy enough though because he was creating another amazing piece.

He has lots of bags of sand, all different colours, he reaches in, grabs a fistful of sand and then lets it flow through his fist making a little funnel between his hand and his little finger. He makes it look incredibly easy, but I have no doubt that there's a lot of skill involved.

He was using some fantastic bright colours this time - the flowers were really pinging off the pavement.

I think he was only part way through as it doesn't look as full as the other time, or the pieces on his website - but it was already looking great.

Maybe next time I'll get to see one at a different stage - right at the beginning? Or maybe when he's clearing up... who knows? I'll let you know as soon as I see him again.