Taking It Back To The Roaring 20’s In the Gotham City

The MTA’s Holiday Season Nostalgia Trains run on the Sixth Avenue line between Queens Plaza and Second Avenue stations on four consecutive Sundays, November 30th-December 28th between 10am and 5pm. (Technically, it’s the M line but since that train doesn’t run in Manhattan on weekends, you’ll actually be catching a special shuttle.) For your regular fare, you can enjoy a classic ride on vintage R1 to R9 subway trains that date from the 1930s through the 1970s. Old-school advertisements, from quaint to downright funny, and overhead displays have all been maintained and refurbished by the New York Transit Museum. Some commuters like to showcase their vintage fashion while dancing to the music of the several swing and jazz ensembles in the train and on the 2nd Avenue F train station. You can also check my video from the train on Juha Photography Youtube channel.

The vintage trains will hit all of the stops along the M line every 90 minutes or so. 34th Street/Herald Square, 42nd Street/Bryant Park and 47-50th Streets/Rockefeller Center are all on the route, so you can take an old-fashioned ride to some old-fashioned seasonal fun, like Macy’s Santaland, ice-skating rink at Bryant Park and all of the department store holiday windows on 5th Avenue.

 

 

 

 

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Manhattanhenge brings the Big Apple to a stand still… For a moment

Here is my second attempt at capturing the Manhattanhenge tonight at 42nd Street in Manhattan. Twice a year the setting sun aligns with the east–west streets of the main street grid in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The neologism is derived from Stonehenge, where the sun aligns with the stones on the solstices with a similarly dramatic effect. The sun peaked for only a couple of minutes between the skyscrapers but it was stunning. Lots of people flooded the streets taking pictures of this unique phenomenon, much to the regret of the cab drivers. For a moment it felt almost as if this city that never sleeps came to a stand still as people stopped to take it all in. Much to the relief of the cab drivers it was all over in a couple of minutes.
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Engagement Photo Shoot in Brooklyn

One of the things things I love about doing a photo shoot in New York City is the great variety of elements that you can incorporate into your work. You can combine some of the most iconic urban backdrops with some great Fall foliage within a single photo shoot. When you match an aesthetic, vibrant backdrop with a great looking couple that radiates with love for each other, you have all the elements for an outstanding photo shoot. Then it remains up to you to bring it all together for a final product that will be worthy of the uniqueness of a moment such as an engagement.  My most recent engagement photo shoot seemed to bring all of these elements together. We started the photo shoot on Washington Street in DUMBO, Brooklyn. This scenic location is famous for example from the movie, Once Upon A Time In America, starring actor Robert De Niro. The Manhattan Bridge peaks perfectly from between the old brownstone buildings at the end of the Street. This gives the set that unique, old time Brooklyn feel. A couple of the streets in DUMBO are covered with old cobble stones and tram tracks, which is another element that adds a great vintage feel to a photo. Along the streets of DUMBO there are also some great looking graffitis which again add to that authentic Brooklyn flavor. A walking distance from Washington Street is a small beach by the Hudson River which has some of the greatest views of the Manhattan Skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge (Yes, there is a beach by the Hudson River! Wouldn’t recommend swimming though!). As if this wasn’t enough we continued our photo shoot by making a 10-15 minute drive to Prospect Park. This is were we were able to get some fantastic Fall foliage photos. The great thing about Prospect Park is that it is not quite as crowded as Central Park in Manhattan which makes it easier to find a quiet spot for the photo shoot. Also there are lots of fallen leaves on the ground which make for fantastic photo props. In Central Park the leaves are often trashed away quickly which is great… unless you are a photographer:)

Great Captain Island Adventure

Beautiful summer day in New York! Wanna take a break out of the city; smell some fresh sea air and feel the breeze blowing on your face? Wanna leave the crowds and the dust of the city behind for a short escapade. A trip to Battery Park won’t cut it this time but Newport would be too far? Don’t wanna drive the car? A train ride would sound more relaxing? Ready for an adventure? Wanna be back home for the night?

Why not try a quick day trip to the Great Captain Island just off the coast of Greenwich, Connecticut. Its a 40 minute ride by Metro North from Grand Central Terminal to Greenwich. Check out schedules hereCost of roundtrip: $18 off-peak, $24 peak. Then a 5 minute walk from the train station to the Greenwich harbor right behind the station at the Roger Sherman Baldwin Park. The ferry ride is just about 20 minutes long. Be sure to check out the ferry schedule as it changes from day to day! In addition to the ferry ride you must purchase daily pass from the for $10 from the Greenwich Town Hall at 101 Field Point Road. You must get the pass before going to the ferry. 

The beaches at the Great Captain island are nice and quiet (at least on a Monday afternoon). A lifeguard is on duty on one of the beaches. For birdwatchers the island might be especially interesting as it is a home and nesting ground for a number of  migratory bird species and is considered one of the Connecticut’s 26 “important bird areas” according to the Connecticut Audubon Society. We saw a large number of quite noisy adult and baby egrets as well as cormorants. Early August is the end of the egret nesting season. Signs had been set up to stay away from certain areas of the island to help let the egrets nest in peace. I observed a number of sanderlings at close distance at the beach. These extreme long-distance migrants breed only on High Arctic tundra but live on most of the sandy beaches of the world.

Besides enjoying mother nature, the recently restored, beautiful light house at the island is worth checking out. And one more thing, I highly recommend bringing bug spray as some of the horse flies we encountered were ferocious man eaters!! The lifeguards at the beach said that other bugs are also abound in the island.  Friends warned us of ticks also which would be a concern, especially if you plan on bringing kids along. But we didn’t get a confirmation on this. It wouldn’t surprise me though; the conditions are just right.

If the Great Captain Island sound a bit too adventurous, you might want to consider the Island Beach,  which is smaller but has more services such as clean drinking water! The drinking water system at the Great Captain Island was contaminated by salt water during Sandy, so be sure to bring your own water with you!! The Island Beach ferry leaves from the same dock as the Great Captain Ferry.

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Photos © 2013 Juha Photography