Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bombay Dreams

Almost three years ago, I traveled for work to India.  I hadn't yet purchased my digital SLR camera, and I wound up taking most of my photos (including these three) through car windows as we drove between work sites.  Luckily for my photos, the traffic in Mumbai just crawls along, as every sort of vehicle from two- and three-wheelers to big rigs (and even some animals) fight for lane space on the very congested streets.  Not only did I have ample time to snap photos, I also had plenty of fascinating scenes to try to capture. 

But I wish I could go back now, with my fancy camera and with the time to properly take photos.  I'd even risk another parasite and another incident of delhi belly for the opportunity.  Well, maybe not the delhi belly...    

(And yes, Lauren, I will *finally* get you copies of my photos.)

(Mumbai, photographed October 2007)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Running Woman

This post is not so much about the photos as it is about me (though I hope you find the photos pretty).  I wanted to share something that I'm very proud of -- today, I ran my first half marathon.  I've been saying that I was going to do one for a long time, but for one reason or another, I never did it.  It's not that I was afraid of running 13.1 miles, I just couldn't get my act in gear to get it done.  But this time, at my friend Lauren's suggestion, I signed up for the More Magazine Women's Half Marathon in Central Park. 

And, today was going to be the day I did my first half, come rain or shine...

And boy did it rain.  Yesterday, of course, was simply gorgeous out.  But today, not so much.  Even before the race started, it was pouring rain.  Sheets of cold rain that my rain slicker barely kept out.  But I wasn't going to let that stop me.  Nor was I going to let the knee pain that started around mile 2 stop me.  My shoes sloshed in puddles; my running pants became ten pounds heavier as they soaked in the rain.  But I trudged on...

And after two hours and twenty seven minutes of running, I crossed the finish line. 

(a very big thanks to Lauren for running at least part of the race with me and to Rosa for greeting me, sign and all, at the end)

(nyc medal, photographed April 2010)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Into the Wild

I told you in my last couple posts that I took a lot of photos at camp on Saturday.  Don't worry, I won't show them all to you.  I don't want to bore you.  This will be my last camp-related post for the time being, promise. 

Let me tell you something though, as someone who lives in Brooklyn and works in Manhattan, I don't often get out into the wild (and yes, you can consider this part of New Jersey where Trail Blazers camp is located as "the wild." I practically didn't even have cell phone reception.).  But I love being outside, far away from the city, where the air is fresher and the world a whole lot quieter.   Even though it was cold and wet (meaning I got very muddy while we were hiking and mountain biking), it was a perfect day at camp.  I returned to the city refreshed and reinvigorated.

(Trail Blazers Camp, photographed April 2010)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Great Outdoors


I felt the need to yell that. 

As I mentioned in my last post, I had the good fortune of going to Trail Blazers camp on Saturday.  I never went to a sleepover outdoor camp when I was a kid, and then the camp I went to in high school and served as a counselor at in college was a leadership camp.  Ya, I'm a nerd but proud of it.  But I always wanted to go to "real" camp, like Trail Blazers camp, where you get to sleep outdoors and hang outdoors and try to sneak into the boys' side of camp late at night (at least that's what they did in The Baby-sitters Club books I read while growing up).

I had just a day at camp on Saturday and the weather left a bit to be desired, but we went roasted s'mores, went hiking and biking, had a nice time in a boat and just enjoyed nature.  And let me tell you, I loved it.  Absolutely loved it.  I'm definitely planning a camping trip, complete with tents and sleeping bags and campfired-cooked meals, in the very near future. 

P.S. For those of you in NYC, the Trail Blazers organization is having a cocktail fundraiser on Thursday night at Butterfield 8 from 6:30 to 9 pm.  You should join me there and help send some kids to summer camp this year.

(Trail Blazers Camp, photographed April 2010)

Saturday, April 17, 2010


My friend Anne is involved with a great organization called Trail Blazers, which runs a summer camp to get the kiddies out of gritty, sweltering, stinky New York City and other urban areas and bring them to the part rural New Jersey that really is the "Garden State."  In honor of Earth Day, Trail Blazers sponsored an open house -- and lucky grown-ups like me were invited to go play.  There was hiking, canoeing, biking, s'mores, and arts&crafts, among other fun camp activities.

I took lots of photos (so expect more camp-related posts!) but wanted first to share these photos from arts&craft time.  I've previously posted photos of outdoors and nature, and these ones are a little different from the other ones you've seen on my blog.  Gotta keep showing you different types of photos to keep you interested, right?

Anyway, in arts&crafts at camp, we made dreamcatchers.  The short story behind dreamcatchers is that the Chippewa tribe would hang them by their sleeping children to protect them at night.  Bad dreams would get caught in the webs, and only good dreams would be able to slip through into the children's heads. 

Our attempt at making dreamcatchers was a little less than pretty, but we had fun nonetheless.

(this last one was my attempt at a dreamcatcher)

(Trail Blazers Camp, photographed April 2010)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Barefoot in the Park

This last weekend I was supposed to work.  And I did work.  Not only did we have a very important filing on Monday, I had also been given a new assignment on Friday evening that I had to start.  I had holed myself away on Saturday to furiously write a brief and research case law and only escaped on Sunday morning to go to church.

After mass, I decided to take the long way home, which just so happened to take me through Washington Square Park.

I suddenly felt like Robert Redford's character in the classic film "Barefoot in the Park" (yes, I know it was based on a Neil Simon play, but I never saw the play, so my reference is to the movie). Redford plays this stuffy, boring, tightly-wound young lawyer (Paul) who works way too much.  I may not be as stuffy or tightly-wound as the character Paul, but last weekend I definitely fit the cliche of a young, overworked attorney in New York City. 

Throughout the movie, Paul's crazy, free-spirited wife Corie, played by Jane Fonda, tries to get him to take a break and just enjoy himself.  And, at the end of the movie, Paul does finally loosen up, which culminates with him running barefoot in Washington Square Park.  

Me, I don't run barefoot in the city (maybe it was cleaner in the 1960's, when the film takes place?).  But, on Sunday afternoon, I did channel some of that free-spirited Corie and did my own (tiny) act of rebellion.  Throwing caution to the wind, I put down my blackberry.  It was a gorgeous day with perfect temperatures.  I sat in the park and watched some street performers, listened to a jazz band and just soaked up the sun.

And, of course, I took photos.

Next time, I'll bring a blanket and stay longer.

(Washington Square Park, photographed April 2010)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Temple of Heaven

In my high school art class, I painted a picture of this beautiful blue building.  It had three tiers, and each tier had intricate designs of red and green and gold.  I had first seen this building when I visited Disney World with my family.  It was part of the Chinese pavilion in the "world showcase" at Epcot Center.  I remember hating the inside of the building - they played what I had then considered to be an extremely boring movie of China - but I loved the facade, with its bright colors and unique shape.  I snapped a photo with tiny camera.  Several years later, when looking for inspiration for my painting class, I flipped through my photos and thought, yes, this is it.  My painting, copied from my earlier photograph, turned out quite nicely and hung in the display case of my school's library for a couple months. 

Then I went to China . . .

And visited the building.

You may think that I'm silly, but I was so thrilled to finally see it in person.  To see the actual building that was the inspiration, albeit twice removed, for a painting of which I was really proud. 

It's not actually the "temple of heaven" but one of the important buildings on the temple's grounds, but to me, it was heavenly.

(The Temple of Heaven, Beijing China, photographed May 2008) 

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Forbidden City

As some of you may know, I traveled to China a lot for work a couple years ago. I went there five times in that many months. It was an exciting and very interesting time to be traveling to China, in the months leading up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when China was getting ready to show herself to the world.

Although my workload was demanding, I made sure on one of my last trips to build in a weekend just for me to see the sites in Beijing that I hadn't yet gotten around to see.  And I lucked out on my chosen weekend.  It was a gorgeous day when I walked around the Forbidden City by myself.  Of course, it didn't feel quite so forbidden any more as it was crawling with mobs of tourists clustered around and clamoring to see the various buildings.  But I happened to find some quiet corners of this massive former palace to take some photos and reflect on just how lucky I was to be there.

(Forbidden City in Beijing, China, photographed May 2008)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

And Round We Go

My friend Heather said she likes my blog but she's detecting a theme so far.  Lest you think that I'm a crazy cat lady who takes only photos of flowers, I present to you these photos from when I first met Heather, which so happened to be on a ferris wheel for Munich's 850th birthday celebration.  Don't you meet all your friends that way? I'll leave it to her to tell you the story about how she invited herself to Salzburg the next day (she tells it much better than me as I learned last night).

(Munich Ferris Wheel, photographed July 2008)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Roses are Red...

I love spring, especially the first signs of it.  Daffodils and tulips and crocuses.  My dad always meticulously planted a spring garden in our backyard when I was growing up and I distinctly remember how happy I would get when I would see the first green bit of leaves poking through the soil.  Of course then, it being Wisconsin and all, we'd get one more big dump of snow that would crush those poor early crocuses. But still, they signaled spring.

So you think with all this talk about spring flowers I'd post some pictures of say spring flowers.  Sadly, I've been working too many hours and haven't had a chance to take photos of the flowers actually growing in the ground.  This is the best I can do right now.  Roses from winter. 

Enjoy anyway.


(Bouquet of Roses, photographed January 2008)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bella the Princess Monster

I have a cat who likes to play fetch and knock over stuff.  She turns two in June but still acts like a crazy kitten. I call her Princess Monster.

(you talking to me?)



(all bow before me)

(ready to pounce)

Expect more photos of her.  She's my most readily available subject, although I have the distinct feeling that she's not too big of a fan of my camera in her face.