A couple of shots taken a few years ago shows the contrast between two British winters. Since we moved back from New York in 2006, the British winters have been getting gradually worse year by year. For the last few years we have had freezing temperatures and snow by the start of December, which then typically lasts until February/March. Many of you might ask what the problem with this might be? Well, the problem is that even after being caught out the year before, the UK, whether it be local or central Government, have a distinct inability to plan a head for this kind of event, which ultimately results in the whole country grinding to a halt! However, things are getting better and throughout the year during my daily commute I have seen a rock salt pile gradually getting bigger in anticipation of brutal weather in 2011/2012. The funny thing about this is that so far the temperatures in the UK have been unseasonably warm!
However, that being said, our winters fade dramatically in comparison to those we experienced during our time in NY. Check out these shots taken the morning after a brutal Nor’easter slammed through NYC dumping close to 20″ of snow!
Whilst waiting in Grand Central Terminal for Mummy and Mia, Ben and I decided to take some shots of the station. We found the escalators that go from GCT up into the lobby of the Met Life Building and thought it would be a good spot to slow things down and capture the hustle and bustle of the daily grind! It didn’t take long before Ben got bored and started to wander around during the shots, after all, all he was interested in was the picture once it was taken, not the processes used to get there. Just as I was pressing the shutter who should stumble across the frame…yep, you guessed it, little old Benny!
Now, normally I would bin this photo as it doesn’t portray what I originally set out to capture. However, looking at it again many months after it was taken, I now like it a lot and think it captures perfectly, a time in our lives that we have all experienced – being a child and not having a care in this world! Ben sums this up perfectly by not only walking in front of the camera at the exact moment I press the shutter, but also by the expression on his face created by blowing air out of his cheeks (most likely accompanied with a tune being hummed under his breath!).
Having decided that we would take the children on the staten Island ferry so they could see Lady Liberty, we spent the morning strolling around Lower Manhattan. Lower Manhattan is one of the few areas of Manhattan that wasn’t built around the grid structure and as such reminds me of how towns and cities look in my homeland- England. The shear fact that there is little organisation to the street layout means that it is easy to get disorientated and you find yourself having to consult a map to make sure you aren’t in fact walking around in circles! Fortunately all this stopping and starting means that there are lots of opportunities to take photos…now, where’s my camera?
There are varying accounts about how the Dutch-named “de Waal Straat” got its name. A generally accepted version is that the name of the street name was derived from an earthen wall on the northern boundary of the New Amsterdam settlement, perhaps to protect against English colonial encroachment or incursions by native Americans. A conflicting explanation is that Wall Street was named after Walloons — possibly a Dutch abbreviation for Walloon being Waal. Among the first settlers that embarked on the ship “Nieu Nederlandt” in 1624 were 30 Walloon families
The High Line park in NYC is one of the places that is still relatively unknown. Sitting 20 or so feet above the ground, the park is an old railroad freight line that runs up the West Side of Manhattan from from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th & 11th Avenue. Being only a short distance above the city almost eliminates the traffic noise, such that you can forget you are in the middle of a huge metropolis. Over the years as the park matures I’m sure it will be a fantastic place to take a stroll through the cool autumnal air. If you haven’t yet checked it out I would highly recommend that you do very soon!