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Showing posts from October, 2013

The NYC Photowalk - October 26, 2013

Photo Expo was at Javits in New York City this past week.  I didn't get to go, but I managed to sign up for the Saturday Photo walking tour that started in Times Square. It was a great opportunity to meet some other fellow photographers and especially Elia Locardi and Ken Kaminesky, who hosted and organized the event. If you haven't seen their work, they're in my blog roll. They do some amazing HDR travel and landscape work.

If you look closely, you'll see me posing with Elia and Ken as I won a prize - a 2 TB dual external drive from G Technology. Winning the 2nd prize raffle was icing on the cake. More fun was getting to meet people with similar interests and passions. The tour started at Times Square and the group wended its way through Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Grand Central and the Chrysler Building. I was exhausted by the end, but invigorated as well.  All in all, a good day.

Travelogue 2.2 - That Hotel...

I loved my recent trip to Utica, and even my stay at the Utica hotel didn't dampen my spirits. The reason I say this is because the body of a decapitated bird literally ushered my entrance into this landmark hotel. Downtown Utica at 6:30pm on a Wednesday already looks deserted in an "I Am Legend" sort of way.  So when I walk up to the entrance with bag in hand, dead bird at the steps, I felt like the shadow figure in The Exorcist poster. 

It's too close to Halloween for this crap.

The lobby of the hotel thankfully put to rest any more notions of The Exorcist because now I clearly walked into The Overlook hotel from The Shining. The Overlook -- er, I mean Utica Hotel is almost 100 years old and the lobby shows off some amazing and beautifully intricate early 20th century architectural details. Unfortunately this beauty is all negated when the lobby sports a dank, musty odor. When I notice the tiny subway tile floor I feel like I just walked into the world's largest …

Travelogue 2.1 - Utica, New York Train Station - October 2 - 4, 2013

Oh, Utica, I hardly got to know you. My main reason for stopping here was to take advantage of a photo opportunity with The Adirondack Scenic Railroad, a guided train tour through the Adirondacks which left out of Utica Train Station. I was really excited to photograph the peak foliage for which this area is so well known, but then while here, I also got to know a little about Utica, too. First of all, that train station... 

If moviegoers had to scout a location to film a scene from the 20s, 30s or 40s, you can't go any further than Utica's Train Station. You can almost picture the men busily walking through here in wool business suits and fedoras, the women in flower print dresses, thin gloves and blocky shoes. 

This station celebrates 100 years next year and it's still beautifully maintained. It's really like going back in time and I love it when a building this old is still being used for its main purpose. I can describe the huge marble columns and the gorgeously deta…

Travelogue 2 - The Adirondacks Photo Tour, October 2 - 4, 2013

The Adirondacks is a place I've always wanted to visit, especially during the autumn months. I read up on some suggestions for fall foliage photo opportunities, one of them being the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. Although my stay in Utica was incidental, the real reason for my trip was for The Adirondack Scenic Railroad. Leaving out of Utica Train Station, Adirondack Scenic Railroad is comprised of volunteers whose mission is to preserve and restore a length of train track that runs from Utica to Lake Placid. Parts of this restoration are complete but they still need funding to revive the corridor that runs all the way to Lake Placid.

Now a tourist railway, people can buy tickets and enjoy the fall foliage and general beauty of the Adirondacks. The train wends its way on a two hour ride to its final destination at Thendara Station. At the final stop, shuttle buses wait for you at the station and take you into the town of Old Forge, New York. Old Forge is a lovely stop; you can wan…

What's with the French, Anyway? A Restaurant Experience Gone Bad.

Aside from my love for photography, I also love food. I have the love handles and the cholesterol levels to prove it. I've also been a big fan of cuisine diversity for the Bronx and there are very few, if any, French bistros in this borough, so I was excited to try Bistro SK in City Island, write a review on Yelp and deposit my two cents into the ether.
Everything about this bistro was gearing up to be a positive experience: the food was good, the Yelp reviews were uniformly 4 and 5 stars, and the owner nailed the decor perfectly. I've never been to France, but this is what I would envision a small French bistro to look and feel like. Unfortunately,  my Yelp review was less kind, and all because they committed the one unforgivable sin of poor customer service. It's a fundamental core of the restaurant experience and if you forget this, then who cares if your meal was 5 stars, or even 3, in this case? I can forgive a lot, but this one I didn't let pass.  

The Brunch menu …