I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Urban poetry

Winter mud splashed on the side of a car on Tenth Avenue.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday bird blogging

The subdued colors of a goldfinch in winter, still a cheerful sight on a winter's day.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday reflections

What appears to be a large flowing curtain is just the grids and catwalks of the Javits convention center reflected in one of the outside walls.

It was a relatively mild winter until this week, and since my deeply ingrained belief that no one should be required to get out of bed when the temperature is less than 15 degrees Fahrenheit has not yet been codified into law, I can attest that it is fricking cold out there.

Everyone's got their big puffy coats on -- mostly black of course because we are after all New Yorkers -- making us look like Goth versions of the Michelin man. But I have yet to find the coat or combination of layers that the wind off the Hudson, honed to a knife's edge by the narrow crosstown streets, won't slice to ribbons.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Urban poetry

Something a little different: I was reviewing the photos I took of the street from the restaurant last week to see what kind of detail and noise levels I got with various exposures, and at a high zoom the pictures unexpectedly looked almost like paintings, with a flat cartoony quality I find kind of fun.

I may play around with this technique when I get tired of birds and taillights.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday bird blogging

A female cardinal, looking quite starry-eyed at the prospect of spring and courtship with one of those big handsome bright red males in the neighborhood.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Nothing but a party girl

Here are a few other pictures I took while we were setting up for the party at MAD: the grand piano by the windows and forks laid out on a buffet.

My department has for many years held our annual party in January rather than December, calling it a "kickoff" rather than a holiday event. Prices are lower, we have many more places to choose from, and we're not competing with a dozen other holiday events. This venue, the restaurant Robert on top of the museum, looking over Columbus Circle and upper Broadway, was one of the nicest we've ever had.

I didn't get to sample much of the food -- I was the official photographer and spent most of the evening taking pictures of the guests -- but at least I did get to enjoy the views.

Saturday reflections

A slightly different kind of reflection: stemware set out for a party, at the Museum of Art and Design in Manhattan. I love the way the ovals of the tops of the glasses become the only definition in what is otherwise a sea of curves and light.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Urban poetry

Stacks of silver racks outside a supermarket in Stockholm.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday bird blogging

Since I mentioned titmice last week, here's one enjoying the light snow from a few weeks ago, his coloring in perfect harmony with his surroundings.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Saturday reflections

In winter, light may be a limited commodity, but that seems to give it more substance. You really notice the violet gloom of evening sliding in a few minutes later every day, the brilliant skies on clear cold days, the way thick gray clouds overhead eat all of our shadows. Unfortunately, if the winter light does have more personality, it's the personality of a sullen teenager, all moods and tears and flashes of giddy brightness.

Here's the sun behind a police parking lot in New York, reflected in one of the vans.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Urban poetry

Here's a crumpled candy wrapper, taking the dull gray light of January and giving it back in silver and gold.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday bird blogging

Here's a new bird for the collection: a black-capped chickadee, in Central Park last weekend.

They're in the same family as titmice, and even more difficult to catch with a camera. Titmice move fast but they're curious and bold -- one landed on my hand and tried to snatch a bite of my bagel -- but chickadees are more timid and harder to spot.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Saturday reflections

The crazy lines of these reflections remind me of confetti, so it's an appropriate Happy New Year choice for Saturday reflections.

The picture above is of the windows on a tour bus in Oslo, reflecting the copper roof on a new building for the Fram museum now under construction. The roof, doing its own reflecting of the sky, is on the right.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Urban poetry

And happy new year to everyone reading this, even the Russian spammers who keep putting ads for Uggs and cheap watches in my comments.

Here's a crisscross of escalators. I like the way the amber light reflects off the metal, warming what would otherwise be a lot of chilly texture.

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