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

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Saturday reflections

Reflections on West 34th Street.

I was fortunately not affected by the flooding caused by the Biblical rains yesterday (in my neighborhood we got 6 inches of rain in just a few hours) except for having to teach on Zoom today instead of in person.

And scrambling to change the lesson plan at the last minute to work remotely. Which it did. Mostly.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Sunday bird blogging

An Eastern phoebe in Central Park last spring.

Saturday reflections

(I never actually clicked on Publish last night, so it's not really Saturday, but I'm not going to change the title.)

Columns of contrasting reflections on West 34th Street in Manhattan.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Astronomy Tuesday

Paul Byrne (@ThePlanetaryGuy) posted this image of Mars on the site formerly known as Twitter today. He wrote, “I think it's incredible that we're living in an era when we can fly a helicopter on another planet—and see the images it takes on our phones.”

Me too.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Paul Byrne

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Saturday reflections

Reflections by Hudson Yards on the West Side, featuring The Vessel, the copper-clad public art in the center of the complex.

The Vessel opened in 2019 and there were long lines to climb it so I never bothered. The first suicide occurred less than a year after it opened. Then there was another. Then another. The Vessel was closed; you could look but you couldn't climb. It reopened briefly, there was another suicide, and now it's closed again, just taking up space in the middle of Manhattan.

I feel like I should be able to say something interesting or profound about that because I really have a visceral dislike of Hudson Yards, which has always seemed to me to try way too hard to be New York Cool without really understanding what that is, but it's Saturday night and I'm tired from teaching today, so profundity is way beyond my capabilities at the moment. But I love these reflections.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Urban poetry

Bicycles in Central Park. I took these pictures with the new phone, and it does a decent job of capturing detail. Some pictures, like the reflection shot from last Saturday, are less impressive; I can tell it's a phone picture and the Canon would have done a much better job.

But the phone weighs a lot less and is always in my purse, and that's no small advantage.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Astronomy Tuesday

Comet Nishimura was only discovered last month but it's already developed quite an impressive tail from its interactions with the solar wind.

Credit and Copyright: Peter Kennett

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Saturday reflections

Reflections from 34th Street across from Macy's, a few weeks ago.

I survived the first day of classes. My students are of course delightful, but there are more than thirty of them—twice as many as I started with last semester—and just keeping track of the flow of forms across my desk was daunting.

I am tired. It's a good tired, but I am so, so tired.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Astronomy Tuesday

I've mentioned that I am always fascinated by images of Pluto because when I was first learning about astronomy, the only pictures available showed a blurry gray blob that honestly could have been anything.

This is a color-enhanced version of an image captured by the New Horizons probe in 2015. It took New Horizons almost ten years and 3 billion miles to reach Pluto—three billion miles! Humans actually built something that made that trip and sent back pictures. And yes, Pluto looks like a nicely toasted meringue in this picture, but still—three billion miles.

Image Credit: NASA, Johns Hopkins Univ./APL, Southwest Research Institute

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Sunday bird blogging

I have not made it to the park to see the incoming migration, despite the best of intentions. Classes start on Saturday, and I have almost twice as many students as I did last semester. I'd forgotten how much time printing, collating, and stapling take (and how many materials you need for a day's worth of classes), and because there are so many students I can't print all the copies I need on my tiny home printer. So I'm spending my Labor Day schlepping uptown to use the copy machines at school.

But a titmouse will always make me smile.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Speaking of Sunriver

Two more landscapes from Eclipse Summer.

Saturday reflections

An appropriately bucolic scene for the end of summer.

This is an overlooked photo from 2017 in Sunriver, Oregon, when I went to see the eclipse. It was hard for mere landscapes to compete with the perhaps once in a lifetime experience of photographing the sun, and I never got around to processing this picture.

Friday, September 1, 2023

Urban poetry

I got a new phone recently and while reveling in what seems like (at least temporarily) an unlimited amount of storage and a much better camera, I found quite a few old pictures I'd forgotten about.

I took this one in 2018, when what is now the former phone was brand new, from the approach to the Manhattan Bridge heading towards Brooklyn. I was clearly using some kind of filter because the graffiti isn't quite this psychedelic in real life, and I'd like to go back and try for some more realistic images.

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