June 7, 2011

Skip Those Parts

The warm June wind blew out the flame on a scrap of charcoal bag. Trying again, I lit the scrap with the Bic lighter in the protection of the grill lid and dropped it onto the bed of coals. This time, the flame caught, slowly spreading throughout the salad bowl sized pile. Leaning back in my chair, I smiled in accomplishment and opened a Sierra Nevada.

To the sound of a distant cab’s horn and whirr of a nearby AC unit, Evan started packing the burgers between pulls of his beer.

Three years to the day before, Evan, Edge and I packed our essentials into the trunk and backseat of an Audi A4 and set out on a cross country road trip back from New England to Portland, Oregon. Like most 2o year olds, we did it all too quickly, taking turns driving around the clock through the dull stretches and cherishing the beautiful parts.

While on our three day stay in Southern Colorado, I borrowed Evan’s DSLR one afternoon. Messing around with the settings on his Canon XTI, I shot the better part of a flash card before returning it with an ear-to-ear smile.

Intrigued, I bought a Canon XSI a few months later and started this blog .

The starter fluid burned off and the flames subsided as we chatted about our past adventures. Set to the stunning backdrop of the Manhattan skyline, nights spent sleeping in sleeping bags under the open sky felt worlds away.

Jacqueline Kennedy Reservoir at sunset.

“We have to get back on the road soon,” I said longing for empty sunsets of Wyoming and Colorado.

“Can’t wait, but this sure beats Omaha, Nebraska..” Evan chuckled.

“Yeh, we can skip those parts.”

Here are some more links,
June (Picasa).

May 31, 2011

Spoke Too Soon

The rain stopped and people emptied out of New York for the long weekend. With a vengeance, the heat and humidity descended, reminding everyone that it was in fact, late May. In a combination of ignorance and arrogance, I wore jeans for the first few 80 degree days. I am always a little late to embrace seasons.

Practicing hand stands on the Great Lawn in Central Park.

Photographing Sean Crowley’s things for The Burning House.

Cheddar Cheeseburger and fries. The perfect summer dinner.

I always wonder where planes are heading. This one just left LaGuardia heading west.

I spoke to soon about summer coming last week.

The Roebling Tea Room

Taking the advice of a few well seasoned New Yorkers, I avoided the traffic and stayed in the city for Memorial day weekend. Exactly one year ago, I packed up my things and moved down from Maine. My first year went by in the blink of an eye. I wonder, where will I be next Memorial Day?

Here are some more links,

Memorial Day (Picasa),

The Burning House (Facebook),
Fosterhunting (Twitter).

May 17, 2011

Changing Seasons: Spring in New York

LL Bean Buck, October 2008.

I procrastinated. The winter slowly meandered towards spring, but was constantly set back a few rainy days. Just as I grew accustomed to evening walks through Central Park, back to back days of biblical rain checked my seasonal optimism.

Paul Smith Canvas Sneaker, January 2009.

So, I waited and pondered which shoe to use.

Common Projects sneaker, April 2009.

Scroll through the photos quickly. It looks like a stop motion film, with all of the shoes skewed towards the left.

Van’s Authentic, August 2009.

I still have these things stuffed in a closet. They smell like the plague.

Ralph Lauren Wingtip, October 2009.

In the past, my selection has been traditional, with some of my favorites being a Buck, a Brogue and a Danner boot. However, since leaving Maine and moving to New York, my taste has changed. Partially due to my days spent surrounded by the “American Heritage” aesthetic, recently I have started appreciating more pragmatic, purpose-driven items.

Danner Mountain Light II, December 2009

British Walker Buck, April 2010.

Instead of carrying around my camera and laptop in a vintage backpack, I bought a GoRuck Gr1 (partially in my preparation for the GoRuck Challenge in Boston). I also opted for a technical down jacket over a wool coat on my Saturday morning walks.

LL Bean Boot, October 2010.

You won’t see me in Crocs or zip off nylon shorts anytime soon.

LL Bean Signature Work Boot, January 2o11.

But instead of hunting eBay for vintage Omega, I have been poking around looking at contemporary Sinn’s and Luminox’s.

Nike SFB May 2011.

Finally, spring stayed around long enough for me to grab my camera and my Nike SFB chucka and head to Central Park. As the sun set, I sat reflecting the evolution of my taste over the last three years and pondering where it would be in the next three. Setting the ISO and aperture to 1600 and 4.5, respectively, I threw my shoe in the air the way I have for the last 10 seasons.
Here are some more links,

April 12, 2011

End of the Line

The C train slowly emptied as we crept east away from Manhattan. Consumed by my book, Let My People Go Surfing, I lost track of the stops. Forty five minutes after leaving Columbus Circle, the C emerged from a tunnel into residential Brooklyn.

Distracted by the changing scenery and influx of light, I started reading the same sentences over and over again. Taking this as a hint, I zipped my book back into my backpack and focused on the new surroundings. The “Kuchunk Chunk Chunk,” of the subway zipping eastward punctuated Neil Young’s “Cortez the Killer” as I looked back at the retreating Manhattan skyline.

I had left Midtown wearing an RRL flannel shirt, and the weather here felt different from the microclimate of Manhattan. Unimpeded by hundreds of skyscrapers, the wind whistled around the occasional concrete building and group of trees. After a few moments of shivering, I pulled a sweater from pack and started for the beach.

C to the S.


It’s not hard, not far to reach…


The beach was deserted, save for a handful of surfers catching waves around the 89th Street jetty. After chatting with two surfers jumping into their wetsuits about the water and the waves, I headed down the beach, meandering towards Coney Island.

The deserted beach and biting wind instantly reminded me of my time spent wandering the beaches of Popham and Reed State parks in Maine. The roar of a jet taking off from nearby JFK brought me back from my daydreams. My frigid hands and the sand in my shoes sufficiently satisfied my desire to leave the city on an adventure.

As the sun sank towards the horizon, I walked back to the station and caught the lumbering S train into Manhattan. I can’t think of a more enjoyable way to spend five dollars than on two MTA tickets to and from Rockaway Beach.
Here are some more links,
Rockaway (Picasa),
Canon EOS 5D Mark II ,
Zeiss 35mm f/2 .