A Zen Garden in Grand Central Terminal

Two weeks ago marked Japan Week in NYC. To start it off, there was a small event in Grand Central Terminal that included a Zen Rock Garden as the centerpiece. People could go on it and were shown different techniques on how to rake the rocks into different designs. It was a very interesting and fun experience. The only downsides were that you could only sit outside the garden, and it was incredibly loud, so Zen wasn’t really happening, if that was what you were looking for. Here are a few of the images I took.

The full layout from the west side of the garden.

Showing how to line up the rake on the return path.

Straight and curved designs.

People stood around watching others try out the rakes.

A circle is made.

Sitting and enjoying the garden.

Taking a breather from teaching.

Making the tree stand out.

A view of the whole garden.

A demonstration begins.

A lower angle to get more of the rake and rocks in the shot.

Change the angle again to catch a different feeling.

Next up: We shall see what else catches my fancy.

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The 2017 Ice Festival and Carvings

I attended the 2017 Ice Festival in Central Park, located at the Naumburg Bandshell. The festivities centered around an ice carving by the Okamoto Studio, as in past years. That same week, an article in the NY Post was published and they used one of my photos. Past years involved carvings of the Romeo and Juliet statue, Belvedere Castle, and the Bethesda Fountain Angel. This year, they did portions of the Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park. This year, the area was densely packed and it was very challenging to get a good vantage point for photos. I did my best and here are a bundle of the results.

Carving had already begun by the time I got close enough to get shots.

Carving had already begun by the time I got close enough to get shots.

Snow flying everywhere from the chainsaws.

Snow flying everywhere from the chainsaws.

The Mad Hatter is already completed.

The Mad Hatter is already completed.

The March Hare stares at the crowd.

The March Hare stares at the crowd.

Working side by side.

Working side by side.

The full March Hare.

The full March Hare.

Working around Dinah.

Working around Dinah.

I love how this one came out.

I love how this one came out.

Works in color too.

Works in color too.

Taking a pic of the crowd from atop the ladder on stage.

Taking a pic of the crowd from atop the ladder on stage.

Closer and  closer to done.

Closer and closer to done.

An interview during a break.

An interview during a break.

Speaking about his work and process.

Speaking about his work and process.

Celebrating.

Celebrating.

Tool demonstration.

Tool demonstration.

Closer to finished (time for the arm supports to go).

Closer to finished (time for the arm supports to go).

We remember what happened with R&J 2 years ago when the supports came off...

We remember what happened with R&J 2 years ago when the supports came off…

Some detail work.

Some detail work.

Ice teeth dentist.

Ice teeth dentist.

Make sure to clean the gums.

Make sure to clean the gums.

Here go the arm supports.

Here go the arm supports.

Everyone holds their breath.

Everyone holds their breath.

One gone!

One gone!

Looks good.

Looks good.

Holding hands.

Holding hands.

Linking the pieces.

Linking the pieces.

Reaching the end and celebrating.

Reaching the end and celebrating.

Group photo.

Group photo.

Alice watches the group.

Alice watches the group.

The Hatter is lit.

The Hatter is lit.

Alice is lit.

Alice is lit.

Final touches.

Final touches.

The statues are all lit.

The statues are all lit.

Light dances in the ice.

Light dances in the ice.

Snowflake lights above.

Snowflake lights above.

The finale.

The finale.

Next time: we shall see what comes up (working on a book right now).

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A Late Fall Hike in Saxon Woods

Back when Fall 2016 was starting to wrap up, and the temperature had dropped fairly low, we went on a hike up in Saxon Woods. The park is 700 acres of hiking, playgrounds, and sports fields, including a pool. The hiking trail also passes by a golf course at one point. When we went, the leaves had mostly fallen, and the clouds were out, so we had the trail mostly to ourselves (there were a few people walking their dogs). We paced it out nicely by taking the bus from Metro North to the park entrance, then did the north loop first and went into the south loop, but exited out the south to walk back to the train station and a food stop. It worked out beautifully.

Picnic tables at the entrance.

Picnic tables at the entrance.

Fairly easy paths, flat and stroll-y.

Fairly easy paths, flat and stroll-y.

Some old guards for slightly raised sections of path.

Some old guards for slightly raised sections of path.

Some nice reminders that fall is still happening and it is not QUITE winter yet.

Some nice reminders that fall is still happening and it is not QUITE winter yet.

An old wall in the woods.

An old wall in the woods.

Trees leaned over the path.

Trees leaned over the path.

Some sections pass by houses.

Some sections pass by houses.

All of the fall colors.

All of the fall colors.

We reached the golf course.

We reached the golf course.

A collapsed bridge.

A collapsed bridge.

Part of the bridge.

Part of the bridge.

The divider that marks the end of the north loop.

The divider that marks the end of the north loop.

The tunnel under the road.

The tunnel under the road.

We walk under highways.

We walk under highways.

A creek along the path.

A creek along the path.

The south loop is nice and flat as well.

The south loop is nice and flat as well, with an old and simple bridge.

Walking over a creek.

Walking over a creek.

More small bridges.

More small bridges.

Flood guards.

Flood guards.

A shack in the woods.

A shack in the woods.

Benches are randomly spaced out on the paths.

Benches are randomly spaced out on the paths.

This looks like a face.

This looks like a face.

These rocks are massive.

These rocks are massive.

Towering boulders line the path.

Towering boulders line the path.

You can crawl in there.

You can crawl in there.

Something split this one.

Something split this one.

Ruins along the path.

Ruins along the path.

All of the colors.

All of the colors.

A trail map at the south entrance (between two houses).

A trail map at the south entrance (between two houses).

Next entry: I’m working on a website and a book right now, so not sure what will be next on here.

 

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Women’s March on NYC

January 21, 2017 marked the Women’s March in various cities. I attended the one in NYC, hosted by the Human First Society. The march began at a staging area in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza between Second and First Aves. It then went south down Second Ave to 42nd St, headed west in front of Grand Central Station, then headed north up Fifth Ave to 55th St. I hopped into the demonstration around Grand Central Station, then worked my way to the end. There were lots of signs and chants. NYPD were terrific at helping people out, especially if they needed out of the cordoned off route to get to a bathroom or food. Everyone was very polite while I was there. It all went very smoothly. Here are some of the over 200 images I got at the protest.

Signs and cheering.

Signs and cheering.

A drum group performs.

A drum group performs.

Lots of colors and creativity.

Lots of colors and creativity.

Children brought us all hope.

Children brought us all hope.

The young protest as well.

The young protest as well.

People lined the bridge over 42nd St and cheered on marchers.

People lined the bridge over 42nd St and cheered on marchers.

Yes we STILL can.

Yes we STILL can.

One of the more popular posters, always bringing a laugh and OMG to viewers.

One of the more popular posters, always bringing a laugh and OMG to viewers.

Flags waved in the breeze.

Flags waved in the breeze.

Children joining in brought tears to my eyes.

Children joining in brought tears to my eyes.

May or may not be a celebrity sighting. Everyone blended together.

May or may not be a celebrity sighting. Everyone blended together.

A wonderful blend of all ages.

A wonderful blend of all ages.

An incredibly detailed poster.

An incredibly detailed poster.

Signs of all ages and languages.

Signs of all ages and languages.

This man made it so that he could rotate the signs like a pinwheel.

This man made it so that he could rotate the signs like a pinwheel.

The NYPD watch the parade pass by.

The NYPD watch the parade pass by.

Dads holding up their daughters.

Dads holding up their daughters.

This one cracked me up.

This one cracked me up.

This kid would pose any time a camera pointed at him.

This kid would pose any time a camera pointed at him.

One of my favorite images of the march.

One of my favorite images of the march.

The NYPD watches on - I saw him help an older couple get through both layers of dividers so they could reach a restroom.

The NYPD watches on – I saw him help an older couple get through both layers of dividers so they could reach a restroom.

She would stop and let people read and not move on until they let her know they had finished.

She would stop and let people read and not move on until they let her know they had finished.

Balloons!

Balloons!

An abundance of energy.

An abundance of energy.

Lots of cheering.

Lots of cheering.

This one was touching.

This one was touching.

Protesting while taking a breather.

Protesting while taking a breather.

We were not allowed in front of Trump Tower.

We were not allowed in front of Trump Tower.

Courteous workers direct us along the barrier to side street exits.

Courteous workers direct us along the barrier to side street exits.

Her outfit just emphasizes the poster.

Her outfit just emphasizes the poster.

Walking out of the demonstration area.

Walking out of the demonstration area.

So many wonderful posters.

So many wonderful posters.

While there was laughter, it was also a serious event.

While there was laughter, it was also a serious event.

Yes, someone went there.

Yes, someone went there.

Getting this in front of a cop car was great.

Getting this in front of a cop car was great.

Yes, cosplayers protest as well.

Yes, cosplayers protest as well.

Her sign was very popular, and she brought her dog.

Her sign was very popular, and she brought her dog.

This makes it look like the NYPD was marching as well (these two did not notice them coming up behind them at first).

This makes it look like the NYPD was marching as well (these two did not notice them coming up behind them at first).

The NYPD politely escort protestors from the protest area so that more could continue to move forward.

The NYPD politely escort protestors from the protest area so that more could continue to move forward.

She stood on the side of the exit street showing everyone who passed by her sign.

She stood on the side of the exit street showing everyone who passed by her sign.

Next entry: back to our regularly scheduled updates of Saxon Woods that was preempted this week.

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Mills Reservation Hike in Essex County

In late October, 2016, we took a trip to Essex County in NJ to hike Mills Reservation. It is a hilly hike that offers a nice view of NYC from the top of the mountain trail. It’s a pretty easy hike, not too many hills (unless you go exploring outside of the park for food – which is not nearby or easily accessible by public transportation on the weekends). We entered on a side trail not on the ┬átrail maps that I nicknamed the “bottle” trail as people had used empty bottles on sticks to designate the path. The leaves had started to change and we had a lot of sun on this hike.

It had been very dry and there were a lot of dry creek beds.

It had been very dry and there were a lot of dry creek beds.

Another dry creek bed.

Another dry creek bed.

The paths are quite wide and surrounded by large rocks.

The paths are quite wide and surrounded by large rocks.

Someone cut the logs so you could walk easily on the paths.

Someone cut the logs so you could walk easily on the paths.

In this case, ramps were made instead of cutting the logs. Bikes can go over these as well.

In this case, ramps were made instead of cutting the logs. Bikes can go over these as well.

The open path.

The open path.

The sky peeks in through the trees.

The sky peeks in through the trees.

Reaching the top.

Reaching the top.

The path to the summit.

The path to the summit.

Rocks line the edges.

Rocks line the edges – it is basalt, very characteristic of the Watchung Mountain Range..

Looking back down the path.

Looking back down the path.

A place to sit on the top.

A place to sit on the top.

Seeing NYC through the trees.

Seeing NYC through the trees.

Using a telephoto lens to see the city.

Using a telephoto lens to see the city.

The city in the distance.

The city in the distance.

The trees frame the view.

The trees frame the view.

The sun is setting and gives us lots of rays through the trees.

The sun is setting and gives us lots of rays through the trees.

It is not an easy trail along this path.

It is not an easy trail along this path.

Leaves changing colors.

Leaves changing colors.

Smooth and easy paths once again.

Smooth and easy paths once again.

The original park entry gates.

The original park entry gates.

Post #1

Post #1

Post #2

Post #2

Extremely wide trails means there are bike riders about.

Extremely wide trails means there are bike riders about.

The trees hang like roots.

The trees hang like roots.

Some logs hang over the path. People like to climb on them.

Some logs hang over the path. People like to climb on them.

An old driveway entrance on the north end.

An old driveway entrance on the north end.

An old rock wall.

An old rock wall.

The trails are being renovated, check out the website link at the beginning of this entry for details.

The trails are being renovated, check out the website link at the beginning of this entry for details.

Autumn appears on the ground.

Autumn appears on the ground.

The trees are changing.

The trees are changing.

Next entry: A very cold walk through Saxon Woods.

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2017 Calendars

It’s a little late due to various circumstances, but here are the two designs I have for 2017 calendars. The first is the winner of a poll I did on the FB page: The Adirondacks. This includes pics from all the years I have been hiking up there, mostly from trips with my mother, who we lost this year due to pancreatic cancer.

Adirondack 2017 Calendar

Adirondack 2017 Calendar

The other calendar is a group of funny animal shots. There will also be humorous captions, but to see them, you’ll have to buy the calendar.

Humorous Animals 2017 Calendar

Humorous Animals 2017 Calendar

Cover of the Adirondack Calendar

Cover of the Adirondack Calendar

Sample page of Adirondack calendar.

Sample page of Adirondack calendar.

As usual, the calendars cost $25 each, this includes shipping and handling. To avoid payment fees, the preferred payment method is google wallet. If you contact me through nsantasierphotography@gmail.com I can send you the links to payment as well as get your contact info for mailing.

Any questions, please contact me at the above email as well.

Happy holidays!

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The 28th Annual Adirondack Car Show in Lake George

This past September, the weekend after Labor Day, numerous automobile enthusiasts thronged to Lake George, NY to show off their wares and precious car designs at the 28th Annual Adirondack Car Show. A group of us went to walk around. We stuck to the main street and saw cars driving back and forth, as well as numerous ones parked on both sides of the street. There was also a massive display in the field nearby, but they charged quite a lot just to view what we could already see outside for free. So we skipped that part (and due to the heat, this was a wise idea). Here are some of my favorite ones.

The TMNT car - one hell of a paint job.

The TMNT car – one hell of a paint job.

Now there is some gremlin green.

Now there is some gremlin green.

Gotta love the classic dice on the rearview.

Gotta love the classic dice on the rearview.

This might make you think twice about stealing this car.

This might make you think twice about stealing this car.

For anyone wondering, this will get you arrested for being an idiot.

For anyone wondering, this will get you arrested for being an idiot.

Nice engine.

Nice engine.

That is a fine blue.

That is a fine blue.

Break out the mob cars!!!

Break out the mob cars!!!

This car has muscle.

This car has muscle.

Gotta love the paint jobs on these old models.

Gotta love the paint jobs on these old models.

Now that is some bright orange.

Now that is some bright orange.

Big ass engine!

Big ass engine!

Looks like it's straight out of the Dick Tracy movie from the '90s.

Looks like it’s straight out of the Dick Tracy movie from the ’90s.

Interesting fluid tank.

Interesting fluid tank.

This was an amazing paint job.

This was an amazing paint job.

Tiniest car ever.

Tiniest car ever – that’s not a matchbox.

Finally found one with flames.

Finally found one with flames.

Classic paint job.

Classic paint job.

Look inside at the engine - like teeth.

Look inside at the engine – like teeth.

And the Pixar's Cars pickup.

And the Pixar’s Cars pickup.

I love this old paint color.

I love this old paint color.

Makes you think twice about breaking into it, doesn't it?

Makes you think twice about breaking into it, doesn’t it?

Next time: A hike through Mills Reservation.

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