Archive for the 'United States of America' Category

Return to Governors Island

I made a return trip to Governors Island a couple of weeks ago. The Island closed to the public for the year on Oct. 31st and does not re-open until May 1st, 2018, so it was important for me to visit the Island when I made a trip into New York City two weeks ago.

GI Soissons Landing

Governors Island is a former military base in New York harbor that has been a converted to a park and was opened to the general public starting in 2003. Conversion of large sections of the Island started in 2007 and is still a work in progress, but the Island is about 75% redeveloped. It is a great place to spend an afternoon in NYC when the weather is good and you can enjoy the spectacular views. You can easily spend 4 or 5 hours exploring the Island. I was on a tight schedule that day because I had other things I had to do in the city that day, so I was only able to spend about 2 hrs there that day, but it was still well worth the trip.

 

 

One of the best parts of Governors Island is a section of the Island called The Hills, which consists of four man-made Hills located in the Northwest portion of the Island.

I shot a couple of short videos with my iPhone SE on two of the Hills that occupy the Northeast portion of the Island.

The first video is my climb to the top of Outlook Hill, which is the tallest of the Hills, at 70 ft. That may not sound like much, but the 360 degree views of the New York harbor from the top hill are amazing on a clear day.

 

 

My second video was shot on Discovery Hill, right next to Outlook Hill. Discovery Hill is home to, The Cabin, a creation of British artist Rachael Whiteread and one of the permanent pieces of art that scattered around the Island. Like Outlook Hill, Discovery Hill provides outstanding views of lower Manhattan, the harbor and the Statue of Liberty and overlooks Picnic Point at the NW end of the Island.

Pictures below are from were taken in and around The Hills. I shot the pictures with my Canon GX9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Budweiser Clydesdales visit Easton, PA on Heritage Day, July 9th, 2017

Another highlight of Heritage Day this year was a visit by the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales. The magnificent horses arrived in Centre Square at about 4;20 pm and they really captivated the crowd. The Clydesdales are well known for their size, but seeing them in person gives one a new appreciation for just how large and beautiful the legendary horses are. Each Clydesdale is between 1,800 and 2,300 pounds!!

After stopping in Centre Square for about 15 minutes the Clydesdales proceeded to head down the east end of Northampton St. toward the Northampton St. Bridge (the Free Bridge), which connects PA to NJ.

The Clydesdales then headed up Spring Garden St. returning to the point they started at….

Heritage Day in Easton, PA – July 9th, 2017

The Stage

Easton’s annual Heritage Day celebration, was held this past Sunday on July 9th. Easton, like every other town and city in the U.S.A. celebrates the 4th of July, but the big celebration of the American Independence in Easton occurs on Heritage Day, which is always held on the weekend following the Fourth of July. The highlight of Heritage Day is always the reenactment of the reading of the Declaration of Independence to the citizens the town square. Easton, Pennsylvania was one three cities where Declaration was read aloud to the citizens back in 1776. The other two cities were Philadelphia and Trenton, NJ.

Here is a video of the Declaration of Independence arriving in the Centre Square of downtown Easton. Fortunately, the weather was great last Sunday. I had my fingers crossed the the

And the Main Event…. the reading of the Declaration to the good citizens of Easton. The original reading took place on July 8th, 1776 at the courthouse that was at located in Centre Square. The courthouse is no there, but the stage is close to where the reading took place.

Pictures from in and around Centre Square on Heritage Day….

Spring in Easton, PA

I took these pictures today during my lunch break with my iPad Pro in Centre Square, Easton, PA. With temperatures in the 60’s today it was still a little cool for Spring, but I love the moderate temp’s.

 

 

Product Review: Synapse 25 Backpack by Tom Bihn

Back in January I bought a new backpack and it was a long overdue purchase because my old backpack was literally falling apart after about 10 years of hard use. My old backpack was an Oakley model that I bought in San Diego and it served me well over the years, but it wasn’t exactly state of the art. After a lot of research, looking at backpacks from a variety of different companies I finally settled on buying a Synapse 25 from the Seattle based Tom Bihn company.

Last year I purchased a Ristretto Laptop bag from Tom Bihn and I was really impressed by how sturdy and well designed the bag was. That made me lean toward buying another Tom Bihn product, but I did seriously consider a number of other high end backpacks before pulling the trigger on the Synapse 25. After having used the Synapse 25 on a nearly daily basis since I received it in late January I can unequivocally say that I am very happy with my decision. Once you use it for a few weeks you really appreciate how well designed the Synapse 25 is. The pack has 5 external pockets and those are extremely useful. The main compartment is spacious and the overall capacity of the backpack is 25 Liters.

TB Syn25 topTB Syn25 SS viewTB Syn25 Open Pockets

You can’t go to a store and buy Tom Bihn products. You have to order Tom Bihn products straight from the factory via the company website. This backpack does not have a bombproof laptop compartment and some might consider that a drawback. No big deal to me. I store my MacBook Air in a sleeve anyway. Tom Bihn also sells sleeves for laptops and a variety of other accessories right on the website. You can also select from a wide variety of exterior and interior colors for the backpack. The model I purchased is Black Halcyon/Iberian

I highly recommend this backpack. At $200.00, it is at the upper end of the price scale for a backpack of this size, but I think it well worth it because it is so well made that I anticipate that I will get many years of use out of it. I also love the fact that it is an American made product.

Here are the Spec’s:

Dimensions: 20″ x 13.4″ x 9″ / 508 x 340 x 230 mm
Weight:
400d Halcyon®/420d nylon ripstop: 1 lb 11 oz / 770 grams
1000 denier Cordura®: 1 lb 13 oz / 820 grams
Volume: 1526 cubic inches / 25 liters (ASTM Standard Measure)
Removable 1″ / 25 mm waist strap included
.375″ / 10 mm padded and contoured backpack straps with .75″ / 20 mm removable sternum strap
Total O-rings: 9 (2 in the main compartment; 1 in the top center pocket, 1 in the small center pocket, 3 in the bottom front pocket; 1 in the left side pocket; 1 in the right side pocket)

 

Abraham Lincoln statue at Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Prospect Park Lincoln HDR

I loved this statue of Abraham Lincoln when I came across it few years while walking through Prospect Park.

I recently edited this shot with Tonality, using the app’s HDR filter.

Trip to Boston

I made a trip up to Boston last weekend. It was my first trip to Boston in over 5 years. I don’t remember the exact time I was up there last, but I know it was at least 5 or 6 years ago. I went up there by train from NY early Saturday morning and came back Sunday on the Acela, which was my first time on the fastest train in the U.S.  As a train buff I really enjoyed my ride on the Acela. I would definitely like to see more trains like the Acela put in to service in different parts of the USA, where it makes sense.

I really enjoyed seeing seeing some my favorite spots in and around the city. I stayed at a small hotel in Back Bay and I was able get around pretty easily on the T (Boston’s Light Rail & Subway). One of the highlights of the trip was go to see the Boston Bruins play the NJ Devils at TD Garden with a few relatives. That was my first visit to the “new” Boston Garden and I was very impressed by the building.It is a great venue. I would love to see a Celtics game up there one of these days, especially since the C’s are good again. I’m sure the atmosphere at a Celtics game would be electric.

It was very cold (sub 20 degree temp’s)  and windy last weekend in Boston (real winter weather, finally!) so I did not spend as much time walking around the city as I might have in a little bit warmer temp’s. But I did have an opportunity to walk around Back Bay and Boston Common. I also took the T out to Brighton, where I lived for a few years. I always find trips back to places where I have previously lived interesting just to see what has changed. I did notice a few new buildings in downtown Boston, but no radical change, unlike, say, New York City, where the skyline seems to be changing about every 6 months.

Here are a few pictures I took during my 24 hrs in Boston…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


George M. Fattell.

The gmf journal is a general subject blog that reflects my thoughts and opinions on a variety of topics that are of interest to me. Current home base is Easton, Pennsylvania, USA. Retweets do not equal an endorsement.

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