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Manhattan in December

I made a trip into Manhattan this past Sunday to do a little Christmas shopping and just see New York during the Holiday Season. It was an overcast, cold and rainy day, but I still throughly enjoyed my visit. I arrived in the city before noon, so I was pretty much able to spend a full day in the city and was able to make stops at all the stores I planned to visit. First I went down to the West Village, then walked over to the Union Square area and finally  headed up to the Midtown area.

While I was in the West Village I was able to pay my first visit to the new Whitney Museum of Art at 99 Gansevoort St, which has been on my to-do list since the museum opened on May 1st, 2015. I had to go to a few stores on West 14th St. and while I was in the neighborhood I figured I finally go to the Whitney. I must say that really enjoyed my visit to the “new” Whitney. I had visited the Whitney back at it’s old home on the Upper Eastside several times, but it was a real treat to see the new Renzo Piano designed building, which I must say is a dramatic improvement over the old building. More on the Whitney later, I’m going publish a separate post on my first impressions of the museum.

I really enjoyed seeing the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center and visiting St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which I visited while mass was in progress. It was inspiring to see so many of the faithful at the historic Cathedral.

 

 

Here are a few of the pictures I took as I made my way around the city…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Walk Along the La Jolla Coast Trail

This weekend the Wall St. Journal published a good article about San Diego and highlighted many places that visitors would enjoy. The article made me consider some of my favorite spots in “America’s Finest City”, a place that I know well as a result of living there from 2003 to 2014. There are so many beautiful, scenic places in San Diego that it is very challenging to choose one spot as the best, but certainly one of my favorite places is the Coastal Trail just north of La Jolla Village where the views over the California Coast and the Pacific Ocean are truly stunning. I have walked along that trail many, many times and took several videos that I think capture the beauty of the area. I took the video posted below on a quiet Monday back in March of 2011.

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Fall in the Lehigh Valley

I have taken quite a few pictures this fall. Here are a some of my favorites. I took these pictures in Easton, Bethlehem and Phillipsburg, NJ.

 

Here another group of Fall favorites…

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Autumn Express and the Return of Passenger Trains to the Lehigh Valley

This past weekend an Amtrak Autumn Express excursion train travelled to the Lehigh Valley from New York City and it was a truly historic event because it was the first time in several decades that a passenger train had actually passed through Easton, Bethlehem and Allentown, the three major cities of the Lehigh Valley. The train then continued west to Harrisburg and Lancaster. After a stop at Lancaster the train headed south to Philadelphia and then north back to New York.

The first Autumn Express train left New York at 8:30 am on Saturday morning, Oct 29th, and crossed the Delaware river at approximately 10:20 am., entering Easton as it headed west the Bethlehem and then Allentown. I made my way to the site of the old Easton Passenger station to watch the Autumn Express roll by. I fairly large crowd of train enthusiasts, including the the mayor of Easton, had gathered to welcome train. A similar crowd formed to Allentown, including the mayor of that city as well, to greet train.

 

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Here is video a shot of the Autumn Express arriving at the site of the former Easton Passenger Station on the morning of Saturday, Oct 29th,

I enjoyed seeing the train so much on Saturday that on Sunday morning  I decided to go to a spot right below the railroad bridge that the Autumn Express would cross the Delaware so I could capture that on video.

 

 

 

 

 

Later that morning I shot a brief video explaining why it was such a thrill to see the Autumn Express in Easton and why many in the Lehigh Vally would love the see passenger train service return to this area.

 

 

 

NBA 2016-2017 Predictions

As a huge Pro Basketball fan I certainly welcome the return of the NBA. I think this season will be fascinating because the of the rivalry between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the teams that won the last three championships and combined have at least 4, if not 5 or 6 of the leagues top 10 players.

Current Title Odds for top 9 teams:

1 – Golden State Warriors                      2-3

2-Clevelnd Cavaliers                             11-4

3 – San Antonio Spurs                            6-1

4- Los Angeles Clippers                         20-1

5 – Boston Celtics                                   20-1

6 – Oklahoma City Thunder                30-1

7- Toronto Raptors                                40-1

8- Atlanta Hawks                                   60-1

9- New York Knicks                               60-1

Like most sports writers, basketball analysts and serious fans, I find it very difficult to pick against the Warriors and Cav’s. They seem destined to meet again in the Championship round of the playoffs.

I do think the Spurs and Clippers are good enough to challenge the Warriors in the West. I also think the Boston Celtics have a real outside shot of dethroning the Cav’s in the East.

I am tempted to really pick an underdog to take out the Warriors or the Cavaliers, but I simply can’t .

So,  barring major injuries,  think we will see yet another classic battle between Golden State and Cleveland. The addition of Kevin Durant to the Warriors will make Golden State too much for the Cavaliers and the rest of the league to handle. KD will finally get his first ring.

Bus Stop on the Silver Strand

I was browsing my photo archives earlier today and came across this picture on the Silver Stand beach near San Diego, which is one of my favorites. I enhanced this photo with the Snapseed HDR filter.

The Silver Strand is a narrow stretch of beach, about 7 miles long that connects Coronado Island to Imperial Beach and the rest of California. The Pacific Ocean is on the west side of the Strand and San Diego Bay is on the  east side. State Highway 75 runs along the the entire length of the Strand and buses from San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) run up and down the Strand (the 901 Bus). There is also a paved biking/running path that runs parallel to the highway. I took this picture during one of my many bike rides from Coronado to Imperial Beach and back. I snapped this picture heading north, on the way back to Coronado.

To the left of the bus shelter you can see Point Loma in the distance. To the right you can see the bike path.This particular stop is roughly in the middle of strand and Silver Strand State Beach is literally right across the highway.

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Walking along the Delaware

Here is short video I shot during my lunch break yesterday on the banks of the scenic Delaware river.

 

 

 


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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