one thing led to another and then there I was, in downtown brooklyn. It was pride weekend, by chance, but I decided to avoid the crowds and mostly just chilled for the four days I was there. I got in late on Thursday, took the train in from JFK, walked from javits to my airbnb (rip, airbnb in nyc, it was great while it lasted). Then got up and went to EMPEX NYC, the nominal reason for my visit. Well, that and it made the hop to AMS shorter and easier (and those photos are also coming, I just got to these first because… reasons).
New York in the springtime. This was the trip that I finally took friend Emmie’s advice and acquainted myself with the bodega sandwich. I don’t think I had a single slice of pizza the whole trip? The sandwiches, they are good. My sleep schedule was mostly fucked the whole time, falling asleep at like 3am and waking up in the early afternoon, so that affected it somewhat, and then also there was the problem that there just weren’t any slice places nearby where I was staying.
Made the trip into Manhattan to see the Popcorn and some Tabs discord folks, had a nice little picnic in Washington Square Park. There was some sort of Hare Krishna thing going on, felt weird and a little cult-y, especially the drum circle. Sitting on the grass on the other side of the park from the gathering was nice, though.
Then we wandered to a local watering hole, had some drinks, went and had dinner at some Thai place that was probably fine but I honestly don’t remember that much of (it’s been three months, a lot has happened). Then we stood in line for ice cream somewhere else in SoHo, which was really good but I have almost no idea where we were; everyone I was hanging out was a neighborhood veteran and it was my first time anywhere near NYU.
Then back to brooklyn, and it’s wild how a couple blocks from the tall skinny billionaire’s nests it’s just brownstones and apartments. I was in a fourth floor walk up, tiny one bedroom that belonged to someone in musical theater who was, sort of ironically, in wine country in california for the same dates I was in NYC. A lot of stairs, but otherwise a fine place to sleep and stow my gear. I worked on monday and then I was off again, to Amsterdam and another layer of jet lag….
Posted on 2023-09-16T11:37:11Z GMT
This was what, three weeks ago? getting dangerously close to the fluid present, in any case. Sophie was out of town this weekend, off to do work things on the east coast, and I had a weekend free to do whatever I wanted. I realized it would be a perfect time to do a quick overnight in the sierras, see what Yosemite had to offer. I had a new camera to break in and get used to, and time to burn.
So after brunch and a stop for gallon jugs of water, I started driving east. There are a couple ways to get out there, the northern route on 120, which takes you to tioga pass and switchebacks down to the valley proper or the southern route, which goes through Merced to 140. I was headed for some campgrounds on 140 that are first-come first-serve, hoping to get lucky.
And, as luck would have it, there was one tiny spot open at the first campground I stopped at. Just big enough for my little two person tent and a chair, basically. I got my tent set up and went down to the river to put my feet in the water. I sat there and read my book, there being no cell signal, for maybe an hour, and then got up to go back to the tent and sit there and watch the clouds.
Unfortunately, instead of being high and pretty and harmless, they were a storm coming in. I rushed to get the fly on the tent and hopped inside. Then I had to get back out and re-tie the fly down to bigger rocks; the wind was gusting to maybe 30mph in the canyon, just wild. I sat in the noise of the wind and the rain, waited for it to blow out. Just sitting, alone, in the middle of the storm, can’t see out of the tent because the rain fly went all the way to the ground.
Got up in pretty bad shape, as my ground pad wasn’t holding air; made some coffee and some breakfast. Freeze dried biscuits and gravy, which is actually really palatable. Drove for a half an hour and I was in the park. Walked around, saw some things. Took a bus to a trailhead, hiked up to mirror lake, which is neither mirrored nor a lake; really a wide spot in Tenaya Creek. A nice hike though, with options that kind of get you away from the crowds.
Then, after a quick stop to buy gummy bears (the best gummy bears in the world are hte ones in the gift shop in Yosemite National Park, I don’t know how they do it, it’s some local confectioner), I drove home.
Posted on 2023-09-10T07:43:04Z GMT
It’s 6am Central European Daylight Time, day four of the trip, and the jet lag has really caught up with me. I’ve been awake since 3:30 or so local time. Really just processing some photos to kill some time, and hope I can get back to sleep again.
Took these on a walk up into some park or another. It was supposed to be a little piece of a 6 mile loop that included redwoods, but we went to the wrong trailhead, didn’t bother looking at the map, and ended up making the walk rather short as a consequence. While we were walking, I had the idea for a blog that would have killed in 2003 or so: “That’s a good tree,” a blog that just had posts of individual pictures of trees that I saw, with the caption “That’s a good tree.”
Of course, it’s 20 years after that would have been fun, and in 2oo3, digital cameras were in their infancy; for what I just spent on a top of the line body and lens, you could get maybe six whole megapixels, with slightly worse than slide film dynamic range.
Then, before we got in the car to head home, we walked across the road and I took this panorama, with the fog rolling over the hills in SF, Tam on the right, and yes, another good tree. It’ll print something like 80 inches wide, which might be interesting. We’ll see when I’m back to my big printer.
Posted on 2023-09-09T04:24:01Z GMT
Sometimes, when work is more or less just me, working on a problem for a long time, it’s good for my head to get out of the house. I think this week I was also solo, Sophie was somewhere; Chicago? Amsterdam? I don’t remember. Anyway. “It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation,” to steal a sentence. SFMOMA has a nice cafe, and a couple little nooks scattered throughout the museum that are great for this, as they also have decent wifi and the 5G coverage is excellent. I’m a museum member, so I get in free (well, something like $150/year).
I’m not worried about spoiling the uncrowded space, nobody reads blogs.
But it’s great, I can work for a little bit, go look at some art if I get restless, get a coffee from the cafe, whatever I feel like. I’m always really productive because of the slight pressure of not wanting people to see me goofing off on my phone or whatever. There’s also the “I can do that later” thought that helps; I’m in a rad place, I should either be looking at the rad art or doing work, not scrolling.
And then, the city is there for me when the workday is done. I think this day I went to NOPA? I was alone, and I wanted a fancy burger, but made a game time decision to have bolognese.
Still haven’t been back for that burger.
Posted on 2023-09-01T08:27:23Z GMT