Monday, June 29, 2015

A "river" is not always a "river" in New York City

It is SO much fun to slowly go through 8 days of photos and select some for enhancement.

Sometimes I go a bit overboard - sez some people - but I am creating something special for ME.

I really could care less about their criticism.
Case in point: my shot from Brooklyn, looking across the East river at the mid-town Manhattan skyline.

I learned that the East River is NOT really a river.

It's an estuary or a tidal strait.

Both ends are connected to the Atlantic Ocean!

I used a medium setting on my fisheye lens effect and, in processing, added a splash of random color to the formidable concrete and steel buildings.

From the 101st floor of the newly-opened One World Observatory, I claimed a spot by a window looking down on the Brooklyn Bridge.

I shot late afternoon pictures and stayed there as twilight made the lights start to appear. 

I was jostled by people behind me but, I was sitting on the floor, so many just leaned in over me and snapped their pictures. 

As soon as we got to the top floor and I saw the bridge, I envisioned what a twilight shot would look like.

My camera had started acting up - shutting down a lot and showing an error message. So it became a challenge to get the shot at all.

One highlight of this trip was going into the massive Madison Square Garden.

Had grown up hearing about great boxing matches and talented performers appearing there, but this was my first time inside the round structure.

It IS huge... inside and out!

Did not see any Jumbotron screens for the people sitting high up and far from the stage.

 I was there to see Billy Joel in concert. 

Apparently, he comes "home" one Saturday night each month and the show usually is sold out, as it was this night.

What a setting and what a professional staff. 

Was in an aisle seat so I saw how crowd control kept the lanes open and security made sure people did not rush forward at all.

We had seats on the floor, about 14 rows back, and my zoom brought me in very close. 

And...the folding seats were comfortably padded!

Once the show started, I saw the overhead screens that enabled all to see the performers on stage.

Looking around, I saw the large circular marquee hanging overhead also had large images.

And the sound system was exactly what you would expect from a major venue in the middle of New York City.

We had seen Billy Joel in Columbia a few years ago so had high expectations and were not disappointed.

It started on time with Gavin DeGraw as the opener and he roamed among the audience while singing.

Nice touch and great camera work to keep him in sight on the giant screens.

The band was exciting with a 3-man horn section.

I counted several guitars and a local man was invited up to play a song with the "big guys."

Joel's voice is strong and he played Piano Man and many other favorites for the appreciative crowd.

His big encore number was "We didn't start the fire," with outstanding visual lighting effects.

The dark hair is gone but the showman is still there!

Another exhibition that just opened on 5th Avenue was the 40th Anniversary Salute to SNL.

I am sure I "discovered" the show soon after it started.

Visiting my brother in Washington, D.C, he pointed to a tv in some bar we were in and explained this was a new Saturday night show that we HAD to watch.

I even remember one sketch that night involved the trial of Andy William's ex-wife and the accidental shooting of her lover, an Olympic skier nicknamed "Spider."

They were VERY irreverent and I have enjoyed the show ever since.

Impressive layout of props, costumes, the weekly planning session and even Lorne Michael's desk.

I found a dressing table and made sure I was presentable. 

The display was broken down into the 7-day structure leading up to TWO tapings on Saturday.

Yes, the final dress rehearsal is taped and then, a bit later, the actual show is taped again as it goes on the air.

Saw many reminders of special moments on the show : the Church Lady (Isn't THAT special!), the shark that ate people who opened the door and the cellar "studio" of "Wayne's World."

Reminders of Chris Farley and John Belushi, two talented men who passed too soon.

I stood on the set of Jeopardy, next to the big cowboy hat worn by "Burt Reynolds."

The two gents with special Christmas packages were presented. "Look, no hands!"

New York had more to offer so I'll add more pictures later. Thanks for going on a brief vacation with me.

(Click on the photos and links for more details.)

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