Happy Holidays & The Big Apple…

 

The beautiful Manhattan skyline shortly after sunset with the Brooklyn Bridge off to the right.

It’s hard to believe but another holiday season is upon us and with Christmas just over two weeks away I felt it was time to update the blog. After all, I don’t want to upset my fan. Before I do I just wanted to take a moment and thank all of you for your support and if you read these blogs I hope you’ve found them informative as well as entertaining. I also want to clear up a little bit of confusion. The Alligator Outpost and Mark Andrew Thomas websites are separate entities but are basically mirror sites of mine and no matter which one I direct people to, they both lead to the same place so it’s all good. BTW If you want to check out my ugly mug splattered all over an unfortunate jpeg image check out the Bio section of the website for the new pic.

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New York City’s famous Theater District comes alive at night. It rained for much of our visit but it created some pretty cool street reflections in a few photos.

For this blog we’re going to take a journey away from the wilds of Florida just this once and head to the big city! The Big Apple to more specific. Back in October I visited New York City for the weekend and although I’ve been many times since I was a kid, it was usually only for a few hours or an afternoon at most. This was the first time I had the chance to spend some real time in the city and we also stayed in Manhattan so it was quite the experience. It’s also the first time I’ve been to NYC since 9/11.

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Broadway is famous for a never ending supply of shows and talent. I love being near celebrities because they’re better than us…

One of the biggest highlights for me was seeing my first Broadway show on our first night in the city. We saw the show “Waitress” at the Brooks Atkinson Theater. It stars Jessie Mueller who won the Tony for playing Carole King in the biopic musical “Beautiful”.  It was an amazing show and afterwords we walked around the theater district. Looking at all the marquees for various shows was pretty awesome as well since many famous names perform on Broadway on any given night of the week. Mary Louise Parker was in a show right across the street from where we saw our show and John Goodman and Nathan Lane were in another play within walking distance.
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The famous Harry Winston “King of Diamonds” location on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

On our second day we got an early start and took the subway to Fifth Ave before we strolled Central Park. We walked along the world famous Fifth Avenue on the way. Don’t ask me what the difference between strolling and walking is because I don’t know. I just know we did both. Anyway, aside from Fuckwad Tower on Fifth Avenue we saw many famous landmarks and stores such as Harry Winston (the jeweler to the stars), Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co, and many others. You can almost feel the wealth in the air when you walk/stroll down Fifth Avenue. I even picked out my spot for my future gallery…
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Central Park is full of winding pathways and lanterns. There’s a castle somewhere along this path. And a troll…

Although I would have liked to visit New York city during the Christmas season, I really enjoyed the cooler weather and the fall colors that were starting to appear. I knew Central Park would be scenic but I had no idea how beautiful it really is. It’s a huge park and when you’re walking the trails in the woods you can almost forget that you’re in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world. It’s quiet, tranquil, and there are plenty of varieties of small wildlife and birds throughout the park. There’s even a castle tucked away in there…who knew? Apparently, everybody but me. Did I mention Central Park is huge? Like really big…

 

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Cloudy days can actually make for more interesting photos.

The first two days in New York City were very cloudy and cold but for me those kinds of days can actually make for more interesting photographs especially when the clouds are rolling across the sky. Long exposures on cloudy days are among my favourite things to shoot. The third day was beautiful with clear skies and that evening I went out to get that famous shot that every photographer must have….the Brooklyn Bridge. Despite the fact that the Brooklyn Bridge has been photographed and filmed countless times, the trip wouldn’t have felt complete without visiting Brooklyn Bridge Park to get the Manhattan skyline against the backdrop of the bridge. The final shot of the trip was the Brooklyn Bridge at night and right after that my tripod fell over and broke my camera. That was fun. My friend got to witness one of my legendary temper tantrums that turned the heads of even seasoned New Yorkers. The evening ended with my tripod being hurled into the East River. I wish I could have photographed that scene but I’m sure there’s some youtube video out there somewhere.
 
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Part of being a successful photographer is getting a shot nobody has seen before…

I have to say that one of things that really impressed me about NYC was the architecture. Both the old and the new. Old churches, buildings, hotels, and restaurants are all around New York City and many of them have been around for years. In some cases hundreds of years. During our visit to the World Trade Center we also stopped by St. Paul’s Chapel which is right across the street. It survived the devastation on 9/11 earning it’s nickname “The Little Chapel That Stood” and as we walked through the cemetery on the grounds we noticed headstones dating back to the early 1800’s. The Central Synagogue, pictured below, was dedicated in 1872 and St. Patrick’s Cathedral (which unfortunately we didn’t have time to visit) was dedicated in 1878 and these are only two examples of some of the amazing old architecture in the city.  The new structures were just as beautiful to look at in their own way. The new World Trade Center is a brilliant work of architecture, it’s resplendent beauty needs to be seen in person to be appreciated.

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Beautiful architecture is all around in New York City.

Although I love being out in nature and always will, visiting a big city was a great experience and I’m looking forward to my next visit. It’s good to be home and right after the holidays I’ll be back out with the mosquitos getting you some cool Milky Way shots for next year! You won’t have to wait long for the next blog, I’m already working on Part II of the New York City blog as we speak and I’ll be posting my first attempts at Tilt-Shift photography that I took in the city and talking a bit about that. I’ll also continue to update the blog as often as I can but in the meantime I want to wish all of you a Happy Holiday season and I’ll see you next year!
P.S. My Christmas list includes a new tripod. A good one…

 

An “outtake” while testing camera settings for my new profile pic:
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Three million people in this city and she had to pick my office to walk into…

-Mark Andrew Thomas
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