Friday, June 6, 2014

Falling In Love With Seattle

Castle Point State Park, San Juan Islands Seattle Washington
castle point / san juan island

Technically, This isn't my first trip to Seattle, Washington. I had been there before in October last year on my way back to New York from Alaska. But I dint spend much time there then and It wasn't home. Now It is, and I already miss it.

I just got back from a couple of days long trip to the west, Washington & Oregon. This trip was due earlier, in March and I could make it only now, but nonetheless It was great time spent with family, friends the beauty that the wilderness there is. Actually, Just a week before, I was in West Virginia, VA, PA and Maryland as well. Needless to say, I have soaked in so much of glorious lush green forests beauty this summer has brought, I will cherish it through the fall season when the red, oranges & yellow show up and this time, I hope I'd get lucky.

Sunset San Juan Islands Near Seattle Washington
the sunset from the ferry - san juan islands

In a separate post, or perhaps in the individual posts I would detail what all I covered and how along with my recommendations. For here is my initial plan for the sake of geographical facts about the place, The map that I created in March this year. A trip to WA definitely did take a toll on me, and the fact that Seattle is home now, I made it a rather relaxed trip then running around and explore whatever I like and can. Even then, we pretty much traveled the length and breadth of I-5 from all the way Burlington to Portland in multiple trips. Perhaps, or rather the fact, that I-5, right out of downtown / home, was so convenient to go back and forth, I think I loved driving miles on it.

A rather congested looking yet a peaceful city, this Seattle, I wouldn't claim that I have known it all, The weather was perfect those 5 days I was there, Very sunny unusually, The views of the mountain peaks were spectacular both from the highway and when we climbed short trails to the snow peaks and high elevation view points. The structure of the downtown, and how well fitting it is for both pedestrian, bikers ( which are many by the way) and also for the cars ( The traffic seems well organized except some hiccups with  Harbor Island and Bremerton, I was quite surprised by the excessive use of the ferry. In fact just because of this, we dropped going to Olympic from the way and turn the wheels towards Portland. Then of course, is the Airport. The link train connection is excellent, took me about half hour to reach the airport and it was easy to locate the checkin and gate for my airline. I remember last time when I landed, I found it so difficult to go from one gate to the other with-in the airport. I think from and to the city from the airport is equally easier.

Coming up on the blog are, detailed stories from Mount Rainier National Park, San Juan Islands, Multnomah Oregon, Mount Saint Helen etc, some of the places that I visited and few of my recommendations and guides of the places around, except the hotels/lodge and eating joints since I dint eat out much. Lots of work back home in New York, I am canceling tomorrow's trip to Philadelphia, Yes The Great Bull Run and Tomato Royal plus the after-party. No, I am not chickening out from the race, I was never in the race, but booked it as I was just looking forward to shoot the event, and perhaps participate in Tomatina fun, But I think I' will leave it to guessing, If I really missed the fun. Looking forward to a simple walk in the park tomorrow. Central Park, Here I come.

PS I have posted some of the iphone shots from the road on Instagram / facebook page. Do check 'em out. Also I am uploading some uncut videos from the road on my youtube - here is the link

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mountain Trail Horseback Riding in West Virginia

Me on Socks.
me on my horse 

For good, for bad, I sometime feel I am at the wrong place at wrong time, all the times. Traits of a wandering mind perhaps, but the truth is so. I should be somewhere in a country side stable, riding my horses, may be few propeller around for flying to work and come back home, a few waterfalls in my backyard to get a personal spa bath anytime I like, a few cats, dogs, alpacas and goats to play with, and a nice cabin to sleep and wake up in with a snow peak views. Well, I am here in a small studio in the city of New York,  very close-by actually, and I love it too. Can I be a contradiction enough?

Its been five years since I first rode a horse, and moving away from Bangalore and of course the constant move ever since I had not been able to pursue the skill further. I did my basic-level horse-riding course there, and I have some really fond memories of that time.

* The article I wrote on my horse-riding experience in 2009 : Hoof prints on your heart *

Thursday, May 22, 2014

From Manhattan to Montauk : Exploring Long Island, New York

A nice dive from from above followed by a short nap on the bed of yellow maple buds... Awesomeness. #eastmoriches #newyork #longisland #usa

Long Island, The name and place fascinated me ever since I read "The Great Gatsby" sure it was imaginative, I know not. but when I moved to New York around this time last year, I had this one wish to explore the beaches of east end, which earlier I thought never existed, perhaps biking or trekking the stretch. I finally had a chance to discover a good large part of Long Island last week and it was nothing less than epic, and today after a long hiatus, I am writing about that experience and sharing glimpses of the place.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Say Hello To Japan, Or May Be Not : Sakura Matsuri Festival, New York


"Some Say, Life is hard. but thats just talk. In fact, its good to be alive. Its exciting." 

As I begin penning this article, I am back to watching "Dreams" by Akira Kurosawa, My Introduction to Japan, A movie that made me fall in love with this country, its landscapes and culture alike. Each frame so intriguing and perfect, the foxes walking through the misty forest, the peach orchard and the rainbow. I lived Japan through his dreams and wished to visit the country and see those scenes in real one fine day. My happy tunes - the song of the procession in the village of the watermills. perhaps that explains why had such huge expectations from this festival.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Bird that got stuck in a Tree

No More Snow. Yay. Shouldn't I be starting this post with a goodbye to Winter? New York has been crazy past few months, and while, we may giggle & welcome much awaited arrival of Spring and warmer days, the cold, the craziness doesn't really get over or does it. For example, Yesterday, I must have walked about a mile in 3D capable mad rain and then waited at the station for the bus, extra drenched. ( Oh, I lost my umbrella or dropped it somewhere while shopping and dint have time to buy another, Right.) Well, While I haven't seen a single spring flower bloom yet, I would  say, A change is good, any change for the matter even if its in the form of rain. At least its no more subzero and I can put all my excuses to rest and get on with some city life finally.

spring will come and so will happiness. hold on. life will get... warmer. - anita krizzan

Contemplating Change, I think I never loved "change" as much as I do now. part of the hatred

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Photographing Migratory Birds at Middle Creek Wildlife Sanctuary Pennsylvania

"A flock of geese leave their lake and take wing, turning to poems in the sky." 
~ Dr. SunWolf

Middle Creek Wildlife Sanctuary Pennsylvania USA

Bird photography is work of patience and a long lens (or not ?), The first I have acquired since my first trip to Ranganathittu in Karnataka, India back in 2010, latter, however, I haven't as yet. My kit is already heavy enough and I have no plans of expanding it, atleast for sometime now. Whether or not, I am an expert in knowing birds, or photographing 'em, I love Bird watching, also known as Birding these days. So when I got an invite from a friend to visit Middle creek wildlife management area, near Lancaster Pennsylvania, I thought why not. My long trip plan for this month was already cancelled. and this seemed like a great opportunity to go back in the wild and spend some quality time with mother nature.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Colors of Pangong Tso Ladakh, India : A Photo Essay

I was planning to publish a book review this weekend, but its taking a while. A huge book it is, Yes. Its already been a week, since I posted anything, and the fact, Its Holi tomorrow, and there is no way I'd escape the colors of the most vibrant festival on earth, Here I am dedicating this post to a magical place in the Higher Himalayas, popular world-over as the Lake of 1001 Colors.
How is it possible to feel nostalgia for a world I never knew? How is it possible to feel nostalgia for a world I never knew? - Ernesto Guevara de la Serna - Motorcycle Diaries.

You guessed it right. I am talking about Pangong Tso, or The Lake Pangong, situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft), and running 134 km (83 mi) long extending from Ladakh India to Tibet China. Famous for its ever-changing exquisite colors, and also known as the " Lake of Great Hollow",  Pangong is a high altitude salt-water lake about 160Kms from Leh city of Ladakh, in the state of Jammu & kashmir of North India, and is reachable via road that passes through Chang La, a mountain pass and the third highest motorable road in the world. The varying colors of the crystal clear waters in the shades of green and blue, are due to the play of light, wind and the clouds.

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