Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Pitcher of Lavender

Once again I was desperate for a photograph for the blog today.  This pitcher with Lavender has been sitting on a table in the back room, and I have thought several times of photographing it.  So tonight  I NEEDED to photograph it.  So I set up a light in order to have control of how the subject would look under different lighting.  I used a direct spotlight which leaves sharp shadows for the first three images.  The last image was lit with the light bounced into a white umbrella, which gives a much softer illumination.  So it is voting time again - which is your favorite?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Grace's Father Appears!

This is not the greatest picture ever, but it is a historic moment in cat history.  The cat on the stairs showed up today, and that's the first time we have seen him.  Kathy noticed that he was just black and white in color, exactly like our cat Grace!  So we realized that this is probably Grace's father. He has markings and colorings that are so similar to Grace.  The mother kitty is under the stairs, and didn't run away when the new cat showed up.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Baking Course

OK, it is time to reveal the mystery destination.  We went to take a food course called "The Home Patisserie: Laminated Doughs."  What?  Well, it turns out that laminated dough starts out as a dough that is rolled out, and then a pound of butter is rolled out to a thickness of 1/4" and is placed on the dough, and then more dough is folded over it.  Then that is rolled out and folded over and rolled out and folded over again.  If you do the math, what you end up with is hundreds of layers, of dough and butter and dough and butter.

There are variations of the ingredients which make up different laminated doughs, and those doughs are used for different  pastries.  This photo, below is a pastry that is fairly obscure - it is called "Kouign Amann" seen before baking.

This is the Kouign Amann after baking.  It's beautiful, isn't it?  You should taste it, with all that butter in it!

And I forget what the pastry below is.  The dough was rolled out, then folded back and forth around some fillings - chocolate, and an almond croissant filling. Then the long roll is sliced into these pieces that fit into cupcake tins.  After baking, they looked like muffins, and they were awesome!  It was an amazing class, that lasted for four hours, and it was chock full of information.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Paddleboarding? In this Weather?

I was out running a few errands this afternoon, and on the way home decided to drive by the harbor just to see how everything looked on a day of rain and drizzle.  I was stunned to see this man and woman slowly riding their paddleboards in this cold and rain.  They were traveling some distance as well.  All I could think was that they would be in a really dangerous spot if one of them fell off their board.  That water is cold, and they were a fair distance from shore.  It didn't appear that they were wearing wet suits.  Please click on this to enlarge the photo.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Atrium, Brookfield Place

To get to this spectacular atrium, you take a subway to the World Trade Center stop, and then you walk through the Oculus, which I showed you yesterday, and then down a long corridor, and ride an escalator up one floor, and here you are.  It is just a stunning thing to see.  Out those windows is the Hudson River and the skyline of New Jersey.  This place, by the way, is called Brookfield Place, and it consists of four towers comprising eight-million square feet of office, retail and public space located in the center of Battery Park City.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Entering the Oculus

We took a train into the city today, but I can't tell you what for, yet.  Then we took the E train south to the World Trade Center station.  When we got off the subway, we entered the Oculus, the most dramatic of the new buildings that are now part of the new World Trade Center site.  Then we continued west through the Oculus and then down a long white hallway, almost as far as the Hudson river.  What was cool, is that we were indoors the whole time.  I have been in the Oculus before, but there were very few people in it at the time.  For me the picture is all about the silhouettes of all the people coming and going within the structure.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

New Wires in the Neighborhood

There has been a lot of work on power lines in the neighborhood, starting about a mile away.  They are putting in brand new power poles, and then brand new high voltage wires on top.  Those wires are the 13,200 volt lines that the pigeons were sitting on in my photo from the other day.  I spoke to one of the electricians,  and he said that it was time for new wire and especially new insulation, so that there would be less chance of a short circuit on the high voltage lines if a branch fell across the lines.