Up Close And Personal Unexpectedly this Humpback Whale came out of the water just a short distance from our ship. Amazing doesn’t begin to describe the feeling of seeing this creature up close. You can see the barnacles that have attached themselves to it’s underside. Also visible, although just barely, is a thin white line by the mouth which is the baleen. Baleen is a filter that allows them to capture prey and expel the water. If you’ve ever wondered, the blow hole is the whales nose that over time migrated to the top of their head allowing them to minimize the energy needed to replenish their air supply. Imagine if they had to lift that giant head out of the water each time they needed a breath.
Sushi Feast A youngish Humpback Whale enjoying a giant mouthful of Bunker fish. The waters were literally jumping alive with these fish. There were so many that this whale was able to simply skim the surface to repeatedly fill up on these fish. No need for the more strenuous technique of creating a deeper water whirlpool to drive them to the surface. What was all the more amazing about this moment is that it was happening right here in NYC, off the coast of Long Beach. In season there are regular excursions from Riis Landing in the Rockaways by the American Princess Fleet. It’s four hours on the water and enjoyable every second.
Want to know more about this picture, head over to my facebook page and click on the See More link for more detailed whale and camera info.
Gone Fishing In pic 1 what looks like very choppy water is in fact thousands upon thousands of Bunker fish, Often used as bait for catching other fish, they are, in this case, on the menu of a special individual. Their identity to be revealed in this evenings post. The beach front in the background is Long Beach, Long Island.
Delancey Orchard A walk through the orchard fields at the Delancey St Station. Artist Ming Fay depicts the Cherry Orchard that was a part of the Delancey family farm long before the city became a city.
Shad Crossing The fish are swimming at the Delancey St/ Essex St Subway Station. Beautifully set tile work created by artist Ming Fay, Shad fish make runs through our rivers every spring, the work represents the travel of immigrants across the ocean (and our travels across the Williamsburg Bridge)
King Neptune One of the many wonderful art accents on the abandoned Child’s Restaurant Building on the Coney Island Boardwalk. In it’s prime this was a showpiece restaurant for Child’s and popular destination for visitors to the shore. Its unique Terra Cotta facade and sturdy construction is credited with protecting a good portion of the boardwalk from the great fire of 1932. Over the years, as Coney Island’s fortunes declined, it went out of business and the buildings condition declined. Used in the 60’s as a chocolate factory and a book distributor, it is now in major disrepair and slated for demolition to be replaced by an entertainment stadium at some point in the future. For now, its still there on 21st street on the boardwalk, a bit away from the amusement parks. So when you take a break from the rides and the Nathan’s hot dogs, walk over and see a bit of the grandeur that was Coney Island
Fish Weather Vane Sitting atop the Sandy Tiles Art Project this fishy weather vane keeps you up to date on shoreline wind direction. Somewhere along the line someone added the plastic elephant adding a quirky touch.
Queen Mother Of Reality Part of a large art piece, the artist Pawel Althamer created this piece from recycled materials, and it is intended as a counterpoint to the Statue Of Liberty that welcomes immigrants, whereas Queen Mother watches over displaced people. It’s location in Williamsburg, Bushwick Inlet Park is deliberate as the piece gazes out at Manhattan and its own location, both having seen explosive upper income housing development at the expensive of low and middle income housing. Bushwick is now heading into the same high income steamroller development. The art work was inspired by Dr Delois Blakely, a U.S. Ambassador of Goodwill to Africa and the Community Mayor Of Harlem. To see this work in its entirety visit http://socratessculpturepark.org/exhibition/queenmother/
Coffee Or Tea? Dunkin Dounuts in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Wall mural is a Groundswell project, which brings artists, youth and community together and created by artist Misha Tyutyunik aka Mishat. Get more info on Groundswell at http://www.groundswellmural.org/ and more on Misha T. at http://www.mishat.com/
Sunset Scene A seaplane about to land and a softly colored sky made this moment feel a bit like traveling back in time. Seen from Williamsburg, Bushwick Inlet Park which is a great location anytime of day but especially at sunset when you can enjoy big sky and panoramic views of the city.
When I Get Big….. Two sister’s check out some of the rides they are too small to ride, for now. A few more years and a few more inches and they’ll be able to ride and scream for joy with the best of them. Until then standing on the fence and at least feeling taller will have to do.