The Birthday Girl and her Photo Project

I had this plan to get as many people as I could to pose with me for a birthday photo.  I was going to go up to people that I saw wherever I was in New York and proclaim “It’s my birthday, would you take a photo with me?” Well as the saying goes the best laid plans of mice and men, etc.  I had this button made to wear and went out first into the madness that is Times Square and then froze.  There were just too many people (it’s more congested now that so much of the street there is torn up for construction) along with all of the street hustlers who were busy trying to get people to take photos of them in their Minne Mouse, Hello Kitty, Iron Man, etc. costumes for “donations.”  Some of those people were getting a bit more aggressive than I had ever experienced before; one even grabbed me by the wrist asking if I wanted to take a photo with them.  And we saw on the news that one “performer” nearly got into a fight with a tourist because of the amount of the donation given and had to be arrested by the police.  Not a good look for you Times Square.

Starting out in our hotel I got a couple of people to pose with me and then it was out into Times Square.  I managed to get into the Good Morning America crowd and right next to a little girl who was holding up a sign that said it was her birthday.  So my visage made it onto television.  I wished the little girl a happy birthday but neglected to take a photo with her.  Darn!  The over closeness of the crowds made me a little uncomfortable so I didn’t get as many shots in Times Square as I hoped I would.  But wandering off I did get a few photos in with strangers and had a ball in Saks laughing it up with the shoe sales staff (if you know me you saw that one coming).   My present, besides the trip and all, was a pair of shoes which the salesman wrapped up beautifully for me wishing me a happy birthday.  As we walked here and there (according to my FitBit I logged in 20,774 steps that day) many people who saw my button wished me a happy birthday.  So even though the photo project didn’t pan out as planned it was still a wonderful day.

Still wearing my button DH took me to see Les Miserables which was wonderful; if you haven’t seen it do go!  From there we had an after theater nosh at a very good tourist trap called Juniors Most Fabulous Cheesecake and Deserts.  The place was so good that we came back the next day: cheesecakes, Rubens, corned beef sandwiches, chopped liver sandwiches and the cake shake! What is a cake shake? Your choice of cheesecake + milk shake + ton of whipped cream on top with a cherry = Cake Shake.  Oh the goodness! Oh the calories! I didn’t care! I even shared a little with DH.

We had a wonderful server that birthday night.  A young lady from Hawaii who now lives in the New York area.  She was a sweetheart and we hit it off immediately.  She congratulated me on my birthday, talked to us about where to go visit in Hawaii, which airline had the better deals and facilitated a happy birthday moment for me as the clock was approaching midnight.  When my raspberry swirl cheesecake came it came with a group of Juniors servers who sang happy birthday to me; I was beaming.  My whirlwind day ended on a sweet high note.  If you are ever in Junior’s in Times Square I hope you get Kame as your server or at least say hello and that you heard about her from me.  Hi and thanks again, Kame :)

(On a side note – this will be the LAST time you will see this many photos of me in one post.  I prefer being behind and not in front of the camera.)


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Shooting through glass

Sometimes you just find yourself in a very very tall building looking out at an amazing scenario that you would love to capture and there is glass between you and that scene.  Now while that is a good thing especially if like in this image you are on the 35th floor of a building – don’t want any windows opening on you right then – it might cause you to think that you can’t get that shot.  But you can with a few simple tips and some patience and hopefully a big enough window to work with.  These tips will work whether you are shooting from the inside out or from the outside in.

1.  Find the cleanest spot to shoot through.  That might mean you have to move around a bit for the shot or if shooting from the outside in, you grab the glass cleaner and clean away.  Make sure the window is yours to clean before you do that though.   Sometimes that works and sometimes you will have some glare, reflection, or dirt spots.  Think of it as interesting noise on the image; work with it to your advantage.   Also when shooting from the outside in you may have to back up some to frame the shot better.

2. Using a polarizing filter can help with light reflecting off the glass but sometimes even with this you may have to shoot from an angle to cut the reflection down or out.  Move the lens from straight on to different angles to see what works best for you to lessen the reflections or again work with it and use the reflections as part of your composition.

3. I always shoot with my lens hood on to further cut down on glare/reflection as well as to prevent me from accidentally banging my lens against the glass.  Some have suggested using a rubber lens hood which being more flexible than the hard plastic ones will help to block out extraneous light and glare.

4. Turn off/don’t use flash.  It’s not going to work.

5. Use manual focus so you can compose the shot the way you want.  I will admit to sometimes just letting the auto focus do it’s thing but there are times when only manual will do in order to give you the image you have in mind.


(If you look directly to the left of the tall rectangular building you can see a bit of the Freedom Tower)

Window view FT 7299


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Thank you and I’m back…sort of

Thank you so much all of you who wished me a happy birthday.  It was indeed a great celebration and I have the evidence to prove it…well some of the evidence anyway.  Home again after a late and extremely bumpy flight as well as them almost losing my luggage.  Word of warning to all airlines – do NOT mess with my luggage when I have some great shopping including shoes and souvenirs for the kids packed in there!  I am tired, achy, have a headache, bruised knees (there’s a story to that but I may never ever tell anyone about it) and a slightly widened waistline after all of that celebratory eating – you haven’t lived until you’ve had a cake shake.

Here is a shot I took through our hotel window at the sunrise before I keeled over and went back to sleep.  Staying up till 2am can do a number to you ;)  More photos coming soonish.

View from the 35th floor

View from the 35th floor

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Celebration time come on!

I’m taking some time off to celebrate a special day that is coming up this weekend – my birthday.  Go me! Go me! Go me!  While a part of me is stunned that my odometer is turning over to “certain” number, I am very thankful that I have been blessed with the mileage I have – many have not been so blessed.  Haven’t the slightest idea what I will be doing but I have a few ideas up my sleeve and DH has told me of some plans.  Whatever we do and wherever we go I hope the rains hold off; it’s no fun to have a rainy birthday.  But rain or shine I intend on rejoicing for another year in this world and hopefully many more, doing some partying, dressing up, maybe even letting DH take some pictures with the camera (gasp), and enjoying myself thoroughly.

See you when I return and thank you for being part of this online world :)

Image from


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Chrysler Imperial – The rose not the car

A beautiful medium red hybrid tea rose which can have a very full 40+ petals per rose.  That should keep you busy with s/he loves me – s/he loves me not for awhile but why would anyone want to to that to such a beauty?


Chrysler Imperial 6539

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Givenchy – Hybrid Tea Rose

Roses come in so many beautiful colors and have some very wonderful names that accompany their beauty.  Reds have a classic beauty about them that has been celebrated in word and image for centuries but I’m partial to pinks, yellows, lilacs, and oranges, and the blends.  This lovely of pink and cream color is another of my favorites from the rose park.  I always stop by to say hello to it.

Talk to me…what rose colors are your favorite?


Givenchy 6578 Givenchy 6582



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Fragrant Cloud – Hybrid Tea Rose

The rose speaks of love silently, in a language known only to the heart.  Unknown

Peace be unto you this Sunday



Camelot 6438

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