Saturday, November 11, 2017

New York Aquarium

New York Aquarium.Today we had a spontaneous visit to New York Aquarium followed by a nice walk at Coney Island Boardwalk.

Daniel.The only camera I had with me was my brand new iPhone X and I think the photographs came out really well.

Amazingly talented sea lion.The first thing we saw at aquarium was a sea lion show. We missed the beginning, but we got to see one of the sea lions dancing and doing a lot of quite impressive tricks. Kids couldn’t stop laughing.

Arosha.And as opposed to usual hot summer days when this place is overfilled with people, it wasn’t crowded at all and we got to seat close to the stage.

Otters.Then we saw a bunch of different animals in different habitats — otters, seals and penguins.

Alëna.While looking at the penguins Alëna and I commented that penguins have a lot of predators that eat them such as seals, sea loins, sharks and killer whales to which Arosha replied that penguins must be quite delicious.

Sharks. Too many reflections from the glass.Then we proceed to a large shark tanks with a good number of various sharks and it also had a giant sting ray.

Squishing pennies.After that we bought the kids a large pretzel and got some quarters and pennies so our kids could squish them in the penny squishing machines.

Hogfish.And after that we proceed to an indoor aquarium with lots of different exhibits where kids had a chance to look a lot of different kinds of fish and coral reefs.

Coral reefs.While before they usually would get bored fairly quickly they have grown noticeably and can spend a lot more time looking at things such as these.

Coney Island. Playing in the sand.All in all we spent almost two hours in the aquarium. And then we walked out onto the famous Coney Island Boardwalk and kids ended up talking Alëna into letting them play in the sand.

Us at Nargis Cafe.And then we wanted to get a quick lunch at Nathan’s, but none of us were really in the mood for junk food, so we ended up going to Nargis Cafe for some of the best shish kebabs in Brooklyn.

Coney Island.While iPhone portraits do have noticeable mistakes in processing it is still quite usable and is a great leap forward for cell-phone photography.
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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Marine Park Fun

Our rental surrey.Yesterday in the second half of the day we decided to change the scenery and go for a walk to something other than our own playground. The closest and the nicest place within a 10 minute drive away from us is Marine Park with it’s nice trail trough the salt marsh.

Helmets were mandatory.But when we arrived to the park we saw a tent setup where one could rent bikes, kayaks or surreys. We opted in for a small surrey which would fit all four of us. Anюta wasn’t quite sure about the whole proposition — until we started pedaling that is.

And Aaron in his helmet.She was sitting upfront and she just started laughing and laughing. Arosha initially started wanting to pedal, but when I realized that it’s not all that easy to drive all this by myself I had to enlist Alёna’s help and Arosha decided that he wanted to ride up front as well.

Mulberry picking.We passed by a bunch of mulberry tries Arosha talked us into stopping by one. He is a big expert in mulberry picking — there is one tree in our schoolyard, but I think him and his friends picked it clean by now. Yes, there is a lot of tree climbing involved and it’s clean from top to bottom.

More picking.After we turned our bike in we took a short hike through the marsh and we saw a heron hunting. At first it was just standing there. But then suddenly the head flies into the water and comes out with a frog. Twice it did it and the second frog was even bigger than the first one. I really regretted not having my super-zoom lens with me.

Observing a heron.And we finished the evening off with a family dinner in our favorite Indian restaurant in Bay Ridge. We ordered about 5 different dishes and I’m proud to say that even though Arosha did not like all of them he was willing to give each one a try. Overall kids did eat really well and that always makes the parents happy.

Heron hunting.
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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Brooklyn Bridge Walk

On Brooklyn Bridge.This March is pretty cold. The weather is usually below zero degrees Celsius with a few exceptions.

Today is one of the rare warm days — it got up to 12° C, or at least that’s what the weather app was claiming. Danya suggested to go for a walk at Brooklyn Bridge and we all agreed that that’s a great idea.

Onto the bridge.We left home at around 11 and it took us about 35 minutes to get to the bridge. We got lucky with parking — did not have to look for it at all. It was pretty windy, but still nice.

Units.We walked on the bridge for a bit. There were a lot of people — pedestrians and bicyclists alike. We almost got to the first column, but the wind got very strong and Arosha got very scared. He started crying, hugging my legs and saying that he is afraid to be blown away by the wind. I figured that there was no point to force him to go any further, and him, I and Anюtka headed back. Danya and my mom made it to the first column and headed back as well. Anюtka was not sleeping by the way. She was kind of sitting in a stroller and was looking at all the beauty and motion around.

Tourising. Alёna's mom.After that I fed her in the car and we went to a pier. The view from there is just magnificent! Arosha was not behaving too well, but after a talk with his dad he started to listen to us more.

Pier under the bridge.We then went to eat some pizza at Juliana’s pizzeria. There was a line there, but it was not excessively long. Danya and Arosha went there first, while me, my mom and Anюtka stayed on the pier to enjoy the views some more.

View from the pier.We got a buffalo mozzarella Margherita pizza, which was really good. Anюta, who woke up from her nap as soon as we got inside, behaved really well. She was just sitting on my lap, and looking, and smiling, and when she wanted to try something too, so I let her chew on some pizza crust. She managed to chew off a few small pieces, but she spat them right out.

Juliana's Pizza. Our turn's next.After lunch we went back to the pier. There was the Brooklyn ice-creamery, so we figured, why not! Arosha got a peach ice-cream, Danya — a strawberry one, my mom — a chocolate one and I got a butter pecan one. It was really good too! My only fear is that Anюtka’s eczema will get worse after my food indulgences. She has a pretty bad case of it going on her face and I think that my diet has some effect on it. We’ll see…

Locks as lucky charms.When we were walking around Dumbo, I felt for a brief moment, as if we were tourists in a new and exciting place. Danya said that he had the same feeling and even went to look at the map of New York Water Taxi routes.

Arosha.I am glad that my mom was with us too. She mostly stayed home with me and did not see much of the great places that NYC has to offer, so each occasion like today really stands out for her. She’ll be leaving in just 11 short days. I hope she’ll go visit a Statue of Liberty with Danya’s dad before she leaves as they planned to.

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Manhattan Bridge Weekend

Manhattan Bridge.Lately, every weekend we’re trying to use the free time to full potential. We pick a new, or old for that matter, place and go there to explore, visit, walk and photograph. Last weekend was no exception.

Manhattan Bridge tower.We picked Manhattan Bridge as our target. We already walked over Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges before, but we never had a chance to walk on Manhattan Bridge until then, while it does have a pedestrian walkway as well. Alena, Arosha and I got into the car and drove over to downtown Brooklyn.

Arosha looking through the guardrail.We easily found parking right in front of the pedestrian ramp to the bridge and got on our way. Manhattan Bridge has subway trains running on it, so I was afraid that such loud noise would scare Arosha. But to my surprise once Arosha saw a train go by he started demanding for more trains! Even though he was covering his ears with his hands every time a train would go by he would stop, look at it and smile.

Brooklyn Bridge and construction of the Freedom Tower.As for my main objective — I wanted to see if I could find a good vantage point of view of Brooklyn Bridge for some cityscape shots. And as I suspected the views were spectacular. Even though there is a metal mesh covering the side of the bridge there is just enough space to squeeze a lens through guardrail. I only had my 50mm manual lens with me though, so I couldn’t get as wide of a shot as I wanted to. But it just is another reason to revisit.

One of the downtown streets.We didn’t get too far — we walked as far as the first tower of the bridge. By that time we had enough photographs, Arosha has seen enough trains, managed to pull on every handle in the maintenance covers on the bridge and drew a conclusion that it was not a good idea to jump into the water from here.

Clock Tower. Arosha loved it.On our way back I showed him a clock tower with a large clock on top of it and he liked it so much that he kept asking to see the tower for the next couple of days.

Manhattan Bridge pedestrian walkway.After we got off the bridge we decided to explore the park right on the water under the bridge that we noticed from the top. It was a long walk there, but there was a good playground with a fountain for Arosha and more great views for me. Brooklyn Bridge on the left and Manhattan Bridge on the right. But again my lens was not wide enough to get both bridges into the frame, but I’m pretty happy with some of the shots that I got.

Hole-in-the-wall gyro place — the best gyro in Brooklyn.And to finish our day we dropped by my favorite gyro place in the whole country. Certainly the best gyro in Brooklyn. I used to eat in this hole-in-the-wall place very very often during the time when I worked at my first full time job nearby at the end of the 90′s. We got a pair of gyro platters to go and the gyro was still as good as I remembered.

BQE. Brooklyn Queens Expressway.It was a good day.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Daily Walks

Arosha walking in his walk around thingy.Today was a super-hot day — totally felt like summer. I went for a walk with Aroshka and d. Borya, who told me that in the morning it was not too warm out. ) As a result, I dressed both Aroshka and myself up in winter jackets and hats. What a mistake! ) I took my jacket off right away, and undressed Aroshka after he woke up (I unzipped him when he was asleep, but was reluctant to disturb him any further since he is a very light sleeper).

While my mom was here, I developed a good habit of going for 2 hour walks with Aroshka. Danya’s mom was telling me ever since he was born that fresh air is very good for babies, but I lacked confidence and was scared to go just by myself. I only did it twice a week on average (and she was taking him for long walks on the weekends), and I tried to find good excuses to stay home when possible, but felt guilty for not going outside as a result. )

Lions on a little lion.The thing is that Aroshka has gotten much more manageable in the last few months. He used to wake up screaming every half hour when he was younger, and it took a lot of effort to calm him down and put him back to sleep. Now he stirs in his sleep from time to time, but usually rocking the stroller prevents him from fully waking. I do try to stay on quieter streets though since the noise seem to negatively affect the length of his naps.

Speaking of quieter streets… I am growing so really tired of how overcrowded Brooklyn is. We live in a 10 minute walk from the canal on Emmons street, but even by the water there is much more noise than I would like to. It seems that there is no escape from cars, concrete and buildings. I really long for more rural views! My hope is that we’ll buy a house eventually (probably, no sooner than I will return to work though) in a quiet suburban area. )

Arosha being a little bird. Check out the hair.I also wish that I had a friend with the baby of similar age nearby. It’ll be so great to go for walks together and to set play dates for our kids later on. Maybe I’ll get lucky and will meet some young mama one of those days. ) So far I see a lot of older women walking with the babies and toddlers — I guess, some of them are grandparents, and some are baby-sitters.

Aroshka is growing so fast! Danya already wrote that he gets on his knees and hands and rocks back and forth — and he is doing it with more and more confidence each day. I think he’ll crawl in a few weeks. We need to order a gate to separate our kitchen — we keep Shublik’s food and litter box out there, and I am sure Aroshka will be magnetized by both of these. )

Alёna getting ready for Arosha walk.He still can’t sit unassisted, but I am not worried — every baby develops at his own pace, and probably in a month or so Aroshka will get there. Our boy has very strong legs and hands, but it seems that his spine is still weak. I think one of the reasons for this might be that his torso is pretty long.

Arosha loves water! Every time we go to the bathroom, he starts smiling and acting all kinds of happy. Even washing his face and hands gets him very excited. ) I especially like when Danya and Arosha are bathing together — both of them radiate so much happiness that watching them is pure pleasure. ) Continue Reading
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Friday, April 10, 2009

Restaurant Saul

Restaurant Saul business card.Today we felt “adventurous” — we decided to check out some new restaurant for dinner. I knew just the place to look for one. A while ago I was looking for some information on the lounge that Alena and I had our first date at. Saul entrance.Sadly the place has closed down, but the search with the same address revealed that there was a new restaurant at the same location — Applewood. We have checked it out a while ago.

The same website, or rather forum, that I found Applewood at had a list of other good places people were suggesting in Brooklyn. We picked Saul and there we went.

The place was not cheap and the bill ran close to $200 for 3 of us, but I must stay that I haven’t eaten meat more delicious in a long time now. Alena enjoyed her fish and Alex had the same meal as I. In short it was a good place that we should visit again sometime in the future.
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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Walking by the Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan BridgeУже конец марта, а на улице до сих пор холодно! Непорядок! O.o

Brooklyn BridgeСегодня уехала т. Лиля — она приезжала на месяц погостить у Даниных родителей. Время прогарцевало мимо лёгкой иноходью, оставив за собой лишь лёгкое чувство недоумения — неужели ТАК быстро мы постарели на месяц?

Вчера ночью приехал Лёнчик, который будет в Бруклине пару деньков — какой-то там у них отпуск случился. Он немного рассказал нам о своих буднях. Вот что меня поражает, так это то, какими лёгкими в его устах звучат испытания и тренировки — ну прям Continue Reading
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Friday, October 26, 2007

One Shot HDR

Brooklyn View HDRAbove is a result of a small experiment I tried yesterday. Took a single shot from our window in RAW format. Put the file into Photoshop and saved 3 version of it — normal, underexposed and overexposed. After that I put them in Photomatix and generated an HDR image. Pretty good results for something as simple, I think.
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