Sunday, March 23, 2014

Cheesequake and Jamaica Bay

Along the trail at Cheesequake State Park.Even though days are still quite cold the snow is gone. We have started our weekend outings again. This weekend was eventful. On Saturday we drove down to Cheesequake State Park in nearby New Jersey1.

Throwing cones into the water.The day was very warm and we had a nice walk. Arosha, as before, was throwing stuff into the river from a wooden bridge that runs across. Then we had a nice walk on a trail and Arosha played on a playground.

Flying out of the slide.While we go to Cheesequake pretty often we decided to do something new today. At first our plan was to take a walk along the Rockaway’s boardwalk. However it appears that the boardwalk is no more. I assume Sandy is to thank for that. Not knowing what to do we were driving back and drove by one of National Park areas that we have nearby.

Birdhouse at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge2 is a nice nature sanctuary in the middle of a megalopolis. The nature itself though is still pretty much asleep. I might as well have been shooting with black and white film.

On a trail at Jamaica Bay.We took a nice walk along the trail which at one point used to be a loop, but it no longer is because of the very same Hurricane Sandy — one of the bridges was washed away.

Trail and sleeping nature.We ran into a huge flock of snow geese who apparently migrate down to this area all the way from the arctic for the winter. If good telephoto lenses wouldn’t be as expensive as they are I would definitely invest into one — at least I really had a strong urge to do it. Yesterday in Cheesequake and today it was only reaffirmed.

Arosha with "a stick that helps him run faster."Arosha as always found something to do — today he found some large hole in the ground, took his favorite shovel and proceeded to offload as much sand into the said hole in order to fill it up. Since the hole was about 5 times the size of Arosha he didn’t get very far.

Anna and grandma.Anna refuses to sleep. She mostly sat in her stroller looking around or screamed in protest when we tried to put her down. She also refuses to eat outside. While the boob was Arosha’s favorite thing in the world at this age Anna will have none of it unless she is really hungry. Really really hungry.

Sleeping nature.Back to nature — at both places we saw large nests of ospreys. They are eagle-like birds of pray. We saw them flying high overhead, but couldn’t really see them well. We should borrow my dad’s binoculars one day. All in all a nice weekend. Can’t wait for the warmer days.

On a trail.

  1. Diesel is 50¢ per gallon cheaper in New Jersey than in New York or Connecticut. []
  2. There is an official National Park stamp available at this location. []

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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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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Bay Ridge Christmas Lights

Christmas lights.We just came back from a nice walk in Bay Ridge. We try to go there every year around Christmas to look at lavish houses and even more lavish decorations and light shows. Now with Arosha around there is even more reason to go.

Arosha tried to kiss all the snowman. Luckily we stopped him in time.Those neighborhoods get as much traffic during these few days as they get throughout the rest of the year. Tons of people cars and beautiful Christmas decorations.

Arosha and lights.We enjoyed our walk even though it was very hard to keep Arosha from climbing onto everyone’s lawn in order to inspect the moving figurines and lights from a closer distance.
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Sunday, December 8, 2013

C-Class in Manhattan

C-Class loaner.This is really two stories in one, yet both are about this weekend. First one starts with me not being able to make my music sound as it should on a high end Harman Kardon sound system in our new M-Class. Closer inspection revealed that the subwoofer in the rear of the car instead of playing low sounds makes everything around it vibrate. The outside fender of the car actually vibrates the most and creates the most noise.

I took the car to the dealer on Wednesday morning and after a service manager and a technician looked at it and admitted that that’s not even close to normal we went and tried the same MP3 file in another similarly configured M-Class. Sound was clean and crisp at much higher volumes too.

WTC 1.Long story short — they had no loaner car available on Wednesday, but they promised to come by my house, bring a loaner car and pick ours up at 10am on Friday. That’s exactly what they did. Of course for me there is a hassle of taking out kid car seats and moving them into another car, but as far as service goes at this point — nothing like Chrysler was — one of my main reasons of leaving American cars behind.

On Monday I’m going to find out what exactly the issue is and how long it will take them to fix it. Hopefully they’ll either install the speaker properly or replace it with a new one if the current one is blown. For the time being I’m stuck with a loaner C-Class. At first I didn’t really care, but it is anything but a family car. Tiny!

One of many sets of statues.Basically in order to get a Anechka’s rear-facing seat installed and to get it to fit we had to move the forward sit so close to the dashboard that Alёna could not get in. After moving some things around and adjusting the seat we barely fit her into the car in rather an uncomfortable pose. Because of that on our way through Manhattan to a park on Palisades Parkway we decided to instead try to explore downtown Manhattan.

We got really luck and found a spot (with no meter even) within 2 blocks. Arosha has never walked around that part of Manhattan, but he always talks about the “highest skyscraper” around. So we took a good look at WTC 1 and walked through a nearby church and walked around a park by city-hall filled with all kinds of statues and had a nice lunch and a middle-eastern place — a good walk close to home essentially.

Enjoying art is his own way.So that was our Saturday. Hopefully our car gets fixed and we won’t have to use MB service anytime soon again. If we do, I’ll ask for something bigger than C-Class for a loaner. Otherwise it’s a pretty decent car with enough oomph in its engine. But it still did make me appreciate our choice even more — it’s noticeably more refined and definitely more roomy.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Arosha.Alëna and Arosha just came back from their daily walk and I managed to talk Arosha into staying still for 1/100 of a second. Not an easy task.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

First Snow 2013

Snow.Tonight we finally got first snow of the winter that actually stuck to the ground. Arosha kept asking Alёna over and over throughout the past weeks when the winter would arrive already. So we all dressed up and went for a walk. It’s nice to have a playground right across the street.

Arosha.Arosha had a lot of fun. He climbed all the structures in the park and took a ride on every single one of the slides in the park. All of them were extremely speedy because of the snow. Later on a couple of other families came out, but all the slides were snow free. Arosha did a thorough job. It was a fun evening.

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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. Alёna, 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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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Coney Island

Alёna tries to take Arosha outside everyday for a couple of hours and on weekends I started taking advantage of these walks by joining them and taking my camera along. Today our destination was Coney Island. We didn’t last as long as we planned because the weather was colder than expected and it was snowing at times. I did walk away with a number of good shots I think.

Coney Island.
Parachute Jump at Coney Island.
Fence Climbers.
Subway. Snowing.
Pier to Tower.
Trash Urn.
Bench on the Boardwalk.
Coney Island Boardwalk.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Walk

Today we went for Arosha walk with Alёna, Mike and, you guessed it right, Arosha. I took my camera with me. Mike along with all the men in his office are in support of Movember. I just pulled a copy-cat. Here are some shots from the walk.

Movember Mike
Movember Dan

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

First Bath

First time bathing.Сегодня Ароша первый раз в жизни принимал ванну. ) Дело это ему совсем не понравилось, и он громко плакал во время процесса. Похоже, вода была слишком холодной (у нас нет термометра) — ванночка стояла в зале на журнальном столике, и вода остыла очень быстро. Завтра надо будет погорячее сделать.

Вообще мне было страшно купать сыночка, и пока что уверенности еще не появилось. Сегодня купаться нам помогала бабушка (завтра тоже поможет), но вообще надо как-то приспосабливаться и делать это самим.

Funny lip maneuver. А в целом у нас до сиих пор идёт сложный период адаптации. Я сильно устаю и всё время нервничаю (в основном без особых причин). Самая главная цель сейчас — это хорошо наладить процесс кормёжки. Я всё время боюсь, что он недоедает, иногда сцеживаю молочко и даю ему бутылочку, но в таком случае я боюсь что он перестанет сосать из груди и что производство молока как-то собьётся. Вобщем, большинство моих мыслей крутится вокруг этой темы, и это не делает меня сейчас самым лёгким человеком для общения.

А еще вчера мы ходили первый раз гулять. Мне как всегда было страшно (что проснётся и будет плакать на улице, а я не буду знать что делать), но всё прошло хорошо — Ароша продрых все 25 минут прогулки. )
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