Monday, July 20, 2015

Be a Tourist in Your Own Back Yard

by Carol

Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty

What a fortunate bunch we are! While my FOL sisters were surfing the waves in California and Florida, camping in Oklahoma with friends, and wandering Europe last week, I found an outing on the water right here at home. And I was as much a tourist as anyone else!

My local camera store (Unique Photo) sponsors a tour each year called "Five Bridges and Two Rivers." I've always wanted to join in. So last weekend, a friend and I took the plunge. We went up to the store Friday night for orientation and instruction. Then, on Saturday, we packed up our windbreakers and our gear and climbed aboard our ferry at Imperial Pier, Weehawken. We had torrential rain here all week, but Saturday was a perfect 75 degree day!

From Weehawken our ferry traveled north to go up the Hudson River and pass under the George Washington Bridge - the world's busiest motor vehicle bridge - where we saw the "Little Red Lighthouse" from the famous children's book.

#1 -  The George Washington Bridge - World's busiest Motor Vehicle bridge

(*stock photo of the book)
Next, we turned and rode back down to the East River, where we found the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, and The Williamsburg Bridge in quick succession. Along the way we had a beautiful view of much of what Manhattan has to offer - Grant's Tomb and the Freedom Tower, but also The Old Domino Sugar Factory, the Colgate Clock, Chelsea Pier.

#2 - The Brooklyn Bridge - built in 1883
# 3 -  The Manhattan Bridge

#4 -  The Williamsburg Bridge

Then, we headed up to circle under the the longest bridge in America - the Verrazano Narrows Bridge that connects New York to Staten Island. The return brought us past Governor's Island, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. So many icons in such a small area!

#5 -  The Verrazano Narrows Bridge

Ellis Island

Lady Liberty, of course!
We stopped on Hoboken Pier for a pizza dinner and night shots of the skyline, and then floated on home to Weehawken. We were delivered spent  but happy, and drove home with a large number of photos, some new photographic knowledge, and really, a live history lesson about New York.

Unique photo offers many different venues like this. They get special access to the museums, the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, and several other places in the city and in the surrounding area as well. I know there are several stores and classes in Manhattan that sponsor these events too. I love the idea of having the store instructors along on the trip for questions, and sometimes the manufacturers bring equipment to try.

I'm sure there must be similar activities at your local camera store, or through some local teachers in your own area. I encourage you to try some of these events. They challenge, entertain and inspire you at the same time! It's just nice to do something a little different close to home!

(And please don't forget to bring your pictures right back here to our gallery so we can all travel with you!)


Dotti said...

Carol, all the photos are fantastic but that photo of Lady Liberty with that sun flare right on the torch is iconic! But I love this post for more sentimental reasons: New York is my hometown, born and raised there. Oddly, my quick visit last fall was the first time in years I'd been there and I wasn't prepared for the rush of emotions and memories. So thank you for a beautiful look at icons I used to see often in my childhood. And for a great suggestion about recognizing beauty where we live.

Anonymous said...

Great post Carol and super images. As you know I love New York and I've spent a bit of time trying to capture some of the bridges. The tour you went on is a great idea and really gave you a chance to focus and learn. Would love to do that one day. Your Statue of Liberty image is wonderful!

kimmanleyort said...

Thanks for taking us on the tour through your great images. I would love to do this myself sometime.

heyjudephotography said...

I love being a tourist in my hometown, (and get to be one often when friends and family come to visit and visit NYC) it's a great way to keep your photographic eyes open. Love your shots of the GWB and its little red lighthouse!

terriporter said...

Oh, Carol, what fantastic NYC photos! Having lived there for a few years, I've been on the Circle Line Tour around Manhattan but being able to have experts along to ask questions and get advice from would be wonderful! Your Statue of Liberty shot just takes my breath away! It is funny how we tend to only really see our own surroundings when showing them to visitors and I love your advice to be a tourist in your own town. Thanks for taking us along on your Five Bridges Two Rivers trip!

gina said...

Your images of NYC are wonderful -- yes, that Statue of Liberty shot is iconic! I love your Ellis Island pic too. You made a good case for being a tourist in our own towns.

kelly said...

carol what stunning photos! and a good reminder that there is so much to see and do right under our noses!

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