Something Different

Try Something DifferentEach year, as the Christmas holiday approaches.         The thought of doing something a little different comes to mind. While I have no issues in sitting around a tree watching football and unwrapping gift cards while waiting for the tofurky to roast to perfection.           The urge of getting out and doing something a little different often calls.

In recent years, my wife and I have made a habit of trying new things.        While recent Christmas holidays have taken us to various exotic locations such as Tokyo, Atlantic City and Harlem. This year had us looking for something as close to home as possible.Try Something DifferentII So with thoughts of vegan dim sum and vegetarian duck serving as our personal GPS.             We headed to Chinatown to celebrate and be celebratory. For as long as I can remember having feet. Mott St. has been a favorite spot of mine. And while the area has become a major dumping ground for tourists. I can still respect it’s culture and historic significance. Visiting the buddhist center and spending time in Columbus Park always keep me inspired. While chowing down on vegetarian dim sum at Buddha Bodai is about the best way to enjoy a healthy, yet delicious feat. While I love the draw of family and holiday traditions. I feel a certain sense of reward in creating a few of my own.

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The Sun Also Sets on Elizabeth (New Jersey that is.)

In the few times I’ve travelled to the Elizabeth Commons to go shopping with my wife. I’ve always found what was happening in the distance to be more exciting than anything going on within the giant retail complex.Sunset So when she insisted on going there to take advantage of the post Christmas sales, I agreed. I’d go shopping as long as she’d wait patiently while I took pictures after we were done. Without a second thought, she agreed and an alliance was formed. So as she sat in the car patiently. I ran into traffic and climbed the fence of the local truck depot and shot this. While the view from the Commons parking lot was obscured by trees and telephone pole wire. The one atop the fence was beautiful. While the poles and electric wire seemed to be a detriment at first. I think they actually improved the view and overall character of the image. Not a bad trade off if you ask me.

Christmas in Boston

With all the places I’ve traveled in my life. It’s nearly impossible to imagine I’ve never found myself in Boston. Being that I am a complete and total history nerd and my earliest memories of my favorite sport involve greats like Carlton Fisk, Carl Yastrzemski (Had to look up the spelling on that one.) Jim Rice and Fred Lynn. It’s downright unfathomable. Many is the time I’ve talked about making the trip. Every Spring I find myself dreaming of the day I take a trip to Fenway and just randomly strike up a friendship with Luis Tiant (“El Tiante”) The years pass. The decades fade. And still, Boston eluded my traveling plans. That was until this year.

As December approached, my wife and me decided to once again forgo the timeless tradition of sitting around my Dad’s house watching Football and wondering if my Father would put some pants on before the Turkey and stuffing hit the table. As much as I love my Pop and our extended family. The thought of exchanging gift cards of equal amounts has soured on me. Last years holiday trip to Japan was a life changer. The year before we celebrated the holidays with a fantastic meal in Harlem. One more day of the year away from the Christmas tree and gift card giving wasn’t going to get us  excommunicated from the family.                             (Actually, papers have been filed in family court.) So we booked our hotel, researched the can’t miss spots, packed the layers and gassed up the Mini Cooper. While there, it rained, snowed and never got above 30 degrees celsius. Despite natures gift to the travelers, we had an amazing time. Before we even packed our bags to leave. We were talking about returning to in the Spring and exploring more of what the city had to offer. I’m very happy to have had the chance to visit a city with so much history and character. Below are a few pics I snapped along the way. Enjoy.

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Santa Night Year II

Wow, after months of consistent posting I’ve totally let December get away from me. Blame it on the crazy season. A time when advertisers try to convince us that diamonds and cars wrapped in big red ribbons are what our loved ones expect to see under the tree every Christmas. It’s been a busy month for me shooting and making plans to see family. About a week ago I volunteered my camera and dignity  to the now annual Santa Night. Caroling, raising money and a little hell for the New Jersey chapter of the Cervical Cancer Coalition. My good friend Mandy Weiss, along with others, do an amazing job. Here are some pictures I took along the way. Check out the page to see what you can do in your area and do what you can to get involved.  http://www.facebook.com/NCCC.NJ?v=box_3 .

Stoppin' for Fresh Cuts in Montclair.
Stoppin' for Fresh Cuts in Montclair.

Aren't they cute?
They be Elfin'.
That's Mandy in the middle.
My Favorites
Pity the Bus Driver.
"Did somebody call the Fire Department?"
"Did somebody call the Fire Department?"
Elves in training.
No one said volunteering was without it's risks and injuries.

Hope everyone has a great Holiday and remembers there’s always time to help others in need.