Friday, July 12, 2019

City of Water Day - July 13, 2019

Should've put this up much earlier in the week!

This is a typical scene from the Sebago Canoe Club's event for the Waterfront Alliance's annual City of Water Day. It's grown from an event on Governor's Island 12 years ago to a day with events all over NYC, in Yonkers, and New Jersey. Click here for the Waterfront Alliance's information page with details about everything that's going on everywhere, or here for details about the Sebago Canoe Club event (see the sidebar on the right). We'll be doing kayak, canoe, sailboat, and rowing trips all day from 10 to 4; last trip launches at 3.  


Friday, July 05, 2019

4th of July NYC Skyline Sequence

I had the good fortune to be invited to a 4th of July party at a beautiful Staten Island apartment, one with a glorious deck offering magnificent views of Upper New York Harbor and the full skyline from Jersey City over to Brooklyn. No more words here, just click on the first photo for a slideshow view. 1st 2 from the Staten Island Ferry, the rest from the deck.  

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Pride People


So, jeeze, the second half of June was crammed with so many kinds of awesome I've had a terrible case of blogger's block just trying to figure out where to start. It's all a little overwhelming. It started off with an ACA Instructor Development Workshop with three great days of dusting off skills, while camping out at nearby Floyd Bennett Field. Then there was a fantastic family gathering in Michigan to celebrate 110 years of marriage (one 50th and one 60th anniversary). Then to finish things off I joined Scholastic colleagues on Sunday to march in my first NYC Pride. It was World Pride and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Scholastic employees have marched together just as friends in past Pride Parades, but this year the company made it official.

Sebago had a rescue class going on up at the lake on the same day. I would've enjoyed that, and rescues are one of the things I slacked off on practicing after my mastectomy & reconstruction, and my rustiness on some of the more advanced rescues - Hand of God in particular - was noticeable at the IDW, so the class would've been a good follow-up. Because of that, I didn't quite make my decision the minute I saw the announcement - but after thinking things through I decided on going to the march, but I was leaning towards marching from the start and it didn't take too much thinking to decide.

I might talk more about my reasons for going in another post, but for tonight, I thought I would at least kick of my July blogging by sharing some photos from the march. I got there a good bit early to have some time to wander, it was a picture-taking paradise and as I meandered my way slowly up to the staging area, the question that kept running through my head was "How is it that I've never even come to see this before?" Click here to visit the album I put together. Enjoy!  

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

not nyc!


pardon the hiatus - been elsewhere!

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Saturday, June 15, 2019

First Camping Adventure In A Long Time!

YAY just packed up my little blue tent for another urban camping adventure, this one at Floyd Bennett Field, which has been open to the public for camping for a few years now. They've had camping there for years but it used to be only open to youth groups, now they'll let any old riffraff in. Cool, I'm on my way! 

For a long time, I was actually a little doubtful about whether camping at Floyd Bennett Field would be all that nice. This division of the National Park Service's Gateway Recreation Area was originally a military air base, of course, and there's a lot of acreage that's covered in concrete. When I thought about camping there, I was imagining pitching a tent on the tarmac surrounding the big hangar where the Historic Aircraft Restoration Project is - not terribly appealing. Does anybody else remember an episode of Welcome Back Kotter where Kotter tried to take some of the Sweathogs camping, and something went wrong with the navigation or the car or both, and they ended up camping in a parking lot somewhere in the outskirts of the city with Kotter trying to pretend it was just fine? OK, maybe not THAT bad. But still, I just wasn't picturing anything really neat. 

However, last year a group of local kayak club folks did a camping trip there and a few of us just went for dinner with the campers (who were grilling, yum) after wrapping up an event at Sebago. Turns out that although there are indeed tarmac campsites, those are mostly for RV's, while the tent campsites are tucked into a green and pleasant wooded area nearby. Maybe not up to the level of the stunning NPS campsite at Ft. Wadsworth shown in this photo, but a perfectly nice place to go spend a few nights outdoors. Oh me of little faith, I should've known that my friend Ranger John's park would have a fine entry in the increasing selection of real live NYC camping experiences. I think this is my first camping trip since 2015. Been way too long

Curious about these urban campsites? Click here for more info. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Current Subway Reading - Yes She Can



I've totally fallen down on that project I had where I was going to share my monthly reading (I stalled out at mid-March, as I recall) but oh my, I have GOT put in a plug for my current subway reading, Yes She Can: 10 Stories of Hope Change from Young Female Staffers of the Obama White House. I am absolutely loving this book.

It's actually kind of heartbreaking reading it and thinking about how hard these young women worked and how much hope they had for what they were bringing to the country and the world, only to have the current administration come dundering in and set straight to work tearing it all down. But it's also such a grand reminder that these young women - and so many other young women and men with similar visions - are still out there, were just starting their careers in the Obama era, and hopefully have long and powerful futures ahead of them to keep working towards what's right. There's a book tour going on right now - unfortunately for me the book came out in March and they started in NYC, but for any friends in these areas who might be interested, they're on the road through June, with several Georgia events, followed by events in Massachusetts, Denver, and Virginia.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Signs of the Season - Peonies!


I may enjoy watching the seasons change at my local greenmarket almost as much as I do out on Jamaica Bay. I got my first strawberries of the year on Sunday (one of the stalls had them before that, I think on Memorial Day weekend, but the first ones of the year sold out way before I made it to the market), and although I'm not a frequent purchaser of flowers, the stand where I got the berries and some apples had the most glorious peonies. I just had to bring some home.

Can't WAIT for the first corn on the cob, peaches, and tomatoes of the season!

I'm looking forward to produce from my own little garden at Sebago, too. It's been a really good Spring with plenty of rain and everything's just shooting up. I actually tried my first carrots from the garden yesterday. Carrots are a new thing I'm trying this year since I've decided that pole beans (which I tried as a climber after we started losing cucumbers to some sort of mildew that had gotten into the soil at the club) are a little too unruly for a garden I don't get to every day - seems like one week they would be innocent little things climbing up their poles just like on the seed packet, and then the next week I would go to the club find that they'd 
heaped up on each other, pulled down the poles, were making a determined grab at the tomato cages (and of course the poor defenseless tomato plants inside those cages) and just generally going nuts. The hooligans! So this year, carrots instead of beans. 

Didn't mean to be sampling my carrots just yet, but I went to the club to finish the gel coat work on my keel strip, which I'd mostly done on Thursday but messed up in a couple of spots when I got impatient to go home and tried to put my boat away myself (there were paddlers out on the water and I should've just waited for them to get back). I did my touch-ups, then let the boat sit out in the sun for a while I went to weed my garden. I accidentally pulled up a couple of carrots with the weeds - they were maybe an inch and a half long and less than a quarter inch thick but they were recognizably carrots and so I rinsed 'em off and ate them and they were quite good.

Chard, beets, basil, and tomatoes all coming along nicely, too.

Oh, and speaking of the keel strip (click here for keel strip post if you missed that, this is the biggest repair I've done on my boat so of course there's a good kayak geek post about it) - it worked! The gel coat is kind of a finishing touch, the fiberglass tape epoxied to the keel is the main thing, so despite wanting to clean up the gel coat where I'd smeared it, I did take the Romany out for the trip leader training class we had at the club on Saturday. I opened the aft hatch during a beach stop and was absolutely delighted to find that the compartment was once again bone dry for the first time in a long time. I'm pretty happy with how that all went - would've been nice if I'd had the sense to not try to move it by myself when the gel coat was still wet on Thursday, but all in all not bad for my first try.