Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Post-Apocalypse Manhattan

Today, Devin and I are very grateful that Morningside Heights, where we live in Manhattan, is in fact very high up. We're uptown, but we're also on a hill, so we had water and power all yesterday during Hurricane Sandy. Our thoughts are with the New Yorkers and other people across the country who lost homes and loved ones. 

This afternoon we took a walk to survey the damage. A wind-felled tree in Riverside Park.

Lingering storm clouds and the Hudson. Everything was slate-gray.

Piles of leaves and Devin's boots.

New Jersey.

Take a look at the water to the left, and then the orange buoy to the right. The buoy and the ring of leaves near it represents how high the Hudson got last night--the path was completely submerged.


Bulldozer clearing off a flooded roadway.

Unearthed worm graveyard.

Submerged road.

Poor worms.

Shuttered storefronts. The subways and busses were still closed today, as were many shops and businesses.


Wrenched awning.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Apple Picking and New Englanding

As we New Yorkers wait on the cusp of Hurricane Sandy (the subways shut down earlier this evening, and now there's nothing to do but sit and wait), I thought I'd travel back in time to sunnier days. Last weekend I headed off to Connecticut with some friends to partake in a quintessential East Coast autumn activity: Apple picking! So far Connecticut is the only state in New England I've been to, and it was gorgeous. Above: Wide blue skies, hills smothered in fall foliage, and families selecting the perfect (soon to be) jack-o-lantern.  

We went to Lyman Orchard, which is massive, and had different orchards devoted to different apples. Here I am plucking an Empire apple from heavy, low-hanging boughs. Eating apples directly from the tree is a transcendant experience--it's like the tree produced a perfect Christmas ornament that's also as delicious as candy. And nutritious. And filling. Magical.

Empire close-up.

The ground beneath the trees was littered with fallen apples, which will later be turned to cider,  no doubt. 

Did I mention we got to sample the apples straight from the trees? Because we did.

Connecticut-connected friend, hillside, and orchards!

A ladybug! We also saw tiny chipmunks scampering around the trees.

Laura likes afternoon sunshine on a 72 degree day in October.

Those colors! Lots of trees get pretty magnificent in Northern California for fall, but our hillsides are not covered in deciduous varieties...our oaks and pines don't get this dramatic.

Sampling a Red Delicious--much more delicious and less cottony than the supermarket variety, but not my favorite. This picture, however, is one of my favorites!

October butterfly.

Cherry branch and New England hillside.

Fecundity and rot.

More of that expansive sky.

Picking some Granny Smiths to turn into applesauce!

Gourds and shadows. It was a busy day for the orchards.

Apples in the sack.

Tumbled fruit and vines. Like a naturally-occurring Martha Stewart centerpiece! 

Lofty Grannies.

Baby punkin.

Lake and mini-pumpkin patch.

My Bean boots served me exceptionally well in the orchard's rough and muddy terrain. 

Ghost pumpkin and a breeze.

Check out that giant line! Everyone wanted a pumpkin. Disregard my Bieber-y hair.

Headless Horsewoman.

The end of the sunflowers.

Now, here's a bit of a Connecticut neighborhood. Check out all the land!

And, of course, the trees.

Also, we got to spend our evening playing with a Corgi puppy! An amazing min-vacation. Now back in New York we're battening down the hatches for Hurricane Sandy...such an innocuous name for something so destructive. At least I'll have memories of sunny orchards and puppies to help me through.