NYC days 11 and 12 – cycling clockwise around Manhattan

I’ve not taken many photos this week. I’ve done loads of things, met loads of people, ate lots of food, and more besides, but I’ve not taken many photos. For a start, I spend a lot of time on a bike, which means I don’t have a camera in my hand.

On Sunday I wanted to walk the length on Manhattan on Broadway, but it was raining. Boo! Instead of taking my bike I caught the subway into the city to do some shopping. Then, later on, I went to a friend’s apartment for dinner. He has a great view from his roof, and the clouds hanging low over Manhattan looked really impressive!

Rain in the city:
Rain in the city:

Best Bladerunner attempt:
Best Bladerunner attempt:

On Monday I decided to cycle clockwise round Manhattan Island. I got most of the way, but then the heavens opened and it just wasn’t funny any more. I caught the subway home.
On Monday I decided to cycle clockwise round Manhattan Island. I got most of the way, but then the heavens opened and it just wasn't funny any more. I caught the subway home.

I set off from my apartment in Brooklyn…
I set off from my apartment in Brooklyn...

Along the way I passed under the Manhattan Bridge…
Along the way I passed under the Manhattan Bridge...

Found a golf driving range…
Found a golf driving range...

Rode under the George Washington Bridge…
Rode under the George Washington Bridge...

Looked back towards downtown…
Looked back towards downtown...

Reached Harlem…
Reached Harlem...

Got very wet and ended in the subway.
Got very wet and ended in the subway.

It was a really great bike ride! The downtown end and all the way up the west side of Manhattan was amazing. The entire way is like a huge park, and I cycled up every pier I could. They’ve obviously spent a shit ton of money making it so nice.

And then I reached the part where the poorer black people live. Sigh. It’s like the city made no effort at all in regards to making the parks nice or useful or anything. I’m sure the issues are more complex than this, but as a tourist I can’t help but notice the massive disparity in care and spending on waterfront parks.


NYC days 8 and 9 – music, games, 9/11 anniversary.

Let’s get caught up on the last few days.

Day 8, I didn’t do much during Thursday daytime. In the evening I went to the juggling club (for a bit) and then for dinner with the jugglers. Then I went to a gig, not expecting much, because the invite went something like this:

“There’s this guy we know from Portland, Maine, who is doing his first gig in the city. You should come along. It’s free.”

So I wasn’t expecting all that much, but it turned out to be one of the most surprisingly awesome gigs I’ve ever been to. Nigel Hall was the band leader, but (for me) the real stars were the bass player and drummer.

Caution: low light iPhone photo.
Caution: low light iPhone photo.

My bike route on Thursday.
My bike route on Thursday.

On Friday night I went to a board game night, invited by fellow podcasters and New York locals Rym and Scott. On Saturday I went to an all day gaming meet up.

It was, by far, the nerdiest thing I’ve ever done, with the biggest group of the biggest nerds I’ve ever seen.

First I took some pictures in a park.
First I took some pictures in a park.




So, yeah, nerdy board gamers. It felt strange to be a minority in so many ways. I wasn’t overweight, and I wasn’t wearing an ill-fitting black tshirt (thinking it was “smart” clothing), I refused to wear a name tag (what am I? six years old or something?), I didn’t smell, I stood upright, etc, etc.
So, yeah, nerdy board gamers. It felt strange to be a minority in so many ways. I wasn't overweight, and I wasn't wearing an ill-fitting black tshirt (thinking it was


I might have a superiority complex.

Being the anniversary of 9/11, the city had installed a light installation near the location of the twin towers. I decided to cycle down the East River to get some good shots.

Me and hundreds of other people.
Me and hundreds of other people.





While setting up this shot, someone from Germany who now lives in the city recognized my voice, and asked “Are you Luke Burrage?” This is my first one-in-a-million meeting of a random person who knows me, and didn’t know I was going to be in New York. But just remember, in a city of 15 million people, one in a million meetings like this happen every few hours.
While setting up this shot, someone from Germany who now lives in the city recognized my voice, and asked

Mattias wanted a version of the same photo for him too.
Mattias wanted a version of the same photo for him too.

This is my bike route for days 9 and 10.
This is my bike route for days 9 and 10.


NYC day 7 – cycling and music

Day 7 in New York involved a longer-than-planned bike ride. I wanted to buy a newly released book, one I’ve been waiting for for about a year. I also wanted to buy a new “Magic Trackpad”. Two of the three Apple stores in Manhattan had sold out though, and I ended up near Central Park again. I stopped by to read my new book for a while.

My cycling route today:
My cycling route today:

Sitting in the park with my new (very chunky) book.
Sitting in the park with my new (very chunky) book.

Cycling with a black tshirt, and a backpack, means I get a lovely pattern of dried sweat marks. These ones follow the straps.
Cycling with a black tshirt, and a backpack, means I get a lovely pattern of dried sweat marks. These ones follow the straps.

And on the back.
And on the back.

The chain on my bike snapped! This sucked. Not because I needed to get it fixed, but because it meant I had to use the New York subway. Which sucks compared to cycling.

In the evening I cycled across Brooklyn for an informal meeting of musicians. They pointed out that the spotlights shining up into the sky actually marked the spot of the World Trade Center buildings.
In the evening I cycled across Brooklyn for an informal meeting of musicians. They pointed out that the spotlights shining up into the sky actually marked the spot of the World Trade Center buildings.

Playing songs for other people, and getting feedback and suggestions, is pretty nerve wracking. Thankfully my singing, playing and songwriting held its own against the people who have moved to New York to pursue music professionally. Or at least I didn’t make a complete fool out of myself.
Playing songs for other people, and getting feedback and suggestions, is pretty nerve wracking. Thankfully my singing, playing and songwriting held its own against the people who have moved to New York to pursue music professionally. Or at least I didn't make a complete fool out of myself.

On the way home, Billy, my current house mate, took the subway. I left at the same time on my bike. I made it home, had a shower, got some food, went to bed, and even then it took him another 20 minutes to get home. Cycling 1, subway 0.


NYC day 6: Photos from the US Open

Day 6: Tennis. I rode over to watch the US Open tennis tournament. I only saw the whole of one match, but it lasted 4 hours 28 minutes, so I really got my money’s worth. One of the players was American too, so the crowd was really into it. I did, however, get sunburned, even though I sat in the shade all afternoon. Here are some pictures from the afternoon and evening.


From the top of the Arthur Ashe Stadium I could have watched the match in the other arena.
From the top of the Arthur Ashe Stadium I could have watched the match in the other arena.



Spidercam, spidercam, does whatever a spidercam does.
Spidercam, spidercam, does whatever a spidercam does.

The shadows lengthened throughout the match.
The shadows lengthened throughout the match.

I took this photo of the clock at the very first match point. For those who watch or play tennis, I don’t have to explain that this was a long 5 set match.
I took this photo of the clock at the very first match point. For those who watch or play tennis, I don't have to explain that this was a long 5 set match.

Standing ovation for Wawrinka and Querrey.
Standing ovation for Wawrinka and Querrey.



The sun setting over Queens and Manhattan, as seen from the top edge of the stadium.
The sun setting over Queens and Manhattan, as seen from the top edge of the stadium.



My cycling route on day 6.
My cycling route on day 6.

The open juggling club at the Pratt Institute. I didn’t juggle much. I was pretty knackered after sitting down all day…
The open juggling club at the Pratt Institute. I didn't juggle much. I was pretty knackered after sitting down all day...


NYC day 5 – East River

This photo has been named “I’M IN NEW YORK MOTHERFUCKER DON’T YOU EVER FORGET”
This photo has been named

The story behind it is simple. I was going to go out for a walk on Monday, but some painters turned up to decorate, and so I stayed in to move valuable stuff between bedrooms, and generally keep an eye on things.
The story behind it is simple. I was going to go out for a walk on Monday, but some painters turned up to decorate, and so I stayed in to move valuable stuff between bedrooms, and generally keep an eye on things.

In the evening I went down to a place called Dumbo (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) to see the Bindlestiff show. I turned up early so wandered around for a while. I found this view, and the timing was perfect with the setting sun.
In the evening I went down to a place called Dumbo (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) to see the Bindlestiff show. I turned up early so wandered around for a while. I found this view, and the timing was perfect with the setting sun.

I wasn’t the only one with a camera.
I wasn't the only one with a camera.

After the show I went back to take some more photos. Long exposures are good fun. I took some bracketed exposure shots for HDR photos, but haven’t developed them as yet.
After the show I went back to take some more photos. Long exposures are good fun. I took some bracketed exposure shots for HDR photos, but haven't developed them as yet.

Anyway, these photos are boring, and anyone can take them. I decided to do some long exposure self portraits. This one, and the one at the start of the blog, are 20 second exposures. To be honest, I’d love a bit more light on my face, but for that I’d need to turn up with more than just my camera and some creativity.
Anyway, these photos are boring, and anyone can take them. I decided to do some long exposure self portraits. This one, and the one at the start of the blog, are 20 second exposures. To be honest, I'd love a bit more light on my face, but for that I'd need to turn up with more than just my camera and some creativity.