NYC day 24 – Sveta Bout

On Saturday evening I saw two bands. I’d met both the lead singers earlier in my New York trip, and had listened to the CDs they’d given me.

Here’s Sveta Bout, performing at the Lovin’ Cup. Sveta is awesome. Go listen to her EP.
Here's Sveta Bout, performing at the Lovin' Cup. Sveta is awesome. Go listen to her EP.

So, here’s the challenge: take photos of people moving (playing instruments and dancing) in very low light. Problem: opening the aperture makes focusing a real bitch. Next Problem: longer shutter speeds make freezing action a pain in the arse. I mean ass. Further problem: when turning the ISO up, the noise on the crappy sensor is almost unbearable.
So, here's the challenge: take photos of people moving (playing instruments and dancing) in very low light. Problem: opening the aperture makes focusing a real bitch. Next Problem: longer shutter speeds make freezing action a pain in the arse. I mean ass. Further problem: when turning the ISO up, the noise on the crappy sensor is almost unbearable.

One solution: convert to black and white so the graininess looks good?
One solution: convert to black and white so the graininess looks good?


Second solution: use the new noise reduction in Lightroom 3. This is so powerful it can turn human skin to plastic. Use cautiously!
Second solution: use the new noise reduction in Lightroom 3. This is so powerful it can turn human skin to plastic. Use cautiously!


Third solution: take loads of photos in a burst, and hope that in one your subject is sharp.
Third solution: take loads of photos in a burst, and hope that in one your subject is sharp.


Sveta Bout. Don’t Sveta Bout it!
Sveta Bout. Don't Sveta Bout it!


NYC day 25 – Maker Faire and the EepyBird’s Coke & Mentos show.

Sunday was my second-last day in New York. Oh no!

Now, when I was first planning my New York holiday, I mean vacation, I only bought my plane ticket out. For various reasons I made sure I didn’t book the outward and home flights together, because doing exactly that meant I had to buy flight home from the EJC twice. So, my flight home was flexible up until just before I left for NYC.

My best-case flight home was Monday 27th, chosen so I could stay until the Maker Faire. It was the very last thing on my mental TO-DO-IN-NYC list, so I made sure I went.

The Maker Faire is all about building fun but useless stuff at home. As someone who has been building a room that rotates in my living room, this kind of things really appeals to me.
The Maker Faire is all about building fun but useless stuff at home. As someone who has been building a room that rotates in my living room, this kind of things really appeals to me.





Not everything can be built at home. For instance, a “life size” version of Mouse Trap.
Not everything can be built at home. For instance, a

Or how about a propane powered rocket that shoots flame from the wrong end?
Or how about a propane powered rocket that shoots flame from the wrong end?



This is a fun musical instrument played by pulling on ropes. It’s like bell ringing with different sounds.
This is a fun musical instrument played by pulling on ropes. It's like bell ringing with different sounds.


The inside of a geometry puzzle.
The inside of a geometry puzzle.

A magnetic liquid kaleidoscope thing.
A magnetic liquid kaleidoscope thing.

A machine that throws balls from a rotating funnel, through holes set in two oppositely spinning disks, and back into the same funnel (I think).
A machine that throws balls from a rotating funnel, through holes set in two oppositely spinning disks, and back into the same funnel (I think).

The highlight of the Faire (for me) was the EepyBird.com stage. you may know these guys from their experiments with Coke Zero and Mentos.
The highlight of the Faire (for me) was the EepyBird.com stage. you may know these guys from their experiments with Coke Zero and Mentos.

The smaller bearded half of EepyBird is Fritz. I know him from years ago, a time when he made his money as a juggler and diabolist, rather than getting soaked with sugar-free cola. I mean soda.
The smaller bearded half of EepyBird is Fritz. I know him from years ago, a time when he made his money as a juggler and diabolist, rather than getting soaked with sugar-free cola. I mean soda.

I took photos while they set up. Fritz told me it gets a bit crazy for their show, so said I could come inside the barrier to watch and take photos.
I took photos while they set up. Fritz told me it gets a bit crazy for their show, so said I could come inside the barrier to watch and take photos.

The “do this at home” method.
The

Results!
Results!

Celebration!
Celebration!


As you can see from this photo, the crowd was HUGE. These guys are the rock stars of the Maker Faire.
As you can see from this photo, the crowd was HUGE. These guys are the rock stars of the Maker Faire.

The Experiment (show) begins!
The Experiment (show) begins!

I got soaked too!
I got soaked too!

The reason they use Coke Zero is the lack of sugar. No sugar, no stickiness!
The reason they use Coke Zero is the lack of sugar. No sugar, no stickiness!

Fritz at the end of the show. I tried to take more photos of the show itself, but the fizzy pop on my camera lens kinda got in the way.
Fritz at the end of the show. I tried to take more photos of the show itself, but the fizzy pop on my camera lens kinda got in the way.

The aftermath.
The aftermath.

Clearing up.
Clearing up.


It’s amazing how many kids (of all ages) wanted a half-empty bottle of mildly minty Coke Zero as a souvenir.
It's amazing how many kids (of all ages) wanted a half-empty bottle of mildly minty Coke Zero as a souvenir.


Later I cycled across Queens and into Manhattan for a burger, then over to the New York Clown Theatre Festival end-of-festival party. I missed the start, which included a clown funeral procession through Williamsburg. I joined in with the dancing for a while, but I couldn’t keep up with a crowd of clowns doing silly things.
Later I cycled across Queens and into Manhattan for a burger, then over to the New York Clown Theatre Festival end-of-festival party. I missed the start, which included a clown funeral procession through Williamsburg. I joined in with the dancing for a while, but I couldn't keep up with a crowd of clowns doing silly things.

My bike route on Sunday.
My bike route on Sunday.


NYC days 22 – Queens and Manhattan

On Thursday I took a looong bike ride. Due to my gps tracker going on the blink, I tried the iPhone tracker again. This time it didn’t work, so I drew the first half of this route by hand. Later in the evening I fixed the gps tracker again. Yay me.
On Thursday I took a looong bike ride. Due to my gps tracker going on the blink, I tried the iPhone tracker again. This time it didn't work, so I drew the first half of this route by hand. Later in the evening I fixed the gps tracker again. Yay me.

Manhattan from Queens.
Manhattan from Queens.

The Queensborough Bridge.
The Queensborough Bridge.

The lighthouse at the end of Roosevelt Island. The island has been many things over the years, including a mental asylum. The whole place is still well suited for wheelchairs.
The lighthouse at the end of Roosevelt Island. The island has been many things over the years, including a mental asylum. The whole place is still well suited for wheelchairs.

I went to check what the guy in the left of the above photo was sketching. It was a detailed study of a scribbled half moon, repeated over and over across the page. I’m guessing there are still facilities for mentally and physically disabled people on the island.

I cycled over to Flushing Meadows, the site of the World’s Fair, and took some photos of the old buildings and sculptures. I got a great video of myself juggling in front of the “world” which I’ll use as the opening shot of an upcoming juggling/travel video.
I cycled over to Flushing Meadows, the site of the World's Fair, and took some photos of the old buildings and sculptures. I got a great video of myself juggling in front of the



I cycled into Manhattan to get another video of me juggling in Times Square, with rings this time. Then I got a burger. Then I met up with the Carmine jugglers. Then I cycled home via the World Trade Center site. It’s currently a building site.
I cycled into Manhattan to get another video of me juggling in Times Square, with rings this time. Then I got a burger. Then I met up with the Carmine jugglers. Then I cycled home via the World Trade Center site. It's currently a building site.

I stopped on the Brooklyn Bridge and tried to take some good “I’M IN NEW YORK MOTHERFUCKER DON’T YOU EVER FORGET” style self portraits. This was the only one that turned out half decent.
I stopped on the Brooklyn Bridge and tried to take some good


NYC days 23 and 24 – Random photos from Williamsburg and Coney Island

My last Friday in New York was a relaxed affair. I ate a burger, cycled round the edge of Williamsburg with a focus on sitting in a park and reading.

That’s my shadow.
That's my shadow.

I found a pair of shoes on a pavement. I mean on a sidewalk.
I found a pair of shoes on a pavement. I mean on a sidewalk.

My trusty bike. I bought it for 155 dollars on the second day in New York, and sold it for 100 dollars on the day I left. 26 days of transport for 55 dollars? A bargain!
My trusty bike. I bought it for 155 dollars on the second day in New York, and sold it for 100 dollars on the day I left. 26 days of transport for 55 dollars? A bargain!

Random open air theater/performance art project in Queens.
Random open air theater/performance art project in Queens.

In the evening I met up with Rym and Scott of Geeknights to do some hardcore podcasting. We must have recorded about 2 and a half hours of material. I’m glad I’m not editing that!

Bike route for the day.
Bike route for the day.

On Saturday I cycled down to Coney Island. This is a really tacky but quite fun seaside resort. It’s only open until the end of September, so I visited right at the end of the season.

The boardwalk.
The boardwalk.

The view from inside Denno’s Wheel. I would have liked to ride the Cyclone, the legendary wooden roller coaster, but it was running.
The view from inside Denno's Wheel. I would have liked to ride the Cyclone, the legendary wooden roller coaster, but it was running.

As recommended by many, many people, I ate a Nathan’s hot dog. It was very tasty, and I understand the queues. I mean, nothing else on the boardwalk looked edible.
As recommended by many, many people, I ate a Nathan's hot dog. It was very tasty, and I understand the queues. I mean, nothing else on the boardwalk looked edible.

I sat in the shadow of pier, listened to music, slept, woke up when the sun hit me. I went for a dip in the sea, then took some photos.
I sat in the shadow of pier, listened to music, slept, woke up when the sun hit me. I went for a dip in the sea, then took some photos.

I wasn’t the only one taking photos.
I wasn't the only one taking photos.

Some people fishing used rods, some used nets.
Some people fishing used rods, some used nets.

I watched the cruise ships sail out to sea. From the funnels, I recognized two as Carnival ships. This one is a Grand class Princess cruise ship. I think the Grand is currently sailing across from Europe, so this might be the Ruby Princess.
I watched the cruise ships sail out to sea. From the funnels, I recognized two as Carnival ships. This one is a Grand class Princess cruise ship. I think the Grand is currently sailing across from Europe, so this might be the Ruby Princess.


The route of my bike ride down to Coney Island. I didn’t take a map, thinking that as long as I kept heading south I’d reach the sea. However, a road name that I recognized from a previous bike ride map as a north/south route, Flatbush Avenue, had a left turn soon after I joined it. I guess I didn’t notice, so stayed on that road. I ended up heading far further east than planned. Thankfully I was in no rush.
The route of my bike ride down to Coney Island. I didn't take a map, thinking that as long as I kept heading south I'd reach the sea. However, a road name that I recognized from a previous bike ride map as a north/south route, Flatbush Avenue, had a left turn soon after I joined it. I guess I didn't notice, so stayed on that road. I ended up heading far further east than planned. Thankfully I was in no rush.

The map also shows my trip into Manhattan to get a burger and to watch a band.