Monday, June 22, 2009

Shades of Grey on Summer's First Day

My husband and I took a long walk along Shore Parkway in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, so I could practice taking photos with my new Nikon D 60 camera. The sky was a patchwork quilt in shades of grey, the heavy clouds threatening more rain after a morning of heavy rain showers.

Rain had become the norm of Spring and the incessant clouds also welcomed the first day of Summer.

Even the annual Mermaid Parade in Coney Island was held in the rain this year. You can see photos of this year's parade on the Gothamist web site, or look at the photos I took last year in this post. It's a fun event but be warned -- the costumes can be skimpy!

The sky looks so vast and fearsome from this vantage point.

The Verranzano Narrows Bridge was the world's longest suspension span bridge when it opened in 1964 until it was surpassed in 1981 by the Humber Bridge in England. The ends of the bridge are at historic Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn and Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island, both of which guarded New York Harbor at the Narrows for over a century. The bridge was named after Giovanni da Verrazano, who in 1524, was the first European explorer to sail into New York Harbor.

Until the bridge was built the only way to travel from Brooklyn to Staten Island was by ferry, and the borough of Staten Island saw rapid development after the bridge opened, much to the dismay of many long time residents.

The $10 toll to cross the bridge is collected one way, on the west voyage from Brooklyn to Staten Island, after crossing the bridge by toll collectors or electronically through EZ Pass. This toll is going up to $11.00 on July 12, 2009.

Located at the mouth of upper New York Bay, the bridge not only connects Brooklyn with Staten Island, but is also a major link in the interstate highway system, providing the shortest route between the middle Atlantic states and Long Island.

The Narrows are always filled with oil and cargo ships on their way into New York Harbor. We also see the occasional cruise ship slip in and out of the bay.

Its monumental 693 foot high towers of the bridge are 1 5/8 inches farther apart at their tops than at their bases because the 4,260 foot distance between them made it necessary to compensate for the earth's curvature. Each tower weighs 27,000 tons and is held together with three million rivets and one million bolts. Seasonal contractions and expansions of the steel cables cause the double-decked roadway to be 12 feet lower in the summer than in the winter.

Even the water looked a silvery pewter grey today.

This elderly man did not let the threat of rain prevent him from doing some sport fishing. It is a hobby filled with patience and quiet meditative thoughts.

"Let the rain kiss you.

Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.

Let the rain sing you a lullaby."

~ Langston Hughes

And the rain did come, and we were soaked as we ran for cover. It was exhilarating, and we laughed and laughed!

Welcome summer! Time now for the sun to shine!


Joanne Kennedy said...

Some how I feel like in the major heat waves of summer you are going to missing the nice raining first day you had today.

I hear the East Coast has been having some strange weather these days.


P.S. You seem to have mastered your camera already. Your pictures came out wonderful!

Anonymous said...

That is a good camera. The pictures are very good. I am not a pro for sure, but I have been doing photography for a long time. I remember my very first camera. A Brownie. Had a round shield sticking up and you had to insert a flash bulb. I don't remember how old I was but I thing about 14. Enjoy

Picket said...

Morning girl...those are beautiful pictures and the colors are amazng even though it was rainy type weather....It is hot and humid down this way...we need some rain so bad...but our clouds have never looked that pretty that bring us rain! lol Hope all is well with you sweetie and that grandbaby is growing like a weed...he is a beautiful little dumpling! Have a great week my friend!

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Hubby and I threatened to hop a plane to the east coast yesterday when we saw on TWC how much cooler you guys are! I dance in that rain if I could! It's HELL in the south!
Great photos!

Sue said...

Pat, your gray skies are beautiful!! Your photos have always been good, but if you're playing w/an upgraded camera now, I'm sure they will even be better! I know nothing about those suckers... would love to know what to buy and how to take better pics- maybe I need a class? Keep having fun and showing us what you're doing. I always learn something from you! hugs, Sue

Tracy said...

GORGEOUS, gorgeous photos, Pat... We had very dramatic skies this past weekend too. But mostly sun, thankfully, grace the first days of summer. :o) Happy Days, my friend ((HUGS))

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, it took me a while to get used to the sometimes grey skies on the East Coast of Florida, but I have grown to love and appreciate them. And New York is always beautiful to me. Thanks for this.

And Langston Hughes is a personal favorite of mine...


Sheila :-)

Anonymous said...

Hia Pat your new camera caught the skies perfectly. Thanks for taking me along.

I'm wondering what is happening to the Summers. This is the first Summer since 2006 where we have had some sun but friends in Norway are saying how cold it is for them at the moment. I hope you get some sun soon.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

How fun to have a new camera to play with. Thanks for taking us along on your shoreline walk...always interesting. Great pic' of the old man fishing...I love those kind of pictures.

Are the bridge tolls all collected electronically...or is there actually somewhere for the cars to stop and pay?

We had 'shades of grey...on summer's first day' as well. And even a little rain...which we desperately need out here to keep the crops growing.

Cynthia said...

Wow...great shots...I need a great camera like yours...10 dollars for a bridge crossing...that sounds high to me. We used to complain about 1.50 when we lived in Coronado (an island across from San Diego). Btw I haven't been neglecting your blog on purpose...I haven't been able to view it with Explorer 8 so now I'm on Firefox. It's a great temporary solution for anyone else having this problem- "operation aborted" message.
Take care! <3

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Beautiful pictures! Seems that you have figured out your new camera. We are also looking forward to a little sunshine.
♥, Susan

Vee said...

Wow! That toll is a steep one! And it's going up? Did you kiss it goodbye?

No kidding about all this rain. I am so ready for some sun. Hope we get some by the weekend. It's a dull forecast for the rest of the week here.

Hope that Vinny had a wonderful Father's Day. John received calls from all of his girls so he was a happy man.

Just a little something from Judy said...

It was so good to have you visit and comment on my blog, and then in turn to visit yours. I enjoyed your pictures and could totally relate to you being tired of the rain and clouds. Today was our first day of sunshine and I am thrilled. You have an interesting blog. I will be back to visit again.

Lynn said...

Thank you for another visit to New York. I love your tours!

supplies overflowing! said...

Oh Pat, this was a wonderful read!
Your photos proove that you have mastered that camera! I am still
trying to figure out my camera, and I have had it for almost 2 years!
The info about the bridge was so interesting. Of course I never knew these tidbits about the size and weight,and the compensation for the earth's curvature, etc. So cool! Thanks for teaching!
Oh- by the way- last Wed., when I took that bridge photo, my son and I were on our way home from the city.
We had an appointment that brought us in originally, but then we went to Katz's Deli and had a GREAT and filling lunch, then walked and walked- all over- we ended up at the Tenement Museum store, but we couldn't take a tour- we had to get to the Seaport for our boat home. Thanks again for the info on those two places!
p.s.- I don't normally wear heels- sneakers and flip flops are usually it!

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

Looks like your new camera is working for you. Gorgeous photos! :)

Marina Capano said...

I love your blog, Pat! is just beautiful!



steviewren said...

The clouds were gorgeous! You picked the right day to go on a photo safari!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, beautiful photos! I love those clouds. Very scenic photos. Keep taking those wonderful photos.


Beverly said...

Pat, you got a new camera!!! Hooray for you.

Your pictures are awesome. The sky is such a wonderful subject. It always offer us a new picture.

I enjoyed reading about the bridges. Have you seen the Cooper River Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina? It is an awesome sight!

Nola @ the Alamo said...

Those photos look more like a winter storm than the first day of summer! But, like most things in life, it is what it is!

Marg said...

Taking pictures of clouds has such a different effect than with a bright blue sky....But these pictures made me feel cool for the first day of summer..