Hurricane Sandy

Maureen, Walker and I hunkered down in our apartment for the duration of the storm.  We had stocked up on all the essentials beforehand.  We spent our time watching Curious George, and Pocoyo, and we danced to Paulo Nutini’s “New Shoes” about 20 times.  Walker and I created havoc with crayons while the wind howled outside, and Maureen cooked a great meal.  I ventured out into the apartment lobby once with Walker and ran him up and down the steps six times just to release some of his pent-up toddler exuberance.  Our only scare came around 9 p.m. last night when the lights flickered on and off twice in rapid succession.  But we didn’t loose power, nor did that old tree that was swaying wildly in the wind come crashing through our bedroom window.

While Walker and Maureen napped today,  I walked around Astoria to witness the aftermath of the storm.   I saw evidence of flooding in houses and buildings down close to the river.  Socrates Park was closed.  The Costco Riverfront Park was open, and from there I could see how high the water still was.  I also saw people collecting siding from their houses that blew off in the streets.  Of course, I saw lots of downed trees.  It was sedate but also surreal.  One of the pictures I posted was of a giant tree uprooted near a park where Walker and I hang out at least twice a week.  It was quite a loss, but nothing compared to the devastation we had seen on T.V.  It was bizarre to witness the flooding of Battery Park tunnel.  It was tragic seeing the houses burn in Breezy Point.  It was sad to see Jane’s Carousel near the Brooklyn Bridge sitting in water.  ( We had been there just a few weeks before the storm.)  In Astoria we had been spared much of the destruction other places had received.  For that I am grateful.

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We pray for those who are less fortunate than us.  We thank all our friends and family who called to see how we fared, and we offer our place to friends in distress who might need a hot shower or a place to stay for a few days.   Contact us if we can help in anyway.

Peace.

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Father’s Day Portraits at Raising Astoria

Just last week, I had an amazing opportunity to do portraits with fathers and their children in Astoria.  The event happened at Raising Astoria,  a beautiful Baby and Maternity Boutique that recently opened at 26-11 23rd Avenue in Astoria.  The Boutique caters to an expanding baby population in our neighborhood.  Kim Rossignol and Laurie Nicholson are the co-founders of Raising Astoria and their mission is to become the premier retail store for new and expecting parents.  The store  offers a wide array of great environmental friendly and safe products for children.  The clothes and toys are cool, and they have a nice selection of lightly used, secondhand items , but best of all they offer a great variety of developmental classes at affordable prices.  Maureen and I have taken our son, Walker, there a few times.  It’s always been lots of fun for him.

So I was excited when Laurie asked me to take portraits of fathers and their children on June 16th as a part of a special Father’s Day event.   I said yes immediately, and took all my stuff to the store and set up a mini-portrait studio outside.  Thank God, the weather was nice.  We had great sun.  The families were cool too.   Our good friend and fellow photographer, Cindy Chung Camins, helped us out with the set up, and she was great at getting the children to relax.  We shot from 3:00 to 7:30 and got some great shots.  I got to tell you that my Nikon 50mm 1.4 lens on my D300 camera does some really nice portrait work. Maybe next year, if they invite me back, I’ll be able to shoot with a new, D800 and my 85mm 2.0 lens.  Let’s hope.  Here’s a few unfinished photos from the shot.   Thanks again, to Kim and Laurie, at Raising Astoria for letting us have so much fun shooting Dads and their special ones for Father’s Day.  Look forward to next year, too.