Machu Picchu

Perhaps placed first on most traveler’s bucket list, is Machu Picchu.  Having visited this 15th century Inca citadel recently, I can see why this is so.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site, built on a mountain ridge 8,000 ft. above sea level, is an amazing  sight to behold.

About 200 buildings are arranged on wide parallel terraces around an east-west central square, while stone stairways set in the walls allowed access to the different levels across the site.  Most archeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest.  It was not known to the outside world until 1911, when the American historian Hiram Bingham brought it to international attention.

Though altitude sickness and tough terrain  may deter some visitors, it is certainly worth the effort!

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Hitting the Nail on the Head

Every once in a while, I like to go back and revisit some photos from my travels abroad.  One of the most different and interesting places I visited in 2014 was Transylvania in Romania.

Though I didn’t catch a glimpse of Dracula, I did meet an incredible carpenter who  was amazingly skilled at his trade.

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Prom Surprise!

While photographing at the Boys and Girls Club in Greenwich, Connecticut recently, I happened to witness to an exciting event.

Amanda Silva, who was working that day, was surprised by her longtime friend Jaden Williams with a smile and a homemade sign.

In front of friends and children, Jaden proudly displayed his invitation, inviting her to the junior prom.

Luckily, yours truly, was there to capture the reaction.

“I’ve known Jaden since 1st grade.  I’m a grade above him but we worked together last year at Camp Simmons here in Greenwich.  He was a lifeguard and I was just a staff member.  We spent our days cracking jokes (he’s a funny guy but I won’t admit it to him),” Amanda told me.

“Jaden’s a cool person to hang out with and always has a cheesy smile on his face whenever I walk with him and past him.”

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Our Local “Cheers”

Within the large and somewhat impersonal city of White Plains, there exists our own  little piece of Americana.

A local grocery store (started as a Gristedes, but now known as Rooster’s Market, is hangout for locals, in the Gedney area of White Plains.

On any given day, at any time, Rooster’s is abuzz with lots of activity.  Those who take their daily coffee with their  newspaper (still the print version), workmen having breakfast, middle school students gabbing and grabbing lunch, families enjoying Sunday brunch, retirees just shooting the breeze, and moms with kids in tow, are all part of the ambience.

The local butcher cuts the brisket, while the short order cooks are hard at work, trying to keep up with the constant demand.

And no matter who you are, as in TV’s Bar at Cheers, everyone knows your name.”001002003004005007009010011012013014015020

Love Trumps Hate

The day after our new president was inaugurated, I marched in Washington, D.C  with over 500,000 others to protest Donald Trump.

Mothers, husbands, wives, sons, daughters and grandparents joined together in solidarity.

There were clever signs, songs, and love between all who participated in something so huge.

Thousands wore pink  “pussy hats” tirelessly knitted by many to symbolize Donald Trump’s crude phrases that went viral on Access Hollywood. We met on planes and trains and in subways, and metro stations, chanting in defiance.

The marches took place in cities across the country and around the world.

We marched to protect our civil and reproductive rights.

We marched to make our voices heard.

And in the process, we grew stronger, and our voices louder.

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Taking the Plunge

 

Many brave souls took the Polar Bear Plunge this New Year’s Day, to benefit East Hampton food pantries.

While the air temperature was a mere 2 degrees higher than the water temperature, fearless swimmers bounded into the surf while more sane bystanders stood by and photographed the event.

Needless to say, swimmers came out a lot faster than they went in!

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