Don’t Steal My Bicycle

chained bicycle

chained bicycle

It was during Pope Francis visit to Philadelphia when I took this picture. It was Saturday and we rode the PATCO from Lindelwold to Philly. Security was tight at Lindenwold and Philadelphia was so much more. There were a lot of armed security from all branches of government (uniformed and non-uniformed).

Well, strolling along the city was some what a joy because there were no traffic in the streets but there were a lot of pedestrians. My kids and myself were walking towards the park in the middle of the street like everybody who visited. I happened to see this chained bicycle to a light post and what struck me was the wheel was bent and I thought to myself that even if was not chained I would not think somebody would steal it.

Was the person who rode that bicycle got into an accident and just chained it with the intent of retrieving it later or was it caused by some person with no regard to personal property. In any case, it was worth the shot for any purpose, but at the moment for the purpose of jump starting my blog.

When I was not working it was difficult to work on my blog because I was so busy looking for a job and attending classes. However, when I finally found a job it was the same thing, I was busy adjusting with my new job and learning things that were still new to me. In addition to taking work home to get ahead.

I need to get back into shooting as well as getting my pictures off the card and process them. Me and my excuses.

2014 santa cruzan – philadelphia, PA

santa cruzan

santa cruzan

We were invited to a Santa Cruzan in Philadelphia held at Ukranian Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception. This was the same venue for the last year’s Santa Cruzan. This event is one of the many Filipino tradition that immigrants from the Philippines brought over here to the United States.

I believe there were a lot of attendees last year compared to this year because I saw several sashes that were left in the basket at the church’s entrance. Since I have started with this comment, I would like to add that it was kind of lacking police assistance with regards to the street parade. Last year there were police cars assisting traffic or blocking the streets. This year I was asking a fellow attendee about the traffic police, none to be seen.

Last year both my kids were participants in the Santa Cruzan whereas this year, it was just my son. I guess my daughter just wanted to be a spectator this time. I was also able to test out my GoPro to take videos in the event. Click the picture to see other shots and videos or click here.

day 1 of our 2013 orlando vacation

orlandoFlorida_universalStudios_070

universal studios krustyland

Technically, last year’s Christmas was our second time to have our holiday on the road. The first time was years ago when we visited my wife’s friend up in Maine and we drove back New Year’s eve and celebrated new year on the road.

Last year we agreed to drive down to Florida with our dog, Cooper. We decided to take a much needed vacation and the only time we have in common was the holiday. The kids were on vacation and I did not have trouble taking time off from work. There were three drivers alternating for the trip and it was just fine driving the speed limit or should I say following the traffic. We dropped Cooper at a kennel before we head to our time share condo which was situated minutes away from Disney and half an hour away from Universal Studios.

We rested awhile in the condo and took an anticipated mass that day because our first day to do the attractions was on a Sunday.

Our first stop was Universal Studios because we had a dinner reservation at Lombard’s Landing. We did the dinner reservation because of the closing show and I was told that they may limit the number of guests in the attraction, having a dinner reservation guaranteed us entrance to the park (they lied, the park was crowded and they were not counting how many went in the park). Only to find out that you could have seen the show anyway outside the restaurant. The only difference was ours had the hot drinks and deserts and a comfortable chair.

The picture above was taken across Krustyland, it’s the new Simpson’s attraction that opened up last year. Click here to see other pictures.

 

jollibee

jollibee

jollibee

Jollibee is a fast food franchise that is very popular in the Philippines. It is one of the biggest competitor for McDonald’s in the Philippines. Jollibee has been establishing footprints here in the United States where there are a lot of Filipino populations. It is big in the west coast, specifically California. They opened in Virginia, New York and now in New Jersey.

They are well known for their chicken joy and palabok (this is the Filipino version of spaghetti). There are a lot of dishes to choose from and they not only cater to Filipino palate but to Americans as well. My kids and friends believed that their chicken is the best, but there is no way for me to validate that opinion since I don’t eat chicken (by choice and not by anything else).

It was an hour drive from Blue Army Shrine (Washington, NJ) to Jersey City, we decided to stop by Jollibee before heading home. We were lucky because there was not much wait as compared to its opening (I guess). We heard that during its opening through several weeks afterwards that there was a long wait. I would estimate that the place sits about 100, this is bigger compared to that in Queens, NY and a lot smaller compared to that in California.

I ordered Hawaiian burger (the slice of pineapple must be the reason why it’s Hawaiian), palabok and sago (beverage with simple syrup and tapioca and gel). As always, the food looks great in the picture but the actual food was no way near the picture representation, misinformation? For other pictures please click here.

 

shopping cart

shopping cart

walmart shopping cart

How would you feel when you see shopping carts left in empty parking spaces or beside your car? How would you feel when one of these things roll and hit your vehicle? I don’t know about you but I get angry and annoyed about this because of how inconsiderate those people are. This is just a simple thing that a lot of people can’t do (is it the same thing in other places?), putting back the shopping carts back to where they should belong. Look at the picture I shot above, the cart is literally a few feet away from the cart corral, but heck, the person who did this must have been that too lazy to bring it back or has a physical disability to walk it back there.

I shot this during a nice summer afternoon, imagine how the parking lot would be when it’s raining or when there is snow.

sinulog – philadelphia 2013

philadelphia sinulog 2013

sinulog 2013 at philadelphia

Sinulog is a popular feast in Cebu (City in Central Philippines) in honor of Señor Santo Niño (Child Jesus). This is a yearly festival in the Philippines were people take to the street in celebration of the Child Jesus.

Here is a little history about the celebration:

When Magellan (a portugese explorer) discovered the Philippines back in  1521, they landed in the island of Cebu carrying with them the image of the Child Jesus. The image was then presented to the Hara Amihan (wife of Rajah Humabon). She was later named Queen Juana after baptism to Roman Catholic Church. Other rulers as well as several hundred natives were also baptised. It was said that after receiving the holy image, it was said that she danced with joy bearing the image of the Child Jesus. Other people saw her and followed her. This moment was regarded as the first Sinulog.

The celebration of Sinulog in the Philippines are colorful and loud. People celebrate on the streets and there are dancing and lots drum beats, all for the Child Jesus. And of course, the food will always be ever present (there can never be a celebration without food).

Though the Sinulog here in Philadelphia was not as grand as the one in Cebu, but there were still a lot of devotees from all over the United States and Canada that came by bus load. One thing I noticed, there were more people last year than this year. As for next year, that remains to be seen if I will be available to attend another one.

I was able to take several shots during the event, click here to see other shots.

city that never sleeps

crowd

nyc crowd

Our second night in NYC, too bad because this was also our last night. The picture above was taken in Time Square or somewhere in the area. It was amazing to see these much people at this time of night. Who could have thought that it was close to 10:00 PM on a Monday night and yet there was a sea of tourists and residents (well I was assuming regarding the residents). I guess this proved a point about NYC being the city that never sleeps.

That afternoon, Myra’s family and my daughter went to Empire State building while my wife and myself went to visit B&H. For all those who do not know what B&H, it is a store for photo and video equipment and much more. I believe this is the largest mom and pop store. They are located in 34th Street and 9th Avenue. I have been buying stuff from them online but I have not been able to see the store physically how the store looked like. My brother who lived in Washington state saw it before I did, when he stopped over here in the east coast before flying to Italy. It was a dream come true for me that day to finally see the store, however, I did not get the chance to stay longer because they closed at 7:00 PM and we got to the store 10 minutes before closing, bummer.

My wife and myself decided to just walk to Time Square to kill time because we needed so much time to meet up with Myra and company at that place. While waiting for them I regretted not bringing my tripod because there were so much opportunity for long exposure photography. Well I guess I just have to settle with what I have, handheld. I envy the other photographer that showed up where we were sitting or should I say waiting, he had his complete gear in tow. Click the above picture for other NYC pictures for that day as well as my handheld photos or just click here.

tattoo artist

newYorkNY_withFriends_070

tattoo artist

This is the continuation of Myra’s visit to the east coast. She and my wife have been friends forever, they always talk on the phone whenever they get a chance and the last time they met was back in 2004 when my wife flew to LA to visit her.

On their second day in the east coast,  we drove to Brooklyn, New York from Hershey Park. We just stopped by our home in New Jersey to pick up stuff. Myra was able to find an apartment for us to stay in Brooklyn for a few nights and it was also a steal. The location was great, 59th street subway station was just right outside the apartment. The drive to Brooklyn was easy, it was looking for parking that proved to be impossible (specially at that time, 3:30 AM). This is one of the reasons I do not like to live in the city. The search for parking took me more than 3 hours just to find a 24 hour parking because all the parking garages I found opens at 8:00 AM (considering that I don’t live in the area and the territory was unfamiliar). had to leave my car keys to the attendant and off the GMC Acadia to the elevator where they parked it somewhere inside that parking structure. As for myself, without much sleep from the Hershey trip to Brooklyn I did not know how I got from 15th street and 9th Avenue to our apartment in 4th Avenue and 60th Street.

I was able to catch some needed zzz’s  before we walked the streets of NYC. Myra was with her son, Dubi, and her husband, Kevin, was scheduled to arrive that morning from LA but was late getting to the apartment. I believe he caught the wrong train, Myra was worried when he did not get to the apartment on time. After all these incidents and after we all got settled, we were ready to hit the streets of NYC.

Kevin was prepared, he had all the itineraries and planned which train or bus to take to get to our destinations. It was great walking the streets of NYC and hitting the tourists spots and I would say that the city has so much to offer but I will not live there. It was a nice first day in our few day stay in the city.

That was a Sunday and I thought we would miss going to mass that day, but we were fortunate to attend a 6:00 PM mass in Our Lady of Pompeii (I think) somewhere in Greenwhich Village. My daughter and Dubi were assigned to do the readings and it was indeed a blessing.

The picture above was taken towards the end of the our day before we caught our train back to Brooklyn. We were standing in front of this tattoo parlor in Greenwhich Village and this caught my eye and I thought why not. I used Lightroom for post processing, I try not to be simple and short in my post processes. I also would not get a tattoo for a simple reason that it’s gotta hurt not to mention that it might look terrible when you are old and wrinkly. Click on the picture to the rest of day 1 photos in NYC or just click here.

hershey, pa

hersheyPA

hersheyPA

Last July my wife’s best friend and her son flew from CA to spend a few days here in the east. The first thing they did aside from waiting for us to pick them up at Independence Hall was grabbed the famous Pat’s cheese steak.  Honestly, I like this better than Gino’s but let’s not start something here. We showed them a few landmarks in Philadelphia afterwards before going home across the bridge.

The next day we drove to Hershey Park. I guess they wanted to see where and how the chocolate products from Hershey were made. It was about two hour drive to Hershey from our place. They built a whole town around the Hershey factory, who could have thought how big that place is. There were a lot of additions in the park since last time we were there. My daughter was just about two years old and now she’s seventeen. She was afraid of the mascots then, just for fun she posed with a mascot for a picture.

I have not taken a roller coaster ride or any  terrifying ride in long time. I have long given that up to my kids. I believe the last time I rode the roller coaster was the Great Bear ride here in Hershey Park. I limit myself with the train ride and similar stuff. The picture above was taken on a monorail ride around the park and this caught my attention. It was a memory from the past, tearing down the old factory to build new ones, I supposed.

The picture was just processed in Lightroom 4. I like to tone down my post processing at a minimum and as long as I am satisfied with the result then it is time to stop doing more processing. For some pictures taken during this day trip please click on the picture or click here.

 

drive by

drive by reclining chair

What I just did, I will not recommend to anyone. I know what I just did was dumb but I was really careful when I did it. I was not tail gating and I have one eye on the road and the other eye on the camera (well I will just leave this to your imagination).

One afternoon on my home from work, I decided that I will drive with one hand on the wheel and the other on the camera. I put my camera on manual because I thought that the light will not change while I was driving. I had pre-determined the settings before I set out and I used a Sony 50 mm F/1.4 on my Sony Alpha 850.

The car speed was between 25-45 MPH because I only took the back road because there’s not much in the highway but the tail lights because of the traffic. In addition, I was not following close to the car in front of me (for safety reasons of course, to give me wiggle room just in case). What was surprising was I really did not get much decent shot when I thought I did. Much were out of focus and I realized that I need to pre-focus as well rather than use the camera’s auto focus.

I like to show the picture above in this blog because I was intrigued with this piece of reclining chair outside a store that sells items for people with moving disability. How can this reclining chair help a person with such disability move around, except to recline while watching their favorite show.

I hope that this exercise will push me to do what I have been dying to do, a 365 project. Well let’s see.