Thursday, October 29, 2009

PSO in USA Today

I'd like to thank USA Today for the audio-slideshow of my first World Series game as the New York Yankees public address announcer. The photographer, H. Darr Beiser - who came up from Washington D.C. for the game assignment and the photo editors, David Cooper and Sean Doughtery, worked long into the night after game 1 of the Phillies win over the Yankees. I thank them for their efforts. Having done my share of audio slideshows, I know how hard it is to match the right pictures to the audio for a pleasing result.

Monday, October 26, 2009

U2 on YouTube.

The band, U2, played a concert in Pasadena, California at the Rose Bowl in front of 100,000 fans in the stadium and millions around the world on YouTube. I took screenshots off my computer of interesting scenes I would have shot had I been there in-person. Their stage and its super-structure - being at the forefront. The band is at the bottom of the tube-like center. Real tiny compared to the "Claw."

The guitar player who calls himself, The Edge, is bathed in the stage lights and had I actually been at the concert, I would have trained my lens on him quite a bit. That's Bono in the background. For a screenshot off my computer with the lights from my living room bleeding into the picture, this one turned out pretty well.

During the later stages of the concert, this combination microphone/swing dropped from the "space ship." Bono would sing, then grab the edges and swing over the crowd. I want one for Christmas.

World Series Here We Come

The big video screen in Yankee Stadium tells the story of the continuation of my first season in the Bronx as the stadium public address announcer. With its victory over the Angels to win the American League Championship, the Yankees will host the World Series starting Wednesday. The Yankees are seeking their 27th World Championship. And I looking for my first title since being the radio announcer for the 1986 Las Vegas Stars who won the Pacific Coast League AAA championship.

Players such as Mariano Rivera celebrated with teammates and fans after the game concluded. The American League Championship hats and t-shirts were handed to the players on the field moments after the final out.

Second-baseman Robinson Cano (left) is joined my teammate Freddie Guzman as they share some game-winning-locker-room champagne with fans who stayed around after the game hoping some of the players would come back to the field to celebrate.

And this fan is in Yankee Heaven as pitcher Phil Hughes singles him out for a long draw of the bubbly as the post-game party continued long after the Yankees locked up their first trip to the World Series in six years. Bring on the Philadelphia Phillies. And, as usual, rain is in the forecast for game 1 on Wednesday.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Even A Mime Needs Practice

While roaming through New York's Central Park recently I came across this woman who turned out to be a mime. She was practicing her hand movements as she pretended to handle such things as a heart and a butterfly.
I hadn't given much thought to it, but these common street performers have to find a place to hone their skills and Central Park is as good a location as any. I used the slow shutter speed/flash combination to show her hand movements that are central to what mimes do. I wonder if she went to mime college?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Free Day At The Guggenheim

Here are two New York institutions: A yellow cab and the Guggenheim Museum. On this day, one of them was free of charge - the museum. This Frank Lloyd Wright design is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary and the public was invited to spend the day in the landmark without having to pay the usual $18 price of admittance. So since it was free ... it was for me.

Because this is such a recognizable building, one can select simple parts of it and people will still know where you are. The Guggenheim looks good from many different angles. Its spiraling design sets it apart from any other museum of its kind.

Inside, the white walls of the floor plan helped provide a nice contrast to the patrons who couldn't resist peering over the edge of the of the seven levels of space. Some people stood still while others flowed in the arena of art.

Since taking pictures above the ground floor is prohibited, one needed to be as sneaky as possible - and lucky - when taking unauthorized shots. I had my camera down by my leg and took random shots as I walked and tried to look innocent.

This strikes me as a common sight in museums. Some people are into the art, while others are into each other.

But in general people engaged themselves with the works of Russian artist Vasily Kandinsky's abstract paintings.

Kandinsky's paintings helped inspire the Guggenheim's design by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Yankee TV In The Bronx

The giant video board at Yankee Stadium is big enough to create the illusion that you're actually at a live game. The Stadium was open to the public - for free - to watch game three of the playoffs from southern California and a good crowd turned out. They cheered the Yankees and ate the traditional ballpark fare: hot dogs, nachos, popcorn and beer.

I sat in the right-field corner and this is the view from my seat looking back towards home plate. The guess is about 3500 fans turned out. Many of the people I spoke to said it was their first visit to the new Yankee Stadium The weather - while kinda cool - was not bad considering the cold conditions over the weekend. At least it was dry.

Face-painters roamed the stadium and affixed fancy Yankee logos on many children ... and some adults.

A group of fans brought their "Go Yankees" banner. They paraded up and down the aisles behind home plate. Aside from a wayward Mets fan who was booed when he walked around seeking attention, the crowd at Yankee Stadium seemed to have a good time. The Yankees lost to the Angels, but still own a two games to one lead in the best-of-seven series.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Celebrating Can Be Hazardous

The guy on the far left - Jerry Hairston Jr. - just scored the winning run at Yankee Stadium to give the Yanks a two games to none lead on the Angels in their best-of-seven playoff series. Hairston had played parts of 12 seasons in the Majors without being in a playoff game. So he's a happy guy as he flies into the arms of his teammates. But ...

... the wave of players was a little too strong for Hairston who was actually knocked down. They surrounded him on the ground as he happily covered his head before the guys helped him up. All this is good fun! And then ...

... the expected pie in the face from pie master A.J. Burnett who pitched very well earlier in the game. That's 16 pies this season. The Yankees are hoping the kitchen remains open for more game-ending celebrations on the road to what they hope is a shot at their 27 th World Series title.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

You Make The Call

The Yankees' Alex Rodriguez (L) looks like his left toe is on home plate before the Angels' Jeff Mathis can bring his glove up to tag him during this home plate collision in Game one of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium.

It was a close play and umpire Tim McClelland is waiting to see it unfold before he renders a decision.

And the word is "Out!" as Mathis convinces the umpire he tagged out A-Rod despite the appearance of the Yankee runner being safe.

The Yankees won the game 4 to 1 and lead the best-of-seven series one game to none.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

This Is Baseball Weather

I had to do a test run of my outfit for Friday's playoff baseball game because I wanted to see if I needed to add anything. It's about 48 degrees and raining now. Friday is supposed to be colder but a little less wet. I understand it's in the mid 70's in Los Angeles for the baseball game out there.

But I'm where I'm supposed to be and I have the clothes for any conditions here in New York. However I might replace the t-shirt with a light turtleneck shirt under the zip-up jacket and the big blue all-weather coat. Gloves will be a must-wear item. October baseball in the east often call for winter gear. The players have special ball caps with ear-flaps. They'll be ready as well.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

While Waiting For Baseball ...

Seasons in sports overlap. It's the pro basketball pre-season while pro football and hockey are playing games that count and it's baseball playoff time. But the Yankees and Angels series won't start until Friday. So I took a shot at getting a cheap ticket to the Knicks-76er's game at Madison Square Garden at the last minute. After some "negotiating" I got a great seat near the floor for $20. Court side seats went for $1200. The Knicks Nate Robinson pleads to anyone who'll listen about a replacement referee's call. The regular refs are being locked out by the NBA in a labor dispute. Shots showing emotion are what photographers look for and those reactions can come at any time. Robinson thought the ref was wrong for calling a foul on him. As usual, the player lost the argument.

It's amazing the amount of body control NBA players can display. Here, the 76er's Andre Iguodala (9) twists into position to shoot against the tough defense of Jared Jefferies (20) of the Knicks. This is my first basketball action since March in Los Angeles at the Pac-10 post-season college tournament just days before I started commuting to New York to work for the Yankees.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lincoln Center Fountain

The new fountain at New York's Lincoln Center is a magnet for tourists (and locals) who want to get a look at the plaza centerpiece. The water displays vary in height and intensity and are operated by a computer program. The water is recycled. A cop on the scene says the lights in the fountain won't change color because Lincoln Center is "too classy" for that.
Click on the photo for a larger view.

Spot The Two Men Still Working

The Yankees swarmed home plate to welcome their latest late-inning hero, Mark Teixeira (Ta-cher-rah) after he hit a homer to beat the Twins in a playoff game at Yankee Stadium. While the players went crazy - the Yankees lead the best-of-five series 2-0 - there are two men who couldn't care less about the final score. One is the camera man for the TBS network who's trying to frame Teixeira in the mass of humanity and the other man - the one with the most important job - is plate umpire Chuck Meriweather - who is making sure Teixeira touches home plate to make his winning run official.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lots Of Wind - Lots Of Luck

It was very windy in New York with gusts in the 50 mph range. Tree branches were falling in many neighborhoods ... including mine in Brooklyn. I came out of the house to find this scene at my front door. This giant branch had broken off from the old tree in front of my car. It just missed the hood of the vehicle and landed in the street.

The branch was long enough to block the entire street. After I returned - via my usual subway - from the Yankees' playoff win over the Twins, the branch was gone and the only damage was the front license plate of my car was hanging by a screw - the plate was nearly sheared off by the tree branch. I was lucky there was no further damage.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Good Bee

This is the best shot I've ever taken of a bee. When I first started this blog - several months ago - I had a bee picture or two from the garden at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. But those shots were taken by shooting down on top of the bee instead of this angle - low and from the side. Like all of my bee shots, it was done with me extending my arm as far as I could while being ready to bolt if the bee made a move at me. I've never been stung and I'd like to keep that record in tact. This shot was taken at the weekly farmers market in downtown Brooklyn where they sell fresh fruits, veggies and flowers. I was on my way back from a run. I'm starting to take my camera with me on runs. One of the great outdoor photographers, the late Galen Rowell, took a film camera with him on mountain runs and always came back - in shape - and with great pictures.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Here are some of the fireworks from the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Manhattan Bridge.

I made these shots from the nearby Brooklyn Bridge.

This is a favorite because of the pink color and the way the tentacles of light fan out.

There's a little hint of green light in the big bloom. Can you see it? Remember, you can click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Professional At Work

In New York City and the surrounding boroughs you'll see plenty of people who are walking their dog. And - as was the case on 5th Avenue in Manhattan - you'll catch the occasional dog-walker who makes his or her living walking many animals at once. This lady has nine dogs on leashes! All the dogs seem to get along. Maybe the fact the two larger canines on separated from the smaller dogs is the secret to keeping the peace.