The challenge for you is to share a Scene with every one of the readers. Please take liberties with this theme and let your Scene be anything that catches your eye and imagination! The challenge is not so much about high drama, as it is about those little moments that make us look twice by being just a bit outside the norm. Of course, should you capture a scene from a play that works too.
It was not a great day for the beach. It was all cloudy skies and cold winds in Belmar. The trip had been planned in advance and I had already taken the day off work. I was in a negative mood about the situation but Bhavna convinced me it was worth it just to take a break from work. I reluctantly acquiesced, packed my new Fujifilm X-T2 body, Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR lens and two spare batteries, and we drove to Belmar.
It rained the whole drive but the rain stopped as we approached the town. We easily found parking on 5th Avenue near Ocean Avenue on the northern end of Belmar and started walking along the Belmar Boardwalk.
Belmar is a borough in Monmouth County, New Jersey. The borough is nicely laid out in a grid of streets flowing East to West and North to South with Main Street on the western side. The beach and a long boardwalk flow along Ocean Avenue bordered by Avon by the Sea to the north and Spring Lake to the south.
The wind was cool and breezy. I choose to shoot the Fuji X-T2 with the ACROS™ Film Simulation. I’m not sure why I choose ACROS but it fit my mood and the weather. After a few minutes of walking, I started to loosen up and my disappointment about the day dwindled.
I was walking along looking through the camera viewfinder trying to compose a scene and I almost tripped over some racked bicycles. There were a lot of them. I don’t know for sure, but I imagine that local residents most likely rode these bicycles to the beach. The first one in view here has a carriage for a child and the bicycle itself has a low bar which often indicated it was designed for skirt/dress/kilt wearers who don’t want to show off their __knickers_ while riding a bicycle.
You can’t see it in the monochrome but the bicycle above is mostly rust and weathered paint. I don’t think it has been used in quite a long time. Interestingly there was a new chain around the bicycle. The owner must be afraid that there is a demand for rusty old bicycles.
We continued walking north. The beach was mostly empty but I could imagine on a warm weekend it would be packed with beachgoers.
Before we crossed into Avon-on-the-Sea was pass the gated entryway to the Belmar Fishing Club which has a private pier. The clubhouse has was built by the Ocean Pier Company.
During the summer of 1929, the Club’s counsel was successful in having certain restrictions in the original deed modified so as to permit the Belmar Fishing Club to erect a new and larger clubhouse to meet the demands of its growing membership. Therefore, on June 14, 1929, the Belmar Fishing Club Holding Co., was incorporated for the purpose of holding the property for the benefit of the members of the Belmar Fishing Club and to finance and build a new clubhouse.
Shaan and Bhavna commented that it seemed silly to pay for exclusive access to a pier when the same fish could be caught by standing along the rocky sides of the inlet.
We crossed the drawbridge that connects Belmar to Avon-by-The-Sea and continued on the Avon Boardwalk toward the Avon Pavilion.
FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 50 mm, f/16 , ISO 200
The only other Little Free Library I have ever seen was in Asbury Park, which was only a few miles from Avon-on-the-Sea.
We crossed the draw-bridge into Avon-on-the-Sea toward Avon Pavilion.
It was near lunch time and we discussed options while walking back toward the car. We decided on FINS Tropicali Cuisines in Bradly Beach.
Instead of dealing with New Jersey Transit trains from Princeton Junction, I drove to Jersey City and parked in hotel parking near Paulus Hook. I met the instructor, along with several other photographers including Alan Kesselhaut and his wife Barbara, at the Paulus Hook Ferry Terminal. I’ve known Alan and his wife for many years. Alan teaches Photoshop in a way that I found easy to understand. After taking his class I finally understood Photoshop layers and how to use them.
It rained while we waited for the ferry. I was worried that our adventure would be ruined however the rain the only lasted a few minutes. Once the rain stopped we were rewarded with a rainbow over Manhattan. It was a pleasant surprise. The ferry arrived soon after; around 6 PM. It was a short ride to Brookfield Place / Battery Park City (WFC) Terminal in Downtown Manhattan. From the ferry, we had views of Ellis Island, The Statue of Liberty, Manhattan’s skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge. I focused on capturing the Manhattan skyline.
After docking, we made our first stop at the World Trade Center’s Memorial Lily Pond. The group split apart with each of us focusing (no pun intended) on something different. The lily pond had some ducks and koi but I was interested in capturing the water plants and the people looking into the pools.
Immediately behind the lily pond is the Irish Hunger Memorial which was the next stop for our group. Bill Blanchard tried to explain some of the histories of the memorial but I was too focused on getting my shots. I didn’t pay attention but from what I gathered online the memorial is re-creation by artist, Brian Tolle, of a rural Irish landscape with an abandoned stone cottage, stone walls, fallow potato fields and the flora on the north Connacht wetlands of Ireland.
After several minutes we continued to make our way along the Battery Park City Esplanade shooting images and talking photography along the way. I snapped some images of the North Cove Yacht Harbor and the skyscrapers.
The area around the outer edge of the Esplanade was lined with restaurants. People were sitting outside dining, walking and enjoying the company of friends and family while enjoying the view of the harbour as the sunlight waned.
We continued our journey along the Esplanade through South Cove Park and Oasis Park. I noticed that the sun was getting lower in the sky and switched the camera settings to capture some silhouetted images of people and buildings.
The weather was warm and humid and some of the group were feeling the heat. We stopped for a breather and just then a young woman walked up and asked me about professional photography. She had a thick foreign accent but we quickly determined she wanted someone to take some photos of her with Jersey City as the backdrop. I was happy to oblige.
Getting a good shot of her was challenging as the sun had dropped lower in the sky. The camera sensor had a tough time exposing for both her face and the sky. I hope I did her justice.
The sun continued to descend into the horizon and I quickly snapped off a few more shots. We had to rush back to the ferry terminal to make it back out to New Jersey. We were in danger of missing the last ferry.
We just barely made it to the ferry. But as it turns out we were on the wrong ferry. We had taken the ferry to Harborside when what we needed was the ferry to Paulus Hook.
We realized our mistake and that we would have to walk back along the Hudson River Waterway Walkway. In the meantime, we stopped to take shoot night images of the Hudson River and the New York skyline.
J. Owen Grundy (1912–1985) was a native of Jersey City and was until his death its official historian and chairman of the city’s Municipal Historic Districts Commission. The park on the left in the photo is at Exchange Place and is named in his honour.
I had fun on this field trip and now that I realize how easy the trip is, I may do this on my own in the next few months but perhaps staring at Pier 11 and walking my way back toward Battery Park City (WFC) Terminal. I think it would be interesting to see how Manhattan looks in the fall.
Several years ago we took a leisurely cruise along the Delaware River. The cruise was part of a Mother’s Day special organized by the Spirit of Philadelphia. My kids were much younger and wanted to do something special for their mother. We had breakfast, listened to music, and then stood out on the deck enjoying the early spring weather.
After the cruise, we strolled along the little strip of the Harbor Park. It was under construction at the time.
Before checkout, on the day after the wedding we were attending at the Hilton, I took a walk outside and snapped a few images around Spruce Street Harbor Park.