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.

5th Avenue Beach, Belmar Boardwalk, Belmar—

FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 16 mm, f/5.6 , ISO 200

Cruz Bay Cafe, Belmar

FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 22.7 mm, f/16 , ISO 200

Cruz Bay Cafe, Belmar

FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 33.2 mm, 1/1600 sec at f/4.0, ISO 200

CC BY-NC-SA

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.

Bicycles, Belmar Boardwalk, Belmar

FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 22 mm, f/5.6 , ISO 200

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.

Huffy Bicycle, Belmar Boardwalk, Belmar

FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 55 mm, f/5.6 , ISO 200

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.

Belmar Fishing Club Pier

FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 40.1 mm, f/5.6 , ISO 200

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.

Fisherman under the drawbridge

FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 55 mm, f/5.6 , ISO 200

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.

Fisher persons on the rock, Avon-on-the-Sea

FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 55 mm, f/5.6 , ISO 200

We crossed the drawbridge that connects Belmar to Avon-by-The-Sea and continued on the Avon Boardwalk toward the Avon Pavilion.

Rock, Avon Boardwalk, Avon-on-the-Sea

FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 16 mm, f/5.6 , ISO 200

Reading time

FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 55 mm, f/16 , ISO 200

#6

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.

Little Free Library Children\’s Library, Avon Boardwalk, Avon-on-the-Sea

FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 55 mm, f/5.6 , ISO 200

We crossed the draw-bridge into Avon-on-the-Sea toward Avon Pavilion.

Towards Avon Pavilion, Avon Boardwalk, Avon-on-the-Sea

FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 55 mm, f/4.0 , ISO 200

Yeah, I’m at the beach.

FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 55 mm, f/4.0 , ISO 200

No credit cards.

FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 22.7 mm, f/4.0 , ISO 200

It was near lunch time and we discussed options while walking back toward the car. We decided on FINS Tropicali Cuisines in Bradly Beach.

Let’s find lunch.

FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 22.7 mm, f/4.0 , ISO 200

Avon-by-the-Sea, New Jersey, United States of America
 

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Scene by Frank JansenFrank Jansen (Dutch goes the Photo!)
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.

Manhattan, Cityscape, New York City, Exchange Place, Jersey City

Several months ago, I registered for a field trip, By Land and By Water: The Lower Manhattan Cityscape. The field trip was hosted by Princeton Photo Workshop instructor, Bill Blanchard. I was excited about this trip and rented a Canon EF 24-70mm lens for the trip.

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.

The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 24 mmf/4.0 ISO 50—CC BY-NC-SA

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.

The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 24 mmf/4.0 ISO 50—CC BY-NC-SA

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.

The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 24 mmf/16 ISO 50—CC BY-NC-SA

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.

The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 24 mmf/22 ISO 3200—CC BY-NC-SA
The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 70 mmf/22 ISO 2000—CC BY-NC-SA
The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 70 mmf/22 ISO 2000—CC BY-NC-SA

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 Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 37 mmf/4.0 ISO 50—CC BY-NC-SA
The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 24 mmf/8.0 ISO 400—CC BY-NC-SA
The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 24 mmf/8.0 ISO 200—CC BY-NC-SA

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.

The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 24 mmf/8.0 ISO 250—CC BY-NC-SA
The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 64 mmf/8.0 ISO 800—CC BY-NC-SA
The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 70 mmf/8.0 ISO 1600—CC BY-NC-SA
The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 70 mmf/5.6 ISO 1000—CC BY-NC-SA
The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 70 mmf/8.0 ISO 100—CC BY-NC-SA

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 Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 24 mmf/8.0 ISO 1000—CC BY-NC-SA
The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 70 mmf/5.6 ISO 2500—CC BY-NC-SA

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 Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 70 mmf/4.5 ISO 1000—CC BY-NC-SA

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.

The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 24 mmf/5.6 ISO 100—CC BY-NC-SA
The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 24 mmf/5.0 ISO 100—CC BY-NC-SA
The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 24 mmf/22 ISO 100—CC BY-NC-SA
The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 70 mmf/8.0 ISO 100—CC BY-NC-SA
The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 70 mmf/8.0 ISO 320—CC BY-NC-SA
The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 57 mmf/8.0 ISO 400—CC BY-NC-SA
The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 70 mmf/8.0 ISO 1600—CC BY-NC-SA

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.

The Lower Manhattan Cityscape —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 33 mmf/22 ISO 100—CC BY-NC-SA
The Lower Manhattan Cityscape with J Owen Grundy Park on the left. —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 24 mmf/13 ISO 100—CC BY-NC-SA

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.

Welcome to Spruce Street Harbor Park
The duck.
The ducks.
Patriot Harbor Lines
Located in the Marina at Penn’s Landing, the Oasis consists of three landscaped barges, a net lounge, and floating gardens. The barges feature an ADA-compliant boardwalk, beautiful raw metal railings, and tons of seating. The cantilevered net lounge, inspired by Caribbean resorts, is a place where visitors can relax while suspended 4 feet above the water. The floating gardens are constructed from a durable, non-toxic post-consumer plastic, and used around the country for wetland restoration. Not only are they aesthetically beautiful, but they also serve to clean the water in the marina.
Oasis, Spruce Street Harbor Park, Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia
The Oasis
Barge Oasis
Over 50 colorful handmade hammocks are strung throughout the park to create a relaxing place to spend summer days and nights.
Why so glum?
Franklin Sugar Shack
Cruiser Olympia