Category Archives: Amtrak

Three photos from a moving train…

Beautiful NY State. It really is. I took these photos last week while on a train from NYC to Buffalo. I love the fall colors before the snow came. The bottom photo I think is particularly interesting in that that camera focused in a the stream and everything else is a sort of blur because of the motions. Anyhow, I just came across them and thought I would share.  

Urban Simplicity.

Ten Photos from a Moving Train, and a few words…

So I took the train home from NYC today. I’ve taken this train numerous times in my life and I still enjoy it. I’ve also posted pictures of this trip on other occasions, but not since last year. I was not going to post any–or even take any photos for that matter–until the train got rolling. Then I saw the autumn colors and couldn’t help myself…a constant moving panorama before my eyes as I relaxed and watched NY State go by. The route this particular train takes, as you may already know, begins in NYC and hugs the Hudson River up to Albany, the state capitol. There, after changing engines, it turns left and follows the Erie Canal to Buffalo, then crossing the border at Niagara Falls, and continuing on to Toronto. One of my favorites of these photos is the first one above, which is one of the first I shot this morning (the photos are in chronological order). It was about 7:30am and the sun had only been up for about an hour. As the train traveled north on the Hudson there was still the full moon hanging in the sky, just above a cargo ship. It was, I thought, pretty as a picture, so I took a photo of it. Click any for a slightly larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

Five Photos of the Hudson River (taken from a moving train)

These photos dispel a few things. One is that New York State is entirely occupied by New York City. I know that people don’t actually believe this (well ok, some may), but often when you mention you are from another part of the state (Buffalo, for example) to someone who is not from the northeast, NYC comes to mind. NY State, is in fact an incredibly beautiful state. This of course is just a minor sampling. I took these on a train ride home this morning as we sped up the Hudson Valley. The other thing these photos dispel is that you cannot take good photos with an inexpensive point-and-shoot camera (and from a moving train). While it does push the limits of such a camera, it can be done. I was only in NYC overnight and wanted to pack light so I brought only a camera that would fit in my breast pocket. At any rate, you’ve probably gathered by now that the train is my favorite way to travel long distance. But locally, it is a bike, of course 🙂

Urban Simplicity.

Photos from Moving Windows…

I was in NYC yesterday for just 24 hrs. Took a plane in and a train out. Hence these photos. I took a 5:45am flight (geeze that is early for someone who is not particularly a morning person) and that’s an image above from the plane window. Awesome isn’t it. The sun coming up over the Atlantic Ocean as we approach NYC. I felt so inspired by this…a brand new day, a full day of opportunity. Is it just me or can you see the curvature of the earth? And the bottom three photos were taken from the train window as we sped through the Hudson Valley, which was in full autumn color. (Click any photo for a slightly larger view.)

Just One Reason I prefer the Train over a Plane

There are many reasons I prefer the train over a plane for long distance travel (besides my mild fear of flying), but my favorite reason is simple…the view. These are a few pictures I took through the train window this past weekend; I had dozens of course, but thought I’d only bore you with these five. In the top photo, which was taken shortly after 7am, you can see the mist rising off the rolling corn field, and those below are taken after the train first hugs the Erie Canal to Albany, then turns right and follows the Hudson River down to Manhattan.

Urban Simplicity.

The Journey is Sometimes as Important as the Destination (and how to eat on a train)

Because of modern technology I am typedthese words—and subsequently uploaded them to this blog—as Ibarreled down train tracks at 60 mph on my way to NYC. This is one ofmy favorite train trips (from Buffalo to New York). It’s about 500miles and take just about the same time as it would to drive. Infact, it only takes a few hours longer than if you flew. A flight mayonly be an hour in the air, but considering you have to get to theairport at least an hour ahead and then find your way from theairport to the city, you easily consume 4 or 5 hours of time. Whereaswith the train I can arrive 15 minutes prior and it drops me offdirectly in midtown Manhattan. But the relaxing atmosphere of thetrain is worth it—to me—to add an extra few hours. A train isrelaxing to me in that I feel safe (yes, I know…trains wreck also),opposed to being in flight where I am always slightlynervous—especially when we hit turbulence. In a train I am able tosit back and watch the towns and countryside zip past. On thisparticular train route (as it travels east-to-west on it’s first legof the journey) the tracks hug the Erie Canal for much of the way,and then (as it turns south) rides the shoulder of the Hudson Riverinto New York City.
Bluntly said, traveling by train—inthis blogger’s opinion—is by far the most civilized way to travel.I can only think that this must have been what it was like to travelin times gone by, when the journey took time and was in fact asimportant as the destination itself.
But time is likely one of the fewthings that train travel today has in common with that of the past.Today, of course, there are outlets to plug in (or charge) any numberof your personal electronic devices. And what is relatively new (Ibelieve) is that the train is wireless…thus one is able to checktheir email, facebook, watch movies, and of course, update theirblog. But if there is an aspect of negative I have to mention itwould be the subject of on-board dining…or lack of it. In oldmovies there is always a dining car pictured where a person was ableto have an actual meal, this is not the case today. Sure, you canpurchase beverages and snacks, but any of the hot (microwaved) farethey offer is not only overpriced but also inedible. When I see (ormore specifically, smell) some poor soul—likely out ofdesperation—purchase a pizza or hot sandwich the unsavory aroma ofit wafting through the car quite literally turns my stomach. Thisbrings me to my next topic…how to eat on a train.

Said simply, to eat well on a train onemust do two things. The first is to plan ahead, and the second is tobring your meal with you. The journey to my destination is alwayseasier…I prepare some of my own food. On the return trip,thisusually entails picking up quality prepared food from Balducci’s orother reputable NY deli. Bottled water is a must, as are littlebottles of red wine. They of course sell both on board but with theexaggerated prices I find it just as easy—and more economical—tobring my own. The one thing I do purchase on board is coffee…it’snot too overpriced and is surprisingly good quality. Pictured aboveis what I prepared and ate for lunch today…a sandwich on homemadeEzekiel bread with hothouse tomato, NY State cheddar, raw onion,mesclun lettuce, and whole grain mustard. I also packed smallcontainer of roast spaghetti squash (which I marinated in balsamicvinegar and olive oil), a fresh clementine, and a small bag ofkettle-style potato chips. Red wine is out of view. This meal wasdelicious and as good and wholesome as any…and it cost me pennies(and just a small amount of time last night) to prepare.

In this day and age ofhyper-everything, sometimes I find it really good for myself to slowdown now-and-again. Sometimes the journey itself is indeed asimportant as the destination (and that, I suppose, is a really goodmetaphor for life itself). Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll pouranother glass of wine and get back to the movie I was watching.

Urban Simplicity.