Tag Archives: Winter

The view from my handlebars. A few photos and a few words.

So a couple things. Firstly, I haven’t been taking as many photos these last few months because of a few reasons, but mostly because at my not-so-new job I don’t always have a secure place to store my camera so I don’t always carry it with me. But there are other reasons as well. And as a person that needs some sort of creative output on a daily basis to survive (no joke), photography is a form of therapy for me. I woke today to a rather bleak morning. It was Sunday, grey, and the fourth Sunday of Advent. And as I lay in bed I wasn’t sure if I was motivated enough to get up, shower, and head to church. But I did, and am glad that I did for so many reasons. I brought my camera and the air felt crisp and clean as I pedaled; it felt good. But between the grayness and the holidays I was feeling a bit melancholy. So as I pedaled I whispered to the Universe…”Show me your beauty, I really need it.” And she did. Sometimes it’s the everyday things; things you see or do each day, but when viewed with a different view, can bring light into your life. It did for me today. And yes, the picture below is a rare selfie. I passed a mirror on my travels and I saw my own reflection and thought it looked sort of cool in a mirror outside. The mirror is at a sharp and narrow corner and is there so drivers can see if another car is approaching. Anyhow, it’s proof that I do actually take many of my photos from my bike. 

Urban Simplicity.

Adapting…

Single digits (again).
All bike racks buried under feet of snow.
The winter that goes on and on.

The desire to stop for a beer and a couple slices of pizza.

 
Adapt.
verb.
: to change your behavior so that it is easier to live in a particular place or situation.
: to change (something) so that it functions better or is better suited for a purpose.

Urban Simplicity.

Adapting…

Single digits (again).
All bike racks buried under feet of snow.
The winter that goes on and on.

The desire to stop for a beer and a couple slices of pizza.
 
Adapt.
verb.
: to change your behavior so that it is easier to live in a particular place or situation.
: to change (something) so that it functions better or is better suited for a purpose.

Urban Simplicity.

A few things I saw while riding my bike today…

From top to bottom…

The soon-to-be new headquarters of the Delaware-North Company.

Grain Elevators on the Buffalo River as seen from the Ohio Street lift bridge.

What I believe is a Peregrine falcon hunting on the river.

The Michigan Street Baptist Church.

Buffalo, NY as seen from Ohio Street.

The Shamrock Run as they cross the Michigan Street lift bridge.

A building in the Cobblestone District.

Urban Simplicity.

A few things I saw while riding my bike today…

From top to bottom…

The soon-to-be new headquarters of the Delaware-North Company.
Grain Elevators on the Buffalo River as seen from the Ohio Street lift bridge.
What I believe is a Peregrine falcon hunting on the river.
The Michigan Street Baptist Church.
Buffalo, NY as seen from Ohio Street.
The Shamrock Run as they cross the Michigan Street lift bridge.
A building in the Cobblestone District.

Urban Simplicity.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#626)…

$158 worth of groceries…

So I’ve often wondered what my limit was, how much I could carry on a regular-sized bike. And today I found it. It’s the heavy stuff–liquids such as milk and juice, and also flours–that really make it difficult. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was a difficult ride home, uphill and in a heavy snowfall. But in nicer weather I’m sure I could carry more.

Urban Simplicity.

Bleu…how I felt and what I saw…and on starting over (in words and pictures)


“So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don’t sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.”

~Lee Iacocca

So a couple things. One is….isn’t color incredibly beautiful? The way the light changes. Sometimes I forget this. There is the phrase, the blue hour (or l’heure bleue), that refers to that point of morning or evening when the sun is just about to rise, or in this case, has just set but there is still light in the sky. And the angle of the light radiating from the sun through the hemisphere creates this incredibly beautiful blue hue (yes, post uploading processing helps, but just a little). But I’m jumping ahead as I often do. Let me begin again.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the symbolic day when Jesus went into the dessert to meditate for forty days, and when Christians are supposed to metaphorically replicate this and look within themselves (to step into their own personal desert), to assess, to renew, to serve. I really enjoy this time of year (and that may sound odd because it is sort of morose),but I do. Introspection suits me. But I’m jumping ahead, again. Let me start over, again.

In the times in which we live, to be a chef one must be an extrovert, or at least a pretend extrovert. I fall into the latter category. I am nearly 100% INFJ but on the job I have to act as an extrovert’s extrovert…calling out orders all day, correcting, and even reprimanding, but also nourishing, complimenting, and encouraging. In short, it can and is exhausting some (most) days. And this is what I have been doing for more than half my life during this incarnation. Pretending to be an extrovert. Thus said, let me begin again.

I had such high hopes for the beginning of this Lenten season…high hopes of personal change. And then yesterday happened. I had an altercation with an employee that escalated to a yelling match dropping f-bombs left and right. I am no angel, I never said I was. Everyone has their buttons that can be pushed. And when this happens–when it’s over–I internalize it. Last night I barely slept. And today I could not and cannot appreciate the depth and breadth of this sacred and mystical time of Lent. But I can start over. Begin again. We all can, I suppose. Every day.

This morning I worked my first job, and then rode my bike to a very short shift at my second job. And when that was over I got on my bike and rode in no particular direction. Not too far, mind you, as it was cold. But I just rode. And when I stopped I was facing the scene in the bottom photo. It took my breath away. I’ve taken many photos from that spot, which is Hoyt Lake at Delaware park, but I was there at just the right time tonight. It looked almost mystical. When I walked to the edge of the lake the snow was so deep it was up to my thighs, and when I set up my tripod it was stunted because I stood on the snow but the tripod’s legs pushed down into it.

And as I stood there with my gloves off my fingers began to sting in the cold, my feet crunched in the cold snow, and my breath fogged up the camera view finder. But it was incredible; it was beautiful. For a few moments I just stood there. And at that moment nothing mattered or made sense to me. How silly, I thought to myself, it is that we humans treat each other (as an employee and I did yesterday as we yelled at each other in a heated argument)…even though we are interconnected.

So tomorrow I choose to start over. It is my choice, after all. Will things be perfect…nope. Will things be rectified with the employee in mention…doubtful. But I can begin again. Anew. Because in the finite time that we have on this planet in this current incarnation each day is like a little cross-section–a little slice–of our entire life. And I do not feel like wasting it. Standing in nearly the same spot, but trudging through snow while dragging my camera, tripod, and heavy bike, I took a few more photos, which really seemed to connect me to this time and place…to the present.

Anyhow, this is what I was thinking as I stood in the cold while looking at the same blue that countless people and generations have seen before me. The thing is, sometimes I can see it and sometimes I can’t. Tonight I did, and it was beautiful. Tomorrow I (and we) begin again. I just hope I don’t screw it up.

Urban Simplicity.

Bleu…how I felt and what I saw…and on starting over (in words and pictures)


“So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don’t sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.”
~Lee Iacocca 

So a couple things. One is….isn’t color incredibly beautiful? The way the light changes. Sometimes I forget this. There is the phrase, the blue hour (or l’heure bleue), that refers to that point of morning or evening when the sun is just about to rise, or in this case, has just set but there is still light in the sky. And the angle of the light radiating from the sun through the hemisphere creates this incredibly beautiful blue hue (yes, post uploading processing helps, but just a little). But I’m jumping ahead as I often do. Let me begin again.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the symbolic day when Jesus went into the dessert to meditate for forty days, and when Christians are supposed to metaphorically replicate this and look within themselves (to step into their own personal desert), to assess, to renew, to serve. I really enjoy this time of year (and that may sound odd because it is sort of morose),but I do. Introspection suits me. But I’m jumping ahead, again. Let me start over, again.

In the times in which we live, to be a chef one must be an extrovert, or at least a pretend extrovert. I fall into the latter category. I am nearly 100% INFJ but on the job I have to act as an extrovert’s extrovert…calling out orders all day, correcting, and even reprimanding, but also nourishing, complimenting, and encouraging. In short, it can and is exhausting some (most) days. And this is what I have been doing for more than half my life during this incarnation. Pretending to be an extrovert. Thus said, let me begin again.

I had such high hopes for the beginning of this Lenten season…high hopes of personal change. And then yesterday happened. I had an altercation with an employee that escalated to a yelling match dropping f-bombs left and right. I am no angel, I never said I was. Everyone has their buttons that can be pushed. And when this happens–when it’s over–I internalize it. Last night I barely slept. And today I could not and cannot appreciate the depth and breadth of this sacred and mystical time of Lent. But I can start over. Begin again. We all can, I suppose. Every day.

This morning I worked my first job, and then rode my bike to a very short shift at my second job. And when that was over I got on my bike and rode in no particular direction. Not too far, mind you, as it was cold. But I just rode. And when I stopped I was facing the scene in the bottom photo. It took my breath away. I’ve taken many photos from that spot, which is Hoyt Lake at Delaware park, but I was there at just the right time tonight. It looked almost mystical. When I walked to the edge of the lake the snow was so deep it was up to my thighs, and when I set up my tripod it was stunted because I stood on the snow but the tripod’s legs pushed down into it.

And as I stood there with my gloves off my fingers began to sting in the cold, my feet crunched in the cold snow, and my breath fogged up the camera view finder. But it was incredible; it was beautiful. For a few moments I just stood there. And at that moment nothing mattered or made sense to me. How silly, I thought to myself, it is that we humans treat each other (as an employee and I did yesterday as we yelled at each other in a heated argument)…even though we are interconnected.

So tomorrow I choose to start over. It is my choice, after all. Will things be perfect…nope. Will things be rectified with the employee in mention…doubtful. But I can begin again. Anew. Because in the finite time that we have on this planet in this current incarnation each day is like a little cross-section–a little slice–of our entire life. And I do not feel like wasting it. Standing in nearly the same spot, but trudging through snow while dragging my camera, tripod, and heavy bike, I took a few more photos, which really seemed to connect me to this time and place…to the present.

Anyhow, this is what I was thinking as I stood in the cold while looking at the same blue that countless people and generations have seen before me. The thing is, sometimes I can see it and sometimes I can’t. Tonight I did, and it was beautiful. Tomorrow I (and we) begin again. I just hope I don’t screw it up.

Urban Simplicity.

Not since 1885…

The above photo is of the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site, which is where Teddy Roosevelt was sworn in as the 26th president of the United States after the assassination of William McKinley in 1901. The building was originally built in 1839 as a a sort of army barracks outpost to ward of those crazy Anglo-Canadians (wink wink). But that’s not what this post is about. This is about what happened–or didn’t happen–in 1885, which actually has something to do with today. If you notice the photo above is on an ever so slight slant, that is because my fingers were in pain from the cold as I held the camera. Today nearly set a record. In February of 1885 Mark Twain (former Buffalonian) published the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the Washington Monument was dedicated, and Grover Cleveland (former mayor of Buffalo) was inaugurated as the first democratic president since the Civil War.  But also, in the 145 years since the weather has been recorded there was only one day that was colder than today, and that was February 11, 1885 when the temperatures did not reach above -4F. Today it made it to -3F. That doesn’t even make sense to me when I use it in a sentence…”today’s high was minus 3″…I understand the words but how they are arranged seems confusing. The house I live in was built around 1860, and with my steam boiler churning away and logs roaring in the wood-burner it is nice and toasty, but I can only imagine how they kept warm 130 years ago. And with the roller-coaster weather we consistently have these days, if you happen to be a climate change denier please un-follow me and this blog because there is no longer anything to deny. Anyhow, below are a few more photos I took this evening. I was actually warm on the bike (which is pictured in the bottom photo), but when I took off my mitts for just a minute to control the camera my fingers began to sting; it hurt to breath sometimes so I kept a scarf around my face which froze with my body’s own condensation; when I blinked my eyelashes would stick together from watering/freezing. Tonight’s low is supposed to be -14 and I have a two mile ride at 8am, so please send positive energy my way. Click any photo for a larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

Not since 1885…

The above photo is of the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site, which is where Teddy Roosevelt was sworn in as the 26th president of the United States after the assassination of William McKinley in 1901. The building was originally built in 1839 as a a sort of army barracks outpost to ward of those crazy Anglo-Canadians (wink wink). But that’s not what this post is about. This is about what happened–or didn’t happen–in 1885, which actually has something to do with today. If you notice the photo above is on an ever so slight slant, that is because my fingers were in pain from the cold as I held the camera. Today nearly set a record. In February of 1885 Mark Twain (former Buffalonian) published the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the Washington Monument was dedicated, and Grover Cleveland (former mayor of Buffalo) was inaugurated as the first democratic president since the Civil War.  But also, in the 145 years since the weather has been recorded there was only one day that was colder than today, and that was February 11, 1885 when the temperatures did not reach above -4F. Today it made it to -3F. That doesn’t even make sense to me when I use it in a sentence…”today’s high was minus 3″…I understand the words but how they are arranged seems confusing. The house I live in was built around 1860, and with my steam boiler churning away and logs roaring in the wood-burner it is nice and toasty, but I can only imagine how they kept warm 130 years ago. And with the roller-coaster weather we consistently have these days, if you happen to be a climate change denier please un-follow me and this blog because there is no longer anything to deny. Anyhow, below are a few more photos I took this evening. I was actually warm on the bike (which is pictured in the bottom photo), but when I took off my mitts for just a minute to control the camera my fingers began to sting; it hurt to breath sometimes so I kept a scarf around my face which froze with my body’s own condensation; when I blinked my eyelashes would stick together from watering/freezing. Tonight’s low is supposed to be -14 and I have a two mile ride at 8am, so please send positive energy my way. Click any photo for a larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

A few things I saw while walking in the snow today…

So I’ve said this before (regarding all-weather bike riding) but I have to say it again…I may be a little crazy–ok, a lot crazy–but I’m not stupid. If the weather gets too bad I just walk, and that’s what I did today. This winter–even by Buffalo standards–has been a challenging one to say the least. I’m not sure when they started naming winter storms (is this something new?) but this one is called Winter Storm Neptune. Anyhow, I was feeling the effects of cabin fever this morning and took an elongated walk to a coffee shop. I took a few photos, these are my favorites. Click any for a larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

A few things I saw while walking in the snow today…

So I’ve said this before (regarding all-weather bike riding) but I have to say it again…I may be a little crazy–ok, a lot crazy–but I’m not stupid. If the weather gets too bad I just walk, and that’s what I did today. This winter–even by Buffalo standards–has been a challenging one to say the least. I’m not sure when they started naming winter storms (is this something new?) but this one is called Winter Storm Neptune. Anyhow, I was feeling the effects of cabin fever this morning and took an elongated walk to a coffee shop. I took a few photos, these are my favorites. Click any for a larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

An inanimate de-stressing smile…

So today–for various reasons–I found myself stressed and anxious, and with me this usually manifests into profound sadness. And when I came home this evening on a cold dark night after a cold dark bike ride I found this drawn into the giant snow mound that is currently my front lawn. Then I noticed (as I left again and rode down my street) that there were smiley faces (each at least 2 feet in diameter) drawn into snow banks of front lawns all down the street. Thank you anonymous snow-drawers…this cheered me up and in fact made me smile.

Urban Simplicity.

Snow Hunger…

So a couple things. I came out of our local JCC where where I regularly steam and swim and this moon was staring me in the face. I had my tripod with me because I’m participating in the Fun-a-Day project for February–and am taking a photo a day for the month–and wasn’t sure what would inspire me until I saw this. I came out the back door just as it rose over the horizon on another really frigid night and it nearly took my breath away. The February full moon goes by many names–Sad Moon, Wolf Moon, Snow Moon, to name a few–but the one that really resonated with me was Hunger Moon, so named because food (in times bygone) was often scarce during this frigid month. And yes, it has been frigid…and snowy. Below is an image of my bike after arriving home this evening. I’d be lying if I said it has been easy these past few days, but I’m still enjoying it and know it won’t last forever (and I’d also be lying if I didn’t admit that it’s about this time of year that I don’t start to pine for warmer weather). This said,  I really enjoy being an active part of my environment, plus it’s a great workout. Some people downhill or cross-country ski, some mountain bike, this is what I (and others) do. And there is something really ironic, I think, when a guy on a bike stops to help push a car that is stuck in the snow.

Urban Simplicity.