Monday, July 26, 2010

Distance and orientation

LI North Shore
Originally uploaded by Edu-Tourist
Summer afternoons out here on Long Island, we often get caught by sudden downpours. Besides the nuisance of having to wipe down my truck's interior, these rains help to clear the air and lend themselves to beautiful sunsets. Last night I was getting out of an extended book-buying session at Huntington's renowned Book Revue to note one of these glorious sunsets in the making, and my mind raced. Where would the easiest and quickest location to view the sunset? From the map, I got a general sense for west-facing beaches and overlooks along Long Island's North Shore.

The David Weld Santuary looked perfect, but it was a little too far, on the other side of Smithtown. I had heard locals describe the distinctive cultural mix of Sunken Meadow Beach so I thought I would give it a shot, even though it seemed like it would be more east- than west-facing.

I parked in the largely empty parking lot and jogged down to the boardwalk, not knowing exactly what to expect. Certainly I did not expect that so many other visitors would be carring professional-looking fishing poles and gear. And the second surprise was seeing the sun preparing to set OVER WATER in the western sky!Where had my mental calculations gone wrong? And how many days do we left have to enjoy this spectacle?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Meandering through the Ohio Valley to the way to Missouri

I am looking forward to an exciting swing through the Ohio Valley this week on the way to a Dorns/Sullivan reunion in Saint Louis, Missouri. The first night of the trip I will be staying in Morgantown, West Virginia. The second night will be particularly special, as I will be visiting historic Corydon, Indiana. This fun image posted by a local preservationist gives us an idea what to look forward to - Indiana's original state capitol still stands in Corydon.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Long Island Seasoning

On July 2, Carla and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary at the Stony Brook University Hospital! Carla was pressed into service as an attending physician helping all of the new July 1 interns, while I was being observed expectantly by the Family Practice doctors as my wound grew and then finally began to heal from the healing power of nature and the intervenous antibiotics/saline solution. This is my first full summer living on Long Island, and as you can see from my flickr photostream, local exploration has already taken me to a variety of locations far from the beaten path. We think the wound may have been Lyme disease, resulting from a tick bite, superinfected by a few other bugs/germs as well. Perhaps we can consider this my "seasoning." As another young Stony Brook professor noted on our field trip to the Town of Brookhaven landfill - stills & video], you really aren't a full-fledged Long Islander until you've come down with the Lyme, named after a Connecticut town just north of the Sound where it was first identified.

As our society is forced to find ways to live more simply, perhaps there are lessons to be learned by exploring the emergence of Long Island's suburban landscape. There are insights to be gleaned right in my immediate neighborhood, such as this simple residence on Ringtail Lane in East Setauket/Stony Brook. Houses in this style date from one of the first major waves of suburbanization on Long Island; many of them have been modified and improved over the years. This house, however, retains much of the original rustic summer camp feel, with the utilitarian first floor and the more expansive second floor to catch the summer breezes.

While the summer temperatures in my neighborhood are moderated by the proximity to Long Island Sound, the humidity is very high, and it is not uncommon to get one's summer reading unexpectedly drenched from an unscheduled downpour.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Exploring Long Island's East End

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of exploring Long Island's North Fork with fellow Suffolk County photographers Linda, Tony, Joe and Ann. The highlight of the day for me was the opportunity to explore Orient, New York, which is at the eastern end of the North Fork. Local farmers do a bisk business at the local farm stands, take advantage of the distance to shopping malls. The rich soils here were pushed down from New England by the last major glaciation.

This occasional blog is over five years old and this weekend Carla and I are celebrating our tenth anniversary. So nice to have a place to record the milestones in our lives. I don't have to feel self-conscious about how infrequent I post here, since blogs are yesterday's news: the pulse of innovation has moved on facebook and twitter.