The $29 Omelette, NYC

The Carnegie Diner & Cafe (at the corner of 7th and 57th) served up perfectly cooked eggs and hash browns, a salad of very fresh greens with a tasty dressing, and excellent coffee. The toast left a bit to be desired. But the service on a full-house Sunday morning was absolutely efficient and New York City friendly. None of the gushing, in-your-face “Hi, my name is Jason, and I am going to be your server today” that drives me crazy in Denver. Just a guy who took the order, got the food to me in a timely fashion, and made me feel like he was paying attention to what I needed. That cup of coffee was never empty.

But $29! That’s ten days or even two weeks of local breakfasts at home in Hoi An. No wonder I suffered from severe sticker shock for the entire month I was in the US.

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Dancing in the Street, NYC

The things people do at 8:00 on a Sunday morning in Manhattan. In this case, the blond – and only her hairdresser knows for sure – vamped her stuff while the fellow in the hoodie recorded the event on his, one presumes, iPhone. At the end of her strut, roughly when the she reached the end of the crosswalk, the two stopped to huddle, watch the result, and confer. Then – repeat. It was all very serious. Very, very serious.

About the time I was getting tired of watching these performances, the artiste and cinematographer packed up and walked away. Leaving me standing with my Nikon in front of the New York City Pubic Library, and the audience, consisting of one man, free to cross the street.

Capturing the Fifth Ave street sign perfectly aligned to the left side border of the photo was pure serendipity.

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Colonial-style Home, New England

The area around Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, is affluent and appealing. If you like, as I do, various flavors of American colonial style architecture floating in a rich broth – play on words intended – of manicured small town landscapes and privileged academia, you’ll enjoy a visit to Smith. Some of the buildings and homes are historic sites that were actually built during the colonial era. Others are relatively new structures, like the home pictured here, which apparently was built in the second half of the previous century.

I visited Northampton on a very gray, rainy day; travelers cannot be picky. The heavy overcast creates soft, but very saturated, colors. Working in this kind of light is challenging, and I enjoy it. I am a fan of doors and entrance ways as subjects; this image is an example.

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Warmth of the Sun, Amherst

I shot this picture as the sun broke through the clouds to bath the field and trees in weak late afternoon sunlight. The horse and pasture in yesterday’s post are just to the left of this scene. Both shots were taken from the backyard of my friend Kate’s home in Amherst. Kate chose the quiet beauty of this locale to settle in after her years in China. The welcome contrast between the tranquility of this Pioneer Valley landscape and the stress, congestion, noise and politics not of the good kind we both experienced living in Beijing could not be more stark.

This photo was taken in mid-September just as the trees in central Massachusetts were beginning to turn color. I was not able to organize my trip to arrive when the autumn colors were peaking. No complaint, just an observation. The fact is I love visiting this part of New England at any time of the year.

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