All posts by Sharon

New York City Day 1

When it was time to leave Providence (see Rhode Island or Bust), E dropped me at the station early because I did not know what to expect. Would it be like the airport? Would I have to remove my shoes and take out my electronics and shampoo? Would I get the joy of a pat down? Nope, none of that. They did have police walking around, watching for suspicious behavior, I suppose. That left me with some time to kill, so I went down and took some photos of the platforms. When it was time to board, I hopped on and grabbed a comfy seat. Coach seats on trains are nice and cushy. After everyone found a spot, no seat assignments here, we were off. I was headed to New York City, just me and my camera.

On the Train

I sat next to a very nice woman from Florida. Her daughters lived in New England and she was visiting them. She told me to visit the Public Library in New York. So, I added it to my list. There are several reasons to love the train. One of those is that you can have a conversation without everyone else in the whole place hearing what you say. It’s also easy to get up and move around.  I visited the snack bar where the cashier told me about the time he visited East Tennessee and loved it. There’s also the views.  I got to see so much of New England that I would not have seen otherwise. It made me want to visit the places I viewed from the train.

Made it NYC

The train pulled into Penn Station and I had a moment of what now? I had researched the location of my Airbnb and the exits were clearly marked, so I found my way out easily. The Airbnb was only 3 blocks from the station. I made my way there and there was a nice guy waiting to give me a key card and show me to my room. It was a private room with a shared bath and kitchen area. I had reservations about the shared bath, but it ended up not being an issue for me. I only ran into the other tenants once in the 4 days I was there.

Skyscrapers ©Sharon Popek
Right outside of my Airbnb

What Now

The biggest problem with visiting a place like New York City without specific plans is there are so many options, it’s hard to decide what to do. I took a shower and relaxed for a bit before deciding to hit the streets in search of food and drink. It was Sunday and quite a few of the nearby places were already closed or closing soon. But I found Jack Doyle’s Irish Pub and Grill and planted myself at the bar. After a couple of perfectly poured Guinnesses and a delicious Caprese Salad, I was ready to go to bed and start again the next day.

Stay Tuned

Watch for Day 2! The next installment includes a trip to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, more beer, and lots of walking.

 

 

 

Doors! Doors! Doors!

SP’s Weekly Photo Challenge was Doors. And man, did we get some door photos!

Rhode Island or Bust

I lost my job in July. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. When I lost my job, it allowed me to take some time off, giving me a chance to spend time with one of my oldest friends (as in how long I’ve known her).  She was also off of work because she was going back to school to get her Master’s Degree at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. Turns out she would be driving up and needed someone to go with her. Since I had nothing better to do, I offered to be her partner in this extra long road trip, from East Tennessee to Rhode Island.  We loaded up and headed out. It was Rhode Island or Bust.

To the East

We headed East from Knoxville up I-81. We would be overnighting in Richmond, VA with E’s brother and his girlfriend. The only hiccup was our inability to find a Waffle House when it was time for lunch. We opted for Cracker Barrel instead. Perfectly fine, but it’s no Waffle House. Almost there, we decided we looked like we’d been driving for 7 hours and smelled like it too. So, we stopped at a rest area and cleaned up a bit and changed our clothes. We were once again the ravishing goddesses we were when we started out. Once in Richmond, we met up with E’s brother and girlfriend at this great oriental restaurant, Beijing. The food and service were excellent for a busy Friday night.They are a lovely couple and so kind to let us stay in their place. We spent the night at their house and went to a local diner, City Diner,  for breakfast. A great way to start the day!

Through the Big City and then some

Back on the road, we made our way up through the New England states and toll road mecca. Tolls are a huge PIA, in case you didn’t know. There has to be a better way. Someone out there, please come up with a better way! The roads were terrible too, so it’s not like the $40 we paid in tolls were going for great roads or anything. Rant over.

I was most nervous about driving through New York City. While, we wouldn’t be on the city streets, I knew it would still be a bit crazy and stressful. Guess what! It was! There were so many odd on ramps and off ramps, stay left, go right, stay left, cross 4 lanes and go right. It was a bit nuts. But we made it through without incident. We took a wrong turn somewhere after NYC and ended up taking the scenic route through Connecticut. I’m glad we did. It was beautiful and I will definitely be going back there.

Providence Found

Once in Providence, Rhode Island, we found our Airbnb,  a big sprawling home divided up into apartments. We were exhausted, but also starving. We went out in search of food. Apparently, Providence strongly discourages late night shenanigans because almost all of the nearby restaurants closed at 9pm. Yes, even on Saturday. It was close to 8:30, so we were limited on options. We decided (decided for us because not much else in the area), on Andreas, a greek restaurant.  We started with the Mussels and they were yummy. I quite frankly don’t remember what else we had because we were half asleep already. Back at the Airbnb, I showered and promptly went to sleep.

Moving In and Heading Out

We started out early, so we could have breakfast then get the van unloaded and me on a train to NYC.  We unpacked the van on to the sidewalk because we had to get the vehicle quickly moved. Finally we got everything into her apartment and she dropped me at the Amtrak station.

New Adventures

We went our separate ways. She, off to a completely new and different life. Me, to a solo vacation in NYC and a new life waiting for me at home. I am thankful that we were able to spend this time together and support one another when we needed it the most!

I am proud of both of us for being brave women!

 

 

Johnson City Tennessee

We recently took a quick trip to Johnson City, TN. It has been on our list for awhile because we love Yee-Haw beer.  But we finally had a good reason to go. It was work related, so at least the gas was paid for!

Dinner and a Beer (or two)

The first place we went was, of course, Yee-Haw Brewing Company. They have a great in house bar and they share space with White Duck Taco Shop.  Yay! Beer and food all in one handy place.

Downtown

After eating, we decided to walk around downtown a bit and see what else is happening in Johnson City. As it turns out, not much. But it was a Sunday evening. We will try to go back on a Saturday and catch a show or something. Prints are available of the images below – here.

Dessert

I had a hankering for ice cream but there did not seem to be any ice cream shops. I admit, we didn’t look really hard. We headed back to the White Duck to see what they had for dessert. They had two desserts and both were yummy!

We will definitely go back to Johnson City, Tennessee!

 

 

Places We’ve Never Been

SP’s Weekly Photo Challenge last week was places you’ve never been. Some of us went to new local places and some went further away. All were cool places worth a visit.

Purple Plants

Purple is my favorite color. Purple flowers are always a draw for me.

Lunaria

One of my favorites is the Lunaria Plant , Honesty, or Annual Honesty. I love that this plant looks so different in the spring then it does in the fall and winter.

Purple Lunaria by Sharon Popek
Purple Lunaria Flowers
Purple Lunaria by Sharon Popek
Purple Lunaria flowers with a rusty lawn ornament

Tulips

Tulips are another favorite. I love it when the sun shines through them, creating cups of lights.

Tulips by Sharon Popek
Purple and White tulips and spring flowers.
Cups of Lights by Sharon Popek
Purple Tulips with the sun shiny through

Irises

We have a lonely Iris that pops up every year. It is by far my favorite.

Purple Iris by definition
Deep Purple Iris. It’s like purple velvet.
Inside Iris by Sharon Popek
Inside a purple Iris.

Jewelry Up Close

SP’s Weekly Photo Challenge was Jewelry Up Close. We got some great entries. We received some super up close and personal images and gorgeous not so up close images. Some of the images told a story and a few were just pretty.

Stay tuned for images from the next challenge – Some place new.

SP’s Weekly Photo Challenge

SP’s Weekly Photo Challenge was to pick a national day from this calendar and create repetition. Some of the group members did great stuff. I sort of flubbed because, well, reasons (excuses).

 

Water Art Wednesday

It’s Wednesday! A great day for me to share some water art and photography.

Sailboats Reflected

This image is one of the first images I put up for sale on Fine Art America. It’s a favorite of mine and many other people love it as well. It was early morning and the fog was rolling out across the calm water.

Sailboats reflected by Sharon Popek
Sailboats reflected on water.

Seán Heuston Bridge

This is from Dublin, Ireland. A sunny day with calm water on the River Liffey. The Seán Heuston Bridge like many of the bridges in Dublin, has had several different names, including King’s Bridge and Sarsfield Bridge. The bridge is now for tram and foot traffic only.

Seán Heuston Bridge by Sharon Popek
Seán Heuston Bridge is reflected on the River Liffey below.

 

Serenity on the Water

The sun was setting and the water was calm. A single boat sat just past the lone tree on the bank.

Serenity on the water by Sharon Popek
Serenity on the water

Prague Skyline at Sunset

We took a sunset cruise and as we went by the historic city, I fell in love.

Prague Skyline at Sunset by Sharon Popek
Prague Skyline at Sunset

Winter on the Lake

I was visiting my parents in December. The sun shining through the trees created the most amazing shadows. The wind blew the water just enough to create a  very slight ripple. Definitely a favorite of mine.

Winter on the Lake by Sharon Popek
Winter on the Lake

Water Goddess

A composite created from photos and some experimental Photoshop work. I love the colors and mood of this image.

Water Goddess by Sharon Popek
Water Goddess