Over the weekend, I came across a photo series that embodies much of what I love about summer: Krista Long’s photos of people being shot out of a water slide. The looks of surprise and excitement on everyone’s face are priceless!
This morning, I came across an NYT article that I completely related to: being a non-driving New Yorker during the summer.
As the article details, sure, it’s fine to not drive for most of the year. It’s a pain to have a car, especially in Manhattan. But during the warm months, when all you want to do is escape every weekend to the beach or the mountains, you kind of wish you could drive there yourself:
No surprise, then, that this is the season when some nondrivers begin to wonder whether their aversion to life behind the wheel is enough to outweigh the anxiety it can occasion.
I’m not sure whether I’ve mentioned it here, but I don’t drive. I have a license, but that doesn’t mean anything. When I took driver’s ed (14 years ago!) they just prepared us for the road test: meandering around quiet side streets below 25 miles per hour. That hardly constitutes driving. And since you can’t get licensed in NYC until you’re 17, I got mine, then, a few weeks later, left for college in Boston, where I also didn’t need a car.
As a result, I was never a proficient driver. My spatial awareness was non-existent—I could never tell how wide or long my car was. I was terrified to go fast. And change lanes. And drive at night. And go over bridges and through tunnels. And drive next to trucks or concrete barriers.
I made a few attempts to drive more frequently, while living in Boston after college. But I still sighed with relief upon moving back to NYC, knowing I’d be perfectly fine never driving again.
Until the last few summers. As my beach and weekend trips became more frequent, I wished I could take over, once in a while, to give my sister, Peter or Evan a break from driving me to Long Island, the shore, or whatever the destination. I started wishing I could drive myself to the beach on the weekend—windows down, cheesy music on full blast—instead of schelpping for hours on crowded, noisy trains.
At this point, it’s been about eight years since I’ve driven. But I’m getting to the point where I want to feel comfortable behind the wheel. I even found Citi Driving School, on the Upper West Side, that has lessons specifically for nervous drivers. It focuses on all the things I’m scared of: driving at night, on highways, bridges and tunnels.
I’m planning on taking it sometime. Maybe next year, to be ready for summer 2015.
Are there any other non-drivers/late drivers out there? What made/will make you finally get behind the wheel?
I don’t particularly enjoy the in-flight experience, but I do have an affinity for airplanes. They are, after all, the vessels that can take us anywhere in the world.
I have a pretty bad case of wanderlust, at the moment, so I’m particularly loving Holding Pattern, a wonderful Tumblr that showcases awesome aerial views of airports. It’s a side project from Lauren O’Neill, a Brooklyn-based designer and art director.
As she describes it:
During layovers, I often find myself observing the activity on the runway and thinking that IвЂ™d love to see this from above. With a creative block on a project, I took to google mapping airports and was enamored by the beautiful satellite shots on my screen. Since then, wanderlust has often inspired me to get lost in the satellite imagery of various destinations even when IвЂ™m glued to my desk.
O’Neill seeks out and crops all theВ Holding PatternВ images—and they’re stunning to behold:
It hasn’t felt quite like summer, over the past few weeks. The weather has been cool, cloudy and rainy–more like early spring or fall. I’m hoping that the last few weeks of summer will heat up, so I can cram in as much beach time as possible.
But even if it stays this way, I can beach vicariously through Clark Little‘s amazing wave photos.
Little is a surfer-turned-photog who lives and mainly shoots on Oahu’s North Shore. He captures shorebreaks by jumping right in and getting under the waves. (I think it takes a surfer to have that much fearlessness and confidence in the ocean!) His resulting shots are pretty incredible:
Little has a new book out, the aptly title Shorebreak. It’s one that I’d love to have around my apartment year-round—especially during the chilly winter months when I’m dreaming of the beach!
Aldo Crusher‘s illustrations just make me happy.
They’re incredibly wanderlust-inducing.
IВ don’t think I need to say more about how awesome they are—the images speak for themselves.
When you’re eating dinner, what’s your usual set-up? Do you eat alone or with your partner? Are there kids in the picture? Do you sit at a kitchen table or a couch? Do you watch TV or check your phone or surf the web while you eat?
Having dinner isn’t just about eating food, or even about nutrition. It reveals so many aspects of our lives, much more than lunch or even breakfast would. And because dinnertime is usually private, it uniquely reveals a part of a person’s lifestyle.
Aikawa’s intimate photos also demonstrate how much technology has changed the ways people people enjoy supper. Many diners are eating in front of a TV or laptop.
A few of my favorite shots:
See even more photos—and stories—on Aikawa’s site.
I’m such a creature of habit, that I know exactly how my dinner photo would look: Each night, around 10-10:30, after ballet, I sit on my living room floor, on a big cushion, and eat at my coffee table. My meal usually involves veggies and eggs (poached eggs in a spinach soup, huevos rancheros, scrambled eggs with a side of sauteed greens). The room is dark, with one dim lamp on, and I’m watching Top Chef or So You Think You Can Dance? on DVR. My hair is pulled back in a bun, and I’m wearing a tank top and shorts.
How would your dinner photo look?
A few weeks ago, this appeared outside Cafe Buunni, a great coffee shop in Washington Heights (my neighborhood).
The idea is incredibly simple, but brilliant: It’s a bookcase for the whole neighborhood.В People can take or leave books as they please.
I love everything about that bookcase.
It fosters a sense of community—I like the idea of neighbors sharing books. It’s a money-saver—I’m all about supporting authors, but it’s a treat to get books for free!В But perhapsВ the thing I love most about the bookcase is that it gives me a place to pass along books I no longer want or can fit in my apartment.
I think it’s fair to say that most New Yorkers are short on space—apartments in the city are generally small, even in pre-war buildings in more affordable neighborhoods, like my own. As a result, we’re always purging in an effort to maximize our spaces.
I’m a strong believer inВ the sharing economy, and really appreciate having places to donate or drop off items so they’re not going to waste. My building, for example, has a clothing and textile bin that benefits a local charity. I can’t count the number of times I’ve dropped in clothing or shoes. And that’s why I welcome that communal bookcase to my ‘hood. It’s a great addition, and it’s amazing more neighborhoods don’t have something similar.
Is there anything in your building or area that encourages sharing among neighbors? I’m curious and would love to know.