Posts Tagged ‘New York’

As a native New Yorker, I am often asked for recommendations, the “what to do, what to see” regarding my city. It’s not hard to rattle of a list of ‘to-dos’ about arguably one of the world’s most dynamic and exciting destinations so I oblige. Yet I don’t often write about them. I don’t want to keep them secret, in fact, the opposite, I look to encourage. I want visitors leaving the city seeing more than the guide-book top ten lists.

A sunset doesn’t often make any of those lists for New York City, but walking the Brooklyn Bridge does. And just like good restaurants are better when you know what to order, walking the Brooklyn Bridge is better when you know how and when to walk it.

My advice is to take the subway from Manhattan to Brooklyn. You exit on the first stop in Brooklyn. (I select the A,C to High Street) Once in Brooklyn, you want to walk towards the view of the Manhattan skyline. You’d be surprised how man tourists do this backwards.

And once in Brooklyn, you can really enjoy the resurgent DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) neighborhood. Here a coffee or cocktail in the many cafes can be just what you need before taking the walk at the proper time. A chance to fuel up and pass time before you walk across at sunset. Recently, I planned a meeting in Brooklyn that enabled me to do just that.

On the walk back to Manhattan, the orange sky seemed to warm me on the cool, crisp autumn afternoon. The views of the New York skyline and harbor seemed to sparkle. The city seems to come alive. Yes, I missed the Twin Towers, and still can’t believe it’s almost ten years since that day, but it’s a lady that warms me most.

I always tend to look in the back to see the Statue of Liberty. That makes the moment. To see her torch and the bright sky behind her always reminds how special and welcoming my city truly is. Yes, indeed – I love NY. Happy Sunset Sunday.

her torch lights the sky...

Stay Adventurous, Craig


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On New York City Marathon Sunday, you can usually find me in Central Park when the sun sets. I wake up watch the race (the professionals), enjoy a long leisurely brunch and then head to experience one New York city’s best experiences, the joy of cheering for all the runners. The race truly epitomizes the very best of New York. But I didn’t always know this.

As my Dad ran the race in 2006 I followed his progress from the early morning drop off, to mile 8, then mile 17, and finally mile 24 in the park. And I stumbled on something. I didn’t just cheer for my Dad, but everyone. I learned the true joy of the New York City Marathon is just that, cheering for everyone. The day recharged me and a new tradition was born.

And although this year, I will not be there to inspire, encourage, and perhaps even blow my vuvuzela with purpose, I decided to look through my photos and find one that shows a setting sun moment from the ING NYC MaraUnfortunately, I did not have many. (Something to do next year)

Happy Sunset Sunday and consider coming to see the New York City Marathon. You may just make it a tradition.

in the distance the boat house of NYC's Central Park

Stay Adventurous, Craig

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This year I will miss an annual tradition. This weekend I will not be there to support the thousands who lace up and run the NYC marathon from the sidelines. But even from a distance (I am in Mexico) I will take a moment on Sunday to cheer.

And to mark the occasion, I decided to republish a post I wrote last year for the Gainville blog. I hope you enjoy it. And I trust you will now understand why I do love the New York City Marathon.

Good Luck to all the runners as 26.2 miles is quite adventurous in my book.

my mom cheers on my dad at mile 8

Weekends in New York always make a great story. This past weekend was no different.

The village’s flamboyant Halloween parade, countless city establishments packed with Yankee fans rooting for their team in the World Series (remember this is last year) , not to mention standard Friday night fine dining, Sunday brunches, Broadway Shows, and much more. Eventful indeed.

Yet, to many who love the city, this weekend was not about any of that – it was simply marathon weekend.

The race begins on Sunday morning in Staten Island where 40,000 runners from all ove the world start their 26.2-mile journey. Through five boroughs they run bringing together a community, and a city. Considered one of New York’s most cherished traditions and one of the world’s most popular marathons, I discovered that the race brings out the best in us. (even as spectators)

I never truly appreciated the event until my Dad entered. He always wanted to run the race, and three years (now 4) ago in his 60s, he competed and completed the milestone. But what I discovered on that autumn day remains with me today. I didn’t just cheer for my father, but I cheered for all the runners.

As a spectator you can’t help yourself, you cheer. You cheer for your friends and complete strangers. You cheer for countries, causes, and even costumes. Whatever a runner wears on their T-shirt, duck-tapes on their shorts, or writes on their legs – you cheer for it. You let them know you are pulling for them to finish.

my dad in manhattan at mile 17Plus, they hear you and acknowledge your support. They say thank you with a smile or a thumbs up and some even pick up their pace. You give them the fuel they need to continue. It’s not New York’s famous water credited for its pizza and bagel making magic that replenishes the runners, but the course’s cheerleaders.

So this year again I returned to Central Park in the late afternoon, six hours after the race began. There on the course’s final mile, I cheered loudly for people I never met. I encouraged runners to finish the race, to complete their NYC marathon. I let them all know, by any means possible that I appreciate and applaud their tremendous effort.

the leaves were starting to fall....


After nearly an hour of support, with the sun starting to set I walked home. Through the park I admired the fall foliage and the leaves as they gracefully let go allowing the wind to carry them off. Then I realized during the race we all let go too. We let go of any prejudices and root for everyone. The fans of New York pull for all the runners, all shapes and sizes, all colors and creeds. The city roots for human accomplishment. To me, that represents the very core of the Big Apple and one of the reasons I continue to call it home.

So congratulations to all who ran the race this year. And for those running next year, I’ll be back in the park cheering for you too. And hopefully I’ll see a few more of my readers by my side.

Stay adventurous, Craig

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A family reunion took me to upstate New York this summer. To be honest, I held little appreciation for my state outside of what I knew. Growing up, New York consisted of Long Island and the city. And when people mentioned New York – well that was New York City.  Ignorance might be bliss at times, but you can certainly miss out on so much of the beauty in the world with such an approach. Thankfully, I learned this early in life.

To witness this beauty, I keep an open mind, travel and (yes) stay adventurous. And this approach teaches. It educates.  In fact last week,  Melissa mentioned this in her SunsetSunday (guest) post on New Jersey. She wrote,

catching the travel bug a few years ago, and learning to see the world through the eyes of a traveler, I’ve realized how much the state of NJ really has to offer.”

Exactly. When you travel you gain a deeper appreciation about where you are from and I am from New York. Yes, I love NY (the entire state).

So at a joyful and emotional family reunion, meeting cousins for the first time in 19 years, we conversed, tasted some of the best local corn, grilled steaks, and downed a few beers.  America at its best. And all day I took pictures of the park grounds, my family, and the food.  Yet, I knew I needed one more shot. The perfect ending to the day.

When we parted ways with a promise to not wait so long next time, day descended into night. Driving the back roads in rural New york, the sunset’s colors brightened the sky. Eventually, I found a clearing and pulled over. I reached for my camera, exited the car and took this image. The farm, the cows, and the sunset. A different New York for me, but a New York I truly appreciate.

the sun sets behind an upstate farm..

Happy Sunset Sunday.  Welcome to Season 3.

stay adventurous, Craig

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When I met Mark, he told me his photography carefree ‘salad days’ were behind him. Just as I was getting serious about my own travel pictures and images, he was telling me how difficult it can be to earn a living as a professional photographer.

But, now since he shifted some of his focus and placed more of his effort on his passion, I see a spark. Now that he has a new brand in “Where is Mr. Peabody?” I tend to think more of the joy similar to the excitement of his ‘salad days’ might again be in his future.

And as a fan of his work, I asked him to send in a sunset photo that also included his new passion – Horses. He describes the moment here.

cooling down the horses after a chase, the day slows...

My friend and farrier, Jimbo, invited me and my horse, Mr. Peabody, to come to Sandy Hill Quarter Horses to chase cows. Living in Upstate New York, this is as close as we can come to being cowboys living in the old west.

The object is to corner a cow and let him run alongside a wall then get in front of the cow and turn it back the other direction.  And all this on horseback. We enjoy the challenge and the horses love the game.

After 2 hours of cow chasing we are tired and sweaty and ready to head back on down the road. The horses are also tired and wet and need to be walked and cooled down before leaving. Before putting him into the trailer to leave, Jimbo took his fine horse Gator into an adjoining field, to walk and relax him.
This beautiful sunset replaced the summer thunderstorms that were in the area when we arrived. Jimbo and Gator enjoyed the end to a very nice day.
by – Mark Samu

Mark Samu is a fine art photographer. You can follow his tweets at @mr pea01, read his blog and view his photography on Where is Mr. Peabody.

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She walked over and asked me, “What type of planning did you do to come back? So, how did you get a job when you returned?”

Wow, great question I thought. This was just Meet, Plan, Go (not return). And to be honest, I never really thought about returning. But hey, I did return. And I even returned to corporate.  I had an answer.  And so did many of the veteran career breakers.

potential career breakers listen to the panel...

I fielded the question during the “Meet, Plan, Go” event in New York City this past September 14th & 15th. The sponsored gathering led by Briefcase to Backpack, held across 13 American cities (yes, Canada too) aimed to encourage us hard-working Americans to take a ‘career break.’

A panel of  ‘career breakers’ all with different stories from serial career breakers to one-timers discussed personal experiences, provided answers to questions and concerns and  spread inspiration. For me, I was a volunteer. I worked logistics to assist. I fielded questions afterwards during the networking section as the group mingled.

the panel of 'career breakers'

As for my return, I’d lie to say it wasn’t a struggle at first. It was.  But it’s because I realized how amazing the world can be. It’s an incredible place.

After a internal struggle, I actually used the language skills I learned on my first stop of my journey (“Becoming Pura Vida in Costa Rica”) to obtain my best project. Sixteen sweet months in Mexico. Yes, my career break helped my career. Surprised? Don’t be, it seemed to help everyone I met who took one.

Confident, I was now finally ready for to answer her question. I smiled and said, “Congratulations.”

She seemed puzzled. I told her, “Congratulations on making the decision to take a career break, it will change your life for the better. Now all you just need some advice on how to get back”

She smiled. Ice broken. Fear vanished and excitement entered the conversation. And then I told her my story and advice on how to return.  Maybe she left a step close to taking a career break. Actually with the 1400 people signed up across the continent I trust more than a few left a step closer to taking a break.

the boot camp is next...

I’ll continue to help push the idea of a career break into the American Psyche. I’ll tell my story. I’ll share my memories and continue to live life under my mantra – Stay Adventurous.  Plus, I’ll encourage people to reach out to Briefcase to Backpack for the support they may need. And hopefully with events such as this one, and the stories of success from those who returned and changed, the idea of the ‘career break’ will reach the tipping point here in America. I already believe it’s on its way.

Stay adventurous, Craig

The photos are from Briefcase to Backpack; they obtained a quality volunteer photographer to take them.

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My first published poem

My motto – Stay Adventurous.

Well, I must remain true to it. And no, it doesn’t always mean global galavanting. It means taking a step outside your comfort zone. An adventurous step.

So, since April is ‘National Poetry Month,’ I decided to publish a poem. Yes, I do dabble with poetry on occasion.

Ok, so here goes, a short poem first drafted on a rooftop bar in New York City.

Steels rises, made by man
touches the clouds

Since her, few reach taller;
None mean more
She dominates, an Empire.

Her smaller sister speaks, too
Both miss twin cousins
Towering freedom awaits

Alas, she points upward,
And illuminates her message

Stay Adventurous, Craig

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