Tag Archive | family vacation

Jeffery Camera–New York, New York

It’s hard to believe that it has been a year since we visited New York City for the first time together as a couple.  We had so much fun, but realized that The Big Apple is a much larger city that we imagined it to be and must plan another trip to take in some of what we missed!

The City is a great place to photograph and we had a wonderful time taking it all in.  Enjoy a few of our shots from this great place and we hope to go back very soon!

 

One of the most recognizable skyscrapers of the City: The Empire State Building

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Little flea market in the heart of the City: 

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Looking up at the then unfinished Freedom Tower from the World Trade Center Memorial Park:

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Until next time……

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We finally made it to the Big Apple! Having never actually been there myself, it was exciting planning our road trip.  We made many stops a long the way, but the big feature was a couple days in the big city. 

New York City is probably one of the most well known cities in the world and is one of the largest cities I have ever personally seen!  When you look out over the city, it is endless!  The activity never stops.  Every street corner has something going on!

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Getting off the train and walking into the main terminal of Grand Central Station is truly an impressive thing.  For years, I have seen Grand Central featured in movies, on television and in magazines.  But walking into the main area of the terminal is an unforgettable experience! 

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We bought “off-peak” tickets and even during those “off-peak” times, the crowds were so big compared to what we normally see in our little mountain town.  People rushing from one track to another with bags, briefcases, luggage and what not.  Others running an Olympic sprint and still others were like us, tourists, perhaps there for the very first time who couldn’t help but look up at the beauty of this building.

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In 1831 the first rail line into the City was formed.  It was called the New York and Harlem Railroad.  But it wasn’t until the following year when service began at the terminal located at 4th Avenue and 23rd Street.  And in 1869 when Vanderbilt purchased land between 42nd and 48th Streets and Madison Avenue and Lexington construction of a depot building began of what would become Grand Central Station.

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Years of development and growth followed and in 1903 the winning design submitted by the firm of Reed and Stern became the blueprint for the Grand Central Terminal that we know today.  As with many large projects, nepotism sometimes takes precedence and this was no different.  Reed’s sister was married to New York Central’s vice president of construction, William Wilgua.  After the competition an appeal was filed by New York architects Warren and Westmore, of which Warren was none other than the cousin of New York Central’s chairman, William Vanderbilt.  Needless to say, after winning his “appeal” the firm of Warren and Westmore teamed up with Reed and Stern to become co-architects of the construction of Grand Central Station.

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Ten years of construction and Grand Central Station officially opened in February 1913.  Despite the fact that construction was not completely finished, the terminal still functioned without missing a beat.  It wasn’t until years later after decades of ill repair and neglect that the terminal got a restoration.  In 1998 a complete overhaul began and in 2012, the terminal had finally been restored to the original splendor that it had once been.  This year the Terminal celebrates 100 years and if you ask me, I think it is still a grand place!  And despite whatever challenges it went through at the initial stages, I enjoyed my time visiting it!

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We walked around a little before heading over to the big double decker buses.  The sites and sounds were constant and the characters that we saw was sometimes quite hilarious! From Elvis to the young man dancing in his heels and underwear, there is always something going on.

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We loved the street markets and it suddenly hit me that New York City is made up mostly of small business.  Everyone you look, is small business.  Sure, the big stores and big corporations have their space, but when you go into the different neighborhoods, there is no Wal-Mart or big grocery store chain.  It’s small business running the neighborhoods.  That’s what America is all about!

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There was even a little corner “flea market” and everywhere we looked were the street food vendors.  There was everything from hot dogs, sweets, Asian foods to Middle Eastern foods.

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Of course, we had to stop at the Empire State Building.  This is one of the most famous buildings in the world and is featured in so many movies such as Sleepless in Seattle with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan and one of my all time favorites, An Affair to Remember with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. 

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Did you know that the Empire State Building sits on about 2 acres?  No wonder I was so tired after walking completely around the building trying to find the special entrance we were supposed to use with our VIP passes!  Hot city sidewalks that just seemed to be never-ending.  If it weren’t for the scaffolding providing some shade, I think I would’ve just died! 

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Sitting 1,250 feet above street level, the 102nd floor Observatory offers some spectacular views of the City! There are 6,514 windows in this building and they estimate that about ten million bricks were used in the construction of this building.  After walking all over the place, elevator after elevator, we finally made it to the top!  With our tickets, we were allowed VIP access and could bypass the long lines, so we didn’t have to wait the 2-3 hours it normally takes.  So, I knew it would be crowded and it was.  Rows two and three-deep lined the deck, but with a little patience and keeping the camera ready at all times, we were able to snap a few great shots.

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From the top of the world, the views just take my breath away!  I can only look in silence and in awe.  And if I speak, it only comes out in a whisper!

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And the the new Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site is high in the sky!  Not quite completed, it stands taller than any building in the skyline.

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Feeling exhilarated after our sky-high adventure, we jumped back on the open top busses and went looking for more sites of what the City could offer us.  One stop was to see the Cast Iron Buildings.  The City is currently cleaning the buildings which accounts for so much of the scaffolding.  This is the E. V. Haughwout Building at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway.  It originally was a fashionable emporium selling imported cut glass, silverware, fine china and chandeliers.  And this was the place that the new official White House china was ordered by and made for Mary Todd Lincoln.

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And it was in this building that the world’s first successful passenger elevator was installed on March 23, 1857.  It was a hydraulic lift designed for the building by Elisha Graves Otis and was powered by a steam-engine installed in the basement.  It wasn’t until 1965 when the building was designated a New York City landmark that it was protected from being torn down.

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I loved all the little parks scattered through out the City.  Makes the concrete jungle seem less…concrete.  It seemed like every neighborhood had one squeezed in between two busy streets somewhere!  Needless to say we did not have enough time to see everything and want to go back someday.  Stay tuned for more photos from our trip…

Smile, You’re on Jeffery Camera–Gettysburg

Enjoy a few more of our photos from Gettysburg National Military Park.  If you’ve never been there, this is a great time to go! 

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Beautiful monuments are everywhere.  You cannot see them all in just one day.

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Winding roads and hills where all the different skirmishes took place are dotted with monuments in tribute to the men who fought and died in these exact spots.

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Part of historic downtown Gettysburg.  This is across the street from a really good ice cream shop which is also a historic home!

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Standing near the stacked rock fence that was here since the War.

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Tree-lined roads make for a picturesque afternoon in the Park.

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So many monuments and statutes to choose to photograph!

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Once stroke of luck, we came around a bend and there was a re-enactor and a couple of photographers.  It didn’t take long for the Park Rangers to swoop in and send them on their way.

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From the top of Little Round Top.  What a view! It is quite sobering to realize what happened on that rocky hill.

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Gorgeous sunset view from behind the fence that represents the fence that was there during the War.

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Gettysburg National Military Park

From his earliest memories, my husband has always wanted to see Gettysburg National Military Park.  And I have always had an interest in American History.  Years went by and neither one of us had ever made it to Gettysburg.  Recently we changed that. We decided it was time to go. So we packed up the car and headed out towards this little town made famous by one of the most horrible moments in American history. The accounts in history tell us that those first few days of July 1863 were ones that changed the little town of Gettysburg and forever marked it as some of the bloodiest days in the Civil War.

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My husband and I have watched movies, historical documentaries and the Ken Burn’s Civil War series for PBS. But nothing can prepare you for the massiveness of Gettysburg Battlefields until you are standing there.

Next year, 2013, marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg National Military Park is preparing for the commemoration.  We decided to make the journey and see the infamous Battlefield for ourselves.  We actually took about 1,000 photos but can only share a small portion of those here.  So following is a brief pictorial tour of our stay.  I hope you enjoy them and if these help encourage you to delve deeper into our great country’s history and see these places for yourself, then we would be ecstatic.

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Your first stop should be at the new Visitor’s Center. Here you will be able to find a map of the park and purchase any number of tours available. Auto-Tours, Bus-Tours, and Ranger Tours, and Tours to the Eisenhower Historic Site are all offered to provide the best possible experience at the Park. Also at the Visitor’s Center is the Cyclorama, Museum and a 20-minute Movie presentation narrated by Morgan Freeman. We purchased this ticket package and highly recommend it. The Parks offers several different types of discounts including AAA, Senior and Military discounts.

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Our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator is honored throughout the Park. This wonderful statute of him is at the Visitor’s Center.  Be prepared for a line, though.  He is one popular feature and there always seems to be a line for a photograph!

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Scattered about the Park in every corner where skirmishes and battles took place, there are monuments honoring those who fought in that spot.  The detail and beauty of these monuments is breathtaking in many cases.

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The thing that struck us most was the fact that these hills were much steeper in person than they appeared in the movies, documentaries and photographs. It touched me how much the soldiers, both Confederate and Federal, endured all those years ago.

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These fields are massive, nearly 2-3 miles wide and without any cover or protection in many areas. The men who were engaged in Pickett’s Charge came from the tree line and charged over field, fences and more field approaching High Water Mark at the peak of that hill. This is the spot where General Armistead fell during the Charge.

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This is the view of the field that General Longstreet’s men had to cross in the Charge from the vantage point at High Water Mark.

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This is the view from the tree line where the Confederate Divisions under Longstreet began Pickett’s Charge.

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My mind kept whirling around with amazement that so many lives survived these rocky, boulder filled hills and fields.  I was humbled realizing the number of men, 50,000 total, who were lost July 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 1863.  Walking around carrying only a camera, I could only imagine what it was like to carry everything you needed to stay alive: ammunition, rifle, knife, canteen, and whatever else was needed…and in the July heat.  I’m sure in 1863 it was as hot a summer, too. I cannot begin to fathom the stench of the dead and dying, both human and animal.

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The 20th Maine at Little Round Top was a story presented in the movie, Gettysburg, with the role of Colonel Chamberlain played by Jeff Daniels.  For me, walking the same paths that these men defended and died on was almost overwhelming.  I didn’t even want to speak while standing in the spot where so many perished.

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Just across from Little Round Top is Devil’s Den – standing there dwarfed by these rocks, it is unbelievable to me just how the soldier’s kept fighting up these hills.

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“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far about our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.” -President Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863 in the dedication of this Battlefield.

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