Category Archives: USA

Summer in New York comes to its unofficial close

Dear Friends,

Labor Day long weekend has come and gone, and with it the traditional marker for the end of summer in the U.S. and Canada. It was a good weekend, with friends and family visiting here in New York. We went to the US Open, ate good food, saw a Broadway show, surfed a bit, and I showed my guests a few good photo spots by incorporating them naturally into our movements around town (perhaps one day I can show you some of the spots, if you have interest).

Anyway, this weekend my role was a little different than usual in that I served as host and guide, rather than traveler. Anyone will tell you New York City is a great walking town, and I think my guests did this City the right way, rather than trying to cram in every tourist spot possible into their schedule. Here’s a tip: it’s impossible to see everything in New York, so slow it down, do what comes easily to you, and have a good time.

The photo in this post is from the same day I captured the lightning photo. It was a glorious, but hot day in Brooklyn. Although summer has departed, the weather remains today, as it is very hot and humid at the moment. If you’ve had a long weekend as well, I hope it was a good one. If not, well, welcome to September anyway.

Yours truly,

The Gentleman Backpacker

Brooklyn Bridge Park: So long, Summer
A valet stands at attention at the River Cafe, Brooklyn Bridge Park, NY: So long, Summer



New York City: Summer Storm and the Statue of Liberty

Dear Friends,

As I work on my follow-up post on Iguazu Falls this weekend, I thought I’d share with you a photo I took about a month ago during one of New York’s notorious summer evening thunderstorms. I was out on a photo shoot in Brooklyn that day and it was very hot out (97F or about 35C), one of the hottest days of the summer. I was just about to go home when a very intermittent lightning show began to the south in New Jersey. I set up my camera and tripod and waited. This was the culmination of 2 hours of trying to get the perfect lightning shot, and was the very last one I took that night. The dotted lines you see from the right are the lights of a helicopter that took off from the South Street Seaport Helipad in downtown Manhattan, and the helicopter took a route that perfectly intersected with the lightning far in the distance. If you look closely you can see clearly an American Flag in the distance on the right, and I kind of like the way the buoy sits on the surface of the water in NY Harbor, which is the glassy carpet you see in the foreground. I hope you enjoy this photo and I will be back soon with more on the wonder of the Falls.


The Gentleman Backpacker

Lightning strike behind the Statue of Liberty
Lightning strike behind the Statue of Liberty

“A Summer Evening in New York”


A Summer Evening in New York

“Out-side the window,

Is that the sound of crickets?

No, a chirping fan.

At last a siren afar,

And all is normal again.”



If you’ve ever been to New York City, you know how loud it is at night with all the traffic and horns and sirens and people. If you’ve ever lived in New York City, you know how startlingly quiet certain August Saturday nights can be when the city empties out for the weekend. Tonight is such a night.


Good night,

The Gentleman Backpacker

P.S. A tanka is a form of Japanese poetry written in the format of 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5, 7, 7.