kites on coney island beach

The weather wasn't quite as good as I had hoped, so my original beach plans for Saturday were canceled. But Sunday morning rolled around and it was gorgeous outside. A few of us went out to Coney Island to spend the afternoon in the sun, eating Nathan's hot dogs and even taking a trip on one of the newer roller coasters.

nathans hot dogs

roller coaster in coney island

wonder wheel in coney island

// photos by Bekka Palmer with iPhone 4 using Camera+ and VSCo

empire state building

heels for summer

After eyeing these Madewell sandals for the past two months, I finally got them last weekend while shopping with my mom while she was visiting (thanks mom!). 

Don't forget to sign up for the beach tour emails if you want updates on visiting New York area beaches this summer (the first email is going out tomorrow).

// about the beach tour / email signup

new york beach tour

bottle / hat / kindle / spf / chips / sunglasses / blanket

Get your beach essentials ready friends! I've been missing the beach like crazy so I'm going to do a New York beach tour this summer. Starting this Saturday at Manhattan Beach Park, I'll be visiting one to three beaches a month until the end of summer.

If you are in the New York area and want to join on all or just some beach days, join my mailing list here. I promise not to spam you and will only email beach outing announcements.

violinists in the subway

Yesterday, My mom and I were on our way back to Brooklyn from the city and we saw this group of teenagers playing their violins and cello on the F train platform. The train was taking its sweet time, so we ended up hearing them play five or so songs. They played a wide variety from Mozart to Coldplay's Viva la Vida. It wasn't until about the third song that a large crowd started to build and their talent and stage presence began to shine through. At one point they had the entire platform applauding them, and everyone seemed to forget they had been waiting twenty minutes for a train. It's moments like this that make me love New York even more.

bre pettis: it may not be a great idea, but it's a great idea for you

See more of Bre Pettis' Creative Mornings talk on Vimeo, and check out his company MakerBot.

man taking a photo at manhattan henge

Last night, I went to 23rd Street to take a look at Manhattan Henge. There are only two nights a year that the sunset aligns with the grid of the Manhattan streets. Yesterday was the first time this year and the next time is July 11. It was a little bit cloudy, so we missed the very last moments which are the best, but you can bet I'll be out again on the 11th to see it.

people at manhattan henge

During the walk signals, the street filled with people trying to get a glimpse (and a photo). Kristin said, "I love that there are this many geeks in New York that come out and see this."

manhattan henge

people watching manhattan henge

manhattan henge

people watching manhattan henge

manhattan henge

empire state building from the brooklyn bridge

My friend Paul was in town for Memorial Day weekend. Having a visitor around is a great excuse to do some touristy things. Above is a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, you can see the empire state building peeking out between the cables.

brooklyn and manhattan bridges and a view of manhattan from the Upper Bay

Some of the tourist cruises are annoyingly overpriced and silly, but Ride the Shark is actually a fun (albeit cheesy) way to see Manhattan and Brooklyn from the water. It's a "thrill ride" which apparently means they drive kind of fast around the Bay and Husdon River and splash the passengers with the sea spray. But, it's not too expensive and you get some great views (it also lasts all of forty minutes, so if like me, you don't love long boat rides it's over in a fairly short period before you get bored / sick).

ride the shark and the statue of liberty

They get you pretty close to The Statue of Liberty so you can get a good look at it and take a few photos. Above left you can see the "thrilling" speed boat: The Shark.

Brooklyn Bridge from the shark

Near the end of the ride you go a short ways up the East River and get a good look of the Brooklyn Bridge. All in all, The Shark is a fun way to keep cool during a hot New York afternoon, and if you enjoy a little cheesy tourism, you would love it!

// photos by Bekka Palmer on iPhone 4 processed with VSCO Cam

books for May

I have just finished a new round of books and these were my favorites: