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The North Fork, LI

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The Private Beach

Kay and I recently went to a Bed and Breakfast over in the North Fork of Long Island. The BnB is called By the Bluff and it is a very beautiful and well done home. The owners, Pat and Maurice were very accommodating, the food was delicious, and they also provided bottled water, towels, and chairs for you to take down to the private beach you gain access to by staying there.

Over the long weekend Kay and I ate at aMano, Noah’s, and our favorite of the trip: The Frisky Oyster. For our appetizers we had the Peconic Gold Oysters with serrano honey mignonette and the Cornell Oysters Friskafella. Both are amazing! I cannot decide which I liked better (for Kay it is the Oysters Friskafella.) I then had the filet of beef and Kay had the garganelli with local lobster, arugula, and a meyer lemon vodka sauce. It was by far the best meal of our trip, and those oysters were the best I’ve ever had!

We also visited several vineyards including: Kontokosta Winery, Pindar Vineyards, Sparkling Pointe, Bedell Cellars, and Macari Vineyards. All were beautifully done, and oddly enough the least elegant of them all, Pindar, had the best tasting wine. It was still a nice vineyard, but not as classy and polished as the others. Our server, Matt, was very polite and incredibly funny. Between him and the great tasting wine, it totally put Pindar at the top of our list for places to recommend for a tasting.

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Sparkling Pointe

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A tasting at Bedell Cellars

The area also had a lot of cool farm-stands, gift shops, and attractions. We visited Lavender By the Bay and The Village Cheese Shop, the latter which I would definitely recommend if you like or want to explore different kinds of cheese.

It was an amazing and relaxing trip which was even better than I had expected. Between Bar Harbor ME, Stowe VT, and now the North Fork of Long Island, I’m given hope that the East Coast does have some great places to offer on par with its Western counterpart.

You can view an album of photos here.

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The Devil’s Path West

Last weekend I went with two buddies to finish The Devil’s Path in the Catskills. We hiked up West Kill, Southwest Hunter, and Hunter Mountains. We starting around 9:30am on Saturday and returned back to the car around 11am on Sunday. It was pretty strenuous, but nowhere near as bad as the eastern portion of it. You can check out an album of pictures here.

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Trip to Assateague Island

Last weekend Kay and I went to Assateague Island, a 37 mile barrier island off the coast of Delmarva (Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia). Two thirds of the island is in Maryland while the lower third is in Virginia. It is best known for its pristine beaches and wild horses that roam the island. Legend has it that the feral Chincoteague Ponies are the descendants of survivors of the Spanish ship that sank on its way to Spain in 1750. Per Wikipedia though, “the likelihood is that they are actually descended from domesticated stock, brought to the island by Eastern Shore farmers in the 17th century to avoid fencing requirements and taxation”.

From the research we did, it seems like most people that come for an extended stay grab a hotel in Chincoteague Bay, a small town on the Virginia side, or camp on the island.

Assateague Map

Our Trip
Kay and I drove down from New York and arrived at Assateague Island National Seashore in the early afternoon. We spent a few hours visiting the North Beach and as a few clouds rolled over decided to go for a hike. We started out on the Life of the Dunes trail but quickly veered off path to see some horses. We found several types of birds, deer, two carcasses of rabbits, and unfortunately brought back at least four ticks with us.

After the hike the sun came out again so we visited to South Beach for another couple of hours before heading to our hotel in Chincoteague. The beaches were clean, spacious, and had beautiful sea shells spread throughout it.

The town on Chincoteague is very small. The population during the 2010 census was 2,941. We get the impression that the town is choosing to not expand and open up more for tourists. (Unless it has been doing so recently, and slowly.) Although it is great for a long weekend, we couldn’t picture spending a full week there. Or at least we could, but we would probably pick other places over Chincoteague to spend a full week at. They have a decent, albeit small selection of restaurants, two miniature golf courses, and two ice cream shops. (Possibly three but the third one was closed.) For dinner we visited Bill’s Seafood Restaurant and Village Restaurant, both which were great. Bill’s had an amazing soft shell crab special that weekend. The only downside was that despite having reservations for 8:30pm, we had to wait till 9:10 to be seated.

After dinner we went back to the hotel for a late night dip in the hot-tub. The following day we visited the beach in Chincoteague. We preferred the Assateague Beaches in Maryland better for the sole reason that there is more space which made it seem less crowded. We also didn’t see any horses while on the Virginia side of the island.

On Sunday, our last day there, we visited the North Beach at Assateague one last time and got some really close up shots of the horses. They were actually roaming the parking lot as we tried to park. As our stay went on they continued grazing near the bathrooms and even by the brush between the asphalt and beach.

Overall it was a really nice trip and I would recommend anyone who is looking to spend a few days on the coast of Maryland or Virginia to check this island out. You can check out an album of pictures here.

Here are two videos of the horses roaming the parking lot at Assateague Beach:

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Round the World Expedition

I woke up in the middle of the night recently with a very vivid dream. I started a Kickstarter Campaign to fund a Documentary about a Round The World Road Trip. Somewhere around 2003 I had this idea to drive around the world. I researched the Eurotunnel from England to France, and the 50 miles of the Bering Strait which freezes over in the winter between Russia and Alaska. As I embarked on more and more cross country trips, the desire to go on this journey increased and made its way on to my Bucket List.

But the seed that caused that recent dream may have been planted in my head because I recently found out that Zach Braff (who I actually used to be neighbors with) funded his latest movie through Kickstarter. Obviously he has Star Power (and by that I mean celebrity, not the Super Mario kind), but part of me wonders if I could pull funding this trip off similarly.

I created a Spreadsheet to try and itemize and tally the full cost. My goal would be to start in the United Kingdom, drive through Europe and Asia, then ship my car to Indonesia, Australia, and then Alaska. I would then drive down and across North America to the East Coast. (Part of me wanted to drive the full circumference of the Earth by driving  from China into Siberia and crossing the Beiring Strait while it froze over, but I don’t think that’s realistic without an incredibly modified and expensive vehicle).

RTW Visas

RTW Shipments Update

RTW Gas

Just calculating the required Visas, Gas, Shipping hard drives of footage back home, and only one of the three major Vehicle Shipments, the cost already comes to $9,156. I still have to factor in things like Vaccines, Tolls and Ferries, Insurance, Lodging, Food, and more. I’ve read about this kind of excursion being done twice. One by a former AP reporter who did it solo and cost him $50,240 (including $6,700 for an old Land Cruiser). The other was a group of people with the goal of driving the whole circumference of the Earth. They even outfit an expensive vehicle (think Tank) for driving over the Bering Strait when it was frozen over if I remember correctly. That or for the Siberian and Alaskan Tundra. They eventually got stuck and had to helicopter the vehicle for a small portion of it.

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The Diomede Islands between Russia and Alaska

Anyway, some of this information will be useful sooner rather than later as I hope to spend two weeks in Europe relatively soon. Hopefully in 2016.

Okay, back to work…

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Cold Spring Hike

Yesterday Kay and I went on a short hike in Cold Spring after checking out a neat Farmer’s Market that was going on in town. We followed the Cornish and Brook Trails (Blue and Red) and saw some really cool foundations along the way. The trail follows an old road through the former estate of Edward G. Cornish, chairman of the board of the National Lead Company. You can see some pictures I took here.

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Updated Portfolio

Recently I submitted some of my photography to a stock footage website to see if I could get published. (Of course the extra cash couldn’t hurt…)

You can find a link to that album here.

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Google Maps – Public Transit Mode

The other day I tested out Google Maps’ Public Transit mode. It told me it was going to take 9 minutes to get to Grand Central and that there was a train at 9:31, 9:37, 9:43 and 9:49. Sure enough one showed up at 9:31.

Google Train Time 1

 

And it took exactly :

 

Google Train Time 2

How flippin’ spot-on is that?!

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An Inspirational Letter

West CoastAbout ten years ago (my God), one of the most influential Guidance Counselors I’ve ever had handed me an envelope with a note and $100 in it. On the face of the envelope were doodles of a road lined with Redwood Trees, the Oregon shoreline, the Seattle Space Needle, and other prominent features of the West Coast. (The $100 was a loan which she never allowed me to pay back.) She told me to take time during our three week break and travel, because she knew that’s what I needed.

It was a phenomenal trip. I drove from Los Angeles to Whistler, Canada which is a town right above Vancouver. On the way I also stopped by San Francisco and Sacramento, drove through the Redwood Forest, visited Portland and Seattle, and even drove up Mount Saint Helens.

My pictures don’t do it justice because at the time I was experimenting with just taking video, and using still frames from it as pictures, so the quality is not that good. But recently I discovered a roll of film, tucked away in my draw for over 10 years, that I never had developed. The film contains some pretty bad pictures. Some are just horribly taken, and others may have just degraded over time, but one stood out to me though:

Drive Thru Tree

This is the Chandelier Tree, named for its distinctive limbs at the top that bear resemblance to a chandelier. Found in the town of Leggett, Northern California, it’s a 315 foot tall Redwood tree so large that you can drive a car through it. The base measures 21ft in diameter and has a 6 foot wide by 6 foot 9 inch hole at the base that allows cars to drive through it.

The trip was my second major solo adventure of significant length, but the one that spurred many more to come, and I have to thank my former guidance counselor for that.

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Latest Snowfall

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