Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Finale


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Kite Runner

Cold Face

He say you Kite Runna'!

Went to Astoria Park today to help Mike out with one of his more ridiculous ideas: aerial kite photography. Normally it wouldn't be that ridiculous, but he chose to do it in December, right when a huge blizzard was blowing into New York City.

Mike had plans of constructing the whole rig to do the project, kite and all. He even made a kite, but it was so hilariously bad that it had to be burnt and all evidence of its existence destroyed. Even mentioning "box kite" around him still kinda makes him twitch. One store bought kite, a Canon point&shoot and an e-bay rigging later, we were in business.

Kind Of Sort Of

Kind of. This was pretty much the story for the first half hour or so. Getting a little lift off the ground, but not enough to lift the line-attached camera rigging, which weighed probably two pounds, very high off the ground.


This was about as far as we got at this part of the park. After running up and down the hill about six or eight times and figuring out just how uncoordinated five people can be, we decided to move the rigging closer to the kite itself so it would be able to accelerate faster. I also quietly suggested we move to the big hill in the center of Astoria Park, the one that looks like where you would want to fly a kite.

At the big hill we had a lot more success, but it still wasn't going that well. Up to this point I'd been shooting stills and video of the other guys taking turns flying the kite, not really getting it very high - maybe 30-40 feet up. I asked if I could give it a go, and promptly took the kite up to something like 80 feet. I'm going to throw all semblance of humbleness out the window here and say that it felt really freaking amazing. So amazing that Mike wasn't able to capture any pictorial evidence of my first or second flights because he was so in awe, but trust me. It was great.


Here is a recreation of my amazing kite-flying ability. It's important that you really blow with a deep breath into the kite, otherwise it just won't gain air.

Once we got it up, we started getting real aerial pictures. I only got to see a couple of them when we went back home to check, but a couple looked really cool. There were also a lot of interesting ones of the camera on the ground looking at our group through the grass, but those probably won't win any awards for aerial photography.

All in all, a good day.

Sometime during the week, the story of how we almost chopped off someone's hand.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's December! Christmas is almost here!


And oh my god the sky is on fire!!!


St. John's University puts out a crazy amount of cash for Christmas. Outside of St. Augustine they set up gigantic speaker systems, a huge Christmas tree and light projectors that project images of snowflakes onto the front of the library. Every single tree on campus is covered with several rungs of Christmas lights, which must make their already gigantic electricity bill even more ridiculous. And they cap it all off with a huuuge fireworks display on the Great Lawn. Your tuition dollars at work.

But, y'know, it is really pretty.

Celtic Cross