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A weblog about the politics and affairs of the old and glorious City of Albany, New York, USA. Articles written and disseminated from Albany's beautiful and historic South End by Daniel Van Riper. If you wish to make a response, have anything to add or would like to make an empty threat, please contact me.


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June 30, 2019

On Her Walk Home

Some photos taken by The Wife with her phone coming back from visiting her downtown clients

The Wife has a little business, self employed, writing databases and maintaining computers for small businesses.  She occupies a good niche which for some strange reason has few competitors, it seems the big outfits want big contracts with big corporations and don’t want to bother with the little guys because they’re not profitable enough.  But the little guys, which includes businesses with dozens of employees, have computers and databases that need regular upgrades and modifications which she provides.  I don’t understand why independent minded young folks with computer skills don’t move into this niche and compete with her, but I guess I shouldn’t complain because she has plenty of work.

"Park with Red Tree,” October 2018
"Park with Red Tree,” October 2018

But she has a problem, she doesn’t get enough exercise.  She sits in front of computers all day barely moving and the only physical activity she gets is talking on the phone and tapping keyboards.  Mostly it’s her own fault, she has a lovely park she can use for running or brisk walking all year round.  And she can always bicycle or work out or swim, even though all the pools that she has easy access to have been shut down, mostly for stupid reasons.

Lincoln Park, October 2018
Lincoln Park, October 2018

So this is why she happily hoofs it back and forth hauling her computers in bags and in a knapsack to her downtown clients on State Street or North Pearl Street or whatever, the strange woman who always shows up on the day she says she will but is always late, flashing into some office environment ready to make obstinate computers and cheap printers work together, and then she writes user friendly databases that leave everyone cooing with delight.  To the office drones she's a phenomena wildly out of sync with the rigid routines but vital to the smooth running of the office.  Those three quarter mile walks carrying all that equipment is how she keeps healthy enough to avoid turning into a bedridden whiner, and on those return trips she takes the time to admire the view and take photos.  Here’s a few.

“Is Beautiful’” November 2018
“Is Beautiful’” November 2018

Normally her trip home takes her first through the State Plaza and then through Lincoln Park. These are the two places she likes to snap photos.  She’s not too interested in the architecture of the older buildings, nor any of the daily streetscapes.  And she doesn’t take pictures of people.  What she likes best is sweeping landscapes, which you can see from the photos.

“Is So Pretty!” December 2018
“Is So Pretty!” December 2018

I suppose looking at scenes of the same thing over and over could get boring.  But you know what?  Boredom is an accomplishment. You can travel across the planet sampling everything that’s sitting by the side of the road and still never experience anything.  Or you can visit the same places over and over and see how the same thing is never quite the same and reach enlightenment.

“Soooo Pretty!”  December 2018
“Soooo Pretty!”  December 2018

Not that she’s getting sidetracked with this sort of offhand semi-philosophy when she’s walking home.  Basically she’s all like, “Oooh, pretty!  I gotta take a picture.”  And she whips out her phone and does, because here in the 21st Century pixels are cheap and you don’t have to know anything about photography to take a decent or excellent picture.

“Dramatic!” January 2019
“Dramatic!” January 2019

She often immediately sends these photos to me, and if I’m home and near my desk computer I’ll immediately post the photo on Spacebook on the popular page “Looking Good, Albany!” which is devoted to positive photos of the City of Albany.  By the time she comes through the door the photo will usually get a dozen likes, and over the next few days it will get anywhere from 50 to 200 likes.  I do believe this encourages her to take more pictures.

"Is Pretty Even When It’s Gloomy!”  March 2019
"Is Pretty Even When It’s Gloomy!”  March 2019

Walking home at the end of the day in winter usually means walking in the dark, the sun setting before 5PM and all that. But as spring approaches her photos are more likely to show daytime again.  I mean, the gloom is all very nice and meaningfully picturesque but you get damn sick of it by February. Okay, I get sick of it well before Christmas but that’s me.

“My Park! April 2019
“My Park! April 2019

She occasionally snaps photos of odd things that catch her eye, such as the magnolia trees in bloom or a surprising excavation or once, a squirrel hanging out on a bench.  But she puts the most consideration into the landscapes.  I haven’t bothered to ask her why, from long experience I know she can’t give me a coherent answer.  She just does.

“Looks Sorta Spacey’” June 2019
“Looks Sorta Spacey’” June 2019

She also takes photos of the State Plaza, sweeping landscapes again.  Of course the State Plaza was designed to be a sweeping landscape, 96 acres of South End neighborhoods replaced by marble slabs.  She takes pictures of the buildings rising up from the dead stone and looking like some 1950s dream of life in the next century, and I post those too on Spacebook.

“Kinda Cool.” April 2019
“Kinda Cool.” April 2019

As I mentioned, she has been known to run or brisk walk (or as she puts it, “stagger around the park”) for her health, and she sees a few things of interest.  Like this scene across Delaware Avenue from the park.

“In The Park”, May 2019
“In The Park”, May 2019

And finally, here’s this bizarre iron sign planted in the grass of the park near the corner of Morton and Delaware Avenues.  It’s been carefully repainted, lovingly restored, but as The Wife pointed out, the iron pole is still crooked. So she tilted her camera so that the trees in the background and everything else is crooked but not the pole.  I wonder if anybody knows the history of this sign, how long has it been there (I first noticed it in the 1970s) and why it was set so far from the road.  Anybody?


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Posted by:Richard Turner
Posted on:07/09/2019
Comments:
Your wife takes great photos with her phone, some of them should be made into a poster. Something else she might consider doing is making videos of daily life in different parts of the city. There's a man in Manhattan who makes great videos of Times Square and Central Park. You can see them on YouTube.


Posted by:GH
Posted on:07/19/2019
Comments:
this almost makes me miss my old stomping ground! Thanks for posting these. Slow day at work...


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