Another Postcard from New York

Happy days!

happy days

 

Making ladder climbing more difficult:

health and safety

 

Rock-climbing pipe cleaners:

rock climbing pipe cleaners

 

“I don’t give a shit”:

sign seller

 

Central Park Proposal:

the propsal

 

Dogs and Pretzels:

hot dog cart

 

An Englishman in New York:

mclaren

 

Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect:

nypd vehicles

 

The subway cars are air-conditioned!:

subway

 

Americans are very patriotic:

stars and stripes

 

911 Memorial. Respect and Remembrance:

911 Memorial

 


Postcard from New York

I took quite a few photographs as we wandered around Manhattan. Here are a few “postcards”. Hope you like them.

 

Not all Manhattan buildings are glass and stainless steel:

interesting stonework

 

Or shiny and new:

Office windows

 

Wholesale clothing, 2nd Floor:

wholesale

 

Here’s a site for sore eyes:

site for sore eyes

 

High above the modern shop fronts, there are still signs of the old, um, signs:

Macys old signs

 

Urban Outfitters have gone for a minimal, loft style. I love this:

bare pipes

 

Subject to inspection:

bit of a dump

 

There’s still space available:

space available

 


iPhone6

iPhone 6 Pre-order day: 12 September.

If you know me, you know what I’ve done.


Back to my park

We recently had a family holiday in Manhattan. NYC is one of our favourite places and we had an awesome time. Unfortunately as soon as we got home, I found that my mother had been taken ill and I’ve spent the last week dealing with that. So rather than basking in a post-holiday afterglow all I got was jet lag and the NHS.

This just goes to prove how important it is to grab that holiday moment and enjoy where you are and what you are doing when you are doing it. Good old Carpe Diem, as they say.

Hence, it has taken a while to get around to posting anything and I have yet to complete the edit of my holiday snaps. Meanwhile, as I sit in front of my Mac with this

lager

bringing back memories of last week, here’s a “postcard from New York”.

When in Manhattan we always seem to gravitate to Bryant Park. Unlike Central Park it is a small, friendly rectangle of green at the back of the Library where New York’s natives go to sunbathe, read, eat lunch, play chess or listen to the lunchtime pianist. Incidentely, here’s a sign you will never see in an English park.

bryant park

In case you were waiting for some tales of geocaching, I must say right now that this was not a caching holiday.

Really.

Definitely.

No geocaching.

On pain of death.

Nevertheless…

We did find one cache, mainly so that Daughter.1 could get a USA cache and the NY State souvenir. One lunchtime we found Bryant Park Micro. Caching in Manhattan is not easy, the GPS is mostly rubbish due to the tall buildings (much worse than London, which you would expect) and most of the caches are either micros or nanos. Plus, as you already know, New York never sleeps. There are always hundreds of people milling about. Luckily this one could be completed using the hint and some dead reckoning (read the page) and in fact having read it up in the hotel I didn’t get my GPS out at all. The container was pretty big by Manhattan standards – a mag key safe – although with the park being full of people, retrieving it was not easy. Still, with a bit of subterfuge/bare-faced cheek, job done.

With the geocaching out of our system, so to speak, it was on with the sightseeing. Back on 5th I found this. A ready-made business for me if ever there was one.

my shop

Our hotel was pretty close to the Empire State Building. Here’s a hand-held shot of it from our roof terrace on Labor Day evening. Sorry I didn’t have a tripod. In case you didn’t know, the ESB people light up the top in a wide range of colour combinations to mark special events.

ESB on Labor Day

And here it is the next morning, taken before breakfast. <sigh>.

ESB day

Talking of food, I had a lot of these (but not for breakfast).

burger

Yum. :)

Once I get my photographic act together I’ll post a few more New York snaps.

Bye for now. ;)


(Oh I do like to be) beside the seaside

beach

Until Wednesday, when I went to a local caching event, I hadn’t given much thought to Groundspeak’s “The  7 Souvenirs of August”. During the event, Bob and I popped out to bag a Letterbox cache thereby earning me both the “Socializer” and “Collector” souvenirs in the same evening (Bob already had the full set).

Hmm. Suddenly all I needed was to find two caches of specific types and I would be able to collect the full set, plus the extra “Achiever” award for getting all six. Completing this challenge had unexpectedly become feasible.

So yesterday I took Skye for a walk at Little Heath, not far from home, where there was a Multi and a new Earth cache. Now I hadn’t known this before but thanks to the Earth cache, I now know that the area of Little Heath used to be the coastline of what is now England. Don’t worry, you haven’t missed anything connected with global warming, this was a long time ago! During the Pleistocene Period (2.6 million to 11,700 years ago) the North Sea extended westwards across south east England. Little Heath used to be a beach! Now located within the National Trust’s Ashridge Estate, this area is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

To claim the Earth cache as a find, Skye and I had to collect some information and answer some questions posed by the Cache Owner. Actually, I did the hard work while Skye just rummaged about sniffing things. She does this a lot when we go caching, I’m beginning to think she’s not all that interested in geocaching. Having done that ( I would email the info to the CO later) we moved on to the Multi cache. This was supposedly a simple offset multi where you find the first stage which contains the coordinates for the final. Simples.

Well no, actually. It was anything but. To start with my GPS was behaving strangely. This was partly due to me having buggered up its software the day before. Anyway, I managed to work around that and I got a reasonable reading, followed the arrow, etc.  Except that the blasted thing kept changing its mind about the location of the first stage. I’d looked at some of the previous logs so had some ideas as to where to look, however this didn’t make any difference as I still spent ages looking high and low to no avail.

Now, any cacher reading this will know how it goes. You look in all the possible places, Then you go back and look again. You read the logs on your GPS or phone App again. You search all the places once more, maybe extending the search because who can be sure of the GPS accuracy anyway? You decide to give up. Just before you walk away you decide not to give up just yet, after all it was found two days ago so it must be here somewhere, right? This time, something I hadn’t noticed before caught my eye and a closer look revealed…  The micro! In my defence it was a very small micro and no wonder I hadn’t spotted it.

microdot

After that it it was pretty easy; using the newly discovered coordinates Skye and I were soon at the final location and signing the log. Alright, I admit it was just me signing the log. Now that she knows they aren’t edible, Skye really isn’t that bothered about the log-signing bit.

Oh, by the way, I got my 7 souvenirs. Here’s the 7th:

Groundspeak souvenir

If you’ve already got yours, congratulations! If not then there are still 8* days left :)

 

* At the time of posting


Crossing the border

I always enjoy drsolly’s puzzle caches. Usually with a technical or “IT” element, solving the puzzle stage to reveal the final coordinates is often the most enjoyable and sometimes the most challenging part. Inspired by the poem by W H Auden, Night Mail is one such clever cache from drsolly.

night mail

 

I did the original Night Mail back in September 2011. Two years later it had been archived and the good doctor had replaced it with a new Night Mail cache. As with the original, in order to discover the coordinates one has to control a model train in real time via a website. Great fun but no easy task I can assure you! I accomplished this tricky task when the cache was first published (last September) but for one reason after another I never managed to fit in a trip to find the physical cache.

A caching friend recently suggested we go to find this one so on Friday night he (Martin), Bob and I piled into my Freelander and set off, crossing the border into Buckinghamshire in search of the night mail. To be honest, finding the cache was the easy part after controlling the train and obtaining the coordinates, then allowing my satnav to send us on a roundabout tour of Chesham before we finally found the correct road out of the town. Isn’t technology wonderful/<insert your own adjective here>.

Our powerful torches piercing the stygian blackness (poetic licence), we found the cache without too much difficulty and, after suitable celebrations, found our way back to the car.

Before setting out we had decided to find another drsolly cache as well, as it was (sort of) on our way home. So the next stop was to find who is. If you are familiar with drsolly caches or maybe a cast member of the IT Crowd  then the method of obtaining the coordinates will hopefully leap out at you.

not me

Otherwise, I suspect you will be stuck. As you know, I’m not in the habit of putting spoilers in my blog posts, that would spoil the fun <evil laughter>. Once again, I had found the coords when the cache was published last September but, as with the Night Mail cache, it was sat in my “solved” list  for a time when I would be in the area.

Back to the tale. Although I had the waypoint in both my satnav and GPS I was driving into the unknown; luckily Bob had already identified an excellent parking spot. Also luckily, the hour was too early for nefarious activities, so three blokes parking up and disappearing into the bushes wasn’t going to raise any eyebrows. We had read that previous finders had found the coords a bit off so, after a look around at GZ, we widened the search and made use of some coords supplied by an earlier finder. These proved to be pretty accurate because after that we soon found the cache. The cache was full of the usual drsolly hardware plus, for some inexplicable reason, a large robot dog. It seemed happy enough to be there so we left it for the next cacher!


Job done

Well, we moved my mother-in-law into her new pad. We all needed a lie down afterwards.

Having a lie down


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