Monday, September 29, 2008

NYC Pics #4: Midtown Manhattan at Sunset

These pictures of the Empire State Building and Midtown Manhattan were taken at sunset from the observation deck at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My last regular season game at Shea Stadium

I went to today's Mets game at Shea Stadium. We were thrilled to watch Mets starting pitcher Johan Santana pitch a masterful, 3 hit, 9 strikeout, complete game shutout to beat the Florida Marlins by the score of 2-0. The victory moved the Mets to just 1/2 game behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Wildcard race. The Mets have only one game left in the regular season. As I type this post, the Chicago Cubs have a 4-1 lead over the Brewers in the eighth inning. If the Cubs can hold on and defeat the Brewers, the Brewers and the Mets will be tied for the Wildcard going into tomorrow's game.

Today's pitching performance by Santana came on only 3 days rest after he threw a career high 125 pitches in his last start. As Santana pitched the ninth inning, the Mets crowd chanted "Jo-han, Jo-han" in appreciation for their ace pitcher coming through with a great performance in the Mets most important game this season to date. Santana ended up finishing with a record of 16-7 with a 2.53 ERA in his first season with the Mets.

Here is a picture of Shea Stadium just before the start of the game. Just beyond the outfield is the Mets new home starting next year, Citi Field.

Friday, September 26, 2008

NYC Pics #3: Tweed Courthouse

Tweed Courthouse is located on the north side of City Hall Park, behind City Hall, on Chambers Street. This is the second oldest city government building in New York City. The building is currently home to the New York City Department of Education.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

NYC Pics #2: Federal Hall on Wall Street

Federal Hall is located on Wall Street in the Financial District and is where George Washington took the oath of office as the first President of the United States. Federal Hall was also home to the first Congress, Supreme Court and Executive Branch of the government when New York City was the nation's capitol.

These pictures are of the statue of George Washington in front of Federal Hall. The first two pictures were taken with the Sigma 8mm fisheye lens; the last two with the Canon EF-S 10-22mm wide angle lens.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

NYC Pics#1: Trinity Church

I've lived in New York City all of my life and have enjoyed visiting many of the historical and cultural places in the City. On most days, I am usually in either Manhattan, Queens or Brooklyn.

Today I am starting a new series of posts with pictures of different places around New York City. Many of the places are very familiar and have been photographed countless times. My goal is to try to capture images of these familiar places in a fresh way from my perspective.

Last week, I was in the Financial District and made a quick stop at Trinity Church which is located at the intersection of Broadway and Wall Street. I used to live a few blocks from Trinity Church, but never visited this historical landmark during that time. I was surprised to learn that this was, in fact, the third Trinity Church at this site. The first Trinity Church was built in 1698 and was destroyed in the Great New York City Fire of 1776. The second Trinity Church was built in 1788 and was later torn down because of severe snowstorms in 1838-1839. The Trinity Church of today was built in 1846.

Here is Trinity Church:

The original Trinity Church burial ground includes the graves and memorials of many historical figures including Alexander Hamilton (the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and a Founding Father) and Robert Fulton (developed the first commercially successful steamboat).

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My last game at the current Yankee Stadium

I was at Yankee Stadium on Thursday to watch the Yankees beat the Chicago White Sox by a score of 9-2. Starting pitcher Mike Mussina picked up his 18th win of the season. This was likely my last game at the current Yankee Stadium because the Yankees are moving to a new stadium across the street for the 2009 season. This Sunday is the last regular season game at the current stadium. The Yankees are in third place in the American League East and are not expected to make the postseason.

Emilio "Millito" Navarro threw out the ceremonial first pitch of Thursday's game. Mr. Navarro was the first Puerto Rican to play in the Negro Leagues. He is also the oldest living professional baseball player at the age of 102.

I watched the game from my seat on the main level, but later in the game I went to the upper deck to take this wide angle shot.

After the game as I waited on the subway platform for my train, I took a picture through the metal bars of the platform fence. This picture shows the current Yankee Stadium on the left and the new Yankee Stadium on the right which is still under construction.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

2008 U. S. Open

I went to a few sessions of the 2008 U.S. Open tennis tournament at Flushing Meadows, New York. The best match I got to see was the 4th round match between eventual men's champion Roger Federer and 23rd seed, Igor Andreev. Federer was expected to win the match easily, but Andreev played very well. Federer won in 5 sets, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Federer went on to defeat Andy Murray in the finals to earn his 5th straight U.S. Open title.

Here is Federer serving to Murray:

I also had fun watching an exhibition match between Michael Chang and Todd Martin. Both these players have been retired for several years, but they still played at a high level.

Michael Chang was one of my favorite players. He was the youngest-ever male winner of a Grand Slam singles title when he won the French Open in 1989 at the age of 17. Possibly the most exciting match I ever saw was the 4th round match of the 1989 French Open between Chang and then World No. 1 ranked player Ivan Lendl. The 17 year old Chang showed a tremendous amount of determination and toughness in beating Lendl. I was glued to the television and became on instant fan.

Here is a short synopsis of the match between Chang and Lend from Wikipedia:

1989 French Open match vs Ivan Lendl

Perhaps Chang's most famous match took place at the 1989 French Open, which was Chang's only Grand Slam singles title. In the fourth round, he faced the World No. 1 and three-time former champion Ivan Lendl. Conventional wisdom made Lendl the heavy favorite to win the match against the 15th seeded and 17-year-old Chang.

Everything seemed to be going to form when Lendl comfortably took the first two sets 6–4, 6–4 and then broke Chang's serve in the opening game of the third set. But Chang broke back immediately and went on to claim the third set 6–3. Part way through the fourth set, Chang experienced a severe attack of leg cramps. Fighting to stay in the match, Chang resorted to some novel tactics. For a period, he began taking all speed out of the match by playing "moon balls", causing Lendl, who was known to be one of the calmest players, to lose his rhythm. He began to swear at the umpire and the crowd, especially after losing a key point in the fifth set when Chang shocked him by delivering an under-arm serve. Chang later explained, "I was trying to break his concentration. I would do anything to stay out there." (That underhanded serve achieved cult status among amateurs and, at least in Chang's hometown area of Southern California, it was not unheard of to see juniors emulate the swing in desperation while trying to come back from behind in a match during the 1990s.)

Barely able to stand, and screaming with pain after many of his shots, Chang continued to battle on. Despite being on the verge of physical breakdown, he fought his way to a 5–3 lead in the fifth set with two match points on Lendl's serve. Aiming to break Lendl's concentration one more time, Chang stood well inside the baseline, almost at the T-line in the centre of the court while waiting to receive Lendl's serve (normally an almost suicidal position when facing an opponent's serve). The tactic worked as Lendl produced a double-fault to give Chang the victory, 4–6, 4–6, 6–3, 6–3, 6–3 in four hours and 37 minutes. Chang sank to his knees and broke down in tears at the conclusion of the match. Seven days later, he became the youngest male champion in Grand Slam history.

Here is the now 37 year old Michael Chang in an exhibition match at the 2008 U.S. Open:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 9/11/01

Three years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, I was renting an apartment a few blocks from Ground Zero. On September 11, 2004, New York City held a light tribute in honor of those who lost their lives that day. I took this picture from the Rector Street pedestrian bridge on West Street.