John & Anne Wiley

2013/08/29

Paradise

It was another magnificent day here in paradise (aka Santa Barbara), so we went flying with our visitor who’s here from Grants Pass. So beautiful!

2069 Goleta Beach

2069 Goleta Beach

From this moment after takeoff, and every moment until we landed again, the views were simply spectacular. Another visitor from out of town recently asked what’s the worst thing about living here. The honest answer was easy, “Leaving.”

2078 Butterfly Beach

2078 Butterfly Beach

2013/08/27

Round the Bend

I’m still pondering what it is about flying Manhattan and Monument Valley that makes those two places such precious memories among all the joys of our flying adventures. Another notion has to do with the delight of a child hugging the leg of an adult. I’m wondering if there are primal associations from childhood that resonate with our enjoyment of flying among skyscrapers and desert spires. Whatever the sources may be, I was ecstatic at the chance to finally fly around the tip of the city and up the East River.

3193 Looking Back

3193 Looking Back

After flying down the Hudson yet again, ATC cleared me to fly around the bend past Battery Park. In a couple of minutes we were looking back at the now familiar Hudson across “our” increasingly familiar city. There was the Brooklyn Bridge we’d ridden bikes out onto, some tall ships at the left evoking the early days here, and so many new places we now want to visit. Ahead we could see the Empire State and her children gathering to welcome us to this new perspective.

3197 Stately Gathering

3197 Stately Gathering

The always beckoning Park with the GW in the distance beyond seemed to reassure us that this new route would someday become another familiar path for our aerial visits.

3217 Approaching Return

3217 Approaching Return

I’d already been advised that we could soon turn to cross the Park and rejoin the Hudson for our return to White Plains, so I was both a little nervous at this First and very excited to see the Park so close.

3239 Park Bliss

3239 Park Bliss

Central Park has always been a particularly magical place for both of us, and has stood out among the sights on our aerial tours. So I was literally breathless at this new view. We even hoped to fly this route again some day, and it turns out we soon did!

2013/08/25

Magic

As I was looking through pix from our Islander Adventure to continue this review, I wondered why two quite different places are so powerfully magical to fly. Taking off from New Haven our hearts were filled with joy from our time with Molly & Dustin. Maybe that made the lighthouse more scenic.

2878 Haven Light

2878 Haven Light

A similarly scenic hour later we’d made a brief stop in White Plains and were passing this familiar bridge locals seem to call just “The GW.”

2899 George Washington Bridge

2899 George Washington Bridge

For us it marks one end of what is clearly one of our two most magical places to fly in North America. Of all the countless magnificent vistas our flying brings, Manhattan just stands out. Because we’ve explored Central Park several times, the joy of seeing this “heart” of NYC from the air is surely enhanced.

2910 Central Park

2910 Central Park

On every flight here there are fascinating things to notice, like the Space Shuttle joining the Concorde at the Intrepid Museum.

2919 Shuttle & Concorde

2919 Shuttle & Concorde

Another scene that evokes the “heart” of NYC is the area around the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden, and of course Times Square.

2930 Empire State Setting

2930 Empire State Setting

In the past decade and some, the area around this new tower also expresses the “heart” of NYC.

2942 Sparkling Heart

2942 Sparkling Heart

For us the Heart of NYC is also found in the warm smiles of our precious friends Bob & Enid, whom we’d picked up in White Plains.

3111 Shared Joy

3111 Shared Joy

All these delights contrast with the austere magnificence of Monument Valley where we’ve never visited on the ground and don’t yet have friends. So why are these two places so powerfully magical to fly that they stand out from all our other memories? Could it be that when we wander among tall buildings or towering spires, we are a newborn passed between friendly giants? Flying low enough to experience the planet in three dimensions is to feel yourself intimate with the earth, but not bound by it. Freedom in relationship.

2013/08/11

Linden to Haven (2)

The day after our first dose of Manhattan, Bob kindly drove us back to Linden so we could fly up to see our precious Molly & Dustin. Looking across NJ to the distant Big Apple we’d enjoyed a small taste of yesterday was thrilling. 🙂

2818 NJ to NYC

2818 NJ to NYC

Compared with the low clouds that blocked our way from Annapolis past the Verrazano to White Plains the day before, crossing the Verrazano this day was a breeze.

2819 Verrazano to NYC

2819 Verrazano to NYC

On a past visit we’d finally taken a ride on the Staten Island Ferry, though it turned out to be quite a disappointment after having flown the Hudson. Still, it was interesting to see it from the air in context.

2822 Staten Isl. Ferry

2822 Staten Isl. Ferry

In the earlier post from this day I shared one of the pix from our aerial float past Lady Liberty, but here’s another view of the ageless beauty.

2826 Stalwart Statue

2826 Stalwart Statue

Also a good view of Ellis Island, where many who first saw the statue faced the probably scary yet welcome first steps of a life in America.

2832 Ellis Island

2832 Ellis Island

I’ve wondered what this next interesting building was, so I looked it up to discover it’s the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal. Looks like it could use a bit of work.

2833 Central RR of NJ

2833 Central RR of NJ

Next what looks like an ordinary pic of some skyscrapers on the Jersey side. But if you look more closely in the middle, you’ll see what motivated me to snap this.

2842 Safe Passage

2842 Safe Passage

We’re not just safely on the other side of the river, but much higher. This and the skilled assistance of ATC is what keeps the Hudson safe for flying tours. Now here’s a view we don’t often get of the White Plains airport, because we’d typically have just taken off or be about to land.

2852 Airport to Nyack

2852 Airport to Nyack

In the far distance past the lake and across the Hudson you can see the cliffs of Nyack. Last today is our last aerial pic of that day, as we passed New Haven headed for the airport and another wonderful time with Molly & Dustin.

2863 New Haven

2863 New Haven

2013/08/09

NYC Entry (2)

So in my continuing review of pix from our Islander Adventure I’ve again reached the point where we entered The City. After a quiet night near the Linden, NJ airport we took the short train ride into Manhattan. Coming up out of Penn Station, the city greets you like an avalanche.

0539 Fun Overwhelm

0539 Fun Overwhelm

Stimulation everywhere. People, sounds, traffic, billboards, colors, movement, aromas. This place is Alive!

We wandered the city a little, then met our wonderful friend Bob at his mid-town office. On the way to join up with his delightful wife Enid at their cozy home in Nyack he took us to another place of overwhelm, named Fairway Market.

0552 Fairway Abundance

0552 Fairway Abundance

If it’s food and you like it, they have it. This pic shows perhaps 1% of the space in this enormous market tucked under a highway bridge along the Hudson River. We took our bags of bounty home, then the four of us enjoyed a walk among the abundance of Spring.

0560 Spring Smiles

0560 Spring Smiles

The spectrum of beauty surrounding their home near the other side of the Hudson is matched by the souls of these two. We walked and talked our way past the towering cliffs and onto the trail cut along the river. Such sweet memories, I sighed deliciously just now typing this. Friends and family add So much to our adventures in life. 🙂

2800 Timeless

2800 Timeless

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