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Earlier this month my trusty sidekick (second shooter and long time friend) Amy flew out for a wedding up in Garrison, New York.  While it’s uncommon for me to travel for work, I wouldn’t say that I don’t, because for the right job paired with my love of travel, it’s a great excuse to book a wedding on the other side of the coast.

We flew into Newark, NJ, landing at 11 pm, picking up our rental car then proceeded to get completely lost.  As I drove over some random bridge I pointed out at the skyline, “Is that the city?” I asked.  Yep, it was NYC.  So, I decided to chase it for a better view.  I mean, really at 11:45 pm, why the heck not when you’re not at all tired.  Yes, it was probably dangerous, no I didn’t tell Mr. Wonderful or else he would’ve not be thrilled with my choices, but how often do you get to do something so sporadic?

Liberty Park

I found signs pointing to Liberty Park and so I figured, hey let’s just go!  We parked and walked close to the dock to get a better view.

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Here’s an idea of where we were:

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For those wondering, I shot at super crazy high ISO on my 5DIII, and in LR I fix the noise.  If you don’t have a tripod, shooting at a crazy high ISO at night is fine when you shoot against a black sky – you can for the most part fill in the grain in post so it looks decent (adjust the noise in Lr).

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Even got a peek at Miss Liberty.

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The New World Trade Center

Here’s One World Trade Center also known as 1WTC.  I had a friend named Gina (we met in high school in Seattle for a journalism high school conference and have lost touch since MySpace went away) who worked in one of the twin towers and she made it out alive.  She said she was in an elevator heading down (before realizing how unsafe it was and made a mad rush for the stairs).  She heard the cables snap of the elevator next to her and I’ll leave it at that, because the thought makes me sad.  I’ve already cried my eyes out on Sept. 11 watching documentaries on History channel – it happens every year.

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The second time I was in NYC I visited Ground Zero a year after 9-11.  I remember seeing the work done, the signs everywhere and I had a heavy heart and I didn’t want to take pictures or smile in the photos taken.

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Yes I am sweating in this picture, it was freaking humid, East Coast, how do you do it?

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This was a monument dedicated to the fallen from 9-11.  On it has names.

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I would also guess this piece was from the damage.

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Afterwards, it was around 1 a.m. and we thought, hm, maybe we should check into our hotel, but I was hungry.  So, after a quick drive back into town, we went to Elizabeth, New Jersey and found a 24 hour NY Pizza place!  Yessss!  I miss living in big cities.  In LA, you could find food at all hours of the day – even 3 a.m. it was fantastic.  When I moved to Phoenix at age 23, I nearly died of boredom from everything closing early and nothing to do or eat – not even a McDonalds stays open late.

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Pizzzzaaa!  I’m half Ninja Turtle.

And, we had NY pizza again the next night, can you blame us?

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It was my fourth time in the state of New York, but the three previous times I spent in the city, so this was a real treat to take a car and explore a little more north.

I spent the next two days enjoy the view of the Hudson River – let’s say you will be blown away by the location of this wedding.

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No, that’s not where they had the ceremony, that’s just a fun little spot. I had the bride twirl around in her dress inside though.  There were so many spots everywhere on the large property overlooking the Hudson River.

Our drive from Fishkill (30 minutes north of Garrison) down south was absolutely amazing and worth the drive.  My best friend Jackie lived in NYC for a few years post college, she didn’t stay long in LA after graduation when we both lived there.  But then when I left LA a few years later, she left NYC and returned to LA staying for many years before going back to SF.  I just think of how incredible it is to live in the two biggest cities and experience that when you are young.  If I could do it over again I would definitely give a year in my 20s to live in New York, what a place!