FROM NEW YORK
(click on thumbnails to enlarge)
Vivid Late Fall Colors in Westchester
RYE TOWN, New York, Nov 17 - When Elizabeth and were in New York two and half weeks ago, the colors of fall were barely discernible in Central Park (click here to see). Now, the leaves are all but gone. Those that are left, however, provided spectacular colors, as if four seasons were fused into one day. Check them out, starting with that beautiful early evening moon hovering over the Hilton hotel in Rye (right). (I have been attending a business conference here in the last few days). One IBM executive who saw me take that picture later suggested that it should hang in the hotel lobby as a painting/poster. :-)
Two days later, as the conference was winding down, the sun burst through the clouds as if baiting me to come out and see the beauty God's art gallery offeres for those willing to open their eyes to it. What I saw was food for the soul...
It even inspired me to create some new art. The above, for example, is a composite panorama picture which consists of five individual frames. It is not exactly a true photo of the hotel grounds; more like an "artist's impression" of it.
The same here. This (above) is also an artist's rendition of the late afternoon sunlight reflecting off a lake through the woods. It took two frames to create this panorama view.
Then as I walked down the hill toward the road...
... I captured this view of "weeping granite" (cliffs - left). A little farther down the road, the high school football field was still green, even if most of the trees around it had dropped their leaves. Back at the hotel, vivid fall colors were screaming for joy in bright sunshine (two right shots).
Given so many magnificent art displays in God's Westchester fall gallery, it would be hard to chose one's "most favorite" shot (I invite you to do it and let me know which photo you would pick). The one on the left would come close to the top as one of my favorites. I also picked some bright maple fuchsia leaves for a lapel buttoner which I plan to take home to Hawaii as a New York autumn souvenir (middle left).
Meanwhile, the hotel's convention lobby looks like it is the depth of winter with its pretty frosted glass windows (middle).
As I walked around the hotel after the business meetings were over, I came across a lively function of some Westchester County volunteer organization. A five-piece band was playing swing-era tunes to which women-and-women and men-and-women couples danced happily (middle right). I waited till their luncheon was over, and then started playing a Yamaha baby grand in the hallway outside the grand ballroom (the right shot is a file photo with my Steinway back home). After a while, an elderly gentlemen with a Fedora hat like the one I am wearing in that picture came over. He was smiling broadly. He also carried a sizeable case containing a musical instrument. He waited till I finished the piece I was playing, Mozart's Turkish March, as it were, and then shook my hand. He introduced himself as such and such (Italian sounding name).
"I play saxophone," he said, pointing to the large bag.
"Please do meet you," I replied warmly. There is an instant bonding that takes place among musicians when they meet, even if complete strangers, such as in this case. Music tends to fuse hearts and souls faster than any other art form. At least that's been always my experience.
"That sounded wonderful," he said. "Where do you work these days?"
"I beg your pardon?" I said.
"Yeah. You're obviously a professional. So I was just curious."
I smiled at the unintended compliment. "Well, I used to be..." I started to say. Before I could finish the sentence and explain that nowadays I tend to compose more new hybrid pieces, and perform less in public, the saxophone player interjected...
"Nah... I can see you still are. You've still got your chops."
I smiled again. Guess that's musicians' trash talk. "My chops!"
Anyway, I thanked him for his compliment. I valued it all the more because it did come from a professional musician. As we said our goodbyes, I started to play "In the Mood," figuring that was right up his alley. He started to sway his hips as if dancing to it, then turned around and waved.
It was a good afternoon. Music also wiped away my jet-lag.
Hm... that's a revelation. I have not tried that remedy before. :-)