Condolence, Compassion, Community

On the 14th anniversary of the terrorist attack that occurred on September 11, 2001, the people of the City of Amsterdam, New York came together.  Politics, animosity, religious and cultural differences were set aside so our community could remember family members, first responders and volunteers who were injured or tragically and needlessly lost their lives in that horrific event. The ceremony was also a source of consolation for friends and family members of the victims who carry that grief to this day.

A piece of the fallen World Trade Center was erected as a remembrance in Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park. It was a solemn occasion consisting of familiar rituals, song and music designed to console those who are still suffering.

A second Soul Relieving Ceremony was held the next day by the Buddhist World Peace and Health and Guang Huan Mi Zong organizations utilizing the cultural and religious rituals familiar to the Chinese group. They prayed for the injured, lost and those who suffered on 9/11/2001.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, History, Media, WPHO | Tags: , , , , , ,

What I did Last Summer

Can’t believe it is Labor Day weekend already; the summer just flew by! I recently reviewed the images I took this summer for another project and thought I would post my favorites from summer 2015 here.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Amsterdam Photography Club, Outdoors | Tags:

American Pharoah

Tonight was the Travers Stakes race at Saratoga Racecourse and Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah did not win. He really didn’t have to because just appearing at this year’s Saratoga meet caused a major frenzy that really boosted track attendance. This blogger was not among the 50,000 people in attendance at the Traver’s Stakes. I did the next best thing and went to the Friday track warm-ups, which broke a record with over 15,000 people who came for just a glimpse of the horse that won the Triple Crown.

Saratoga Racecourse didn’t open for visitors until 7am on Friday and my friend and I arrived about 6:30am. We took a trip across the street to the Oklahoma Track where we got some great shots of the horses practicing in the morning fog at sunrise. Once we actually arrived at Saratoga’s main track where one can usually enjoy a leisure breakfast while watching the thoroughbreds warm up, we saw the very large crowd of people waiting for a glimpse of racing royalty. There was no room at the rail, people were planted in prime positions and would not move. My friend and I were shooting with cameras held high overhead to try and get some photos when a very gracious woman named Karen offered to trade her place when American Pharoah entered the track in exchange for one of my images.

The Triple Crown winning thoroughbred entered the track at 8:45am as promised escorted by a safety horse. They made one stop in front of the winner’s circle and one quick lap around the track before exiting promptly. People were frantically snapping photos on their cell phones and digital cameras. It was over in what seemed like seconds as the hoard of people now moved en masse to the parking areas where it took my friend and I about 40 minutes to get to Union Avenue. Despite the inconvenience, the opportunity was immensely enjoyed resulting in the following images. These images were shot with the FujiFilm X-T1 and the Fujinon XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens. Most of the images were shot at 1/1000 sec, f/5.6 at IS0 640. Continuous, wide area tracking autofocus was used with continuous high speed frames (8 frames/sec). Please do not copy or reproduce my images, they are my intellectual property and quite a bit of effort was spent creating them.

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Categories: Amsterdam Photography Club, Entertainment, Friends of Sanford Stud Farm, History, Outdoors, Photography | Tags: , , , ,

The Carnival is in Town!

“There has not been a carnival in the Town of Amsterdam in over 43 years!” exclaimed one local resident as he walked through the gate of the Carnival at Polar Plaza sponsored by the Friends of Sanford Stud Farm.  “It is larger than it looks from the road!’ was also heard among the many people in attendance. The professional midway put on by Gillette Shows is clean, safe and every child receives a prize on the many games of chance. The rides are amazing and fun. The carnival also sells pizza, hot dogs, fried dough, cotton candy as well as the decadent deep fried oreo cookies!

A portion of the proceeds from the carnival rides benefit the not-for-profit local organization Friends of Sanford Stud Farm. It is a fun event so please come, have a good time while helping the FSSF restore a national monument to local thoroughbred racing history. FSSF has an information table at the carnival entrance where they are selling raffle tickets to win a $1,000 cash prize and tickets for a takeout chicken dinner held in September.  Stop by and say hello!

The carnival is open Saturday August 15th from 1pm to 10pm and Sunday August 16th from 1pm to 6pm!

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Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Entertainment, Family, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , ,

Auger Falls

At the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in Hamilton County, New York is Auger Falls (Latitude 43,4673 Longitude -74,2465). Just north of the intersection of Routes 30 and 8 near Wells you will find a dirt road with 2 parking areas. Trails are marked by DEC and there is a sign in log at the falls end of the trail. A short walk through a wooded area takes you to a lookout over the falls. A walk along the waterway yields fantastic views of Adirondack scenery.  A FujiFilm X-T1 camera was used to create these images.

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Categories: Amsterdam Photography Club, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , ,

Roosevelt Dime at Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park

On Saturday, August 8, 2015, the Riverlink Park Summer Concert Series presented Roosevelt Dime.

Brooklyn-based Roosevelt Dime takes listeners on a journey through the whole of American roots music…from Americana and Memphis soul to “Mardi-Gras”—a bedrock of New Orleans rhythms that brings driving, melodic banjo, fat-back blues guitar, pure honky-tonk harmonies, and deliciously dirty vocals along for the ride. It makes for a groove so inspired The New York Times has called Roosevelt Dime “a perpetual crowd pleaser.”

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Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Entertainment, Music, Outdoors | Tags: , , , ,

Amsterdam’s Farmers’ Markets

The Farmers’ Markets in Amsterdam New York offer a variety of unique, quality products. Located both on Main and Church Streets, these markets supply fresh locally grown produce as well as handcrafted items.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Business, Outdoors | Tags: , ,

Schoharie County Sunshine Fair

2015 marks the 139th year of the Schoharie County Sunshine Fair, running from August 1st through August 8th on South Grand Street in Cobleskill, New York. The following photos were taken on opening day with a FujiFilm X-T1 mirrorless camera.

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Categories: Celebration, Entertainment, History, Outdoors, Photography | Tags: ,

Triskele at Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park

Triskele, an all female Celtic band from Albany NY. They are known for their stunning harmonies, singing the Gaelic language and for their Irish wit. These ladies perform traditional, original and some modern Celtic/Irish music. Triskele not only revitalizes the Gaelic language, but weaves history and traditions about growing up in Ireland lending a deeper appreciation of aural history. Most importantly, they’re fun!

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Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Entertainment, Music, Outdoors | Tags: , , , ,

Thoroughbred Racing at Saratoga

One of the best places to visit in New York State during the summer is the Saratoga Race Course. It is a time honored tradition for many and recently for me through photography and the not-for-profit organization, the Friends of Sanford Stud Farm. FSSF was established to preserve the thoroughbred racing legacy of the Sanford family, whose local Amsterdam farm Hurricana, bred, trained and raced thoroughbred horses for competition at Saratoga. Although most of the original farm is now commercial space, the group would like to save the remaining buildings to create a park where tourists could stop and learn about our rich history in thoroughbred racing.

I first photographed the Saratoga Race Course in the ’80s and several times last season, including the newly established Sanford Exhibit at the National Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. Breakfast at the track is a great way to see the thoroughbreds warm up without the crowds and the cost of admission. Trackside parking for breakfast opens at 6:45am and although you pay the parking fee ($12 weekdays, $15 weekends), the money is refunded if you exit the parking area by 10am.

The following photos were taken Saturday, July 25, 2015, at the 101st running of the Sanford Stakes. The trophy was presented by Landine (Sanford) Manigault and her son Pierre to horse #11 Uncle Vinny, trainer T. Pletcher, jockey J. Velasquez .

The #4 horse, Magna Light actually came in 1st place was was knocked down to 3rd after a formal complaint and controversial technical disqualification. Sanford descendant Landine Manigault felt badly for the owners and trainers of the disqualified Magna Light and asked me to take a photo with one of Magna Light’s owners to signify their win anyway.






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Categories: Amsterdam, Entertainment, Friends of Sanford Stud Farm, historic preservation, History, Outdoors | Tags: , , , ,

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