Friday, July 27, 2007

Channeling my Inner Korean Chef

I am a great lover of international cuisine. But there are a few dishes that top the rest, and for me, one of those is a Korean noodle dish called jap chae. I am embarrassed to say that back in the day when I had a job that required me to work late (and allowed me to order in my dinner and expense the client for it) I had jap chae from my favorite Korean restaurant a few times every week.

I really like it that much. Since I left the world of long hours and expensed dinners, I have been missing the jap chae in my life--but no longer!

Last week I made a detour through Koreatown and, after much searching in the Korean grocery, finally found the sweet potato noodles I needed to make jap chae for myself at home. And last night I did it! And it was fantastic! And easy! This is a life-changing development, no question about it. Now I just need to learn to make kimchi, and I will be all set for an at-home Korean feast.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Vegetables and Voldemort

After a few months of using my new camera it has become clear to me that I actually do have a preferred subject for my photos: vegetables. Perhaps it's the summer season, or my love of farmers' markets, or the fact that the bright colors and textures virtually guarantee a nice photo, but there is no question that I gravitate to vegetable portraiture.

Today's veggies of choice came from the Union Square green market. I bought a bunch of the radishes below and munched on a particularly peppery one as I walked around admiring the other offerings.

The truly ubiquitous sight of the afternoon was the multitude of people sitting in Union Square Park reading the final Harry Potter book. I did not see any capes and broomsticks (in contrast to last night, when they were out in full force) but the Potter fans were everywhere. On the other hand I also saw someone holding up a sign saying "J.K. Rowling discriminates against dark wizards." Voldemort groupie or victim of a confundus charm? I couldn't be sure.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Petite Abeille

Petite Abeille: It's not just the name of the NYC bistro where my husband and I had our first date; it's also the distinctive bumble bee design on the Abeille line of La Rochere glassware. A good friend gave me a lovely set of the Abeille water glasses as a gift some years ago, but as a result of some rough handling by movers on their trip over to Brooklyn, their numbers dwindled. I guess I expressed my disappointment a few times (they were my favorites after all, some lamenting was warranted), because today my husband surprised me by replenishing the set! In honor of the happy occasion, I'm posting a photo of the petite abeille. Isn't he cute?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Summer Saturdays

I'm relaxing this evening after a full weekend of fun, friends, and good food. Saturday was a perfect day for wandering through farmers' markets (which I did, in the early hours of the morning when the farmers were just putting out their produce), picnicking in the park with good friends (which I did, enjoying delicious fruit, bread, cheese, and salami from Zabar's), and for generally making the most of the beautiful weather (which I definitely did, from the 10K run in Central Park early in the morning, to the late night gelato in Midtown). These onions were captured at the farmer's market. In spite of the excellent scenery, I spent most of the day enjoying my relaxation too much to take out the camera.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Patiently Waiting in Philly

We had a mini-reunion of family and friends in Philly this past weekend. In between the eating, Wii playing, and two great tennis matches (first Naisohn vs. some poor guy who never knew what hit him, and second Federer vs. Nadal) I managed to catch this classic scene-- a gentleman waiting for his lady to emerge from the fitting room.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Fourth of July

As you may have noticed, I have been doing a lot of reading on the Digital Photography School blog lately. A recent post gave tips on taking pictures of fireworks, and since 'twas the season, I had to give it a try. So I got myself a beginner's tripod and set it up on our rainy rooftop yesterday evening to try out some shots of the July 4th fireworks. I had to get there early to stake out a good spot, but got some decent shots in spite of the rain and slightly slanted rooftop.

All of these were taken at ISO 200 with shutter speeds varying from 1/2 a second (the last shot) to 10 seconds (the shot above). Though I experimented with some lower apertures, I found f8 served me best.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Before and After

Early in the life of my new camera my husband had the foresight to gift me with a polarizing filter. In spite of his patient explanations, for months I could not understand for the life of me what it was supposed to do. But last week I read a blog entry on polarizing filters at Digital Photography School on the subject and finally had my "eureka" moment. Finally aware of what I was looking for, I immediately set out to try it. It's amazing!

The aim is to rotate the filter just so, causing it to block the glare of the sunlight off of a surface (like sunglasses would do). I've posted some of my "before and after" shots here. The first shot is without the polarizing filter, and the second is with. What a difference!