30 days in USA: day 24 – the South Point and Green sand beach

Looking for a morning coffee in Kona… Kona is a coffee town, isn’t it? But I couldn’t find my coffee there. Green Flash – yucky, Lava Java – watery. Seems I stop to drink any coffee with milk in Kona. Well damn, if its hot and has a coffee flavor, let it be. We are sitting in the center of Kona, having breakfast with a sea view with Ali Drive by one hand and the ocean by another.

I believe I start to understand why Americans shocked about European, especially Italian coffee. First thing might be, where is my coffee and what is that thimble about?  But trying that deep thick aroma you can’t stay indifferent. There are good coffee shops in USA also but mostly they look like an insider’s shops, garages or small rooms whereas you get such a good coffee even in a gas station in Italy. Food theme in USA is very strange to me and I have much more to say about it. Probably, I’ll get back to the theme later.

We drive to the South point and Green Sand beach today. Calm nice road is ahead. South Point is the southern point of the USA (really, its not Key West) and a national historic landmark.You can spot a wind farm close to the point.

I made a small video about the trip.

It does feel as the end of the Earth, even thou that wind you can feel a vitality of nature’s power.
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By the way the point is one of Hawaii’s most popular and bountiful fishing place. You definitely meet a lot of fishermen.

_DSC5364-18Jul2015And cliff jumpers as well. I wish I could jump. But I didn’t. Continue reading

Day 23. Captain Cook trail. Honaunau park and coconut hunting.

This funny film where I am snorkeling and cracking whole coconut speaking Russian.

And the day 23 – trail to Captain Cook monument.

You have to be scared before the trail. Not all trails in Hawaii are like that but we chose challenging ones. It the trail is not as missed workout, it doesn’t worth doing. This one is short but good. Even to go downhill is challenging enough. My husband fall on the rocks and miraculously didn’t get crashed himself and the camera. After that he put in in the backpack and we don’t see any pictures from this trail until the very end.

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The only I have from my camera. 1/3 of the way is in high grass, which you can spot on the video above. Its disgusting enough, so you’d better wear long sleeve AND long shorts, which I didn’t have.

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Continue reading

Waipio Valley and Kona. Big Island. Day 22.

Ok, I was naive enough to think I would translate all my Hawaii and USA posts later but it had never happened. I even didn’t finished “USA month” yet. So from day 23 I decided to write it here directly.

Maybe not so huge posts but still something and of course a lot of pictures.

First of all I have short videos for each day, well, almost each day in Hawaii. And a lot, lots of pictures below.

This day we had to move from our jungle house in nowhere to Kona. This house was close enough to Waipio Valley, so we packed everything and went out to find it.

I read many warnings not to leave anything in a car while you are on a hike, so I was pretty nervous about that fact that we have all our stuff in the Jeep. On the parking close to Waipio was a booth with a guard, who was kind enough to promise to look after the Jeep. But still we packed our notebooks and camera and all passports backpack with us. Mine was ok, but my husband had on his back about 15 kg (28lb).

Of course, we knew that the road is steep but you know what we didn’t knew, it is the steepest road of its length in USA, for example.

The valley floor at sea level is almost 2,000 ft (610 m) below the surrounding terrain. A steep road leads down into the valley from a lookout point located on the top of the southern wall of the valley. The road gains 800 vertical feet (243.84 m) in 0.6 miles (0.9 km) at a 25% average grade, with steeper grades in sections. This is a paved public road but it is open only to 4 wheel drive vehicles. It is the steepest road of its length in the United States and possibly the world. The shore line in the valley is a black sand beach, popular with surfers. A few taro farms are located in the valley. Several large waterfalls fall into the valley to feed the river which flows from the foot of the largest falls at the back of the valley out to the ocean.

The warning sign which meets you at the start of the hike_DSC5147-15Jul2015And stunning view from the very beginning. I want to cry when I see this pics now in winter in Europe. Its freezing and gloomy and I wish to be there._DSC5207-16Jul2015Hiking lower_DSC5205-16Jul2015 Continue reading

Oahu. Part 1: Lanikai Beach, Pillbox trail, Waimanalo Park and Sandy Beach.

Let me skip first two days for one simple reason – we didn’t take our camera and relaxed with snorkeling and walking around. The third day my husband was totally sick with his throat and nose and fever so I had to tell “Good Bye” to my dreamy Olomana trail and turn to the beach.

The Lanikai beach was nice and very calm as recommended in Lonely Planet guide for families and snorkeling. But I wanted to have an adventure.

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You can take a kayak to the islands in front of the beach or even swim there. I was afraid to swim alone but it didn’t seem too far.

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Once I saw people climbing somewhere not far from the beach. And I said myself, if Olomana is not an option for us today, I can take this hike alone. My husband was bored and decided to join despite of his health condition. The trail named pillbox trail wasn’t very hard, but you need to have good shoes. It is muddy and many people fall.

Can be dangerous after heavy rain

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Watch some people climbing on the picture below.

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Lanikai beach and many many kilometers of water. Amazing!

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The view from the other side of the ridge

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Wonky stairs to the pillbox. Many people make pictures there.

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And finally

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Running down is an option. Maybe the one safety option.

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Sandy beach is told as a beach for brave. And that is true. i wouldn’t ever enter even with a bodyboard.

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There were a lot of rainbows there. Several tropical rains were passing by during that time.

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My favorite picture

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Selfie lovers. As you may guess they were washed in the water by waves. they were happy to get out quickly._DSC4391-08Jul2015-2

I would stay here forever

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In the mirror

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Trying to pose according to my beach mood board collection. It wasn’t as easy as it looked indeed.

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TOP 10 What I Did In New York This Summer #5

5. Grand Central Terminal New York

I have always thought it was not a deal to go sightseeing on a train station. But that definitely wasn’t that case! Not only we saw it in many films and pictures (now I could recognize the place!) but about the history of the station.

Many films also did location shooting in Grand Central Terminal. Films featuring Grand Central include:

  • Amateur
  • Around the World in 80 Days
  • Arthur
  • The Avengers
  • The Bone Collector
  • Broad City
  • By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept
  • Carlito’s Way
  • Cloverfield
  • Conspiracy Theory
  • The Cotton Club
  • Duplicity
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • Falling in Love
  • The Fisher King
  • The Following
  • The Freshman
  • Friends with Benefits
  • Gossip Girl
  • Hackers
  • The House on Carroll Street
  • Hugo
  • I Am Legend
  • K-PAX
  • Little Nicky
  • Loser
  • Madagascar
  • Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
  • Men In Black
  • Michael Palin: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Midnight Run
  • North By Northwest
  • One Fine Day
  • The Out-of-Towners
  • The Perfect Score
  • The Prince of Tides
  • Revolutionary Road
  • Superman: The Movie
  • Step Up 3
  • The Taking of Pelham 123
  • Unbreakable
  • Winter’s Tale

Built by and named for the New York Central Railroad in the heyday of American long-distance passenger rail travel, it covers 48 acres (19 ha) and has 44 platforms, more than any other railroad station in the world. Its platforms, all below ground, serve 41 tracks on the upper level and 26 on the lower, though the total number of tracks along platforms and in rail yards exceeds 100.

The Main Concourse is the center of Grand Central. The space is cavernous – 275 ft (84 m) long, 120 ft (37 m) wide and 125 ft (38 m) high – and usually filled with bustling crowds. The ticket booths are in the Concourse, although many now stand unused or have been re purposed since the introduction of ticket vending machines.

A lot of weddings make their photo shooting in the main concourse of the station. An even though we didn’t have a wedding, we did too.

It is full of events as well.

We spent more than two hours having fun and making pictures along Just married couples.

It is said that the Terminal had a secret 45th platform, which was used for president Roosevelt to get him to Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

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Dinner at Oysters bar wasn’t so impressive. Some articles say that The Oysters Bar is the best fish restaurant in NY. If so, poor you, I would say. But the place is worth visiting. I feel sad I ignored it before.


And that was a place when I wished my children were there with me.

I would recommend those books. I love old pictures of modern places.
     

  

TOP 10 What I Did In New York This Summer #4

4. Breakfast at Tiffany’s New York

While I was lying in a bed after a surgery I tried to entertain myself different ways. Many hours were spent surfing in the Internet regarding my upcoming USA trip.

Once I was boring, looking through some photo shoots and found an old picture from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” film. I had added “to have breakfast at Tiffany’s” in my NY to do list. Then when I came up with the details I found that there was no right café for the breakfast and if I really wanted to follow Audrey Hepburn heroine I had to come to 5th Avenue with a sandwich and coffee.

“Not bad idea!” – I thought. I decided to make a modern casual style of Audrey. To tell the truth, I had an idea to make my hair done but I did run this day very early morning and I was so short on time that I had to quit. I wore all black except the white Nike running shoes. Yes, modern Audrey in Manhattan would have worn running shoes definitely and we went out. The weather wasn’t nice but we had a lot of fun posing in front of Tiffani store on 5th Ave. Then we came in, tried out some earring, bought nothing and went to explore Waldorf. I will tell you about it soon.

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#2 TOP 10 What I Did In New York This SummerExploring The High Line  – most original urban park in America
#1 of TOP 10 What I Did in New York This Summer – sunrise on Manhattan’s fire escapes stairs
TOP 10 What I Did In New York This Summer #3 – One  World Observatory (opened 29th of May 2015)




TOP 10 What I Did In New York This Summer #3

3. One World Observatory (opened 29th of May 2015)

While I was planning my trip, I hadn’t been even opened yet.

One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the USA, and for that matter, the entire western hemisphere. The skyscraper ranks third tallest in the world, behind Mecca’s Makkah Royal Clock Tower, which measures some 1,972 ft (601 m) tall, and Dubai’s mammoth 2,717 ft (828 m) Burj Khalifa.

Building Facts

  • Opened October 2014
  • Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (David M. Childs)
  • Tallest of new WTC Complex
  • 104 Stories / 1776 feet high
  • 3 million rentable square feet of space
  • 55 foot high office lobby
  • 54 High-speed destination dispatch passenger elevators
  • Life-safety systems far exceed NYC building code
  • Bound by West, Fulton, Washington and Vesey Streets
  • 55% leased to tenants including Condé Nast


One World Trade Center is the new icon of New York’s skyline and the most recognized and desirable office address in the world.

There are places available

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Watch this amazing video. According to EarthCam’s YouTube page, the team cut together hundreds of thousands of high-definition images captured between October 2004 and Memorial Day 2015 to produce the stunning two-minute video of the building rising into the sky.

One World Observatory on the upper floors of New York City’s new One World Trade Center building opened to visitors May 29. There are absolutely new views to Manhattan from the top floors. Visitors can walk around the floors to see different views – from the southern Battery to uptown and beyond.

I was afraid of huge lines as to Empire State building but there was almost no line at all.

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The Main Observatory on the building’s 100th floor offers an “interactive skyline concierge” that helps to explain what landmarks and neighborhoods you’re seeing from on high. Here you can step onto a 14-foot-wide disc called the Sky Portal to look directly down and see what’s 1,250 feet below.

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Even the elevators (called Sky Pods) that whisk you up to the top are decked out with high-tech walls that re-create the city’s skyline from the 1600s to today. So interesting but very very fast just 60 seconds. I felt ear pressure when we were lifting up and down.

I found elevator video on YouTube and was happy to watch it again without a mess.

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The See Forever Theater on the 102nd floor shows a two-minute video of aerial views of the city.

What was really new – The Statue of Liberty and all those small and big ships.

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A view of New York City from over 381 m (1,250 ft) high

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#2 TOP 10 What I Did In New York This SummerExploring The High Line  – most original urban park in America
#1 of TOP 10 What I Did in New York This Summer – sunrise on Manhattan’s fire escapes stairs

I would recommend this book about how it was built.

One World Trade Center (How Did They Build That?)

TOP 10 What I Did In New York This Summer #2

2. Exploring The High Line  – most original urban park in America

_DSC2547-26Jun2015I found this place in the internet when I was surfing and looking for “something not very popular and special on Manhattan” but it was popular indeed. A lot of people were walking there at the same time. Anyway, I still recommend the place. It is really unusual, especially for those who love trains.

They have many events which you can find on The High Line website. They have Blue Bottle Coffee shop what is also nice. In June it was cold coffee, but I believe in autumn it is even better to enjoy a cup of hot espresso.

And as for now this is amazing to see how it looked like in 1930’s in their blog. If you are going to visit the High Line, check the old pictures before and try to spot those places. i could not do it now.

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The High Line (also known as the High Line Park) is a 1.45-mile-long (2.33 km) New York City linear park built in Manhattan on an elevated section of a disused New York Central Railroad spur called the West Side Line. Inspired by the 3-mile (4.8-kilometer) Promenade plantée (tree-lined walkway), a similar project in Paris completed in 1993, the High Line has been redesigned and planted as an aerial green way and rails-to-trails park.
The High Line Park uses the disused southern portion of the West Side Line running to the Lower West Side of Manhattan. It runs from Gansevoort Street – three blocks below 14th Street – in the Meatpacking District, through Chelsea, to the northern edge of the West Side Yard on 34th Street near the Javits Convention Center. An unopened spur extends above 30th Street to Tenth Avenue. Formerly, the West Side Line went as far south as a railroad terminal to Spring Street just north of Canal Street; however, most of the lower section was demolished in 1960, with another small portion of the lower section being demolished in 1991.

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With the opening of the High Line Park, many films and television shows have set sequences there. In 2011, the television series Louie used the High Line as a setting for one of the title character’s dates. Other works to set scenes on the High Line since it opened include the HBO series Girls, the Simpsons episode “Moonshine River“, and the film What Maisie Knew.

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The trail is made of pebble-dash concrete walkways that swells and constricts, swings from side to side, and divides into concrete tines that meld the hardscape with the planting embedded in railroad gravel mulch. Stretches of track and ties recall the High Line’s former use. Portions of track are adaptively re-used for rolling lounges positioned for river views.

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The High Line’s design is a collaboration between James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and planting designer Piet Oudolf. The design is inspired by the landscape that grew on the High Line during the 25 years after the trains stopped running. The various species of grasses, perennials, trees, and bushes were all chosen for their hardiness, sustainability, and textural and color variation, with a focus on native species. In many places, the High Line’s railroad tracks are returned to their original locations, integrated into the planting beds. Seating elements in – clude the park’s signature “peel-up” benches and riverview sundeck chaise lounges.

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  Some cute private small gardens which you could spot while walking on The High Line_DSC2594-26Jun2015

Check the previous one

#1 of TOP 10 What I Did in New York This Summer – sunrise on Manhattan’s fire escapes stairs

I would recommend this book
High Line: The Inside Story of New York City’s Park in the Sky

TOP 10 What I Did In New York This Summer #1

  1. Sunrise on Manhattan’s fire escapes

 431556_600  I woke up very early, thanks to jet lag. I was laying and waiting for at least a ray of light from my window. New York slept. Yes, it sleeps at 4-30 am, definitely. Then I found that our bed is right under the window with a fire escape. We tried to open it and voila, I was standing on those romantic stairs ever, just awaken still in my lingerie and with disheveled hairs. I felt I was inside of one of those Hollywood films just like Richard Gere or many other film heroes. That was so amazing!

 Jolly well, we made a photo shooting there. The stairs like that is a symbol of Manhattan for me. We rented an apartment on Airbnb. It wasn’t neat by the way, but it was on Manhattan, it was in old building and it made me feel so Newyorky.

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I found a piece of history about fire escapes in NYC. I was very excited to know.

The first law was enacted in 1860, requiring all tenement houses to have fire escapes. Then New York Labor – Title 3 – § 273, was enacted after the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in 1911 which killed 146 immigrant workers in a building now part of NYU. The law required that fire escapes on office and factory buildings built after October 1st, 1913 had to be made of wrought iron or steel with the ability to sustain a live load of 90 pounds per square foot or greater with an additional safety factor. Other requirements recommended a “continuous or straight run stairway” if possible, a balcony “firmly fastened” to the building on every floor with iron railings, and unobstructed opening to fire escape of a least 2 feet wide and 6 feet in height.
One thing you notice on street level is that last staircase, which is required by law to go “from the lowest balcony to a safe landing place bene
ath.” The staircase must either remain down permanently or arranged to swing up and down.
Ever wonder why some fire escapes are in fun colors? A later law, which affected fire escapes constructed after April 18, 1929 required every fire escape made of material that might rust “be painted with two or more coats of good paint in contrasting colors… Whenever a fire-escape becomes rusty, the owner shall repaint it with two additional coats of good paint.” The latest fire escape law also has a variation of this rule.

This picture is where we lived. Upper East Side 93th Street

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The second law also had specifications about interior access and where fire escapes can be constructed in general, like in the photo below where fire escapes are permitted “in a court of a non-fireproof multiple dwelling to serve an apartment or suite of rooms which does not contain any room fronting upon a street or yard.” Additionally, it banned reuse of old materials or cast-iron in new construction.
The latest law appears to be 1 RCNY §15-10, available on NYC.gov, which goes through everything in great detail, down to what a “goose-neck ladder” is. But, the fire escape may not be long for the city. In April 2015, the FDNY spokesman Jim Long told the New York Post, “Those fire escapes are going the way of the dinosaur,” because fireproofing is seen as more effective.