USA || Exploring Staten Island, New York City

life as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island chinese scholars garden

A quick service announcement before today’s post: My old domain name will be expiring soon so if you follow along with Feedly you will need to switch to this feed for continued updates. That’s all.

I’m trying to come up with some sort of introduction to this post, but my mind is drawing a blank. It’s another NYC post, that’s all I’ve come up with so far. It’s us taking the ferry to Staten Island and walking around a lot. Good job I wrote the majority of this blog post whilst we were in NYC, instead of trying to put it together with bank-holiday-brain. Dammit brain.

Moving on from nothing and getting back to the holiday.

We had hoped to visit all five boroughs of NYC whilst we were there, and that’s pretty much how Staten Island became one of our plans, I’d also read about some hikes too. We didn’t get a chance to visit The Bronx in the end, as we’d changed our mind about heading to the zoo and well, getting married took up a few days. Valuable exploring time lost in the name of love, it was pretty awful. Still we had Staten Island so all was not lost.

The plans for Staten Island were a little bit of nature and a little bit of walking. But first we had to get there, Queens to Staten Island is quite the journey, about two hours by subway and ferry by the time you’ve gone into Manhattan, then down to Battery Park and across the water.

We spent the first part of the day at the Botanical Gardens, which we were never quite sure if we were actually in. The gardens were roughly located in a large open area with different buildings, museums, greenhouses and what seemed like individual gardens and not the specific botanical gardens. It was all completely free to wander about, and we eventually found a sign that explained what everything was, although the take home message was “closed (or rather, dead) for winter”. We’d come specifically to see the Chinese scholars garden, which was open during the wintertime so at least we had that and greenhouses that were open yet seemingly unsupervised. It’s was all a little weird, and since we were the only people around, even weirder.

life as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island life as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island life as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island life as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island life as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island life as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island life as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island botanical gardens life as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island botanical gardens life as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten islandlife as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island chinese scholars garden life as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island chinese scholars garden

The $5 entrance to the Scholars Garden was a lot to scoff at given that it was the winter, and we’d already been to visit the Brooklyn Botanical Garden for free. Still, curiosity killed the bank account and all that. As always, places like this would look a bajillion times better in the spring or summertime, but it wasn’t summer and I can’t afford another trip so wintertime photos it is.

life as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island chinese scholars gardenlife as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island chinese scholars garden life as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island chinese scholars garden life as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island chinese scholars gardenlife as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island chinese scholars garden life as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island chinese scholars gardenlife as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island chinese scholars garden life as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island chinese scholars garden life as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island chinese scholars gardenlife as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island chinese scholars garden life as unusuals blog exploring nyc staten island chinese scholars garden

I still liked it. But it was definitely not worth the $5 when everything outside of the garden could be seen for free. We did see another person, so we really paid $5 to watch some man faff about with his tripod and take photos of the same plant for a very long time.

This took us up until lunch time, then we caught the bus back to the ferry terminal to catch the subway to go for our little hike. We took a detour in search of food that didn’t exist, grabbed some snacks from the shop instead and then tried to continue riding the subway a few more stops. But due to technicalities (such as: reading the subway timetable the wrong way), we accidentally ran to the subway, missed a train that never existed then ran for a bus and, on the plus side, ended up a lot closer to the start of the hike than if we’d just waited for the next subway train.

So, with our chocolate flavour dried chickpeas in hand, off on a mini hike we went.

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It was so peaceful compared to the city. We were the only people around, which seems to be the norm every time we go hiking. I’m sure their should be a few more people around, but I guess wintertime walks in dying forests aren’t their thing. We followed two small trails then bused it back to the ferry and arrived just in time.

And that was another day done and dusted in New York City. The chocolate chickpeas were weird, I don’t recommend them, buy rice crackers instead. 

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Life || Photo An Hour March

life as unusuals blog photo an hour march

A quick service announcement before today’s post: My old domain name will be expiring soon so if you follow along with Feedly you will need to switch to this feed for continued updates. That’s all.

When Louisa announced that March’s photo an hour link up was going to be on a Sunday, I almost gave it a miss. Sundays are for lazing at home and we all know, I have a bit of a love hate relationship with indoor photos. I hate them, and they love to make me feel shit about myself and my photo taking abilities.

But, I didn’t want to ruin my monthly photo an hour tradition, so I stopped whinging and just got on with it. I only whined at around 2pm because Kris didn’t have anything interesting on his desk to take a photo of. The rest, went quite well.

It’s not so much a photo an hour of my day, but rather a look into what I could see at each hour. Mostly, this meant getting off my desk chair or the sofa, walking to another part of the apartment and going “yup, I’m totally seeing this, right now, how convenient for my photo an hour”.

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11AM

The day started off pretty shoddy with being conned out of an hour with the clocks moving forward and the morning being over in the blink of an eye. Well, more of a groan and an angry gesture to being woken up so early. After eventually agreeing to wake up, I enjoyed my cinnamon and apple tea and checked out what was going cheap on the Kindle daily deal.

12PM

Today turned into one of those days where I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I started with a bit of photo editing for some upcoming blog posts and I made sure to search through my photos for a good one for the photo of the hour.

life as unusuals blog photo an hour march

1PM

After a bit of editing I changed my mind and decided I fancied giving the house a little tidy. I started my making the bed, and laying little Nigel out just to take a photo. I never make the bed otherwise.

2PM

After fake-making the bed, washing up and putting some washing on. I sat down to write a blog post. Since Kris doesn’t have anything interesting one his desk to photograph, I took a picture of the window sill instead. This time, I was too lazy to removed all the crap though, so yup, that’s half a garden ornament, an old shoe box with a hamster sized hole and a duvet. I like to keep a duvet on the sofa for emergency naps, or for when the Man Flu strikes.

life as unusuals blog photo an hour march

3PM

Here I am, casually peering at my bookshelf at 3PM. Sort of. Not. I did finally finish reading the entire collection of A Series Of Unfortunate Events though, so that’s something. I just didn’t do that today.

4PM

A legitimate photo. A really did sit down and read my book when I took this photo. I’m not a complete fraud.

life as unusuals blog photo an hour march

5PM

I was still reading, but since I was reading by the window, I did get to enjoy the sunshine on my back. Until we were engulfed into a black cloud and it poured with rain.

6PM

I’m pretty sure pizza happens more often than not in my photo an hour posts. Oh well, pizza be good.

And dinner is a good a time as any to call the day to an end. For the rest, we watched some daredevil, I read more of my book and chilled with Ham-Dude. How was your long weekend? 

Linking up with Jane and Louisa, as always. 

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Life || Photo A Day #12

life as unusuals blog photo a day #12 project 365

A quick service announcement before today’s post: My old domain name will be expiring soon so if you follow along with Feedly you will need to switch to this feed for continued updates. That’s all.

I’m running out of introductory talk for these posts. I’m just going to let this part of the post dwindle into nothing and let the photos talk about themselves.

I don’t want to bring up this weeks shitty events again, but that put quite a damper on the week to say the least. But, there’s always good things to find even with that in mind. The end of Man Flu for one thing. A new cage and DIY project for another and there’s always tasty food and a good book or two to help the week along.

On to the photos!

18th March

life as unusuals blog photo a day #12 project 365

The epitome of Man Flu.

19th March

life as unusuals blog photo a day #12 project 365

Since Kris was still feeling the effects of being sick, we decided that we’d just pop into town and have a leisurely weekend. I had some library books to drop off and then spent most of the day trying to find somewhere to sell me a bookmark so I can stop using my very (very) old library card from my home town. Here’s a snap of the church in town, St. Pieterskerk.

20th March

life as unusuals blog photo a day #12 project 365

There’s no pretending, Sundays are always days spent at home. It’s the one day of the week where I just sit on my butt and get a chance to do all the blog stuff, reading and whatever else I feel like. The only picture I took was a picture of lunch. Peanut butter and jam on part-baked rolls.

21st March

life as unusuals blog photo a day #12 project 365

Grey days. The day started off so promising and then not so much.

22nd March

life as unusuals blog photo a day #12 project 365

I had plans for today, Kris and I were going to Brussels for the afternoon but that was all changed by the mornings attacks at the airport and metro. Instead, I met Kris from work to grab some lunch in our town and tried to shake off the uneasy feelings with some sunshine. Also, thank you to all who asked about us, we’re all good here, luckily for us we don’t live in Brussels although, we’re only about 20-30km away so things are a bit tense around here.

23rd March

life as unusuals blog photo a day #12 project 365

I had two surprise deliveries today. We’d ordered some things for Choppy, but they weren’t due to turn up until the end of the month, but they came today. Good job I decided to put my jeans on and get out of my dressing gown. We spent the evening putting some of Choppy’s bits into his new giant box and letting him check it out.

He wasn’t best pleased to go back to the other cage for the night, but it’s not all connected up yet. That’s for the weekend!

24th March

life as unusuals blog photo a day #12 project 365

Another food shot, because I’m all out of ideas again and didn’t think about this photo sooner in the day.

Another week done and dusted. Yippee. 

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