Adjusting my aperture in Falmouth, Cape Cod

Love Cape Cod? Return to this blog all this week for quintessential visuals of Woods Hole and Falmouth.

I’ll be capturing late summer fun on shell-lined beaches, at quaint seafood shacks, along shoreline bike paths and inside friendly souvenir shops.

Since visiting for the first time last October, Mom, sis and me can’t seem to stay away. Come with us, as we explore ‘off the map’ using bikes, boats and bare feet to get us where we want to be.

This years' extreme drought has stressed out the lawns but there's still plenty of water in the pools at ShoreWay Acres B&B and Hotel.

This years’ extreme drought has stressed out the lawns but there’s still plenty of water in the pools at ShoreWay Acres B&B and Hotel.

The always-in-season Lobster Roll , this one is courtesy of Shuckers oyster bar and grill in Woods Hole.

The always-in-season Lobster Roll , this one is courtesy of Shuckers oyster bar and grill in Woods Hole.

No trip to Cape Cod is complete without a pair of havaianas flip-flops from Molinas.  The owner of this distinctly unique store (303 Main) will offer to teach you Spanish, if you Por favor.

No trip to Cape Cod is complete without a pair of havaianas flip-flops from Molinas. The owner of this distinctly unique store (303 Main) will offer to teach you Spanish, if you Por favor.

The ocean water is a whopping 78 degrees at area beaches along Shoreline Drive.  Beachcomber, Mutti, has no qualms about venturing into the deep zone.   In the foreground is washed up seaweed known as sargassum.

The ocean water is a whopping 78 degrees at area beaches along Shoreline Drive. Beachcomber, Mutti, has no qualms about venturing into the deep zone. In the foreground is washed up seaweed known as sargassum.

To see a growing pile of more photos, visit my FLICKR ALBUM.

NYC’s iconic views are a changing

Brooklyn Heights

Brooklyn Heights

Brooklyn Heights

Ahhhh, the Manhattan skyline. What could be more beautiful to a tourist visiting for the first time or someone who has lived here their entire life?

But iconic views of landmarks, like the bridges and statues seen from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, are changing, and not for the better. (Read this article too!)

While working in Brooklyn this week, I’m learning that the building boom is transforming protected views of the city into obstructions of justice. Protections are being breeched by greedy developers puncturing the sky with their soaring monstrosities, and sadly, all for the benefit of the top 1%.

Case in point: a luxury condo complex called thePier House adjacent to the Brooklyn Bridge Park. It has exceeded it’s height drastically resulting in sabotaging several scenic vistas of the historic Brooklyn Bridge. Views that have, traditionally, been protected for decades.

Understandably, the neighborhood is trying all they can to put a halt to the unimpeded gluttony. An organization called Save the View Now has a petition you can sign and/or donate.

I don’t live here and many of my friends who did have left. Brooklyn is a wonderful place, but seeing penthouse after penthouse go up, I ask you, how is this an affordable housing market?

Warwick Valley: A hotbed of musical talents

Warwick NY Railroad Green Concert

Home to dozens of popular events and music festivals: Applefest, Summer Arts, Black Dirt, Jazz Fest, Warwick, NY, has what concert promoter John Desibia, calls “a very special music scene.” To prove that point, we were in town this weekend to shoot a music video with an aspiring singer from Toronto.

Thanks to owner Beth Wilson, we started our day filming at the Warwick Drive-in Theater, a couple miles from downtown. Three large projector screens play the latest movie releases from March through October.

Wilson is relentless in her commitment to community, providing not-profits, charity organizations and starving artists discounts and special consents. She magnanimously lent us her creative space tossing in free popcorn, Gatorade and her top security man, Al, who provided electricity and keys to the bathrooms.

In the evening, our young performer was welcomed to the stage at the Railroad Green. Thousands of locals with blankets and folding chairs plopped themselves down to listen to free tunes including the award-winning Warwick Bagpipers.

Brimming with more entertainment options, like open-mic nights and reading projects, is Caffe A La Mode. Our wait staff served our growing table of eight hungry patrons lunch wraps in record time. Clearly, not your average coffee shop!

YOU REALLY MUST EXPLORE THIS TOWN: Before you go, check out theWarwick Valley Chamber of Commerce website for overnight accommodations, hiking trails and restaurant reviews.

Warwick NY Drive-In Theater

Vancouver: Exploring a Christmas tree rainforest

Capilano Bridge Park

Our plan was to gather iconic shots of the city but when the crew handed me a brochure describing the Greater Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains, well, as you can imagine, that changed everything.

Craig drove, I navigated. From downtown Vancouver, we zipped across iconic Stanley Park, then the expansive Lions Gate Bridge and then soared like eagles to the base of Grouse Mountain. Visitors were boarding a scenic aerial tramway ride to the summit, daredevils stood on the roof of the ride for a heart-stopping experience.

Locals agree that at over 4,000 feet in altitude, the commute is the best chance to see an unobstructed 360-degree view of the city. Other options include the hiking trail known as the Grouse Grind as well as a helicopter sightseeing adventure. Unfortunately, at the hour we arrived, low-lying clouds heavily blanketed most of the panorama, so, instead, we made our way back a winding road to Cleveland Dam.

Built in 1954, the Dam sits atop the the man-made Capilano Lake that provides fresh drinking water to millions. Several short hikes and trails lead to amazing views of the spillway.

Should you recognize the Dam, it and the reservoir and river have had cameos in a few dozen entertainment features: Smallville, Supernatural, The 6th Day and more.

After tempting vertigo looking out over the Dam, we parked a little bit further down the road to take in a Vancouver landmark: the Capilano Suspension Bridge at Capilano Canyon. Based on the crowds queued up on an early Monday morning, it was no surprise to learn that this is one of Canada’s most popular attractions.

The best part about this trail adventure are the Douglas-Firs, trees that I tried to grow unsuccessfully in my backyard because of a destructive beetle infestation.

In the wild, they can reach over 200 feet tall and live for nearly 1,000 years. Their massive canopy allows protection for flora and fauna underneath to thrive. Pest management must be really, really vigilant to protect this vulnerable evergreen.

For more information, be sure to check out: Tourism Vancouver and the Capilano Bridge Walk.

Capilano Bridge Park

Vancouver: Pain management without a doctor’s note

Vancouver Dispensary

They are called “compassion clubs” and the Airbnb that I’m staying at this week is located right next to one.

I’m in Western Canada where the green weed culture never smelled so good, that is, unless you have allergies like me and find the odor rank and foul. Sorry stoners.

Still, I have no problems with others finding relief from the natural, organic painkiller.

Medical cannabis dispensaries are as ubiquitous in this beautiful city as Starbucks coffee shops. And, as of last year, pot shops do not require a doctor’s note or membership from those seeking to buy it, not even if you’re visiting from the U.S.

As demonstrated by my friends, all they had to do was walk through the front door, show some ID, pick out a flavor and portion size, and pay. Pain management for under $10 without a burdensome doctor’s note! Quick, easy, harmless.

While leafing through a Vancouver newspaper, I read that the legal framework of the pot industry has been tweaked over the last few years to really help provide a safe and merciful alternative to pharmaceuticals. The only catch: business owners are required to comply with a new set of bylaws turning them into not profits.

Wonder how long before New York State will smarten up and do the same?

I’m, also, truly relishing my stay in the heart of Vancouver’s “gaybourhood”: Davie Village, a dense section of the West End as colorful as the crosswalks. Rainbow flags and sumburst banners adorn dance marquises, eclectic boutiques, independent bookstores and multi-cultural restaurants.

But, after a long day of work, I’m in no mood for bar-hopping or street life and head straight to bed. (Insert the big “L” here.) If only I arrived the end of last month where it would have been a sin not to participate in the wildly educational annual Pride Parade, where all things LGBT (short for Loving, Good, Beautiful and Touching) demonstrate their strength and unity for remembering victims of AIDS and anti-LGBT violence.

Photo credit: Philip Tong / Flickr

Photo credit: Philip Tong / Flickr

Seattle: Voted the top ten cities to see

Seattle Crew

Seattle Skyline

On assignment this week in Seattle, Washington but not a whole lot of time to talk about the experience. In the above shot, taken from Kerry Park, you can make out Seattle’s Space Needle in downtown, and, on a clear night at sunset (not at the time of this photo), Mount Rainier from 55 miles away.

The DP to my left, his name is Doug, is adamant about wanting to hike Mount Rainer. Considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, the beast could potentially produce swallow whole large sections of this beautiful West Coast seaport city. Wisely, I think I’ll stick to shooting this documentary.

With little time to explore, and, lamentably, asked to remain stealth about the content of the doc, there’s little else I can say about this vibrant urban oasis. Rather, check out website: VISIT SEATTLE. Readers of Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler voted it one of their top ten favorite cities to visit.