Jnster: the story of an outdoors enthusiast in NYC and wherever he wanders...

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The power of climbing!

What I really like in climbing -and I think it's something even more specific to indoor climbing and bouldering- is that more than strength or technique, what you need is really strong will and determination.
I didn't really have a good session tonight, one of my fingers hurt badly and I didn't want to use it too much.
But I still wanted to exit MPHC with a feeling of satisfaction. So I concentrated over and over on this V2 route I've known by heart but had only climbed once in a clean way. And after 3 tries I succeeded, in a clean manner!

Pure will!

Don't expect a new posting for a while, we're going to Montreal this long memorial day week end, and coming back on tuesday early morning... Hope the elections in France are not going to end up in a big mess...

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Life at work...

Other things happened last week: a project leader that I liked was fired at my client company, without any notice. Actually she came in the morning as usual, started working, was told that she was fired, and left 15minutes later. And we're never going to see her again. That's quite sad, and really shocking when you see it.... Actually, you hear about it, but it's always more striking when you live it... People seems to not really care here... That's life...
By the way, here they don't say she was fired, or sacked or whatever: they say they "let her go"... An imaginative formula I think...

Everyone in the team made mistakes on the production server that week... I got a boss yelling at me... Quite an unpleasant experience... Felt very guilty and miserable for the following two days...

Private Joke... Sponge Bob Square Pants Posted by Hello

And Finally, yesterday, Elise and I went to the French Tuesdays for the second time. Unfortunately it was raining (the weather has been shitty for a while now), it was at the China club in midtown, a place which has a huge open air terrace and indoor space too... Met the usual folks (starting to know more and more people though) and had a good time. We even got interviewed by a reporter from France Inter (en français même), but we were quite intimidated by her huge red microphone ;-)
Q-"Do you come here everytime?"
A-"Err... Not really, it's only the second time"

Q-"So, with all the buzz bout French Tuesdays, Is this the place to be in New York on tuesday nights?"
A-"Errr... Yes... I don't know" ;

Q-"Have a good evening then!"
A-"Errr Yes, thanks you Errr..."

Elise wanted to say she'd appreciate these parties much more if there wasn't such a strict dress code "Business chic, jackets for men"....But she didn't dare, plus she hadn't noticed it wasn't France Inter...

Washington square... Remember "Friends"?? Posted by Hello

Hiking in the Hudson Highlands

As promised, here's the summary of our latest hiking trip (last Sunday).
It was actually the first time we joined the Columbia University Hiking club (http://www.columbia.edu/cu/hiking/) and it was a really good experience. For a minimum fee, you get a minibus, a driver, and an experienced leader ;-) who has organized the whole hike. Seems like randos-alpes with a bus. Héhé ;-)

The weather has been very strange in and around New York. We didn't stay in Manhattan but went hiking to the Hudson Highlands state park. It was very warm and even more humid, almost suffocating like in the jungle...
I thought it was because of the proximity of the Hudson river, which is very wide at this place and therefore brings a lot of evaporating water. But we were told the weather was also very humid and surprising in the city.

So, the hike was good, tiring enough and with about 700m of elevation, not that flat. Especially as it was most fo the time steep up and downs. The problem is that civilization is too close at the begining (noisy road and railroad following the river). But after a few minutes, we feltmore isolated, in the middle of woods, ...and bugs ;-)
As usual, no typical Americans with us: two Russians, a few Chinese, a Bulgarian, a Greek, a Polish-Lebanese American, an Indian and us...

See the pictures: a very nice setting for a day hike, with plenty of lakes, good views and actually very close to New York.

The US flag is everywhere Posted by Hello

Scrambling, tough hike ain't it? Posted by Hello

Newt :-)

Orange newt Posted by Hello

Greenie Posted by Hello

Mona and Elise Posted by Hello

The green lush forests of New York state Posted by Hello

The Hudson river Posted by Hello

Mona and Elise Posted by Hello

Lake in the state park (some of us actually swam there...) Posted by Hello

Jn Posted by Hello

The Hudson River in the afternoon Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Lots of people for the spring time party on our roof!

Good weather allowed us to have a nice party on the terrace.
Highlits included the presence of Louis, this American journalist that I met in Turkey while climbing mount Ararat, and who lives only 10 streets away in NYC!
A few pictures where you can see some other guests among Tom, Laurent, Capucine, Juliette, Vincent, June, Heather, Louis's family, Mona, Abdel, Nico, Jerome:

Party on the roof saturday evening... Posted by Hello

Friday, May 13, 2005

Too much overtime

I've recently learnt that my overtime will most likely be paid at work..... Is this the reason why I haven't updated the blog lately??
So, quite a few events happened since last time. First of all Elise came back from South Africa, she's currently publishing something about her trip on her blog. It seems she had a very good time overall. The following sunday there was an open air market on Broadway: the street was closed for 10 blocks in the upper west side and plenty of stalls sold a myriad of things for very cheap prices - a kind of European style relaxed weekly market. We bought some vintage posters to add to the apartment decoration (whose walls also sport African art now).

Just after Elise came back, her parents arrived in town, they are staying almost 3 weeks in the US, half of it in NYC. They sublet an apartment near central park, at the border between Upper West Side and Harlem.

We paid a visit to the Empire state building, and I could make my first pictures of New York Skyscrapers by night from the 86th floor. Very impressive, but soooooo much people....

Looking south from Empire State Building (5th avenue and broadway cross) Posted by Hello

TimeSquare and George Washington bridge Posted by Hello

Suicide is impossible (to of Empire State Building) Posted by Hello

Last saturday, the 4 of us went on a trip to the Woodbury Common Outlet stores: a paradise for shoppers, with virtually every shop you want at highly discounted prices. It looks like a (fake) woden houses village (a reminder of the Truman Show), in the middle of green hills, about an hour north of Manhattan. Elise made a fantastic bargain on a high end The North Face GoreTex XCR hardshell jacket, and at Esprit and Levi's. I myself got very good deals at Timberland, Adidas and Quiksilver.
There are so many stores that you feel sick after a while, and have to get a bit of rest before proceeding. But it was a very pleasant day spent in this shopping village.

Elise showing off her The North Face bag Posted by Hello

Woodbury tower Posted by Hello

Esprit US @ Woodbury Posted by Hello

On Sunday, Richard, Tom and I went climbing to the Gunks again, this time the spring is really here and all the trees are green. The sky was rather gray though and it was chilly too. We climbed a few rather easy routes on cams and nuts (the others leading, me following as usual...), and did some very technical finger crack top ropping (I finally sent the old school V10 but it was one of the hardest moves ever). Finally we finished by a nice two pitch route. Very good day indeed, Tom was so much in a climbing mood that he bought a climbing DVD at Rock 'n Snow in New Paltz on the way back.

Nothing special this week, except I broke my personal record of overtime per week in the US (but it's still not much), and I got very good climbing feelings at MPHC: we climbed almost only 5.10 and up (including 2 clean 5.11a), plus I bagged two finger-destroying V1 and made a very good start on a overhanging monkey style V3.

Classic gunks view... Posted by Hello

Richard and his rack Posted by Hello

The anchor and Tom starting to lead the second pitch Posted by Hello

Tom Posted by Hello

Jn belaying at the gunks Posted by Hello