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

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Le Monde.fr : Des biologistes percent les secrets de la virulence du West Nile en Amérique du Nord

Et voila, tout est explique dans cet article sur le West Nile Virus, apparu a New York en 1999 (premiere aux USA), present a Fire Island et en plein developpement en Californie maintenant!

Le Monde.fr : Des biologistes percent les secrets de la virulence du West Nile en Amérique du Nord

Saturday, June 24, 2006

What European city are you?

You Belong in Paris

You enjoy all that life has to offer, and you can appreciate the fine tastes and sites of Paris.
You're the perfect person to wander the streets of Paris aimlessly, enjoying architecture and a crepe.
Ah, Paris, toujours Paris....

Recent pictures from the city

Friday, June 16, 2006

Concert in the Park

this is an audio post - click to play

A short extract from the summerstage concert we went to on Friday. Not sure it's really audible.
The artist is Nils Peter Molvaer, a Norwegian trumpetist whose CDs I had been listening for a few years. Good jazz, very experimental, but short session...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

An adventurous sunday in Fire Island

Fire Island is a narrow islet just south of Long Island, about an hour an a half driving from Manhattan, which means not that far from civilization. The title of this post may sound ridiculous, but, read on... At least that was an adventure for me.

We had wanted to go hiking to this place for a long time. Every time something had been wrong: weather, fatigue, booked up etc...
Yesterday was the perfect time to go: excellent weather (and not too hot) and a bit of free time. Plus Elise is going back to France for 2 months soon so it's time to go now.

We had a nice long hike along the beach... at least until the half way point. We hiked on this virgin beach, trying to find the most compact sand and avoid the waves.
It was really like a nature walk: we stumbled upon hundreds of horseshoe crabs (limule in French), a creature almost unknown to our European eyes; and even discovered a small shark and a few skate fish (raie in French). It was a very pleasant feeling to see wilderness there, protected by the status of National Seashore. I'm beginning to appreciate more and more the system of US National Parks, national recreation areas and seashores, where you often have to pay a fee to visit, hike or camp but the fee is really useful to pay rangers and protect nature.

After the half way (7 miles), according to our hiking guide, we just needed to cross the dunes, using the boardwalk and take a track on the other side of the island. The island is only about 200m wide as you can see on the satellite view. What the book didn't tell is that the path was very very faint, overgrown by vegetation and the preferred habitat for hordes of mosquitoes and ticks.

I got bitten pretty hard, as every time I am in mosquito territory, and, for the first time I was even bitten by a tick. I had 5 in my t-shirt and we even found some in the rental car and back in NYC in the apartment. Neither Elise nor I had ever been bitten, so I was not sure how to remove it. I even had to call Richard for instructions. Of course he made fun of me and said it's easy to remove. That gave confidence to Elise, who easily used her best technique (ahhh, years of scalpel handling in a lab...) to remove the beast and save me from the EVIL lyme disease :-)

Ahhh, I am so happy with my girlfriend :-)

By the way, she designed the new banner on this blog. Isn't it great?

Anyway, the hike made us pretty tired (14 miles on not so hard sand), left us insect bitten and... sun burnt as I forgot the sun block. To me that's an adventure ;-)

Our Findinds in Fire Island


Horeshoe crab


Shark Posted by Picasa

Skate fish
The other side of the island
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New goal

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Monday, June 12, 2006

"We are sorry to announce...

... that you have not been selected to the 2006 NYC marathon." That is basically the content of the e-mail I received this week.

Damn it! With 50% of making it, I had good reasons to be optimistic.
Oh well, not this year... Maybe never, who knows. I don't know if I'll have the strength and motivation for all the training next year.
Well, as I said, I will have to activate plan B: sign up for the Montreal Marathon, which is set for September 10th 2006.
I am quite a bit disapointed because the NYC marathon was really my first choice, but at the same time, I feel a bit relieved because it means I will to train until September only.

I'm going to contact Seppo, who wanted to run in Montreal too, and make sure he hasn't changed his plans. That will give more motivation too!

Artistic impressions

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Best of Rumney climbing

Click on the picture for a full size view Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 10, 2006

New Hope, PA

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Sandy Hook, NJ

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Long-Scorned in Maine, French Has Renaissance - New York Times

An interesting article in the New York Times from which I have just learnt that Maine has the largest percentage of French speaking people in the US.

Long-Scorned in Maine, French Has Renaissance - New York Times

Friday, June 02, 2006

La fin du monde

Aujourdhui tout est parti en vrille. Rien de grave, ne vous inquietez pas, mais il est de mon devoir de raconter ca a chaud.

Deja, le climat s'est completement deregle! Depuis le We dernier il fait tres chaud. Rien d'exceptionnel pour l'ete a New York, mais c'est quand meme difficile de se rehabituer brutalement a ce climat tropical. Donc ce climat estival c'est comme d'habitude 30degres, 90% d'humidite. Et dans le metro 50degres, 99% d'humidite. Hier soir puis aujourdhui dans l'apres midi, enorme orage, il y a plein d'innondations partout. Je voulais passer a la pharmacie: impossible le sous sol est innonde. Traverser Central Park en bus ou taxi, impossible aussi, tout est innonde! Etc etc...

Je sors du boulot avec un petit passage prevu a la poste, endroit connu pour la lenteur de son service. A savoir a New York: tout est rapide, sauf la poste (USPS) et le metro. La plupart des employes, serveurs etc sont serviables, sauf a la poste et aux guichets MTA (encore le metro). Bon deja j'ai du improviser car pharmacie fermee= pas possible d'acheter une enveloppe. Je trouve un magasin de rechange et hop c'est bon. A la poste je me fais quasiment engueuler par une employee repondant au nom de Nicole, une grosse pas belle avec un espece d'accent francais a couper au couteau. "Ecoutez, je veux juste poster ce livre a cette addresse" lui dis-je. Bon l'adresse est un peu bizzare, c'est le service de poste pour les militaires a l'etranger. Je ne savais pas, mais c'est l'adresse que m'a fourni Amazon (oui je vends mes livres sur Amazon je trouve ca pratique quand on manque d'espace). Alors il faut tamponner un formulaire en 5 (oui 5!) exemplaires et il faut bien que j'appuie avec mon stylo, sinon je vais devoir tout recommencer me dit elle. Ensuite, interrogatoire serre: quel type de livre c'est? "History book" lui dis je. "Ah bon, mais etes vous sur que ce n'est pas un livre obscene, est-ce qu'il n'y a pas de contenu pornographique" etc etc... Et voila qu'elle me cite tous les produits en tout genre qu'il ne faut pas envoyer. "Mais vous comprenez il faut que je vous explique toutes les lois et les limitations, c'est important blablah. Et au fait vous etes sur que ce n'est pas un livre d'histoire politique parce que le contenu politique cest interdit blahblah". Crazy bitch! J'ai vraiment vraiment hallucine. Encore cette histoire de "This is THE law!". Je comprends que David en ai marre de l'Amerique. Moi ce que je me dis c'est que pour se proteger il faut eviter La Poste ;-)

Pas encore remis de mes emotions, j'essaie de rentrer avec mon metro 7 de tous les jours et la: chaleur epouvantable, parce que l'orage n'amene jamais la fraicheur jusque sur les quais du metro. La clim est cassee a Grand Central. Les escalators aussi sont en panne, ca doit etre les innondations. Du coup une veritable maree humaine se bouscule dans les escaliers et vas y que ca pousse.... Je crois que le Lili musque serait tombee dans les pommes.

J'arrive finalement a prendre le metro, puis ma correspondance. Le metro a bien la bonne couleur et le bon numero de ligne mais, cerise sur le gateau, les stations annoncees sont completement fantaisistes! Newkirk Avenue, jamais entendu parler de ca. 50e rue annoncee, mais le metro ne s'arrete pas et continue a toute vapeur. Exemple classique de bizzarerie MTAienne...

Apres tout ca, et un passage a la pharmacie en extra (bonus j'ai reussi a eviter de me faire refiler des sacs plastiques), j'ai reussi a atteindre notre chez nous... Et je suis trempe par l'orage qui continue sans relache....