Would you expect to see a National Park Service ranger in New York? Probably not, but then there are other less likely sights that make the extraordinary into the ordinary so seeing a park ranger is totally plausible. It made me laugh to realize that a park ranger is always a park ranger regardless if you're in the natural wild or the urban wild.
While people watching in Union Square my attention was drawn to a large circle of people clapping. A group of street performers were rallying the crowd before doing their performance. With the crowd's energy raised and on their side they broke into a couple light break dance routines before taking a break and attempting a more daring stunt.
The lead performer pulled a volunteer from the crowd to stand in the middle of the circle with instructions to stand still, very still. The performer's goal was to JUMP over the volunteer. Since the volunteer and the performer were almost the same height this would prove to be interesting.
With more ovation from the crowd, and a little lot of distance from the target volunteer, the performer made a dash and flipped over the volunteer who was standing erect. To me, it looked like he jumped over her shoulder but the flip made it hard to see. After taking in the applause he pulled a couple more volunteers from the audience and was about the out do his first feat when trouble broke out.
The trouble looked just like a park ranger, stepping in for the public's safety. She came in and broke up the gathering.
It grinned as I reminisced about my own experiences with NPS (National Park Service) rangers. During a cross country road trip years ago my friend and I stopped to camp at several national parks. No matter what we did we were always getting warnings. Being an outdoors person and a law abiding citizen I found the various warnings at each national park to be disconcerting. It wasn't like were were going to deface Mt Rushmore or feed Yogi Bear. Regardless, the incidents of my youth have catalyzed my opinion of NPS rangers as zealous protectors of their domain.
Watching the park ranger unexpectedly appear from the fringes of the crowd and breakup the performance for the sake of public safety was a lot like seeing Superman appear from a phone booth.
It was a beautifully clear night in Bergen County New Jersey and it would be such a waste not to share such a celestial sight. The first picture was taken about 2:15 AM EST and the second about 30 minutes later. Both were captured using a standard dSLR camera with 200mm lens and remote shutter.
Before the eclipse started there was enough light outside to easily move around and see the dials on the camera. By the time the second picture was taken the light was gone and it was almost pitch black. The moon was a dark red color as it passed into the Earth's shadow.
Up until the stop where the guitar players got on it had been a rough ride, in a crowded car, in the wrong direction. Even after getting back to the surface my trip wasn't getting any better. I still managed to walk in the wrong direction and make 4 consecutive wrong turns in a row. But thats another story.
These two guitar players played La Bamba between one of the stops. Not everyone was as pleased as me but then, as Dad would always say, "Simple minds are easily amused". Considering how turned around I was it definitely applied to me that day.
Friday the NJSHA Choir performed at Pascack Bible Church (PBC) in Hillsdale, NJ. They recently returned from a European tour. I heard them give a Christmas performance to raise money for their trip. I remember they were good but I had forgotten how good until I heard them again Friday night.
The performance was excellent, the young men and women were exceptionally talented. To say the performance was priceless would be and understatement. They sang with superb harmony, melody, and all the other musical terms that a critic can use to rate a performance. Most of all they sang with a joy and exuberance that made me smile.
Several of the songs really stood out to me. "Paru parong Bukid" was a song about a young girl in a new dress who was having trouble paying attention in church. The emphasis put into the music made me think about the conflict in her mind as she fought to not think about the dress but to focus on the church service. It brought to mind memories and thoughts that made me smile from ear to ear. Sort of like being at the office at 4PM on beautiful friday afternoon.
"I Sing the Mighty Power of God" is a favorite song of mine and the vigor and technical skill it was sung with added power and meaing to the words. It was a marvelous opening to the line up of songs.
The YouTube videos don't do the songs justice but they are an excellent reminder of a wonderful performance and the emotions that they stirred up by hearing them. Thanks to jgreendyk for posting them. You can find the rest of the videos of the performance as PBC (Pascack Bible Church) on this YouTube channel
Through the dark,
under lofty tree tops,
across the night shadows
cast by the moon and the stars,
wasn't hot or even all that cold.
Invigorating, it spurred me on.
and yet nowhere.
The fireflies teased me with light,
Left, right, no... straight ahead,
Keep up, run faster if you can.
.... as fast as I can.
Running With The Fireflies by Jared Bratu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.