Barbara Nelson Photograpy Blog
Barbara Nelson Photograpy Blog
Barbara Nelson Photograpy Blog
Barbara Nelson Photograpy Blog



New York City Ballet (founded in 1948 by George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein) has just finished  their winter season in Lincoln Center.  At the top of their game and one of the foremost dance companies in the world with a roster of spectacular dancers and vast repertory.

To add art to art, this season’s sculptural collages (Dustin Yellin artist) on the promenade are totally unique.  Fifteen  3,000 pound sculptures spread across the promenade seem to emanate the energy and color of the dancers.   Dustin Yellin, California born and now living and working in Brooklyn considers this the beginning of a series that may ultimately be 100 sculptures  – each its own world.


David Yellin Sculptural collage

David Yellin Sculptural collage


Dustin Yellin’s Sculptural collage


Easter Parade on New York City’s Fifth Avenue

New York City’s storied Easter parade on Fifth Avenue turned out mostly adorable children in fancy dress and cutest of dogs in costume.  There was A tip-of-the hat to the elegance and memories of yesteryear as well.  After months of non-stop winter, the hint of warm weather and sunshine gave us a great day.

Easter Eggs at Rockefeller Plaza

Easter Eggs at Rockefeller Plaza


Glamour Girl with escort

Glamour Girl with escort

A star is born

A star is born


All in Blue

All in Blue

Dog in Pink

Dog in Pink











Dressing for the occasion

Dressing for the occasion



One Year Later

One year as seen in New York City’s historic Central Park  2013-14


Central Park Boathouse Lake Winter

Central Park Boathouse Lake Winter










Fort Tryon Park-Carved from Boulders and Deep Woods

Late Fall in Fort Tryon Park


View of George Washington Bridge from Fort Tryon Park


Margaret Corbin


The first American woman to take a solder’s part in the war for liberty and be wounded on the battlefield during the struggle to be free of foreign governance, and the first woman to receive a military pension, was Margaret Corbin (1751-1800?) In 1776 the Continental Army was trying to hold back the British supported Hessian mercenaries from a strategic point in upper Manhattan now known as Fort Tryon Park.  When her husband fell in the battle she took over his cannon and continued the fight.


Walking paths in Fort Tryon Park


Over 66 acres, the park was originally inhabited by the Weckquaesgeek  Tribe until the early 17th century.  Later called “lang Bergh” (Long Hill) by the early Dutch colonists, renamed Fort Washington by the Continental Army in 1776 and finally the British renamed the area Ft. Tryon for Sir William Tryon – Major General and the last British governor of colonial New York. 




Located on one of the highest points in Manhattan with a clear view up and down the Hudson River, Fort Tryon was always a strategic military point

Hudson River and George Washington Bridge

Stone arches help form the Olmstead's landscaping


In 1917 John D. Rockefeller, Jr. bought the land and existing mansion, hired the Olmsted Brothers (famed for their work in Prospect and Central Park) who began landscaping the property with promenades, terraces, wooded slopes plus 8 miles of pedestrian paths affording spectacular views of the Hudson River and the New Jersey Palisades.







In 1931 Rockefeller donated the land to the city and it was designated park land the same year.  A few years later, after Rockefeller bought sculptor George Grey Barnard’s collection of medieval art, The Cloisters Museum, a reconstructed French medieval monastery,  opened  in the Northern part of the park.  Now a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it was designated an official New York City landmark and houses nearly 5,000 medieval works

The Cloisters Museum in Spring












Carved out of boulders cliffs and deep wooded areas, the 66.6 acres of Ft. Tryon has panoramic views of the lower Hudson River, the George Washington Bridge and New Jersey Palisades.   Here is one of the few unspoiled river views in Manhattan.

River traffic on the Hudson River


River traffic on the Hudson River. Most days big ships can be seen as they are being pushed up river by Manhattan’s famous tug boats where they are anchored until time to reload and ship out

Heather Garden "Let no one Say"

Just inside the south entrance (190th Street – conveniently a subway stop on the A train) is a spectacular heather garden and other plantings designed to fit into the natural beauty of the environment. Walking paths link the best spots for viewing. Much of the land is still wooded area.

Heather Gardens in Spring

Shearing the Heather





Late summer the park is taken over for the day by a Medieval festival – knights and ladies in appropriate dress  provide traditional entertainment, demonstration of crafts, fighting skills and horseback duels, games, food

Midieval knights before battle


Fairy Queen telling stories

Medieval Lady weaver


A year round destination for the local community and tourists alike, sports, culture, organized and individual sports and playgrounds have replaced the wars of earlier days.

sledding in Fort Tryon Park

Jacob Javtis Playground

soccer field

Portico di Romanga – The color of Italy

Portico di Romagna, Italy, written about in Dante’s Divine Comedy, unchanged in time.

Visual Stories by Barbara Nelson

Portico di Romagna


In the ancient mountain range of Apennine, the spine of central Italy’s Emilia Romagna region, one finds all the beauty, rich culture and lifestyle of Italy in the small villages and the people whose families have lived there for centuries. 

Terra del Sole Vineyards and groves olive trees


The mountain range, built up by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, has now settled into rolling hills covered by iconic villages, ancient monasteries, forests, vineyards and olive trees. 



 Famous for Parmesan cheese, prosciutto, balsamic vinegar, truffles and more, but take your choice of any of the local cheeses, wines,  or other foods and you will not be disappointed. Music and craftspeople are found everywhere.  Untouched by the large tourist buses as  seen in Tuscany, this is the region to experience central Italy.

Andrea Peradotta winemaker and sommelier

The main street, full of life.

Off the old highway connecting Florence and Ravenna, is  Protico di Romagna.  A population of 400 people, it is a complete community.  Written about in Dante’s Divine Comedy, this village has changed little since that time (except for modern amenities and free WiFi).  From the curving main street (if stretched out would be about two city blocks) are winding, flower filled narrow streets leading down to the river where most families tend to their small gardens. 

Vegetable gardens along the river's bank.




Flowered filled side street leads down to the river and gardens







Family owned  hotel Al Vecchio Convento and Albergo Ristorante (three houses on the main street) offer wonderful hospitality and the best food anywhere (declared  5 star restaurant by the guests). 



Lettuce from Aurelio Raggi's garden



The food is all from local gardens, delivered fresh each morning, or nearby farmers and wineries, fish from the nearby Adriatic. 





Apennines, ancient mountain range



Nearby hills yield the most desired (and expensive) truffles.  Specially trained dogs lead their trainers to where they are growing, and might  appear in the evening’s dinner.

Gianni and Matteo Cameli with truffle dogs


Gianni Cameli, Head Chef



Marisa Raggi

 The current generation of Marisa Raggi and Gianni Cameli  (the head chef) together with their two sons (Massimilano and Matteo) and daughter in-laws (Ulla and Camilla), run every aspect of the hotel and restaurant (plus the language school and cooking school established a few years ago). 



Local meats and cheeses

The bar for expresso, cappacino and local wines,

As in earlier times, the village has a butcher, a couple bars (i.e. wine and espresso), a general store for most daily needs, a barber, bakery. a small bank and post office.  

Small store sells all for daily household needs



A religious procession

 The local band, of all ages, comes together for religious celebrations and other special events.  The local school has a good music director – but then, this is Italy.

Nearby are good hiking trails,  a waterfall and river for swimming, and even a tennis court.  Biking is the favorite sport in this region.  

Aurelio Raggi, Saxophone.Iacopo Raggi on drums.


Foscolo, an artisan.of stringed instruments



Just a few killometers away local crafts people work at their crafts.   Foscolla makes cellos, bass and violins and flutes . 



Piero Tassinari creates iron sculpture


 Piero Tassinari, a blacksmith, creates statues and accessories in his shop.





Every person in the village is unique.  Here are just a few I photographed.

Umberto & RosannaLocal people

Ulla & Anna


Claudia Raggi


A SEA OF GREEN on New York City’s Famed Fifth Avenue

In this great city there is a sizeable population of almost every culture – but today it’s all about the Irish and everyone is Irish for the day. 

NYPD Emerald Green Pipes and Drums

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place not in Ireland, but in New York City on March 17, 1762, fourteen years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. A small group of Irish New Yorkers marched to the inn of one John Marshall at Mount Pleasant (near the present-day intersection of Barclay and Church streets in lower Manhattan) where the day would be celebrated.   Others say the paraders  were Irish soldiers serving in the English military who marched through New York City on that day..  Most likely it was a combination of everyone, the music and parade helping all reconnect with their Irish roots.

Little else is known about that early parade. In years earlier there may have been similar marches and gatherings that have escaped record, but whatever else those solemn revelers accomplished on that late winter’s day close on two and a half centuries ago, they began, or can be credited with beginning, here in New York, an annual celebration which has continued without interruption ever since.  www. spartacus


On this day, March 17, 2011,  the parade started at Fifth Avenue and 44th street, pasted St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where the gregarious  Arch Bishop Timothy  Dolan and other members of the clergy, greeted all from the front steps of the Cathedral, then continued  along Central Park to 79th Street near the American Irish Historical Society house.  . Over 2,000,000 spectators lined the sidewalks to watch and cheer  the marching bands, Pipe S Drums Corps, County Societies, police, firefighters, and scores of other marchers.

Now, almost 200 years later, there are more Irish living in the greater New York City area than in the city of Dublin and continue to add to the color and fabric that makes it the most diverse city in the world.

St. Patrick’s Day is always celebrated on March 17, his religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over a thousand years. St. Patrick’s Day is a uniquely Irish holiday, and yet it is celebrated in more countries around the world than any other national holiday

Visual Stories from New York City


February 26, 2011


This wasn’t just a New York City event, as all 50 states joined in, but being in NYC, it was a flagship event with national press coverage

Wisconsin suporter

In Lower Manhattan’s City Hall Park, organized thousands of people and popular politians to rally in solidarity with Wisconsin and to support their efforts to save the rights and vital services for middle and low income workers.  This ferment in the Midwest should not be a surpise to those who have read the history books.

Representative Charles Rangle

Knowing is Power


 Save the American Dream moved over to join the ralley in progress at Foley Square.

But that was just in the morning! At 1pm most moved over to nearby Foley Square (in front of the Federal Building)  to join thousands of others from the tri-state area in a rally to save basic health care and education services for millions of Americans, the majority of them low-income women, many of whom have nowhere else to turn for themselves and their children.  Organized by a broad coalition of health groups and those concerned with woman’s rights, more than 40 speakers as well as celebrities and musical acts pressed on though the afternoon.




New York City Council passed, by a big majority, a bill sponsored by Councilwoman Jessica Lappin and Speaker Christine Quinn that will address the problem of crisis pregnancy centers that masquerade as licensed medical facilities.  This will aid women  in New York City and perhaps inspire other cities.

Visual Stories from New York City

Happy (Chinese) New Year. Gung Hay Fat Choy in New York City


It is The Year of the Rabbit.  Gung Hay Fat Choy. 

 It’s the 30th Lunar Day of the 12th Lunar month and the first day of year 4708 in the Chinese calendar. A tired Tiger retires to rest for 12 years, until its time comes again, handing over the duties to successor Rabbit, just waking from its 12 years of rest.  (Notice the neuter gender.  We’re having a little discussion as to male or female.)  The  yearly  rotation is the Rat, Cow, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Chicken, Dog and Pig.  

 At this writing I don’t know how the Rat came to be first, but this story, like all others, can vary a bit – or a lot – depending on what part of China you are in plus intellectual and cultural discussions on astronomy, ancient writings, legends of kings in early times and more.  I leave it to you to follow your path of interest.  It gets complicated. The website is a start. 

In Chinese mythology, the Year of the Rabbit symbol represents longevity and it is believed that the Rabbit enjoys a close relationship with the moon. Westerners may refer to the man in the moon, but when the Chinese peer up at the moon, what they see is the Rabbit standing by a rock, holding a cup that overflows with the elixir of immortality. As symbols go, this is considered one of the finest. 

Believed to have started in the 14th Century, BC the Chinese New Year celebration is the world’s longest running party.  It is also known as Spring Festival.  The Celebration usually starts in February (Western Calendar)  with the new Moon and ends 15 days later with the New Year’s Lantern Festival.  The Lantern Festival dates back more than 2000 years to the Han Dynasty.  

In New York City we annually  flood Chinatown in lower Manhattan to follow the multiple teams of Dragon Dancing Teams and  Lion Dancers, accompanied by drums and cymbals, through the narrow street wishing all Gung Hay Fat Choy. 

The Dancing Dragons and roaring lions compete for space on the small streets and restaurants  as they go door to door bowing to the people, bringing them good luck through the year. Of course the little red envelopes with some Yen inside goes a long way to help bring luck.  (Note to tourists – you may touch the Lions’ beard, but NEVER, NEVER touch their horns – very bad luck. ) The Lion Dance symbolizes good fortune and protects against negative influences. 

Red is the auspicious color in China. The pink peach flower and Japanese sakura are very popular choices for the flower arrangement.  Chinese calligraphers write the New Year’s poetry on the red color paper and people pasted them on the top and both of sides of main-entry door. They said this custom comes from the story of man-eater Nian animal, which was afraid of red. At the beginning, people drew The God of Door images on the red-color peach tree wood hanging on the door to scare the devil spirit away. Later, Chinese use red color paper instead 

Kung Fu fighters show their skills.  Here are Shaolin fighters from Yees Hung-ga International Academy  Their skills and techniques have been passed down from the Shaolin Temple, founded in central china 495 AD, where generation after generation of monk generals and soldiers protected the temples from wars and riots of society   


Last stop 0f the day – food shopping.  Prices and quality in Chinatown are the best. 



 Happy New Year.  Gung Hay Fat Choy.  The year of the Rabbit.  

Come to the celebration next year, the year of the DRAGON 



It is about as “home town” as this big New York City gets. This indoor and outdoor festival in the streets around Lincoln Square on Broadway between 58th & 68th Streets (which includes Lincoln Center with all the performing arts) is an annual grand holiday party as many throw open their doors to neighbors.

Following Lincoln Center’s annual lighting of the Christmas tree, roving bands, street theater, Broadway performers, singing groups, clowns and creatures from Arm-of-the Sea wander through the festival-goers.

 Small tents with food from local restaurants and arts & crafts for the kids round out the pleasure. The holiday spirit still abounds around Lincoln Square, but you’ll need to mark your calendar for Winter’s Eve in 2011.



Hello Marathoners. Welcome to the People’s Republic of “Da’ Bronx”.

At mile 22 and entering the fourth of New York City’s five boroughs, “Da’ Bronx”, what can bring a big smile and energize (some dance steps too) the runners more than being welcomed by Johnny Seven Rock and Roll Band playing and singing the good ole tunes.John, who had been disappointed with the poor to no turnout from the community when the marathoners made their way into the Bronx on route to Manhattan and the finish line in Central Park, decided to do something about it. He took his musicians down to the Bronx entrance point at 138th Street and it was “strike up the band”.


Now, a few years later, the streets are lined with both the local Bronx community and visitors, more music abounds, a local radio station – even a Japanese drumming group this year. The international runners, and the rest of New York, finally know where the Bronx is and loves their experience.





Johnny Seven Rock and Roll Band has certainly made the Bronx (DA’ BRONX) the most fun and relaxed place to enjoy the NYC Marathon. Put it onyour calendar for 2011. Don’t forget your dancing shoes.

VISUAL STORIES from New York City by Barbara Nelson