Morning at Greenwich Point

2021.01.27: Looking East at the Long Island Sound from Tod’s Point beach (Canon Rebel T2i, 18mm, f/3.5, 1/30 s, ISO 200)

Greenwich Point is it’s official name, but almost everyone I know calls it Tod’s Point or, simply, Tod’s. Through the years it has been called by several names:

  • Prior to 1640 it was known as Monakawaye.
  • Some time after 1640 it became Elizabeth’s Neck – that name coming from Elizabeth Feaks one of the first settlers in Greenwich and who, ‘under the first Indian deed,’ became a part owner of the property.
  • Old Greenwich Point was the next name it had.
  • In the 1880’s and 90’s a New York banker started buying land plots on the point until he, basically, owned it all and it became known as Tod’s Point or, as Tod called his residence at the point, ‘Innis Arden’ (not the Innis Arden we are familiar with today in Greenwich).
  • In 1945 the Town of Greenwich bought the property and changed the name to Greenwich Point.

It’s a large property (about 140 acres); not as varied in the number of walking trails as, say, the smaller Pomerance; but still rich in things to see and do. There are:

  • the beach
  • remnants of the old Innis Arden estate
  • beautiful gardens maintained by the Garden Club of Old Greenwich
  • wildlife: deer, egrets, cormorants, seagulls, (pesky) Canadian geese, and horseshoe crabs come on shore on the beaches (unfortunately many die on the rocks, too)

On most days you can see Manhattan from the Point; on clear days (and evenings) that view is amazing!

The best thing about the point: the sunrises! Almost everyone from Greenwich with an Instagram account has posted at least one picture taken of the sunrise from Tod’s Point. Scroll through mine and you’ll find a period two summers ago when there were at least three almost every day

2021.01.27: Snow on the Beach at Tod’s Point (Canon Rebel T2i, 18mm, f/16, 30.0 s, ISO 200)

I took a walk there this morning to see what the beach would look like after last night’s snow. I wanted to get there before sunrise (7:09 today), though not expecting much from it because of the clouds. I was fortunate that the skies cleared up enough to get a few decent pictures, though.

2021.01.27: Fire, Water and Snow – Rising Sun at Greenwich Point (iPhoneXR, 4.25mm, f/1.8, 1/117s, ISO 100)

Because of the shoes I wore, I didn’t do much more than walk along the shore this morning experimenting with different shutter speeds and playing around.

2021.01.27: Spume at long exposure (Canon Rebel T2i, 24mm, f/16, 10.0 s, ISO 200)
2021.01.27: Spume via iPhone (iPhoneXR, 24mm, f/1.8, 1/29s, ISO 800)

2021.01.27: The Pavilion at Tod’s Point (Canon Rebel T2i, 18mm, f/16, 30.0 s, ISO 200)
2021.01.27: Took an 8 second exposure in which I ran in front of the lease and stood there for about 4 (Canon Rebel T2i, 24mm, f/24, 8.0 s, ISO 200)
1925 – J. Kennedy Tod from The Quarterly Magazine; July, 1925 (Vol. XIX, No. 4); published by the Columbia University-Presbyterian Hospital Alumnae Association

SIDE NOTE/FUN FACT: in 1906 Mr. & Mrs. Tod began offering the use of Innis Arden Cottage and a location on the property called ‘the Camp’ for the use of nurses from Columbia/Presbyterian as a weekend/summer getaway for a fee of $1.00 paid to the school. The practice continued well after his death in 1925 until at least the late 30s. The alumnae publication, The Quarterly Magazine, often published small pieces by some of those nurses relating their experiences at Innis Arden, including the time they tried to sing a song of thanks to Mr. Tod outside his office. Tod, being a very private man, did not open the door.

Pomerance Reserve, Cos Cob, Connecticut

2021.01.26: Cos Cob Pond, Pomerance Reserve

Originally the property of Ernest Seton, one of the founding pioneers of the Boy Scouts of America, the Town of Greenwich (Connecticut, USA) acquired this 100+ acre property in 2002 and developed it into a public park with a handful of trails through woods and ruins of the old mansion and buildings. It is almost seamlessly connected to the Montgomery Pinetum, adding another 60+ acres of paths.

2021.01.26: Morning sky on the trail at Pomerance Reserve

Except for a few signs pointing to either Orchard Street (east) or the Montgomery Pinetum (west) scattered here and there, one could easily get lost their first couple of times wandering these trails which criss-cross each other without much else in the way of guidance – I did my first time out and, then, once again showing the place to my niece when I thought I knew every path. Quite embarrassing.

2020.12.27: Wood Pecker, Pomerance Reserve, Cos Cob, CT

What I love about this place:

  • It’s less than two miles from home so, in the Spring through Fall I often walk here,
  • It’s set off far enough from the busy part of town so that, even on the periphery of the park, mostly what you hear are birds, the wind and running water,
  • There are neat ruins of the old mansion and other structures [history buffs: Barbara W. Tuchman wrote The Guns of August while living here! I read this book in my late teens – I didn’t read very much of anything in those days, so it brought forth a sweet memory to see that fact noted on one of the plaques on the standing outer wall shown below]
2020.12.27: Ruins of the old mansion, called ‘Wyndygoul’
2020.12.17: Bridge connecting Wyndygoul to another part of the property

More recently I’ve been taking my camera for a walk there to take long-exposure photos of the water running through the brooks and off of Cos Cob Pond. I’ve only recently started taking pictures like this so, though I love the results so far, I know I’ve a bit to learn about setting the right shutter speed, aperture and selecting the best ISO setting (that digital cameras have an ISO setting is still baffling to me, but I understand it).

Below are a few I took today & one from earlier this month (you can find more on my insta (cheap plug): https://www.instagram.com/joearf). Enjoy and let me know what you think – very open to and appreciative of constructive criticism and tips.

2021.01.02: Runoff from Cos Cob Pond, Pomerance Reserve
2021.01.26: Ice, Nature’s Jewelry. Pomerance Reserve, Cos Cob, CT
2021.01.26: Running Water, Pomerance Reserve
2021.01.26: Running Water, Pomerance Reserve

Postcards from Brooklyn

2021.01.24: Anchorage Place, near Plymouth Street

Saturday my daughter passed along an invitation from her boyfriend for me to come down to Brooklyn and ‘hang out.’ She said he was eager to show off his new white Negroni recipe. If you keep reading you’ll find neither the recipe nor any pictures of the drink here, but I will tell you that it was delicious, garnished with cumquats – three stuck onto a toothpick, as like olives in a martini – which I enjoyed eating during and after the drink was finished.

Recently, I had purchased a Joby TelePod tripod/selfie stick that came with a Bluetooth shutter release – I call it ‘the button.’ This gave me an idea: I prepared for the drive by rigging a cheap (ultra cheap!) mount for my phone on the rearview mirror using two purple rubber bands from the super market that had held together bundles of asparagus. I opened the camera app and got on the road.

I got a little push-button happy and took something like 140 pictures on the way down, another 200 on the way back. I edited and used 24 of them, posted them on instagram (https://www.instagram.com/joearf) and deleted the rest (well, not entirely – they’re all on my desktop hard drive where they’re automatically downloaded to from iCloud)

After driving around for a while looking for a free space, I parked in a garage on Front Street. As I was a little early, I decided to take my camera for a walk.

I tried to give these an old postcard look.

Most pictures shown here were taken with my Canon T2i (a couple with my iPhone) and edited with Snapseed.

2021.01.24: Brooklyn Queens Expressway (love the near, modern, building on the right though the older, farther one’s pretty cool, too)
2021.01.24: BQE, Exit 28, looking at the Brooklyn Bridge
2021.01.24: Anchorage Place, looking south from Plymouth Street
2021.01.24: Corner of Plymouth Street and Anchorage Place
2021.01.24: A view of the Brooklyn Bridge from Main Street Park
2021.01.24: The Manhattan Bridge
2021.01.24: Pedestrian Traffic on Water Street (outside Butler)