July 4th over New York

For as long as I've been a photographer, I've always been challenged by fireworks. This year, we got lucky with fewer crowds and some interesting angles. 

Fireworks over the East River.

Fireworks over the East River.

Looking through to Long Island City.

Looking through to Long Island City.

Iceland: The Land of Fire and Ice

As Iceland continues to rise in popularity, there are no shortage of photos and videos that show you the stunning beauty of this nation of 300,000 people. 

Having spent the last week in Iceland, I can only say this: I cannot wait to go back. It’s a country that is so beautiful that it feels out of this world. 

After traveling to 30+ countries across 5 continents, I have yet to experience and capture anything similar to the magic of Iceland. It’s the land of delicious food, happy people, breathtaking landscapes, stunning auroras and incredible adventure. 

We spent 6 nights in all different places driving from Reykjavik through Vik and to Jokulsarlon. Everyday was a different adventure and a new battle with the cold. But we left the country in pure awe of its raw beauty. One of the few reminders of what it feels like to experience this planet at its finest.

Grand Hyatt Baha Mar & Nassau

Over time, I've come to really appreciate solo travel. For the July 4th weekend this year, I decided to head to Nassau to mostly get some time off from the last few weeks of work insanity. Being a traveler who likes to utilize miles and points as currency, I looked to see which hotels could be booked with points. The solution: The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar. 

First and foremost - the property is massive! It feels more like a resort in Las Vegas than anything else. A lot of the look and feel is also similar to the Bellagio on the strip. However, the hospitality is entirely different - everything is on island time and extremely relaxed. 

Despite boasting a massive casino – one of the largest – the casino was largely empty. And in fact, so were most of the pools and activity areas. The Baha Mar is a brand new resort and is still going through some initial growth pains. 

The hotel was passing out photocopied room service menus upon request, a few of the staff were still uninformed as to where some of the amenities were - I was sent into a construction zone / floor / boiler room before I could find the gym - and some of the room finishing is already falling apart – my sliding bathroom door didn't work because one of the major screws fell off. 

Regardless, it's an amazing property and I would highly suggest a visit if you're ever looking for options in Nassau. 

I also spent a few hours checking out the Nassau cruise port terminal. I'm not a huge fan of city tourism, but the town is definitely charming – colorful, lively and safe. I would absolutely love to visit some of the other parts of The Bahamas. However, this weekend had a single goal - sleep as much as humanly possible and relax without stressing out about work. That's for Wednesday.  

50 Hours on Airplanes

It’s that time in my family - where people start getting married and move on to the next stage of their lives. 

In March, one of my cousins was getting married in India. She lives in Singapore and flew there a week before the wedding. Her younger sister, was flying from Singapore on the same day that I was scheduled to land from New York. 

In the interest of making the week as memorable as possible, I decided to do something crazy - swap my tickets that took me from New York to Abu Dhabi to Mumbai - a mere 16 hours on a plane to a ticket that had me flying from New York to San Fransisco to Tokyo to Hong Kong to Singapore and then finally to India - a trip that kept me in transit for nearly 50 hours, just so that I could surprise her on board. 

Here’s the thing - I loved every second of it. 

I’ve been flying for well over 25 years. Flights between New York to Los Angeles are second nature and 14 hour flights feel extremely familiar. 

It helps to know the ins and outs of airline operations. It helps flying in first-class. It helps being comfortable in unknown surroundings. 

Commercial aviation has become incredibly comfortable and for someone who still glares out the window for every take off and landing, it remains one of the very few places that is awe inspiring. 

Climb on.