I went to Queens on Saturday afternoon to hang out with some friends at Water Taxi Beach. It's an outdoor bar and restaurant that imported several tons of New Jersey sand to Queens to create an artificial sandy beach. It was damn hot, even at 4 PM when I got there, but we had a good time sitting out in the sun (and under the cool water mist) and people-watching. My only complaint would be that the proprietors need to rake the sand more often. Once I saw the amount of cigarette butts in the sand I decided to keep my shoes on. I took some excellent photos of the Manhattan skyline from the beach. Sometimes I'm amazed at what my little camera can do.
By 7:30 PM we'd had enough of the beach and a few of us left in search of dinner. We had all passed Smokey's BBQ on the way to the beach, so we gave it a try. It turned out to be one of the better BBQ joints in the city. I had the Texas brisket sandwich, and it was some of the best melt-in-your-mouth brisket I'd ever had. The chef came out to our table and introduced himself, always a classy touch, and the wait staff was attentive, friendly, and quick. I'm looking forward to making another trip over there.
On an unrelated note, I've started a new project at home: digitally archiving my old print photos. Over the past few months I've dug out several drawers and boxes and found about 20 envelopes full of photos taken from 1995 to 2001, when I bought my first digital camera. Some of the earlier photos are blurry due to the crappy Olympus 35mm camera I had that lacked an auto-focus lens. But the photos from 1999 to 2001 are much better, as I'd moved up to an APS film camera by then. I bought a new scanner/printer on Saturday and I've already scanned in a bunch of photos from a wedding in 2001. If I can scan an envelope a night, I should be done with this project in a few weeks. There's a finite number of photos involved; it's not like I'm amassing any more prints to scan. I'm not expecting any kind of disaster to wipe out my old photos, but since I have all my music on my computer I might as well have all of my photos there as well.