New York Daily Photo Analytics

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I appeared hungry for knowledge and some good conversation, which is why, many years ago, a business associate recommended I contact a man named Duffy. I was told this man, who owned a large manufacturing business in New Jersey, was a wealth of knowledge, had valuable insights and was always willing to share his ideas.
So with great enthusiasm I contacted him. He was everything I had been told and in fact, I made a short journey to visit him and his factory in New Jersey. I had a great tour of his facility and some inspiring conversation which went way beyond business mentoring. At the time, I was working 6 days a week taking no time off. In one phone conversation, I complained of this to Duffy. I mentioned how I was frequently squandering my time and that even though I was at my office in the evenings and weekends, I found myself becoming less productive and often using that time for personal phone calls and other non-business related activities.
Duffy compared me to an uncle of his who was a workaholic but was very inefficient. He made a comment I will never forget - that if you don't take a vacation, your mind will. He told me of how he made it a priority to take regular time off to recharge his batteries. I recounted to him on how there was a summer where for a month I took 3 day weekends and by Monday morning I could barely remember my agenda but was fresh and ready to go. Duffy pointed out this was a clear sign of recharging. It all rang quite true and although I have not taken his advice to heart, when I really immerse myself in a different environment or physical activity, I do notice the mental health benefits. It is very easy to get caught in the work mechanism in New York City. Costs are high so it is easy to justify work. And physical activities or communing with nature require more effort and travel. There are a plethora of services in walking distance of most New Yorkers' residences. All good reasons why is not uncommon to find people who rarely travel out of their neighborhoods.
These things passed through my mind on my recent (and first) trip to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. This 9155 acre tract of land is part of Gateway National Recreation Area and is the only wildlife refuge in the national park system. This is one of the most important bird sanctuaries in the USA and over 330 bird species that have been sighted here - nearly half the species in the Northeast. It is one of the best places in New York City to observe migrating birds. There is also an array of native reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, over 60 species of butterflies and one of the largest populations of horseshoe crabs in the northeast.
There are beautiful walking trails and vistas of the bay, Manhattan and Broad Channel. On my visit I saw a number of aquatic birds including what I believe to be an egret. The entire environment was pristine and quiet, yet remarkably, this refuge is accessible by subway.
So, if you want to recharge your batteries in New York City, this is the perfect place to do so. And I am sure Duffy would heartily approve :)


Anonymous said...

It may only be me...but just a friendly comment- the stark contrast between the white text and dark background has made the blog a little hard to read for me...whenever I look away from the screen I have tons of white lines streaking my vision. Just something to consider. I love your blog, and appreciate the hard work you put into each post- definatly the best "daily photo" blog I have ever seen.

Kate said...

I really love how many sanctuaries you find within reach of public transportation. Once the weather warms up, I heartily intend to seek out some of the places you've mentioned lately and take a daycation!

I also definitely agree that you have to accept the fact that, even when you love what you do, it's imperative that you take a break and recharge. Duffy was right. This is a lesson that I'm still trying to learn as an actress. It's so easy to get swept up in always trying to find the next job that you stop doing the best job that you can.

Will Hennessy said...

i love the quote, "if you don't take a vacation, your mind will." it certainly rings true for me...

naomid said...

Maybe you should increase the leading (space between the lines) and bold the type face. It might make it easier to read. I would also indent the start of your paragraphs or add a space between them.

I guess this is the internet, and new typography rules are made and broken everyday. The eye can get used to all kinds of conditions.

Annie said...

What a wise man...learned from experience no doubt.

Have just stumbled across your blog (in someone's sidebar) ..(as you do)...and have enjoyed it so much Thank you. Amazing!