Category Archives: United States

Endangered Animals on the ESB

Endangered animals are projected on Empire State Building

Images of endangered animals were crawling and swimming across the Empire State Building. It was all part of the first light show of its kind in ESB history. Awesome display!  It’s also a timely reminder of the impact and devastation caused by incidents like the hunting of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe.

Firstly, I’ll show you some gifs and photos. Secondly, I’ll explain how they did it. Finally, you’ll learn why they did this ambitious project. Here we go!

Empire State Tribute To Endangered Animals

How’d they do it?

They used 40 light cannons projecting images of wildlife upon the Empire State Building. After that, design firm Obscura Digital put it together for $1 million.

Who put it together?

The Oceanic Preservation Society organized it. They teamed up with the filmmakers of the new documentary, Racing Extinction. To clarify, it’s a documentary about humans’ impact on threatened species.  Louie Psihoyos was also the director of The Cove.

Tiger projected on the Empire State Building

Scale and stats – by the numbers

160 species were featured, including Cecil the lion that was killed by a tourist hunter.

I couldn’t hear most of the Racing Extinction music because of where I was set up.

Photos of animals on the Empire State Building:

endangered animals empire state building projection nyc - 14

You’ll notice some of the 160 species that were featured on the  Empire State Building skyscraper. For example, here are some in group shots:

they projected images of Endangered Animals on Empire State Building

Endangered Animals Empire State Building - pic 01
Cecil the Lion (on left)

This was the first of its kind; the Empire State Building is typically lit up with colors for weekly occasions and even light shows.

Endangered Animals Empire State Building -002Endangered Animals on Empire State Building -004whale an other wildlife on the ESB

eyes on the Empire State Building

Endangered Animals on Empire State Building -007Endangered Animals on Empire State Building -006Endangered species on Empire State Building -005

For example, click the below thumbnail for a full-size image:

face closeup on ESB nyc-17
photography by mariacelestearraras

cheetah image projected on the ESBbald eagle projected on the ESB nycWhale on the Empire State Building

And, here’s another video:

In conclusion, it was both an impressive display. Above all, I think it makes a powerful statement. I hope they do it again!

Most of these were my photography, besides a few from mariacelestearraras and empirestatebldg. In addition, check out NBC, Daily Mail, Gothamist for more great pics.

Travel Trivia – Waterfall on Fire

Travel Trivia: Which waterfall lights up as if it were on fire for a few days every February?  If you need a hint, many people think it looks like a waterfall of lava. This is because of the angle at which the setting sun reflects its bright orange color. It’s so impressive!

Are all guesses in?

Travel Trivia horsetail fall in yosemite

Hint #2: it’s in the United States!

Answer: This is Horsetail Fall in Yosemite National Park in California. It can be seen a few days every February.

For more, check out the Flickr photostream gallery from photographer Jim Patterson at this link.

Lies to tell tourists

This post is about the lies people tell tourists. After visiting 50+ countries, I can certainly appreciate the efforts locals make to help out tourists. I’m always stunned by the kindness and hospitality of random people I meet.

Please do help people in your own city.  Imagine living in New York City’s Hells Kitchen, right near Times Square. You get ambushed with questions the moment you leave your apartment every day. However, there’s no harm in having a little fun with “what if” right?  Thus, what if we had a little fun with our answers?

Time Out London has been soliciting tweets on “cheeky misdirections” for locals to say to visitors, and readers of The Economist have gotten in on it too. I was thinking, we certainly we have a few lies to tell tourists that are worthy of this list!  What are yours?

Below are some of the better ones I’ve read. Some are more sarcastic than others).

Tourist advice from New Yorkers – lies to tell tourists:

  • That “I Heart New York” shirt makes you look like one of us!
  • Swipe your credit card to enter the subway. It doesn’t always work but just keep trying it. This is especially true during rush hour but be persistent. The people in line behind you are just frustrated that machines aren’t working fast enough.
  • Don’t forget to tip your subway train conductor.
  • You can’t have the real New York Experience until you’ve been to Madam Tussaud’s.
  • Yep, that way is uptown. You’ll know you’re going the right way if the street numbers are descending. Crazy I know, it’s the grid system.
  • You’re supposed to hail a cab at a bus stop.
  • The only open cabs are the ones WITHOUT the lights on.
  • Sbarro’s, best NYC Pizza, hands down.

Lies New Yorkers tell tourists

  • The Supreme Court encourages cheering during oral arguments in Washington DC

Also, here’s some fun ones from around the world.

Tourist advice from around the world:

  • In Italy it’s smart to order a cappuccino with your meal; it alerts the waiter that you know what you’re doing. Also, you won’t get the “tourist treatment”
  • Canadians love hockey. To show your solidarity with the locals,  body-check people on the street.
  • When you are in an Australian pub and having a drink with the locals and someone suggests that ‘it’s your shout’, just scream ‘buy me another bloody beer’ at the top of your lungs.

Note: I don’t actually recommend doing this. To clarify, we should act like ambassadors and make visitors feel welcome. Still, these lines are fun. If you’d like to play along, see who can come up with the most witty response.

The list of lies to tell tourists came from lists made by readers (and tweeters) of Time Out London, The Economist, and Gothamist, with photo from Mark Armstrong.

As you travel more and more, you’ll run into your own examples too.

What’s your favorite?  Do you have one of your own?  Leave your best ones in the comment section below.