By Jack Berglund
Less than an hour east of Manhattan, Old Westbury Mansion and its accompanying gardens are well worth a visit. Old Westbury Mansion gardens have been named as one of the six best public gardens in the United States by Forbes magazine and often referred to as the finest example of an English garden in North America.
Whilst undoubtedly stunning, I’d be worried about the state of gardens in the US in general if this is truly the cream of the crop. In many ways, the Mansion itself stands out more than the garden as one of the finer examples of its type. The house was built in 1906 for Henry Phipps and family who made his money as an original partner of Andrew Carnegie in the Carnegie Steel Company. With its 23 rooms, still with original furniture it makes for an impressive place to visit. More recently the mansion was used for mob boss Dominic Cattano’s house in American Gangster and home to Dudley Moore’s millionaire character in the original Arthur movie.
By Jack Berglund
They say Golf is the best way to spoil a good walk. In which case I contend that photography is the best way to make the most of one as you tend to look around and notice more things. Five Pointz is a self proclaimed ‘graffiti mecca’ in Queens New York on the outside of an old factory building. If you’re in New York, its definitely worth a look in and of its self but also makes a good starting point to explore some of the other neighborhoods nearby.
Take the 7 train to 45 Rd – Court House Sq or the E, M to 23rd St – Ely Av. You can also take the G train if you believe it really exists (I have seen no evidence to support this, having waited on two different occasions and never had a train show up.) 5 Pointz is right by Moma’s PS1 if you want to take in some art or attend their summer parties while you’re out there.
The mix tape died a long time ago. Even the mix CD hasn’t been a legitimate way to share music for the best part of a decade. Plugging in a friends iPod on a roadtrip was the extent of music sharing for me until very recently. Somehow, iTunes Ping which attempted to add a social element to music doesn’t really do anything for me. Yesterday however, I logged into Spotify for the first time. All you can eat music streaming meets your Facebook friends. Now you can create and share playlists to your hearts content.
The only catch up until now was that unless you lived in the UK, Finland and a handful of other countries where Spotify is available, you were blocked from Spotify and its unlimited streaming music. Yesterday I walked through a few simple steps and from my apartment here in New York could sign up for Spotify Open (which is free) despite being in an unsupported country:
1. Go to daveproxy.co.uk
2. Enter https://www.spotify.com/uk/new-user/ into the url box
3. Follow the instructions to sign up for Spotify Open. You will need to enter a UK address but doesn’t seem to validate in any way.
4. Download and install the Spotify app (link is available as part of sign up)
Now here’s the weird part. I was able to login no problem to the app without setting up any special proxy or other attempt to pretend I was in the UK. Free Spotify.
What does this have to do with photography? Well, we all like listening to music right? ‘Music to take photos by’ playlist coming soon. See you all as friends on Spotify!