Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Driving Across the Verrazano Narrows Bridge out of NYC on I-278

We shot this footage of the Verrazzano -Narrows Bridge as we left New York City on Saturday. It was a little too foggy to see the city, but does contain some pretty interesting facts about the bridge. The Verrazzano- Narrows bridge connects Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn with Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island.

 The highway going across the bridge is I-278, which connects the BQE (Brookly-Queens Expressway) and the Staten Island Expressway. If you're heading eastbound, the Belt Parkway Exit is immediately at the end of the bridge. Don't miss it or you'll spend an hour circling NYC to get back to the Verrazano.

The bridge has seven lanes on the upper deck and six on the lower. The upper deck yields breathaking views on cloudless days. The advantage of the lower level is that it offers more protection from the natural elements of storms, snows and foggy days.

Right now, the Verrazzano - Narrows Bridge has the highest tolls in the nation. It's $19 for a car. NYC does cut residents a break with the EZ-Pass Program. You can find out the details on that from the Metropolitan Tranportation Authority website. Don't worry about carrying cash on the bridge. NYC has made it easy. Your licenese plate is photographed on the westbound side of the bridge. Your "souvenir" will arrive in the mail in a few days with instructions on where to send the toll.

So, if you noticed the two spellings of Verrazzano on the page here don't get confused. The bridge was named for an explorer whose name was misspelled for decades before some bright boy or girl caught on. In October 2017, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation to fix that problem. The signs for the Verrazzano will be updated through the regular maintanence program. Soon, they will each have the ZZ found in the corrected spelling.

Thank goodness for modern day spell check. But, don't give the designers too much grief. The Verrazzano-Narrows bridge was built in the late 1960s and spell check didn't come across until much later. Just be glad it did.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Estarer camera backpack

I liked the Estarer messenger bag so much that I decided to try the Estarer camera backpack as well. Both bags are well made. The camera backback is well padded. It has a rain hood and inner pockets to hold accessories, a tablet and computer. There are also several dividers to help me maximize space so all of my camera gear would fit. It didn't, but I'm pretty sure that the bag isn't the problem. I may just own too much stuff.

The photos of the Estarer camera bag below tell the story. I fit a lot of my gear into the bag. The neutral density filters and future fisheye lens will have to wait.



I liked it enough to include the bag in my Amazon store. The straps are well padded and the rain hood fit over the front of the bag securely. It also has a pocket across the back of the backpack where you could put a billfold, passport or other flat items that may need to be kept secure.

This photo is showing my brown Tenba camera bag. This is a messenger style camera bag that I already own. The cover flops over the top of the bag. It has a zipper in the top that allows quick and easy access to the camera, lenses and other equipment that I might need.

After looking at the two bags side-by-side, it's a little easier to see that the new backpack may be a little small for my needs. You live and you learn. My husband's suggestion is to get a wheel barrow. 

You can see me modeling the bag in the photo below. It was comfortable, protected my equipment and was lightweight. All in all, the Estarer camera backpack would have been perfect, if I had less gear to carry around.

The bag and other camera supplies are available in my Amazon store at http://www.amazon.com/shop/gaylecrabtree

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Estarer 17" messenger laptop bag for college, travel or school

My new Estarer messenger bag holds my computer, textbooks and everything that I need for college. The Jansport messenger bag that I've been using is still in good shape. It just won't hold a 16" computer. It was either the laptop or my textbooks but not both. When Estarer gave me the opportunity to review the bag, I jumped at it.

The padded strap is solid and sturdy. It doesn't dig into my shoulder much so carrying it feels natural. It balances well even when packed. I don't see any fraying edges and all the seams are secure. It's super that each end of the messenger bag will hold a water bottle. Reusable bottles save me a ton of money! Fountains are all over the school. 

I use my refillable Contigo shaker bottle. This is a little wider than some bottles, so I was really happy to see it fit on each end of the messenger bag. I also like that the bag itself isn't heavy enough to add a lot of extra weight. The canvas is also water resistant. This makes my Estarer bag good for school and my big trip to Alaska this summer.

The buckles on the front of the bag snap easily and fit tightly. I good knowing that my computer and books are secure. The Estarer messenger bag also holds my Kindle, billfold and makeup. I still have enough space for my camcorder, selfie stick and assorted odds and ends.

I couldn't be happier with it. If you want to check it out, look at my Amazon affiliate link for the Estarer messenger bag at https://amzn.to/2BWAh4L

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