New York City Captured

New York Art Director, Jessica Haas captures photographer Scott Frances shooting aerial views of Central Park from Trump New York Hotel

The above picture was a surprising capture of photographer Scott Frances ( We were shooting Central Park views from the roof of Trump New York, Central Park Hotel. I was just clicking away with my camera from above the safety glass, without being able to see my digital screen or viewfinder and got this shot, amazing!


This is one of my best shots taken from that shoot day. You can see the Hudson River, Central Park and Upper West side, Manhattan. Since this view, I’ve haven’t been able to stop capturing New York. To see more of my photography of New York City and my travels follow me on Instagram at JessicaHaasNYC.  Below are some of my favorite New York City pictures, usually captured with my phone then adding some fun Instagram filters.


New York Art Director, Jessica Haas captures a sunset over a New Jersey skyline and the Freedom Tower in downtown Manhattan, New York CityNew York Art Director, Jessica Haas captures Central Park row boating couple with San Remo building
New York Art Director, Jessica Haas captures Central Park in autumn, overlooking 15 Central Park West building.New York Art Director, Jessica Haas captures Central Park's Sailboat Pond reflections
New York Art Director, Jessica Haas captures a misty Central Park on Columbus Circle at nightNew York Art Director, Jessica Haas captures the Empire State buildingNew York Art Director, Jessica Haas captures an aerial view over Sixth Avenue from Soho to Central Park, featuring the Empire State building
New York Art Director, Jessica Haas captures an aerial street view of 7th aveNew York Art Director, Jessica Haas captures the Chrysler building surrounded by American flags
New York Art Director, Jessica Haas captures Columbus Circle at night
New York Art Director, Jessica Haas captures Fulton Street Subway Station

New York Art Director, Jessica Haas captures an aerial view of Central Park and The PlazaNew York Art Director, Jessica Haas and her husband capture a New York City skyline over the Hudson River from Jersey City, NJ

This last shot was taken by my husband, who sees this view every work day, from Jersey City, New Jersey. Such an a great view! Again, if you want to see more of what I capture  in New York City or my other worldly travels follow me on Instagram at JessicaHaasNYC.

Posted in autumn 2015, Autumn Foliage, beautiful, Fall Foliage, fall leaves, foliage color, high color, hudson river, landmarks, leaves change, New York, new york city, november, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Over a Century The Plaza with a Central Park View

The Plaza overlooking Central Park

I had the opportunity to see a stunning view of The Plaza along New York City’s 59th Street overlooking Central Park. Strangely enough, I also stumbled upon almost the same view from over a century ago (found on Even though a lot has changed over the years, it’s interesting to see what survives.


One of the first ever color photographs from America – 1909


October 2015

“One of America’s most celebrated hotels, The Plaza opened its doors on October 1, 1907, amid a flurry of impressive reports describing it as the greatest hotel in the world. Located at Fifth Avenue and Central Park South, this luxury hotel was constructed in the most fashionable residential section of New York City.

Designated a New York City Landmark in 1969, The Plaza is listed on the Register of Historic Places and the only New York City hotel to be designated as a National Historic Landmark.” – The Plaza

For more on Albert Kahn, click here

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Autumn Train Rides for the Northeast 2015

All Aboard for spectacular fall colors

You’ve got 2 great options for an autumn train ride this year:

1. Your first autumn train option is the Historic Autumn Express:

Amtrak’s Autumn Express excursion is back in a part of New England you can’t see by car. This historic train ride traveling through small towns and historic tunnels, departs from and returns to the Albany/Rensselaer and Schenectady stations on Saturday and Sunday, October 24 and 25. See key landmarks and experience a rare route that hasn’t seen by regular passenger service in decades. The details:

“This year’s Autumn Express will take you through the scenic valleys of eastern New York, southwestern Vermont and the beautiful Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts. In addition to the colors of fall, the highlight of this season’s excursion will be traveling through the historic, five-mile- long Hoosac Tunnel, completed in 1877, considered one of the nation’s civil engineering landmarks. The Autumn Express will be the first publicly-offered passenger train through the Hoosac Tunnel in 30 years. The train will depart from the convenient Albany-Rensselaer Station and Schenectady Station to East Deerfield, MA returning via the same route. Don’t miss out on this rare, exciting opportunity.” – From

2015 autumn express

Tickets are on sale now and go quickly!

  • Flat price of $129 for adults and includes a boxed lunch and a souvenir tote bag.
  • The train departs Albany/Rensselaer at 8:00 am and Schenectady at 8:25 am, returning to Schenectady at 5:22 pm and Albany/Rensselaer at 5:50 pm.
  • Up to two (2) children ages 2 – 12 may accompany each adult at half the adult fare.
  • Seating is limited for this unique opportunity.

2. Your second autumn train option: The vintage Great Dome Car

Amtrak's Great Dome Car

If that weekend doesn’t work for you and you still want an autumn train ride, Amtrak has brought back its historic Great Dome Car on the Adirondack service between Albany and Montreal for a six-week run. This year, it started Sept. 25 and runs through Nov. 3, 2015.

Train lovers and history buffs get an unusual vantage point for some of the Northeast’s most beautiful landscapes. The vintage 1955 Dome Car features an upper level with windows on all sides, including the roof, offering unparalleled 360-degree panoramic views of the autumn vistas. The train runs along the cliffs of Lake Champlain with Green Mountains of Vermont from across the lake, views along the Hudson River, and the Adirondack Mountains.

The Adirondack route was named “One of the Top 10 Most Scenic Train Trips in North America” by Conde Nast Traveler. Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari says,”This route offers postcard views every season, but it’s even more breathtaking in the fall, especially from the Dome. You aren’t going to get these foliage views from the road.”

The Dome Car operates northbound from Albany to Montreal on Thursdays, Saturdays and Mondays and returns south from Montreal on Fridays, Sundays, and Tuesdays. The Dome car doesn’t operate on Wednesdays. (You can begin the Adirondack route in New York City’s Penn Station, but the Dome Car isn’t attached to the train until the Albany-Rensselaer Rail Station stop. On the southbound route from Montreal to New York City, the Dome Car is detached from the train at the Albany-Rensselaer Rail Station.)

There’s no surcharge for riding the Adirondack service during this period, but advance reservations are required. Seating in the Great Dome car is unreserved.

“Folks get their regular seats and then they tend to go up and rotate in and out of the Dome car,” says Magliari. “It’s a rolling social experience.”

The train departs from New York City’s Penn Station about 8 a.m. and the Albany-Rensselaer Rail Station at 11:10 a.m. It arrives in Montreal about 7 p.m. (If you’re taking the train all the way to Montreal, don’t forget your passport and be sure to book a hotel room before you leave.)

A one-way ticket from New York City to Montreal starts at $68. Climb aboard at the Albany-Rensselaer Rail Station in New York, (about a two-hour drive from Hartford), and one-way ticket prices start at $58. Book your trip online with the “See New York and Save” promotion and you’ll save 15 percent. Up to two children, aged 2 to 12, travel at half-fare with each adult fare purchased.

Sourced from: MySA


Posted in adirondack mountains, albany, amtrak autumn express, autumn 2015, beautiful, berkshire hills, deerfield, Dome Car, fall color change, Fall Foliage, fall leaves, foliage color, Great Dome Card, green mountains, hudson river, lake champlain, lake views, landmarks, MA, montreal, mountain views, new england train, new york city, november, october, october 24-25, plan for fall colors, roof window, schenectady, september, spectacular, train lovers, train service, unique experiences, upper level, vermont, vintage train ride, windows on all sides | Tagged | Leave a comment

Boston, MA Fall Foliage Planner 2015


Whether you live in or around the city of Boston, Massachusetts, its old world charm sprinkled in the warm colors of fall is something not to be missed. Here is a similar chart to the my New York’s Hudson Valley design, but the information is specifically for the Boston area.

I’m attending a wedding there this year and I was curious if the leaves would be at peak that weekend but it looks like Halloween may be the most colorful time (if there aren’t heavy storms to cause leaves to drop).

Autumn in Boston IV by MyLifeThroughTheLens

Autumn in Boston IV by MyLifeThroughTheLens

Please note the chart is designed to help predict and plan for leaf change in Boston 2015. The data information is sourced from the

Boston Commons photo by MyLifeThroughTheLens)

Posted in autumn 2015, Boston, changing color, Fall Foliage, foliage network, Halloween, high time, leaf turning color, leaves change, MA, Massachusettes, moderate color, october, peak color, peak time, plan for fall colors, weekend in boston | Tagged | 1 Comment

Hudson Valley, NY Fall Foliage Planner 2015


Planning to see the fall foliage? The above chart is a 2015 infographic for the stages of leaf color change based on the reports from, in the attempt to predict when autumn’s peak color will happen. The gray columns are the weekends, specially for New Year City day trip commuters.

Below is today’s report for the Northeast Region:


“These locations are reporting mostly high color (61% – 80% change) with our first reports of peak coming in from the high peaks of the Adirondacks, extreme northern New Hampshire and in the western crown of Maine.  Elsewhere in the region, color change is mostly moderate (31% – 60% change) with some locations (coastal and valley locations) reporting low color (11% – 30% change).” – Foliage Network

Posted in Autumn Foliage, chart, day trip, fall color change, Fall Foliage, foliage color, foliage network, graph, high color, hudson valley, infographic, leaf change, low color, moderate color, New York, new york city, peak color, reports, weekend | Tagged , | 1 Comment

NYC Day Tripper – Planning for Autumn Foliage 2015


New York Central Park – Early November
Hands down the easiest way to see fall foliage in New York City. It is truly a stunning sight, these leaves are some of the last to change in the region and also the hardest to catch. Being a New York for about a decade now, the moment these leaves change color seems to the moment they fall as well.  I took this  photo in the first week of November 2014.

NYC Day Tripper – Late October

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Queens County Farm
In the last weeks of October, a sweet autumn option is Queens County Farm. Completely reachable by NYC public transportation (including an hour long bus ride, after taking the subway if you’re coming from Manhattan). This brings on the excitement for pumpkins, a corn maze and autumn foods. It’s a very small farm compared to most, but it’s a great place for city kids to run around and pet farm animals.

NYC Day Tripper – Mid October
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Storm King Art Park
A favorite in my book, it’s a playground for people of all ages. With art sculptures, hills, and bike rentals this is paradise from Manhattan life. It’s the best to really get a feel for all autumn has to offer and never seems to gets crowded. It is literally an one hour bus ride from Port Authority Manhattan. This could be a half or full day activity. There is a snack station on the property but its outdoors, I suggest packing some snacks but grab a hot beverage there. If you want don’t to make a day of it, just take the bus or drive down the hill for about 15 minutes to Premium Outlet mall. Not only can you shop for fall fashion deals, you can grab food in their indoor food court.

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Shuffle Off To Buffalo, New York


I’ve been watching HGTV this week and the show “House Hunters” featured the city of Buffalo, NY, my hometown. Seeing glimpses of City Hall, Delaware Park, Downtown’s old buildings and the canal side walkways of Lake Erie has left my heart whimpering for more.

Today I found myself googling pictures of my old neighborhood, so much that I started a new “Buffalo, NY” Pinterest board of all the things I could find from Spot Coffee, the old grain mill, Buffalo Bills fans, Anchor Bar Buffal/Chicken Wings and more. Here are a few favorites, the images that truly make my heart sing.

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See more or where these pictures originate on my “Buffalo, NY” Pinterest board.

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Where Flowers Bloom, So Does Hope

Were flowers bloom so does hope.

In New York City, more than half of the residents do not have outdoor spaces, especially space for planting a garden. Many settle for small window boxes, views of tree tops or visiting to a park. But I should mention, that not every park in NYC has greenery. A lot of the”public parks” are made of concrete with few trees. That is why nothing compares to Manhattan’s Central Park. Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and Queen’s Flushing Meadows or Astoria Park are also great contenders, all designed by Fredrick Olmsted.

By mid-day when we are all clicking away on our computers a quick break from our high-rise office views may be what every New Yorker craves. Lucky for me, I work near the Flower District, a neighborhood covered in mainly flower shops, which cover the sidewalks with their merchandise. Whether it’s plants to pot or bouquets to take-away the beauty and smells are some of the best on the island.

Lilacs and Peonies

I’m not sure how many flowers actually grow in New York City, but there sure is a good amount of hope. One could hope in the month of August that summer lasts a little bit longer.

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Ukrainian Food in NYC’s East Village

Veselka, a cozy Ukrainian coffee shop in New York City’s East Village

One of my favorite places to grab brunch in Manhattan, although it’s also great for every other meal as well, is Veselka.  This lovely vintage looking restaurant has been serving up traditional Ukrainian foods in the heart of the East Village since 1954. What to order is a no brainer: pierogi, borscht and potato pancakes.

“For sixty-one years, customers have crowded into Veselka, a cozy Ukrainian coffee shop in New York City’s East Village, to enjoy pierogi, borscht, goulash, and many other unpretentious favorites. Veselka (rainbow in Ukrainian) has grown up from a simple newsstand serving soup and sandwiches into a twenty-four hour gathering place without ever leaving its original location on the corner of East Ninth Street and Second Avenue. Veselka is, quite simply, an institution.” –

They also have a very cool designed website:

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Uncommon Goods joins with Jessica Haas Designs


I’m thrilled to announce my partnership with Uncommon Goods!
If you don’t already know the name, Uncommon Goods is an unique shopping experience for customers looking for sustainable, fun, and creative designs. This online store and (free) catalog hosts a community of artisans, designers and creative thinkers focused on craftsmanship, innovation and social responsibility. They stand true to their name.

The fastest way to find our product is under:
Art > Under $50 > State by State Seasonal Food Guides by Jessica Haas


What’s Good Today? (via Uncommon Goods)

Delectable kitchen decor, these graphic calendars are also great references for cooks who like to focus on what’s in season. Like a mandala of the seasonal specialties from your choice of 13 different states, they demonstrate amazing regional bounty for farm-to-table menu planning–just glance at the graphics before heading off to your weekly farmer’s market. Made by graphic designer Jessica Haas, who did her thesis project on how design can be integrated with public health policy to decrease and prevent childhood obesity. Designed in New York City. Printed and framed in Portland, Oregon.

Lastly, if your state is not offered with Uncommon Goods, prints are always available at my shop: ♥

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