Once in a while, we have to take a chance. We trust some report we read, a beefed up website, blog stories or just our gut feeling. Most of the time, the guts are right. This time they weren’t. Having connected with the LIRR train from Penn Station and ventured far into Queen’s outskirts, we had hoped for isolation turned refuge, for hints of wilderness and dashes of beauty. We were also testing the much awaited Canon 50mm f/1.8 II bargain of a lens.

Queens’ Alley Pond Park at its deserted best

Instead we found a sewage treatment plant, soiled muddy paths thankfully frozen stiff, a havoc of abandoned trails, graffiti galore, constant noise from the belt highway and scenery we would have liked – or not – in a post-apocalyptic sci-fi flick. The new lens, however, is a gem for its costs.

But after walking around and gauging the place in sub-zero temperatures which reminded us that winter has finally landed, we turned around and headed home for pizza. A carrot at the end of a stick always works wonders. Especially when Marie is baking it!