February 27, 2010

Snow boots and the cranky old guy

Today I had to run errands in a blizzard. My snow boots are packed in one of a million boxes in my storage unit and after 3 attempts to find them during the last snowstorm I gave up. And, knowing they were in there somewhere I refuse to buy another pair. So, I took two large plastic bags, wrapped one around each of my shoes, taped the bottom with packing tape and then wrapped more tape around my feet once I had them on. Okay, I admit, looked a bit "homeless chic". Walking down the street I would say 75% of people passing me would glance down at my feet and smirk. On the subway the guy next to me said..."Very smart, my feet are soaked".
This was one weird snowstorm. It would snow like crazy, stop, get sunny, cloud up, then snow some more. A heavy, wet, slushy snow.

Leaving apartment
After my errands I met up with friends Todd and Angel at a bar on 17th street called Rye. We drank a quick draft then went to a few local thrift stores. They're both scavengers like myself but they are pros, I'm a mere amateur by comparison. With no treasures found we walked over to 13th street to their (current) favorite bar, Spain. Walking in they told me the bartender/owner was the meanest nastiest man in the world. We walked in, ordered a beer and killed a few hours shooting the breeze talking about photography. They serve meatballs and potato slivers for free at the bar. Too bad for me, I don't eat meat. The mean old guy would lean against the bar and doze off every five minutes until someone woke him up for another round. "Hey, Padre...another cerveza". I guess you can't fire the owner for snoozing on the job.

At 7:30 Todd and I met Rebecca and Kristi at a restaurant on Bleecker Street. It was dark and warm and we had some great Italian food. As we walked out, Rebecca glanced down at my homemade snow boots and burst out laughing. Really hard laughing. I didn't give a shit..my feet were warm and dry. I might apply for a patent.

Boots end of night

February 24, 2010

I'll have the fish!

Pretty much every day I see someone digging through a trash can looking for something to eat. They'll sift through the trash and pick out a half drunken/drinked/dranked... consumed milkshake or soda and happily suck on the straw like it was their own, without any regard to whose lips were on it before them. Pizza is a big trash item. I've seen a bum pick out a pizza box with half a pie inside. Like hitting the pizza lottery. I've almost grabbed a slice. Obviously we Americans waste so much food, and the homeless are sort of like pigeons in the sense that they happily clean up much of the food we discard. The other day I was on the subway (what else is new); it's 12 degrees outside and this homeless guy comes walking through the subway begging for money or food. I've seen him on the A train many times. He's really dirty and he's not wearing shoes. I had just finished dinner and offered him my leftovers. He looked at the container--food still hot--and said, "What's this?" I said, "Some chicken and potatoes." He said, "I don't eat no meat... I'll have them potatoes." I thought to myself, "Damn, begging for food and picky too. He's got some balls turning down my chicken." By that time he had already put his dirty fingers all over my container so I couldn't take it back. Then I was sort of pissed that I gave him my leftovers. Now I was hungry.
The other day while walking in Soho I cut through a park after having a de-friggin-licious lunch at Lupe's. On a park bench were sitting two packets of fish fillets. It was cold outside and they looked pretty fresh. How did those fish fillets get there? Someone obviously stole them. Then the thief decided he didn't want the fish fillets? I find that odd.
The other photo was taken late at night while walking through Times Square. Very cold outside and someone left a little carton of Elmoo milk sitting on whatever that thing is it's sitting on... a divider? Anyway, people just walk down the street with food and then just leave it wherever they decide they don't want it anymore. I find that amazingly lazy. But, it makes it easier for the homeless people I guess.

February 22, 2010

High above

The other day while waiting on a friend and needing to kill half an hour I hopped on the Tram. Or, the Roosevelt Island Tramway. I hadn't been on it in years. The last time I even thought about the Tram, I was watching the news and some people got trapped when the thing got stuck somewhere in the middle and had to be taken off by firemen. That's scary. For a moment, as you're riding along, it's sort of like being in Colorado or Vermont. You expect to jump off onto a snowy ski platform instead of a parking lot next to an office building. It's weird. But, it's cool too. Takes only a few minutes to cross the East River and I wish the ride was longer. It's a deal for only $2.25. I lost a bet thinking it was more. I think the bet was a billion dollars (U.S.) which is a pisser. If it was a billion Indian Rupees I would have lost about $20. But, it did give me a transfer when I swiped my metro card so it only cost me $2.25 total round trip. It's a deal. Like the Staten Island Ferry, which is actually a better deal and costs nothing. I pressed my camera against the oddly clean window and took the following snaps.

February 19, 2010

Blogging, Commuting and Still life

There's a huge self-imposed obligation to blogging. Sort of a pain in the ass actually. This morning I was going to work (which is a weird thing to say) and I kept thinking that I hadn't blogged in a long time. It's the last day of fashion week and I've been in a studio shooting for the past week. It's like having a real 9-5 job.
My commute this morning began by stepping onto the train at Dyckman Street (200th). I looked around and noticed two homeless people sitting back-to-back, taking up 4 seats in the middle of the train, both hunched over asleep surrounded by all their belongings in many overstuffed bags. No one sat within 15 feet of them. Homeless people tend to smell and people generally stay far away or switch cars. On the next stop at 190th a guy about 35 sat down next to me and started reading a book called Just For Today. I like to see what people are reading. I read a few paragraphs and realized it's a handbook for Narcotics Anonymous. He had many pages dogeared and lots of bookmarks. At the next stop someone directly across got off and he switched seats, probably knowing I was reading his book over his shoulder. That left an empty seat next to me. At the next stop (180th) a beautiful woman about 22 and some old Hispanic guy stepped on, both glanced around for an open seat. In an instant I did a quick exercise in visualization from the book The Secret and imagined her sitting next to me, the two of us giggling and talking, enjoying the ride downtown. Not to be, the old guy squeezed into the seat with his big green puffy jacket squishing up against me. Like sitting next to a giant green warm marshmallow. The Secret didn't work that time. The morning commute to Fairchild is exhausting. I take the subway from 200th street to 42nd (8 stops). Up a flight of steps, walk down a very long corridor and down a flight of steps to the 7 train platform. Wait on that train for about 7 minutes and then travel 2 stops to Grand Central. Up 3 escalators to the Grand Central terminal. Walk down another long corridor, stopping in Starbucks for a medium decaf, and then another 5+ block walk down Lexington Ave to Fairchild. Check in at security, have photo taken for a visitor pass, take the elevator to the 2nd floor, walk into the studio and collapse. 50 minutes door to door. Shit, after I get there I need a nap.

This is tiny a sample of what I did all week. Excuse lack of color correction and creativity. People ask what I do all day in the studio. I shoot photos of makeup and beauty products. It's not very glamorous but it's fairly easy and sort of relaxing.

And, at 5:30 I start that damned commute in reverse.

February 8, 2010

Where you been sucka?

Well, I haven't been blogging that's for sure. Work has picked up so I've been busy with that, and I've been on a reading kick. Reading everything I can get my hands on. Haven't felt like blogging. Besides, I've got nothing to say I haven't already said. But, the other day I went into the local library a block from my apartment and got a library card. Over 15 years living in NYC and I haven't had a library card. Embarrassing actually. Well, lemme tell you, I never knew all the things you can do at a library these days. You can use a computer, check out movies, check out up to 50 music CDs at one time. They have an online catalog and you can ship a book to a closer location if your library doesn't have it. It's amazing in there... Who knew?

Another cool thing, I learned that if you go to iTunes you can click on "Radio" and suddenly you have access to hundreds of cool radio stations from all over the world. Last night I was up editing a job until 5:00am. I was listening to music from France, Africa, Seattle, etc., etc. They have a college section of campus stations, they have an R&B section, Rock, deep tracks, Jazz, music from the 70s, 80s, 90s, a talk radio section. It's friggin amazing. Who needs satellite radio when you have this?

I really need to get out more and discover things. Damn, two amazing things in a week!

A snap taken at the Met

February 1, 2010


I ride the subway way too much. It takes me between 37 minutes to an hour to get downtown depending whether I'm lucky and grab an A train going express or one going local. It also depends on other factors like track construction, the time I'm traveling or weird weekend and holiday schedules. I've been on a reading kick lately so I actually don't mind the commute so much. I always carry a book or the latest copy of The New Yorker. I love that magazine.
Yesterday while riding the train a woman sat down catacorner to me. She didn't seem impaired but after about 4 minutes she passed out, slumped over, dead asleep. I often fall asleep and then usually wake up just before my stop comes up. I once fell asleep around 145th and woke up 3 stops PAST my intended stop, ending up on Canal Street (for non-New Yorkers, that's a very long way). I worry that I may have drooled or looked stupid. Everyone sleeps on the train. But usually not like this.