July 30, 2012

A Day in the Park

Today I went to the Met. It turned out to be a beautiful day here in the city. I saw some things I hadn't seen before. Then again, I guess it's virtually impossible not to. It's always a nice way to spend a day.

Being the weekend it was a bit crowded. But, I always get in for free with a pass that I'm very grateful for.

After leaving the Met I decided to walk across Central Park to the Upper West Side. Along the way, at Bethesda fountain I found the "bubble man" whom I've written about before. This guy makes bubbles with two sticks, a piece of rope and some dish liquid. Parents love taking photos of their kid in a bubble or making one. He get's a buck or two for every kid. That pink bucket in the foreground was stuffed with cash. The guy probably lives next door to a banker in some CPW co-op.

In the elevator of the Dakota: "Hello, I'm Lloyd Blankfein, I'm the CEO of Goldman Sachs." "Hello, I'm Abdullah, I make bubbles in Central Park."

July 24, 2012


They evidently sell a lot of loose beans, rice and cooking oil in Inwood. Dan's grocery stacks these items 10 feet high in front of the store. Each time I walk by, it reminds me of the Andreas Gursky photograph "99 cent," which sold for millions a few years back (go figure).

Dressed in a clean white robe with a white bag next to him, this man sat Indian style next to the tracks as if meditating. We made brief eye contact and he showed no expression or emotion, though he didn't appear to be mentally disturbed. As the train arrived, he made no effort to get up. I stepped on and again we made eye contact, through the window as the train pulled away.

The very first time I came to New York in the 80s, I remember riding the subway through either Queens or Brooklyn and seeing laundry hanging between apartment buildings. That image seemed very nostalgic and old fashioned to me. It's not as prevalent these days so whenever I see clothes hanging anywhere I feel compelled to stop and take a snap.  

I found this image on my point-and-shoot camera from my day in Red Hook. I remember being puzzled, with no indication as to why a wig drop would even exist and who might be dropping these wigs off. So odd.

July 23, 2012

Shelter, Rain, Air

I've never wanted the responsibility of owning a home. I have no desire to landscape, don't especially like to mow grass, heating and air conditioning cost a fortune and I don't want to deal with the constant repairs and upkeep. Maybe one day I'd like to have a little cottage, cabin or even an Airstream trailer tucked off in the woods.

But, there is this one house. A house I've dreamed of owning for over 25 years. It's located in Frederick, Maryland, across from Hood College. If I ever have an extra million dollars lying around I'll knock on the door and make an offer... I love that house.

Driving home late one evening in Virginia it began to rain. Just before I turned on the wipers I snapped a photo through the windshield..

I stopped by a local thrift store in Fairfax and noticed a very nice mountain bike leaning against some speakers. I instantly noticed its nice components. It had two flat tires and stickers all over it. An employee walked up and said, "We were asking $25 but you can have it for $20." I thought for a moment and wheeled it to the register. On my way home I stopped at a gas station to fill the tires. The last time I put air in a tire it cost 25 cents. I thought that was outrageous. Now, it's a dollar, everywhere. And, they justify it by telling you that by paying a dollar for that air you're helping to feed starving children. Such bullshit. I didn't have any quarters anyway. Later, I took the bike to a local bike shop. The guy who did the checkup and service told me the bike was a steal. I spent $19 and me and my new bike were ready to take on Pike's Peak.

July 22, 2012

Back from Virginia

I arrived in Virginia on the Fourth of July to help with some family matters. My sister, her husband Harry and I went to the fireworks show at my old alma mater, Fairfax High School. Everything was going along fine with the usual explosions, startled kids crying and screaming, applause, ooohs and ahhhs from the crowd, but after a few minutes the fireworks sort of sputtered to a halt. People waited for the grand finale but it never came. The stadium lights came on and people slowly dispersed. Evidently there was a technical malfunction. You'd think a fireworks company having 364 days to practice for the big event could get it right. Apparently not, they still managed to screw it up... Good job!

 Plastic cups stuck in a fence in my old neighborhood. "Rural" patriotism at its best!

A few days into my stay I collaborated with my good friend Christina shooting these images behind her barn. She's always a good sport willing to listen to my ideas. She didn't bat an eye at my mud idea.

On a day trip to Frederick, Maryland, a "local" suggested I go to the county fairgrounds just outside of town. When I got there I found they were having Mexican wrestling. To add to that, the headliner was Mexican midget wrestling. And what's more fun than fighting midgets? Security and the promoters were all very kind and let me shoot up close. I went the "artsy" route with blurs and shallow depth of field. My first wrestling experience, a great day with a totally unexpected outcome.

Toro Pequeno (little bull)

July 16, 2012

Time Well Spent

Talking with one of my best friends the other day, he spoke about never having enough time to accomplish all the things he "needs" to do. If he has an hour of free time, he has a list of about 15 things he should do with it.  I like to read a lot. People with so much on their plate don't share that luxury. After giving his time dilemma some serious thought (I have time to ponder such things), I realized that he has created this "zero free time" life entirely on his own. A big house, three cars (one antique), a wife and two young kids, a few horses, 35+ acres, a dog and a few cats, art fairs to prepare for, etc. All of which require HUGE amounts of time and maintenance. Veterinarians, pediatricians, landscaping (mowing), home and equipment repairs (constant), countless phone calls, school issues, housekeepers, nannies, etc, etc. The list is endless. That's all aside from doing his actual job. Why does a person take on so much responsibility, knowing that almost everything will be compromised by the inability to complete a given task? Consequently many things don't get finished. Or worse, are done by someone else at a substantial expense. And, there seems to be no reduction of responsibility in sight. I suggested a smaller home with less acreage--"Oh no. I love having a farm." I suggested fewer vehicles--"Oh no, we need those." I suggested giving one of the two kids up for adoption. That drew silence... and a smirk.

I love my friend dearly (I doubt he'll read this, he doesn't have time). However when he says to me, after reading one of my emails or blog posts, "You have WAY too much free time on your hands," I smile and think to myself, "Yes, I do. I'm so fortunate."  A minimalist life is not for everyone. Simplicity is a beautiful thing....

July 12, 2012

The Truth (obviously) Hurts

So, after receiving more than one comment (emailed) regarding my "The Truth about Truth" post, I've decided to take it down. People who think they were implicated have stated "I just won't tell you anything anymore." Friends who confided secrets with me have somehow felt betrayed even though I didn't mention anyone by name. None of the spouses of these people read my blog, so I truly wasn't concerned with "outing" anyone and what might be perceived as a malicious attempt to expose their true feelings. In 3 years I have never deleted a post...until now. Sometimes you have to suck it up and play nice. The Truth does Hurt... Geesh.

July 3, 2012

Walk On

I love to walk around the city. I never walk quickly in a straight line from point A to point B... ever.  I amble, I mosey, I meander, I dawdle, I stop, I observe, I take some pictures. I'm fairly certain anyone who's with me finds it very annoying. Or so I've been told on more than one occasion. 

Tourists downtown viewing the Statue of Liberty.

Looking down from the High Line.

View from Battery Park.

From the High Line.

Walking along Battery Park....self portrait.

Three faces on High Line.

July 2, 2012

Crazy Coney

Saturday I went back to Coney Island. I went in the afternoon after waking up at 11:00. I stay up too late. Did the usual, shot the local craziness, ate great tacos, shot many photos, drank icy cold Pepsi (bad) and spent a total of 3 hours on the train to and from. I can't help it, I'm addicted. Perhaps it's not your thing, but if you get bored at Coney Island, you're clinically dead.

Always present boardwalk drama.

Guys kept loading in 50 cents a pop to prove their manhood by smacking this bag.... Nobody wins anything.

Seagull doing its best impersonation of DiCaprio's "I'm the King of the world!"