September 17, 2013


Today while walking down Hudson Street at dusk I looked up to see the clouds beginning to turn a reddish hue. I rushed down 10th Street hoping to catch the sunset. I crossed over the West Side highway and stood along the path. In all the years living in NYC I've never seen a more vivid, beautiful sunset. This shot isn't manipulated, this is really what it looked like. People were stopping all around me, pulling out their iPhones, snapping away. Lots of oohs and aahs. I stood there until the sky slowly turned back to a soft gray, which only took a few minutes.

Two odd guys on the subway today. Above guy was on the A train headed downtown at noon. Hair dyed jet black, muttonchops and mustache a dark brown. Some heavy maintenance going on there. The guy below on the A train headed uptown tonight. He had very sparse peachfuzz but painted his whole head jet black. I wanted to take another picture of the front but he was very big and I feared he'd kill me if he saw me aiming my camera at his head. Some major maintenance going on here. I wonder what his pillow looks like?

 Unfortunate chair in Times Square. 

While making an egg wrap I looked down to find the eggs sort of smirking at me. So I beat them. A little grated Emmentaler cheese, a splash of Goya salsa verde....Very tasty.

September 10, 2013

Only in NYC

Saturday I was sent by WWD to shoot backstage beauty at the Monique Lhuillier fashion show from 6:00pm to 7:00pm at Lincoln Center. Knowing they always start the models makeup earlier than they say, I showed up at 5:15. I had vaguely remembered the usual rigmarole of checking in the front, being sent around to the back, finding the backstage entrance, being checked in by  security and then finally getting into the hair and makeup area. Quite the ordeal. Once inside, it was a tad cramped to say the least. 

Pampered would be an understatement.

This model had come from another show and was half an hour late and was the last to be prepped. The "team" descended on her like a triage unit in a busy downtown ER. Three people on hair, one doing manicure, one doing pedicure, one doing her eyes, another did foundation. Within 15 minutes she was ready to go. Amazing to watch. Like a Nascar pit crew.

I left 30 minutes late from that show and rushed to The Standard Hotel where a few people were waiting on me to shoot some very high end shoes ($1K a pop). The presentation had ended at 7:30 and I arrived at 8:00. They were not happy. Wasn't my fault. We set up a impromptu "studio" of white seamless and I quickly got the shots needed...lit all nice and pretty.

Starving to death after the shows, I called a friend to meet me for a bite. Only 10:00pm, we decided to slip over to Arthur's Tavern to see who was playing.  The house band was doing everything from Steely Dan to Michael Jackson (but funkier) tunes and we stayed for a few drinks. Great musicians, very fun.

 Stew Cutler--a great blues, jazz guitar player. 

As we were leaving a bit after midnight, we were outside and my friend mentioned that she had never been to the bar Marie's Crisis right next door. Being a piano bar that specializes in show tunes one can only assume the clientele is mostly gay men. I had only been there twice before with an ex-girlfriend while showing visitors around the Village. Being secure in my heterosexuality, I suggested we go in so she could satisfy her curiosity. At the same time, two British couples asked us if it was a fun place and we all went in together. Going down into the basement bar you feel like you're stepping back in time, walking in to some old pub in the in the Theater District in the 1940s. The place is painted red with tiny Christmas lights strewn across the ceiling. It's obviously filled mostly with regulars and a few tourists.  Lots of theater people with big voices and personalities. It's slightly cramped, having only about ten chairs.

The noisy crown suddenly becomes quiet as the piano player taps his hands on the top of the piano. The regulars saying, "shh...shhh...." until the room is nearly silent. After a pause, he hits the first few notes and seconds later a hundred voices are singing "Somewhere" at the top of their lungs. Almost ear-piercing, this is not a shy bunch. Whether you favor that kind of music or not, it's quite impressive to witness. Like the rest of the crowd, my friend knew nearly every song from her many years in various choirs and choral groups and couldn't stop singing and smiling. She later said it was the best night she'd spent in all the years she lived in New York. I didn't have quite the same experience but I did have a surprisingly good time. Occasionally I'd glance across the room and our British friends would give us a very cheery "eight thumbs up".  Leaving two hours later I got home just before 4:00am. A very long but fun night.

The barmaid sang a very sad song of unrequited love. She realized she would never completely have the man she adored but was willing to take the 50% he offered... You could hear a pin drop.

The tip jar at Marie's Crisis beat out Arthur's jar by a long shot...I saw some $20s.

September 7, 2013

Art Night's Big Start

The season opening night of art was less than spectacular. Large crowds, lots of wine, lots of crazy attire. All the art lovers were out in full force. What wasn't out was any good art. Normally I don't like to slam artists, but last night was a true letdown.  I was hoping for one of those grand shows like the Chuck Close or Basquiat ordeals.... Not tonight. It was more like "Amateur Night in Chelsea." Even if the art sucked it's always a great night hitting the galleries with friends.

 Part of the Art Crawl Crew

 A rare sighting, Patrick McMullan shooting. He's usually at some party in the Hamptons.

 Performance art...right.

 Calligraffiti...Group show...The last and best of the night. 

 I love anything done on wood or cardboard. This was in a group show, didn't catch
the artist's name.

 Amazing groupings of crayons. Artist?

Barbara Takenaga...Didn't do it for me. Twenty of these on the walls...Can you say "Redundant"?

Two from Chuck Webster. Looks like your typical trust fund kid trying to do something edgy and cool (and failed). His bio states "His saturated colors and playful biomorphic forms evoke the spuriously na├»ve abstractions of Paul Klee and late Matisse...."  The person who wrote that was obviously smoking crack. Chuck Webster and Klee in the same sentence is a joke. 

 Frederick Hammersley... He's dead, should have stuck with portraits.

 Gene Davis...also dead. Should have designed wallpaper and not been a painter.

 Jacques Roch. Though colorful, I felt I was looking at student paintings at Parsons. 

Kunie Sugiura. Take two random small 4x6 prints you might get from any photo processing department of a drugstore. Now, glue those two prints of "nothing" on a large piece of white expensive watercolor paper. Now place it in a big frame.!  Total bullshit!

Buy a bag of Sakrete, mix it together and make some shapes out of it.. Set it on some wood or saw horses.  I don't get it.

 Trine Bumiller. Amateurish at best. Like a senior (high school) art project. Okay, that's a bit harsh...a senior at one of those fancy prep schools for artsy rich kids.

Note:  Edith, If you happen to be reading this, you've been truly missed.

September 4, 2013

While Strolling

 I have no idea where these nipples are being held captive but I'm all for their release. 

 Cheap shoe repair. Looks like something one might see in an alley in Shanghai

 Even in the rain, weather's never too crappy for soft serve.

 The constant fiddler, I waited for almost 45 minutes and never saw anything beyond a smear of paint. 


Bent woman. Took her 10 minutes to go one block. A reminder of how fortunate I am.