Sunday, February 28, 2010

St. Mark's Place

More work, new shoes, less poems... I took this picture the same night as one that I posted a few posts back. I walk home from work every night and try to take a picture or two each night, though some nights I am only eager to get home. I still haven't figured out how to take pictures of moving objects. Either the image is shaken unrecognizably, or the photo is too dark, or the motion makes everything in the frame blurred. Some of those I like, though nobody else seems to. I show them to my wife and she asks why I'm showing them to her. I like it, I say. She says, no, it is no good.

With photography there is much to learn. I have been told to just shoot a lot and I will figure it out eventually. The figuring it out part has not arrived on wings. Sometimes I get lucky, though rarely in the way that I want to. I've been told that half of getting good photos is just to take the picture, take them every chance you get, that it is the boldness that will eventually yield results.

More photos, less work, new poems....

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Artist unremembered

(taken at Moma, artist unremembered)

I should know who painted this. I wandered around the Moma one day just taking snapshots of the things I saw, trying to avoid getting yelled at by security for said activity.

I have a fair collection of images snatched from larger paintings. Many, if not all of them, look familiar to me but I only know who painted a small handful of them. I am becoming more forgetful, or perhaps I am spending less energy memorizing things that I used to.

I have much to learn when it comes to photography. I take many pictures but so few of them turn out well. I think they look good when I take them but then I look at them a few more times and their qualities dissolve.

A friend of mine just got a new panasonic gf1. I am a little bit jealous. I do not know why. Gadget envy, I suppose. I hardly even know how to use my camera (dmc-lx3), much less have I approached its limitations such that I would need a new camera. But the desire to possess persists. The desire to persist persists.

Friday, February 26, 2010


Is there anything that looks happier that a puppy playing in the snow....

So, the big snows came, the skies fell, the city was covered. Though this time only playfully so.

I've discovered that it's very difficult to photograph snow well. I've adjusted this one in Aperture and I think now that I've only made it look like a more pronounced grey. The snow actually looks much lighter to the eye than it does in this picture, though the puppy doesn't seem to mind.

Hopefully they will call off work tonight, the massive machine of industry will halt and stand growling for a moment, and the villagers will run free, though mostly they will only run home. "People are not going to dream of baboons and periwinkles"

Catching puppies in white weather.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Museum of Modern Forgetfulness

(photo taken at MOMA, artist unknown)

Snow again. I wake up and the skies are white, the ground a near-frozen and slushy grey. Beautiful danger is everywhere. Difficult to walk in, impossible to fly.

Difficult to speak, easy to scream.

"I was stone and he was wax, so he could scream and still relax" -Bowie, The Bewlay Brothers

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Witch, to prefer

I do not know which to prefer... It has begun to rain in New York City. It is not quite spring, so the rain is cold and mostly unpleasant, though it is a somewhat welcome change from the unrelenting grey skies of freezing winter. It has not had the awakening effect of spring though. Without warmth one recoils.

I would not say that all of winter is bad. There are days of beautiful clarity: uncluttered blue skies, crisp and open, clean and somehow refreshing. I took the picture above during one of those days as I was walking to work in the East Village.

I am eagerly awaiting spring this year, looking for it, or the hints of it, in everything around me. It is there in the cold rain but only as a passing shadow of itself, something not glimpsed but felt through the understanding of its coming, faith in the turning world, hurling through space, tilting at windmills and winds alike.

"the blackbird whistling or just after"...

Friday, February 19, 2010


Polaroid app for the iphone. What fun.

It was Barkley's birthday yesterday. He worries about his age. 2.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

"The places we have known do not belong only to the world of space on which we map them for our own convenience. None of them was ever more than a thin slice, held between the contiguous impressions that composed our life at that time; the memory of a particular image is but regret for a particular moment; and houses, roads, avenues are as fugitive, alas, as the years." -Proust

the death of the gods

"But when a belief vanishes, there survives it - more and more vigorously so as to cloak the absence of the power, now lost to us, of imparting reality to new things - a fetishistic attachment to the old things which it did once animate, as if it was in them and not in ourselves that the divine spark resided, and as if our present incredulity had a contingent cause - the death of the gods." - Proust

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Reading Proust

Love is an expansive emotion. It clarifies many things, sometimes too many. I don't pretend to understand it. When one considers carefully the mechanics of the thing it can have a reducing and crippling effect, but without some sense of clarity the scope of the emotions can be overwhelming.

I've just finished "Swann's Way"

What are we to think of such things?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


New York is a wonderful place to have insomnia. After living here for 10 years I can't imagine that any place else on the world even compares. In fact, if I am ever to move, in this new place I will most certainly seek the cure.

To be stranded out on the boundaries of your sanity, unable to read from exhaustion, unable to rest from restlessness, unfocused but on a perpetual personal edge.... It must be insomnia alone that drives people to Christ, and the moon.

Western Gothic

New York is a great place to look at. I wish I had more time to do so.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bob, on the A Train

I got the news that a friend passed away last night. He was older and this news did not come as a complete shock, though still stunning in its power to pause the spirit. I have sat here listening to records that he and I talked about for many hours and I have yet to find just the right one, though I think I'm getting closer. For some reason I started with Weather Report... then to Santana, and now The Stone's "Beggars Banquet", first track. I remember he and I getting into a accelerated conversation about the merits of the Jane's Addiction cover of "Sympathy For The Devil"

Creedence. Have You Ever Seen The Rain?

For a short time he and I became quite close friends. We would sit and chat for as many days as we would run into each other, often for hours, entire evenings. He was the owner of a local bar that I frequented. Though it wasn't the closest bar to my apartment in the East Village it became known as my local. Rightfully so. It has been the most notorious meeting place that I have in New York. For the better part of a decade now it has served as my living room, the space in my apartment resembling a miniature version of a storage unit.

Hendrix. Hey Joe, The Wind Cries Mary, Third Stone From The Sun.

Bob Dylan. Blonde on Blonde.

More later...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The night before the storm...

The snow has come. It is barely cold enough to stay frozen on the ground so it is already turning to slush where people walk the most, in the walkways and on the streets. I took this picture last night as the city inhaled and prepared. Most people were inside, awaiting the mighty blizzard that has already devastated the cities of the coast. It is a silly thing. The news reports that a big storm is coming and the city shuts down. It might be the city that never sleeps but it is most certainly the city that stays home in snow. The schools have shut down, public transportation has come to a virtual standstill, the streets are deserted, shops are closed, but the internet is still open for business.

Last night as I was walking home late from work I took a few pictures, just playing with exposure times and speed settings, still not knowing what I am doing, but hoping for luck.

The city can be nice when there are so few people out. Everyone has kept their meanness at home, their rushing insistence that they are all that matters, that they have the rightness of way, that you should have been able to detect this from further away and moved to gracefully allow their hurried passing, that the city was made for them alone, and move, move, move...

The snow will melt, the people will return with more ferocity of purpose than ever.

I will be ready. I will stay home.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Vitamin D

Winter in New York is hard. I've been told that the body doesn't produce as much vitamin D, which causes all sorts of problems. I look back to this picture, taken only a few months ago, underground, in the subway, and I can see how much happier and healthier I was. It's a constant struggle. Exercise is supposed to help, especially cardio, but that's really difficult to do in the winter. It takes a lot of effort to get to the gym and then you come home wet and cold, and complaining. Like now.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"Don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge..."

(photographer unknown)

Living in New York is difficult, especially in the winter. There are a combination of factors contributing to this but the result is always the same: people become more aggressive, less pleasant. In the last two weeks I've been openly pushed on the subway twice, both times by women. I don't want New York to revert to the city that it used to be but I feel that if people were a little bit afraid of what might happen to them if they pushed somebody else then they simply wouldn't do it. That wouldn't be such a bad thing, would it? Perhaps fear has its social uses as well. Or maybe I am just getting older and that is what happens. You get pushed out of the way and there is less and less you can, or want to do, about it.

I've joined the lottery to get into the New York City marathon this year. I've lived here 10 years and I've never even joined the lottery before. I'm hoping this year is my year. There is MUCH training to be done but I am looking forward to it all. I have tried to get a few friends interested but so far no luck. They are all near me in age and I suppose 26.2 miles does not sound enticing. I guess I can't blame them. In the entire week so far I haven't jogged even 13.1 miles yet. So, to train to the point that I am running more than twice that in a single day.... Well, we'll see.

As I walked to work yesterday I thought of several things to write in my fledgling blog here but now I can't think of any... It is the silence of morning, or the lack of coffee, or the paucity of ideas.

Fear. Perhaps I am only waiting to be pushed.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

iPhone apps.

I've been playing around with iPhone apps. They are fun. This is a photo I took of my wife's eye in black-and-white and then processed with the Phototropedelic app, I like it.

iPhone apps are where all of my money goes now. It's ridiculous, and the main reason I'll probably never own a real camera, I will have spent all of my money on these little processing toys.

Ok, I'm still not used to writing what amounts to an email with no recipients. I suppose it will take some getting used to. For now I'll just keep on posting photos I like....