Friday, December 31, 2010

Redscale Meltdown

On 5th Ave:

I just took the shirt out of its bag. It's now unfolded and resting on my bed. It's a big shirt, long-sleeved and very scratchy. It's nothing I'd ever want to wear, but it isn't my shirt. It never was. It just lives here. It's just been left here, a souvenir from a night 18 years in the past.

It's not clean. The once-white shirt is covered in the dirt and sopped stains of that night. There's blood on the shirt too, in a curious half-moon shape that corresponds with the upper jaw of another human being, a total stranger who was in the wrong place at the right time.

It's a shirt that threw bottles on Houston, spit on people's backs on the Bowery, and passed out cold on the floor of CBGBs. It came back to my place, drank beers, smoked Camels, and ordered in pizzaburgers at 3am, watching the Cartoon Network until it fell asleep.

It's an artifact I venerated the very next day, it being a record of the previous evening. I don't remember why it stayed with me and didn't return home with its owner, but I knew I would never wash it. I thought it was pure art, as I thought the wearer to be a pure artist.

For a while I even had it mounted on my apartment wall, I thought it was so striking a statement. I don't remember if I hung it up before or after its owner passed away. I don't remember if he ever saw his shirt on my wall, having become my personal Shroud of Turin. Or maybe it was an indirect way of me saying how much I loved him, something I never said in life, since you don't think like that when you're younger. Everyone lives forever when you're young.

So this New Year's Eve, I recall that New Year's Eve of the past, only revealing the tiniest of snippets of that night for your consumption.

The shirt is away now, folded and back in its bag. Will I look at it before next New Year's Eve? Probably. Do I really need an old dirty shirt to remember a night that was so special for three close friends?

Do I even have to answer that?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Karen, Karin, and Walt (R,L,C)

That's Karen on the right. I've written about her before on this blog. She was my professor of Whitman at Columbia, one of the finest classes I've ever taken. You can't really tell from the picture but at the time she was 7 months pregnant. Now she's nearly 2 months not pregnant.

Karin on the left is a theater director. We sat next to each other at dinner afterwards (along with Karen, Karen's husband (no, that's not him), and a gentleman from the Sarasota Opera. She, along with the rest of the company not shown in this picture, were all very nice (what a description! "nice!").

In the center is Walt. Well, that's not really his name. He's an 80 year old approximation of Walt Whitman. Of course, I've forgotten his real name. He took a part in Karen's annual marathon reading of Song of Myself, done every year on Walt Whitman's birthday (I suppose that's what "annual" means).

Yes, before Walt Whitman was a mall, he also wrote some here and there.

I have no idea how to write myself out of this post.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Three Men and a Car

This was the other roll of vintage exposed film I was talking about. You'll notice there are two definite and different themes going on. Let's take a look:

I'm assuming these men are privates, or maybe even just got outfitted? I mean, they don't even have a single stripe on their right shoulder. Do you start in the army with nary a stripe, even at buck private?

I'm noticing the detached chimney in the right hand side of this photo. I'm wondering if this isn't the gas chamber building. No, not that kind of a gas chamber, but the tear gas exercise room (I'm not sure what it's officially called) where they put you in this enclosed space and you run around in a circle and alternately affix or remove a gas mask upon orders. I'm told it ends up being a teary, vomity, mess.

Just a simple two-shot here. I'm guessing from the leafless trees this shot was taken sometime between fall and spring (wow, I'm such a deductive reasoner!). They're in long sleeves but they're not wearing jackets, overcoats, or any kind of garments that would suggest it was really cold out that day.

This is Weales, as best as I can make out his name. I wonder if he was the one who owned the camera.

Thus ends our photos of army men. Now begins phase two of this roll:

All of the rest of the photos on this roll are of this car. And while it's clearly recognizable as a Chevrolet, I can't figure out exactly what model it is.

Now it's obvious that there was some custom work done on this vehicle. Please to be noticing the exhaust pipe right behind the front wheel, which is also visible in this shot:

Instead of just wondering what model Chevy this was, I did peruse vintage brochures online. It appears to be an Impala coupe, yet I've yet to find any with the side chrome accent that only goes from the front of the car to halfway through the door, and I've yet to see any with that patterned grill, which I don't think is very becoming if you ask me.

In this profile shot you can see what looks like a nameplate on the rear side of the car. But when I've looked at this closeup, I can't make it out, and it doesn't seem to say "Impala." Actually, here it is, cropped at 100%:

Does that look like "Impala" to you?

And our head-on view:

No front license plate, so where it's from is a mystery (if it would have even been legible). For all the pictures guy took of his car (assuming it was a guy), he didn't take any of the rear.

As you can see, we're now making our way across the international time date line to the other side of the car, which is surprisingly symmetrical to the side we were just looking at.

And here's the right hemisphere of the car (they're called "hemispheres" in the auto world, right?). You can see there's a nameplate on this side too, and trust me, it's just as illegible as the other photo.

Now these last two shots are almost identical, so I'll post them in tandem:

And thus ends our roll. I really am a fan of those exhaust pipes, coming straight out of the engine block sans muffler (I don't think there's be room for a muffler under there, and I'm also thinking the kind of person who'd put those pipes on their car wouldn't want a muffler). The thing must have sounded like a beast. But I have greater questions about this roll about what model Chevrolet this is (and if there are any gearheads or car hounds out there I'd love your input. I'm sure someone out there knows what this is).

Looking at this roll, I began to wonder about its history. I wonder why the photographer, who obviously was so proud of this vehicle, never got around to developing his film. I know this question can be asked of any vintage roll of film, but for some reason this one piqued my interest a bit more than usual. I don't have any insight into what could be the answer. This roll of film didn't come with a camera I purchased. I got it loose, as part of a lot (that's a "lot" not "a lot") of vintage, exposed film.

I also realize that I could have just as easily posted one or two pictures of the men and likewise with the car, and I did consider this, but I concluded I wanted to put the whole roll up. I wanted to share what this person's vision was. I don't think that's very hard really, he took some pictures of some friends and wanted to get a nice shot of his car. But I wanted to share the whole experience, to see if you could look into the psychology of the person by seeing what he committed to film for the whole roll, not just me showing you snippets of it.

I'm not sor sure about that last sentence. I've been working on this post, from scanning the images to working them in photoshop (very little work done, by the way) to saving them for upload (which are still pretty big files), then uploading them to my flickr page to saving to my desktop much smaller file sized versions of the photos to uploading them here and writing all these paragraphs and sentences culminating with the words I'm hammering out right now.

I think it was worth it.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pastimes of the Past

I present today just three images that I was able to liberate from a 620 roll of Ansco All-Weather Pan. I've never developed it before. I put it in Ilfosol-3 for 6.5 minutes at 20 degrees celsius. I'm still not sure if I over or under developed it. But I worked the images as best I could to give to you, starting with the best one first, and progressing downward in quality:

We seem to have a boy here, maybe a young teenager, working on his dirt bike. I don't know shit from motorcycles so I have no clue what he's got there. I'm also wondering about the car. We'll see more of that later on, but it looks to be something from the late 40s, early 50s. Anybody out there recognize that rear tail light configuration?

Here's the second shot, almost identical to the first in subject matter:

I'm beginning to wonder if that contraption isn't some kind of tricked-out bicycle or a moped of sorts. I'm looking at what seems to be a pedal sticking out there underneath the middle of the bike. I don't usually associate pedals with motorcycles.

And here's the last shot, an overview of the situation:

There's the car, which seems to be a coupe, yet I'm no closer to figuring out exactly what make and model it is. You can also see the bike faintly, behind the car.

I like the basketball hoop. It's really a nice touch.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Rooftop Pinhole Shot

From warmer, less snowy times:

Lest you think I'm being lazy (and that's a perfectly cromulent assumption), I'll have you know that I developed two rolls of vintage exposed film today and got results from both of them. Also, I shot some rolls in the "BLIZZARD TO END ALL BLIZZARDS PERFECT STORM OF THE CENTURY" last night, and some today, too. I'd keep an eye out for those around here.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

This Lady

I don't know who she is, but she seems very eager to show off her book:

I have a picture of her counterpart covered in snow, so it's only fitting that on this snowy day in NYC I post a shot from a clearer day.

Local weathermen must be plastering their underwear with semen right now. They always predict doom and gloom when they're forecasting just an inch of snow, so today you know they're in their dressing rooms doing deep knee bends and drinking that newfangled Gatorade because they're going to have such a busy day breaking into local TV coverage every 15 minutes to tell us what we already know. IT'S SNOWING. NO FUCKING SHIT. And I'm sure this thing already has a name and a graphic. First it'll be a simple graphic saying, "BLIZZARD 2010," and then they'll probably give it a name like "THE BOXING DAY BLIZZARD OF 2010," that is, if they think people won't be confused by the whole Boxing Day thing. Do people even know it's boxing day? Like those poor starving orphans in Africa all those English pop stars sang about way back when? Feed the world, let them know it's Boxing Day!

But what I hate more is weatherman bias. I hate being told what's "good" or "bad" weather. It seems that if it's not 72 degrees and sunny it's a "bad" day. Snow is only acceptable on Christmas. All other days it's a nuisance. I wonder if they know that snow helps fill our reservoirs. I don't think they do, since rain is always bad except in the summer when there's a water shortage. Then it's rationalized. Maybe if you didn't bitch about the snow so much...You know, I think it's snowing less not because of global warming, but because the snow doesn't feel appreciated. Here comes the snow, all happy to blanket our city with winter, and it just gets shit on by weathermen every time it pops in. Wouldn't that bother you? I think snow has gotten completely fed up, and when we get a lot of it dumped on us, it's not for our enjoyment, it's purely out of spite.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Quite Possibly...

The camera I used just might have a light leak:

Or maybe the camera doesn't have any light leaks at all, and this was some kind of paranormal activity that I caught on camera. Those ghost shows are always showing eerie looking photos with streaks saying that they weren't visible to the naked eye when the photo was taken. Or maybe the man in the picture, the one right in the center walking away from the camera, maybe he's actually a ghost and wasn't there to my naked eye yet magnituded (inside joke alert) himself on film. How can we be sure of what we see at all? Maybe I saw that guy in front of me and he was a ghost all along. Maybe all those people sitting in the park are ghosts, or maybe just half of them. Or maybe I'm the ghost. I might be dead for all I know living in this world with all these other dead or living people. But If I'm dead, can I be living? Would I be deading instead? Can I be dead sure that I or anybody else is alive or dead? Are we all a dream of some other being in a universe that can fit inside the atom in someone else's fingernail and every time he cuts his nails does it produce another Big Bang creating another universe that can fit inside another atom?

Maybe Santa Claus being able to get to everybody's house in a single night isn't so far-fetched after all...

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Thrill of Victory

At Citi Field:

2009....that crazy summer of high-fives and light leaks, not to mention a Mets team that was soon to be riddled with injuries and collapse. But at that moment there was nothing but the intense desire for two men to push their bare, hot, sweaty flesh against each other in public, and they didn't care if anybody judged them.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


In San Pedro, 1999:

Boris was Todd's cat. Or perhaps Todd was Boris' human, I never really made the distinction, but they were made for each other. Unfortunately, as many of these stories go, Boris can only be discussed in these present times in the past tense.

I'm trying to turn this around into a happy post, about how Todd has a new cat now that he loves very much, but still hasn't forgotten Boris, but that's hack. And saying it's hack is still hack.

It's past my bedtime.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I had higher hopes for this one, but how many times have I said this about one of my photos:

In a correction to yesterday's post, the WKCR Bachfest is going on for two weeks (count 'em, two), not one week.

Adjust your listening schedules accordingly.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


It's one from the archives, but I always liked this one:

Bachfest 2010 is going on right now on WKCR, Columbia University radio. All Bach all the time for Christmas week. I post this out of my love for Bach and don't receive any kind of compensation. Actually, they don't even know I'm typing this. In fact, I bet if they saw some of my entries they wouldn't want to be associated with me, though I'm not so worried that's going to happen.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Man and Baby

On an old roll of V116:

This was the only picture that was somewhat recognizable on the roll, though the most recognizable feature of this shot is the big stain left where the photo-flo decided to dry. And yes, I do squeegee my film (with my fingers). But even a photo-flo-free-film would not have improved this image much. But we can see a man, perhaps a father, with a baby, perhaps a baby. Perhaps his baby. They're kneeling in a patch of flowers. Well, he's kneeling, the baby is resting on his knee. The building in the background looks to be governmental. You can see the stones and pillars. Then again, it could be a university setting. Columbia has buildings with big sones and pillars. Maybe the baby is part of an "early enrollment" plan. You know, it might be one of those genius talking babies that you see in the commercials talking about making online trades. But superbaby or not, I'm glad I was able to get at least something off this roll. Maybe if I stare at this picture longer I'll find more clues as to where this may be, though I doubt it.

Maybe one of you recognizes this scene? I mean, I'm sure it would be obvious to someone familiar with the landscape, wherever it may be.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Building, not car:

This was one of the shots I took on the remaining roll of film that came with that camera what I just got recently. I think this image has potential. I can work it any number of ways, and would definitely crop. The undeveloped spots on the right hand side from the developer bubbling up isn't doing much for this one. And I'm undecided about the pinstripes. Do you see those vertical strips, in groups of three running up and down the image? That's from 50something year old backing paper, well, the specific paper used during that time. It's not something endemic to all old backing papers. This is fascinating stuff, isn't it? So yeah, these vertical impressions. I guess maybe it can work with the verticalness of the buil...Whoa. According to the automatic spellchecker, "verticalness" is actually a word! To quote the great Pat Cooper, "I am a genius of myself!"


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Past Pike

Remember yesterday I was talking about how I developed a roll of VP116 that came with a camera I got and how it came with an exposed image? Well, here it is, worked to the best of my ability:

It's hard to see, but in his right hand (our left) he's holding a fishing rod, and in his left hand (our right) he's holding up a fish. I'm guessing this to be a pike by it's long skinny body, rear-set swept back dorsal fin, and two pairs of pectoral fins (it looks like there's another pair right there behind the gills. I wonder what amenities (if any) his cabin had.

Being a fish detective is all in a day's work around here.

Friday, December 17, 2010

As Promised....

To the young lady up in Canada...A triple exposure!

Lest you think I'm relying just on pictures from the archives (and I am to some extent, since I haven't had enough time to wander around and shoot lately), I'll inform you that in my bathroom, as we speak (well, as I speak. Well, I'm not really speaking, I'm just typing. But you know what I mean), there is drying some VP116 that came with a camera I just got. It was at the beginning of the roll so I wound it forward and took a few shots of my own. The film definitely was shot for that first picture on the roll, but I can't tell what it is until I get it under the scanner tomorrow. Then we'll all get to see what's there.

Ooh, this is so exciting!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Manhattan Bridge Plaza Plaza

Are two exposures better than one? You tell me:

I don't have reoccurring dreams. You hear people that have the same dreams over and over again, but not me. But I do have reoccurring themes. Now I'm not talking about anxiety. I mean, I am talking about anxiety, but that's bigger than a theme. Maybe it's an arc. Or an arch ("they got the golden arches, mine is the golden arcs!"). Since my reoccurring theme falls under the umbrella (which sort of has an arch shape) of anxiety. Yes. Anxiety is the umbrella, my theme is my theme.

The theme I'm talking about is a loss of, or invasion of privacy. It happened again last night, and they're all a bit similar, but never exactly the same. They all have to do with my next door neighbor, and my apartment. With these dreams our apartments are somehow joined, with no door inbetween, an I keep saying, no, this isn't supposed to be like this, and she just doesn't care. It's like the feeling of being spied on through the toilet like in The Conversation.

Last night our apartments weren't joined, but in the dream I was sleeping in bed, and she was coming and going from my apartment at will, just walking in, saying things, and then leaving. And there were people walking by in the hallway. And her boyfriend also came in sometimes too and leaving. It's all so very uncomfortable on the brain.

When you're asleep and vulnerable, anybody can just come barging into your brain.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


In the East Village:

Remember yesterday when I said I couldn't write much because I was watching a Nazi show on the History Channel? Well, part 2 is on now.

Oh, and what I'm about to say I haven't said in quite a while on this blog, but it merits being said again:


A better rallying cry I never heard.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


In City Hall Park:

I'd write more, but there's a pretty compelling Nazi show on the History Channel.

Some excuse...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fulton Street

In Brooklyn, that is:

I stood out on the sidewalk for quite some time that day, and most everyone that walked by said "hello," or attempted to sell me clothing out of a brown shopping bag. I got a sense of community that I don't have in my own neighborhood. Now I'm not saying that I want a sense of community in my neighborhood, I like living in a non-neighborhood neighborhood. However, it is nice to experience a bit of small-town NYC every so often.

Sunday, December 12, 2010



A lazy sunny post for a lazy rainy day.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Coal and Ice

Together at last!

You're coal and ice,
willing to sacrifice our love!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lower Manhattan

What's left of it:

Wow, that's not a very positive way to look at things! OMG! WTF! HTML! AATSOT (and all that sort of thing)!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Seven Was Here

Padlocks are the new graffiti:

If six turned out to be nine than seven and seven is sitting on the floor twenty-five or six two four.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Paint. Off the wall:

I saw yet another cupcake joint is opening up down the street. Now I love cupcakes. I love sugar. But I think I'm beginning to have my fill of these joints. It's the current trend I suppose, and I guess I can avail myself to the knowledge that trends come and go, and so too, this cupcake phenomenon will pass, leaving a swirl of confectioner's sugar in its wake.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


These penguins were marching down St. Mark's on Halloween when they demanded that I take their photo. How could I refuse, especially when they were all hopped up on caffeinated alcohol? I didn't notice until I printed this picture that the one in the center was named "Dr. Love," and that he makes his living as a "Sex Instructor." Had I realized it at the time I would have made an appointment for instruction since I keep hearing about sex yet I'm still not quite sure what it's all about. I'm now kicking myself for not noticing his credentials earlier, since as you can see, he comports himself as a consummate professional.

Then again, maybe he only treats penguins, and I'd have been left out in the cold (even more so than his companions).

Monday, December 6, 2010


This photo is significant as it's my first person picture taken in Brooklyn. I was on Fulton between Clinton and Waverly when Nehemiah asked me if my camera worked, and he graciously agreed to have his picture taken when I told him it did. He told me he was an organizer. I didn't ask him if he was one of those people that goes into your house and organizes your closets, nor did I suggest to him that I could use that service. I'm not it would have gone over well. He said something about being a tenant organizer, so I guess it does have something to do about apartments, but more about the people inside them, and not about the stuff the people keep inside them.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Taking Pride in a Triptych

Though I think there's something about the one on the right:

Film to be developed tonight, pictures to be introduced tomorrow (so he says).

Dinner's almost here. After that I'm on it like white rice.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Building silhouetted just a tad:

This was taken back in the days when the camera was plastic and the scanner was dusty.

I got up at 3:30am this morning. No, my aching stomach got me up at that time and I've been up ever since.

You know the episode of Father Ted when they meet Father Furlong in the camper? That's me as Dougal.



I'm going mad.

PS: Special thanks to Lisa J.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Shadow on a Wall

On Mott:

Mi estomago no es bueno. I'm not sure if I'm writing that right, but yikes.

I gots to start eating better...

Thursday, December 2, 2010


A place near and dear to my heart:

I haven't been to WO HOP in a long time. It was that end of the night place, where you went at 3am, 4am, and beyond when you had to fill your gut with enough Chinese grease to slide the Great Wall into the Yangtze — uphill, yet. Those nights have blended together into one neverending course of MSG. The first time I saw Mason Reese was at WO HOP (in the middle of the night, of course). He was eating with someone that looked like it could have been his brother. It probably was his brother. I couldn't imagine another human being looking like that that wasn't a relative. I'm pretty sure I still have my WO HOP t-shirt somewhere. It got a lot of use, though I'm not sure if I ever wore it there (besides, that would be tacky). It was the kind of place when you left you'd have to watch your step to avoid the pools of vomit from the drunks that could't keep their WO HOP goodness down.

I took this with the Yashica-Mat. I really need to come back with the SWC to really take in the full glory of this entryway. I really need to come back when I'm awake and write a better paean to WO HOP.

Goodnight WO HOP, wherever you are (oh, I guess that would be 17 Mott Street).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Stare Into The Sun

And you might see a bridge:

If you're seeing a bridge, I might be shortcutting tonight. Short posts = shortcutting. Cutting it short. I'll cut this short before long.

Give my regards to old Broadway and I'll be there ere long...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fox Truck

I'd say that's a fairly balanced satellite dish:

I stood in the middle of traffic to get that shot. I'm not sure it was worth it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Yeah, That's Right

I'm taking a picture of you:

Cameramen hard at work, waiting for an announcement of the arraignment.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Paris Sandwich

I'm speechless:

I'm too tired to come up with something humorous for this one. Feel free to interject.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I don't know who this chick is, but she's resting her right hand on some hot fasces action:

Yeah. You ever see that tied up bundle of sticks? That's what's known as fasces. They were carried around by lictors in ancient rome as they followed behind important people, the kind of important people whose position required that they have lictors following them around with fasces. What's a lictor you ask? Ask the internet. What do I look like, Information Please?

Mussolini was so inspired by the fasces that he named his political party after them. Funny that a fascist symbol (quite literally) should be all over the U.S. Government (it was on the back of the "Mercury" dime, for example, and once you know what it is, you'll see them everywhere). No, I'm not some Alex Jones conspiracy nut or anything. I just think it's humorous.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mike (maybe?)

Mike (maybe?) works at this massage joint down on Mott. If his name wasn't Mike it was something else deceptively American, since he spoke with a heavy Chinese accent. Maybe he's like those tech support guys in Bangalore named "Billy" so us xenophobe Americans don't get put off by talking to "Vijay." What put me off more was the idea that this guy worked at a massage joint, and that he might be responsible for happy endings.

By the way, I HATE the use of "happy ending" in this fashion. Paying to get jerked off by a complete stranger at the end of a faux massage isn't my idea of happiness. It feels great for a few moments, but that fades away as you wipe sticky shame off your belly. And if we continue to call it a "happy ending," what does that mean for Happy Meals?

I may never eat at McDonald's again...