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...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tom (I think)

Tom (I think) is a cameraman for CBS. He was parked in front of one of those Five Points courthouses for an arraignment (so he told me). Not his arraignment, but I'm pretty sure is was for that Russian arms dealer dude with the mustache. That shows you how much I pay attention to the news. I should have paid more attention to this guy's cap and told him to take it off so I could get a better look at his face.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Who Knows What Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Men?

You know who!

One thing The Shadow didn't know was that this photo would turn up a bit more lackluster than anticipated (big surprise).

I wonder what Ken Howard would do...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Looking Southward in SoHo

This was yet another vista that I erroneously thought would translate onto film better than it did:

Brünnhilde is asleep on the rock as her father Wotan calls to Loge to surround it in flame, having cursed her to sleep until only the bravest of men shall come along to take her. It's such a sad moment, yet the downward major arpeggios give us hope that she will be found one day.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Le Penseur

Je pense...

...I could have done a whole lot better with this photo.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Meet the Moats

Does it look better like this:

or like this:

Tough call, isn't it...

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Not the type you'd play Connect Four with:

And two of them wouldn't add up to Nixon's dog.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mine Curves to the Left

My photo, I mean:

What did you think I was talking about?

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I didn't know there were any Magyars left!

Do you like things the way they are, or do you wish they're like the way they were. If you wish they'd be more like the way they were, is this a personal remembrance of things past, or is this a past that came and went before you ever came on the scene? Are you looking at your own past through rose-colored glasses, or do you just wish you were young again?

I suppose these questions could apply to anyone, anywhere, but I've been thinking more in terms of this ever-changing New York City (remember those words, "ever-changing"). There's been a lot of noise lately about the changes going on in the city, most recently it's been the closing of Ruby's on Coney Island, and the ongoing "revitalization" project the city has been imposing on the ass-end of Brooklyn. People say they're killing NYC, taking the soul out of it block by block, turning it into some kind of Mall of America. People who weren't here 20-35 years ago (or weren't even alive in that time) lament that the creativity has been ripped out of the city, and that it was better when the streets were empty, the rents were low, and crime was rampant.

I'm not making the case here to say that it was better or worse then or now. What I'm trying to say to all of these Jane Jacobs-come latelys is that whether you like it or not, CITIES CHANGE. And it's not just cities. People change. People live and die and move (not in that order). I have a friend whose favorite quote was "The only constant is change," said by none other than Karl Marx. These people who yearn for the NYC of yesteryear think that the city only existed between 1973 and 1993, when Rudy got elected. These people wish that they could hop in a Delorean and see Jayne at Max's or the Dolls at Mercer and hang with Nomi at CBs.

Guess what. It ain't gonna happen. You're not going to bomb NYC with Freddy, Samo, and Keith (and not just because two of them are dead). You live in a different age. It's not just the city that's changed, it's the world that's changed. And what I was trying to say earlier is that it was always changing. I bet if you asked Ken Jackson up at Columbia, he'd tell you that NYC wasn't the same in 1850 as it was in 1880 as it was in 1910 as it was in 1940 and so forth. And in 30 years, the city will be different still. And who's to say that NYC is "better" or "worse." Just stop bitching and in the words of Russell Simmons, Do You.

People applaud Jane Jacobs for keeping the Lower Manhattan Expressway from being built, and allowing the empty Soho factories to become loft space for burgeoning artists. But my guess is that even if the LME were built, the artists would still have found places to create. If CBGBs had never existed, the Ramones would still have found a place to play their music. The point I'm making is that creativity is inside us. We have to take the initiative to use it, to do something with it. Who gives a fuck if Disney bought up Times Square, or that Coney Island is going to become Fremont Street? Do You. Do You, or get the fuck out of town. You don't like what NYC's become? Goodbye. We don't need you bitching and moaning that you can't get mugged in broad daylight on Avenue A anymore.

The city changes because the world changes. NYC doesn't exist in a vacuum. NYC was already an international center of commerce and culture even before the internet, before cell phones, and before those things got combined and you were able to exchange lewd texts with people across the world. For 400 years buildings have been built and destroyed. The city was terraformed. Businesses have come and gone. Nothing ever stays the same. Nothing lasts forever. We live in a constantly changing, moving, evolving environment. It's the state of the universe. Everything you touch (including yourself) is made up of atoms which have electrons constantly whizzing around them. Every level of our existence is in constant motion.

Don't worry if you think NYC is becoming too whitebread. It's just another day in another chapter of this ever-changing gotham that I call home.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Claremont and 116th

Up by Columbia, taken with the SWC. I think this building lends itself well to the lens of the SWC:

I like Storm Chasers, but there are just too many teases and too many commercials. I think this show might be 10 minutes long without the commercials, but that's what I get for watching it live and not after the fact on DVR.

By the way, I don't have a DVR, so you can see what I'm dealing with here. Heck, I'm still watching the same RCA 19" CRT TV that I got when I moved here. I'm waiting for it to properly die before I go flatscreen. I'm afraid that might take a while (a while, not awhile. Or do I mean awhile?).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Building Angles

That's looking upward up on Riverside Drive:

This one I'm liking, shot with the SWC.

I'm listening to Keith Jarret's Goldberg Variations. They're the only other Goldbergs I listen to besides Goulds' Goldbergs, though of Goulds' Goldbergs my favorite of the two is the 1981 recording. I do appreciate the 1955s, and how he singlehandedly turned classical music on its ear (much to the chagrin of some, to this day even I'm sure), but the 1981s just have so much more soul and feeling. I've gone through phases with those Goldbergs. I went a stretch when I listened to the entire 1981 recording every day for I don't know how long. Months, maybe. I remember listening to them on my fire escape in 2003 as the sun went down on a city that had lost power earlier that afternoon. No, that's not the entire story. I first listened to Black Sabbath's eponymous album (ooh, that's the second time I've used that word on this blog. I must be showing off!) and then put in Gould as I tried to see if there was any action going on in the other apartments me across the expanse of a non-existant NYC rooftop backyard, since all my action was coming from the boombox resting on my windowsill.

Bach and blackouts, perfect together.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Centre Market Place

A little slice of quiet in NYC:

Today was a lot of nothing. I mean, doing nothing. Though can I say that doing a lot of nothing really means I'm doing something, even if that something is nothing? The past few days I was doing something, and it wasn't just doing nothing, but really something. Not just one simple something, but in the plural some thing. Maybe I should say I was doing some things, or maybe somethings. Well, more than a few things, or maybe it was just one thing drawn out over time to really make it something.

But today wasn't all nothing. I can't consider spending a large part of the day watching Sgt. Bilko episodes on youtube doing nothing.

That's got to count for something.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


You know, not like a hophead, all hopped-up on hop, but one that's all hopped up on hoop:

Yes, yet another shot when a longer lens could have embiggened the situation, making it more gooder for everyone involved.

How about that shadow in the lower right-hand corner!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Whiskey Bailout

I'd like to think the father (presumably) just bailed out his daughters:

I'm guessing there's a lot of traffic from the bail bondsman to the Whiskey Tavern.

I was seriously hoping to find an establishment called "Chico's Bail Bonds."

I know there's people out there that know what I'm talking about without having to do a search. And to those people, I say, god bless you, every one.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Long Lenses vs. a Personal Encounter

So what is this post about exactly? Let's first look at the big picture before we get into the nittier, grittier stuff:

I was fixated upon her. No, not the woman walking through the frame, but the woman sitting on the bench in the distance. Which girl you ask? Here's a crop if you're still not sure:

Yeah, her. She just sat there poring over her notebook, her pale shimmering legs in the autumn sun (can something be pale and shimmering?). I wanted to get a picture of her, a closer picture, a portrait just like that, but maybe more of a profile, but not too much so it looked like she only had one leg. She was hard not to notice. I was out with the Rollieflex and it's fixed 75mm lens, definitely not long enough to remain non-intrusive.

As I sat there on the fountain pondering my situation, a man sidled up next to me. He was rolling with a Bronica with a really long lens attached, and pointed it towards the girl. "How long is the lens?" I asked.

"It's medium format." He answered with an accent I couldn't place.

"I know. I'm talking about the lens. How long is it? How big?"

"Oh," he paused and looked at his lens, "210 millimeters," and he looked through the finder to take another picture of the girl.

"I saw her too, but I only got this," I said as I motioned to the Rolleiflex hanging from my neck.

"But sometimes foot-zoom is good too,"

"Yeah, but if I get close then she knows I'm taking a picture of her and maybe she doesn't want a picture taken of her, you know? You can just set up over here and snap away without getting in her face."

I forgot what he said after that, but we exchanged pleasantries before he went on his way, leaving me to sit and stare from afar, too shy to approach her to ask for a photo, and not brazen enough to just get up close and shoot.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hello Kitty!

No relation to Hello Larry (I think):

I wonder if this person lives in the Hello Kitty Dream House.

Hello Kitty had a dream house, right?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Two Towers

They're not exactly twins, you see:

It's hard to believe the 57-story Woolworth Building was actually the tallest building in the world at one point. Now it's not even the tallest building in this photograph. I'm sure the building will be broken up to hear about that.

Time to shower. Time to sleep. Time to make the donuts.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pedestrian Walkway

What's more immature, someone drawing a penis on a man painted on a bridge, or taking a picture of it and posting it for all to see:

I'm not sure I've ever really foreshadowed on this site before, or if what I'm about to do right here even counts as foreshadowing at all. It's more like informing, since I think foreshadowing is a bit more nuanced.

There's a piece inside me that I'm trying to get out. I mean, a piece of writing. I found myself writing it in my head as I ran errands today, but the writing process being what it is, just because it seems great in your head doesn't mean it comes out coherently when you first try to put it on the page.

I'm not sure if it's more of a rant or a manifesto. Come to think of it, besides the Unabomber and Marx (and Engels, we mustn't forget Engels), are there any other manifestos out there? But I digress (imagine that).

So I gots this thing in my head, and I'm beginning to slowly extract it. It's actually reminding me of my school writing, or just my writing process in general. I find that sometimes I just have to literally push the shit out of my head. I mean, it's like I know what I'm writing is crap, and I know I'm not going to use those words or phrases, yet I have to get it out on the page (I guess I mean the screen) so I can physically look at it and see that it's crap so I can commence to write something a little less crappy.

Now mind you, I'm not promising you anything exciting or riveting here (of course, if you think what I write is exciting or riveting that would be greatly appreciated), but it's more about me being somewhat satisfied with the final product. When I'll have this little ditty (Why couldn't it have been the Unabomber Ditty? I know it really wasn't a "ditty" in that it didn't tell a story, but why not?)...crap, I forgot what I was going to say once I got finished with the parenthetical bit. Therein lies the dangers of getting off track. That, and people dying (you know, the ones in the trains that people refer to when they say that something's going off track yet they never think about those innocent people, unless they're one of those prison trains full of prisoners, unless some of those prisoners are actually innocent but are stuck in prison because DNA evidence didn't exist at the time they were convicted, but I think this train and all it's passengers, be they prisoners or pensioners is really off track).

In short, stay tuned for a little something more by me that will most likely not live up to all this hype I've given it. Hell, it may not even be as long as this here post, I reckon.

Monday, November 8, 2010

He Ain't Heavy...

That's his brother:

At least they looked like they were brothers when I passed them. Well, they were brothers, and I'll take the liberty to assume that there may well have been a familial, fraternal relationship between the two. I think if there weren't those people in the front walking towards the camera and obscuring the outline of the brothers this would have been a much more better picture. As it is, I'm happy enough to have gotten them reasonably in focus while walking in low light focusing on the fly while walking just looking at the big square screen of the Rolleiflex and not using the magnifier as that was impossible and considering I was using ISO 100 film on an overcast day with the aperture probably open at 5something shooting at 1/100 of a second.

Right after I took this picture, the kid (the bigger kid) put the kid (the littler kid) down. I think that's what I really like about film. If I were following them with a digital camera, I could have just had my finger on the trigger shooting away and had maybe 100 photos to choose from. Here I got my chance for just one shot. That's what makes shooting with film so special in these times so modern they're already obsolete. I know I've written this elsewhere on the site, and while I don't like to repeat myself...shit. I forgot what I was going to say. But I think you get the drift of what I'm trying to say. Oh yeah, I remember now. What I was going to say was that even if you miss the shot (and I'm not saying that what I got here is pulitzer material) it's okay. You have to accept that you can't capture everything in life. You're going to miss those Hallmark moments. But just remember that there's always another one coming.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Those pictures on the table are portraits that Ximena takes with her OG Polaroid. That's her regular spot, on Spring Street in front of Balthazar. I forgot how much she charges for her "Instant Portraits" (I think that's what her sign says), but I'm sure they're reasonable. I suppose I could have asked her for an instant portrait of myself, I mean, not like a freebie, but to pay her for an instant portrait of myself, but I didn't. I just asked her for a picture and scurried away without returning the favor.

Or maybe we could have taken pictures of each other taking pictures of each other. I bet nobody's ever thought of that before!

People take pictures of each other...

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Well, above oncoming:

Lest anybody think I'm relying on this roll (and I am), I gots one hanging up drying in the bathroom as we speak. So all sorts of excitement is happening around here. Heck, I'm even going to develop another one before the night's out! And I even have an extra hour all to myself tonight to do with as I please!

I had better not spend all that time in one place.

Friday, November 5, 2010



I was thinking that maybe, just maybe, I'd break up the Brooklyn Bridge monotony (if there can be such a thing) with some hot and heavy GWB action.

I had cheese doodles over two hours ago, I've washed my hands several times since then, yet my right thumb and forefinger are still stained yellow. Or maybe it's jaundice. Or hepatitis. I had better keep my fingers out of my eyes.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Towering Overhead

As you walk underneath:

Am I plying you with a roll from the Brooklyn Bridge until I start trudging out different material?

Could be, Rabbit. Could be...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Look Towards the Hook

Corlear's Hook, that is:

I'm not sure who Corlear was, or why he ended up with a hook, and nobody even calls it that anymore, but I think there are some Corlear's Hook Houses over there, and I'm sure if he had kitchen help they'd be known as "Corlear's Cook," and I be he ate breakfast in Corlear's Nook, though to other people it would be Corlear's Nook (to Corlear it just would have been the nook), and I bet if he read he read Corlear's Book, and if he played chess...

I can do this all night.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Grids. Cables. Intersecting. Sun. Clouds:

There needs to be a book published called, The Wit and Wisdom of Kenny Powers. I even like the wit and wisdom of the people around Kenny Powers.

Once Jesus leaves the building, he is out of Mexico for good.

Yes, it's out of context, but I like it even more that way.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bridge Biking

And a picture snatcher's shadow:

I don't know if the term "picture snatcher" got any play outside of the James Cagney movie of the same title. I'm not sure if what I do is really snatching pictures, but I sure can picture snatch. I suppose I could snatch a picture of snatch, but I'd either have to be in a studio situation or some paparazzi getting shots of the usual suspects getting into and out of cars without any underwear on (god bless 'em). Or maybe if I had some willing suspect (suspect? I think I meant subject. What would Freud say about that slip?) to unlatch her snatch to be snatched by the pitch.

Snitch snatch paddywatch give the dog a batch.