Monday, February 28, 2011

Empire Diner

I heard it closed, but I'm still not entirely sure:

Maybe that plywood is some kind of aesthetic choice left over from fashion week.

Well, it could be...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

No Dog Peeing

That is correct, there is no dog peeing in this picture:

My first shot from the roll I accidentally pulled to 200. I'm sure at 400 it would have been so much better...

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Thompson side:

Did I ever tell you I lived in Judson Church? Well not really, but the part next to the church that's now the King James I center for Spanish Studies (I think that's what it's called) used to be an NYU dorm. I was there the last time it was used as a dorm before it was gutted and refitted for the benefit of Spain (That's Spain with a th, of course).

I forgot if I mentioned that it was the summer of 1991 and brutally hot and that my room was only slightly larger than my twin bed, but I had a terrace (actually the roof of the floor below me, my room was recessed) bigger than most studio apartments. I just did a search on the site and no, I didn't tell you all those things. So I didn't tell you about how I decked it out with lawn chairs and how I slept outside, waking up on a towel on the tar with the heat just beginning to shimmer upwards. I didn't tell you about my days off where I liked nothing more than to open up a cold Budweiser at 10am and look out over Washington Square Park. I had a great view of the bathroom. I never told you that I heard the police beating a homeless man in the park in the middle of the night. He was screaming out in pain, begging for help. I didn't even think to record the audio with my brand new video camera. I just listened with my deaf ears.

I feel sicker now than I did 20 years ago.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Brown Building

At the northwest corner of Washington Place and Greene Street:

Today this building is owned by NYU, and is a biochem facility. A century ago it was known as the Asch Building. The 8th, 9th, and 10th floors of the Ash Building were occupied by the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. A month from today will mark the 100th anniversary of the fire that took 146 lives. I've always had an affinity for the building, even before I moved to the city. I always felt a connection somehow, even though there is no familial connection with any of its victims.

Perhaps I'll be able to get a proper shot of it, you know, with the whole building in the frame sometime before the anniversary. Then I'll write more about it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cross Behind Scaffolding

I don't remember where, other than I was in Manhattan:

When I was taking Sight and Sound at NYU, our standard issue camera (as it is today), was an Arriflex 16, with the three turret lens system. We weren't allowed zoom lenses because of young students' proclivities to abuse that privilege (imagine everyone trying to pull off the Kubrick zoom out), and instead to make due with our fixed lenses (which we did, by gum).

I'm thinking about that now because today I bought my very first zoom lens. Up to now, every camera I've been shooting with has had a fixed lens. I got it for my K1000, which like the Arri 16, is a beast that can be taken into any conditions. Yes, I know this isn't motion pictures, but it's a bid deal for me anyways. I also think they don't allow lenses in beginning photo classes. All the students I see walking around have fixed lenses on their class-issued Canons and Minoltas. I guess they want them to learn how to frame an image without just zooming in to find it and changing the whole depth focal perspective thing. As you can see, I've never taken a photo class.

By the way, it's a 100-500mm lens. When it's fully extended, it really is a penis replacement. It's the equivalent of a middle aged dude rolling around in his Corvette. Though the lens is a Promaster (made by Vivitar), so it's not the Rolls Royce (or even Corvette) of zoom lenses (if it were a Leica or a Sigma or even a Tamron...) so it's like the kit car of zoom lenses. You know, those little cars that are usually convertibles and they look all retro but you can't tell what make they are because the body comes in a kit that you put on a VW Bug chassis? That's what I got. I got the middle aged guy driving the kit car trying to impress with something that looks way fancier than it really is.

And I thought I just wanted to be less intrusive when I shoot people on the street...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Shoot

As seen on 4th Street (positively):

The gussied up model can barely be seen behind the black woman in the center, who looked none too happy that I had stopped to take a picture. I think she was only maybe 10 feet away, but the SWC really makes that appear to be so much farther. I also forgot to set the focus, but I think my 400 speed film and tight aperture saved the day somewhat.

Whether the day was worth saving is another matter entirely.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Positively 3rd Street

Not 4th Street, but 3rd Street:

This was from the second roll I developed, this morning. I remembered to let this one stew for 7 minutes instead of 5, though the 5 minute roll didn't come out as horribly as I anticipated. Today we're going in reverse. The photo info is coming first. The humor is coming second.

Did you hear that Khadafy is bombing his own cities? Who does he think he is, the mayor of Philadelphia?

I'll give anybody a shiny new nickel if they get that one without having to search it on the internet.

Also, I realized I have unfinished business from yesterday's Mussorsky humor. I should have ended by saying that maybe one day I'll have my pictures at an exhibition! How did I miss that one? It's so obvious!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day on Bald Fountain

Please pardon my modest Mussorsky joke.

Get it? "Modest?" Boy do I crack myself up!

What other photoblog are you going to get Mussorsky humor? I mean, we're talking a pun to describe a joke! Name it and I'll eat my homburg. Okay, now to more pressing matters.

So yesterday I said I'd be developing new rolls that I shot in the SWC over the weekend. This is true. I have one hanging and drying right now. However, I'm kicking myself (metaphorically). I've been so used to my goto film being Ilford Delta Pro 100, I plum (plumb?) forgot that I went out this weekend with Ilford Delta Pro 400. I realized this during my final water rinse. Two minutes too short in the "soup" (as the pros call it. I don't like calling it soup. I prefer "juice." Yes, I know I wrote about this somewhere on this blog once before). So I unnecessarily pulled my exposure to 200. The images did come out, but I won't really know the damage until I get them under the scanner. I have no idea how much I'll be able to finagle in photoshop. And you know what, I'm pretty fucking happy with what I shot. All architectual shots, but I'm very happy with the compositions and my handling of the SWC after not touching it for a few months. Damn Damn Damn. I know, I can always revisit those sites (and I think I just might do that). But it just goes to show that it's never too late to just not think. I am ever so pissed.

Oh yeah, looking at the above photo, I don't know if that's actually the fountain that's shooting up from between that dude's legs. This is Greenwich Village, you know (yes I'm talking about semen. If you can show me another photoblog that makes a Mussosrsky joke and a semen joke in the same post, let alone the course of the blog, I'll fucking retire from this photo business altogether and become an accountant like my grandfather wanted me to).

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bethesda Snow

The angel keeps watch:

Barring some sort of act of god (or God, or G-D if you're of a more religious bent), the developing should commence tomorrow.

Of course, I'm writing this with yet another terrific headache, and it's the day after a discussion with an old friend about someone we knew who died of an aneurysm in their sleep at the ripe old age of 48.

All that cliche shit about living life to the fullest and treating every day like it's your last really isn't cliche. We think these things to ourselves and then we usually forget them, even when we're reminded of the tenuousness of our lives and how even the lifespan of the oldest person on Earth is insignificant when measured against the rest of time.

I think Ikiru should be mandatory viewing for all.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Round Mounds

of snow!

You say you've had enough of the snow pictures? You say you can't take it anymore? You say you get it, that I was in Central Park when after it snowed?

Tell you what I'm gonna do!

I was out not just yesterday, but today as well giving the SWC some much needed attention after being shuttered all winter (I have to baby my baby). I gave a test run to two new backs acquired via eBay some time ago. So there's something to look forward to!

Of course, all I have to do is develop them, and you know how I'm so quick to the task...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Snow Focus

It's like a pun, see?

Somehow in my less than infinite wisdom I decided to focus on those trees way in the background instead of trying to pick a point of focus maybe just a bit closer.

WOW I have a burning headache.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Another Snowy Vista

Who saw this coming!

Oh wait, I did.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Snowy Sun

Just pointing my camera into the sun:

I haven't really had much to say around here lately. I need to change that (aren't you the lucky ones).

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


In Central Park:

Yet another photo I had high hopes for, something that looked beautiful and dramatic (or at least somewhat interesting I hope) in person yet not quite translated onto film as I had hoped. Of course, the gray, overcast sky didn't help matters much, though I can't really use that as an excuse.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ready to Go

Sledding! In Central Park:

Of course, you can't really tell that they're on the top of a hill or anything. I'd place the blame squarely on the photographer.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Billy Johnson Playground

In Central Park:

Little known fact, this used to be known as the "BJ Playground," but the people showing up misunderstood what BJ stood for.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Stroller Stroll

I was trying to figure out how to work Shirley Stoler into this, but I don't think it'll work:

I'm watching the Wizard of Oz again, and I've been wondering what life was like in Munchkinland before the house fell on the Wicked Witch of the East. It seemed pretty well appointed for a people living in a state of oppression. I mean, the place would have looked like East Berlin. And what about the mayor? Was he elected by the munchkins or was he a puppet for the Wicked Witch of the East. Wouldn't they have ousted him the moment the house fell on her? Wouldn't he be hanging from his heels in the town square like Mussolini (and with his mistress as well perhaps) after they got him after some "spider hole" (notice how that term hasn't been used since they got Saddam?)?

And don't get me started on that Glinda. I got issues with her, but they'll have to wait.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Snowy Subway Light

As seen as I walked out of the subway at Central Park South:

The icicles were much more prodigious by the time I returned after shooting for two hours in the park. Of course, I was out of film by then.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tunnel Path

In Central Park:

I was a bit wary when I stopped to take this photo. The group of adults on top of the bridge had been throwing snowballs in my general direction as I approached. I mean, they weren't throwing them at me, but I was hoping that they'd be mature enough to spare me the indignity of being a snowball throwing victim. I mean, if they were kids, that would have been another thing. Hell, if kids threw snowballs at me I'm not sure I'd be too entirely mad. That's what kids are supposed to do, to throw snowballs at strangers and get the hell outta Dodge. But I'd expect more than adults. I didn't relish the idea of trudging up the hill there and confronting them. Yes, this whole scenario had played itself out in my head as I was taking this picture, and then once I started moving forward. Fortunately (or unfortunately for you readers) I don't have an interesting story about being pelted by snowballs thrown by adults who should know better.

Maybe next snowfall.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

No Parking on the Median

Are you kidding?

Just another shot from the day after Snowmageddon III.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Sense of Scale

Between people and trees:

It was weighing on me all day in the park how much all that wet snow was weighing down those branches and if any would break and hit anybody (namely ME), since it has happened within the last year in central park. And yes, even though the chances are rather small, it still came to mind. Of course, I wasn't thinking about this when I was standing in the lake getting shots of the San Remo. Now there's smarts!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Plaza Snow

And trees, of course:

Just yesterday I was having a discussion about the original Bedazzled with someone (as opposed to having the conversation with myself, of course) and what do you know it's on the Fox Movie Channel right now.

I like a good coincidence.

Of course, I own it on DVD and can watch it anytime I want, yet it's more specialer (you heard me) when it's a gift out of the ether, or in this case, out of the cable box.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


In Central Park:

Am I the only one here who hears the Dr. Who theme when I look at this picture?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

San Remo

This blog is getting like to be going to the ophthalmologist (or the optometrist, if you prefer). Do you like it better like this:

or like this:

Better, a little worse, or about the same?

This is why I hate going to the eye guy. I'm always afraid I'm going to give the wrong answer and get a subscription (you heard me) that'll make me go blind. Then I wouldn't be able to take pictures!

Though I bet some of you would see that as a good thing, what with me not seeing at all.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Central Park Bridge

I don't know what it's called:

I'm sure it has some kind of name. I'm sure Olmstead and Vaux came up with something.

I'm sure.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Angel of the Frozen Waters

Though I suppose water is water no matter what its state:

I also suppose that it's about time I got a picture of this under my belt. I think it's a rule of NYC photographers that you have to have a picture of Bethesda. That goes for the San Remo too, but soon enough I'll be posting those typical shots around here, probably several of them asking for your opinion since it's easier than forming one of my own.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Random Couple

They were both at the edge of the lake (though you couldn't really tell where land ended and water began taking pictures of the San Remo with cell phones when she noticed my camera. They spoke with some kind of non-English speaking accent I couldn't place. It was a quick encounter. No names, professions, or business cards were exchanged. It was all over in less than a minute.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

He Wasn't...

...playing "Baker Street," yet that's all I can hear when I look at this:

If Gerry Rafferty just could have waited to die just a little longer then this post would really have been timely.