Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jutting Out

Into the frame:

It's been a while since I've dumped a Flatiorn on the viewing public. So dumped I have.

Saturday is stupid day.

On Saturday at 3pm in Union Square Park, thousands of mid-20somethings to early 30somethings will gather to have a pillow fight (and similar events will be happening around the world at 3pm local time). I guess this is some gambit to recover their lost youth. These are the same people who are playing kickball as adults. Then again, I'm not sure they're trying to recover their lost youth, rather than being unwilling to relinquish it. These are the same people who use film cameras to be ironic. I have mixed feelings about that. And of course, there are the mustache waxers who I truly hate. Though I don't think they're going to be at the giant pillow fight, god forbid their carefully sculpted facial hair gets knocked askew. But now I'm just going off on an anti-hipster tangent. Yes, I realize this isn't the most focused, anti-giant pillow fight entry.

If I had any gumption I'd show up to the pillow fight with a cue ball in a tube sock. Who says "harmless" fun can't be harmful...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Focus Points

On Broadway (not the song):

I don't know why I chose to focus on the building reflection in the little lamp on top when it clearly should have been on the one in the left middle foreground.

Oh, and nice reflection of yourself, dick.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

4th and A

Through the SWC:

Nobody is cooking death for dinner tonight. Always a good thing.

The last time I was in that Key Food was ten years ago, somewhere between late August and before September 11th, whenever my friend Matt's birthday was. Earlier that evening I had driven out to his party, which he had at a Chuck E Cheese out on Northern Boulevard. When I got there, the employees didn't question what an obvious non-child in a motorcycle jacket was doing showing up at a kids' venue. I was there to hang out with all of the other unsavory late 20 early 30-somethings that had gathered for Matt's 28th. Some years later I would remember this lax approach to security when I heard a story about a man in a NJ Chuck E Cheese peering over the tops of bathroom stalls as young boys did their business. I assure you the only child I stared at was this Chinese looking kid who was hogging this Star Wars Land Speeder video game where you actually get to mount a replica land speeder and destroy the empire one stormtrooper at a time. As much as I glared at him and his pile of tokens, he didn't relinquish his speeder.

After the Chuck E Cheese portion of the night ended, myself and Matt headed to Mars — the Mars Bar, that is. By then it was well after midnight and the bar was relatively empty. Matt and I were in the middle of the bar, and the only other patrons were three people a little farther down who seemed content with each other. That content was soon ended as two of the men started to escort the third out of the bar, but not before they smashed his head through a quarter inch thick plate glass window. It sounded like a shotgun went off when this guy's head hit that ancient glass, some of the last original glass left at Mars. They then dragged the guy into the middle of the crosswalk at 1st Street, threw him to the ground, and repeatedly kicked him in the face and head before taking off up 2nd Avenue.

The guy staggered to his feet and somehow made his way back to the outside of Mars, crying, "I'M BLIND! I'M BLIND," and collapsed to the sidewalk. The bartender was unsure if she should call 911. The owner didn't like the bar getting police attention.

"The guy can't fucking see. Call a goddamn ambulance! If you don't, I will," I said. This wasn't about the bar getting negative attention, there was a guy covered in blood where his face used to be lying on the sidewalk. The ambulance and police came, and they took statements from us, though we weren't much help. Nobody really got a good look at the two guys who roughed this dude up. After they took him away, the bartender thanked me for convincing her that calling 911 was the right thing to do.

With that all settled, the only thing to do was to end Matt's birthday the proper way...with a cake. So sometime between 2 and 3am (maybe even later) Matt and I headed over to 4th and A and picked up a premade birthday cake and candles from Key Food, then went back to Mars to end his birthday in style.

Monday, March 28, 2011

East Village Street

What were you expecting, Flemington, New Jersey?

I'll get back to the Flemington saga another time.

Every so often somebody cooks something in this place that smells like fucking death. It always has me checking my own garbage to make sure it's free of old, rotting greens. Then I begin to wonder if someone died in their apartment and are just rotting away. That's not outside the realm of possibility. Not everybody in this building is young and hip like me (okay, I'm neither of those things, but play along, will you?).

I had a talk with a friend of mine today, and we found ourselves on opposite sides of the same, ridiculous behavior. I mentioned that I had peanut butter and ginger ale for breakfast because I was too lazy to wash a bowl and a spoon. In case you're wondering, I used my finger as a delivery device for the peanut butter.

My friend on the other hand (sans peanut butter) said that she will go out of her way to not use clean dishes, as they are transubstantiated into dirty dishes. She also mentioned she would never use her finger to eat peanut butter as there might be bacteria on hand (pun definitely intended. And yes, my hand was freshly washed).

As of this writing, we are both starving to death in our own apartments in a city filled with food, yet there is no possible way to eat it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Barbershop Duet

Well, maybe a quartet if you count the gentleman in the background and the cut off figure on the left:

Yes, we are back in the barbershop after hours for this shot as well. I'm sure by now you recognize the bearded fellow from yesterday's post on the right. But who's that in the center? He has plenty of hair, but he's definitely not there to get a cut. He too, will soon be hard at work on a Saturday night. And like yesterday's caveat, more will be revealed when his proper profile picture gets posted (I'm actually a little worried about how it'll come out, but maybe I'll just shelve those worries until I see the final product). But yes, this shot was definitely the calm before the storm that hit Flemington, New Jersey that fateful eve.

That fateful eve? Yikes.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Barbershop Pinball

In Flemington, New Jersey:

Who is this man, and why is he playing pinball in a barbershop after hours? Why is there even a pinball machine in a barbershop at all? I know why. I know the answers to all these questions, but they too will have to wait. If you recognize the man in the picture, please feel free to let it be known. Though I'll wait to give the lowdown on this bearded fellow until I develop his profile shots. And that might take a while since I haven't even reeled up the film yet. But I will say that this man is just taking some time to relax with a game or two of Stargate pinball before going to work. No, he doesn't work in an after hours barbershop where men drink rum and cokes out of jelly jars (not pictured), but Saturday nights are his time to shine, and shine he did.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Amongst the pushy graininess of this photo, you might be able to find Shawn. You may not know it to look at him, but he is a Guinness World Record holder. Now consider the photo and wonder to yourself, what sort of record might he hold? Is he some kind of collector? Is it some sort of athletic achievement? Well, he did tell me that in the course of achieving his record he did suffer from a very sore hand, arm, and shoulder but said it was all worth it (no, it's not for that. They don't keep records for that sort of thing).

Shawn Howlett is the current certified Guinness World Record holder for having the top score on the arcade game Chiller. Yes, indeed. He got the record in December 2010 at Richie Knuckelz' Arcade in Flemington, New Jersey. Which, not coincidentally, was where this picture was taken just six days ago. I think he said he played for 4.5 hours straight to achieve the record, and then he went on to tell me about a guy who played Q*bert for 48 hours straight. He said the guy had so many lives saved up he could walk away from the machine to take care of his various life functions and then resume playing (so I guess it's not really 48 hours straight).

And you may ask yourself, how did I get here? I mean, how did I get to be at a classic arcade on a Saturday night in of all places Flemington, New Jersey? A town known only for its fur factory and the Bruno Hauptmann trial? Perhaps I'll save that for a future post. Until then, I'll leave you with just two words:

Kong Off.

PS: Yeah, I'm not too thrilled with the excessive headroom either, but I am determined to master the art of portraiture with the SWC. Well, if not "master," at the very least take a reasonable people picture with the durned thing.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Of Mannahatta!

At Fulton Pier, Brooklyn USA:

Here's a typical shot from a typical place in a typical town called Brooklyn. I know...I'm not too thrilled with it either. However, my empty promises should soon be filled, as I have my DDX raring to go. So when all my chemicals have reached the same temperature (I'm assuming), I'll get to cooling them down to 20c together and I'll push that 3200 to 6400 and hopefully find a pot of something that's not gold yet is kind of funny yet I can't think of what to say at the other end.

I've been listening to Fear a lot lately. Even if not actively listening, their songs have been running through my head. Random lyrics jumping out at me:

My house smells just like a zoo, it's chock full of shit and puke.

Let's have a war, give guns to the queers.

Disciplinary correctional surgery.

I don't care about you, fuck you.

And so forth.

But aside from the thought provoking, insightful lyrics, I've been thinking about their actual music — their sound. Even though they were associated with the punk and hardcore scene, they didn't really sound like any other band. You can't say that they have a "punk" sound, or even a "hardcore" sound. They just are. They're just Fear.

But why write about this now?

All of these thoughts have gotten me to thinking about a friend of mine. It's easy to think about him. His picture (along with his bandmates) is stuck to my dry erase board by a magnet. His small nightstand lamp sits on a small stand next to my couch where it shares space with books, remote controls, and camera doings. The lamp hasn't worked in years, but I like having it there. Even without these tangible reminders, he'd still be on my mind. Even if it weren't almost 16 years since he hung himself, he'd still be on my mind.

Like me, he loved Fear. Like me, he also loved Black Sabbath, and a myriad of other bands spanning all genres and eras. We talked about the music we loved for hours on end. And it's only just recently that I realized that Fear had a completely unique sound for the scene they were in, and all I want to do is talk to him about it.

It's an unrequited conversation. It's one I have in my head while thinking about him, imagining standing around his driveway as the sun goes down, each of us clenching a beer, and singing the praises of Lee Ving. It's a conversation with the dead, but the dead don't talk back.

And I think of all the other things I should have said, not just about music, but maybe things I could have said that would have made this topic immaterial, and instead I could be writing about the great conversation I had with my living friend. But life ain't that way. Some rents you can never completely sew up. You just flatten them out and wear it as best you can.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Silver Sharkskin

At Fulton Pier:

I always wanted a sharkskin suit. I'm not sure I'd wear one to my wedding (I think I'll go tails and top hat like my old man for that event, whenever that is). But someday maybe that dream will come true when I'll have a green sharkskin suit with matching shoes, socks, shirt, tie, and hat, just like this slick black dude I saw up at a Concord Hotel singles weekend oh so many years ago back when I was a kid. No, I wasn't there for the singles weekend, I was there with my grandfather and a bunch of other old Zionists from the Bronx at their annual Catskills getaway. They're all dead now, even the hotels.

Oh, and this is not the Guinness Record Holder I was alluding to yesterday. I'm hoping if I get my act reasonably together that'll be up either today or tomorrow.

I'm sure you'll be waiting by the computer until then.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Checking the Shot

In front of the Flatiorn Building:

They were French, that's all I know.

Today I reeled up five rolls of 120 and 135 (look at that pretentiousness) and they're all ready to be developed. Now all I have to do is get off my ass and whip up some DDX and get to the pushing and pulling. I even have a few portraits shot, including a bona fide Guinness World Record holder!!

No hints, just stay tuned...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Kate (maybe?)

Kate (if that was her name) was part of an NYU Sight and Sound crew shooting in the park. I think I wrote about Sight and Sound ages ago. They basically throw you an Arriflex 16 and tell you to go make movies. And after all the work you put into your five minute or so silent masterpiece, when you think you've got all the angles covered, and after it's been shown to the class, your professor then rips you a new one, pointing out everything you did wrong — and he's 100 percent right. It's a little humbling, a little hazing, but it's all part of the process.

On my last day of Sight and Sound our professor showed us Oliver Stone's thesis film. It was awful. It was a nice gesture, letting us know that for all the shitty movies we made, even accomplished filmmakers also made shitty movies back when they didn't know much better than us.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I think this is the very first Mallory I've ever met in all my life. Well, there was Mallory Keaton, but I didn't really get to know her that well. But let's stick with the real life Mallory we have before us.

This was my first picture of her. I asked for a second one since I forgot to adjust the aperture, though this first one came out better. Of course, there's that artifact going across the bottom of the shot. It seems to be some kind of bleed-over from the previous shot which was way overexposed.

We talked for quite a while. She's a journalism student at NYU from way way waaaaay upstate New York. She also writes poetry. And studies German. And really likes studying German so much that she doesn't want to part from it as she gets deeper into journalism. I suggested she should combine the two and work for Der Spiegel. She liked the sound of that.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tom (maybe?)

Well, I remember that he was German. I remember that he lives here in the city. I remember he had nice things to say about the Rolleiflex. I just don't remember if his name was really Tom. I've also noticed that this is the second time on this blog I have someone named Tom, yet I'm not entirely sure if that was their name. I even asked my friend who accompanied me that day to remind me of this person's name. Well, Tom (or whoever you are) didn't get a business card so chances are he won't be seeing this to get insulted that I'm not quite sure what his name was, just a week after taking the picture.

Then again, the internet is a funny place...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Chelsea Hotel

Or Hotel Chelsea, if you will:

This is the last shot from that run of SWC rolls before I start stretching it, and you get alternate views of the Empire Diner (and I'm not saying that ain't gonna happen, just so you know). But lucky for us, I have two rolls all set to develop tonight. Though the Ilfosol-3 is looking pretty yellow. I'm sure it'll still be potent, right, all you film developers reading this out there? I need to get my hands on some argon to start putting into those open chemical containers to stave off oxidation. Now I'm just typing to hear myself type.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

In the Round

Tic and Tac with piano accompaniment:

It's amateur hour in the city tonight. As I type this, men and women are vomiting green beer onto sidewalks from the East Village to Hell's Kitchen. I prefer to hide up here, and think about the memories I have from this day.

The St. Patty's Day Massacre was 25 years ago today. You won't find it in any history books. It's only relevant to myself, and about 11 other people, none of whom know that this blog even exists, and only one of whom that I still talk to. It marks the first time I ever rode in a police car. No, that's not true. I did ride in a Scotland Yard car when I was 13, but that was more of a private tour/ridealong. But 25 years ago when I was 15 it wasn't my choice. It was my first time suspended from school that year, but not my first suspension. That came a year earlier when I was a freshman (but without police intervention).

It was a hell of a sophomore year.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


In Washington Square Park:

In some ways, I actually like that the super wide lens of the SWC can make events happening in a relative close proximity look like they're happening quite a long ways away. On the other hand, you could end up with a very busy frame and you're not quite sure what you should be looking at.

This is like the, "Where's Waldo" of yoga shots.

I wonder where Waldo is right now...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Accordion to This Guy

Did I actually just write that? Ooh, that's bad...

"Instantly brains boiled and heads exploded!"

I just heard that coming out of my TV. They're doing a show on Herculaneum (which never seems to get the props Pompeii does) on channel 13. With a tagline like that, you know this is going to be a short entry.

Monday, March 14, 2011

NYU Law Library

On Washington Square South:

This one doesn't have the cachet of the "Library of Death" just a block away.

Oh, I'm not even going to go to a place of lawyers and suicide. We need those people (when they're "yours").

Sunday, March 13, 2011


AKA the "Library of Death":

Maybe I'm being too harsh. I mean, only three people in six years killed themselves in the library. The other six people that killed themselves during that time did it elsewhere. At least one jumped from the Tisch building. One jumped in Midtown, and others jumped from other buildings in the neighborhood.

What a cheery entry!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Corner Under The Stairs

In Chelsea:

That's tinsel hanging around that grated door. It had a lot more pizzaz in person.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Whitestone Brownstone, The Sequel

Mais cette fois, sans stairs:

Yes, I know "stairs" isn't French for stairs. And I'm not sure I'm using "cette" correctly either.

I wasn't happy with the quality of yesterday's dip into the archives. There, I said it. Now we can move on with our lives.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Jewelers Exchange

Doubly exposed, on The Bowery:

Yes, this is a quick dip into the archives. Just a quick one, while nobody's away.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bricked Up

In Chelsea:

A blind king is still a king, even if he can't survey his kingdom.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lady Gaga

In Union Square Park:

Sometimes you only have a second to act when something happens, like, for example, Lady Gaga just happening to materialize right where you're standing. Then you get right on it, you raise your Pentax K1000 to your face, focus in, and depress the shutter. After she walks by, you realize that you never checked the aperture you were shooting at, and realize you had the thing way stopped down from the previous shot, so you get a grainy photoshopped mess that makes Bigfoot pictures look like they were taken by Richard Avedon.

But I'm sure if I stand in the same place long enough, Lady Gaga will come by again, and I'll be ready for her.

Monday, March 7, 2011

22nd Street

I think it was 22nd Street: has changed my life. This has been an unpaid endorsement.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Whitestone Brownstone

In Chelsea:

So this is the third picture of stairs in the past week that I've posted. All I need is two more to make five stairsteps then it's Ooh Child all the way home!

Somebody out there got that. I'm sure of it.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Upstairs, Downstairs...

It all depends on what angle you look at it from, right?

Or, as a dear friend said to me so many years ago, it's not whether the glass is half full or half empty, but WHO THE HELL DRANK MY WATER???

Words of wisdom Lloyd, words of wisdom.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Heaven and Hell

Unfortunately, this post has nothing to do with the late great Ronnie James Dio (other than what I just wrote):

This is another shot from my accidentally pulled roll. By the way, I didn't even notice the "hell" part of the sculpture until after I took the shot. I was all about the aluminum/mylar/whateveritwas angel and framed for said seraph.

And they'll tell you black is really white,
The moon is just the sun at night,
And when you walk in golden halls,
You get to keep the gold that falls,
It's Heaven and Hell.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fuzzy Post Office

The big one, in Midtown:

I've been putting a lot into the K1000 lately. I hope everything doesn't come out as crummy looking as this. But as I develop, so shall the results be seen here. Aren't you the lucky ones...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


And very pale:

I read somewhere a while back (or maybe I saw it on TV) that store mannequins are based on real people. So remember kids, the next time you see a mannequin in the window and you think the feelings you're having are "unnatural," think again.

That's what I do!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


In Chelsea:

This is another one from my accidentally pulled to 200 from 400 roll. Even though I goosed it a bit in photoshop, I think it still could have benefitted from the extra two and a half minutes of developing. I have nothing else to offer this day.