Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Andy Monument

At 17th and Broadway:

I had no idea there would be a blazing chrome statue of Andy Warhol at 17th and Broadway until I happened upon it one day. And you know, I finally thought that some good use was being put to one of the many stupid pedestrian malls Bloomberg is shoehorning into the city. Then of course, I hear that the statue is only temporary, and will be removed in October. Thanks Mayor Bloomfuckshitcocksucker (yes, I believe that really is his name. He comes from a long line of Bloomfuckshitcocksuckers).

Friday, April 29, 2011

Study Picnic

in Washington Square Park:

Unlike my photo from the previous day, these two gals did consent to having their picture taken.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Taken on the Sly

In Washington Square Park:

I like the look on her face. It's like she's looking over her shoulder and is just seeing Godzilla yet it still hasn't registered that Monster Island's most famous resident is bearing down on her, eyes a-blazing and breath a-flaming.

He picks up a bus and throw it back down,
as he wades through the buildings towards the center of town...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I've actually known Teo for quite some time. I knew him from Mars Bar. Neither of us hang out there anymore and I'll say with all certainty that we're much better off for it. He's an artist, and uses found objects as the canvas for his creations (you can see them in the background). He used to set up at University and 11th, but had to move once that building went under construction to be occupied by a trendy burger joint (still under construction). I wondered what had happened to Teo until I ran into him on the east side of 6th Avenue between 4th and Washington Place. It's his new home or gallery if you will. So if you happen to be in the neighborhood, drop by and say hello. Maybe even help support a man making a living from his art why don't you.

Oh, and there wasn't any extolling of the Nettar because I took these with the YashMat. But there's plenty left from the Nettar to come.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Name Forgotten (III)

Well, the title may not be entirely correct. I think his name might have been Juan. I do remember it was a Spanish name, which seemed incongruous with his Australian accent. Regardless, he was very very nice. In the background is his wife and their seven week old daughter who were being sketched by an unseen sketch artist (I guess I don't have to say "unseen," it's pretty obvious there's no sketch artist in the picture). And no, they weren't tourists, they live here.

I am happy that I got the focus spot on with the Nettar with this shot. How many days in a row can I extol the virtues of this camera?

We'll find out together, won't we.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Name Forgotten (II)

I was down to my last shot on the Nettar and determined not to leave the park without finishing up the roll. I had seen this woman sitting against the chain link fence for some time, and I eventually got up the courage to ask this complete stranger if I could take her picture. Obviously, she agreed. I'm pretty sure she said she was studying sound engineering or music production, but I forgot where. She did have some nice things to say about the Nettar, so in a way it does fall under the, "Hey Nice Camera" standard. And like the shot from yesterday, the focus was juuuuust a little off, but not so terrible.

You didn't take my card (well, it wasn't offered or asked for) and will probably never see this, but thank you for letting me take your picture.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Name Forgotten (I)

We did each other a favor that day in Washington Square Park. She noticed the Nettar and said the magic words, "hey nice camera" (or something to that effect, and in return for a portrait, I filled out the survey she was giving. I forgot if it was for New York Magazine, or The New Yorker...something like that. The survey was anonymous, and you had to fill out questions like, "Is America going in the right direction," and "Will the Knicks win a playoff series" (I got that one right). All I did was forget her name.

Looking at this roll I realized how great the Nettar really is, and now much I need to be using it more. It's great on bright days and loaded with 100iso film. Of course, there still is the matter of estimating focus. I do have a separate rangefinder, but I don't want to keep people waiting while I fiddle with this little thing trying to line up two images, and then see what the distance is and then set it on the camera. I was just a hair off...but I think it's still a good shot, even with the top of her head cut off just a little bit (and I don't mean like that "turbulent priest" Tommy Becket. Wow. I had no idea there would be a Thomas à Becket reference in this post when I started out).

Oh, and yes, judging by the title of this post, you can bet there will be a series of forgotten and unsure names coming up. I actually didn't know which one to start off with first, but I think she and her smile was a pretty good choice.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Empire State Reflection

In another building!

Yes this is a shot from the archives but it should only be for today. I feel too much like poop to get to scanning tonight (sorry about the salty language there). Earlier today I developed a roll from the Nettar. I've really been neglecting the Nettar as of late, and I'd almost forgotten how great a camera it was. I also got some portraits with it (gee, I didn't say, "people pictures!" I'm a big kid now!). I'd like to do more portrait work with it. It's an inexact science, just like with the SWC. I think that's what I like about them, these cameras where the viewfinders are just more or less suggestions. It really pays off when it all comes together.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lunch Special Two,

Electric Boogaloo:

Another view from my seat while waiting for my ten dollar burger and a beer (Coke in my case).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Caught in a Wind

A cold wind, at 25th and 6th Ave:

I like the slightly pained look on this woman's face.

Apropos of Nothing:

I saw a guy talking on the cell phone in a restaurant bathroom today. I wanted to start yelling simulated noises of likeminded men in the throes of pleasing each other, and implore the phone user to stop being such a tease, but for some dumb reason I thought the better of it. Just last week at the opera I saw a guy standing at a stall, peeing with one hand and texting with the other. When he finished he shook his cell phone and pressed SEND on his dick.

Okay, that last sentence isn't true, but the first one is. Oh, and after he finished peeing/texting, he went to wash his hands. Well, he ended up only washing one hand. The other hand kept a firm grip on the phone, the thumb ever moving...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Fraction of One Fifth

From Washington Square North:

You know, I think I really have to learn how to properly expose snow shots on overcast days. Good thing it's April.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Big Heart On

A ladder!

Isn't that what every girl wants on Valentime's day (yes, I said "ValentiMe's"), a big heart on a ladder?

So I saw something yesterday that kind of irked me (oh no here he goes again...).

I was looking at picture frames at my local art supply store, and came upon a company whose came I can't remember, but they featured "green" frames. Not green in color, but green as in environmentally sound. The packaging touted all sorts of reclaimed materials and recycled this and low-impact that so the buyer could feel secure knowing that they were actually helping the environment by buying their product. Per chance I flipped the fame over and saw in small writing:

Made In China

So for all they care about the environment they apparently have no qualms about doing business with one of the the biggest human rights violators on the planet (and they ain't too great when it comes to animals either).

I mean, no country is perfect, but if you're going to push some environmentally friendly mother earth loving picture frame on me, the very least you can do is show some respect for the people that live here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Underwear and Overwear

On University Place:

Is it wrong for me to wonder if the woman in the reflection is wearing undergarments similar to those worn by the mannequins? Oh, and is a mannequin still a mannequin if there's no head or rams or legs attached and it's only a torso (I suppose I could have just said "torso" and left out that obvious description)? I'm of the belief that a mannequin can only be referred to as a mannequin if it has the whole compliment of body parts from head to feet, and yes, even arms. I don't go in for those Venus DiMannequins you see around some of the shops that are too cheap to pay for arms.

Two arms, I say.

Two arms!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lunch Special

On 17th Street:

I forgot the name of this place, but from 11-4 you can get a burger and a beer for ten bucks. And it's not just a burger, but a burger with the lettuce and tomatoes and onions and fries. And if like myself, you don't drink beer, they'll happily hook you up with a coke at no extra charge.

But I can't remember for the gosh darn life of me what this place is called, even though I pass by it all the time.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Peace Love

I like this sort of thing:

The "and" and or maybe the "&" is implied.

With the clouds slung low and the skies about to burst, the drone of an airplane grew louder and louder until I wondered if it would ever stop, or if it would be the last thing I'd ever hear. I clutched a pillow on my couch, shaking, wondering if I should go to the window to see my possible destruction, or just sit there and wait for it to come to me. After what seemed like an eternity the mechanical whine faded into the distance, and the tension gripping my body began to relent, but I still put on the TV and waited to see if my regular programming would be interrupted by a special bulletin. It wasn't, and the wacky world of sports show on FOX went on as scheduled.

This happened just three hours ago, brought to you by the legacy of September 11th.

Friday, April 15, 2011


In Madison Square:

Architects obsessed with penises? Who knew!

Saturday, April 15, 1995 (maybe I should have been dating these all along...).

I only got one hour of sleep the night before the funeral. I doubt many people who attended got much more than that. I piled up the NYC crew into my 1985 Thunderbird and headed to a church in New Jersey. I have a vague recollection of being a pallbearer. I don't remember if we carried or rolled the coffin in. His bass was on a stand in front of the pulpit. The very bass I said I had hoped to get if he was dead. Well, there it is, Stupid. Go ahead, take it. See what happens.

I had been asked to say a few words at the funeral, but I said no, which was very uncharacteristic of me. I really am a ham, but I didn't think I could add any more or less to the event. Or maybe I didn't want to feel so exposed up there. Or maybe I was just plain afraid. I don't remember a damn thing anybody else said up there. My most vivid memory (besides me and my friend holding hands in a death grip) was a single teardrop on the floor in front of me, which fell from his girlfriend's face. A perfect circle, it was. I stared at it for the rest of the funeral. I needed something to focus on.

I've had trouble with this post, thinking about what details from that day I could talk about, yet none of them really have any "value." Or maybe what I thought was interesting beforehand just doesn't really seem worth mentioning. And of course, if you haven't noticed, I haven't used any of this space over the past five days to actually say anything about my friend, just about me and my experiences surrounding his death, so it's definitely not a tribute. I don't know what it is. It's just me reflecting (a self-indulgent exercise if ever there was one).

Or maybe I'm just petering out at the end of a long day, offering up this anticlimax to these past events I've been unfolding.

Or perhaps I should have let the dead lie sleeping altogether.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Looking, Shooting, and Checking

In front of the Flatiron Building:

Obviously, the Flatiron Building isn't in the shot, but that's what they're looking at.

George came with me to the wake. Yet another feeling in a string of feelings that I hated about this whole experience...walking into that room and seeing your dead friend's body, the face flattened and made up, looking kind of but not entirely like that person you had seen just week before. It's another day I'm glad I don't have too many memories of.

As George and I approached the deceased, we each decided to lean against this wooden contraption set up right in front of the coffin. The thing gave way and we crashed into the casket which rocked back and forth on its bier. Luckily, nobody seemed to notice that two Jews that never saw a portable kneeler before nearly knocked the whole damn thing over.

His collar was a little loose, and we could see the ligature mark on his neck. I was always fascinated by forensics, yet part of me wished I hadn't looked that closely.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Snowy Tree

On Washington Square North:

What a lousy photo, don't you think?

In about 1990 or '91, I was driving around New Jersey listening to one of the local college radio stations. Instead of playing heavy metal music, the DJ was crying about this girl, a friend of his who died in a car crash. He just kept on crying and trying to talk and saying how wonderful she was, and how tragic it was that she died...and all I could think was how pathetic a display. Sure, there's a time to grieve, but his on-air blubbering really didn't hit me in any emotional way, other than frustration since he could have been playing Number of the Beast instead. I remember telling myself that night that if I should ever be in his position, I'd handle myself differently.

April 13, 1995 found me sitting behind the microphone at a college radio station.

I was the DJ for the weekly punk rock radio show at a university I no longer attended (don't ask). I knew I didn't want to be that guy crying on the air about someone that the listening audience had never heard of. Since my friend was a musician in a local band, I announced that he had passed away; not mentioning how or that he was my friend. I then said that the first set of the night would include music that he made, and music that he liked to listen to. I even included non-punk music in the set. Black Sabbath and Frank Zappa on a punk rock show? It's my show and I can do what I want. I'm sure I sounded low key.

Later in the show the live band came in to play. One of the guys looked at me and said, "Why do you look so miserable?" I didn't have the strength to answer.

Something else also happened that night, but I won't mention it until later. No, it's not like yesterday's post when I said there was something that I just couldn't face and had to mention that I just couldn't face it. This is something I will elaborate on, but not right now. Soon, but not this day.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Zig or Zag?

In Brooklyn:

When Judy Garland had a cold, she'd sing, "Zig went the strings of my heart!"

The next evening we drove out to NJ, to his parents' house. It was the first of several drives over the next few days that I dreaded having to make. Every step up the driveway was filled with dread, not wanting to enter that house. At the top of the driveway sat his pickup truck. Never has the sight of a simple, empty truck ever been so striking.

I opened the door and his older brother embraced me, crying, saying how much fun my friend had had talking about going to wrestling matches with me. In the year or two before he died, we started to go to WWF events at the Garden. It was all silly fun. I mean, we weren't like crazy into wrestling or anything, or took it seriously thinking it was "real," but it was great entertainment — not just the matches but the whole experience of going (there's more to this, but I'm not ready to write about it here. Even though that's a douchey thing to say, I can't let this go by without mentioning that there is something else gnawing at me. Something I still feel great guilt over. It's something I've only ever discussed with one other person, and I'm not ready to get into it just yet. We now return you to your regular friend suicide remembrance programming). I think that was the first moment I realized that there would be no future memories to be made with my friend.

Every time I'd think of some experience I had with him in that time right after he died, it was like discovering a gem in the dirt.

Oh yeah! Remember the time we did that?

And with each little discovery came this great feeling of joy, another memory for me to hold on to. Yet when reflected upon again, the gem didn't shine as brightly. It's like getting your family vacation pictures back from the drugstore a week after you've come home. With every picture you flip through there's that, "oh yeah!" sensation, but it's never fully recaptured when you look at it subsequently. I think I just used two different metaphors to say the same thing.

The only other memory of that night I have was being in the kitchen and humming The Price Is Right theme song along with another friend, while his father sat close-eyed in a chair in front of a TV that was just providing a background wash, all the while resting his forehead in his propped up hand.

Sixteen years is an odd span of time. It seems so long ago, but it wasn't, really. It's in that place between just yesterday and way back when.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Memories of New York

I remember New York!

The real Statue of Liberty is bigger. I'd have made some crack about this being the only game in town, but the government shutdown was averted for the time being.

So the next day wore on, and I hadn't heard a thing. I contented myself to believe the age-old adage that no news was good news. I mean, if there was bad news, surely I'd have heard about it by now, right? Around 3:00 in the afternoon, still having heard nothing, I called a friend in New Jersey. I could barely recognize his voice. It sounded deeper than usual, and I thought for a second it was his father. That all cleared up, I asked, "So, is he alive or what?"


I have no recollection of my immediate response. What I remember was five minutes (or so it seemed) of me begging my friend that he was joking with me, that the news he told me wasn't real. "Listen, I promise I won't be mad at you if you're joking around. Please tell me you're joking around." Over and over I kept saying, imploring, promising I wouldn't be mad at my friend if what he just told me wasn't true. But he could only say,

"I wish I was."

I wasn't crying. I was too shocked to cry just yet. I don't remember how much detail I found out in that conversation. Probably just the basics, that he was found by his mother and sister hanging in the shed at their country house in upstate New York.

I next called my closest friend in the city, who was also friends with him. He wasn't in, but I'm sure he could hear the desperation in my voice on his answering machine as I begged him to call me back. I wasn't going to leave that kind of news on a machine. Next I called my parents.

"How are you?"

"I'm fine. No, I'm not fine..."

I still didn't cry. I didn't want to cry in front of my parents, even on the phone. I held it in until my friend got my message and called me back. Then I let it all out. I hadn't cried for almost 9 years until that point, sitting on the floor leaning my back against the couch and clutching the phone as hard as I could. But I had a grimmer task ahead of me. I had to inform the New York contingent one agonizing phone call at a time.

Each time I told them the news I felt guilty. I felt like I was deliberately hurting them with this news that made them so sad. I also felt like I was lying to them. How did I know he was really dead? I'm just taking the word of one of my oldest closest friends who I spoke to on the phone. I didn't see any pictures, or any body, I just heard words. I was spreading false information, and making all of these people sad unnecessarily, hearing them cry and scream every time I gave the news. Why was I doing such a terrible thing to such nice people? How could I be such a jerk?

I don't remember how many calls I made before I passed the responsibility over to another one of the NYC gang. They could put the word out into the boroughs. They could spread the sadness just as well as I. I had plenty for one day. Besides, there was a lot more to come.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Barber Pole

On 9th Ave:

Somewhere in the 40s.

16 years ago today it wasn't Sunday, but Monday. And it was Monday night, sometime after 8 when I got a curious call from a friend in New Jersey. "Have you seen him?"

I thought it was strange he was asking me this on a Monday night.

"He didn't come to work and nobody's heard from him all day. We think he might have come into the city. His girlfriend hasn't heard from him either."

Well of course I'd give the word if I heard anything. It was odd, but I wasn't particularly worried. Later that night I was having an internet chat with someone I had gotten to know in an AOL room. I told her that a friend of mine had gone missing. I said, "If he's dead, I hope I get his bass."

We say these things. We say this ridiculous stupid things. We say them because of course there's a reasonable explanation for why he didn't show up at work. We say them because even if we covet someone's musical instrument (and someone who could play it better than you could ever dream of), we don't actually want the thing, and especially not that way. We say these things because in reality, everything is fine. All is well. He just wandered off for a day but nothing terrible has happened. Of course not. Terrible things don't happen to us.

Terrible things never happen.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Alleyway Escape

Somewhere in this city:

I feel like I'm running out the string with these slide shots from the Medalist, but I've been filling up film with images of places and even people! People who fall into the "hey nice camera" category!

My mind is in a lot of places right now.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sloping Upward

On the west side:

Oh, but I could write a tirade directed at FedEx today, but I won't. Instead, I'll give an update on a previous post.

Do you remember a while back I posted a roll of vintage film that was half army dudes, and half a car (I mean, the other half of the roll were pictures of a car, not half a car), and I couldn't figure out what the model of the car was even though it suspiciously looked a lot like a 1959 Impala but I couldn't find any exact matches?

It wasn't an Impala. It was a Biscayne!

Now it all makes sense. Even the blurry script nameplate on the back makes sense, because it doesn't say Impala it says Biscayne! According to the infallible internet, the Biscayne was pretty much the same car as the Impala, but sold for less and was mainly sold for fleet use, like the police and what have you. So it makes sense that it was on an Army base. But it still was obviously modified. I still wasn't able to find any matches for the unique grill, and I doubt any factory option was to have the exhaust coming straight out of the engine block and piped out just behind the front tires. I still think that's badass.

Here's the post I'm talking about.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Assorted Buildings

And some scan lines, too:

The Civil War is still going on, but it's ending tonight. Though there will be any number of sesquicentennial observances going on for the next four years, and a new Robert Redford movie coming out next week about the Lincoln conspirators. I might throw a few bucks towards that, bedbugs be damned.

Yes, a friend of mine put the fear of bedbugs into me so I don't go to the movies anymore. Then again, I freely go to the opera. Perhaps I'll pick up a better class of bloodsuckers there.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


or urinal?

That should be fairly easy.

I feel like a hack.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

West Side Towers

On the West Side:

Would you look at that, a color photo! Yes, I'd say we're coming upon slide film season yet again, what with the skies so blue and the flowers about to bloom.

This is gonna be short. Ken Burns' The Civil War is on channel 13. I want to see who wins.

Monday, April 4, 2011




This has been your "602nd Photo Post Spectacular!"

And haven't they really all been spectacular?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Electric Box

In Brooklyn:

This is an underpass (or overpass, depending how you look at it) on the way down to the Brooklyn Bridge.

My head is burning pain right now.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Balconies and Sky

On Broadway, across from the Flatiron Building:

I saw Russell Simmons on the street today. He was getting out of a Maybach on 13th to go to Bikram Yoga on Broadway. I knew he was going there because just before then I saw his brother Joey go into Bikram, and Russell had his yoga mat strapped around his back. He was instantly swamped by people taking pictures and shaking his hand. He was gracious and posed for pictures with people on the sidewalk. Here was this man who has given me so much over the past 25 years, some of which I've listened to over and over again, forever a part of my life from the time I discovered it to this day. To name a few: LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys, Slick Rick, Public Enemy, SLAYER!!!!!! (people forget Slayer was on Def Jam) and many others I'm sure I can't recall.

Instead of bum rushing Russell, I said the only thing I thought appropriate as he walked by:

"Thank you for all the music."

Russell looked at me like I was taking a dump in the middle of the street. Mind you, I didn't expect to become his best friend or anything, but I'd have appreciated a smile or even a simple "thank you." I've always thanked celebrities when I meet them. That is, celebrities that have actually had an impact on my life, and they've always been gracious be it Mel Brooks or Lemmy. When I meet a celebrity I admire, I'm not looking to take up their time or grab a picture or an autograph, I just want to let them know that their life has held meaning for me.

You let me down Russell.

(I'm sure he'll be crestfallen if he ever reads this. Yeah right...)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sunning on Saturday

on Sixth Avenue:

This was on either a Saturday or a Sunday, thus making it a weekend day. Or one of the days of the weekend, which are either Saturday or a Sunday. Of course, there has been talk of the "three day weekend," though I don't consider that an official designation as it pertains to weekends. Yes, why if we have weekdays we don't have weekend days? I say we should embrace "weekend days," so they don't feel neglected around the weekdays. I mean, the weekend days need all the help they can get since they're outnumbered by the weekdays. The weekdays have their clique, their President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Ombudsman, Delegate...and all the weekend days have is each other. Just the two of them, building those castles in the sky, just the two of them, that one and the other one. Yes, Saturday and Sunday, the defiant ones, chained together and leaping from trains. Wait, I might be confusing that with something else.