This is for Susan. She’s the sentimental archivist among us. It’s a nostalgic last group photo of five families who used to summer on Lake Champlain at the Tyler place. For my family it was the last summer we went. The others had stopped already. It’s amazing how one image gives you so many memories. Four couples have remained pretty close until recent years. It’s too bad that that has changed as well.
I tend to do things in enthusiastic excess. For a while I was really consumed with container gardening. I suppose it was good for my blood pressure. There’s a certain zen state that you enter as you water the plants every day. I could have gotten an automatic watering system but that wouldn’t have been as much fun. Lately it’s mostly weeds that take up in the containers. Maybe I’ll get back to it one day.
Another cousin shot, it seems when Bryant moved to California the group shots got much more rare now. We get one now and again, but they are few and far between. Who knew when I took this shot, how infrequent the gatherings would become?
I don’t know how Steven ended up in this dress. But he seemed to be having a great time. Me, I’m just the shooter. I haven’t seen him in a dress since this picture. He just made Eagle Scout. Congratulations, Stevie.
From this shot I understand how they make models from young girls. Julia could look way more sophisticated. Someone once tried to convince us to get the kids into modeling. But in the end the kids had a much more normal life and we stayed away from chasing a more risky lifestyle. They did do an ad campaign for my cousin Amy as adults. That was fun.
What I have noticed is that we did not frequently get together as cousins. Since much of the family was close it seemed there was nothing compelling when it was only 30 minutes to go to visit. I therefore have few pictures of all the cousins in a group. It was mostly birthdays and Christmas. Kids grow up really fast without pictures.
Back to the kids. Hey, there were a lot of pictures with them in the photo. Sometimes cross dressing was involved. Those are my clothes Julia’s wearing. What can I say, they have become fairly normal adults. But what would I know? I’m Facebook illiterate.
Last I looked Stardust is still there but it’s called Roxy. OK, maybe it’s not there. The neon looks the same garish red. Empty lots are pretty much a memory now. The police still have a big presence. Actually there are many surveillance cameras. I wonder if this is where they watch you. Cameras and video, how quaint and dated… now your smart phone does it all and plays back and has a radio.
When you get down to it, none of these high rise apartment buildings were here when I first moved into the neighborhood. The wall of buildings is now just about complete and the view to the southwest is pretty much obscured. You can still see the sky, but for a view, you gotta get out of the city.
it’s looking a bit more contemporary. There are a lot more lights and activity. And like all things it has been changing with newer stores replacing new stores. It seems that it’s not a sure thing for a business to be located right here.
There was a time when the Concord still flew. We now have one on the Hudson River nearby in the Intrepid Air Space Museum. You can visit but you can’t fly it anymore. This is a model in case you are wondering.
42nd Street looking onto the north side of the street. Some of the theater fronts were preserved. Some were destroys despite the mandate to preserve them. They just sort of fell down while renovating. Hey, it’s New York. Shit happens. There was a place or two which burned down. But I wouldn’t know how that could’ve happened either.
That clock tower is the old New York Times Building. The new one is not far away and all shiny metal and glass. The old building to walk past on the ground level is so nondescript as to be forgettable. In fact no one ever noticed the building. The old tower and clock is a different story. The new tower has a giant antenna which changes color at night.
Looking up 8th Avenue from 42nd Street, you see the pyramid topped building which is Worldwide Plaza built on the old Madison Square Garden site near 50th Street. It’s all built up now. No more empty lots. But they’ll get around to tearing down the low rise buildings for more skyscrapers. Real estate is too expensive and scarce.
This is an east view of 42nd Street. It is all developed and clean now. It’s glossy and neon bright with a Madam Tussaud and BB King’s grill. No more sleazy movie houses. No local color, just a gaggle of tourists who make you walk too slowly because you can’t pass them.
Times Square – 42nd Street and 8th Avenue by the Port Authority Bus Terminal. It was a couple of parking lots forever. The owners held out and finally sold. Two large skyscrapers are there forever now. You won’t see the Empire State Building from here any more. There’s a Sbarro or Chevy’s on the left corner. Just off the near left corner Show World Palace still exists as a porno peep show. But there’s a Duane Reade drug store directly on the corner.
It’s a theatre production company, a pretty good one at that. The building that’s being erected in this photo from many years ago has now changed the skyline forever. With construction going on constantly, the neighborhood changes marched on inexorably.
This little sliver of land on the corner is now a chain bakery outlet. You would never remember it was once a parking lot. There was still a lot of empty space to develop on the Westside and along 42nd Street. The redevelopment is continuing and will be here for a hundred years or more. It’s interesting to have some shots as it was built up.
It’s a work in progress. Much like London’s Picadilly Circus, Times Square was deliberately edgy and garish. The edge is a less but the many neon was designed into the plans for restoring the area. The lights remain. The brands change.
One summer we were all involved in a training program aimed at getting Lisa to and from Boston on the AIDS bike ride. It involved getting physically fit and raising the money to do the ride. I wasn’t inclined to join. It was her big adventure. She had never pushed herself to this physical limit. It was quite an achievement. She rode Boston to New York City in three days riding some pretty tough road. This isn’t her best picture. She’s swollen from the ride, yada yada. But the joy of accomplishment is all there.
The annual Bear Mountain hike was a once a year outing that was juggled around school and homework. As the kids got older it was harder to find time to go. We always had a good time. Sometimes we did things that would leave you wondering, “What were you thinking?” No one got wet. And the forest did not burn down. And I don’t know how Julia got stranded out on that rock. And if she got wet getting back, I’ll never tell.
When I look back on my collected images it often appears that my memory was more vivid than the colors on the film. I think it’s my memory, not the film fading. Hmmm… maybe a little of both is in play. I’m a sucker for reflections. About the only time I use a polarizer is to pull out the sky and intensify the leaves. So even as my memory fades, there are some good slides lurking in the collection that are worth showing.
Here’s David with his Grandpa Bill and Uncle Pete. (They don’t much use the term grand uncle.) It’s Thanksgiving and dinner is about to be served. It’s interesting. Bill and Pete don’t do kitchen duty…no cooking and no dishes and certainly never at the holiday. All the ladies are not at all annoyed. I do cooking and clean up. It’s how I was raised. If your mother wants to survive three sons, the boys help or they don’t eat. The funny thing is that when I was on my own for the first time, I found out that I could cook and never knew it. By the time you know all about prep work, the only thing left is to throw the food into the pan and cook it. Ha! Cooking lessons and I didn’t even know it. So much to my surprise David called from Argentina and inquired how to roast a turkey. David didn’t like to eat turkey much less had he ever been in the kitchen to roast one or to cook anything else (so I thought). He got instructions from his mom (I could only laugh). We next heard he needed instructions on how to light his stove. Ha ha. But it was the fact that the oven had no thermostat that really killed the deal. David made dinner for about 30 people and pulled it all together. No one got food poisoning! I can only say that this was a pretty impressive achievement. He had a little leeway. They like to eat near midnight in Argentina.