Word and Image

Archive for August, 2012


This is one of among many business signs that I photograph as a collection. I’ve never gone back and actually collected the slides and images in one place. But I keep shooting signs that I like. Someday…. I think it began for me in the early ‘80s with a trip to Hawaii. But who knows? So I continue to shoot signs. Susan shoots flags. To tie in this non sequitur, I believe this shot was in Newburyport, a town that Susan introduced to Lisa and where Lisa then led me on a photo op. Get it?


Here’s David at Camp Winnebago in Maine. And that is a real rifle and real bullets that her mother’s favorite son is about to fire. This is a mother who forbade weapons and banned violent TV in our house. When she relented and David got a sword at Disney, the kid was so happy, he threw the sword down and was running about waving the scabbard as the weapon. So here we are with Dave’s first and perhaps last encounter with a live fire weapon. We all change with the times.

And the Ladies

Well, that’s how we refer to them. Summer in the Hamptons, it’s a beautiful day at the beach full of friendship. Product placement? Who knew what the future would/will bring. We’ve been friends twenty five plus years. I’m now hanging with a bunch of old people. Yes, but this was one of life’s glorious days when this picture was snapped. Funny, how it’s seldom raining in the pictures we keep in our memories.


This motley group has known each other and remained friends for a quarter century now. I know that there are buddies for much longer. But it’s a record for me. I had that itinerant childhood, remember. And friends come and go, some important and others seen intermittently as the years pass. This group has been geographically dispersed but determined to gather periodically. Things change and recently Bob has dropped from the list. It happens when couples split. One side gets the favorite restaurant, another the friends. It’s a natural selection, not a legal decision. Too bad.



In the time before I knew how to shoot fireworks with a camera, this was one of my edits in 2000. To cap the festivities in New York Harbor, there was fireworks display sponsored courtesy of Macy’s. I wangled a position somewhere. I believe that it was some high perch in a friend’s apartment looking downtown toward the Statue of Liberty. I handheld the camera and got this shot. Technically I would probably do better today. But in fireworks, I have come to believe, there are no rules.


There’s a lot to see during the Tall Ships parade up and down the Hudson River. This was back in 2000. After a while one large sailing vessel seems the same as the others. But here’s something different.  That was special.

Sailors Aloft

There’s a lot to see during the Tall Ships parade up and down the Hudson River. This was back in 2000. After a while one large sailing vessel seems the same as the others. But here’s something different. Not too many of the ships were positioning their crew on the yardarms. That was special.


The flagship of the Coast Guard sailing fleet is the Eagle. Maybe it’s their only sailing vessel. It’s a training ship. I like the clean graphical lines and the variety of its sails. It makes an appearance when the tall ship celebration converges in New York Harbor periodically. It’s one vessel I recognize instantly.

Up On The Roof

If you don’t like heights, then turn the page. Lisa was up on the deck at one point during the renovation. Look, that’s Nellie in the corner. She (Nellie) had more sense than to balance on the beam, six floors up. And the surrounding buildings and the skyline has also changed quite a bit since we renovated. The surrounding buildings and the garden deck are also now renovated. The ivy is gone. New buildings have sprouted and the warehouses have become offices and hotels. Ah, change….


David shot this self portrait in the mirror on the stairway leading from the fifth to sixth floor of our apartment. I had always moved about every two years changing homes, apartments, or dorms until I was in my twenties. My father and mother were pursuing the American dream of homeownership, better job opportunity, etc. I secretly suspected that Dad was a bank robber and we had to move periodically because… My family, wife and kids have lived in the same apartment in Manhattan all of their lives together with me. So to compensate for my wandering gene, Lisa has periodically renovated. In this instance we were about to undergo the biggest change in my kid’s lives. The entire apartment would be gut renovated above while we lived below with a makeshift kitchen and living space. David went around the apartment snapping shots of memories. It’s funny, because I didn’t to it also. We haven’t looked at the pictures since. But I keep this David self portrait as the memory.


In case you missed yesterday, the billboard is politically incorrect and certainly has me wondering what its impact would be if it were advertising today. But that was then and this is now. Recently the NYC police allowed topless body painting in Times Square and bottomless after dark. It’s a freedom of speech right. I won’t comment on the politics. It’s a great country. To paraphrase one Supreme Court Justice’s comment on the topic of pornography, “I know it when I see it.”

San Fran Diner

That’s Don my able-bodied assistant and guy who always has my back. We’re in San Fran on the same trip to the AANS meeting. That’s the rental car. This is the diner we parked in front of. The menu is Californian confused and appeals to about every food preference and ethnic group. Oh, the billboard, I suppose, deserves some comment…


I shot this slide in a gallery window in San Francisco, 2000. I keep a database and could look it up. Somehow I remember Chicago or Seattle. That’s why I keep a database (more accurate than memory). Luckily I started this record many years ago on index cards and later transferred to computer. Now it takes only a few moments to look up information. As to the image and the art, my only interest is because of my profession. As to why only the artist can say why he chose this subject and its meaning. My curiosity is also in wondering why all the teeth appear to be well.

Internet: Today of all days, suddenly a lot of random hits from all over started coming to my blog. I don’t know why. A casual search on the ‘net and I have this picture front and center. You can get/swipe the shot so easily. I’m amazed at how fast the ‘net can work. It appears the visits are wordpress traffic. I’m not ‘freshly pressed.’ So, it’s a mystery to me. Thank you all for reading/looking.

Kids and the Dog

Another snow portrait, I pulled this from Lightroom in a gut sense of editing slides that I like. It was that same wintery day. The kids took a moment from sliding around in the snow on the pond ice to pose for a rare moment of rest. Otherwise everyone, even Nellie, was slipping and sliding along the smooth frozen surface.


There is an innate artistry in making snowmen. From the head adornment to the shape, there are snowmen and then there are snowmen. The kids made them and like food, the beauty is ephemeral. I admire the work because I believe that artistry is an intangible trait so hard to possess.

Cold Wintery Day

Out on Long Island there are inlets/ponds off the Montauk Highway. They rarely freeze in winter. And with all the worry about thin ice… It was pretty cold. I’d like to say we sent the dog out first, but it was probably one kid or the other who ventured out from the shore. Anyway the ice was plenty thick. Slipping, sliding, and getting snow covered… it’s what winter is about. But it was cold! Nellie has a coat on too. Even with a built in fur coat, Lisa deemed it too cold for the dog to be without a coat.

There’s something Freudian? I’m posting this from Saudi Arabia in 100+ degree heat.

New York Sunset 1/1/2000

On this evening January 1, 2000, looking across the bay from the Liberty ferry, we had a sunset that I have never seen repeated. It all came together as the ferry headed back to Manhattan. Perfect timing, perfect vantage, I took so many pictures knowing how special the moment was even as the light constantly changed. I’ve seen my share of memorable sunsets. This is up there with the all time best. And I can tell you exactly where I was that evening.

Manhattan Skyline 1/1/2000

Sometimes I can’t figure Lisa. She decided that we would head to Ellis Island to see the immigrant wall with names on January 1, 2000. No plan, no warning, just, “Let’s go.” She had put my parents, her grandparents, and other assorted relatives’ names there by making the appropriate donations. I have not returned since then. One visit. Who knew what history would tell? So much has changed in those years since past.


The millennium, century, decade, year… 2000. Well, that’s something I can say that I saw. We were out on Long Island and drove home in the afternoon, New Year’s eve. With all the hype about the computers and so forth, my wife wanted to be home rather than anywhere else. Ok, so I took the kids over to Times Square to see what was doing. I would never do this later in the evening. The crowd had been celebrating every hour as the New Year came in every time zone around the globe. Times Square was crowded but would become completely packed later. I’m not claustrophobic, but the evening crowd would be big. This view is north and the Coke sign is still there. The kids and I were able to walk around with relative ease. Oh, there was quite a crowd already. But people had not yet jockeyed for prime positions. I just wanted to be there in the center of the media universe and so that the kids could say they were there at the millennium.


A bit backwards and out of sequence but you get the idea. Build an unstable stucture out of all the floats and rafts you have in the pool. Climb on and then wait for someone to try to topple the gang. It was like riding a rodeo bull. There really wasn’t any intention to stay up for more than a few seconds. And build it again and again …


That would be me in the water and Julia following. David is somewhere already underwater. We had a thing to stack all the floats/rafts and then try to stay atop the unstable structure in the pool. It was made intentionally unstable by the kids because the point was to hit the water and better if they took dad along. So I would try to stay on board as long as possible while the kids tipped, pulled, and pushed to get me into the water. No one was ever dry for long.

Long Island Duck Farm

We bicycled over a bridge to a road parallel to the Montauk Highway. There, behind the trees and hidden from view was a duck farm. We didn’t look threatening or like any sort of animal rights extremists. So, the migrant workers just smiled and let me wander around for a few minutes. I have been back only one more time. This looks pretty innocent. The barracks in the background held younger ducks/ducklings. I got to look in the window. I don’t recall anything upsetting. In the foreground of this enclosure [out of view] was a duck clearly ill and dying. What made this surreal was that the gathered group would one by one come over and peck at the dying duck as though to kill it. Ah… this is what Long Island duck dinner looks like in the raw…

Long Island Duck Museum

That foolish biker hugging the landmark would be yours truly. Would you believe this duck is noted on the map. People come from all over to see it. Well, I might exaggerate a bit. I presume it is to commemorate the duck farm business on Long Island. More about duck farms… But meanwhile this thing sits at a crossroad and attracts the stray tourist. It is definitely not frequented by the “Hamptons” crowd.

Rope Swing

Summer on Long Island, it’s somewhere up on the North Shore. I did this same thing growing up in West Virginia for a few summers along a small river. We never swam in the river because of the dirty brown water. But a rope hung from a tree branch. Among the three buddies that summer, I was the smallest and therefore last in the pecking order. But on this occasion I was the brave one to take the rope and swing out. It was a singular shining moment in childhood to do what your buddies never thought to do. The place is lost now, having been fully developed from what I can see of the aerial photos from Google Earth. But I was the first one out before Ricky or Pat.