Word and Image

New York

Snow

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The last time I saw snow was….mmmm… 2012. Anyway, it was a while ago. Skiing was one of my first passions as a full grown adult. I took the kids. David was so small on the mountain, people turned to photograph him on the steep blue/black trails in Utah. I’m not proud. I was an idiot for getting a kid who could barely walk straight up on a pair of skis. Laid back! David was so laid back he fell asleep on the chair lift. Nap time was nap time. He would just pass out. Oh! I started first by skiing with them between my legs. Jules and then Dave would be in front – I would ski slowly while holding them back with my ski pole. Yes, nuts too. Dave would lean over the pole like a cat arms just resting there. He snores! In the quiet shushing over the snow Jules and I heard him snoring away. Yes, nap time!

On this occasion Jules finally got her wish to try a “board.” Her cousins and brother had tried. She’s the only girl on my side of the next generation. The cousins are not too skilled. Dave can handle himself. And Jules spent an hour tumbling and falling. She sprained her wrist, gave in, and went back to a sensible pair of skis. Smart!

You don’t get to many selfies with your kids. But I guess it happens more than before. Low light, bad focus, poor composition, wide angle distortion matters not. Hey! It better than nothing. As I paused in editing I realize that these imperfect pictures mean the most.


Melania

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Obviously not my picture: Melania Trump. It’s readily available online now. I sincerely sympathize with their 10 year old son who must this moment be attending an exclusive private school. “Hey, we saw you mom online!”

http://nypost.com/video/melania-trumps-nude-pics-are-blowing-new-yorkers-minds/

http://nypost.com/2016/08/01/trump-camp-melanias-nudes-are-celebration-of-the-body/

http://nypost.com/2016/08/01/melania-trumps-girl-on-girl-photos-from-racy-shoot-revealed/

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8TwRmX6zs4

 

I think I have seen enough. Nothing to hide? Fake too? I am definitely way not PC here. There are those among you who have an opinion about Donald Trump, presidential nominee of the USA. And there is Hillary…. For me, he is a buffoon and I deny any association and am ashamed that this clown is actually running for the highest office of my country. And see the Youtube of Obama at the National Press Club in 2011. Am I biased? I have largely been pretty laid back but push comes to shove. I think that no one can remain on the sideline any longer.

 

“The 15% figure for full literacy, equivalent to a university undergraduate level, is consistent with the notion that the “average” American reads at a 7th or 8th grade level which is also consistent with recommendations, guidelines, and norms of readability for medication directions, product information, and popular …”

 

I was reading at 12th grade level in grammar school. I did not care nor notice. It was simply a fact based on a test. And I was too young to comprehend its meaning. It means I take tests well. Are there so many people who just don’t get it? Even with a lower reading level, there is comprehension on some level, right?

Nonetheless, I believe social propriety has been damaged by the full nude post of a nominee’s wife in a prominent NY newpaper. Violence and outrageous behavior has become the fabric of the news. It’s time for civility. American politics is on display as dysfunctional and unacceptable. No one should be permitted the socially outrageous behavior that Donald Trump has exhibited. I do believe that common sense will prevail. I believe in good. And I am saddened by the state of the world. Massacres occur regularly now in multiple venues and multiple countries. Enough! And though I may draw criticism for this post I believe that reason must be expressed. I grew up civil. I still believe in good. Stand up! If you stand by they will come for you someday too. Donald Trump has pressed enough buttons. I do not see any merit in letting him get near a nuclear one.

IMG_1143My son was in Portland on the day Trump appeared recently. This is his photo. He’s riding from Brooklyn to Nova Scotia by bicycle. I know this exact spot having been to Portland myself many times. It’s a hell of a bike ride and I’m proud of him. He thought enough to send this to me.

9% of all potential voters selected Trump and Clinton. All of the rest were on the sidelines. Many – children – and others will not vote. For all of the rest, it is not an option to let someone make your choice. Let us talk once again – of hope, not fear. Vote – hope, civility, peace. Haven’t we seen enough?

(I never tweak a post after it’s written. But, for my republican friends, shhh, there are a few: Please don’t vote for a man with a bad ‘doo so he can make doo doo on us.)


Sataya – Closed

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I love the graphics of this wall in a Manhattan restaurant that closed before I ever got a chance to eat there. Open – close, restaurants have a short survival. Some, less than others, close pretty quickly. Ambience is a big factor. So this place is stunning. Midtown Manhattan, great location, plenty of foot traffic, it is a sure fire deal. Nope! Gone in a year. I don’t know why. Bad food. Failed health inspection? Who knows? Another will replace it shortly. But I was very surprised it was shuttered the next time I passed. Of course, I had never personally been in there myself….

In Jeddah restaurants come and go  too. Junk food rules. McD forever! A great concept place shuttered – Churros! They were terrific. Good stuff, great confection, fattening, sugary, cinnamon, chocolate dipping sauce – how could it possibly fail? Shuttered.

There are restaurants way overpriced. They don’t last. Two Italian restaurants sat side by side in Jeddah. The pricey one was just gone one day.

Location – if you are in the traffic pattern, lots of people see you and come to visit. My current favorite restaurant is relatively out of the traffic eye and has few customers. I hope they last. But it’s never a good sign when I am usually one of few customers eating and the waiters know you by name.


Image

Sandwich

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Solar Flare

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Back in 2011 David and I visited Governor’s Island. It was newly available to the public and was a free ferry ride from Manhattan. We rode our bicycles. It’s not a large park. We got around the space easily.

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In the course of our wandering we came upon a group of telescope enthusiasts. Well, I suppose astronomers was more apt. What the heck! It’s broad daylight. Ah! Solar flares. And they were happening now. And with special filters you could see them.

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And so I put my trusty Canon point and shoot against the ocular and shot a few images. I learned this trick from Jules who had shown me how to photograph hippos in Africa shooting through a pair of binoculars. Hey, you never know when a trick will be handy.

IMG_8025These are pictures of the sun and solar flares. Well, you will have no trouble seeing the disc of the sun. But as for flares…. Why now? This post is out of sequence to the usual. It’s because someone told me about seeing snow flakes by using a magnifying lens while the flakes fell on black construction paper. Cold paper! And then I speculated on photographing the flakes and how to magnify them to get an image. Yup, that’s my story…


Sold

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Don’t quit your day job. The mantra repeats in my mind. I’d be a wedding photographer if I could. Then the bridezilla stories abound on the wedding complaint sites. Oh, well, everyone gets rain. But! I sold a picture! My second! See? Don’t quit your day job. How’d they find me? This blog. Who knows? Out of the blue…can we purchase the photo we found on your blog. I hope they do not mind my showing the cover mock-up for the book. They wanted a high resolution digital file. Ah! My images are numbered. This was a slide. Roll number and frame number were not too hard to locate. And then I had several copies of the digitized image. However it was a real stroke of luck to find a high res Tiff file. Yup, luck! The original slide was buried in a box somewhere in storage. No, it would not be possible to find it. So serendipity, the publisher just happened to ask for a file I had. Most of my images sit redundantly backed up on four external hard drives. And now to payment, the publisher wanted bank information to transfer the funds. Identity theft?

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After contacting the author of the book to be sure it was all above board, we settled on credit card accepted by my cousin Amy, who is a professional with a business. Done. Sold one! The last one I sold was in 2012. Nope, don’t quit your day job.


WTC Memorial

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Call it what you will, the site is still the World Trade Center to me. This was my first and maybe last visit (for a long time) to the memorial fountain. It is open now. You can walk right up. It had just rained. Appropriate symbolism for tears and hope with blue sky in abundance. And I took the opportunity to use the reflection to mirror tower two, which will never be. There were twin towers once.

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The names are there. The hole is symbolic. There is the noise of water but there is also a silence offered by the tall buildings that surround the site and it makes a hum and roar that drowns voices. It is not the reverent silence of the forest but of a city that continues and heals. The scar remains.

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I think of Pearl Harbor and WW II. In time folks who were here will be gone and memory will fade. Meanwhile this fountain endures. The city is never truly silent. Neither too will memory every fade completely. I wonder if there can ever really be closure.

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Freedom Tower

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WTC one or Freedom Tower is done. It is finally topped and there is no more construction on the outside. A few years back they lit the inside with construction lights in red white and blue.

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There is still a feeling of unfinished business as surrounding buildings are completed. There is still a traffic snarl. Business is busy. Plenty of tourists crowd the street. The cross is made of the wreckage and ruin. It’s symbolic defiance of terrorism. It’s a cross and that opens a host of thoughtful speculation. We are a land of many cultures and religion. But…

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St Paul’s Chapel

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By it’s proximity to the WTC site this chapel was used for many things in the days after 9/11. Now it is open for visitor.

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A cellist plays and it is about as mournful as it can be. Silence and solemnity are all around you. I was choked up. This many years later…I visited last year. My last. I’m out of NYC for now. I don’t plan to return anytime soon. Been there done that… All around are tributes – stuffed animals, firemen’s hats, pictures, and mementos left for the dead. …remembrance of a very sad sudden shocking event that still invokes the deep pain, I did not personally know any of the victims. It’s a miracle. But there were many whom I did know who lost loved ones. So in a first degree of separation relationship I knew someone who… Profound loss… It did not help a whit that they found and killed Bin Laden. It was not closure. I don’t think that retribution can ever be considered the same.


Famiiy

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This is a typical poor snapshot photograph of the family. The exposure is hardly worthy. But there is a sentimental value in its remembrance. We are gathered for dim sum at a restaurnat in Flushing. Periodically I would organize an outing. It seems we had food in common though my kids did not like the fare. My in laws, my brothers, my aunt and the assorted kids would all come. My aunt would come early to stake out a table – no reservations. We would eat ourselves silly. The restaurant is long gone. And we no longer gather in this grouping. Times change. Nostalgia is a funny thing. The photo is more valuable for the stories that have changed with the years.