I’m just spinning back the image files to the year 2016. Nightfall, at 35,000 feet. I’m over Long Island headed back to the Middle East. The glow of lights below outlines civilization. There is no blankness in the landscape. I am amazed at the image. It’s not perfect. But, detail is there in the glow of sunset… enough to appreciate the curve of the earth?
Reality? Can you feel the heat of the desert? There are no trees… few. And the crowded streets. It’s barren and foreboding. It was a great adventure. I’m glad to be gone.
On a roll (croissant)
I’ve told you about Scale and Tails Market/Deli/Bakery/Seafood. The owner’s wife is the baker. She was great. The place closed years ago. The routine on the weekend was for me to go fetch the paper and croissants. Then the kids would chow down and enjoy(read the comics)! I freely admit the croissants were good! They had a ton of butter. And that automatically is good. I didn’t eat them. I knew better. It was better I didn’t. I was watching calories even way back then. But the joy comes sometimes from watching your kids happily engaged. This slide does it for me. It’s not the picture but all the memories this one brings. Oh?! Ignore the bed head.
It’s too late now. I haven’t been in Westhampton in a while. Who knows if these restaurants are still open? I ate once maybe twice in Johnny Chih. It’s still possible to have an immemorable meal. Dora’s – never pulled the trigger. No appeal. A lot of people went there. Maybe I did once? I can’t remember. Casa Baso – the statuary is the ticket. There are fornicating ones off to the side that were destroyed by a do-gooder. Nope. I never been. Honest. Would you?
Cantusa – ha ha – Canada to USA – I swear. It was a poor semblance of a meal and ambiance poor and we went twice but never again. It must have been a desperate moment. The Trolley Barn – once – not me. The other members of my family said the chicken was uncooked. It was enough. Nope. Nada. I’m not missing any fine dining in Westhampton. I’m glad I don’t go there any more. Immemorable!
Bright sunny day! Most beach shots are boring. It’s a horizontal view with some people and the waves breaking behind them. That would be my average. A bikini keeps the interest. But otherwise it’s not too exciting. The water in the Atlantic is cold! – for me! I’m spoiled. I’ve been in the Red Sea. I’ve been in the Caribbean and Hawaii. I’m not dropping names and destinations. I’m just comparing an ice bath to a nice warm one. I choose the warm waters. So, this is Long Island. It’s beautiful. The sand beaches are wide and the best I’ve ever seen. The rest of the world has narrow beaches. Really! But I stopped going in the water shortly after “Jaws” came out. And the cold keeps me out. Nowadays I am a great admirer of the beach. Just give me warm waters to float in. Better yet, give me a good dive spot.
A long time ago…
(not… in a galaxy far away) …for me. I was friends with this group for a long long time – more than 25 years. Things change. We are not much in contact. Two of the four couples are divorced. Guys are good. We don’t stay in touch. The wives do all of the work. So I am not in touch. I’m lazy? Don’t care? No, just passive. Friends who remain friends work at it to stay in touch with me. Sorry. I’m just ok with whatever. I’m gregarious and like a good laugh. But, I don’t chase. I don’t cling. I’m passive. If you go, it’s ok. If you are there, it’s all good. So, it is with some interest that I ran across this old picture of when they all spontaneously posed for me. It’s a nice memory. Time has moved us on. It was a bright sunny day and a bright memory too. Regret?
The “ladies?” They stay in touch and remain the best of friends. The guys? Silence. We can’t be couples. So, everyman for himself. It’s a guy thing. Regret?
Dave started on a bike with training wheels out on Long Island. If I would list the places since that he has ridden – Taiwan, Canada, Mexico, Germany and so on, you might be impressed. He rode cross country – yep – more than 3000 miles – Delaware to LA. It all started here. He first rode with his (training) wheels here. To say that I am proud would be an understatement. Who knew what he would accomplish. I rode as a mean of getting around when I was a kid. I was a reluctant participant in riding as an adult. Then I rode for fitness. I should do so again. I get a good workout without too much wear and tear on the joints. I enjoy knowing that my son has surpassed me. The most I ever made in a day was 96 miles. I just couldn’t find the energy to make it to the “Century.” And yes, that’s Scales and Tails there in the background. Don’t you love the symmetry?
Scales and Tails
This place has long been out of business. It’s a small seafood and bake shop. The owner’s wife was the baker. She made fresh croissants each morning. And there were chicken pot pies that were heavenly. How heavenly? I still think of them with longing and fondness. Great longing… The crust was an absolute marvel – probably a ton of butter. I’ve been ‘round the country sampling other offerings. No to Bob Evans. There ain’t no chicken pot pie like the one at Scales and Tails. She elevated comfort food to the sublime. I haven’t had one like hers since then. I hope she’s still making them somewhere.
This is an image from a dim and distant post. Remember the wedding jump? It was only a couple days ago. Cousins. Two sets. There are more cousins. My kids are the oldest. We were spontaneously goofing around. They all lifted off. It was one of the first times I used this. And one of the last was at the wedding. Hey! It still works. I’ll keep it in mind in the future.
One of my ongoing projects is to shoot images of the flag. So wherever and whenever a good opportunity arises I try to get an image. This is an old house moved to this location. I know you cannot tell but I am informing you that this is the case. And the owner liked to hang a flag on the holidays. And whenever I went by with a camera I would take a picture. Simple.
In a follow up to a recent post on the engagement of my daughter Jules, I am posting this pic. It was the day after Thanksgiving. The annual leaf raking was in progress. Jeff her intended set up a video and shot scene. Julia and he jumped into a pile of leaves. Typically Julia directed how they should jump. And when they landed, he dug the leaves out of her face and hair and put a ring on her finger. Jules cried and in the hugs I heard her laugh with joy.
This shot was many years before. And yes, that was Lisa making the leap. It was a time when we piled them high and jumped from a fence or ladder. This time it was just a belly flop into a low pile. But it sure was a happy ending.
I’m not a great one to embrace change. Then again things change around me constantly. Our primary residence was sold recently. I have no known address nor a hardline phone. Well it’s not that extreme…. Following up on yesterday’s post, I wrote about my Nikon D200 camera. It was new at the time of yesterday’s image. And now I have upgraded to the Nikon D610. Images are posted here. Drat! A week later Nikon announced the D750. Last time around Nikon announced the D300 about a week after I got the D200. I mean, come on!! They just released the D610 didn’t they?. And I got a spiffy fast lens in the FX 24-70mm zoom. The first events were the Indian Powwow in Southampton and the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn. I wish I could say there was a standout image right away. But no, there were many images, too many to really say there is one quintessential image. Nowadays I use several cameras, all for different reasons. Point and shoot Canon G12 and S100 as well as iPhone images are mixed in. What I can say is that I shot eleven thousand images in the first month with the Nikon D610. New lens, new camera, I have been getting very nice shots and have certainly using the new equipment.
I got a call one night. I was home in NY and on call. Lisa was on Long Island. It was twilight and she was breathless. She’d found a bridge and rode over it. She was still a long way from home but the view was breathtaking and she was exhilarated. It is a very long tall bridge in a spot you would never expect. Despite the long uphill ride, it’s not too strenuous. We’ve done it many times together since she discovered it. As impressive and hard as one might expect from its look, I’ve never been physically challenged as I thought. Every time we ride it I smile.
The Shinnecock Indians hold an annual Powwow on Labor Day weekend out in Southampton Long Island. I’ve been going when I can. It’s very colorful with native American costumes and pageantry. Anxiety? You go there hoping to see everything and to not miss anything. The key is to isolate the subject and to avoid modern life. So someone wearing tinted lenses does not make it. Most shots are close ups to focus on the face or costume excluding distracting elements. Contestant numbers are the most annoying things that spoil shots. This event is a recurring one and I have attended more than once. There are even a few participants I recognize from previous years. Imagine that?!
No matter, you go and never know whether you’ll get a good shot. Truthfully you cannot miss in this target rich environment. Just stay tightly focused on your subject.
I’m still spinning the slide archive for old slide memories. I’m old enough to vaguely remember this day at the beach. But I definitely don’t remember the slide. So I admit to being old now. Cousin Jane is there with David and J. Too many slides (archive) and not enough memory (me).
How do you get them to stop running around? How do you get a moment to relax and not have to haul sand and water for a sand castle at the beach? Yes! It worked once. They never let me bury them again. Instead you can use reverse psychology and let them bury you. That worked too. But I wasn’t too fond of sand in my suit. Maybe they weren’t either?
Speaking of Bikes
I have told you J learned to ride on LI. David learned on the same street a little while later. At that point, we were a family who could ride. So… we rode together. The kids just never liked it that much. Still in later years David did a triathlon and J took off with Lisa’s old heavy bike to LA – retro is in. But for a while we would ride as a family.
Most memorable – well close – we were parked under a tree and were swarmed by mosquitoes, truly a cloud, that sent us away in a hurry. Not this tree… but you get the idea.
Things You Don’t Do Anymore
When the kids were little, we went apple picking and ran through the cornfield in the fall. I don’t know about Lisa, it’s not something I did as a kid. But my kids will not be able to say the same. I don’t know who it was that had more fun.
Great Grandmas. Lisa was fortunate to have know both her grandmothers. Actually on the left is her step-grandmother. On the other hand, I have no memory or photo of my side of the family. Except for her mother, we have three generations. J, a toddler, has seen the pictures but has no memory of her great grandmas either. I didn’t realize the significance of the moment or I’d have gotten everyone into the picture. I will mention that it was two daughters for Lisa’s sister. So we have only girls on this side of the family. Of course David broke the record and it turns out it’s boys only for both my brothers. Lisa and I got the split. David’s the only boy on Lisa’s side so her relatives call up and ask how’s “the boy?”
Hot Air Balloon
This was my first experience with photographing hot air balloons up close. The memory it invokes has nothing to do with the picture. The backstory is that it was Long Island. Lisa had seen a notice for the show at Bookhaven Airport. She also happened to have the worst case of poison ivy, ever! She’d gotten it a few days before. The blisters and the itch were fierce. If you’ve ever had poison ivy, you’re probably cringing right now. We went to the show and the kids and I had our experience. I got my photos. We stayed till the evening to see the balloons launch. They don’t launch during daylight because of the winds. The picture that got away (missed) was the one at the end where Lisa frantically was dipping her blistered arms into the ice barrels (soda) to ease the discomfort. Yeah, I was not high on the empathy scale. Some things you learn much later in life. Sorry, honey.
You can’t go back. I know my kids grow older. They change. It’s a fact. We had a red maple tree in the front yard on Long Island. I didn’t think I would outlive that tree. It was a wonderful background for fall portraits. The tree’s gone now and the kids grew up. Thankfully I got this great shot. It’s a bittersweet memory preserved.
Never mind the focus. It suits the mood. We were having a torrential summer rain. It was so heavy that the pool overflowed. The kids couldn’t stand to be inside and ran out to play on the deck. When you’re in the pool, you’re already wet. So a little more water wasn’t going to make much difference. Yes, I do believe that they were having a great time. I’d like to think it was a magical childhood moment for them.
We’re in transition. The kids are grown but not yet married. There are no grandkids. Lisa’s tired of all the Christmas decorating (and especially the take down). So last year was a minimal year with presents exchanged and a Christmas tree visited at my brother’s house. But back when the kids were small…. We spent a few Christmases at the Westhampton house. No matter where, the kids were all excited about the tree decorating. Julia loved to read and I had hooked her into reading the Nancy Drew series. Meanwhile I had to test the strings of lights to see if they were working. As soon I tested the lights, Lisa would put them on the tree. She didn’t think I could do the lights quite right. And here’s Julia all set to go, right in the middle of it all. Yes, it’s a fond memory.
We had a maple in the front yard of the house. Lisa hung a rope swing and we had many a photo-op with the kids in that swing. Years later, not too many, Lisa got a gardener/landscaper who came along and trimmed the tree. He took down that branch. We never spoke about it again. I didn’t mention it because I’m sure Lisa knew what memories he took with that branch. What can you say; it’s been done. Of course, we never told him to cut down that branch. Still, I got a lot of memories of that swing. We’ve hung the swing again in the back yard. But no one ever sits on it. Somehow it was in the front yard with cars going by on the country lane that made this swing special in its location.
This plant is really ugly most of the year. It’s gangly and unkempt. But, for a brief period in the spring, this bush really shines. So the trick is to get a shot that does it justice. The flower itself is not particularly photogenic. It’s really about the color. You don’t want to get too close. There are too many imperfections. The plant needs a pairing, hence the white picket fence. I’ve taken a lot of forsythia shots over the years. I’m still waiting for a better shot. But this will do, to illustrate my struggle.