Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter Solstice

In a rare show of holiday spirit, it snowed just before the Solstice. The berries are offering the traditional hope of spring on the darkest of cold days.

This little tree even seems to be budding.

I like the winter scene in the playground. In the summer, the sprinklers cool the children.

I would have liked to catch these snowflake lights when they were lit. But the Solstice brought rain which washed away much of the snow. It is still wintry though. The rain froze at night and the streets are icy.

Happy Solstice

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Night Day

The clouds are so dark today that it seems like twilight all day long. I don't mind, for some reason this gloomy light makes me feel festive. Maybe it's the way the lights gleam.

Things are a little hectic with the holidays and I am not sure how much blogging I will do in the next few weeks. I had a dream about taking pictures in black and white, they were compositions of sticker art, graffiti and fliers. I need to try it out with the film camera. The dream has been haunting me for days.

I will try to make another post before the year's end.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

When the Subway Looks Like the Metro

The shuttle train from Prospect Park to Franklin Avenue travels above ground and I always think about Paris when I am riding it. To say that it looks like the Metro Aerien would be a huge exaggeration. And yet I could almost expect to burst out onto the bridge over the Seine with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

I thought the similarity might be from the iron fences and covered walkway of Prospect Place station. It reminds me of the fences under the Parisian metro and the roofs over the stations.

But then things take on a decidedly New York feel.

In fact, during the whole short ride, I swing between thinking it looks like Paris and realizing it is just Brooklyn.

Meanwhile the winter solstice light is back.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Visitation - Audrey Munson (1891-1996)

I was not getting anywhere with my Wish You Were Here project. I was not getting any new images of friends who wanted to visit. So the idea evolved in my head. I decided to bring out cool historical figures and give them the chance to revisit New York.

Audrey Munson seemed as good a person as any to start with. I had read the New York Times article about her last year. She was an artist's model in the years before World War I. She posed for statues that are all around the city. She was the model for the gold Civic Fame statue on top of the Municipal Building and she can be found at the bottom of the Manhattan Bridge. She apparently was the first woman to appear totally nude in a film. She was also a journalist.
After she left the city for her home town, she attempted suicide and eventually was committed to an insane asylum where she lived until her death at 105. The Times article portrayed her as something of a victim spinning a cautionary tale of what happens to bohemians who leave New York City. But perhaps she was just really crazy in that larger than life, flouncing around naked kind of way.

Since most of the pictures of Audrey Munson are in the nude, I decided that this was how she would visit. I am sure she would have been curious to see Times Square and the theater district which was just becoming popular when she was there. But I was trying out a new fastener and I didn't think it would work with the new sign posts. So I figured she would also be happy near Union Square which was still a busy area.

I thought she might like to see the Bowery which has changed almost as much as Times Square.

Although from some perspectives it would still be familiar, perhaps.

The area around Madison Square Park was quite chic in her day and the Metlife tower was the tallest in the world. It is also really pretty so I hung her picture there.

Audrey Munson would have spent a lot of time in Greenwich Village where the artists were, so that I brought her there.

Watching her float over the city in striking her classic Beaux Arts pose, I really hope that Audrey Munson had a nice visit.

I will still work on the Wish You Were Here project, so anyone who promised me pictures are still welcome to send them. Regis, the one who started it all, just told me that he is taking my picture with him to Jordan. I hope he sends me snapshots and if he does, I will post them here.


Saturday, November 8, 2008


It occurred to me that November is one of my surprise favorite months. The light is all soft and romantic, the weather hasn't quite turned cold. The old leaves smell great. The colors of the leaves have been haunting me at the moment. It is almost as if they emit light, especially on the dark days. I have succumbed to a round of fall foliage images


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Days of the Dead (Halloween)

The ancient Celts celebrated the death night of the old year on October 31. There were bonfires, people dressed up as witches and demons, everyone made lots of noise - to chase off the wandering souls. It was a little bit like what was going on in my neighborhood the other night.

Like many boys, the young son is happy as long as his costume includes a weapon. This year it was a magical staff as he was a magician.

The cake was one of those boys who doesn't need a weapon, unless you consider the candles. The pastry children's father was a chef.

It soon became dark, and the brightly clothed children became shadowy forms. The neighbors went wild with the house decorations...

And performance pieces in their front yards...

And I was quite pleased with my job on making the glowing magical staff.

My apologies for the somewhat dark images though...I was stretching the limits of my poor digital camera.