It’s quite different being on the “other side” of the microphone for a change! But I definitely had a blast talking about social media and the value of the pro photographer community with Emily Engle of Emily-Photo and Sara France.
Listen here. (and be sure to subscribe to the Pictage Blog while you’re there).
As mentioned in this previous post...just sharing some former journal writings…originating from New York City.
“A Moment” December 10, 2004
5:15 p.m. in New York. It’s cold, dark and wet. Looking out my office window I see the tops of umbrellas swarming the streets.
I hear an orchestra of squeaking bus brakes, continuous horns and sirens. In an hour or so I’ll begin to bundle up for the 15-minute walk back to the apartment in Murray Hill. I’ll choose the “Walk Home” playlist which I recently created on my iPod to drown-out the city sounds. Joni Micthell, Paul Simon, The Counting Crows, Wilco, Paul Westerberg, Modest Mouse, Dizzie Gillespie and Nina Simone will encourage me along with their lyrical prose.
Each night I take notice of a newly-discovered storefront. Occasionally I’ll warm-up midway with a quick pull of whiskey at the Black Sheep Pub. And, as has been the case most evenings, I’ll stop at the 38th Street Market and pick-up some fresh fixins’ for dinner.
En route I’ll slowly linger at a favorite newsstand, and maybe pick up the Post or the latest Rolling Stone. When I finally reach the apartment and ring the doorbell (I require Gia to keep the chain locked, even though it’s a safe borough), I’ll hear Ethan behind the door proclaiming, “Daddy’s here, Daddy’s here!” A kiss from G, and then Ethan will reach his little arms toward the sky in my direction, requesting, “kiss, kiss, kiss!”
The rest of the night will provide warmth and security from the grit of New York City. Christmas tunes and soft melodies will bellow through our warm & love-filled abode, as outside the opposite is in perpetual motion…further illustrated by trash-filled back alleys, harsh bright lights and muffled sirens.
After everyone is tucked-in for the night, I’ll savor a few seconds saying goodnight to the Empire State Building within view from our master bedroom window…and then start over again in the morning with my “Walk to Work” playlist (this version with the sounds of Elvis Costello, The Kinks, Jonny Cash, Jimmy Buffett, The Pogues, Mark Knopfler, Milt Jackson and Joe Pass).
I’ve been uncovering some older hard drives, along with a few historical Moleskine notebooks and 3-ring binders filled with my personal writings. It’s been fun re-visiting these historical snapshots of words and musings. There’s a lot of bad punctuation, and some sloppiness, but I’m still grateful to have captured these moments in written form. I’ve done very little writing over the past couple years. I regret this, and am going to aim to be more prolific with the journals again.
Back in 2004/05 I spent a handful of months working in New York City (back in the ad agency days). This snippet is from January, 15, 2005:
“You Talking to Me?”
I’m back in NYC for 3 working weeks, 2 weekends and a holiday (MLK). I’m solo for this third leg, and dearly missing Ethan’s wet kisses and chatter, along with Gia’s many comforts.
So I find myself exploring most of the time:
While I’m still not convinced that a 212 or 646 area code could ever fit our family dynamics, I can confidently say that I’ve developed a very amicable relationship with this city. Her personality is layers and layers deep, full of surprises and quite endearing.
To me, New York is a city of conversations. Millions of conversations. The banter is continual. From the minute the door man tells me a joke first thing in the morning, and throughout the day and night, the Avenues/cafes/bars/newstands/delis/corporate halls/train stations all unveil a non-stop dialog. Most people appear to be ignoring it, but I thrive on tapping into it. Tuning it in.
In most cases, the conversation is not deep. At the Townhouse Cafe on 2nd Avenue the counter staff of 3 brothers from Greece take affectionate verbal jabs at each other. “Hey moron, get me a loaf of rye,”…”You talking to me?”…”Hey now! Einstein returns!” A few minutes later the older brother wraps his hand around the back of the young apprentice’s neck, kisses him on the head, and exclaims something in Greek…the kitchen crew cheers.
I make it a point to ensure I pass the corner of 3rd Ave and 39th St every morning on my walk to the office. A fine American citizen camps out here every morning, offering proclamations for the day. Most passer-byes make a wide loop, opening up a sizable comfort zone of spit-stained sidewalk. I take an opposite approach, pushing pause on my iPod, slowing my pace, and looking him in the eyes. He takes the cue and kicks up his volume. For example, his prose this past Wednesday was something the lines of, “Those f*cking corporate monoliths are no better today than they were back in the old days when they massacred their prey…” Ironically, this was the day we were to downsize 10% of our staff. The first time I encountered this sidewalk prophet I followed the lead of others and averted my gaze. Now, he and I have a mutual understanding. I allow him a small space of attention which fuels his passions, and he offers me a moment or two of humorous consideration. In fact, I’m considering keeping a journal of his daily musings just for kicks.
Katie is a bartender at the Joshua Tree pub on the South side of Murray Hill. On a Tuesday night, combined with a Winter storm alert, I’m the only one stationed at the battered wooden bar. After ordering a trifecta of appetizers (ribs, coconut shrimp, satay chicken) I ask her what her drink is. Fortunately for me it’s Guinness & cider, so I indulge. Again, the conversation is far from deep, but brings a unique richness that is simply what NY is all about. Perhaps it’s the casual and comfortable delivery of moments that I often find to be absent from the suburban chains and watering holes of other cities. Within 2 hours I’ve seen photos from Katie’s Aruba cruise, gathered a list of treasures surely undiscovered and out-of-reach of city-guided tourists, learned of Katie’s 3-month old fetus and the nuances of her relationship with her Jazz guitarist boyfriend, and the foreign-to-me experiences of growing up just three blocks from this pub. Katie is like many native New Yorkers, exhibiting a tough exterior and a surprisingly pleasant soul.
The conversations continue at the close of each day. Following a Chinese carry-out dinner on my couch, I peer out the window, travel binoculars in hand. Twenty-five yards across my gaze, rows of glowing windows unveil literally hundreds of volume-less conversations. Directly across 2 laptops illuminate the apartment that appears to be shared by 3 young professionals (a bottle of wine on the coffee table). Two floors down a teenager scrambles around the dining room dribbling a basketball. A faceless couch-dweller 3 floors up flips through the channels as various scenes fill his big screen TV. A family of 3 are eating in an orderly fashion 5 floors down. The grid continues to fill. As has been the case with each neighborhood I’ve resided on this 3-month NY tour, the city inhabitants leave their window blinds wide open.
So many stories. And, thankfully, no pause button.
Our oldest son (7 years old) has started to “inquire” about video games…specifically wondering why so many of his friends are into them, and if we too should re-consider bringing a game console or two into our household fold.
For the time being, we’re sticking to books and music (although I did allow him to set up a “supervised” Twitter account, and that hasn’t seemed to ruin his “more cultured interests” as of yet). I’m not sure how much longer we’ll stay “video game free” (I’ll admit, the Wii fitness is a consideration). However, this piece titled, “Immersion” visually sums up our fears.
What’s your take? Would love to hear from both Gamer and Non-Gamer parents alike.
I had the pleasure of spending time with photographer Chris Williams (and a handful of other inspiring creative professionals and friends) on a recent trip to the Mississippi Delta for the Contrast Show. Chris has a relentless passion for the visual arts, (and has also accumulated quite an impressive Leica collection). Chris will be leading a shooting workshop called “Rebirth” at the Pictage Partner Conference in New Orleans. Diggin’ this teaser production:
Welcome to a new feature on the blog — “Google Reader Thursday.” Basically I’ll be pulling a favorite blog/website from my Google Reader and sharing with you.
I’ve really been digging YouMightFindYourself, which sources and posts some really interesting and creative fodder. My favorite thing to do is click “random” via the sidebar on the site and be pleasantly surprised. Definitely a worthy visit…check it out.
Worth checking out…Excerpt below from an interview with photographer Jessica Todd Harper (thank you to “A Photo Editor” for the link)
“There are no guarantees that if you work hard enough, or are talented enough, that you will be successful, be able to support yourself, or importantly, make a meaningful contribution to others. But in the meantime, if you are an artist, the art just comes – wether you like it or not- because you can’t stop it.”
I’m thrilled to have 3 images chosen for Contrast — a group gallery show featuring the work of amazing artists representing 15 states and 3 countries, Contrast opens with a special reception on August 20th and will hang through the end of September.
Curated by Gallery-owner and photographer Will Jacks, Contrast is perhaps the largest gallery show of photographic images to be displayed in the Mississippi Delta. I’m really excited to be traveling to Mississippi for the show reception next week, and am looking forward to experiencing all the creative energy, and meeting in person many of the photographic artists.
One of three images that will be hanging in the show.
Be sure to check out the work/websites of all the participating artists…some really inspiring work!