Monday, January 21, 2013

On the occasion of Barak Obama's Inauguration, a poem...

From the desk of Pablo, guerrilla poet, who might have been reading a poem at today's inauguration if only he had been in touch to let them know he was out there.  Just following in the footsteps of my Uncle Cyril, who could have won the Pulitzer prize, if only...

To our newly reelected president, who is too good for this country.  They say a nation gets the leaders they deserve, but with this thoughtful man, I'm not sure that is the case.   To choose to continue to want to preside over a country so consumed with hate...

                                            It is by different rivers
                                            that we arrive here,
                                            moving alone together
                                            in uncertain unison,
                                            tethered by a history
                                            not of our own making and
                                            sharing only the insidious
                                            distrust of familiar strangers
                                            bequeathed to us by our fathers
                                            who could not have known
                                            or wished upon us
                                            the bitter fruits
                                            we have been left to harvest.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Into the Mojave...

As you probably know if you have been following this blog, I'm not much of a flora or fauna guy, but traveling through the Mojave, its all flora, a few angry horse flies, 4 or 5 jack rabbits, and the long empty road.  Artie is a fauna and flora guy, so I guess this entry is for him too.  At this point I have decided that maintaining an accurate chronology of entries has recently been working against me, productivity wise, so while things may not follow, one day, I will put it all together in the right order, but for now I just need to put it down as the spirit moves me, so here we are in the Mojave Desert.

That's me in the corner, that's me in the backlight of a late afternoon as the sun is starting to set and we have a long way to go to get to where ever it is we are spending the night.  The name is evocative, and I always pictured Edward Weston and Charis Wilson traveling through it, but I'm just not much of a nature lover, so the magic was not there for me in the Mojave, alas.  After a while, it all started looking the same, but I did a fairly good job of cataloguing the major specimens of desert plant life that inhabits the landscape.  The only plant I can identify for sure are the Joshua Trees in the second and fifth photos.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Love it...Hate It, Don't really know anymore...

This one's for my brother in law Artie, who recently noted that he had been checking in on my blog and there was nothing new lately.  He was right.  Its nice to know that there's someone out there checking in on me, and that was enough, I hope, to shake me out of my mid winter slumbers and get back to work.

Not sure if I still share Nick Walker's exuberance expressed on a wall on Ludlow Street somewhere between Grand and Delancy Streets, but I love it.  Taken in late October, it may have been washed away by the deluge of Hurricane Sandy, if it had not already been removed by the graffiti police, so let me know.

My unremitting ambivalence with the city that nurtured me, raised me, educated me, amused me, and then abandoned me after I moved away,  remains and continues to unsettle me.  After so many years you might say I should be over it, and after all, wasn't it me who did the abandoning.  True, all of it, but who really wants to accept that you can't go home anymore.  But, how can anyone stay angry, post Hurricane Sandy, at a city that was as much a victim of circumstance as myself.  Victim of the crude hand and dull, crass imagination, or lack thereof, of Donald Trump and his ilk that has filled the skyline with easily disposable buildings as lacking in character as he is.  I read somewhere once that hurricanes were nature's eviction notice.  Who knows?

                                 Photo by Jackie

New York City looking north from Canal Street to 34th St dark, cold, wet, and post apocalyptic after Hurricane Sandy .  No signs of life.

Greene Street in the heart of Soho a week before the storm.  Res ipse locquitor...

A couple of Eurotourists on their NYC adventure.   I envy the fresh eyes through which they see the city and the adventure that awaits them.  

The north side of Union Square at 17th street.

Obviously the Vesuvio Bakery on Prince Street in the heart of what was once Little Italy.  The most photographed bakery in NYC.  People have been taking pictures of it since the 30's when it really was an Italian bakery.  They are still taking pictures of it now so I tried to shake it up a bit.   It is a great place. moderately expensive for what you get, but good.  Mostly cookies and muffins and pastries.   A true relic of the old city.

The new city is inhabited by strangers, at least to me anyway.  There is Hanksy, son of Banksy who I haven't met yet...

This guy...



And on a related note, this is a great piece of graffiti by Bumboy W C from LA who caught my eye while walking down Sunset Blvd. while I was out there, and while it is not NYC, it could be...

not sure I agree with the sentiment!!!  But you've got to love it.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Anti-Fracking Rally, Albany,NY

It's January 9th 2013, the day that our lovely governor gives his state of the state address spouting all of the empty, platitudinous boiler plate about gun control, jobs, fiscal responsibility, bi-partisanship, casinos, women's rights etc etc and whatever else he feels will play well on the national stage for future reference.  Now if he can only learn to smile.  Nepotism and a sense of entitlement will only get you so far (ask Mitt).  In the end the public has to like you, and he is not his father by a long shot.
According to the pundits and insiders who seem to know about these things, the issue of fracking was not on the agenda for reasons known only to Andrew, his supportive corporate interests and his 2016 strategists, hence an anti-fracking demonstration that was held in the warm, dry, claustrophobic confines of the lower concourse of the Rockafella Plaza in Albany.  It was dim, loud, disorganized, unfocused, and the lighting was terrible, anathema for the non-flash photographers in the crowd (me).  On top of that, I had the mis-fortune to be standing next to a gregarious AARP hippy who sprayed droplets of spittle when he spoke.  I couldn't get away from him fast enough and I'm quite sure a droplet landed in my mouth.  Icky at the best of times, but with the flu running rampant across the country, I cringe at the possibilities.  The overall circumstances did not provide photo ops suited to my take on things, but I did get this one nice one on my way out that made up for the overall misadventure of being there.

Hope I will be ok.  Also hoping that Devora, who is literally a "Soldier in Rain", on an army base somewhere in Israel right now, where it has been raining incessantly, is ok.  While going through the archives for material I will be using on an upcoming blog, I found this nice picture of her taken on a warm summer at the National Gallery in Ottawa last year.  Irrelevant to anyone but me, but so what.

She is my favorite model because I usually never have to tell her to "stop smiling!!!".   Don't know what happened here.