Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Holbrook, Arizona

Even though I like to think of myself as a Highway 83 kind of guy, when you are criss crossing the country as much as we are, it is inevitable that you are going to find yourself on remnants of Route 66 now and then, and with Jackie's affinity for La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona, we find ourselves on that segment of Route 66 every few years, so while I have no illusions about documenting this American dream in any particular manner,  you can't help but to take a few good photos along the way. I like Holbrook especially because of Joe and Aggie's, a Mexican American restaurant that's been around since the 40's and serves real good food in a friendly atmosphere to get you set to leave for the painted desert and petrified forest which are just down the road as the two large chunks by the sign of petrified wood portend.

When looking through various Route 66 travelogues and monographs, I often feel that Joe and Aggie's doesn't get proper attention and frequently no mention at all .

Maybe people just don't see it because it is across the street from such attention getters as the Wigwam Motel which is quite unique and hard to compete with as a true American roadside attraction.   We took this photo at the motel a few years ago using a disposable camera and got the most wonderful Kodachrome like postcard perfect effect without even trying.


I marvel at the unintended perfection of the results.   When you are just passing through, as we so frequently are, sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't, photo wise that is.  Otherwise that's all I wanted to say about Holbrook, but here are a few more photos.

So that's the general idea.  When you are just passing through its whatever happened to catch your eye. during the short time you are there.   Its hard to miss the Powwow trading post, now closed down. 

 If you enjoy your meal at Joe and Aggie's and want to make it your regular place to eat,  land in and around Holbrook is abundant as is the occasional vacant house.  If not, eat hearty anyway and head out to the painted desert.  Here's me trying to fit all of that indescribably vast beauty into a negative.  An exercise in futility and humility and the delusional grandiosity of the human mind.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Anti-Fracking Rally Albany NY June 17...

Dateline Albany, NY,...June 17, 2013...

Sorry to say it, but today seemed to mark a somewhat uninspired beginning to the 2013 anti-fracking rally season up here in Albany, NY where the protesters seemed to show a real lack of imagination and energy in their effort to catch the attention of our governor/presidential hopeful Andrew (fortunate to be born son of Mario)  Cuomo who probably finds himself in a moral dilemma on this issue pitting him against people who vote (maybe, but who cares anyway)  and the corporate interests who he will be depending on to give big for a national run.  A tough choice on a tough problem.  God help us!!!

The numbers in attendance reported in the press appeared somewhat inflated at 2,000.  Looked more like about 1175 people to me.   The rally covered the same very important issues as the others last year (see 8/27/12 posting), and the arguments against fracking are well discussed all over the place if you are still uninformed.  Nothing new to report on that front from today's get together except that the graphics and presentation were tedious at best and not particularly attention grabbing (see 8/27 posting for comparison purposes).  Even the press presence was quite limited showing a lack of interest on their part.  One big change today, however, was that due to construction related issues, the rally was held on the east lawn in front of the building, which allowed some views of the city for those who haven't been here.

Don't know who's speaking, but he is looking out over a medium sized, not overly impressive turn out with the city in the distance.  The next one is the protesters marching around the capitol building.


If the pictures this time around are not that exciting, its just that the event itself was an understated rehashing of the same issues with a much diminished energy level from the crowd.  I always like to think that great revolutions produce great art.  Not so today.  The highlight of the day for me was a visit from a somewhat demented looking Lady Liberty who does appear worried about us.


Monday, June 10, 2013

A rainy June afternoon in New York City...

and I am standing in the gutter soaked up to my knees and beyond in greasy, sludgy city runoff,  but it is worth it.  It has been an unusually rainy spring, like rain almost every day an inch or two, so it was touch and go on whether to go to NYC as planned today or wait a few weeks.  The forecasts were dire, but I didn't want to believe them so I dove in head first into that giant pot hole that is the lower east side.  Had done two or three laps and was ready to follow my appointed rounds, when I saw this poster...

and just as I was lining the photo up, this woman with a red umbrella walked into the frame, and click, once again serendipity provided me with opportunity.  Its interesting how many times things have coalesced in an instant and if you are lucky enough to be there and quick enough to push the shutter...
makes up for all the missed opportunities you end up regretting for weeks.  The digital era has opened up a new window of possibility, and just when I has begun to think that I had taken my last pictures of NYC, voila!!!

So there I was, standing in a puddle about two feet from the curb in a bus stop at the corner of Essex and Delancy Streets, battling the buses, the heavy rains, the aggressive drivers and an unruly wind driven umbrella, to take picture of people walking by this God given studio like backdrop plastered on the barricade of a construction site/soon to be condo, further obliterating my belovedly, no longer so shabby lower east side.  But at least for the moment on this wet June afternoon anyway, all is forgiven...

Took a bunch more, but you get the idea.  Will check the files later on to see if there are anymore that add interest to the story, but that's good for now.  Back to the Essex Street subway station and back uptown to meet up with Jackie.

On the way down, met up with Jack M. Murphy, a bright, philosophical fellow with a story to tell, no hard feelings against the system he feels has left him behind, and an apparent continued love for the country in spite of it all.  He grew up not far from where I did, and hoped to get back there soon, where he says he has a friend who has a room for him.  We talked for a while, I helped him out and hope that he will find his way home.