Friday, December 13, 2013

Back home in Manhattan and nothing to say...

I used to work with this psychiatrist who had a colleague who was manic depressive.  He said that although they had lost contact, he could tell how things were going with the guy by his output.  A glut of articles  and maybe a book, or just extended silence.  Right now,  I'm in an extended silence.  Down and out,  and not much to say.  But really, the blog was not about words, but pictures.  Started out by writing to provide context, and got ahead of myself, thought I had something to say, and maybe I did, but when I didn't, it was a struggle.   Got back from Boise in the second week of September and after a few days to recover, we ended up in NYC for 3 or 4 days on business, staying at the Andaz Hotel on the corner (more or less) of Wall and Pearl Streets, safe within the claustrophobic confines of the narrow New York street grid.  Hadn't been down that far in years, and had no idea what to expect, and few expectations.  Took the old IRT from Penn Station to Wall Street now the MTA number 3...It was good to be back and the amble downtown was productive.

Whenever I'm on the subway, I feel compelled to take pictures of my fellow riders, in the shadow of Walker Evans and all those Photo leaguers who came  before me and spent days and weeks riding the subways usually with concealed cameras and slowish film taking pictures of fellow riders.  Like them, the results were mixed, but if you rode the subway enough, like they did, and got one or two good ones a day, you had something.  This was my good one during the rise down town, which in itself could be considered a day's work.

Sunday morning was warm enough, quiet, and full of surprise for one not expecting much.  There was the above bit of street theater involving a photo shoot for some thing or other.  Never thought to ask what, because it didn't seem important, and actually still doesn't.  Got the e-mail address of the photographer and sent this to him.  He was thrilled, really.

A very mini protest/Occupy Wall Street effort on the steps of the Federal Building at 30 Wall Street.  There wasn't much response to this meager but heartfelt effort with only 5 or 6 people pausing for a minute or so to watch before moving on.  Maybe there was something about the nexus of the menacing neo-fascist/peace movement thing raised fist that scared people off in our post 9/11 world.  They didn't seemed spooked by my taking pictures, and I didn't ask any questions.

These three photos are a study in contrasts somehow counterpointing the relativity of space people in Texas and New York require to exist.

Lastly was Mina's Shoe Repair, an anomalous/anachronistic remnant/reminder of little tradesman in a little shop tucked away amidst the soaring grey megalithic monuments to Mammon reminiscent of an earlier bygone era when NYC was inhabited by regular people who used to make things, do things, tradesmen, who lived and worked there crafting furniture, brewing beer, printing newspapers, selling shoes and socks, selling and repairing appliances, manufacturing garments, slaughtering animals, basically providing everything a city needed to exist who can no longer can afford living here and who are no longer needed, who no longer sit on stoops or fire escapes on warm summer nights as children run wild in the streets, through the neon nights of city nights....I mean, who gets their shoes repaired anymore?