Saturday, March 15, 2008
Monday, March 03, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Friday, December 28, 2007
Though not without its difficulties - I found myself wishing I had a third hand to help juggle two cameras while also keeping my image framed, in focus, and out of the sun's glare - I like the new way it lets me see the world.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Last summer I was interviewed by D.W. Young, a documentary filmmaker, who was shooting a film about an abandoned lot in Red Hook. This chameleon of a site has been, variously, a graffiti spot, a homeless encampment, a formerly industrial truck loading zone, a magically-invisible overlooked and forgotten lot, contested urban space, a possible Ikea parking lot, and a reed-filled shallow pond. D.W. Young tracked me down because I had shot a series of photos of the site (you can see my set, Red Hook Marshland, on flickr).
The film, A Hole in a Fence, has just come out and is pretty damn cool. Young interviews a range of people about the site, from local teen graffiti artists who use the site as an artist wall, to a Yale Architecture School student interested in sustainable building, who used materials found on-site to build a shelter and live there for a week. And you can see yours truly opining about the site, and catch some of my photos.
Watch the trailer on YouTube.
Or go to the website for the film.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
School of Rock isn't just a movie.
The Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls played a noon show today at the Highline Ballroom. The show was the culmination of a week-long crash course in every aspect of rock - picking an instrument, getting a band together, silk-screening band t-shirts, and more. One volunteer teacher estimated that only about a quarter of the girls, who ranged from 8 to 18, had any experience on their instruments before getting to camp Monday morning. By the show today, they were poised, confident, and ready to rock.
If you missed today's show, there's no need to wait until next year. You can catch the second session's show on August 25th at the Highline Ballroom.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
My favorite photo from yesterday's Dyke March shows two spectacularly turned out groups - New York's own Vixxxens, in the pink sequins, and a hotter version of the Village People that I happened to run across last year as well.
More photos here.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Giving a taste of the neighborhood, a community blog suggested possible neighborhood slogans, among them "Boro Park- my Rebbe is bigger than your Rebbe"; "Boro Park- nu, so where else are you going to live? Flatbush? Why don't you just put on a knitted kipa, you freier. Feh"; "Boro Park- otherwise you'd have to go to Yerushalayim to see Chasidim riot"; "Boro Park: The World's Competitive Eating Capital!"; "Boro Park- come on, Bobov can't fight forever"; "Boro Park- just leave your car anywhere"; "Boro Park- the nicest frum neighborhood on Earth, more or less," and last but not least, "Boro Park-The Melting Cholent Pot."
13th Avenue is the main shopping strip in Borough Park, a lively thoroughfare lined with kosher meat markets, bakeries, clothing stores and more. It evokes an earlier era, as the lettering and graphics of many storefronts have not changed since the 1950s or earlier. Here's an assortment of sights from the strip:
Freund's F&F Family Shop
Yeedl's Juvenile Shop
sells furniture for children's rooms.
Shem Tov restaurant and catering
Paskesz kosher candies. They say they
marketed the first kosher chewing gum.
The New Thirteen Avenue Bagel Corp
another 13th Ave bagel shop
Tuv Taam Fish Market & Appetizing
Ossie's Fish Market
Herbst Mehadrin Meats
Many Hasidic women wear wigs (sheitels) as part of tzeniut (modesty) standards.
Halacha (Jewish law) requires married women to cover their hair.
Tiv Tov Book Bindery
Yeshiva Beth Hillel school bus
Zion Car Service
Monday, January 29, 2007
First we go to Bath Beach. At 1707 Bath Ave is Sta-Brite Decorators. If you're looking to get your furniture re-upholstered, this is the place. If it was 1950, you'd have dialed the operator and asked for CLarkson 9-0868.
In nearby Dyker Heights, we find Terrace Meats, at 7317 13th Ave and 74th St. You would have reached your local butcher by dialing BE-2-2003. BE probably stood for Bensonhurst, but possibly Beachview.
Next up, Golden Gate Fancy Fruits and Vegetables, at ES-7-2581. This one-story produce mart is out on Flatbush, in an outer Brooklyn neighborhood called Flatlands. Rounding out our survey of outer Brooklyn retro-gasm is the Avenue U Seafood Market, at DEcatur 2-6363. Built around 1930, maybe those were the days that you could actually eat the fish you caught off the Brooklyn piers?
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Firehouse 71 in the South Bronx calls itself the War Wagon - perhaps referencing the fires that ravaged the South Bronx in the 70s, or perhaps signaling a 'pull your wagons 'round' seige mentality.
Company 71 has been serving the Morrisania neighborhood since 1899. On the 100th anniversary of the company, the company reminiscenced about the early days of the company:
The work chart for the turn of the century fireman was very simple. He worked a 24-hour tour for five days in a row with one day off. Twice a month he could take a 12-hour leave, which could not be used with his 24-hour leave. He could go home for meals three times a day for an hour each time or he could go home twice a day for an hour and half or once for three hours. Back during this time, the Bronx was a slow area and occasionally a fire run would come in. Most of the time the men would be busy caring for the horses, house watch duties, building and hydrant inspections, messenger duties to the Battalion or Division and being detailed to another fire company for sick or vacation time. Another duty was the theater detail where one man would be assign to a movie house to make sure the theater was not over crowded and the aisles block. This duty was rotated around the men in the company. Some districts had several movie houses while other few or none.Life's a little different now, but the War Wagon's still there.
For another quirky New York firehouse, check out The Friendly Firehouse of Flatbush Ave.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
What effect does traffic have on neighborhoods? Besides what you might expect, Transportation Alternatives' new study, Traffic's Human Toll, found that New Yorkers living on streets with high volumes of traffic spend less time outside and are more likely to restrict their
children's outdoor play compared to people who live on "medium" and "low" traffic streets. The study also finds that compared to residents on low traffic streets, residents on high traffic streets are twice as likely to be disrupted by traffic while they are walking, talking, eating, playing with kids and sleeping.
Want to check out the Bronx waterfront? The Department of City planning has just released the Bronx Harlem River Waterfront Bicycle and Pedestrian Study, which proposes to improve pedestrian and bike access to the waterfront by adding off-street paths or striped bike lanes. Click here for the full report.
Photo, an inventive entrance to the bike path in Toronto, by mute*.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
I've been updating my portfolio on flickr, and I'd welcome any comments or suggestions that people have. Click on the photo to see the whole set, or click on individual photo captions to see a particular photo.
Row One: 1. salt ponds 1, 2. reflection slope 6, 3. reflection slope 5, 4. dream of a building, 5. bike on NY street, 6. trike in the moonlight,
Row Two: 1. woman walking away, 2. woman, 3. child, Mission alley, 4. SF Mission alleyway queen, 5. billboard, 6. guard,
Row Three: 1. left behind, 2. then he was gone..., 3. flat fix abstract, 4. 347, 5. Patauger dans les roseaux (Wading in the reeds), 6. wounds,
Row Four: 1. door, 2. crosses, 3. rust abstract, 4. they shoot clowns, don't they?, 5. Providence wall, 6. auto spkr,
Row Five: 1. meatpacking district coffee, 2. flag, 3. 9/11 memorial, 4. no post no bills, 5. Gowanus barbed wire, 6. Ice cream stand.