02.13.2013 | 10:48 PM •
I spent one of my days in the Bay Area, visiting the Westlake section of San Francisco’s Daly City to add to my Suburban Geometries series. This post-war area was developed by Henry Doelger who also created San Francisco’s Sunset District. Aside from the colors, the variety of the house designs and landscaping is totally awesome.
02.02.2013 | 09:45 PM •
My friend Jeff and I drove down to Half Moon Bay to pick up some dungess crabs. We bought them from a family operated boat at the marina and they were really delicious steamed with lots of Old Bay.
01.29.2013 | 11:41 PM •
Shot from a 767 on the way back to NYC.
01.28.2013 | 11:39 PM •
My old neighborhood hasn’t changed that much, though the restaurants on Valencia are much more upscale.
10.13.2012 | 08:46 PM •
09.20.2012 | 10:05 PM •
Besides stills, I also shot some brief video segments at Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes State Park with my new Nikon D800E. I didn’t have a tripod with me, so the framing is a bit shakey, but pretty good considering how briskly the wind was blowing. I edited in iMovie and slowed down the blowing sand by 50%. The music is Yo La Tengo’s Tears Are in Your Eyes. Click the image to play the video in a popup.
08.29.2012 | 11:38 PM •
08.26.2012 | 11:50 PM •
One of my favorite places to photograph in the whole wide world. As I’ve mentioned before, these dunes excited Weston more than bell peppers.
08.23.2012 | 11:01 PM •
The huge school of fish attracted, besides the whales, lots of seals and pelicans.
08.23.2012 | 10:03 PM •
At least three whales took up residence at Avila Beach for about a week. Apparently they followed a huge school of fish into the bay.
07.20.2012 | 11:12 PM •
07.17.2012 | 11:49 PM •
Maine rock lobsters were less than $4/lb at markets this summer. Which means that we had two family feasts of 1.5lb lobsters. I was in charge of the cooking, which is often best with a little music to obscure the horrible sound of claws scraping on the sides of the pot of boiling water. They were quite delicious, especially because they were so cheap. Russell Banks has a great short story called Lobster Night, which explores cruelty, lechery, and what The Smiths called eating animals: Meat Is Murder.
04.23.2012 | 04:10 PM •
Above: overlooking Ashokan Reservoir. Below: the backyard of our weekend rental.
01.03.2012 | 11:55 PM •
There was a fantastic sunset our last evening in California. This is looking out on the Pacific and the Channel Islands.
12.26.2011 | 11:46 PM •
I found this frozen cat lying on a pink towel the day after Christmas morning. Always so saddening to see dead animals.
12.23.2011 | 11:41 PM •
This is one of my favorite parks in Central California. Soft sand, amazing panoramas, and it feels like an Edward Weston photo is just a click away.
12.22.2011 | 11:39 PM •
With a little help from Julie’s brother John, I got to take this picture.
12.22.2011 | 11:33 PM •
One of my favorite hikes on the Central Coast is the walk to Point Sal, which is at the tip of the promontory on the right. Click the top photo for a larger view.
12.21.2011 | 11:29 PM •
12.14.2011 | 02:54 AM •
An ice skating rink and the Hotel St. Jerome in the foreground, with Ajax Mountain behind.
09.14.2011 | 03:40 PM •
Oceano Dunes is a fantastic state park. You can get the feeling of infinity (until you notice the cars driving on the adjacent beach). It was here that part of the Ten Commandments were filmed and photographers, including Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, made some iconic black and white imagery. The best time to visit would be at sunrise when the shadows are long and the night winds have had a chance to erase the assault of daily footprints. I can’t wait to go back.
09.02.2011 | 11:09 PM •
I never knew that a sea lion would eat a birds. On this afternoon, I was witness to 3 bloody attacks. Usually 2-3 sea lions surround a pelican and maul it until it can’t fly, then they rip it to shreds and devour the bloody breast meat. A gruesome sight and one which I didn’t explain to Max. The fishermen on the pier were eager to point this out because they’d gotten some bad press recently (more here) about supposedly injuring the birds who were trying to steal their catch. The most likely cause of pelican injury mentioned in the articles may be collateral damage from the feeding frenzy that occurs naturally when large schools of small fish swim by and sea lions and pelicans and cormorants compete for meals. One pier watcher told me that the fisherman compounded the natural problem because they dumped lots of filleted fish, causing many of the pelicans to peck at their gullets in vain attempts to disgorge stuck bones--a self injury which in turn attracts the seal lions to an easy victim.
08.31.2011 | 11:06 PM •
Q: How do you get a 3-year-old boy in the shower?
A: Give him a basketball.
08.30.2011 | 01:33 AM •
We took Max to a crumby zoo in Atascadero and were treated to some uninhibited Alpaca love.
08.27.2011 | 01:48 AM •
As Irene approached NYC, we’d flown in to 108-degree Burbank and drove up 101 to Santa Maria and experienced this fantastic sunset near Santa Barbara.
04.20.2011 | 09:59 PM •
I had a little insomnia so walked my mother’s Tenleytown neighborhood in the predawn light.
04.10.2011 | 09:44 PM •
I’d forgotten about a few point and shoot photos of other animals encountered on sanibel, turtles (above and below) and alligators (below).
04.09.2011 | 10:25 PM •
Max had his first experience of rock jumping at Bear Mountain just north of the city.
04.06.2011 | 02:06 PM •
04.05.2011 | 02:11 PM •
Max and his cousin Elena. Together they’re 100% Japanese (a quarter on the left and three-quarters on the right).
03.29.2011 | 06:01 PM •
Just returned from a week in sunny Sanibel Island, Florida. Got a chance to see our money’s worth of wildlife, including a few alligators, some flamingos, sand sharks, pileated woodpeckers, pelicans, and dolphins.
03.09.2011 | 10:49 PM •
Near the end of a French movie, L’Homme de Sa Vie, there’s a scene where a man visits his dying father in the hospital in Paris. He has not seen his father in over twenty years because his father threw him out of the house when he discovered his teenage son was gay. When the son enters the hospital room after embracing his mother, all we see is his face as he circles the bed and all we hear is the sound of labored breaths, his father’s. About forty-five seconds pass as you watch the son breathing in sync with his father, his expressions transforming rapidly from horror to compassion to grief, the breaths’ slow progressions mimicking the reckoning of lost time. Then you see the room from above, the bird’s eye view: the son lying in the fetal position next to his motionless father. I began to cry as I watched this on my laptop, and when I looked up, I noticed that it was one-fifteen in the morning on March 6th, which would be 3:15pm in Tokyo, which was about the time my father died five years ago. I’d selected this movie fairly arbitrarily, mostly based on the reviews and the praise of its cinematography (also because it was free to stream with my Amazon Prime membership). There was very little mentioned about its gay subject matter and nothing explicit about the end, so the ending was a total surprise and, it turns out, pure coincidence.
Five years ago, my father had been in a coma for over nine months. I’d flown to Tokyo to see him in the nursing home several times and on this trip, my brother and I had agreed that his “vegetative state” was pointless and undignified. Papa, we were certain, would not have wanted to “go on” for so long. This was around the time of the Schiavo case, when a family’s private anguish over euthanasia became a political debate, the intersection of God, power of attorney, and the economics of the healthcare system. When does life stop being a life? Like a fetus, a person in a vegetative state can’t communicate anything. There may be brainwaves, but unlikely any type of cognition. My father, indeed, by this time had been reduced to a breathing corpse. Early on, occasionally I experienced slight hints of squeezebacks when I gripped his hand, but now there were none, and though his eyes were open, they stared motionless into space. Still, I played music for him, Beethoven and Bach usually. The morning of March 6th, I’d played a Woody Allen CD, a monologue which I thought the real Akio Takeuchi would appreciate, a piece called Down South about the KKK. Then I put on Samuel Barber’s Adagio, which to me is a work about longing and loss. It was my last visit; later that day I’d board a flight back to New York, which likely meant that the next time I’d see him would be at his funeral. This trip had been for about ten days, with each day including a two-hour visit where I mostly played music for him and tried to tell him what was happening in my life, an exercise which seemed about as pointless as talking to a fish. On the last day, however, I forced myself to say a lot more, how I felt about him, that though I had a lot of conflicted feelings, I still loved him and was very sad that I would never hear his stories anymore. As it neared time to leave, I gripped his cold, limp hand and said goodbye several times, as if rehearsing for some grand finale. I pressed my head on the pillow next to him and kissed his cheek and told him I loved him and when I looked up from the bed, I noticed a video camera pointed at our faces, a video camera which was likely providing a live feed to the nurses’ station. Then I said my final goodbye and squeezed his hand very firmly and when I was loosening my grip on his hand, I noticed his eyes roll away and a tear slip out of one of them. Shocked at the possibility that he’d heard and understood me, I lingered awkwardly for a few minutes. Then I left.
It was noonish, the sky which had been mostly sunny, was now mostly overcast. In ninety minutes I was on a bus to Narita, a light rain falling on the windows as Tokyo receded in the grey gloom. When I presented myself at the airline counter to get my boarding pass, the agent handed me a note: Call your brother. A few minutes later, at a green public phone, I learned that my father had died while I was on the bus.
There are two sets of photographs in this posting. The ones above this text I took while walking to the nursing home to visit my father; the ones below were taken after I’d said goodbye and was returning to the train station. I feel the first set expresses a kind of hope, while the second set seems resigned to death. Finally, in black and white, as befits Buddhist funeral custom, are two shots from the wake which began the moment I saw my father again, at the funeral home a few hours later.
While the grief has long ended, the sense of loss continues. Papa, my father, was certainly the first and most important man of my life.
02.08.2011 | 02:07 PM •
Nearing his 2.5 year birthday, Max is looking more like a boy than a baby.
12.23.2010 | 12:55 AM •
California has been enduring massive rains which finally ended after 5 days.
12.22.2010 | 12:53 AM •
A Christmas tree as seen through cheap 3D specs.
08.07.2010 | 10:56 PM •
On the beach at Oso Flaco State Park we found a dead humpback whale. We don’t have a clue why it died, but it’s belly had burst and it was still oozing blood.
07.31.2010 | 11:40 PM •
Not bad for a self-timer image! 30 years since 5 high school kids took off on bikes from Jackson Hole, WY to Jasper, Alberta, 1400 miles. Here are Jonathan Durning, Alan Durning, Andy Neuman, Mark Skinner, and me with (most of our) families.
07.30.2010 | 10:35 PM •
Click on each to see a bigger version.
03.25.2010 | 12:54 AM •
12.26.2009 | 09:53 PM •
The tree at our family reunion rental in Summerland (next to Santa Barbara), as reflected in a large flatscreen TV.
12.22.2009 | 09:50 PM •
New titles from the “for Dummies” imprint make great stocking stuffers!
11.05.2009 | 09:38 PM •
One of my last evenings at ACA, I made a little movie of my bike ride to Turnbull Bay. The music is a beautiful sentimental excerpt from Gorecki's London Symphony.
11.04.2009 | 09:36 PM •
Leaving ACA in my rental, I stopped at my favorite sunset spot to catch the sunrise over Turnbull Bay. Click the photo for a bigger version.
11.03.2009 | 08:47 PM •
Coca Cola's new slogan greeted me with my complimentary Minute Maid OJ on my flight back to NYC.
11.02.2009 | 08:24 PM •
The Last Resort is the bar made infamous by Aileen Wuornos, the first woman serial killer to be executed. She frequented this bar and her mugshot is on the wall behind the bar. It's also quite a biker hangout and the perfect setting for some of the ACA gang to get a last brew before the end of the residency. The film Monster was filmed there as well.
10.26.2009 | 11:43 PM •
10.25.2009 | 08:39 PM •
For the next couple of weekends, the Dolphin View Restaurant and Bar is featuring a Caribbean Idol singing contest. A nice evening of free Bob Marley and $1 drafts.
10.19.2009 | 09:46 AM •
It seems like every fifth house is for sale here in New Smyrna Beach.
10.14.2009 | 09:45 PM •
Biking around the streets near ACA, I felt like I'd entered a William Eggleston documentary.
10.13.2009 | 09:43 PM •
On my first day at Atlantic Center for the Arts, I rode out to the beach with fellow artist Daniel Traub and went for a swim where I lost my sunglasses in the warm, sunset bathed water.
08.10.2009 | 11:57 PM •
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12.31.2008 | 11:26 PM •
06.04.2008 | 12:06 PM •
06.01.2008 | 09:55 PM •
05.31.2008 | 11:54 PM •
Yours truly with Julie amid the mob of tourists searching for an authentic Moulin Rouge moment.
05.31.2008 | 05:45 PM •
05.26.2008 | 11:16 PM •
03.09.2008 | 11:10 PM •
Sunset over New Jersey Turnpike reststop, sponsored by Levitra.
12.28.2007 | 10:11 PM •