Here’s the scene.
Found on a New York City Sidewalk on Bleecker Street- Night time- a tad grainy and soft.
High Chair and TV Tray Table.
Ten years ago, I lost the giant sycamore in front of my house. It must have been 100 years old. I even called in a tree doctor to see if it could be saved. It was a sad loss when in was cut down. I applied for a new tree through the city,
Last Saturday, volunteers planted a new tree in front- Liriodendron Tulipifera. A tulip tree. A yellow poplar. The leaves are the shapes of tulips. It is a beautiful looking tree and I am so grateful to have it planted. I read it is the state tree of Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee and may grow to 170 feet tall.
Email instructions arrived on how to water it deeply by using a big bucket with holes in the bottom and how to not put mulch touching the bark so fungus doesn’t grow on the bark are a couple of tips.
Does anyone remember the television commercial encouraging the planting of trees? There was a quote – It’s a mature man who plants a tree under whose shade he will never sit. I looked it up and all I could find is a Greek proverb…
“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
Street photography isn’t my thing. Funny to say that after posting loads of NYC city street photos the last week but I mean being a true street photographer is not my genre. Photographing people unaware hasn’t really appealed to me and I felt awkward or intrusive. But in an hours time walking down Fifth Avenue I took 165 photos of people on their cell phones. A lot of them while crossing the street without looking. It wasn’t a plan and I made a little movie of the photos but the end result was monotonous and boring. Even though I got it down to a minute thirty three seconds it was a snoozer. You can determine if the ones I have chosen to illustrate my experience produce boredom in the viewer.
In a couple of the photos you can see three or four people on phones at once.
This is not going to be an ongoing effort to capture people using technology in public. The good thing is it allowed me to get more comfortable on the sidewalk photographing people. Of course, it wasn’t a fair playing field as they were definitely distracted and ignoring me which is how I was able to lift the camera to my eye and take their picture.
How have cell phones affected the way we live? Our human interaction?
I took this on the way to my car after a football game this fall.
It reminded me of taking city walks in Philadelphia where my parents lived.
When we headed south on Ninth Street, we’d see ceramic window decorations and many were religious.
It was as if the residents dressed their windows for others to see and enjoy.
Maybe I’ll return and see what’s in this window for Christmas time.
Converted to black and white to accompany this discovery.
A bit of research on the web and I found the photograph of the Fiore Family in their Larimer Meat Market.
I drove by just before sunset and was surprised to find some buildings missing. The ground covered with hay. And then I spied this wonderful sign. What a gift. Larimer used to be densely populated with Italian immigrants but this area is fairly desolate now. Vacant lots were restaurants and shops used to be. There are still homes in the area but lots of spaces in-between of what used to be there. About a mile from my house.
Only the automobiles in the photo give it a date. TODAY.
I hope some of their descendants find this post and write a comment.
copied and pasted from a Google Search.
Earth Day 2012
Shot while walking down Fifth Avenue in NYC with my sister when I was on Spring Break. Waiting for pick-up.
I walked on by-
nearly passed it up-
even thought it caught my eye.
It’s a rush and a hike between schools.
Time’s always short.
But after I stepped past, I turned around
got down on one knee and shot this little gift
to me- hard boiled yolk, a bit dried,
rolled in sandy crumbs,
abandoned on a sidewalk, fell from a lunch bag
or on the way to the nearby dumpster, missed.
Easter is over.
Didn’t make it to the egg salad bowl.
I drove by after school, to see if it was smashed
maybe rolled an inch, more dry, but still there
all those hours later, just not in as good a light!
My family always called these vacuum cleaners but in Pennsylvania you “run the sweeper”. These two are in Clintonville (Laura’s Neighborhood) when we walked on Saturday. The sun shone down on them as they stood at attention.
A portfolio of my work would be incomplete with the garbage studies.
You want to shoot a photograph with some life in it!
I learned in a workshop, photography can be exasperating. And one thing I know-
Sometimes you are an observer and sometimes you are a participant.
You can’t capture the sound of bells ringing in the sanctuary and bell tower simultaneously, a Gregorian chant, the trumpet, everyone holding a candle in the darkness and as the lights are turned up in the dark city church, late Saturday night, you long to capture the spirit, the glow .
You can’t whip out a camera and show the three out of four grandchildren racked out in the pew, or the smell of candle wax or incense or the feel of freshly blessed sprinklings. A good place to think. Mechanical limitations. The intrusion of the moment.
You are’t on assignment from a newspaper, illustrating the occasion. The grandparents have to head back home for work early Monday so we drove downtown for the Easter Vigil. It’s an early dinner at noon. Then we’ll load the cars and drive back east and south.
The thoughts of Easters growing up, the new suits, shoes and hats. Remembering those you love and who loved you the best and have gone on before. i said to my friend, “vacation flies by’ and she said
“just like life.”
I think of unconditional love. Thanks Matthew. Missed you.
No students on Monday or Tuesday. Clerical day on Monday to complete semester’s grades and the Art and Music teachers went downtown Tuesday morning to the August Wilson Center for an inservice. Then back to our schools after lunch. When I went to my car I saw this view and shot the Ninth Street Bridge and the street below. It was a Spring like day today, getting all the way up to 60 degrees.
When my family lived in Newark, NJ my brother and I used to skate around the block. Your feet would hum after you took off the skates. You left your regular shoe on your foot and tried to fit it into the metal brace. I can hear the sound when I look at these old skates. Childhood of the 1950′s. They were heavy. At least that is how I remember them.
In Pittsburgh there are lots of staircases winding up hillsides and slopes. Paper streets are defined on existing on paper but not in reality but in Pittsburgh there are streets on maps that are actually stairs. Some are incredibly steep and long. The other day I was at another red light in McKees Rocks and saw this sidewalk/steps. The bench ad for Pierogies Plus is true as they are delicious. A book written by an architect librarian and archivist at CMU. Author Martin Aurand‘s book The Spectator and the Topographical City describes the formation of the topography of Pittsburgh’s hills and valleys.
South Side, 27th Street, on my way to Tess’s. Taken with the iPhone camera. That’s me in the reflection. This is one HUGE television, waiting for pickup. Now everything these days is flat screen or wall mount, giant and loud but thin. People have entertainment centers and places to house a tv but they are not connected as a single unit. Different finishes. This one could qualify as “Colonial” or “Traditional”???
Lucille tells me farmer wisdom says “You have to have a really good reason to cut down a tree.” More than 100 years old and felled in less than two hours. I thought about avoiding the stump, the empty space. But I felt it important to pay my respects. The “Gentle Giant” has retired all right. (click to see the tree before the removal) Chopped up in the chipper in no time flat. A sad day for Heberton Street. A loss of shade, beauty and grace. A life. Another living thing, come to the end of its life. With help from the tree men, the city and the diagnosis of canker. Beth reminds me that we all become soil or dust. It is part of the cycle of life. Here was my reminder today.
My friend T says the only guarantee is change.
And lots of it.
Takes time to familiarize oneself
to the constant in our lives.
Maybe as I get older
it’s harder to accept?
Or I notice an increase in the amount.
Steve knows about planetary motion.
Explained how fast we are traveling
as earth rotates and orbits around the sun.
I asked why and the answer wasn’t surprising. “Economics.”
After 14 years on Carson Street. I bought a James Beard Cooking Lessons volume to read while I waited for a friend. The fiction section was already boxed up and packed. A lot of books to move. A loss for the South Side scene for sure.
Dormont is fortunate. 3233 West Liberty Avenue will be their new digs.
I Love Bookstores
Losing two bookstores in the city.
Just this week.
Borders with the new books-not open lomg
barely two years
and now Eljay’s Used Books on South Side,
Signs of the times.
A friend called and invited me for a slice of cherry pie for President’s Day. Hot tea. I walked down the hill wrapped up in hats and scarves and boots. A good thing- I couldn’t believe it when I came out of her front door two hours later and the snow had accumulated and was piling up. That 60 degree weather on Saturday and now this? YIKES. I trudged home, shoveled the walk and it’s blowing and snowing and really cold. The snow was wet and heavy and a 2 hour delay has been called already for school. How they will clear all the streets before the school buses head out is a puzzle to me. (edit 5:30 AM. All schools are CLOSED! At least they didn’t wait to call it at 7 when everyone is already there. My friend just called, teaches instrumental music and gave me the news auf Deautsch singing Schnee Tag )
Not Spring Yet!
It isn’t that we aren’t ready for the crocus
We got an unexpected snowstorm.
Shoveling again. And again.
Burrowing in the flannel sheets.
Florida friends, I am thinking of you!
Back to bed.
Heard from many friends and family who knew and loved Lori today. And from friends who didn’t know her but were touched by her story and loving image with Fredi. I tried to write back little notes of thank you to those who emailed or posted and I told her sister Sara about the overwhelming response but she can’t bear to look at it right now, understandably. A sad day.
A beautiful day. And though inside from 7:30-4:00 I was able to catch the unfurled flag from the second floor window AND the flag shadow on the asphalt during lunch. Right through the glass.
The Cathedral of Learning in the distance, the light fluctuating as clouds rolled across the sky. Had to tilt the camera to get both the flag and the shadow- the angle a technique I don’t use often.
In the daytime look out the windows.
Branches bend, papers blow across the yard.
Ripples or waves on water.
A pile of leaves caught up in a whirl.
You can tell it’s windy.
At night, listen.
A train along the river whistles.
Calm, a burst, a roar.
Earlier in my car on the bridge.
Wait for the light.
Feel it. Vibrate.
Bounce bounce bounce
right up through the tires.