A Change of Plans

BK-4227We were all set to head out for a day in Toms River with my Dad when our plans were suddenly changed due to some post shoulder surgery crankiness my Pop was experiencing.                Not having a solid backup plan. We decided to make the most of our early morning and head to Brooklyn in search for the perfect slice. With lessons from my last trip over the bridge learned. I headed out in better spirit and a lot less tension.  The day itself is somewhat of a blur.        A long walk through a number of Brooklyn neighborhoods. Followed by a panic free walk over the bridge back into Manhattan for some delicious congee on the Bowery and a lot more walking. Overall, a long rewarding day that left us exhausted and fulfilled. You really can’t ask for more.

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And Gravesend Was Just the Beginning.

After a week recovering from a food poisoning incident in Seaside Heights the weekend prior. We headed to Gravesend with a new found sense of balance and a hearty appetite. Throughout our train ride to Brooklyn I found myself growing more and more irritated due largely to some of the behavior of some of the riders seated around us. Post-4110The family of five who seemed to be fine with their boys writhing around in his seat while smearing his cheetos all over the seats, windows and polls while using the available seating space as his personal germ spa. Or the completely lost couple unsuccessfully tried to find their destination via speaker phone. Each stop a confusedly loud exchange of “!!!%&^&*!!!”. Add to it the nose pickers, fast food consumers and steady flow of panhandlers and I was about to come undone. To top things off, the regular lecturing on tolerance and why I should neither speak up nor be even slightly effected by “Ignorant People.”       I was quickly becoming my own worst enemy. Sitting there in my own boiling hot kettle of poisonous thoughts. Train-4115Luckily, for everyone involved we finally reached our intended stop, With some much needed fresh air and our pizza related Nirvana in sight, My anger began to dissipate.          After multiple slices at L&B Spumoni Gardens we headed back to Manhattan where we enjoyed the rest of the day in the West Village and Chelsea before eventually heading home.              While my day was, by no means, perfect. I came away with some important lessons that I hope weren’t wasted on an old, sometimes unappreciative curmudgeon. One can only hope. Enjoy every slice. JD

The Brooklyn Way

My wife and I spend many of our weekends in Brooklyn. Whether it be exploring different neighborhoods, food or culture.      Brooklyn seems to have it all. LibertyDuring our ill fated search for a condo we’d canvas the different areas going from one open house after another. Knowing my likes, dislikes and moods.   She noted that Brooklyn was my “Switch”. No matter the circumstance, I always seem to enjoy my time there. On this particular day we did a lot of walking, stopped for mediterranean food, antique shopping and a Greek bakery.Pic ture of the Day III By the time we got to the river, the sun had just begun to soften. We walked a long distance in the high wind before grabbing a ferry back to the east side of the ferry. I shot these around 4:30 /5:00. My wife suggesting the set up for the first shot. The idea for the second was all mine. I got these printed at Duggal the next day. If we ever move. I’m going to find a place to hang them. Until then…

Sound the Alarm

FirermenWe had just exited the train at Brooklyn’s Jay Street Station when we were quickly overcome by the ear piercing sound of sirens. Quickly, I reached for my camera as I scrambled to get out of the path of the coming engines. Whereas in the past my eyes would be drawn to the intricacies of the fire truck itself.               I somehow found myself drawn to the firefighters, the uniforms, oxygen tanks and their proximity to the flag.     I took a few moments to set up and frame the scene before finally taking the shot. So instead of having a series of hastily captured images. I had one that I was really happy with. That and nobody got hurt. Pretty Cool.

Once Upon a Bicycle

Once Upon a-7944We had just left a somewhat underwhelming open house for a condo in Park Slope. The growls in our stomachs echoed from the emptiness caused by the morning rush. So with our taste buds crying out for some deep fried comfort food, we began to head towards an old favorite in ” The Chip Shop”.  We had just walked a few blocks when suddenly, we heard a crash that was quickly followed by grinding sound. The sound totally caught me off guard. It all happened within a few seconds. Seconds where I could feel my heart stop, pick up and begin racing. Though we had actually witnessed what had just happened. The visual impact and the sound it made felt like two completely separate incidents. The sounds we had just heard was that of a Yogurt truck (I shit you not) hitting a bicyclist, rolling over the bike like a Sherman tank and baking up off it. Looking back, it seemed like one of those freeze frame moments you see in the movies or TV. Yet it all took place in a matter of three or four seconds.

Once Upon a-7924Quickly, I reached for the camera in my bag and managed to get about a half dozen pictures of the truck, it’s license and the driver as he momentarily stopped to peek out from the truck before speeding away.  A crowd poured out of the corner restaurant where, just seconds before, they were enjoying their Sunday brunch. The group of onlookers quickly began tending to the just hit bicyclist, speed dialing 911 or just looking on in complete shock. The bicyclist, bruised, slightly bloodied and shaken was soon back on his feet while his former mode of transportation looked more like a sculpture headed to a local art gallery than anything else.

Within a few minutes the police, fire department and local ambulance service arrived, took care of the victim and began taking reports from the still shocked, onlookers. “He just got back in his truck and sped off!!!” Once Upon a-7925“He went that way. He can’t be more than two blocks away,” It was a truck.” “An ice cream truck” “No, it was a pink yogurt truck.” “That shit was pink and it sped away.” Quickly I went to one of the officers and showed him the pictures. At the time I couldn’t zero in close enough to show them the license number but it gave them a good enough look at the truck. Good enough that even the most color blind albino could pick it out of a line up. Still, I made sure to give the officer and the bicyclist my business card and let them know I’d  be happy to help with the license plate number once I got home.

As we got home and settled in. I began to check my email. The following is what I received…. “Hi Mr Damion, Today I got hit by a frozen yogurt truck (which I believe to be YOGO). If you can, please help me out, I need more information to catch this guy. My contact number is XXX 888-8888 and you can email me at this address at any time.”  Sincerely, Johnny Bicycle” I sent him these images, along with a close up of the trucks license plate. In the end he was very appreciative. It felt good to be able to help out and maybe, just maybe, help bring a happy ending to a very unpleasant experience.

Jedi Mind Tricks

I was photographing a woman near Prospect Park in Brooklyn earlier today when we came across this beautiful fountain. I had wanted to get a few shots of her next to it but there was a steady stream of wedding parties occupying the space. At one point my jedi  skills took over and I got the young men from one of the groups to set up behind my model. It was hilarious. Me wrangling this group of kids who, in all honesty wanted nothing to do with it. With a little coaxing they filed in behind her as I quickly placed them in their spots. They glowingly asked “Is she a real model?” “Is this going to be in a magazine?” to which I replied “Yes, of course.” It was just a cool little moment that made us both laugh. You can often get people to do just about anything within reason with just a little effort.