As we approached today’s Thai festival, my wife started testing me on my geographic knowledge of Thailand. Having experienced years of ball busting, nipple twisting and chain pulling from my wife. I’ve come to not let her thrice daily jabs get to me. During our short ride, she tried to imply that I was unaware that though both are located in Southeast Asia, Thailand and Taiwan were two distinctly different places. With Thailand being a kingdom bordered by Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Burma. Taiwan, on the other hand is an island located south of China. Despite the fact that we eat mass quantities of Thai food and that I grew up with a number of friends whose families had immigrated from Taiwan. She continued to push the envelope. Despite any nudging on her part or geographic miscues on mine. We made it to the festival and had a great time enjoying the food and festivities. In conclusion, I’d really like to start working photographing and covering events for the press here. It’s something I enjoyed doing back east and something that always seems to teach me more about other cultures, expression and rituals. The money I’d earn would most likely go towards all the great food these festivals offer.
Last week my wife and decided to forgo our excursion into the city to stay somewhat local and explore Jersey City. As we came upon the historic Harsimus Cemetery I realized that, while we had passed and spoken about it countless times. I had never taken her inside to visit the goats who call the cemetery their summer home. Knowing how much she would enjoy the experience. I convinced her to stop in for a visit without going much further in detail as to what was ahead.
Quicker than it took to ascend the hill. Kayuri’s curiosity turned to wonderment as she began building a quick kinship with the beautiful goats of Harsimus. Within minutes she was racing back down the hill to exchange her bills for quarters so that she could score some snacks to feed her new friends with. Gleefully squealing and squirming as J.W., Arturo and Alexander (Correct me if I’m wrong on that one.) eagerly feasted on every morsel she hand fed them. It was a rewarding experience she still speaks about a week later.
Having something as unique and special in our very own backyard is worthy of both celebration and support. The amount of work put in to maintaining this historic spot is paramount in supporting our community, as well as it’s history. For more information, a calendar of events and how to volunteer. Visit Jersey City Cemetary
As the days grew closer to the annual 5K fundraiser for the http://www.nccc-online.org/ attention was turned from fundraising and registering to hopes that the weather would hold out for the days marathon. Earlier in the week the forecast predicted a rainy day for the runners. As the week progressed those mentions of rain turned to rumblings of snow. Everyone involved, including this guy, hoped that somehow Mother Nature would wait until the running was done before it shook its fists at us. As I left my house that morning the rain was already falling freely but as I got into Montclair the drops suddenly turned to flakes. The snow had come but it was in no way going to stop the runners from their goals. As the runners lined up at the starting line, Sandy, one of the organizers found me a volunteer with a big heart and an even bigger umbrella to help me get the shots I needed without completely ruining my gear. Within minutes the marathon had started. I lost my volunteer and over sized umbrella to a mighty wind but soldiered on wiping down my camera every few seconds to keep it from becoming an expensive igloo. The weather, the camera situation and my glasses constantly fogging up didn’t make for the best shots or time to really set up shots. It did however make for some interesting results. For more information on how you can help to raise money and awareness without all the snow. Check the link. http://www.nccc-online.org/
The older I get the more I find myself playing catch up. I work harder, sleep less and seem to be having more fun than any other time in my life. This creates an unforeseen problem. There just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day or days in the week to accomplish the tasks I hope to accomplish. You’d think that with all the modern technology at our fingertips, things would be made easier. Maybe it’s just me, but it only seems to make things more difficult. My neglect towards this blog only serves as a reminder. One of the things I decided to do is start a new installment to the blog titled “Flashback Friday”. This will allow me to free myself from any time
constraints and show work that from the recent or somewhat recent past.
This weeks install doesn’t go that far back. The second week of August to be exact. I was still recovering from surgery when I was contacted by Dromedary Records head Al Crisafulli and Jim Testa of Jersey Beat asking if i
would cover a two day, three show music fest at Maxwells. The festival, strangely named “Camelfest: would benefit the Roots and Wings Foundation. A group that serves to help those that are aging out of the Foster Care System. It sounded like a great cause. Definitely worthy of attention. The thing was I was just out of the hospital recovering from surgery. I still had my stitches/staples in (Eleven if anyone’s counting) and was told to rest and stay out of crowds or situations where you might be bumping into people. “Fuck it” I said. You only live once and Maxwell’s is only a few blocks from me. It wasn’t as if I’d be getting caught in a mosh or have people stage diving on my head. So I went, covered all three shows and had a great time. The few times when I really felt the pain of my surgery was when I bumped myself with my own camera. By the end of it all I was exhausted and needed an entire day to sleep it off. Regardless
, I’m glad I got to be a part of something special. I finally got to meet Al from Dromedary. He’s an all around awesome dude. It was really special getting to see him really enjoy himself on the final night. Enjoy the pics.
I couldn’t live with myself if I left you with nothing but band pics when it comes to remembering what was Camelfest. Here are some pics of The Dromedary kids having the best time ever. Thanks Al, you proved that music and community go hand in hand. We can all play a part in making a difference.
Wow, after months of consistent posting I’ve totally let December get away from me. Blame it on the crazy season. A time when advertisers try to convince us that diamonds and cars wrapped in big red ribbons are what our loved ones expect to see under the tree every Christmas. It’s been a busy month for me shooting and making plans to see family. About a week ago I volunteered my camera and dignity to the now annual Santa Night. Caroling, raising money and a little hell for the New Jersey chapter of the Cervical Cancer Coalition. My good friend Mandy Weiss, along with others, do an amazing job. Here are some pictures I took along the way. Check out the page to see what you can do in your area and do what you can to get involved. http://www.facebook.com/NCCC.NJ?v=box_3 .
Hope everyone has a great Holiday and remembers there’s always time to help others in need.
Earlier today I went back to my old neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen for my first day of teaching 5th and 6th graders the art of Black & White photography. I’ve been a volunteer with NY Cares for about a year now and in all honesty, it’s been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. Throughout most of the year I’ve been volunteering with the Hudson Guild in Chelsea. Hudson Guild offers underprivileged first, second and third graders a place to go after school. Helping with their homework and art projects has been lots of fun. I myself and not much of an artist and having a six year old make fun of your skills with the crayons, scissors and glue can be pretty damaging to the ego. Photography Explorers, however, is right up my alley. I had a great time and loved working with the kids. I plan on becoming a regular and will be bringing the portable studio to the next session. Teaching them about portraiture should be a lot of fun. Judging from all the characters I met today. We should have a lot of good pictures.
Saturday morning I volunteered in Montclair for the Halloween 5K for Cervical Cancer. I can’t say enough about the volunteers and organizers who devoted their time, money and passion to this event. Raising funds, awareness and eduction for cervical cancer is paramount and it’s people like these who make it happen. To see the hard work, energy and dedication of these amazing people is both inspiring and rewarding. Respect to Mandy, Cristina and all the others that made this possible and for letting me be a part. It’s people like this who helped me realize how much volunteering and being active in your community can be. We can all make a difference.
Friday night I had the pleasure of participating in “Santa Night” a (very fun) fundraiser for the National Cervical Cancer Coalition which provides support, education, and service to those in need. More than ever I’ve been inspired by people who give of themselves to help the people in their communities and beyond to better the lives of those in need. So when my friend Mandy asked me if I could help out with this event I was honored and ready to do anything to help. (even dress up in an elf costume and sing out of tune.) So that night a busload of Santa’s Elves went from one designated bar to another caroling, spreading merriment and raising money for the NCCC. I was amazed at the response of the people we met. They were all laughing and singing along. Afterward, they gladly dropped cash into our ELF hats. The first gentleman I approached gave me $25 and that set the tone for the rest of a very exciting and successful night. I can’t say enough about the people I met that night. All of the elves worked very hard, had a lot of fun and looked good doing it. Which is not always easy in an elf suit. They were truly Santa’s helpers. And to Mandy who organized and worked so tirelessly on making this event. I can’t say enough about how you inspire me and so many others. You’ve motivated me to do so much more with my time and leave the best footprint possible on the places I’ve traveled.
By the way, it’s never too late to give of yourself and your time. Here are some links that I highly recommend.