Since our arrival in Seattle, we’ve found a number of neighborhoods we’ve grown quite fond of. Pioneer Square with it’s reminders of New York’s once edgy Lower East Side was our first love. While the International Center, Capitol Hill and pockets of Queen Anne have all spirited our first months here. That said, there has been somethng special about Georgetown that keeps us coming up with reasons to visit from one week to the next. Having moved to Columbia City just over a week ago has brought us even closer to the somewhat quiet pocket of Seattle that often reminds me of the out of the way area known as Red Hook Brooklyn back in New York. It wasn’t until my wife mentioned how much she loved the area and her desire oi buy there, that I realized just how similar the areas seemed.
For it was during what seemed like an endless search to buy a condo that fit our style and needs that we found an off the beaten path area in Brooklyn known as Red Hook. In just a few visits, it felt as if the area would become our desired location for us. The problem, however, was that after we attended to underwhelming open houses. We didn’t anything else appear on the market. Short story long, we gave up on the area and rarely ever returned afterward.
Fortunately, Georgetown has all the charm of the aforementioned East Coast destination with a closer proximity and easy accessibility to where we currently call home. Who knows if we’ll find a place in Georgetown or if we’ll even stay in Seattle permanently. (With all the talk of what we miss back East. It’s hard to decide, yet.) Regardless, we’re having a great time getting to know the area.
We 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.
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. The 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. Luckily, 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
It’s been close to a week since my Mom’s first visit to our new home here in Jersey City. During her week here, I made it a priority to capture some intimate images of her stay. Being that we’ve lived so far from one another for over twenty years now. I don’t get to see her nearly as much as I’d like to. While her stay had it’s share of ups and downs. It reminded me of how much I love, respect and appreciate how much she’s shaped the person I am today. By far my favorite moments of her visit was seeing her interaction and the positive foot print she left on everyone she met. Her smile, positive outlook and ability to make complete strangers feel like family are inspiring. Looking back at her visit, I realized that the thing I enjoyed the most was hearing her speak in Spanish s0 often with anyone and everyone she new spoke the language. For me personally, it’s always been one of the many traits that made her so beautiful. Till this day, I still remember the first words she taught me as a baby “Dame Un Beso.” (Give me a kiss.) All these years later, I still tell people about my first words and about what an amazing woman my Mother has always been. Despite all our differences and endless similarities. We still love one another to the fullest. Thanks Mom.
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. During 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. 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…
We 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.
I was standing among the endless array of graffiti art that envelopes the Queens block known as Five Pointz. Moving somewhat awkwardly from spot to spot taking pictures while juggling my camera bag and the cache of Hip Hop records I had scored that day in Greenpoint Brooklyn. I had recently read that a wrecking ball will soon meet the legendary graffiti mecca and the corner bar where many scenes from the brilliant, yet short lived show “The Black Donnely’s” were filmed. The unique space will soon be home to a soulless, unaffordable high rise condo building. Knowing full well of the ticking clock I figured it would be a good idea to stop over before transferring to the Manhattan bound E Train.
As the train cars rattled above me I noticed a couple slowly approaching hand in hand. Acknowledgement and some small talk followed and I recall sharing how bummed I was about the soon to come demolition. That’s when I realized that this lovely couple were not from these parts. “I’m losing my tourdar.” I thought. I can usually smell a tourist from a mile away. The male counterpart began asking me about graffiti and hip hop. (I know what your thinking. Typical racial and age profiling on their part) Any self respecting 30+ white guy can tell the story of how and where the now now celebrated art form started. He asked where the best places to view graffiti were and where he could explore the roots of Hip Hop. “It all started here.” He asked in an inquisitive manner. I thought for a second before referring to KRS-1’s “The Bridge is Over”. Suddenly and very quickly the moment froze. He looked at me puzzled and then “We’re in the Bronx now, right?” There was a sudden pause. Seconds that felt like hours, days, weeks. I took a deep breath, one usually reserved for the sex talk a father gives his thirteen year old daughter. A look reserved for the first time your son comes home drunk out of his mind with piss stains on his jeans. With a certain quickness I regained my composure and began pointing in the direction of Manhattan, The Bronx and Los Angeles. He asked if the Bronx was safe and if they could walk to Chinatown from where we were standing. I assured him that taking the nearby E to Canal street would be a faster route than walking and gave him a few other ways to get uptown from Canal. As for his question about the Bronx. I just told him to just use basic common sense. Hopefully my directions did them justice.