It’s become quite evident that art is quite conducive to the mental health of others. Whether you’re creating art or witnessing it. The overall benefits are overwhelmingly positive. After stopping and taking in the creativity of Baltimore’a Graffiti Alley. I thanked my wife for always nourishing my soul by supporting and fueling my love of creativity.
Looking back, it all started as a young child and my Mom. She was a secretary at a rather large advertising company. Though she never made much money. She was always bringing home art and movie posters. Some of which I still have today. On the days I visited her at work. I’d find myself in the art room watching illustrators bring new characters and ideas to life.
I often look back at those times and my Mother’s influence as the gateway drug that inspired my long love affair with art, photography and the people who create it. Over the years, it’s help me process, heal and strive to create. Let art be your muse, the shoulder to lean on and that big blue pill that cures all.
After an already full day in Baltimore. We made a final stop at Graffiti Alley, which is located in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District directly behind the Motor House. It somehow reminded us of a miniature version of Long Island City, NY’s “Five Points.” (R.I.P.) Awash with colors and ripe with the smell of newly created art. We made sure to taking our time to soak it all in. As someone who grew up in graffiti culture and always admired what kind of messages would come from a can of Krylon. It energized me. Seeing that someone was using the name that I once tagged up with was just candles on my cake.
I have a habit of overthinking. When I get something in my head or get passionate for something, I go all in. Being that I’ve suddenly decided I wanted to get back to taking pictures, (Not that I ever really stopped.) I’ve been spending a lot of time watching videos about composition, lighting and long exposures. So, as I lay in bed last night, I began to think of that box of matches we have. The ones we use to light candles when our farts are particularly foul. There I was, unable to sleep because I couldn’t stop thinking about how I wanted to capture those matches. So, after I got up this morning, showered and enjoyed my first cup of coffee, I got to work. After a few, less than satisfactory attempts, I finally captured the matches as I had imagined as I lie awake the night before.
Though hard to imagine. In all my trips to Pennsylvania, I have never been to Bethlehem or Easton. Yet, thanks to a recent video from a band I never cared for. One that will remain nameless due to my waining respect for much of my wife’s taste in music, we set our sights on the area, its food and its long history. Once there, I found some really inspiring photo opportunities, a warm, welcoming community and a cafe that takes thirty plus minutes to serve a plate of eggs and toast. Then scowls at you when you ask for syrup. Below are a few favorites from our stop in at Bethlehem Steel. We’re both hoping to get as many weekend trips under our belt before the onset of the holiday madness.
After three weekends that featured trips to Storm King, Trenton and a few others. We finally hit our stride when visiting Woodstock for the very first time. For this trip I followed a friends advice, ditching the filters and allowing the areas true colors do the work for me.
As Dim Sum was the order of the day we hopped the PATH train headed to the WTC and headed up to our Mott St. destination. Taking our normal route through City Hall Park to the Court Houses and onto our final destination Mott St. The park, though small always offers something for the eyes and the sense. On this particularly overcast day. It was color. Hungry beyond belief. I could only spare seconds before I would start to gnaw on my own flesh. “Snap, Boom, Pop” and I was off. No time for pleasantries with the tour bus tourists. I plowed my way through to my prized Dim Sum.
As I often see myself wanting to leave my city to the tourists and all the other artless savages. I’m drawn in to it’s art, culture and ever evolving and continuously rewarding cuisine. Like that memorable quote from The Godfather III, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” Well done New York City. Well done Buddha Bodai. Well done indeed. I remain tangled in your web of deliciousness.
As i began crossing the street at 23rd and the Avenue of the Americas. I noticed one of the vendors was selling one of those bubble guns. (You know, the ones that produce those massive oversized bubbles.) Wanting to pick one up for my friends son Luke. I made my way towards the table. Quickly, rethinking my gift choice and how it might turn my dear friend’s home in to one big puddle. I instead decided to get a few photos to take home. Being that I have gone back to my “Bring your camera with you everywhere” mantra. I was more than prepared to take action.Looking for a solid, unobstructed background. I set up a few feet away from the vendors table and waited for him to load up. Within seconds the enormous bubbles began streaming from the barrel of the oversized toy gun. Colors and shapes slowly made their way upward before bursting in to the early morning air. Along with the haircut, it turned out to be one of the highlights of my Chelsea morning. These little moments, the joy of a good haircut and a good image to take home to the demanding wife, keep me happy. Having an added piece to sell at the next gallery show or exhibition make us both happy.
It was a beautiful Sunday. So my wife and I decided to get out early and head to Manhattan for some vegetarian Dim Sum. It was the first 60 degree day we’ve experienced in what’s felt like years and there was no way it was going to be misspent. Our usual walk to the Journal Square PATH train involves my complaining about how the neighboring homes take little to no effort to maintain their homes or follow even the most basic sanitation standards. (Par for the course when you’re an old curmudgeon like me.) As we turned the corner on to Newark Ave. We both lamented the fact that it had been so long since we took advantage of the areas bountiful Indian cuisine. Promising, “This Summer we’ll sample each and every one of restaurants offered to us.” As the long, punishing and somewhat endless Winter has finally shown signs of old age. Seeing colors, anything not gray for that matter, seems promising. So when I saw this display adorning one of the local restaurants. I knew I had to stop and document it. Like Alexander Pope said, “Hope Springs Eternal.”