An Artful Footprint

With my wife feeling under the weather and my hopes to stay somewhat close to home this weekend. I cooked breakfast with what was left in the refrigerator and made sure she stay buried under the covers and slept late.  Spray-1And while we did get out on both days. We made it a point to stay somewhat local while running errands,  and making stops for the important things like ice cream and coffee. Most importantly, or maybe most relative to this blog. I made sure to charge my new camera battery and bring my camera with me. The pictures posted here were taken at  Judkins Park and in the alleyway adjacent to Blanchard St. between 2nd and 3rd avenue. As time passes, I’ve come to notice that the pictures I take serve as somewhat of a road map to where i’ve been, who I was with and even what I was feeling at the time. Kind of cool, no?

Street Art II-1.jpgStreet Art-1.jpgStreet Art III-1

Maybe I Spoke too Soon

VisitorIII (1 of 1)

In my last post “Sometimes it’s better to go it alone.” Here. I mentioned going it alone when operating as a street photographer. While that thread may ring true in many cases. It can’t go without saying that she is both my greatest inspiration and a damn good lookout and second set of eyes. Often watching my back when I’m shooting in more risky areas. While also serving as a second set of eyes when it comes to security related entities.

Visitor (1 of 1)

Where as today was scheduled to be a very laid back day with a short trip to Ikea for an area rug. We spent much of our day exploring much of Newark, Elizabeth and Harrison. While not dangerous by any means. Select areas might have been a bit private and or restricted. So to my wife, a hearty thanks for being my lookout when it came to shooting and our late lunch in East Newark. I really enjoyed sharing a seat at the counter and getting to know some of the regulars.

VisitorI (1 of 1)

VisitorIV (1 of 1)

 

It Matters, You Should Care.

I was on the way to the Film Forum in the west village when I came across this simple, yet powerful statement someone had spray painted on the wall. While I’ve made it a habit to carry my camera with me at all times. However, with my sole purpose of heading in to the city for a flick with some friends. FullSizeRenderIt seemed less than necessary. With my iPhone 6 being my only option.       I snapped this and quickly continued my walk to the theatre. While I’m not one to usually support public vandalism. The message itself felt important, vital and timely. My message here, if any, is to document your surroundings, your travels and your experiences. They’ll change over time. That snapshot might come in handy one day.

Wait, where are we?

Timing is everything-8035I 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. 5Pointz-8031That’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) 5PointzII-8017Any 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”. 5PointzIV-8085Suddenly 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 5PointzIII-8043the 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.

Stay Tuned!!!

Stay TunedIt’s been quite a while since I last posted to PhotoGeek. Too, too long for my own liking. Since returning from Japan I’ve gotten back to shooting and trying to get my work out there. I’m still going through those photos from my two weeks abroad and spending a lot of time discussing the idea of moving there full time. I know its kind of half ass but just realized that I hadn’t posted since mid January. If I went a full calendar month without posting something. I’d feel somewhat incomplete. So, stay tuned. There’s plenty more to come.

I Really Hate The Doors But…

A couple of years back I wrote this article “Why We Hate You” A record store clerk speaks out. Having been on both sides of the counter I thought it would make for an interesting piece. What turns most record store clerks into snobs or in some cases, complete assholes. (Being that “I too” may have been considered a snob or complete asshole at one time or another excludes me from being insulting here.)  All in all it was pretty tongue in cheek but my interviewee brought up some interesting points.

One thing I found particularly funny was his opinion that Doors fans were basically a bunch of knobs. It was something that really made me think. As a kid (I’m talking 5th or 6th grade here) I loved The Doors. It was part of the Classic Rock catalog. How could I shit on The Doors. However, as I got older (8th grade older) and left the limited focus and small minded restraints of FM radio and the “Classic Rock formula. Thus bringing me to the conclusion that I “hate the fucking Doors”. Fast forward a couple of decades and a few extra pounds and I come across this incredibly creative stairway to heaven…… um, I mean staircase to second floor of Lower East Side tenement building. I had to stop and take a picture. It made me think that something good actually came out of that drunken buffoon Jim Morrison.

5 Pointz w/ Slone.

We headed out to Queens this afternoon to do some exploring in Long Island City and Astoria. Our first stop was 5 Pointz  where we checked in to see what new pieces had gone up and which ones had survived since our last visit. The more often I go the more I find myself  talking  to both the visitors and artists. Talking about art, paint and the spots I might have missed or perhaps would like to share. Today I met up with Slone (That’s him posing in front of his latest piece) and talked a bit. We exchanged info and if things go as planned I’ll be tagging along one day to shoot a piece in the making.