Upcoming Appearance

This coming Thursday, November 15th, three images from my ‘Left Behind’ series will be featured in an exhibition at Montclair  NJ’s Gallery U. I’m really excited and honored to be working with Gallery U as they do a tremendous amount of work in their community and beyond. This is the first time I’m exhibiting work since my departure from the COOP at SOHO Photo Gallery.      Come out for the fun of opening night or stop by during the exhibitions one month presence. See you there. JD

Runners Battle Snow and Cervical Cancer in one Fell Swoop

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/        

Four Fingers; Good Guys Make Good.

Here it is Monday and my plans to finally take the last half of what is to be a new portfolio to Duggal. My ADHD has kicked in hard and I’ve just about given in to it. I know for a fact my senses will return but in the meantime it’s best to just let things go. So I digress and look back on a Friday that had a shaky start but finished on very solid ground.

Dave and I have planned to head to Monclair to check out the band Four Fingers. Dave had recently reviewed their 7 inch on his blog and was pretty pleased with what he had heard. I’ve know the band for some time having seen them live and interviewing them for my website Unite. Unfortunately, Dave got sick and  I was on my own.  I pulled in around 9:00 and to be honest didn’t quite feel up for it. So I gave my friend Mandy a call to see if I could coax her out for a drink. Maybe seeing a friend would take the edge off.  To my delight she was already at Jake’s, which is just a few doors down from the club. “Come on over she said.” with glee in her voice. Just as the call ended I ran into the bands drummer Chris. “Hey Chris, can you text me before you go on?” “I’m going to meet a friend for a drink.”

The bar was in full swing. Complete with a forgettable cover band. I met up with Mandy and shared a few drinks. Mandy is one of my oldest and dearest friends. No matter where we are she introduces me to everyone around saying “He’s an amazing photographer.” Then going on to tell the tale of how we met in an A&P parking lot when we were teens and how we’ve been inseparable since. Just across the way I spotted Milton and headed over to say hello. The conversation, vibe and free beer were great but before I knew it I got that text. Promising to return I headed over to Meatlocker to catch the bands set. Four Fingers never let me down. The band personifies the ethos, sound and reckless abandon that drew me to Punk in the first place. Parts Adrenalin O.D., parts Black Flag with the danger of the Stooges. Tohm is a great front man who’s interaction with the  crowd insures they get involved. However that wild abandonment often leads to injuries. This time his face was covered in blood before the second song was done.I’ll say this “Real blood is always better than fake blood.”  Tohm, you’re a good dude but tone it down. Immediately after I headed back to the bar where I spent the rest of the night hanging with Mandy and getting to know my new friend Milton a little better. Not a bad way to start the weekend.

Forward: I’ve seen Four Fingers several times at the Meatlocker. The invites always emphasize “Everyone pays. No exceptions.” Yet Tohm always insists I do not pay.  I don’t consider myself special or immune from paying but it says a lot about Tohm and the band. After the set he gave me their CD “Good Luck with the Surgery”. When I got home I was both happy and surprised to see they used the band photo I took of them the night we did the interview. I was also very happy to see they gave me a photo credit.  Thus furthering my love for their ‘good guy’ status.

Friendship

I’ve always felt very temporary about myself. The word permanent is wrapped in pitfalls. In life we move from place to place. From job to job. Even marriage seems to be a temporary situation for most these days. People come in and out of our lives in the blink of an eye. With all that said I’ve managed to make friends early on in life that still remain near and dear to my heart. People who’s presence defy classifications. No matter how long it’s been since we talked or how far the distance in miles we may be, remain close to the heart. I’ve been lucky in that regard. Which brings me to Mandy. I met her while skateboarding in a parking lot. I was an obnoxious sixteen year old at the time and if I remember correctly. She hated me at first but somehow a friendship was formed and almost twenty five years later we’re closer than ever. She’s been there for me through thick and thin and has always been an inspiration. Recently on a trip to Germany she met a man and fell head over heals in love. She’s back in Germany now and may be living there with him for the unseen future. I wish her all the love and happiness she deserves. I’ll miss her but there is no doubt in my mind that we’ll remain connected and see one another some time in the near future. We got together a week before I left for Florida and she for Germany. We finally had that bacon martini and ass juice we had been planning for so long. And I got to show her my favorite bar. Below are a couple of pictures I took that night along with a couple of my favorites.

Mandy @ Double Down

Santa Night in Montclair

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.

http://www.nccc-online.org/

http://www.newyorkcares.org

http://www.njcares.org/