Wednesday, December 31, 2008
This afternoon as I peered out the kitchen window and watched the snow flurries, I spotted Mr. Cardinal in a thicket near the bird feeders. I have a few cardinal pairs that live in my yard all winter waiting for warmer weather and the promise of Spring. Tonight as we wait for 2009 to be ushered in with a lot of fanfare, I will remember Mr. Cardinal and the proverb, "Good things come to those who wait". For the most part I simply hope that 2009 is a good year. No big expectations, just an abiding hope that several things don't happen.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I was curled up reading when I spotted Slugger curled up in a patch of sunlight as cats so often do. Immediately I thought of my art history professor in college who spent the better part of a semester talking about "chiaroscuro", an Italian word for light-dark and commonly used in the art world to denote a bold contrast between light and dark. I grabbed my camera and started shooting wondering how the camera I am testing would perform trying to capture these contrasts. I am real pleased with the results. I really love this picture of Slugger. I am also real pleased that my middle aged mind was able to retrieve something I hadn't thought about in almost 33 years!
Monday, December 29, 2008
I think it is the symmetry of this photo that appeals to me. The white graffiti on the left side of the photo is balanced by a part of the tree on the right side. The arched doorway on the lower half of the image is balanced by the rectangular window above. The brick color of the lower part of the building versus the burgundy color on the upper part of the building. The woman dressed in black lends scale and interest at the same time. I wasn't sure if I liked this picture when I took it, but I like the balance of the photo. Perhaps because things seem so off balance right now.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
I can't believe it but I forgot. I forgot to post last night. I didn't even realize it until I got an email from a dear friend in Florida who was concerned about me. Thanks, Angelika! All is okay, except my mind is a bit scrambled from the roller coaster ride of the last few weeks. I got my hair cut and maybe that will lighten my load and provide me with clearer vision.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
I was fooling around with my camera and really liked this picture of my brother. The light and shadow and his expression all work. I marvel at how much he looks like my Mom and how little I look like either of them. I guess it is all in the genes....
Friday, December 26, 2008
Besides great Asian fusion cuisine, Jin East has great ambiance too. I love to watch the sushi chefs and the way their white coats separate beautifully from the dark stone wall behind them. The play of light on the shiny stones is interesting too. I really had fun pushing the limits of my film speed setting (ISO) and seeing how the camera I am trying handled it. As for me, I handled the sushi without a problem!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
In my family Christmas dinner always concludes with the arrival of my brother's birthday cake. Every Christmas my Mom makes this cake from scratch and it is the ceremonial end of our Christmas celebration and the start of my brother's birthday which is December 26th. Over the years I have come to think how unfortunate it is to have a birthday so close to Christmas. Your special day is eclipsed by Christmas. Mom has always tried to make the distinction between the two, but Christmas is a real tough act to follow. Happy Birthday, Harold!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
For as long as I can remember my immediate family has exchanged gifts on Christmas Eve. As a little girl I would stare out my bedroom window (which always had an electric candle in it) waiting for my Grandmother and Uncle to arrive. Over the years the tradition holds, but it is only my Mom and me and a few very close friends. So this was the scene under my tree tonight. Tomorrow the entire family will gather at my home for dinner and another round of gift giving. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
One of my favorite Christmas memories are the cookies my Mom used to bake. It was a marathon cookie session involving more than ten pounds of butter that resulted in thousands of cookies. Mom would make pretty tins and give them to to friends and family. Her recipes were handed down from an earlier generation. At 90 Mom has stopped baking Christmas cookies and I just can't seem to find the time to carry on the tradition. So today, I was delighted when Laurel stopped by and dropped off some cookies that she made. The cookies really brightened my day and reminded me of all those holidays spent baking cookies with my Mom. Laurel's cookies are delicious and I can't wait to share them with my Mom.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Frigid cold and snow continue to blanket the metropolitan area. Today I learned that I can continue to work at the place where I have been working for the past thirty years. My job will involve different things, but I am ready to embrace the challenge. However, I am sad for my work family, so many of my colleagues are forced to try to find work in a challenging economic climate. It isn't easy for any of us... those who are able to remain or those who must leave. My heart is heavy for those whom I will miss and at the same time I am breathing a little easier, but I feel strange about it. So many lives have been changed and I ache for my friends. For all of us the road is uneven and slippery.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
In many households, including my own, families blend faiths and celebrate joint holidays. I like to think of this as mixing blessings and sharing traditions. Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah and to all who celebrate the festival of lights-- Happy Hanukkah!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Eventually, given enough time most things become apparent. I guess it is the unknown that seems interminable. Living in limbo, not knowing how things will unfold is the worst and cruelest way to wait. It is that kind of time, when one waits for some kind of resolution that is the hardest to endure. Yes, time will tell, but how much time will it take?
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I haven't been in the holiday frame of mind at all. Today I forced myself to put the Christmas tree up and to put the garland around the French doors. It took the better part of the day, but with the help of my Mom, my cousin Jimmy, Sonia and a few other friends Christmas has arrived at my home. I made sure the special ornaments got on the tree. I hung the old and very heavy green German kugel ornament that my maternal great-great grandmother brought with her when she came to the United States in 1858--- exactly 150 years ago. The lens ornament my friend Pam made for me from a cardboard toilet paper roll and plastic wrap 34 years ago is nestled among the branches. I recall that all I wanted was a 105mm lens that Christmas. Each ornament has a special memory. The one shown here is a handblown glass baseball player that my Mom bought for me in lower Manhattan years ago. There are no presents under the tree, but these memories are a special gift--especially this year.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I've been preoccupied and worried about what is ahead lately. I spend a lot of time lost in thought, although I seem distracted and can't concentrate most of the time. I'm not good company. In Barnes & Noble I looked over and saw this worried expression on Sonia's face. I guess that sums it all up. Yet I know that this too will pass.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Heading East along the Long Island Expressway service road in rush hour is always a test of my patience. I liked the way the elevated highway and high retaining wall on the righ seem to be swallowing up the long line of vehicles. This picture just seems to have a lot of geometry and angles to it which I think make it interesting.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
This isn't the genius bar at the Manhattan Apple Store, these college students are deep in thought and hard at work on a school project. I just liked the mood, the expressions and the light emanating from the light boxes under their laptops.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
I've had this Christmas cactus for well over twenty years. It was tiny and in full bloom when I got it. It started to grow and I had to repot it. I kept it in the kitchen of my then one bedroom apartment. For weeks it would go without water as I traveled on business or just plain forgot about it. It never bloomed again. Eight years ago I moved into my current house. I almost left it behind, but a friend retrieved it. Ever since I have been in this house the cactus blooms faithfully at Christmas. Today as I struggled to make sense of things and grabbed at straws, I saw in this plant a metaphor. It was neglected and moved from one place to another. It survived the changes and bloomed in spite of it all.
Friday, December 5, 2008
After the sudden and devastating news this afternoon, that the entire photo department of my newspaper would have to take a buyout or be laid off, I thought about not posting tonight. How do you measure thirty years in one place? What does it look like? How many perp walks and press conferences... how many hurricanes and blizzards? How many tennis matches and baseball games has it been? I can try to put a face on thirty years, but I can't begin to fill the hole in my heart. I love the newspaper industry and I hate what is happening to it. From the time I was fifteen all I ever wanted to do was be a photojournalist. This hurts more than I can even begin to say. It feels like a death in my family. Today a part of me died.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Late this afternoon I forced myself to begin some holiday shopping. I didn't get much done, but as I left a Starbucks latte in hand I saw these little white lights which looked like stars against the dark blue twilight sky. I had my camera and "played" with the image...shooting it a few different ways. Tis the season....
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
The light that streams through the window of my master bath is from the southeast and on sunny mornings it can be very bright. The light reflects on the walls of my shower stall and my eyes which usually want to remain closed, struggle to adjust to it. I like the light and the way it filters in and by the time I am out of the shower I peek out the bathroom window to see what birds are having breakfast at the feeders.
Monday, December 1, 2008
As I crawled up Eighth Avenue in midtown today I couldn't help but marvel at the hodgepodge of architectural styles... old and new, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Somehow it all works. As I looked at it through my camera it was a bit dizzying. When I look at it now it almost reminds me of an Escher print. Okay, so maybe the silver lining to sitting in traffic is that I see things I would miss otherwise!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I seem to be in a museum mode and after my trip to The Metropolitan Museum yesterday, I found myself at The Guggenheim today. I don't get to this museum very often. Whenever I do I marvel at Frank Lloyd Wright's spiraling design which always reminds me of the inside of a chambered nautilus seashell. The museum is really conducive to just ambling along and being surprised by one exhibit after another. Today was no exception. I just have to keep myself from continually looking up at the architecture.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I never tire of wandering around the Metropolitan Museum of Art. My Mom used to bring me here as a child and I am fortunate that she instilled her love for art in me. No matter how often I come here I always discover something new. I stumbled across this man sketching today and liked the idea that he was making art while surrounded by art. Like so many artists he had several critics looking over his shoulder.
Friday, November 28, 2008
The faces of my childhood friend Sara and her two girls (my Godchildren) tell you that this game of Scrabble was a real competition. We don't get to see each other often, usually only a few times a year. It's always special when we do, no matter who wins the game.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Invariably when I am working on the computer Slugger will find his way next to my laptop. He positions himself so that he is looking out the window and his rear end is directed toward the keyboard. He has his window on the world and I suppose since I am online, I have mine. I have often been accused of getting "lost" online, surfing various sites and blogs and answering email. After awhile, I get the message that time is up. Slugger's tail starts to creep across my keyboard. Time to pet the kitty cat.
Monday, November 24, 2008
In the late afternoon as the day became gray, a harbinger of the rainy weather that was approaching, this woman looked determined to get in her walk. I liked the loneliness of this photo. The gray sky, bare tree and even drooped shoulders of the woman combine to give a real sense of isolation.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I was so surprised to see this cotton candy vendor on Amsterdam Avenue near 133rd Street that I grabbed the photo from my car. He seemed out of place in the midst of this urban landscape. Everything looked so gray that the pastels of the cotton candy just jumped out at me. I shot it so quickly, that I didn't think I had much. However as I looked at this image I started to like it more and more. I like the parallel vertical lines of the street sign, the pole holding the cotton candy and the corners of the buildings. These repeated vertical lines give the picture a kind of energy. When I shot it I wished I could see the face of the vendor, but I think his anonymity is an asset. I think seeing his face would have completely changed the focus of the photo. New York City is filled with characters, but not all of them are as colorful as this one.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I loved the graphics of this image, the way the building under construction is reflected in the windows of the building across the street and all the strong lines and angles. And the one lone person gives a sense of scale to it all.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Some people carry a lucky rabbit's foot. In college I used to rub the foot of a statue on campus that legend said brought good luck before exams. I don't consider myself to be very superstitious, but sometimes when I feel I need just a little bit of luck I will rub Slugger's rear paw before heading out the door. It certainly can't hurt!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
As the sun was getting lower and the temperatures getting cooler the warm light emanating from the Fifth Avenue entrance of the old B. Altman department store seemed very inviting. The store was a favorite of mine. I sure wished I could pop in there to buy a pair of gloves tonight!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
This tiny restaurant is located on Manhattan's Upper West Side. I like the warm light and cozy feel of the place and of course the food. But what I really find fascinating is that despite the restaurant's intimacy, everyone in this photo seems to be lost in their own world.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Whenever I see skeins of wool I think of my Mom. She was an avid knitter, making sweaters, scarves, socks and caps--countless caps. For more than thirty years she knitted watch caps for The Seaman's Church Institute. Those caps were distributed to sailors in their holiday packages. Mom's hands were always busy. She had the uncanny ability to knit and watch tv, a trailblazing multitasker, before multitasking was fashionable. Today I wore one of my winter jackets and when I put my hand in the pocket I found one of the watch caps that she made me! Mom doesn't knit much any more, if only I had paid attention and learned to knit!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I hate it when the clocks "fall back" and the days get shorter and shorter. Today as I was driving west on Old Country Road, a road I have been driving on since I got my license I saw the last remnants of the sun slipping below the horizon. I liked the counterpoints of the dark sky and headlights/taillights with the bright spot of the sun. I saw this road and intersection in a way I had never seen it before. At the end of the day (no pun intended), isn't that what photography is all about?
Saturday, November 15, 2008
It has been a ritual for as long as I can remember, Momma and The Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle. My Mom has been doing the puzzle for longer than I have been alive. Of course she does it in pen and she always finishes it---usually in less than a day. It begins on Saturday morning with a phone call in which Mom tells me her opinion of the puzzle's theme and difficulty. For those of you who live outside of the New York metropolitan area, the Sunday New York Times delivers some of their Sunday sections (including the puzzle) on Saturday to their subscribers. After the call, Mom surrounds herself with her resources: dictionary, thesaurus, Bartlett's Quotations, Maltin's movie guide and various other volumes. In the past couple of years it has become a joint effort with me "Googling" some particularly tough clues. I point out to my Mom, a former teacher, that this is really cheating. Mom chalks it up to part of the educational process. At ninety, she is learning about computers, rap music and all sorts of things from the crossword clues. And Mom is still polishing off the puzzle in a few hours. I'm beginning to think that crossword puzzles might just be the secret to her longevity.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
On a perfectly miserable, gray, rainy day the bright spot was this pink umbrella. I liked the faceless person reflected in the window of the car that she is struggling to get into. I also liked that most of the photo is composed of dark angles with that one big bright pink umbrella. Into each life a little rain must fall... I wonder if it falls more easily on a pink umbrella?