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!