NEW YORK NEW YORK – Walking down Park Avenue very early this morning (6:00 AM . . . really) I spotted this very large number five in the window at the Phillips auction gallery. This sort of display is thought to burn a work for serious collectors – I wonder why Phillips did this?
On this day last year: rain drops.
Rain delayed departure
NEW YORK NEW YORK – We went to Brooklyn these evening; made dinner out of a Ruben Sandwich at Junior’s; and saw Julie Taymor’s production of Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Shakespear space at BAM. Priceless. Earlier in the day while hunting for topics for this site at put my lens up against a subway sidewalk grate and shot away. All with my Leica Monochrom.
On this day one year ago: big movie poster.
Big Movie Poster
NEW YOEK NEW YORK – We went up to Columbia this evening to see an exhibit of the work of Irini Gonou, a talented Greek artist who uses fabric and small objects and text to create pinakes (the singular is pinex- πίναξ), votive tablets used by the ancient Greeks. Very nice. I also noticed a view out a window that reminded me of one of her compositions. Both taken with my Leica Monochrom and Luxochron lens.
On this day last year: from the car.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – I walked today. First on Park Avenue where the light was doing good things with some of the Albert Paley sculpture on the islands. Then into Central Park where I fairly predictably got some mundane images – Central Park is tough. The best image that came out of walking most of the length of it was a detail that looks like a nose.
On this day last year: iPhone light.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – Hmmm . . . you’ve seen this one before – yesterday. I decided to go back and reshoot yesterday’s image to get a technically better image. Indeed this time I got a sharp picture of the former Pan Am building, but the light, framing and composition aren’t as good as yesterday. Interesting right brain – left brain contrast.
While walking from a meeting I saw a composition in a trash container that seemed to have a bit of poetry.
On this day one year ago: At the Knick. We were at a party for a close friend at the Knickerbocker Club one year ago – we’re giving a party for our wedding anniversary in the same room two days from now.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – This evening we had dinner at the Four Seasons Restaurant, the Philip Johnson – Meis van der Rohe masterpiece near our office.
Here I am in the bathroom with its remarkable paneling; Google has not helped me identify to species of wood. Taken with my iPhone. Also a “look up” later in the evening taken with my Leica M.
Look up (again)!
On this day one year ago: Infrared with the Monochrom.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – Well . . . here we are another year past 9/11. I was sitting at my desk in midtown in a corner office with a southwest view that included the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center towers. I turned and saw: smoke pouring out of one of the towers, the second plane hit, and both towers collapse. Our son, Alexander, was working downtown and was one of the people how sought refuge in a building lobby as the streets were engulfed in asbestos-laced dust. It was hours before we made contact with him.
Traffic is a total snarl today. I stayed in midtown near my office photographing a new installation at Lever House with my Leica Monochrom and Luxxochron. Actually, this isn’t a completed installation, just the construction of some new walls to display a new installation, but who would know.
On this day one year ago: Bendel.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – Can you tell that I’m distracted from photography. Hanging on by my fingernails here in photo-a-day land. I caught this odd sign with my iPhone.
On this day one year ago: a pretty commonplace view of the Citicorp building. I liked this a year ago but it seems a bit pedestrian today.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – This is officially a recovery day from the tooth crisis. Walking down Lexington Avenue I tripped on a bit of construction on the sidewalk and fell flat on my face. Still unsteady from having the tooth from hell dug out of my jaw. My Leica M ended up with a minor ding but there appears to be no damage. This is the first day out in several days. Inspiration is thin on the ground but at leas here’s picture of the Frick Museum, three frames stitched with my Leica Monochrom. I’m hopeful that we’ll begin to see some ok photographs. This is not much of an image but at least I’m out of the house shooting.
On this day last year: Laura.
HUMLEBÆK DENMARK – We went to Louisiana today (the modern art museum, not the state). I find this place irresistible. It’s sited on a commanding hill overlooking the Øresund Sound, which separate Denmark and Sweden. There was an exhibit of Yoko Ono’s work that I ignored, preferring to be outside on a perfect day. This is a mini gallery of work from the day (the first in an office in Copenhagen, the balance at Louisiana), all taken with my Leica Monochrom and 50mm Summicron lens. I’ve edited this overly long post to include some iPhone images from our dinner at Noma, ranked this year as the second best restaurant in the world (I’ll post reactions to it in due course).
On this day last year: On Broadway around Rock Center taken with my Leica M9 and Noctilux lens.
Walk on the West Side
NEW YORK NEW YORK – In our local Staples I noticed a nice piece of decoration: a large “sculpture” of correction fluid with “oops” written in the middle of it. Make a bronx cheer noise if you remember what correction fluid is. Hmmm. Awfully quiet here. This thing must have been make in the 70s or 80s. Apart from the now obscure iconography this is actually very interesting – it could be mistaken for a Warhol if it were hanging in MOMA rather than in a Staples on 86th Street. Here it is, taken with my baby Sony RX100 II (my go-to go-everywhere camera of the moment).
So there’s this joke website called Gizoogle that translates any website from standard English into Hip-Hop (the link to this is courtesy of Salman Rushdie). Here’s what it did to the foregoing paragraph:
NEW YORK NEW YORK – In our local Staplez I noticed a sick piece of decoration: a big-ass “sculpture” of erection fluid wit “oops” freestyled up in tha middle of dat shit. Make a funky-ass bronx cheer noise if you remember what tha fuck erection fluid is yo. Hmmm fo’ realz. Awfully on tha down-low here, so peek-a-boo, clear tha way, I be comin’ thru fo’sho. This thang must done been make up in tha 70s or 80s fo’ realz. Apart from tha now obscure iconography dis is straight-up straight-up bangin-ass – it could be mistaken fo’ a Warhol if it was hangin up in MOMA rather than up in a Staplez on 86th Street yo. Here it is, taken wit mah baby Sony RX100 Pt II (my go-to go-everywhere camera of tha moment).
From now on I’m using this thing as a co-author to liven this site up.
On this day last year: Riverside Park South. I used to think that I liked Riverside Park South and the Trump buildings that face it. But . . . I glanced casually at this image when I prepared this post and thought it was in Boston. This is an absolutely generic urban development that could be in any city in the world. Of course the park is preferable to the wasteland that formerly inhabited the space. Here it is (this was taken with the high end medium format rig that I was shooting at this time last year – subsequently replaced with my medium format Leica).
Riverside Park South
MILAN – Our last day here. I had a shopping day with Maria and this evening we saw Un Ballo in Maschera at La Scala with Marcelo Álvarez singing Riccardo and his wife, Sondra Radvanovsky, singing Amelia. It was a fabulous evening. Alvarez is a star and Radvanovsky is a superstar; the La Scala crowd was cool to Alvarez and accepting of Radvanovsky (who’s an American who grew up in the Midwest) but booed the young conductor, who according to our host was not up to La Scalla level work. This is one tough crowd. Here’s Maria in our box.
From breakfast earlier in the day.
Statue in the garden of the Manin
On this day one year ago: Marble Collegiate Church.
Marble Collegiate Church
VENICE – Day two at the Biannale. I did’t even consider breakfast at the Gritti so I foraged for a cafe near the Arsinale for some coffee and a pastry. For the Biannale the Arsinale has been divided into large museum-like rooms. Really interesting. So I spent the morning and early afternoon at the Arsenale, walked to the rail station (all of the way across Venice but actually not very far with Google maps guiding me in a straight line through the maze of winding streets and canals) and took the train back to Milan in time for a dinner party given by some friends. Some obligatory shots of Venice and then the Arsenale, all with my Leica Monochrom and 50mm Asph. lens.
Tourists were lined up 10 deep to photograph the Bridge of Sighs every time I passed it. This goes in my icons collection.
The Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs
On this day last year: DC.
VENICE – I got up early, packed a toothbrush and clean underwear into a backpack and took a train to Venice and checked into the Gritti Palace – an overnight side trip based on tips from Italian friends that the Venice Biannale is a must see this year. Indeed it is. There’s a theme this year: art and obsessive compulsive disorder (my paraphrase). Very cool. I spent the day touring the national exhibits in the Gardini. All images with my Monochrom and 50mm Asph. lens, except the last one which was taken with my iPhone.
On this day last year: Dinner party. The vintage Venini object in the foreground was subsequently broken when Basil the Norwich Terrier jumped up on the table to scrounge food. The perils of pet ownership.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – A rushed day getting ourselves collected for our trekking trip to the Dolomites. I snapped a shot off with my iPhone on my way to Paragon to top up on some gear – rushing to get something before going into travel mode, because my work on travel days in uniformly terrible.
I’m actually posting this on July 25, more than two weeks after I took this image. i planned on traveling without a computer to save weight; the iPad that I’m traveling with doesn’t have quite enough horsepower to maintain this blog. On June 27 I actually posted my entry for June 17 and had written and warehoused posts for June 18 through June 27 so all I have to do with my iPad is actually publish a post out of the inventory on a roughly daily basis. As I write this on July 15 I’m back at my computer scrambling to write the posts from my time in Italy.
Here’w the June 27 iPhone shot:
The First Department
On this day one year ago: Swiss cheese on the hoof
Swiss Cheese on the Hoof
WASHINGTON DC – I’m leaving out the ironic references to “Our Nation’s Capital”. It’s sad to see this disfunctional sprawl close up. But this is a lovely time of year here with the magnolias and cherries in blossom so let’s enjoy the chance to photograph. I spent this afternoon at the Smithsonian American Art Museum guided by the Museum’s director, Betsy Broun. The courtyard, pictured below, is one of my favorite spots for a casual lunch in Washington, but this was my introduction to the collection, which is splendid. It shares the former Patent Office building the the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery. Anyway, the courtyard:
Here’s what’s in front of the Museum Vaquero, Luis Jimenez.
On this day last year: Birch madness. I think that almost everyone who has a camera ranks birches as nearly as irresistible as dogs and babies. I have posted no fewer than 11 pictures with “birches” in the title since a started this project. None of them is much good. Repeat after me: “I won’t shoot birches. I won’t shoot birches. I won’t shoot birches . . .”