Sunday, November 30, 2008

goldwater



Here are views from under the bridge on Roosevelt Island. I work as a Fellow at Goldwater Hospital with other MFA students at NYU. Past several corridors, we have writing workshops in the bingo/art room. The walls are tacked in construction paper cutouts and you can see out to the river. My experiences with the writers are almost impossible to write about and perhaps wrong to as they should be no different from any other writer. It is however so much more encouraging on the spirit to witness someone who cannot physically write but must still. Many of my friends said the thought of doing this, being around people who are hurt, would depress them. Nowhere else, have I turned a corner to see two men barren of their legs belly down on gurneys racing down a corridor, spinning the wheels with their hands and hollering. Perhaps the most beautiful is my time outside of workshop with a patient paralyzed in lock down who can only blink to communicate and attempt noise but no longer speak articulately and yet she can hear, see, and think perfectly. Reading pages of Dahl and Sexton to her and seeing her eyes light up as if to laugh is one of the cutest things I've ever seen. It really takes all the excuses out of putting off writing and now when I see a pile of dishes and strewn clothes from my morning indecision I can comfortably know that yes, all that silly stuff can wait. It is also a comfort to know that there are programs like this one to ensure that nearly no matter what happens a writer can still write. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

my pretty street






my pretty street and the castle with leaves

Sunday, November 9, 2008

the heart swells




Above are photographs taken by Damon Winter, Staff Photographer at The New York Times, as he followed Obama from the primaries to his victory. These here are my favorites as they really capture America's love and fascination for Obama. It really makes the heart swell that tiny children and a group of high school teenagers in PE class are as enthused as if their favorite action hero or musician pulled up in a limo and yet they are not old enough to even vote. They could do nothing in the election but stretch their freedom of speech and yet they want to shake Obama's hand or see his poised wave before stepping back to play kickball. When speaking of his photographs, Winter brings to attention how Obama has such a distinctive profile and figure that he can be shot in nearly any light and one would still recognize him immediately however he is not the most emotive of candidates. Obama is emotive but when compared with shots of Hillary and McCain one realizes that he doesn't have to scream or flail for attention the way the others have. He quite simply says what he means. Clearly we are in a historic shift and for many Americans (including myself) this election symbolizes a new hope. Non-Democrats voted Democrat this year and often times not even just because of a party shift but some simply wanted someone in office that they believed they could trust. In this last photo of Obama speaking at a rally, the image would immediately suggest a makeshift gospel service were Obama's figure not so distinctive as Winter addressed. I can even imagine his face as he speaks on the other side because Obama consistently evokes a collective calm and confidence, two things missing in our rattled America. His one arm raised hallelujahs are not bellowed as those of Martin Luther King, Jr. but are felt with the same ardor electrified because he has changed the possibility of how we imagine the future. 

You can hear Damon Winter discuss these and other photographs from his coverage of the campaign trail at http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/08/27/us/politics/20080827-winterobama-multimedia/index.html.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

history



I'm still trying to focus after the magic in the streets last evening when Obama won. Let's just say the streets from NYC to Brooklyn were set to the soundtrack of a steady stream of honking and hollering  against hugs and high fives amongst strangers. It was history and not just the basic fact of Obama taking the victory but also there is the miracle of so many Americans regardless of their party actively thinking and caring about politics again. 

I leave you with a quote. Thank you Bethany for sharing it. 

"Oh, let America be America again. The land that never has been yet. And yet must be."
-Langston Hughes

Thursday, October 9, 2008

down by the water




flea market finds




I got a quite beauitful $2 lamp that does indeed work at this shanty of a flea market outside of the Brooklyn Lowe's. I think that doll is maybe one of the most discomforting I've seen. Perhaps it's the juxtaposition of the frightful doll and dirty china that is inevitably foreboding. Also, the tickets are from the Union Square Anthropologie and not from the Flea Market but they are no less worth a gander. 

the little apartment that could






Here are some more photos of the apartment at night and during the day. Also I have included a sampling of its lighting fixtures. My fireplace does not function but I am pretty excited to still have some exposed brick -- perhaps my favorite East Coast interior charm. While I don't have access to the garden area it is directly beneath me and the greenery is visible from inside. To the bottom left friends you will notice some sprawling hydrangeas which may look shriveled now due to the colder temperatures but come spring they will be glorious. Growing up my mom used to cut blue hydrangeas from the bush around our porch and put them beside my bed in Pewter pitchers. They have become a comfort and a favorite. For those who may not know, the color of a hydrangea is dependent on the soil. You can truly transform a pink bush to a blue one just by pouring acid into the soil...That's about all I know about botany. Oh and yes my apartment is still rather empty and shall be for some time but I am happy to disclose that I have a desk. I'm still working on the chair...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

brooklyn




1. The F train at Smith/9th St line
2. Across the street from my apartment
3. A curious door on St. James Place 

Sunday, September 28, 2008

bam


I'm awaiting someone to post a decent video on YouTube, but last night Sufjan Stevens joined St. Vincent onstage at the Brooklyn Academy of Music to do a cover of Phil Collin's "In The Air Tonight" that was beyond fantastic. He curated the music at "Takeover" so it was a dreamy roundup of folk, gospel, and youth choir wunderkinds. In the meantime, these are partial body casts suspended from the ceiling on the second floor. 

Friday, September 26, 2008

meet my castle


Above is the face of my new Brooklyn Apartment. I move in October 1st and closer to then I will share some more photos of this buildings many charms. It is a late 1800's limestone with a few apartments that were essentially broken up from what was once a massive family home. My apartment faces the garden out back and features exposed brick, piping, hardwood, and is essentially a studio plus a a hallway/potential office area...yeah, it's tiny. The street is on the line between Fort Greene and Clinton Hill so it's quiet, tree-lined, and near Pratt, Brooklyn Academy of Music (lots of fun goes down there), and when I researched the neighborhood on Wikipedia it turns out it has been the stomping grounds for Walt Whitman, John Steinbeck, Marianne Moore, and most importantly Mos Def.  
So come October 1st it will be me, my bags, an air mattress, takeout, and toilet paper. Humble beginnings in an apartment that I love. And if I like you which is generally those who know about this blog, then you can come crash the castle! 

union square cuddle party

Sunday, September 21, 2008

six mile walk









1. brooklyn bridge
2. brooklyn bridge n.2
3. jacqueline kennedy onassis resevoir
4. view of lady liberty from the brooklyn bridge
5. a sunset for bethany
6. tiles of america installation
7. vigil in boerum hill
8. fiona

photos taken in boerum hill - brooklyn, greenwich village, central park, and on the brooklyn bridge

Monday, September 8, 2008

quoteworthy

At the Creative Writing program welcome reception for first and second year students last Friday Darin Strauss (Chang and Eng, More Than It Hurts You) and Elaine Equi (Ripple Effect) read from their recently published work and I naturally found a great quote. 

From a new poem by Elaine Equi...

"War has ruined s&m for me. Now it just seems like watching the news."

And I naturally had a dinner of curled meats, rounded scoops of cantaloupe, and triangular gourmet cheeses whie meeting my bookish comrades. And wine! 
I also at this meeting was lassoed into introducing the lovely Joanna Scott at her reading in a few weeks at the KGB Bar (yes, I can speak and then slam a whiskey) so I am deep in research on her interviews, reviews, and pinpointing my favorites of her work. As a perk of introducing I get to dine with her (ask her too many questions) and the other readers on the NYU tab prior. This weekend is the Brooklyn Book Festival which has a smorgasbord of lovely writers but I wait with baited breath for Mrs. Joan Didion (Slouching Towards Bethlehem is my favorite) herself who will be participating in a panel regarding this years presidential election. Now I'm off to read a book for craft class and run on the Williamsburg Bridge but certainly not at the same time or in any preferential order. 

david hilliard







I found the work of David Hillard in the gift shop when I was at the aforementioned Whitney Museum of Art. Crammed into the delicate bookcase was this oddly shaped collection of photographs that depicted assorted American locales. I won't lie and will here fully admit I felt an immediate camaraderie as one of the initial shots featured a father and son dining on Krystal burgers, a Southern mini burger local to only Southeastern states. They aren't good but they are a memory... As a kid I collected their Wizard of Oz tumbler collection which my dad still has to this day. Their prizes were always way more classy than McDonald's. 
At any rate, I enjoy his photographs and the happy accident of finding them. I naturally did some research on his website and can happily confide I will be making sure I attend his next opening in New York City in March.
For more information visit him here: http://www.davidhilliard.com

Monday, September 1, 2008

whitney museum






I heart Brooklyn but sometimes the larger museums in town and oh Central Park offer quite the perfect Sunday. Yesterday, I went to the Whitney on the Upper East Side to catch a real platter of excellent work.
Above is Robert Mapplethorpe's Untitled (Patti Smith) circa 1973. Patti Smith is clearly quite famous for her music (Horses really is a fantastic record), poetry, and tryst in Mapplethorpe's history. He considered her quite the muse and considering how many shots of her were included in the Polaroids: Mapplethorpe show it really makes me wonder how many he garnered of the lass. She is no traditional beauty but somehow is incredibly stunning all the same. This one is a favorite of mine. Above that, you will find a self portrait I find quite beautiful. 
My hands down favorite of the show, much to my surprise, was Paul McCarthy's installations. His video installations being my primary love. "Spinning Camera, Walking"(#2 from top) is the gem of the Whitney in my big ole brown eyes at present. McCarthy took Super 8 film and transferred it to 16mm exposing a voyeuristic expose' of the camera's relationship with space and the physical body. "Couple"(#1) is another film playing after that is quite nice. McCarthy is a man of neurosis and I always find it fitting he emerged in the 60's as a viable force when so many other artists (Larry Bell, James Turrell) were in a bit of a existential crisis thereby piercing their work with this internal anxiety that came natural to McCarthy. One of his pieces in the show the Bang Bang Room seems to be almost an evil test on the security staff at the Whitney. Here is this room with doors rigged to repeatedly bang and open and close and these guards must stand beside it all day. It is loud as hell and honestly irritating but so it goes so often with me and sculpture. Also at the Whitney, is Starting with the Universe an expansive show on R. Buckminster Fuller showcasing his famous geodesic domes, town models, architectural sketches, and assorted models. After the death of his daughter he considered suicide but instead decided to plunge his despair into research and methods to promoting survival on Earth. This show is ever fitting with the concerns of our time but what's interesting is that Fuller passed in 1983 so these ideas and concerns were being spoken to an audience who deemed them premature. His efforts are painstakingly crafted, however, my gut response to his homes is do we have to? I put my charity efforts into historic preservation and believe that effective housing doesn't always have to be a pod spaceship to be sound with the Earth. 
I was pleased to find my personal favorite by Edward Hopper that I have seen titled as "Summer Interior" and "New York Interior"(#3) at two different shows so I'm not sure which is wholly accurate. At any rate, it is a simple but stunning painting of the back of a woman sewing. I love his choice in composition here, the clean part at her nape, and the delicate nature of her dress and skin against the muscle in her arm and the wood in the room. I overlooked Hopper for many years and was never very impressed until recently when I saw some more of his work in a collection and realized he has quite the eye for composition.
Yes, afterwards I walked the two blocks over from Madison Avenue to Central Park with my dear friends Jesse and Jason. They came in town from Philadelphia to have some adventures before Jess and I start school. It was a perfect Sunday in my books. 

shots from my weekend





1. all things good  
2. the walls of the downstairs bar at delicatessen  
3. close up of bottles on the wall
4. mccarren pool looks like this after sonic youth