Sunday, July 31, 2005

You Should Be Dancin'...Yeah

He's A Dancin' Machine 8
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

You Should Be Dancin'...Yeah

i came across this fella with the fancy footsteps while Mom and i were taking a late morning stroll on venice beach (california) on memorial day weekend (i was back in town (UCLA '89) to surprise Mom for her 60th birthday).

he was dancing all by himself to his sony disc player (note: not ipod). he looked a lot happier than everyone else around him and i admired that. i think it is ironic that all the ipod ads feature people dancing to their favorite tunes, yet in reality, especially in NYC you rarely come across someone actually dancing to the music, even if half the metropolis seemingly now has one of those white little gadgets.

i don't own one and wouldn't care to, primarily because it would be just one more thing to carry and worry about (there is an epidemic of thefts of those things here in the city) ,and also because it would tune me out to the wonderful world around me.

don't get me wrong, i love apple and their products. my first real computer was a macintosh and i currently abuse the itunes randomizer on my PC. that application is the next best thing to photoshop and my digital camera!

nonetheless, i find it a bit sad that we don't dance when we want to, whenever the music comes on while were shopping or were with friends or just walking alone and about anywhere upon a whim.

most people ignored this guy as if he were a little crazy...and maybe he was, but look how happy he is! if we were all just a little more crazy (i.e. less sane, rational and conforming) this world would be a much better place.


diggin' into the archives. these are fotos that i have not had a chance to edit from my trip to california for my mother's surprise 60th birthday party on memorial day weekend, 2005. in particular, they come from our trek to venice beach.

Friday, July 29, 2005

discussing aesthetic myopia and being blinded by values

Life is Wonderful 0039
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

discussing aesthetic myopia and being blinded by values

i was asked by a viewer of this set of fotos and i have been asked many times before as to whether or not people react adversely to me taking their picture. may answer was "no, not really," for the following reasons:

firstly, i am very casual about taking the fotos, both in terms of how i hold the camera, so i am quite inconspicuous; and in terms of my attitude as well. and so, since i take fotos for aesthetic purposes primarily, i don't pay too much attention to other's jibes and jeers and accusations.

also, as i have commented before people in this city are too in a hurry or preoccupied to pay much attention to "another tourist taking fotos."

as to the debate on the ludicrous notion that this is "stalking," i would like to say that there is seemingly quite a hurdle to leap over when it comes to taking fotos of female strangers, especially if you are a man.

unfortunately, many people see it first and foremost as "stalking" when it is nothing of the sort. those same people never ever make such comments on similar photos of males. moreover, stalking has malicious or amorous intentions, taking fotos for art's sake is "purely" aesthetic.

moreover, i leave the person after the fotos are taken, most likely never to see them again. i really don’t care who they are, and i am not interested in the lewd and rather crude practice of using hidden cameras to take lascivious fotos of women’s anatomy.

granted, there is a bias. admittedly, i do take many more fotos of women, but there is good, if not great reason.

putting the whole heterosexual male driven crazy by testosterone argument aside for a moment...women in this great metropolis have better form (i.e. shapelier), are usually is better shape (more fit) than men and thus look better (are more pleasant to look at), dress much-much better (the reasons here blossom because there is more variety, colors, texture and form), they move differently (sway as opposed to swagger) and, if only to emphasize, tend to have more color, both in terms of dress, make-up, hair, shoes, accessories, etc.

and as to the aesthetics and context that many people miss because the only see the girl...most others often just see "the girl" (or imagine the guy behind the girl "stalking" her). they rarely appreciate the context of the foto as well. for example, i was particularly happy to have captured the ogling from the guy in the white tee.

moreover, people rarely comment on the ensembles of these women. in the photo above, it was the combination of blonde, red and blue, that caught my eye mostly. and quite frankly, this is the primary reason i follow these colorful people around in the first place. they provide such a wodnerful contrast to their stark and grimy surroundings, and yet they often go unnoticed...or, as per leering man above, do they?


for a running commentary on this set of fotos and taking fotos of strangers in general click here

Monday, July 25, 2005

Fade to Black

Fade to Black
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

i've posted this vacuous image primarily to express how i'm feeling at the moment.
i took but a handful of fotos this morning as i walked through the city to work. the sky was an ominous dark grey and i was ill-at-ease with being under seige by the terrorist threat.

the newspaper people touted two headlines: the heoric triumph of lance armstrong and police raid of a red double-decker tour bus in times square. as elated as i am for the mythical mr. armstrong, admittedly, the latter news item arrested my attention much more.

ironically, most people will recall that 9.11 began as a gorgeous day, so the weather in no way is a forecast to the real danger that is present on the streets.

anyway, (sigh) i just didn't have it in me this morning.

we went away to the poconos this weekend, so i've got a backlog of fotos to process anyway.

i try not to think about it, alas, i am as human and mortal as everyone else...

Risky Business

Risky Business 1
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

I regularly like to comment about how the pedestrians here in the city interact with vehicular traffic as if they were running through a field of lilies.

Well, bicyclists are no exception. Especially the messengers on wheels, who tend to ride as if they own the road. Either these guys truly have nerves of steel and can stop on a dime; or they’re just off-kilter enough upstairs to not care about the obvious risks they take.

Anyway, that is life in the fast-lane for ya, as this casual rider demonstrates in this set of photos.

post-scripte: After posting this set and comments, I read the following commentary in AM New York that same day. Ironically, a photo Lance Armstrong graced the cover.

What's more important, traffic flow or bike safety?

Eleven cyclists have been killed so far this year on New York City Streets. Two of the recent deaths occured on East Houston Street, a popular bike route that is devoid of bike lanes.

These 11 tragedies represent an almost 100% increase in cyclist deaths over the same period in 2004, during which six cyclists died.

Loca/Trasportation Alternatives

Friday, July 22, 2005

Evidence of Suspicious Activity

Evidence of Suspicious Activity
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

last night i took this foto a little after 1:00 AM right after disembarking from the bus.

a minute later a policeman pulled up and asked what i was doing. and so, as our zeitgeist will dictate, for the second or third time my name and contact information was written down for "suspicious activity."

granted, at first, my initial emotional reaction was a bit of frustration, for i immediatly began to wonder where this information was going to and what it would lead to - was i now on a suspect on a list of those who take photos of the full moon and street lights? would i be put on watch?

sarcasm aside, i realize that this patrolman and the others of the past were only doing their job to serve and protect the people. alas, that did not help allay my feelings at the moment.

he said, "you can still take pictures, i just have to write all your information down." i sighed, and said "thanks," then just put the camera away in my bag and walked up the street two blocks to my house. the joy was gone, for i could not help but ponder the prospects of being placed on an Orwellian watch list of some sort.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

cut it out!

Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

I had finished reading a Times Book Review editorial and thought someone at work might be interested in reading it because we had had a conversation about the matter a few weeks ago.

However, the newspaper was not mine. Thus, I thought it only proper to ask my friend if I could excerpt this particular piece.

My initial thought was to pose the question in the following manner: "Would you mind if I cut this article out? There's a guy at work who I thought might like to read it."

Then, I had second thoughts and debated whether or not I should substitute "guy" at work with "colleague." It would not only make the supplication more succinct, but also esoterically give more respect to the identity of the person. Subsequently, I then thought, "Well, perhaps I should then simply refer to him as an 'executive' instead."

This is where my internal debate heated up. For why was it necessary to "respect" this guy-cum-executive In the first place? In the most objective sense, my intentions were to share this piece merely as a friendly gesture, regardless of our respective positions at the company. It was not until I let self-conscious thought mar the pending act did I question whether or not I was acting as an obsequious subservient.

Nonetheless, why was it so important that my friend know who I was intending to give this to? Did I feel it would give my plea more weight, more credence? And, thus, I might feel less guilty about tearing out the piece? Or was there a touch of hubris involved here as well? (i.e. "It may not be clear, but, yes, as you may have inferred, I happen to have casual conversations with the executives at work.")

The more I dug deeper into my rationale and the underlying quagmire of sentiment, the more it seemed as if I were caught in cerebral quicksand.

Ultimately, I decided to omit and thus evade the conundrum entirely by asking, "If you've finished with this section, would you mind if I cut something out?"

It's amusing how the mind unnecessarily creates problems. I think this is particularly true when it involves others and their perception of who we are or who we would like them to believe we are.

Martha’s Curse

Spreadin' Frostin' at Billy's
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Martha’s Curse

5 months in jail,
not for lying though.

for what than?

for getting caught.

for everyone lies.

yet, most of us
are not wealthy celebrities
ripe and rich, upon which
aspiring attorneys,
veteran politicians
(formerly aspiring attorneys)
and voracious media
cut their teeth upon.

sharpen them, really.

oh, poor, bedraggled martha,
with her moppy hair
and that mousy mouth
(good job! PR people)

talking redemption,
through gritted teeth.

(spin doctor, spin!)

oh, lizzie g.
can you help her?
you’ve been there,
done that.

so please tell her
which guard to blow
and where you stowed
those snickers at.

Monday, July 18, 2005

For The Love of Summer

The Sultry Swoon of Summer
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

For The Love of Summer
“I Love the Summer!”

Well, actually, when it comes to summers here in NYC, I would fully support anyone who laments the unbearably, hot and hazy, justifiably lazy, summers days and sleepless nights that plague the tri-state area.

However, barring my vociferous whine, I will readily laud the divine swoon that the merciless sun and stifling air have upon women and what they (do—or rather don’t) wear.

For lo and behold, I am a man.

And regardless of our orientation—whether it be straight ahead and unswerving or curving as wildly as the contours of (Michelangelo’s) David’s chiseled frame, whether it be an Adonis or a dame—there is certainly, definitely, something inside us that is to blame for our proclivity toward ogling, gawking at and admiring the visual beauty of the human form.

Albeit, truth has been obscured by the movement to flatten the earth and make everything and everyone on it equally plane (plain) too, my truth—my existentially felt, experienced and well thought-out proof—is that there is something within that makes me tick whenever and wherever I come across uncommon (or common), curvaceous, voluptuous, iridescent beauty.

Porn thrives not only because it may trigger an ancient call to copulate, but perhaps also because men are hard-wired to be stimulated by what they see.

So maybe, this is one reason I love photography.

One should take note that the cause here is not the same thing as the effect. For regardless of your position on the sex industry, there is nothing inherently wrong with our naked selves, it is only the values that we impose upon people’s reactions and subsequent actions that make human nature unnatural, taboo, unacceptable, lascivious and controversial.

Nudity, sex and sensual stimulation (sensuality) get a bad rap (rep) because of the foolish, inconsiderate, and errant behavior of others. However, in and of themselves these things are natural as nature can be. Nature is amoral, it is only human ethno, chrono and gender centric consciousness (aka: “thinking”) that makes it otherwise.

Scientific American recently published an article entitled “His Brain, Her Brain” by Larry Cahill (May 2005, p40-47) which speaks to recent experiments that conclude that men and women “differ quite a bit in (cranial) architecture and activity.”

The conclusion offers the following: “In a comprehensive 2001 report on sex differences in human health, the prestigious National Academy of Sciences asserted that “sex matters.” Sex, that is, being male and female, is an important basic human variable that should be considered when designing a and analyzing studies in all areas and at all levels of biomedical and health-related research.”

In particular, they found that men’s right hemispheres were stimulated, whereas females left hemispheres were triggered, whenever shown the same visual stimuli. The right side of our brains are said to process creativity, patterns, spatial awareness, and context; whereas the left side processes speech, analysis, time, and sequence. The left side recognizes letters, numbers and words; the right side recognizes faces, places and objects. Our brains in general, regardless of gender, are also said to be dominated by one side or the other. Individuals who are predominantly right-sided are found to be more “visual in nature.”

My point here is not to argue that women or men take better pictures or appreciate them any less or more, but it is simply to acknowledge that there is a difference between aesthetic admiration and lewd attention, and that perhaps, by being a male, it is the same blind internal motivation that leads to one or the other (or both) in our kind. And it is only the intentions and actions that follow that make this unavoidable stimulus inappropriate or otherwise.

Sir Richard Burton once translated verse from The Kasidah, which has long influenced how I see the world. I find it is worth repeating here. Or perhaps, it is merely an excuse to share poetic words that have long had a great influence upon me…

Kasidah Haji Abdu'l el Yezdi

There is no Good, there is no Bad;
These be the whims of mortal will.
What works me weal, that I call good;
What harms and hurts I hold as ill.
They change with place, they shift with race,
And, in the veriest span of time,
Each Vice has worn a Virtue's crown,
All Good was banned as Sin or Crime.

Also See: testosterone

Sunday, July 17, 2005

I Ride My Bicycle

I Ride My Bicycle 001
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

After creating the I Love Riding My Bicycle series, I was immediately inspired to take advantage of the inspiration and went for an invigorating spin at 6 AM on a Sunday morning.

Brookdale park was refreshingly empty and I had the waking sun shining through the trees, the excited chirp of birds and the crisp clean air to to greet me.

I had purposefully not invited Her (my camera) to accompany me so that I could fully enjoy my spontaneity, the moment which I anticipated would be ripe with the sensuality of nature, and the experience of being without the impulse to create and existentially realize my existence into something a little more [permanent than my memory alone.

I circled about the rose garden several times, literally riding in circles a tt he top of the hill a dozen times or so as I tried to exorcise the demon of genius: that compulsion to generate, to create, to make artificial meaning out of existence. For as I began that first turn I envisioned another great set as I went around and around and around. I loved the look of the curves in motion, especially at high speed and at a 45 degree angle - this being why I ultimately decided that I would hold off on attempting to shoot this perspective, lest I lose my balance in the process.

Alas, my mind got the best of me and toward the end of the ride the sunshine piercing through the branches flickered off my toenails and I immediately was wooed to whisk back home to get Her.

She was happy to see me and showed me her love with these 36 photos.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Preying After Midnight

Preying After Midnight
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

i came across this macabre scene just after midnight, when i was taking out the garbage. the only reason i noticed the grisly occurrence was that the arrested lightning bug (firefly) was beaming its distress signal like mad. it was a sad scene.

or was it?

for wasn't i simply applying "human" emotion to something that is all-too natural? part of the evolutionary process, the fixed and permanent rule that calls for the “survival of the fittest”? or is darwin's theory nothing but an artificial human construct as well?

at the same time, i “thought” this i felt compassion, with the impulse to let the bug free, it's madly beating light screaming “help me! helllllp meeee!” just like the infamously eerie screech ending the original horror movie, the fly, which happens to be about man’s ill-fated attempt to manipulate and control the forces of nature.

alas, albeit the shrill of glowing green was prodding me to take action, my so-called intellect usurped this moment of sentiment, and i allowed the insects to just be, justifying my actions by thinking that i could not, should not, disturb the food chain.

besides, my sons and i had caught half a dozen fireflies the other night when we camped outside in the backyard and placed them in a mesh contraption left-over from the butterfly breeding kit we had. and this was simply for our amusement. ultimately, it was failed experiment, because they stopped flashing their love lights, being that there were no female flies to attract within the confines of their new “home.” (freedom is our home mister)

in a morose and sappy sort of way, i like to believe that they seemingly either died of loneliness the next day, well knowing that they likely drowned in the rain that relieved us, humans, of the sultry summer’s day.

all this only further justified my opinion that our "emotions" and intellectualization are both quite fickle and only applied artificially.

in other words, once again I’ve realized that the truth is – the truth is all-too relative.

Friday, July 15, 2005

All Tuned Out

All Tuned Out 11
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

My original intention was to simply take photos of the splendid color combination of the red and blue.

However, after a second look at this set I noticed a distinct pattern amongst the pedestrians—almost all of them we’re "tuned out."

Either they were on the cell phone chatting away, in their own little world contemplating the day, or shut out from the cacophony about them with their headphones on and iPod all plugged in.

It was just another reason why it is sometimes so easy to take photos of strangers in the city, because they are quite oblivious or indifferent to everything around them.

Life in the fast lane requires one to focus on the goal, i.e. get to work or get home "on time." So, most people miss a lot of things, beautiful, wonderful things and perspectives on the life that surrounds them. And when they do notice you taking their photo, half the time they just shrug it off as the quaint behavior of a tourist or some artsy-fartsy fellow from the Village.

In sum, quite often the people of New York are either too busy, too preoccupied, too paranoid or simply too hurried to notice you.

Or, as our reputation would have it, we just don’t give a ...


hawk commented that he saw irony in the juxtaposition of rubbish to pedestrians.

i too see irony, and it is in how amazing the mundane really is. every morning and afternoon as i walk to and from port authority (for the unfamiliar, that's the grand bus terminal here in NYC) or work, i challenge myself to find more fotos. sometimes it takes a couple of blocks, but most of the time there's always something as soon as i step outside the building.

this particular morning however proved rather dry initially. the humidity seems to damper my senses, as well as the vibrancy of the environment in some strange way. i think the thick air blocks the radiance of light and thus color of everything around me, so that everything seems unusually dull.

anyway, i was at a loss and i was becoming a little desperate (if not, depressed. because for a moment i thought, "maybe this is the end...maybe my visual powers are waning"). i had walked four or five blocks and had seen nothing that caught my eye. but then, gleaming askance from where i was going, i saw this great combination of rectangles of red and blue.

it was across the street however and the morning rush hour was between me and my subjects to be, so i waited patiently, repressing the worries that i would be late to work by saying to myself "it will be worth it."

and now, i feel it was. because out of garbage, once again, arose a phoenix of utter beauty for me, in more way then one.

so i guess irony not only lies in the discovery of the extraordinary in the all-too-ordinary, but also in the cross section where serendipity meets chance, that random moment of when you least expect it...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

This Is America

This Is America
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Granted, this is not America.

I am American and do not see myself as anything akin to this well-fed belly.

However, this image is probably not far off from what others outside the United States percieve the "Ugly American" to be.

And, sometimes, from what I've seen, especially when one journeys beyond the metropolis, I would concede that their perception might be somewhat justified.

Down and Out, But Still Countin' My Money

Down and Out, But Still Countin' My Money
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

i realize that this photo is a "tough" one in many ways.

as a humanitarian, compassion asks you to pause and even hesitate taking such a picture, because it "feels" like exploitation. but as an aesthete, as an artist and as a photographer who loves the street, loves the city and the people who make it so vibrant, gritty and exhilarating, you are compelled to snap away.

as i briefly discuss in my 25 More Lessons (I've) Learned, I believe it is important to photograph "without prejudice," that is without prejudicial judgment of your subject matter should it make aesthetic sense to you. at the same time, complementarily and contradictorily, i advocate being aware of the social context that a photo is taken. obviously, there is something to be said here in this photo.

i did not talk to this fellow, and rarely, if ever do i speak with any of my subjects. i find it is best not to get involved for a few reasons.

to speak on just one, i feel it is like taking photos of garbage on the street (no metaphor intended here whatsoever ). i am quite often riled when i see people carelessly litter. alas, it is a way of life for many here. i've learned to be indifferent to that. so when i come across garbage strewed across the sidewalk that shouts out to me "this random array is beautiful," i take my photo and move on. i don't have the time to pick it up. if i took that upon myself, i would be picking up garbage all day long.

the same goes with those who are down and out. granted, quite often i am compelled to help out, but most of the time i choose to say “sorry, i can’t help you” and walk on. I understand to outsiders that this disposition seems quite callus, but the city has someone who is down on their luck around every corner, and if you choose to live here, after a while you learn to be indifferent. not uncaring, just indifferent.

for the truth is, some of the despondent are homeless, some are addicts, some are disturbed mentally, and a few are criminal. and as charitable as you might care to be, your money might just end up being spent on a bad habit.

when i can, i choose to give food if they are receptive or say they are hungry. otherwise, i take my photo and use that as a tool to increase awareness, to let others know that there are many who need help, and perhaps, most importantly, to remind those of us that “have,” that we are quite fortunate and that we should not take our health, family, friends and comfort for granted.

that divine dark lump of brown sludge

Looks Like He Needs Some...
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

that divine dark lump of brown sludge

The way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.
~ Oscar Wilde

Once again I have been reminded that it’s the small and sinful pleasures that titillate the most.

I simply stepped out for my mid-afternoon cup of coffee and within a matter of minutes I was floating, riding upon a wild flood of endorphins. Minute, practically imperceptible things, piqued me in the most salacious, lubricious, lascivious and wanton of ways (I just like those words).

These included: beholding a well-breasted woman in her summer sheath (here is a perfect example of where earnest lust overwhelms pretense and decorum—forgive me father for I have sinned), indulging in the chagrin from the cashier as I handed her twenty pennies and eight dimes, the uplifting chime of my chuckle escaping as I read this week’s Onion Headline: CIA Asks Bush to Discontinue Blog; and, with a touch of miserly avarice, purchasing “Running with Scissors” by Augusten Burroughs from the local street merchant, upon a whim no less, and more over, for half-the-price.

But perhaps the most pleasing of all these guilty little deeds was what has recently become a daily ritual for me. Around 2:22 every workday I unstrap the fetters of duty that obligate me to my desk and whisk across the street to the ol’ local Tastee Delite.

Scooting past the usual line of 3 or 4 patrons eagerly awaiting to order their 4 to 8 ounces of non-fat (10 calories per ounce) frozen yogurt, I reach in to grab a small blue cup out of the dispenser, slip on the recycled-brown sleeve and slide on over to the coffee condiments counter. There, with a little snidely smirk, I jerk open the spoon-dipping side of the cocoa and quickly pour about a quarter of the container’s contents into the cup. Amusingly enough, I self-consciously position myself to abscond my gluttony, so that the clerks cannot see me thwarting their expectations—the presumption that the average consumer will use the side with the holes and not sabotage the supply-to-demand ration they have calculated in order to ensure a measly profit and pay the exorbitant Park Avenue rent.

Oh well, I just can’t see myself “sprinkling” just a little chock-o-lit in. Besides, surely my loyalty is worth more than a few cents off that dollar I spend there everyday.

And one more thing, if I didn’t just pour it in, I would be able to indulge in scooping out that divine dark lump of brown sludge left at the bottom of my cup after the last slurp.

“..the simple pleasure of being able to do as one pleases without worrying overmuch about social repercussions is self-evident…also eccentrics draw strength and joy from their sense of humor. They themselves stressed to us time and again that humor and laughter were essential for their sense of well-being and their self-esteem in an increasingly dreary, conformist world. It also proved to be the means by which they could make light of their personal failings. Their playful attitude toward life became more and more valuable to them as their lives progressed.”

~ Dr. David Weeks and Jamie James,
Eccentrics, A Study of Sanity and Strangeness

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The One Man Show of Way-Off Broadway

The One Man Show of Way-Off Broadway 06
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Every once in a while, we New Yorkers are delightfully treated to a show.

I’m not speaking of Broadway or even Off-Broadway, but of what I’ll call "Way-Off Broadway," the show on the streets, the entertaining treat that our fellow men who have the yen and the zest and wanton ways to amuse us, will graciously share with us on occasion.

This set documents one such short, but great moment. I came across this hotel doorman this morning on my way to work. It was only 8 AM but he was already all worked up and ready to go, ready to show off his pathos for life. It so happens that he was dancing but a few steps from the street named Broadway.

I was immediately impressed, not only by his willingness to play to my camera, but by the vibrancy of his act. In less than a minute he demonstrated to me that he was someone who made the most of his life, who was not afraid to enjoy each day as he pleased, and who engaged others in a manner that inspires us to live likewise.

Friday, July 8, 2005

flowers are prettier

flowers are prettier

Every morning that I cross east on the equator of Manhattan I have a choice to make: do I take 27th or 28th?

The difference is one between virile daydreams and a softer, redolent reality.

For across 28th resides the splendor of the City’s wholesale floral and garden district. And across 27th lies FIT, the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Both aesthetically please, one with a taunting-tease, the other via soothing aromatic serenity—one works me up, the other calms me down.

Thus, my staggering druthers—turn or keep walking, yearn or yawn, promenade amongst pistils and petals or slabber secretly amidst the thrall of aspirants to glamour?

Nothing hammers away at me as daily as having to choose entre floral highs and fauna blues, between he-loves-mes and she does not lust for me too. For one’s far more promising than the other; one evokes benignly while the other mercilessly provokes.

Which is why, in the end, I find flowers to be much prettier.

the flower that fixed her

the flower that fixed her

The splendor of Spring is in full bloom!

Should you be at all despondent, your spirit’s spent, you’re a touch gloomy—Zoom, Vites! Allez! ¡Vamos niña! Go quick as the hare to where the flowers grow and overflow upon the sidewalks of Manhattan’s wholesale floral and garden supply district. I promise you, a mere meandering, a slow stroll down the rue of all-but one block on 28th between 8th and 7th Avenues will cure you of your heartache and lethargy or any other sentimental ill and symptom that ails you.

Believe me, you will feel immediately sprung free from this melancholy mood you’re woefully wallowing in.

Tulips, daisies, pansies—petals of every redolent and wonderfully bright color and more!

So take a little trip, explore, for I promise that this wee promenade will uplift and renew, if only you open your senses to the splendor of all the hues, curves and aromas which are on display, and at the invigorating disposal of your bedraggled disposition for free! (aka. NOT impoverishing therapy).

Trust me, have faith, don’t wait, run! Ma petite fleur, file à toute allure!

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

the riling spirit

Rain on my Window 010

Best seen LARGE

the riling spirit

blink. blink. blink.

i was lost in the flashing yellow taillights of the bus idling next to us.

the man’s thigh next to me bulged over and bothered me for no good reason, other than maybe my overblown sense of possession and propriety. i was itchin’ to start a fight, if only to delight in the riling spirit of vying for the space of an inch.

as i recomposed in the hypnotic grasp of my glance out the window, i caught a glimpse of my risible reflection, laughed at my unruly self and then sighed solemnly, as i mulled over the lull in my life.

it has been a long time since i’ve experienced true excitement—the enthralling kind where you find yourself teetering on the edge of fear, of being discovered, of having to explain yourself with utter poise and wholly convincing, yet quite conniving, grace; the kind of thrill when moments of little mischief threaten to bellow into overblown bubbles, the burst of which are loud enough to get you in a whole lot of trouble for your earnest attempts at waking the dead, upheaving, uplifting and inspiring a renewal, questioning undaunted in the pursuit of truth and, sometimes, merely to stir the pot, if only to maintain your youth.

its not that i’m looking to get caught or act criminal by any means. far from. i just like having a little fun while pushing the limits of where i can go. taking risks which challenge the status quo, and allow me to let go and refashion, refresh, my own set of already flimsy (i like to say “flexible”) values, principles, convictions and beliefs.

and admittedly, some times its just a game as well. amusing pretense which lets me cock about and crow as if i own the place; strutting with an intimidating swagger of confidence, one which allows me to get a little more than the other guy, the one who’s too shy, too afraid to look out of place, lose face, be entertained at the risk of seeming original or even a wee-bit foolish; this is why i dare and be One alone and not just one amongst the throng, to be driven by something bigger than humility and as shameless as a little impropriety from time to time, and, with sublime faith and tenacious virility mow over obstacles and onto accomplishment, which others once said could not be done.


blink. blink. blink.

as we pulled away i was pulled back into reality, folded back into the full circle from which i had come, to where i was going and where seemingly i would always belong.

Saturday, July 2, 2005

grey skies, never again

oh, if i had my way!

grey skies, never again

it is a dreary morning.

dark, no sign of sun anywhere, glossy streets, a flat grey horizon, sheets of rain speckle the windows.

entertaining optimism will be a challenge today, especially since many will set their moods accordingly. and, although the beacon of my soul will have many a cloud to break through, i will smile nonetheless, if not—allthemore.

admittedly, i may sigh a few times more often in the wake of this surrounding despondency, but it will merely be to regain a sense of serenity, to reposition the bearings of my self as i navigate the straits of others. inhale, exhale, smile.

and all the while, during this contest of my positive ply and wile, although i may not charm anyone to turn up their dispositions—in fact, i may very well irk more than perk—i must hold my own, persevere, even if ultimately i do so alone.

granted, others may wish their wallows and brumous sorrows to be washed away, hoping the sun will come out tomorrow, but i cannot afford to wait that long.

for it would be wrong to believe that the answer lies in the denial of the drab day. the trials of today are the opportunity to take advantage of time that will never pass our way again. never again.

Friday, July 1, 2005

Enzo en Bleu

enzo en bleu 05

Enzo en Bleu

These are the first photos I’ve taken after four whole days of not taking any. I feel much-much better now.

For the fact was that I was rather perturbed yesterday for no good reason really.

And yet, my irk was wholly justified for all the right reasons as well.

I had left my camera at home, so that I could concentrate on catching up. Currently, I have about 1,000 photos which I would like to edit before publishing them.

Alas, being that I regularly take 50-75 “good” photos (that is, those I feel might be worth keeping) on my trek to work in the morning and on my traversal back at the end of the day, I can’t keep up with myself. For the quantity I keep on the back burner continues to grow almost exponentially, as I can only edit about fifty a day.

Hence, I had to quit. If only for a week, I forced myself not to take any photos. And it was killing me.

My frustration reached its apex yesterday afternoon when I witnessed a dozen or so great, and I sincerely mean wonderful, photos manifest before me.

These included the disheveled, dazed and confused transient who stood in a stupor as tourists poured out around her as they disembarked from a tour bus which was adjacent to the spew of garbage emanating from the trunk of one of the many tattered suitcases she was towing about; the three young and jumpy black children dressed in black t-shirts that were huddled together, hanging out of the passenger side window of a black mini van; the long-legged and pretty girl who sat quietly upon a concrete step with a stream of pale light leading up to her along the long strip of pedestrian empty dull-grey pavement; the exquisitely framed tall young lady dressed in blood red orange, standing at the corner slightly underneath a rare red scaffolding (most steel frames in NYC are green, gray or blue); the young turk dressed in well-worn blue jeans, bright flip-flops and an apparently old favorite shirt of his which advertised some dive bar in jersey.

He was porting about his Minolta as if he were on a mission. And so I followed him for a few blocks hoping to catch a glimpse of what he saw, hoping to allay my anxiety as I lived for a moment vicariously through him. Alas, he took a mere two photos on a path where I would have taken twenty, thirty, forty! pictures; The pair of sprite and giggling jeune et jolie filles who I almost ran into as we both turned about a corner from opposite ends; The table of exquisite and exotic beaded Indian slippers, each colored as differently as the arcoiris of hijabs one might find huddled in the centerfold of an old issue of national geographic. These, and far too many other beautiful images, eluded my grasp during my brief but resplendent walk home.

Hence, I am here and now compelled to write about what once was, what is now gone and forever but a fading memory, if only in reverence, if only to smooth out a ruffled demeanor, and sooth this rough and rankled disposition.

I feel much better now. Now, that my finger is back on the trigger.