Saturday, October 29, 2005

Subway Dreams

Subway Dreams

One of the great things about living, working, and loving in New York City is the grimy convenience of the subway system. It is fairly reliable and practically gets you anywhere you need to go in the five boroughs. Yet, as with anything that has been around for a hundred years, it could use some aesthetic and practical upgrades. Here are 9 half-serious suggestions on how I’d improve the metro, if I had it my way.

* Offer free iced coffee to passengers while they wait during the summer, and black subway fleece blankets, like the airlines, during the winter.

* Make all the little punks who carelessly toss their gum, candy wrappers and otherwise on the platform perform 100 hours of community service for each piece of litter, making them hand scrape every piece of blackened, hardened gum on every platform of this old grand metro.

* Grant funds for local grammar schools to beautify local platforms with the mosaic, painted and chalk-drawn art of all the brilliant, precocious minds in their care.

* Build gossamer fiberglass sidewalks, so that people from each direction could see silky shadows of those on the other side. For some of these light-shedding projects, I’d use groups of small multi-colored circles that let in streams of various hues.

* Create an exchange program of buskers, musicians and various other artists and performers with other subway systems from all over the world.

* Pump in waves of soothing acoustic, electronica and new age music onto the platforms to calm all the rushing, waiting, weary souls.

* Build free hand sanitizing systems at the sides of station exits that allowed people to swipe their hands over scans of some sort of ultra-violet light or other to promote better health and reduce the pervasive transfer of cold viruses.

* Shoot a laserbeam of light across platforms, a foot away from the edge, in conjunction with campaigns advising people to stand clear, preventing unnecessary accidents and encouraging anxious passengers to let others get off the train first.

* Hand out Atkins diet books, so that overtime more people fit comfortably in the train.

Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten
From the Battery to the top of Manhattan
Asian, Middle-Eastern and Latin
Black, White, New York you make it happen

Brownstones, water towers, trees, skyscrapers
Writers, prize fighters and Wall Street traders
We come together on the subway cars
Diversity unified, whoever you are
We're doing fine on the One and Nine line
~An Open Letter To NYC, Beastie Boys


this musing and foto are featured as part of 100 NY Stories (High), book sixteen of the lost man chronicles.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

A Calculating Perspective

I Love New York!

This morning as I exited the house I encountered a sky colored violet like the irises overtaking out garden, and pink much like the cherry blossoms that seem to be falling everywhere as spring matures into summer.

Being in a rush to catch the 5:40 bus, I fumbled as I tried to walk and fetch my camera out of my bag at the same time. Alas, with each step my purview changed radically, for a mere block and minute later the glorious hues of this magnificent horizon were hidden behind the tops of the houses of my beloved suburbia.

Since I live toward the top of a street that slopes downward about 15 degrees, my vista takes in many more miles of the heavens than those of my neighbors that live but a few feet away. There is a world of difference between us when it comes to seeing the sunrise each morning, and for that I feel quite fortunate.

But this privy was not the most important lesson learned for me this morning. It was that a perspective can change from one extreme to another within a minute differential of time and space. Furthermore, the value or impact of the sum of these two variables (time and space) can be exponentially greater than the numerically measurable and “objective” differences that calculations derived therefrom might otherwise indicate.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Words That Last

Words That Last

Words That Last

While pondering over the 400 year old wisdom of contemporaries Shakespeare and Montaigne this morning, I realized another reason why reading the Bard and the Essayist prove so satisfying—there is comfort in the enduring works of others.

For these days solace resides more in the certainty of the past than in the uncertain prospects of a future.

It is so much easier to forget about today and the harrowing possibilities of the morrow when one immerses one self in the universal truths that have long illuminated and motivated man to love, to hate, to harbor and to steal.
There is little to gain from that which heralds otherwise—of evil forces that die to pilfer our lives too, all in the name of the certain unknown. These mongers of fear jeer at the machinations of the heinous mind, but offer little hope in the wake of the alarm.

And so the resounding solace of words that last.

to laugh, in retrospect

to laugh, in retrospect

to laugh, in retrospect

“Everyone who doesn’t live in New York City was issued ‘doomsday’ phones,” he relayed laughing, with a chuckle which we both knew was our sole consolation.
Both of us work in Manhattan for Fortune 100 companies that recently issued memoranda which essentially stated that it was understood if one had to suddenly leave should something occur that called for an unplanned departure.

Both companies also noted that employees should notify management if we were willing to stick around during a crisis to work.

Both of us agreed that ensuring survival far superceded taking advantage of any opportunity for promotion or to demonstrate our mettle, valor, honor, integrity, loyalty or any other so-called virtue. It was far more important and prudent to show such strengths after securing our futures first.

We both chuckled after admitting how depressing and frightening the imminence of it all was, for every city dweller we know consistently remarks how surprised they are that nothing has happened yet.

I took another sip of my Sapporo, my third drink that evening, three times more than what I normally drink on a weekly basis.

What shook me even more was that I could see the genuine fear in my friend’s eyes. He’s an investigative reporter for a major network, so I figured that at least he would be immune to all the hoopla and media hyperbole—to the contrary, I got the impression that being on the inside actually made it worse.

Then again, for all essential purposes we were both drunk and tired. So seeing the harrowing abyss in his eyes through my own dilated pupils surely merely magnified any misperceived anxiety being drummed up between two fools.

I revealed to my good friend that over the last two days I had assembled two backpacks that I kept under my desk at the office, each with equal stores of supplies for survival: flashlights, blankets, beef jerky, cash, potassium iodine (used to block the thyroid in case of a chemical warfare attack), Naproxin and Ibuprofen (should one have to deaden the senses), band-aids, a tourniquet, inflatable pillows, radios, water bottles, masks, and disposable latex gloves.

It all seems so surreal. I once thought I would never subscribe to the paranoia, but here I am practically preparing for the day after Armageddon.

I suppose ultimately such assiduous preparations may not make a bit of a difference, but nonetheless psychologically it stirs hope.

Certainly therapists are reveling in the windfall of work which has come of all this.
And one can only wonder if we will look back and laugh with self-deprecating wit, or if we will remember it all in torment.

i suppose, i should be grateful

October Morn 11

i suppose, i should be grateful


another uneventful day.

i suppose, i should be rather grateful
to feel well and be alive;
to have free will and have made it through the tunnel again;
to not have witnessed disaster (again)
or felt fear when each passing minute
of ignorance feeds the raging fire.

i suppose, here—healthy and whole—today, i should feel grateful,
and happier still, should i be as bored all the morrow.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Stubble Trouble

The Photo Booth

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.” ~ Mark Twain

No stubble.

That’s strange. I took a double-take in the mirror because my chin seemed oddly youthful this morning. Almost always, without fail, by 5 AM and 5 PM stubble rears its stubborn head. Around 8 AM at the gym and 8 PM at home, I shave in the shower, which gives my face 9 hours to grow new hair and show that “I am a man” and at least old enough to drive.

But this morning was different.

Eerily, I recalled Dorian Gray and Jitterbug Perfume, and presumed that what I saw was all but an illusion, a perceptual elision of the aging mind, and mainly a matter of not having had my coffee.

A few days ago I was asked, “If the aging process could be reversed what age would I revert to?” I responded with an earnest note, “I don’t play hypotheticals.”
For I usually don’t. I just know that getting all worked up over some fantasy is about as detrimental to one’s health as second-hand smoke. It’s the false hope that motivates millions upon millions of honest folks and hapless souls to whittle away their hard-earned pay upon the lottery everyday.

Of course, on occasion, because I am desperately human, I too will break down and throw a dollar into the pot.

“Why not?” is my usual absent-minded reasoning. For risky and rebellious optimism will always be the rich reserve of youth.

And so, I smiled in the mirror and said to myself, “Why not? I could actually be getting younger…”

It was a wonderful way to start the morning.

“. . . Years steal Fire from the mind, as vigor from the limb; And life's enchanted cut but sparkles near the brim.” ~ Childe Harold (canto III, st. 8), Lord Byron

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Ignorance is not bliss

Ignorance is not bliss

focusing on the taillights in front of us, unconsciously avoiding the string of a thousand lights that illuminate and indicate one is in the tunnel, i realized a small consoling factor, an insight into the mind of terrorism that quiets the anxiety in me driven by the drivel of media hyperbole—the loss of economic welfare is recoverable, the loss of life is not. one is far more valuable than the other.

which is why at 6:15 a.m, stuck in the middle of this underwater thoroughfare, i am more frustrated than frightened. it is much more terrifying to be in the midst of tunnel traffic during rush hour—when the power of these fanatics wields the force of an apocalypse and prospectively the end of the world for a few thousand people who were just vying to get through to toil at an honest day of work.

there long have been many credible pundits who say that it’s not a matter of whether or not something’s going to happen, its just a matter of when.

thus, in this case, Ignorance is not bliss. it is simply an impatient omen of disaster.

Friday, October 21, 2005

the most beautiful day of the year

the most beautiful day of the year
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

This morning, on the radio, I heard the announcer say, “Looks like today is going to be the most beautiful day of the year.”

It really didn’t matter to me “why” it would be, I just loved hearing him say that.

Maybe it’s because quite often the magical colors of the Fall sky, the cool crisp air of autumn, and sometimes the low-hanging gravitating moon—“Oh, you crazy lune!”—just make me feel that way every day of this wonderful season.

But then again it may also be that I’m just inclined to think that way as well—leaning towards making the most of life, bent to find what makes the most lack-luster things glow (Sometimes, you know, you’ve just got to look inside, for that’s where she truly shines!). For it’s the mantra, the holy disposition, the intuition and the exceedingly exuberant, overly-tenacious, unyielding and simply undeniably innate and irrepressibly arousing positive attitude of optimists like me that compels us to feel and say and see with utter conviction that practically any day can and is and will be the most beautiful day of the year.

Hence, I know today will certainly be the most beautiful day of the year, just as tomorrow, rain or shine, will best all the billions of days that have come before it.

So, smile at a stranger today, make someone you love laugh today, even just eat your lunch alone outside (instead of at your desk again) today—Indeed! help me make this the most beautiful day of the year, if just by believing and acting as if it is.

finding my center

Gol! Gol! Gollll!!! 001

I had just come from participating in a few hours of activity with my office colleagues at the Chelsea Piers Sports Complex when I came across these futbol players at the fields located between 11th Avenue and the West Side Highway off of 23rd Street.

After having rock climbed in my dark blue pin-striped suit, hit 90 mile-an-hour balls at the batting cages with my tie still on, and “finding my center” at the golfing range, I was both fired up on a Friday night, as well as ready to just go to sleep after a long day.

Swinging at the range was the highlight of the evening for me. The Company had hired pros to instruct us, after which I realized something that changed my game forever. For years I had long struggled with the fact that the head of the club is angled and not perpendicular to the ground, and so reflexibly I had always twisted my grip just slightly inward so as to correct the manufacturer’s mistake! Well, after asking the pro about this quirk of mine he confirmed my sudden realization that maybe, just maybe “It’s supposed to slope at a 45 degree angle in order to scoop up the ball…duh!” The epiphany and subsequent grip change allowed me to hit about 25 balls straight and to the 250 yard tee. The next morning I excitedly called my father in California, with whom I go golfing once every 2 years or so, about the experience. Hfinding my center

I had just come from participating in a few hours of activity with my office colleagues at the Chelsea Piers Sports Complex when I came across these futbol players at the fields located between 11th Avenue and the West Side Highway off of 23rd Street.

After having rock climbed in my dark blue pin-striped suit, hit 90 mile-an-hour balls at the batting cages with my tie still on, and “finding my center” at the golfing range, I was both fired up on a Friday night, as well as ready to just go to sleep after a long day.

Swinging at the range was the highlight of the evening for me. The Company had hired pros to instruct us, after which I realized something that changed my game forever. For years I had long struggled with the fact that the head of the club is angled and not perpendicular to the ground, and so reflexibly I had always twisted my grip just slightly inward so as to correct the manufacturer’s mistake! Well, after asking the pro about this quirk of mine he confirmed my sudden realization that maybe, just maybe “It’s supposed to slope at a 45 degree angle in order to scoop up the ball…duh!” The epiphany and subsequent grip change allowed me to hit about 25 balls straight and to the 250 yard tee. The next morning I excitedly called my father in California, with whom I go golfing once every 2 years or so, about the experience. He likewise got excited and said, “Well son, maybe its time I got you that new set of clubs for Christmas that I had always wanted to get you!”

Anyway, although being both exhausted and all worked up, when I saw these soccer games going on in the distance and that awesome fluorescent stadium lighting illuminating the action, I knew I had to check it out.

At first, I tried to take a few shots from the fence, because I really just wanted to satisfy the urge with a few quick clicks and then go home. Alas, the chain link got in the way, and so I had to persuade myself to jump right in, “Damn it! Just go in there and take those damned photos of yours!”

Well, I did and I had a lot of fun doing so. Click HERE to see a slideshow of the results.
e likewise got excited and said, “Well son, maybe its time I got you that new set of clubs for Christmas that I had always wanted to get you!”

Anyway, although being both exhausted and all worked up, when I saw these soccer games going on in the distance and that awesome fluorescent stadium lighting illuminating the action, I knew I had to check it out.

At first, I tried to take a few shots from the fence, because I really just wanted to satisfy the urge with a few quick clicks and then go home. Alas, the chain link got in the way, and so I had to persuade myself to jump right in, “Damn it! Just go in there and take those damned photos of yours!”

Well, I did and I had a lot of fun doing so. Click HERE to see a slideshow of the results.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

the spoils of our lives

the spoils of our lives
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

the spoils of our lives (existentially, a happy man)

Wednesday night was amazing.

Although it was a late night at the office
I was thankful for having to linger behind,
for it was just long enough to find
a wet sheet of cool rain covering
the grimy rues of Manhattan
as I left the building.

The gleam reflecting off the city streets
seemed to say, in a glimmering way,
that the laboring grit, the political grime,
the stains of sin, and the sordid crime
all had been wiped away—once again,
swiped clean from the blathering
face of Babylon

And so, I walked on in wonder of how fresh it all felt.
A tingling thunder of ions crackled loosely in the air,
the iridescent effect coloring brightly everywhere
every vibrating, happening hue.

And as I breathed deeply
in the late lush of the evening’s splendor,
I sighed an ode, sweet and tender,
in utter awe.

This pleasantly invigorating passage home was the perfect preface to what was to be a rather musically pleasant evening.

For after stripping away the monkey suit and stripping down to a pair of twilight-blue shorts, hunger drove me to meander to the cutting board where I sliced off a chunky quarter of a round pound of fresh mozzarella and slid it between some smoked Bresaola and two halves of one slice of toasted sourdough, which I drizzled with golden-green extra-virgin olive oil and peppered delicately with a sprinkle of dried chipolte chile. Yum.

The fact that this savory-flavory and fun food was waiting for me in the fridge also pleased me to no end, for I cannot deny that fortune has left little reason for me to complain or claim want of any delectable nourishment.

So, after the meticulous preparation I sat down eager to consume my masterprize of appetizing dried meat and white cheese, and with equal vim put on my headphones to sink into an incredible world of euphony and ever-transient enchantment.

Moreover, I got to watch my favorite moving picture—the undulating, turning, twisting, stasis-defying illusions of the iTunes random-ator, which dives and drives magical swirls of music through cyberspace. Its swath of synchronous aberrations invigorate the soul as red and gold flowers come and go and a techincolor garden blossoms before your bedazzled eyes in insubordinate counts of time that ignore the usual run and rime of the seasons. The variety of visual trickery was ever so delightfully beguiling in its ephemeral way, alternating between psychedelic displays of floral flourishes and surreal portraits of animate fauna—spaghetti bowls of worms whirling and twirling, riding upon waves whorling down white holes to burrow at the center of this sonic mayhem of electronic chaos.

The audible odyssey I was ultimately to sojourn upon for the next few hours was a fantastic journey where I stowawayed en lieu of much needed sleep. Fighting against prudence and existential common sense, in the end whim won, and I stayed up mischievously until midnight.

Oh, and what a delightfully fey truancy it was…

The sweeping, swinging, swaying buzz of compositions orchestrated by Billy May, inviting Dino Dean Martin to sing carols of True Love, and quickly an reverently put me in the mood for the gay melodies and siren calls and pulsating rhythm which were all to come.

Next, Frank tantalized with a croon of “sighing sighs”…and soon my eyes and ears were seeing and hearing and feeling the music in the breeze.

Every song and rap and ballad I played seemed to tease my with devilish guile; and the all the wile of vibrant and soothing sensations filled me with such positive flare and élan, that I got the urge to get on the table and lithely tiptoe a moonlit ode to Fred Astaire.

Elvis soon lit my heart on fire, burning it with a strange desire, as he asked me to Surrender, while the moon shined bright above. And then, with his trademark riveting snarl, he borrowed a little stardust to take this night of magic and make it into a night of love.

Oh, how these earth angels above did sing! And to think that their divining chant was all for me!

Like a Dummy pining aloss, I pulsed in yearning to a Portishead melody, which haunted me like a Stranger wandering wearily in search of his lost dove; in respite, Stereolab invited me to Come and Play in the Milky Night, while Luther pleaded and professed there is Never Too Much love. The Beastie Boys raucously bragged about their Brass Monkey—that funky monkey, chunky, funky monkey—and Stanley Black dotted and dabbed and stabbed a punch of keys into the piano playing Os Quindos del Ya Ya.

For dessert a sweet blurt of Mexican trumpets were followed by a blaze of the amazingly versatile voice of Bobby Darin, whose Splish Splash tossed me catatonically, as I joyously danced in my seat.

And to top it all, Claude Challe offered creamy libations to Buddha, the taste of which made it all seem like the wonderfully sonorous dream that it was.

At intermission I treated myself to a triple-stack of light and gooey, deliciously chewy, Pamelas’ peanut butter all-natural cookies. As I masticated in ecstasy I thought, “Life cannot get any better.”

I continued on my fantastic journey by turning off all the lights, leaving only the stars and candlelight to illuminate my thoughts as I penned them to paper.

In the shadows of my private romance I snuck in a scratch, grating with careless whim, scraping with a sanguine vim that made me feel Alive! Vigorous to the quick, the abrasion made me tick with great eagerness to return to the plush tenor of my headphone-enhanced transitive journey.

At the edge of midnight, a duo made of the majestic romance of Mozart as interpreted by Metha, Perlman, and Stern, and a dulcet set of boleros, those moving Spanish ballads of love and loss that I adore, worked ensemble to lull me into a state fit for a few good hours of slumber.


In retrospect, not only was the night filled with wonder, but Wednesday, all day, actually was quite wonderful in many more ways than one.

For starters, I wrote three new pieces; I participated in a important project with my boss which he has been belly-aching over for a while, and one which I took over while he is out for the high holy days. Positively, as a result he exalted my contributions and was especially satisfied to see that I was so easy-going about having to stay late.

And then, of course, I stayed up late to lounge and listen in the private sanctum of my music library, and what an incredibly satisfying and euphonic experience it was. It was made all the more gratifying when I realized how lucky I was to be conscious of the effort to actually enjoy the spoils of our lives. Because, quite like pirates, many of us never really relish our hoarded troves, as we are always on the go, out and about, sailing the seven seas, searching for more opportunities to plunder and vie for more.

Moreover, I got to sleep alone and wake up alone, undisturbed by anyone.

So let it be known, should suddenly my soul not wake or some menace decides to take me away from this earth, I did not perish in vain, for on Wednesday night I realized how truly happy I existentially am.

“When I am at home, I am more often than not in my library—as fine a one as you will find out in the country. It is situated above my gateway; and beneath me I can see my garden, courtyard, farmyard, and almost every part of the building—in a trice I can overlook all the concerns of my house. There you will find me thumbing one book after another in snatched, without method or plan. Sometimes I muse; sometimes—walking to and fro—I make notes and dictate such reflections as you now may read.

My library is my kingdom, and here I try to make my rule absolute—shutting off this single nook from wife, daughter, and society. Elsewhere I have only a verbal authority, and vague (at that).

We should all of us set apart for ourselves a little back shop, wholly free and out own—there to establish our true library, our solitude and retreat. There we must entertain ourselves with ourselves—to laugh and talk as if without family, goods, train, or attendance; so if it comes to pass that we lose any or all of these, it will mean no new thing to do without them.

Unhappy is the man, in my opinion, who has no spot at home where he can be at home to himself—to court himself and hide away.”

~ Essays, My Library in the Tower,
Michel de Montaigne

Monday, October 17, 2005

the good news, is within us all

the good news, is within us all
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

I don’t favor any particular brand of spirituality.

Everyday I rise with the sun—and that is spiritual enough for me.

Watching the roseate radiance ascending reminds me readily that I am sanguine and alive and thriving happily. Gawking in awe at dawn itself, is prayer enough for me.

Actually, there are so many amazing things that I gawk over that living itself is my true religion.
If anything, over time, loving and laughing and crying and sighing and every other expression of positive sentiment that makes us human, cumulatively form the set of sacraments that confirm my association with the divine.

And if there are deities, I walk and talk and run with them everyday, for my fellow man amazes me in so many ways that I do not need myths to inspire or explain the beauty of being—for with great respect I contend that God was made in the image of man his creator.

My holy book is the collection of epistles that I scribe daily by living vigorously and with undaunted optimism in face of all that I may experience otherwise.

My commandments encourage me to be—inspired by my dreams, and to make them more than just seeming; to love and appreciate and give unconditionally, with more vim that modern life might encourage otherwise; to fashion my own rules for life by and break them as I please; and to create, to conceive and believe that there is meaning in everything I do.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Stupid People Tricks

Stupid People Tricks
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes.
It is foolish to fear what you cannot avoid. ~ Publilius Syrus

Restless, I woke up at 2:45 this morning and began my usual routine: four cups of espresso, an apple, and a little photo editing.

After a couple of hours I was so worked up that I decided to relieve the tension by going for a run. So, at 4:45 I set out to go up the block and into the dark park.

I was slightly hesitant to enter because I could barely see where I was running, even with the little head lamp I was wearing lighting, leading the way from atop my baseball cap. Moreover, the caffeine prompted me to worry a little more than I would otherwise, and thus I fret over what I might encounter.

Admittedly, even the mere sound of random pitter-pattering, residual rain drops falling from leaves, spooked me a little. And so, I steered clear of the pitch black trail uphill and proceeded downhill instead, toward the fluorescent similitude of safety given by the glowing green lamps.

As I ran, I was in awe of the visual splendor of green and orange light and sprawling shadows that I saw. At every corner and at every turn I yearned to take a photo. However, I was determined to get a little exercise, and wasn’t about to turn back just to get my camera. Hence, I pushed forward.

Alas, the yearning to capture these incredibly pleasing aesthetic moments only exponentially increased. Thus, I became quite anxious about getting back home; so that I could return on my bike on to take a few shots.

Around the last bend, the looming shadows and the invisible plopping of acorns crashing down upon to the black pavement raised the adrenaline a tad more, prompting me to pick up my heels a little higher in response.


Two nights earlier I had gone for a run in the park at around 9:30 in a similar absence of light and worried much the same about whether or not I was placing myself in peril.

I vividly recall the tall gangly figure I passed, who although I could barely see, offered such a haunting silhouette that I half-imagined that he wore grimy blue jeans, a scruffy beard and a slightly tattered green army fatigue jacket – the congealed stereotype of a serial killer, prompting me to raise my brow and scurry forward a little faster.


Nonetheless and allthemore, I bit the bullet and went running both times regardless of my fears, valid or paranoid as they might have been, because I believe it is vital “to do,” to take action, to be physically active despite the risks you might be taking as a result. One can’t just sit around in an office all day long and then come home to lounge on the couch and expect life to happen – it just won’t. You have to get out there and take charge despite the daunting elements.

Moreover, I think it is crucial when you are a parent to set a good, if not great example.

Hence, I not only try to teach my boys what I believe in, those values that I find make life fulfilling by reading to them or making up stories that exemplify the principles I attempt to convey – adventure, exploration, experimentation, independence, doing it alone if you have to - but more importantly, I also try to teach by actually tackling life and opportunity itself. Because if you really believe in something, you can’t just talk about it, you’ve got to be it, seize it, create and fashion it to make it truly your own.

And if you don’t believe in it, you should remember not to be an example of it either. This seems all too logical and easy to achieve, but I feel it is all too easy to fall into this trap—to give in, to be complacent, to succumb to apathy and the status quo and to be afraid of leaving your comfy, long-established comfort zone. Just don’t Do It.


So, when I got home I frantically ran into the house to fetch my camera, trying not wake everyone up in the process and hoping to retreat to the park before the sun woke up as well.

Since it had been a rather wet morning, I put on the safety helmet that I usually abscond, but knowing that I was about to traverse upon rather slippery and often steeply sloped pavement; knowing that I was venturing on the border of the inane and not simply innocuous; tempting fate while foolishly entertaining the probability of a dangerous spill – I put it on.

For despite all the obvious risks I was taking, there was this internal force that compelled me to ignore them, just so I could take a few stupid pictures. For the beauty I beheld while I was running, simply could not be ignored – indeed it implored me over and over again to “Take my picture!”

Admittedly, at first, I was somewhat perturbed by this compulsion and asked myself “Why me? Why can’t I just roll over and hit the snooze button like most others? What am I doing here? Why am I driven to perform such stupid people tricks?”

This moment of doubt readily disappeared though as I steered and swerved and pedaled and smiled at every turn that I came upon another marvelous match of green street light and tree shadows.

Half way through my trek however the fog turned to light rain and so I had to continually wipe the camera off with my sweatshirt. Needless to say the descending water put a little damper on my picture parade.

I persisted though by taking cover under the thickest foliage I could find and frantically continued to wipe the lens, the casing and the LCD with whatever dry spot of a t-shirt I had left.

However, about three-fourths of the way through the full circle I had planned to ride, it started to pour and I had no choice but to hide the camera, tucking it away for the rest of the ride home.

Click HERE to view a slideshow of the pictures.

Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible.
~ Cadet maxim, U.S. Military Academy, West Point

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Walking With Wei Qi

Walking With Wei Qi
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

When written in Chinese, the word "crisis” – Wei Qi (pronounced Way-Jee) is composed of two characters: one represents danger, the other opportunity

I need to brag.

Well, sort of. I am proud of something I did because it reinforces and reconfirms a lesson I learned a long time ago, one that we need to remind ourselves of time and time again.

I googled my flickr screen name yesterday and came upon a photo of mine that had been posted to someone else’s flickr collection.

My gut reaction was perturbance, bordering on some sort of token anger. Being intimately familiar with the issue of intellectual property rights and piracy, I felt, if only for a moment, that I “should” be angry.

But then, I reminded myself of two things. First, anger is primarily a futile emotion that either usually only makes matters worse or can only be positive if it’s energy is channeled into constructive action. Second, I reminded myself of the old Chinese proverb: in every crisis lies an opportunity.

So, immediately I asked myself, “What am I going to do about this?” I wasn’t all too worried for a few reasons though. The person had at least given me some credit by writing “by lorenzodom” in the caption. However, there was no link to the original photo or to my site, and the photo was entitled differently than what I had originally titled it.

There were a few other elements that threw me off and further intrigued me to think positively about the situation. This included the fact that my photo was the only one he apparently had “borrowed.” The hundred or so other photos were screenshots of a math physics website in Chinese, a language I do not know. Furthermore, the website with the link that led me to his photo album was almost entirely in Chinese, except for the few lines that mentioned “the lost man chronicles” and “by lorenzodom.”

Ultimately, what I decided to do was to post the following message in the photo’s comments section:

Thank you for posting my foto to your site.

For anyone who is interested the original name of the photo is Monk Lets Intuition Be His Tour Guide

You can view the entire set entitled Monk in The City by clicking HERE.

And if you are interested in the lost man chronicles click HERE.


I figured that I would check back later and if my comments were removed and the photo was still there, I would then consider other action.

Subsequently, what actually happened was that the photographer added me to his contacts list, and even designated me as a “friend.” Being that I was his only-lonely contact thus far, I was flattered. Somehow it made me feel special and it made me smile. Smiling is always a good thing.

Hence, once again I felt that by thinking positively, by controlling my emotions and understanding what and why I was feeling (i.e. what is it that really bothered me, not getting angry, staying cool amidst confusion), and by trying to comprehend rather than pretending that I already do (i.e. presumption), I not only made a friend, but perhaps have quietly built that fabled tunnel to the other side of the world where a billion souls eagerly await to exchange information, ancient secrets and a few bits of lost worldly wisdom.

This photo was blogged by Cakue by Yohan Yudanara

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

the sun will rise

I Love You Sunshine 01
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

there’s that sun rising again.

and just when you think the world’s gonna end,
or the weather’s got you down, or that
frown you’re wearin’ ‘s bound to
hang upside-down for some time to come—
here she comes again,
around the mountain here she comes;
not carin’ if you’re broken-hearted
or just too blind-deaf-dumb
to realize everyday’s a new day
and that we can either stay despondent and
succumb to a bad disposition
or just as easily rise with the morning star
by changing the position of our attitude.

and so the sun teaches us that neither
one’s latitude, longitude or ingratitude for
another chance to begin anew with each new
day makes any difference in any way.
for as long as you are livin’
one is given the chance to take solace
in being anchored to this unforgiving earth,
which upon rollin’ back each morning
presents to us the opportunity
to witness once again that—
the sun will rise.


this musing and foto are featured as part of 100 NY Stories (High), book sixteen of the lost man chronicles.


Once again, I went crazy with the camera, taking 1,000 fotos on Sunday, October 2.

I think I'm going to have to see a doctor about this...Is their a shrink in the house?

Most of the photos were in Central Park where I spent an hour within the inner circle of the CP Dance Skaters Association.

Many thanks to Marius Mellebye in Norway who asked me at the start of summer to take photos of the group.

Also thanks to Ken, one of the staff members who led me inside and introduced me to the DJ. And of course much appreciation, respekt and luv goes out to all the skaters who unabashedly let me click away.

a complete list of the subsets in this series:
Rock Your Body, Move Your Body
Let The Sunshine Roll In
Dancing, Dancing, Dancing!
She's A Dancing Machine
I Wonder Wow, He's The Greatest Dancer
Toot, Toot, Beep! Beep!
I Love You Sunshine!

Please Note: Most of the sets are best seen in slide show mode at one-second intervals with your favorite house, techno, disco, electronica or other dance music loudly playing!

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Doctor, Doctor

Doctor, Doctor 902
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Doctor, doctor, give me the news
I've got a bad case of lovin' you,

~ Robert Palmer

Overlooking 69th Street from my friends' Rayner and Angie's apartment, the refrain from Robert Palmer’s catchy tune played over and over in my head, in my heart, and in my soul even.

Apparently, I’m infatuated with my camera because I had another 1000 picture day and was one step closer to driving myself crazy with this creativity drive I'm in.

I think I'm going to have to see a doctor about this.


While looking down into that small pocket of a street between York and 1st, I imagined jumping—a miraculous jump that would allow me to fall gracefully with a lithe landing upon the pavement where I’ve walked before.

Lest anyone misinterpret this little dream, I’ve never-ever even contemplated ending this wonderful life sooner than later, that is, sooner than necessary. Necessity, being wholly subjective of course.

I also fantasized about checking myself into psychiatry ward on the 11th floor of Memorial Sloan Kettering a few skips up the lane. Of course, these contrived delusions would not qualify me as even half-crazy enough to merit an examination by one of the staff members specializing in broken things like heads, hearts and dreams. I imagined the chief resident simply rolling her eyes, and even giving me a bit of a sneer for having wasted her time.

I watched myself drag my feet back to the spot where I had fallen to lie down in the middle of the pavement and close my eyes.



Admittedly, I have this proclivity toward obsession. Ever since I was a child I could focus on one thing until I had exceeded the limits of normal children. I’ve long had this habit of collecting and organizing and knowing everything I could about certain subjects.

Over the years I’ve learned to simply indulge it, rather then attempt to thwart the flow, that deluge of endorphins that overcomes me whenever I am in the throes of something I love.

Today, that proclivity thrives in the form of my writing and photography. Lately, it's been the latter. And lately its motivated me to push my limits more than ever.

I think the only thing that has come close to challenging me in this manner, the only thing that has swayed me so easily was adolescent love. Little apart from loving little Jeanie and the ever-blossoming Janet in seventh grade has prodded me so tenderly, charmingly, swayingly, swooning and woozily into the kind of infatuation that prods me to reach above and beyond what I know to be possible.

Alas, the good doctor has told me straight-up that I’m no longer eligible for such love, that I no longer qualify because I'm too old and strung out and widespread and tied to this web of adult obligation I’m rolled-up in. I guess than, I’ve got no choice but to throw myself into taking pictures.

At least, for now.


I was compelled to go for a run this morning and although I knew I was running around the park, I still wasn’t sure about where I was running to…or was it that I was running from?

When I was back in our backyard I stretched in the crisp morning fog. I yearned to just sit and sway on the swings a while, but I was afraid that once I sat in that saddle that I would not want to leave and that I would undulate in a pendulum of thought for hours.

The mist reminded me of grade school days when I often walked to school by myself through a cool sheet of California fog.

I tend to believe that I had a rather happy childhood—lots of playing in the mud with my cousins, riding my banana-saddled bicycle across dirt and pebble lots without a helmet, climbing about and hanging out under giant trees of wonder that offered baskets of succulent purple figs for the taking, rock fights with the bad boys from the other side of the railroad tracks, and hours of watching orange, black and white caterpillars crawl amongst the fragrant green sprigs of milkweed.

I have equally fond memories of junior high as well: a time rife with the fond memory of reading Steinbeck, Hemmingway, and lots of Shakespeare; lots of computer and science classes with other “special” kids; chess games that seemed to never end, and many adolescent girl crushes that never went beyond spin-the-bottle at birthday parties.

High school also proved to be some of the happiest years of my life, for being at an all-boys prep school allowed me to both focus on my studies and participate in extracurriculars like theater, track, and community service. It was also when I lost my virginity to my first “love.” And perhaps best of all, was that these years sparked an ardent love for literature —Ulysses particularly whet my appetite, for while most of my classmates relied on Cliff Notes, I was compelled to read cover to cover of is this masterful labyrinth—every page, every incomprehensible paragraph and insane enigma of wordplay offered by Mr. James Joyce.


I entered the house via the backdoor and sat on the steps going down to the basement to take off my shoes. Suddenly, I felt haunted and hounded and overwhelmed by a certain unknown force, I placed my face in the security of my palms and hid there with my eyes closed, hoping that whatever I felt would soon pass over me.

After a few minutes the pending gloom still lingered, threatening to overtake my better sensibilities. I persevered and after taking off my sweaty socks I got up to take a shower upstairs.

On my way to work I came to the conclusion that perhaps I’m going through my third life crises. The first was when I turned 30, the second came around 35, and now, ever closer to the sharp edge of 40, I’m feeling the pressure of realizing meaning—of being able to readily answer the question of "What have I done with my life to make it worthy?", of being able to smile and affirmatively answer that "Yes, I have indeed made the right choices" and that I am living the life that I deeply desire to lead.

The unusually overwhelming feeling I’ve had lately is that “I want more.”

Usually, I’m the guy encouraging others to be happy with what they have, and certainly I do have a lot—a great job that challenges me every once in a while, that utilizes my skills in a creative fashion, and that is well compensated as well; there’s also my family that loves me and that I love immensely, and of course there is that handful of friends that have I have maintained through the years; a house, a home, a passion for life, an uber-awareness of my surroundings, a generously giving and supportive wife; so what more could I want from life?

And yet despite all that, I readily recognize and tender, I’m still feeling I should be surrendering to something else, following a different bliss.


On second thought maybe this mild meltdown I’m having is all but the physiological undertow of melancholy caused in the wake of my excesses.

For not only did I stay up a little later than usual to watch another episode of Ali G and put a little in the pipe in his honor, but I also drank Prosecco and Ale earlier at the 7-year-old’s birthday party I was at, overate, and perhaps had a a little too much fun in the sun while I was dancing and taking pictures of the roller skaters and bladers dancing in Central Park.

In fact, I feel that at the close of summer I may have overdosed on sunshine itself. So that now, at the turn of the season, I am reeling from the darkness, feeling a bit woozy from the sudden change.

It could also be that maybe I’m just experiencing camera-withdrawal. For I decided, once again, that I needed to catch up with myself.

This feeling of yearning for my camera especially hit me as I came into the city this morning and there was this awesome display of fog and bright morning light covering the broad bevy of skyscrapers.

And then, as I traversed the metropolis on my walk to work, the gorgeous light coming through the buildings seemed to rub it all in even more. For the benevolent sun was basking the city in a golden hue that made everyone look beautiful

Despite the brilliant passage to the office that should have instantly have lifted my spirits, my gate has reminded slow and contemplative through much of the day.

Admittedly, it also may be that I know exactly what's bothering me, but I am just making excuses to cover it up...Maybe, perhaps, quizas, the world will never know.

Nonetheless and allthemore, I’m confident I’ll get over whatever I’m getting over soon.

Somehow, I always do.