Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Life Has Been Good to Me

Life Has Been Good to Me
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

1. 40 Days Old, 2. Mom and Me in San Franciso, 3. Pops and I in Frisco, 4. The Birthday Bath, 5. Inspired to be a Photographer, 6. Hewwo?, 7. The Dawning of the Lush Life, 8. Lounging with Pops, 9. The Mud Mites, 10. Lorenzo "Pancho" Villa, 11. First Grade, 12. Me and My Siblings

Life is Good

November 22, 2006 (my birthday), New York City:

So I was late to work again this morning.

I was compelled to answer the phone every time it rang (it was ringing off the hook), and to respond to the hundreds of happy birthday wishes that were sent to me…

Actually, I just work up late (ker-plunk).

And, I received only one phone call—from my estranged wife—she said, “Happy Birthday Lorenzo,” and promptly handed the phone over to the boys. I told them that I was looking forward to seeing them this evening when were planning to have a nice quiet dinner together at Guido’s Italian; a local red-sauce joint in Jersey with just myself, the boys and Mama—my estranged wife (Actually, it has been a rather amicable separation. I just like the gritty way it sounds.)

Anyway, it really doesn’t matter that I wasn’t flooded with gifts and well-wishes this morning. After almost 40 years you learn that less is more.

Besides, the only real reason I want to celebrate is to have a reason to party—to let go, to get drunk, to get high (on life), to dance, and spend some wonderfully ribald moments with good friends.

If I didn’t have to work and I didn’t have obligations, I probably wouldn’t wait to one day in Fall every year to let go of my inhibitions (not that I ever really wait).

Moreover, the celebration of life should not be limited to one day a year, just as we shouldn’t wait to until Christmas or Hannakah, Kwanza or 'Id al-Fitr (د الفطر,) to give to (and be with) others, in celebration of our love and appreciation of our friends and family.

So, that’s why I’m having a belated birthday party next Saturday at my apartment. Friends will get their invites today.

The morning wasn’t a total loss though, for I did receive a very nice compilation for my birthday last night from my friend Suzanne, which I listened to this morning; Mom and Pops both called; and I also received a note from a new New York friend who wrote to tell me that my photostream is “extraordinary.”

She also wondered if there was really a Lorenzo or if it was actually a small corporation hiding behind my pseudonym.

I was flattered to say the least, but confessed, “Alas, I am merely a man,” a one-man band with a drum-bass tied to my foot, a squeaky-squawky accordion strapped to my side, and a pair of drumsticks in my hands.

So, its my birthday. Hence, the new collage—the retrospective look at a life gone by.


Life is good though. And I can’t wait to celebrate it next Saturday. Write me a note (i.e. e-mail me) if you consider yourself a friend and would like to celebrate life with me and my other friends.

Or maybe you just want to be (become) a friend and believe yourself to be extraordinary, for all my friends and heroes (one in the same) are extraordinary. Each one of them has a tale to tell, a bridge to sell or at least is willing to jump off of one with me.

One of my best friends is my father. His birthday is next week, November 29. Lately, he has been telling his grandsons that he wants to jump out of a plane.

Of course, I find it extraordinary (a little crazy really) that my old man, at the age of 62 wants to take up skydiving. So, I guess I might just have to jump with him, if only to celebrate the life that he and my dear Mama gave me.

Thanks Pops, Thanks Mom.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Rose & Olive

Rose & Olive
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

1. happiness, exhiliration, immediacy, delay, 2. green green green, 3. from the same poem in which is included: "think of my hip as it lay" and "I stir my martinis with a screw", 4. thrusting for one, 5. Untitled, 6. , not quite., 7. Can you see my left red foot?, 8. you forever knew., 9. moles, blades, tips and sheets, 10. rose. finally alone with me in the western inn., 11. something like happiness, 12. Untitled

a mosaic of rose and olive’s enchanting photos, and a little diptych of my own…


Rose, Olive and Me

I don’t know rose and olive.

But I’d like to.

Intimately, (parenthetically), diptychally, upside-downally, sidewaysey, peripherally, diagonally, metaphysically, psychically, physically, poetically, from-a-distance-y (a long-ways-away-sy), closely and closer-again-y. Each and every improbably and impossibly-possible way—I’d like to know them (y).

They live in Texas though, and I live in New York City (note: everyone knows NYC is the equivalent of any state in the union).

So, despite the distance, I decided that today would be a perfect day to get to know them. Thus, today I have taken a look at each and every of their photos, and read each tag, and thought about every comment that their fans have left behind.

Fortunately (for me), by a sequence of unfortunate events (for them), that wasn’t too hard to do though, because they’ve only got 57 photos up right now.

They used to have something like 57,000 up at one time—I think they pissed someone off, instigated a revolution, advocated free love or were just expressing their idiosyncrasies a little too much for someone else’s narrow-minded tastes, something like that; so than one thing led to another, and ultimately their inaugural account (tetheredbythesun) was axed.

Thus, therefore, hence, and furthermore, they’ve begun anew—started all over again. And I have taken advantage of them and their misfortune in order to create my ode.

Anyway, so I took a look.

I hadn’t really done so before. Sure, I had scanned, skimmed, gawked and spent some time perusing—immediately confusing love, infatuation and appreciation with lust. But, I really hadn’t delved, although I’ve long intended to do so ever since.

Ultimately, I concluded—I’d like to sleep with them.

Sex is wholly, truly—really—entirely optional though. I just think it would be nice to close my eyes upon a smile, after a long winter night whittling time away, spoon-feeding chocolate pudding, getting high (on life) while regaling ribald adventures, and making fun of Double-Yah (George, the monkey that would be made an emperor).

Like a voyeur from above, I can see how I’d have Rose on one side and Olive on the other—Olive on her belly, her palm pressed lithely upon my breast, and Rose’s right hand is clasped tight in my left, her head leaning upon my shoulder, her left knee bent and resting upon my left thigh (sigh). The shot: Olive’s hand, my smile, Rose’s closed eyes.

This is my dream, nothing more, nothing less—my personal, less-than-lurid vision, the PG version of every man’s fantasy.

Otherwise, looking at their photos makes me ponder, wonder, contemplate, debate (if only with myself), imagine running away with them—hitchhiking, trespassing, small-time pilfering and making suggestive photos of them with lonely, skinny truck drivers who have given us rides to dusty, hideaway roadside motels.

Rescuing butterflies
cut down the middle,
loving them,
worshiping them
with Polaroids,
because they are stronger-than-you,
more beautiful for it.

A tab of saliva,
some dirt,
her chin;
strange motorcycle men…

I digress.

Nonetheless and allthemore, despite this cursory look into their lives, one thing was certain for me from the very beginning:

Rose and Olive are Extra Ordinary.

They are extraordinary gals, they’d make extra ordinary pals, they are extraordinary artists and extraordinary friends (with each other), extraordinary photographers who are extraordinarily enigmatic.

In essence, they are magic.

And thus like Madonna, Arnold, My Boys (Enzo & Nicky) and Steve Irwin, today they, Rose and Olive, are my heroes too.

Thus, and that’s why—I’d like to know them.

Monday, November 20, 2006

To Live, Hope, Survive, and Breath in New York City

A Corner of Williamsburg 004
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

To Live, Hope, Survive, and Breath in New York City

Although I love taking photos for many-many reasons, the one thing I lament about this medium is that there are a million sensations that we miss that are vital to the experience that is otherwise only visually-captured by each photo.

This is especially true in New York City, where you are often overwhelmed by the clamor, the putrescence, and the grit of city life. As a result, you tend to shut yourself off from all this in order to endure.

Unfortunately, as quintessential as plugging in your iPod may be to survival in the great Cosmos, many great and wonderful things are missed as a result of tuning out. Because if you can tolerate the hustle and bustle, the noise and the general chagrin of every stranger that glares at you, the experience can be quite magical.

This morning for instance, while riding the train to work, I experienced the following attack to my senses:

·The suffocating overdose of Old Spice wafting in waves from the big guy in front of me;

·The instant-reeling, that not-so-pleasant vertigo feeling, that overcame me when 2-hour old coffee breath rolled over my shoulder like the eerie fog from a horror movie.

·The trickle of sweat sliding down my back due to disparity between the MTA’s attempt at temperature control and Mother Nature’s control over the Earth—for although I was smiling while I zipped in the plush liner into my winter coat this morning and I broke out those new leather gloves because the weather-guy blurted “It’s colllld out there!,” the Metropolitan Transit Authority apparently wasn’t listening. And so I ended up going from a cozy bundled-up 40 degrees to a crowded 80 degrees and-getting-hotter on the rush-hour train;

·And most titillating, was the flutter of endorphins triggered by long lashes, light eyes and a seductively-shy smile from across the car.

This small-small sample of what we miss when we merely look at the photos is why I love writing as often as possible about what I hear, smell, touch and feel when taking photos on the streets of New York; writing allows me to fill in the important details, the sine-qua-non of the true metropolitan experience. And this is why I have tried to make it an essential element of my particular brand of photography.

Thus, I am grateful to all those who take the extra time to read these complementary little musings of mine. And I hope that from the little that I offer that you can divine a part of what it is like to live, hope, survive, and breath in New York City.

Some day I hope to return to my beloved California, so that I may document much as I have done here. For it is a wholly different experience to live, breath, shine and languor in the Sunshine State.

“Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.” ~ Mary Schmich, Columnist, Chicago Tribune

The Thrill of the (Joy) Ride

The Beauty of the Ride 9
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

The Thrill of the (Joy) Ride

This set is best viewed as a one-second slide show, with your favorite upbeat music playing as a soundtrack.

These photos were shot on November 7, 2006 from the rain-spotted window of a taxi home (The Upper West Side) from a reception at the Lotus club on 14th Street in the heart of the meat-packing district of Manhattan, which I attended with my father ("Pops") who was visiting from California.

The taxi ride photos happen spontaneously in various ways. I've learned to not look through my viewfinder for many of my photos I take because it allows me to take photos from many more interesting and insightful angles. Thus, I shoot from the hip a lot, and the ground as well.

Moreover, I am ever fascinated by the thrill of the ride and have tried to capture the excitement of the moment with my photos over the last year or so. I find that we take the fact that we can move so quickly across land for granted all-too often. It is simply a miracle that we have only experienced for a little over two hundred years now.

Thus, here I present many of the other sets featuring rides of all sorts: taxi rides! bus rides! skateboard and bike rides! and even a provocative riding-upon-my-hips ride...:

A Ride on the Wild Side

Taxi! Take Me Thru Times Square!

A Beautiful Blur

Going to Bed with Gill: The Taxi Ride

Subway Strips

The Amazing Picture Show

To and Fro

Busted! (For The "Stupid" Pictures)

Running with the Devil

I Love to Ride My Bicycle

I Ride My Bicycle

My favorite ride of all though is when my friend Mia rode on me, while I took photos of her in playful ecstasy...

Joy Ride!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Back in the Groove

An Ode to Hilary
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Back in the Groove

I went to bed at 2 AM, and set the alarm at 6 last night (this morning).

When it went off, I awoke dreaming that a friend, a friend who apparently is only a friend because it is convenient for her (i.e. I have something she wants), was repeatedly yelling “Have a Nice Day!,” “Have a Nice Day!,” “Have a Nice Day!”

I soon realized that it was my mind playing tricks on me, taking my anxieties and blending them with reality—the blaring alarm becoming her blurting.

However, as is usually the case, if I wake up in the middle of a REM state, my first inclination is to hit the snooze—which I promptly did.

I reset the alarm to 7 and closed my eyes again.

Apparently, I didn’t set if properly though, because a moment later the snooze setting overrode my somnolent intentions and startled me promptly at 6:15.

This time I got up, brushed my teeth, took a wee and then got back into bed, making sure that I had set the alarm properly this time.

Alas, I couldn’t fall back asleep—too much was on my mind, there was simply too much to do, and surprisingly, I was feeling alright now, despite the lack of sleep.

Thus, hence, therefore, I ordered myself to “get the fuck up,” and make the most of this restlessness.

And I did.

Over the next hour, I wrote a few letters, foraged through a dozen folders of photos shot over the first few weeks of November, and culled together what I felt were the best of the best. I edited this select group, and with this musing present them here and now.

After my daily vitamin, a little lo-chi (i.e. stretching, a touch of yoga and some faux tai-chi) , and three shots of espresso—I was feelin’ good. Let me tell you, it’s been a long-time comin’.

This is the first morning in almost three frickin’ weeks now that I can breath freely and haven’t been hacking up a storm. In sum, allergy-set bronchitis is a bitch. The worst part about it though is not the bouts of asthma and pain-wrenching coughs, but actually the stupor that the drugs stoop me into. Antibiotics, as well as the usual round of supplemental expectorants and such, cumulatively make me insensate and always adversely affect my performance, my vitality and my mood.

But now, I’m back in the groove again.

Sorting through my latest crop of photos helped me realize that despite all this, my assiduity, my focus and my persistence have paid off.

It almost always does, but it is often difficult to taste the fruit of your labor when you’re in the midst of toiling, sowing and planting seeds.

Nonetheless and allthemore, here and now, I feel good, I’m feeling wow!

And I’m eager to take on something big, something monumental again, something I can be obsessed over, something in which I can pour my all passion into—another book maybe, peut être a complex, multi-faceted project, an amalgam of photo, word, and people; and perhaps even just an insatiable lover, a spunky girlfriend, or merely a new muse.

Albeit, with the posting of An Ode to Hilary, my newest self-portrait , I’m not so sure the latter is going to happen.

Regardless, at least I’ve got my senses and my sense of humor back, at least I’ve got the balls to post such a self-effacing piece de résistance, at least I am again free enough of the pandering ego to accept myself and say, “Hey, this is me. Laugh if you will, actually I would love it if you did.”

This portrait was actually taken a few weeks ago, when I thought I was going to start the 365 project that is so en vogue these days. Alas, I couldn’t keep up with myself, for simply taking one good photo a day was a task too big for my britches.

Nonetheless and allthemore, I am posting this particular photo as an ode to my dear friend and inspiration Brooklyn Hilary. She is one wacky, kooky, and wonderfully zany gal.

And she well knows that I much rather project a more suave, controlled and debonair image. However, on occasion I will concede, if only for her, to being simply human and make fun of myself.

Besides, it is a good for the soul to succumb to some self-mockery every once in a while—keeps you real, keeps me humble. And God, knows I need to do just that a little more often.

Maybe, that’s why I got sick—to taper the exuberance, the narcissism and the natural spring of élan for a moment.

Yeah, whatever.

All I know is that I’m back. I’m feeling good, and I’m ready to take on whatever comes my way.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Originally uploaded by lorenzodom


Everything is in flux today.

I seem to be transitioning. Seem to be because I’m not really sure of anything right now, and “transitioning” sounds like an appropriate euphemism at this juncture.

Many things are out of whack right now—my boss is indefinitely out on leave; I spent all morning moving my office to a new space; the art exhibit that I’ve been working on for months may not happen after all; I’ve got a rather annoying case of acute bronchitis; and there ain’t no love in my life (at least, not the kind that keeps you warm, happy and healthy on cold nights…).

Moreover, I haven’t taken pictures in earnest for a couple of weeks now, and have written just as infrequently. Albeit my father was in town for a week, I had care of the kids for most of those days, and I focused on renovating my apartment during that time as well, there was still a little time here and there when I could have accomplished some creative work.

Alas, the inspiration just wasn’t there.

This morning I started to get the itch again though. I was walking from Port Authority down Eight Avenue to work and the metropolis was waking up—brimming with urban beauty, as it stretched and yawned and began to irk and pique and inspire the hustlers who were going to and fro.

And although I really didn’t have the energy, with practically every step I was inspired and moved and yearned to takeout my camera and take pictures. Alas, I didn’t want to be late to work (again) and I didn’t want a hundred more photos to edit.

Nonetheless and allthemore, I took note of the amazing things I saw and took pictures of all of them, if only with my mind—I took one of the guy dressed up in an all-red zoot suit, apparently just in town for a pimp convention (they actually have those you know); a few as I passed the line of colorful day-laborers on the corner of Eight and 36th, waiting for a chance to earn a few honest dollars while scrubbing toilets, food prepping, stocking, doing things that a lot of others are not willing to do; an upward side-shot as I walked with the woman who suddenly got a call on her cell phone and burst into this bright, almost inspirational, smile as she bid good morning to a good friend; another one as I was approaching the three DHL guys dressed entirely in red and yellow, pushing delivery carts in the middle of the street while crossing 34th; and then there was my favorite shot of the accidental tourist whose light-blue suitcase perfectly complemented the giant and slightly-darker blue scrawl of graffiti on the steel storefront doors that stood behind her.

One after another, I saw and appreciated several exquisite city scenes this morning. The positive experience motivated me to bust out of this rut I’m in.

The last time that I was in a mood like this, I posted an image that was all black. This time, I chose to make it indicative of my emerging mood, a gradient shift from all-gloom to off-white—not only reflecting the changing color of the sky at sunrise this morning, but also to suggest that there is an underlying optimism beneath my otherwise brooding demeanor—because I’m confident that the sun will eventually shine through.

Maybe that’s why I see myself as “transitioning,” rather than simply feeling stuck in the upheaval, caught in the mire of life’s trials and tribulations, anchored in the storm that is my life.

“A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.” Harry S. Truman