Monday, December 22, 2008

25 Lessons Now Available in Paperback!

25 Lessons Now Available in Paperback
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Happy Holidays! Give the Gift of Inspiration! 25 Lessons Now Available in Paperback, $9.99

Happy Holidays to all my friends and family around the world.

I am excited to announce that 25 Lessons I’ve Learned (about photography) has just been published in paperback. It is now available online for only $9.99.

If you are looking to inspire someone this season, if you are looking to make someone happy, if you are looking to motivate someone you love to appreciate all the wonderful things about life—this is the perfect gift for under $10. Consider buying several copies to hand out to all your family and friends!

Click on the following link to purchase and see a preview of the book

25 Lessons I’ve Learned (about photography) Synopsis:
In the spring of 2005, in the wake of my marital separation, I lived for three months in a little church in the middle of Manhattan. At the time I had a choice to make—either sulk in my situation or make the most of it—I chose the latter.

Subsequently, I took to the streets of New York City with my camera and learned I had a latent talent for photography. Since then my photos have been cited, posted and published by over 330 other blogs, websites, and print publications. And this last year my story and photography were chosen in 2008 to join the ranks of style icons Gwen Stefani, Vera Wang and Jake Burton as part the international advertising campaign by Hewlett Packard (NYSE: HPQ) Be Brilliant – What do you have to say? (

More importantly though, during my stay at the Little Church I had a lot of time to reflect on the meaning of life and the secrets of success—25 Lessons is the story about what I learned.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Wishful Thinking

Wishful Thinking
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

"The only cure for vanity is laughter, and the only fault that is laughable is vanity."
Henri Bergson

November 14, 2008, New York City:

Wishful Thinking

Until very recently, just last week in fact, I thought I was immortal.

Well, perhaps I didn’t feel I could beat death, but rather, somehow, often hubris got the best of me and I felt that I aged better—less rapidly—than others.

Thus, until now, I mocked my mortality.

Any time that I noticed a sign that my years were numbered—a grey hair, ailing bones, tired muscles, weight gain due to ABD, withering eyesight—I merely accepted the inevitable and laughed my worries away.

That is, until now.

For last week I nonchalantly and naively went to get a haircut.

I thought nothing of it. I had a very long day ahead of me for I was managing both a 4-hour senior managers meeting for 80 people in the morning and our department’s annual holiday party for 400 people at night, so I got up at 5 and was at the barber shop by 7.

I told him, “Just give me a trim.” I didn’t need to say much more because Edie, a Russian Jew from Israel, had been cutting my hair for almost nine years now, the same amount of time I’d been working at the Company right around the corner.

Together we’ve been through two divorces, a second marriage, and four kids.

After he held up the mirror to show me how the back looked, I smiled and asked him to give me some hair gel.

He immediately responded, “No, no leave it like it is, your hair is getting thinner.”

“…my hair is getting thinner?” I thought to myself, both momentarily shocked and immediately thrown into a vertigo-of-explanation.

“What do you mean, my hair’s getting thinner? Really, my hair’s getting thinner?” I asked. And after spinning woozily through all the possible explanations—I didn't gel it this morning, knowing I was getting it cut, so it felt soft to him; I've been using a lot more conditioner lately, thus its lithe texture; it hadn't been too long since I got my last haircut—I finally accepted that my barber, the guy who knows my hair better than anyone in the world, was telling me my hair’s getting thinner.

He knew I was suddenly taken aback and somewhat in shock and tried to console me by lying, “Yeah, yeah, you know the gel can do that to your hair.”

I wasn’t satisfied by his ruse though and probed, to my dissatisfaction, even further. “Really, my hair’s getting thinner?” I grimaced, dazed and confused.

Tight-lipped, he raised his brow and conceded, “Yeah, it is getting thinner on top.”

Handing him his money, I smirked back and tried not to blame the messenger .


The rest of the day I worked literally nonstop from 7:30 AM until 9 PM, so that I had little-to-no time to ponder this startling revelation.

For the most part I shrugged it off, half in disbelief, half banking on 40 years of good looks and being told I had great hair.

I’ve been told numerous times by barbers and girlfriends alike, “Mexicans have great hair.” And they do. And I am.

But what I’m not, apparently, is immortal. Because, just like everyone else, Mexicans lose their hair too.

Thus on Saturday evening, when Chelsea and I were attending Anna’s art opening with the kids, I told Enzo that he must milk the recent compliments about his golden locks of curly jet black hair while he can.

Apparently, since his mother finally conceded to my pleading to let his hair grow out, women now constantly tell him, “I love your hair!”

Enzo received one such compliment after I introduced him to Sharon at the opening. His reaction was a nonchalant and unamused “Thanks,” walking away as if he had heard those same words a million times before.


Apart from this moment of paternal wit, I had successfully ignored the issue for a couple of days, focusing more on the shock of hair, a goatee, that I was growing and grooming on my chinny-chin-chin, than that which apparently had stopped growing atop my head.

That is, until later that same Saturday night.

Chelsea and I had just left the kids behind with the babysitter and we were walking briskly across 62nd Street to the Empire Hotel for Jennifer’s birthday party. It was snowing and bitter cold, so to warm us up I decided to share the funny anecdote about how Sweeny Todd, the demon barber of 28th Street, had told me my hair’s getting thinner.

I fully expected Chelsea to simply laugh with me as I mockingly made fun of my age, my diminishing sense of manhood, and my realization that I was on a journey of no return, but instead she said, “Yeah, that’s one of the first things I noticed about you when we started dating (a year ago).”

“What?,” I reacted, startled more than ever.

“You must be kidding,” I honestly questioned in disbelief.

“No, you're losing hair on the top of your head,” she said, without a losing a beat, without any thought that I might not handle this news very well.

“There is nothing so agonizing to the fine skin of vanity as the application of a rough truth” Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

Thus, once again, within a matter of days, I was injected with a painful dose of reality—as wise as I may be, the price is determined by the rising costs of age; no comps or free passes here, no Pass Go and Collect $200, no exceptions to the rule this time.

Thus, for the rest of the night I had to allay my growing fears with self-deprecating humor.

Thus, began my obsession in earnest.

Thus, I had to come to terms with my hair-o-noia, the fact that my hair is thinning—i.e. it is falling out, I am going bald, I am getting older, and I’m not half the man that I used to be.


I kind of wish that I had learned this lesson before I blew out my candles a few weeks before for my 41st birthday.

Alas, that is only wishful thinking.

Nonetheless and allthemore, I think I’m over my crisis now. Writing about it has always been a great and reliable catharsis for me.

Besides, I have much to grateful for and a gradual loss of hair should be the least of my worries. For there are many-many-millions of people out there without jobs, without homes and without any hair right now.

Moreover, Chelsea said she’d still love me no matter what, with or without hair. So, I’ve got that going for me.

I love you too Chelsea.


“The surest cure for vanity is loneliness.” Thomas Wolfe

Related Stories:

Stubble Trouble
It’s Not Easy Being a Baldwin…(I’ve got ABD)
Seeing, Into The Future
The Exuberance of Enervation
I am beginning…
But a Number
Aging and Anonymity
It was a good 40 years
Almost 40


Check Out My Bookstore:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Letter to A Muse

JUST PUBLISHED: A Letter to A Muse
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

A LETTER TO A MUSE JUST PUBLISHED! December 6, 2008, New York City:

A Letter to A Muse is a collection of poetry which was written almost entirely in the Fall of 2002, as a letter of introduction to poet and writer I hold in high esteem.

There are 222 illustrated poems in this volume. Half are originals created solely by the author. The vast majority were written between August and December of 2002.

The subsequent half of the book consists of entries inspired by other poet's celebrated work. Some are purposeful parodies, others playful parities—all serious inquisition and introspection. The vast majority of these poems were written in response to the reading of the other poem, and a scant few simply thematically matched previously written work. There were 100 referenced works in all.

BONUS: In addition to the 222 poems that make up the original concept of the book, there are also 27 other extra poems that have never been made public before.

"Much of life becomes background, but it is the province of art to throw buckets of light into the shadows and make life new again."
A Natural History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman

Click HERE to see a preview of the book!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Got Milk? Join The Campaign for Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness

Got Milk? Join The Campaign for Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.” Jalal ad-Din Rumi

December 2, 2008, New York City:

Got Milk? Join The Campaign for Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness

Happiness is honesty.

However, critical to the successful tenure of honesty (and thus happiness) is tolerance.

People often lie because they are afraid of being rejected, afraid of being judged, and know, based on experience, that they cannot be honest, lest they face unfortunate consequences, because they are “different” and not falling in line with the program.

Although I spent almost 8 years studying international relations at the university and thus learned a great deal about détente, diplomacy and compromise, my oldest son, who was four at the time, taught me my greatest lesson about the importance of truth and the tolerance of others.

We were eating dinner and I was being stubborn and making him “eat everything on his plate,” as I often did, as I still do on occasion. The torment of this poor child was justified by some adulthood nonsense like “I work hard to put food on the table, so now you’ve got to eat it.”

But the ugly truth was that Enzo didn’t like what I had made for him. To the health-and-money conscious chagrin of many parents like me, this is often the case with kids. Thus, getting them to “eat their vegetables” is often like trying to push a square peg into a round hole.

However, as “right” as I may have been to force my child to eat what I had served him, I was also inadvertently teaching him—intolerance and importance of learning to lie. Because, although the honest truth was that the meal was distasteful to him, to survive and avoid an unpleasant experience, he had to learn to deceive me by placing the half-chewed morsel in his napkin.

When I caught him, I immediately recognized my own folly and simply laughed, kissed him and excused him from the table. I felt somewhat ashamed that I had tortured my innocent four-year old son in the name of an ideal, and immediately recognized why and where and when we begin to learn to lie; where the innocence of childhood is lost and where the misery of adulthood begins.

In sum, it is often when we are up against intolerance, when we know that speaking or being or acting honestly will only get us in trouble that we hide, disguise, deceive or lie by omission.

This is why teaching and learning—to compromise our ideals, to accept that our truths are not necessarily the truths of others, and making an effort to accept others, regardless of their differences, is so vital to the health and well-being of humanity and the world today.

"How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these." George Washington Carver


On Sunday morning, after standing in the cold pitter-pattering of rain for thirty-minutes, I got to go inside to see Milk.

Film critics are already saying that Sean Penn deserves an Oscar for his leading role as Harvey in this heroic and inspiring movie.

Milk is the story of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay publicly elected official in the United States, if not the world, who went from feeling lost at 40 in New York at his new corporate job in New York City in 1970 to leading and tragically becoming a martyr for the gay pride movement in San Francisco when he and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated on November 27, 1978.

Writer John Cloud remarked on Milk’s influence, "After he defied the governing class of San Francisco in 1977 to become a member of its board of supervisors, many people—straight and gay—had to adjust to a new reality he embodied: that a gay person could live an honest life and succeed." In 1999, Time Magazine listed Harvey as a hero and an icon and as one of The Time 100 Most Important People of the Twentieth Century.

Until Harvey came along in 1977, there was much to be said for the lack of tolerance in the United States. Although the nation had witnessed and been changed by the women’s and civil rights movements, millions of people whose love, affection and desire for others of the same sex were still hiding in the closet for fear of being judged, imprisoned and often subject to the threat of violence.

(By the way, much like the use of the misnomers of “black” and “white” have long been used to abet the division of races throughout history, I strongly believe that we should stop associating being “gay” primarily with one’s sexual orientation. Because being homo-sexual means a lot more than who you are apt to sleep with. As per Keith Olbermann’s recent commentary, it is also very much a a question of love, affection and the pursuit of happiness. )

As Time Magazine summarized it in their June 14, 1999 issue, being Gay and accepted in America still had a long way to go a mere thirty years ago:

"In the 1970s, many psychiatrists still called homosexuality a mental illness. In one entirely routine case, the Supreme Court refused in 1978 to overturn the prison sentence of a man convicted solely of having sex with another consenting man. A year before, it had let stand the firing of a stellar Tacoma, Wash., teacher who made the mistake of telling the truth when his principal asked if he was homosexual…To be young and realize you were gay in the 1970s was to await an adulthood encumbered with dim career prospects, fake wedding rings and darkened bar windows."

Thus, due to the brave actions of a man like Harvey Milk, a vast number of normal, loving, productive, creative and happy people all over the U.S. were encouraged and instilled with the courage to come out openly about who they were and fulfill one of the basic tenets of the Declaration of Independence signed over 200 years earlier—“that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

"If a bullet should enter my brain, let the bullet destroy every closet door." Harvey Milk


This morning I read an article in amNewYork, courtesy of Mike Swift of the San Jose Mercury News, titled “Homosexuality in Genes…”

According to this article, recent studies have shown that “compared to straight men, gay men are more likely to be left-handed, to be younger siblings of older brothers and to have hair that whorls in a counterclockwise direction.”

Although one might argue that this new scientific evidence strengthens the notion (i.e. the obvious truth) that homosexuality is a natural, normal and innate inclination, I was also alarmed by the way this news piece presented the significance of the study results. Because by focusing on identifiable, physical traits one might be giving license to bigots to discriminate.

That said, in light of the recent controversial passing of Proposition 8 in California and the release of the critically-acclaimed film Milk, these study results are timely, encouraging and will hopefully lead to some intelligent conversations and conclusions about human nature, living life honestly and the value of tolerance.

As always, thanks for reading.

"I used to think anyone doing anything weird was weird. Now I know that it is the people that call others weird that are weird." Paul McCartney

See also: A Question of Love

Sunday, November 30, 2008

just published! the lost man chronicles

just published! the lost man chronicles
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

the lost man chronicles JUST RELEASED! December 1, 2008, New York City:

Written in a manner akin to the New Testament parables of Jesus Christ and the free flowing prose of Elbert Herbert's White Hyacinths, the lost man chronicles relays a depth of understanding similar to that conveyed by the likes of Lao-tse, the Bhagavad-Gita, Plato, and Nietzsche.

The lost man chronicles is a modern day testament to one man's journey to become re-immersed in a world which has been lost in the glare of modern convenience and commercial contrivances. Each passage explores a passage toward enlightenment, toward awareness, and ultimately toward rediscovering the meaning of life.

Simple to read and easy to understand, the lost man chronicles is accessible to all. Yet, as facile each passage is to comprehend, as a whole, the work is bound to have profound impact on those who read it.

Click HERE to see a preview of the book!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

We hope that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Lorenzo, Nicky & Enzo

Friday, November 21, 2008

1 or 2?

Mark Rapp, Token Tales: 1 or 2?
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom


My friend Mark Rapp recently asked me my opinion on the album cover for this upcoming debut album, Token Tales.

So, I thought I'd put out before my friends and get your opinion.

Which one do you prefer?

The only real difference in the two is that Mark's profile is lighter in 1.

Give The Gift of Inspiration: Inspire Someone You Love

25 Lessons Book Launch Party: Mark Rapp & Paved Earth Music
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

A hearty thanks to Mark Rapp and Paved Earth Music once again for their generous support of my book launch party for 25 Lessons I’ve Learned (about photography) held on October 25.

PEM recently posted photos of Mark performing on their website. Check them out here:

25 Lessons is exclusively available online at It is sold at cost because I prefer that my work be read and inspire many, than to make a small profit off a mere few. Click HERE to visit my bookstore.

So, if you are looking to give a meaningful holiday gift this year, please consider giving those you love a copy of 25 Lessons.

The relaunched and retitled version of the book, contains the same great story as the original (25 Lessons: The Art of Living) and now also showcases the 25 prints from my first solo show in New York, 25 Decisive Moments. You can see a slideshow of these photos online at ARTslant.

To find out more about the book, the story and the author, please visit

I’d also like to recommend purchasing my friend Mark Rapp’s debut album, soon to be released by Paved Earth, entitled Token Tales. For more information about Mark, his debut album and where to purchase it please check out:

And please tell them Lorenzo sent you…


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Down & Out in NYC

Down & Out in NYC
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

The famous psychiatrist, Dr. Karl Menninger said, “Attitudes are more important than facts.” That is worth repeating until its truth grips you. Any fact facing us, however difficult, even seemingly hopeless, is not so important as out attitude toward the fact. How you think about a fact may defeat you before you ever do anything about it. You may permit a fact to overwhelm you mentally before you start to deal with it actually. On the other hand, a confident and optimistic thought pattern can modify or overcome the fact altogether.

Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Question of Love

A Question of Love
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Spread Happiness: Gay Marriage is a Question of Love

November 10, 2008, New York City:

Please take a moment to watch this important video, A Question of Love by Keith Olbermann, Anchor for MSNBC's 'Countdown,' and then pass it on to others.

You can read the transcript here: Marriage is a Question of Love

As is written on Paul Jeromack's facebook page, where I originally came across this beautiful commentary, "If you don't tear up watching this, you have no soul."

I couldn't agree more.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Miami Vice

Miami Vice
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Plotting My Escape
November 11, 2008, New York City:

It’s that time again.

The air is cold and uninviting, and my mood—lamentably somber.

The leaves are falling, people are coughing and constantly zipping their liners in and out of their coats; I have the urge to shutter myself away somewhere where no one can find me, so that I might find myself again, because, frustratingly, I’m feeling lost.

And my buttons are falling off again and the cuffs and collars of my shirts are fraying too, but this time—I’m not as inspired to fix them.

Things are in flux everywhere.

There’s a promising transition to power in place that has people dancing in the streets.

Yet, there’s also a looming concern that has people looking over their shoulders, worrying a little more than usual, being all-too-easily irked by strangers pushing against them in crowded subway cars, and fretting about the future—of our jobs, our homes and our disappearing retirement funds.

And yet, we are the lucky ones.

Because there are also a lot more people sleeping in the streets and in the doorways of empty retail spaces and under scaffolding and on top of any warm grate available in cities all across the country.

I recently went to Miami for a few days to try and relax, but instead I just became more restless. To relieve the boredom I took to taking photos in the streets of the night crawlers passing homeless people and hapless drunks sleeping on the sidewalks or in storefront nooks. I couldn’t help but notice that there were a lot of them.

Chelsea recently told me that the bums that come in daily to the hospital are complaining, “There ain’t no more spots anywhere, anymore” and that if they leave their spot to come into the hospital, its gone by the time they return.

A phenomenal number of foreclosures (over 2 million this year alone, almost double last year’s), the highest unemployment rate in 14 years, higher food and medical care costs, and decreases in social welfare programs over the last 8 years have all led to an “alarming” increase in homelessness across the nation, according to a recent article by USA Today.

Thus, my somber mood.

Thus, this lament.

Thus, the yearning to cloister and fall off the edge and into the fire, so that we may rise again ,renewed.

Alas, I am no Phoenix, I am no Christ, no Joan of Arc.

But, I can fix buttons.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Men For Others

Men For Others
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Note: Photo taken at Nine Rivers Gala at Rubin Museum on October 7, 2008.

"Are there, infinitely varying with each individual, inbred forces of Good and Evil in all of us, deep down below the reach of mortal encouragement and mortal repression -- hidden Good and hidden Evil, both alike at the mercy of the liberating opportunity and the sufficient temptation?" Wilkie Collins

Men For Others
November 7, 2008, New York City:

Over twenty years ago, in the Fall of 1985, I was an eager freshman sitting in one of the first four rows of Psychology 101, one of my all-time favorite college courses at UCLA.

It was with this introductory class that I immediately fell head over heels for the subject of the human mind—our motivations and our behaviors, and whether or not what we did and thought was “nature or nurtured.”

"The most beautiful as well as the most ugly inclinations of man are not part of a fixed biologically given human nature, but result from the social process which creates man.” Erich Fromm

Thus, I have long been obsessed with watching and listening to people closely.

Thus, I adopted writing, and later adapted photography based on the lessons learned from writing, as the creative means by which I capture and coalesce and craft my thoughts on such matters.

Thus, I first came to contemplate the question “Is man inherently good or evil?” In other words, do we tend to behave selfishly or do we consider others before we act?

"Scenery is fine - but human nature is finer.” John Keats

Since then, I’ve come to have a better grasp on human penchants and proclivities, both through what I’ve observed and experienced, often time and time again, but also through many of the scientific studies and conclusions I’ve mulled over by experts in the fields of psychology, sociology and neuroscience.

In turn, I’ve learned that the mind and our subsequent “natures” are as malleable as they are predictable.

Thus, one might readily conclude that, ultimately, human nature is neither “good” or “bad,” but as Shakespeare wrote—thinking merely makes us so.

A few years after my psych 101 class I came across a poem translated by Sir Richard Burton that I immediately adopted as my own; as my modus operandi, as a means of understanding human nature and coping with life and with others:

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.

For many-many years I have believed and lived by those words, which have allowed me to see and understand and appreciate and tolerate a lot more than most common souls would let themselves comprehend and experience.

"The more one analyses people, the more all reasons for analysis disappear. Sooner or later one comes to that dreadful universal thing called human nature.” Oscar Wilde

However, that said, regardless of the depth of my belief in cultural relativism, I have a much-much stronger faith that often supercedes my attempts to judge and intellectualize all things as being equal—for I believe that people are inherently good.

I realized last night that I owe this important belief to the fact that I had the great fortune of attending Bellarmine College Preparatory ( in San Jose, California from 1981-1985.

Founded in 1851, Bellarmine is a Jesuit run high school that follows the philosophy of St. Ignatius Loyola, who founded The Society of Jesus in 1540. At the core of his pedagogical philosophy, Ignatius saw “education as a way to lead young people not simply to care for others but to ‘find God in all things.’”

Thus, last night became a particularly poignant moment for me when I realized part of the reason why I had immediately concluded that man is inherently good when Professor Shapiro first posed the question in the Fall of 1985. For apparently, the Jesuits had done a great job of instilling this belief in me, during the four years prior to college.

I had this epiphany last night, because I attended a gathering of alumni from my prep school. It was a fairly small assembly of about 35 graduates living in the New York tri-state area, who represented a 63 year span, one of them being from the class of 1945. Most however, had graduated within the last ten years, and a significantly large contingency, about six of us were my classmates from 1985.

"You can learn more about human nature by reading the Bible
than by living in New York.” William Lyon

One particular classmate had actually come from California to New York City just for the day, just for this gathering. Pat Wahler (’85) was in town because he is now the Director of Development at our alma mater. Originally, in addition to Pat, he was to be accompanied by the school’s President, Fr. Paul Sheridan, S.J. as well the Chairman of the Board of Regents, an alumnus from the class of 1977.

Alas, the recent financial crisis put a damper on those plans, and so Pat came alone. And as Pat put it, these dire times have also hampered philanthropy in general, most of his pleas being met with silence, rather than pledges, these days.

Nonetheless, without a solicitation from him, toward the end of the evening I wrote out a check to BCP and handed it to Pat, simply because I had been moved by a conversation that led to my aforementioned epiphany.


I’ve been long proud and shamelessly boastful of my experience at Bellarmine.

To the chagrin of my ex-wife, I still occasionally taunt her with the dream that our boys should go live with their grandmother in California to attend Bellarmine when they come of age. And albeit I realize that it may only be a dream and that sending them across the country for school would break their mother’s heart, I still find myself hoping and praying they will follow in their father’s footsteps.

Part of the reason I speak so glowingly about my experience at Bellarmine is that, as with most others, attending the school came at a critical time in my development as a person, as a human being, and as a man.

Thus, going to a conservative all-boys school allowed me not to be distracted by many of the social pressures others face and offered me the opportunity to focus on academics and explore my potential as a person.

It was here that I first adopted exercise as a lifestyle, running in the cross-country and track team for the last three years. It was here that I participated in a number of theatrical productions and engendered a greater appreciation for acting, music, dance and the arts in general. And it was here that I fell in love with literature after reading James Joyce’s Ulysses as a sophomore and from that point forward—I knew I was born to be a writer.

Perhaps most importantly though, it was at Bellarmine that I also learned and lived the importance of helping, caring for and giving to others.

Thus, it is no surprise, that when I visited the school’s website this morning, I read that part of the school’s mission is to “form ‘Men for Others,’ leaders who will make a difference in tomorrow's world.”

While I was there, I simply thought I was attending a "good" school that would prepare me for greater things to come. What I didn’t realize was that I was being endowed with a greater sense of altruism as well.

Ironically, it was during my junior year that I technically became an “atheist” or more specifically someone who no longer believed in a “higher being.” I had written what I thought was a great paper on the historical origins of the concept of the devil and received a B+. Not getting an A+, as I strongly believed I deserved, perturbed me so much that I almost immediately overcame my fear of no longer “believing” and declared myself, if only silently, to be a heathen.

" . . . a belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary;
men alone are quite capable of every wickedness." Joseph Conrad

However, what I did continue believing was in the importance of “finding God in all things.” The difference for me, was that “God” was simply a synonym for what is “Good” in life.


"One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon—instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.” Dale Carnegie

Over the years I have cultivated, honed and manifested this existential philosophy in a number of ways, most significantly today, in my writing and photography. My motto for the latter is that I am “inspired by and aspire to make impressions of daily life, because I love life.” Thus, I try to convey through my work how one can readily find the extraordinary in the ordinary, and how one can find beauty (i.e. good) in almost everything and everyone. Because everything is beautiful.
"Really, I don't like human nature
unless it is all candied over with art.” Virginia Woolf

What ultimately drove this point home for me though, and why I give my experience at Bellarmine so much credit, is that I was having a conversation with Pat and two of our other classmates, Chris Kearns and Greg Ahearn, and we began discussing the fate of a fellow classmate who was in deep-deep trouble.

In sum, our classmate, William "Boots" Del Biaggio, the son of a well-known Bay Area banking family and co-founder of the investment firm Sand Hill Capital, was a prominent Silicon Valley financier who was accused of major fraud this year. The accusations include defrauding a bank to secure a $10 million loan that he used to buy an ownership stake in the NHL's Nashville Predators, and providing forged documents to financial institutions to land multimillion dollar loans that he has not repaid.

Alas, for Boots, the trouble caused be the three separate law suits was abetted by the media frenzy that followed, as the local papers had a field day exploiting the extravagance of his previously lavish lifestyle.

"It is not human nature we should accuse, but the despicable conventions that pervert it.” Denis Diderot

Nonetheless, regardless of what Boots has or has not done, Pat, Chris and Greg all said that they called him to see how he was doing. No judgments, no prurient inquiries, simply calls from old friends to offer some moral support.

Pat told us of one conversation he had with Boots, who told him that he was particularly appreciative that his friends from Bellarmine had called him, because apparently no one else had—not a single person from college, work or any other associations formed after high-school.

Hearing this struck a vibrant chord in me.

For it was then that I realized one of the major reasons why I am so damn proud of being a graduate of Bellarmine. For the longest time, apart from all the reasons I’ve mentioned above, there was still a certain-something that I couldn’t put my finger on. Listening to how my classmates reached out to their fellow former football teammate in times of trouble immediately sparked my epiphany.

I relayed this to Pat a little later on, as I handed him my check. “You know, our conversation about Boots made me realize why I loved going to Bellarmine so much, because it was a great example of how we were taught that ‘all men are inherently good,’ and that we should never lose faith in that important belief.”

Pat subsequently used my comments in his remarks to the group, to drive home the importance of supporting our alma mater. Because it is especially important to realize that during financially difficult times like these, that our education was invaluable. And that we are blessed with the challenge to prove ourselves worthy of a distinguished institution that has long produced “Men for Others.”

"Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds . . ." George Eliot

Monday, October 27, 2008

This is New York!

This is New York
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

October 27, 2008, Miami:

A special thanks to Italian painter Claudio Filippini, who just sent me a note to inform me that he has finished a painting inspired by one of my photos.

I love it! Please check out Claudio's work at

Click HERE to see the original photo that inspired his beautiful painting.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

TimeOut New York, Editor's Pick: 25! Celebration

TimeOut New York, Editor's Pick: 25! Celebration
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

One of the 25! events has been listed as an Editor's Pick in Time Out New York starting today and for the next week!

Please help me make it a "Most Viewed" article by clicking on the following link and passing it on to everyone you know!

TimeOut New York: Own This City: 25! Celebration and Book Launch Party

Please note that the date is incorrectly listed in TimeOut, but they are going to fix that by the end of the day.


PLEASE NOTE, SPACE IS LIMITED! You must register for both events in order to get in for FREE and enjoy the open bars and entertainment. With the Time Out Listing, we may sell out earlier than expected.

Register for 25 Decisive Moments.

Register for 25! Celebration.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

ARTslant, new york: 25 Decisive Moments, October 24

ARTslant, new york: 25 Decisive Moments, October 24
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Click HERE to see ARTslant listing and slideshow of the 25 featured prints in the show!

You are cordially invited to my first solo show:

25 Decisive Moments:
The Beauty of Life on The Streets of New York City, 2005-2008

A charitable retrospective and silent auction of NYC Street Photography
by Lorenzo! (2008 HP Be Brilliant Artist)

Friday, October 24, 2008, 5-7 PM


“Lorenzo is a master. His body of work may very well be some of the best being done in the medium today. His street work follows in the tradition of Paul Strand, Cartier-Bresson, Garry Winogrand and Larry Friedlander. Lorenzo’s 25 Lessons are…as seminal as Ansel’s dissertation on the zone system. I found them to be reenergizing, perceptive and extremely useful. I have been touched by his story, his writings and by his work. I can’t imagine anyone not being so.” Barry Shapiro, Los Angeles, CA

To be Held at the
40/40 Club
6 W 25th Street
New York, NY 10010

50% of net proceeds from print sales go to:
- Susan G. Komen for the Cure
- The NY LGBT Community Center
- The Little Church Around the Corner
- 2008 New York Life United Way Campaign

The 25 prints are all 24 x 18 and have been printed on 200-year museum grade HP professional satin-finish paper. They are all numbered and are the first prints of a limited edition of 25. Matting for all 25 prints was donated by local art framer MH Art and Framing and 5 of the photos were framed by fine art framer J.Pocker & Son.

Click HERE to view the 25 Decisive Moments Program
For more information:

Register for 25 Decisive Moments.

You're also invited to:
25! The Celebration, Saturday, October 25! New York City, Photography Week
Register for FREE until October 20!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

En Foco News: 25! Celebration Announcement

En Foco News: 25! Celebration Announcement
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Congratulations to en foco and their publication, Nueva Luz, for making it as a Lucie Award finalist for 2008 Photography Magazine of The Year. If you are a fan and reader like me, you well know that they deserve it.

And many thanks to them for their plug for my upcoming book launch party and 25! celebration.

FREE Tickets are going fast. Sign up today!

25! The Celebration, Saturday, October 25! New York City, Photography Week
Register for FREE until October 20!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Letting Go

Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

view LARGE

This is one of the first photos I've output from the intense 4-dayD-65 Workshop I've been taking with Seth Reskin and Jamie Spritzer.

We're learning digital image asset management, workflow (not workslow), using RAW files and Lightroom 2.0.

Interesting stuff. Still not convinced that shooting RAW serves my needs both in the short term and long run, especially considering the kind of work that I love to do - NYC street photography.

Shooting in RAW is very taxing on the system and camera. I don't have an $8,000 camera and don't want to be using one for the kind of art work I do. Also, I think that what I'm learning is primarily designed for the fully-emerged professional photographer. Hence, a lot doesn't apply...yet.

Alas, that said, I have doubts about my own doubts. Being in a room with 36 professional photographers, many of them 30 year veteran journalistic photographers, makes me feel that I need to suck it up, and stop whining, and just be grateful for the amazing learning opportunity I have here.

It also makes me believe that I need to make an extra effort to make some money off my work, whether that be generated through stock or commissions.

I've long said that in ten years I might be ready to transition from the well-compensated corporate job I've had for almost ten years.

However, now there are moments where I think, if I take a few risks, if I listen and learn and let go of my old and clunky ways, and embrace the new and sophisticated methodology I am learning here, I just might be able to do that a little sooner than planned.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Interview with Paul Giguere

Interview with Paul Giguere
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

A Few Pleasant Surprises

These last couple of days have been rife with pleasant surprises.

First, I learned that Hispanic recently published a review of my book 25 Lessons. Editor Elena del Valle writes, “In the book, Lorenzo shares his secret to the art of living and the simple rules of photography. He meant for the book to be inspirational and poetic; and to spark readers’ creativity, and reawaken their passion for life.”

Click here to read the complete article: New York Illustrates Life Learning in Photography Book.

A special thanks to Elena for your kind words.

Secondly, I woke up the other morning to find a pleasant and big surprise, for upon checking the flickr stats I found that viewership had reached a new height with 9,879 views overnight, more than doubling the daily average of the last couple of months.

Thank you to everyone that made that possible.

Finally, Paul Giguere at informed me today that he posted a discussion we had a few weeks ago on his site, You can hear that podcast interview HERE..

Paul introduces our talk by saying, “One of the reasons I so enjoyed interviewing Lorenzo is that he has managed to make photography such an integral part of his life in such a way that he I think his personal life and his photography are inseparable at this point. He has truly managed to integrate that into a higher order of thinking and living, and I think her personifies the photographic life…”

Thank you Paul.

When I Wanted to be All-Grown Up

When I Wanted to be All-Grown Up
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Original Photos: 1. popsandlorenzo2, 2. lorenzoandpops, 3. Just the Two of Us (Papa Loves You), 4. Storm King Revisited 070

When I Wanted to be All-Grown Up
September 7, 2008, New York City:

I heard a song today that made me cry over and over again.

Of course, it didn’t help that I played it over and over again, but after the first time I found myself hitting the play (again) button, at least a dozen times.

Tóqueme mariachis, otra vez la misma, esa que me llega hasta al corazón.
(Play it again for me mariachis, that same old song, that goes straight to my heart)
Vicente Fernández, La Misma

Perhaps, because I am a father; perhaps, because I am a huge fan of the father-son pair who have been singing this song for over thirty years now; or, perhaps, simply because I am growing older and thus I recognize the passing of time in these sentimental lyrics, I was subsequently compelled to try and translate this song, Cuando Yo Quería Ser Grande, into English from the original Spanish song, so that others might likewise understand and appreciate the lyrical beauty of these words, its story, and how it is sappily rendered via one of my favorite genres of music, the Mexican ranchera.

Cuando Yo Quería Ser Grande
By Vicente/Alejandro Fernández

Se van perdiendo en el tiempo
Mis años se van quedando muy lejos
Ya no me lleva mi padre la mano
Solamente sus consejos

Viven en mi los reuerdos de niño
Cuando a una estrella desaba
Como recuerdo a mi padre
Que con eso sonreia
Mientras mi madre miraba

Años que vienen despacio, primero
Con que lentitud avanzan
Como queria ser grande, recuerdo
Para no quedarme en casa

Y acompañar a mi padre muy lejos
Tal vez hasta el fin del mundo
Por que mi padre era fuerte
Era muy inteligente
Era mejor que ninguno

Hoy ya no quiero que pasen los años
Por que mi padre ya esta viejo
Se la han cubierto de arrugas sus manos
Y de nieve sus cabellos

O señor deten el tiempo te pido
Por que tu puedes hacerlo
Por que yo en verdad no entiendo Dios mio por que
Se nos va lo bueno

Cuando se cansen un dia tus pasos
Yo quiero ser quien los cuide
Mientras tanto dame el brazo
Y vamos a ver que vas a decirme

Y te voy a enseñar a querer
porque tú no has querido,
ya verás lo que vas a aprender
cuando vivas conmigo.

De mis labios está brotando sangre
mi derrota la tengo sepultada,
hoy me entrego en tus brazos como en nadie
porque sé que mi amor sin tu amor no vale nada

Y te voy a enseñar a querer
porque tú no has querido,
ya verás lo que vas a aprender
cuando vivas conmigo.

When I Wanted to be All Grown Up

My years are slipping away,
Being lost to time.
My father no longer takes me by the hand,
Only by his words and his wisdom.

The memories of childhood live in me
As a star fades
the memory of my father shines,
How I smiled,
While my mother watched on.

Years that come slowly, at first
Oh, with what languor, they advance
How I wanted to be all grown up, I remember
How I didn’t want to stay home

And how I wanted to go with my father when he went away
Maybe even to the end of the world .
Because my father was strong,
He was very smart,
Better than anyone.

Now, I don’t want the years to pass
Because my father is very old
His hands are now covered with wrinkles
And his hair, covered with snow.

Please mister, hold back time, I beg you
Because, I know you can
Because, I, admittedly, do not understand
why, dear God
All good, must come to an end

When someday your legs tire
I want to be the one who takes care of them
Despite it all, give me your arm
And tell me what you were going to tell me
And through them, I will recover my youth, my memories.

And I will show you how to care, because you have not cared,
Now, you will see who’s going to be the one who learns
When you come live with me.

From my lips spill blood
My defeat, will be buried
Today I throw myself into your arms like never before
Because my love without yours is worthless.

And I will show you how it is to care, because you have not cared,
Now, you will see who’s going to be the one who learns
When you come live with me.

In addition to the poetically meaningful lyrics, one of the wonderful things about this song is that it has been sung and recorded by a well-known father and son pair of singers, Vicente and Alejandro Fernández from Mexico.

Today, Alejandro is singing to his father, what Vicente sang to his youngest son thirty years ago, and as the legend goes, Vicente’s father sang to him before then.

Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to see Vicente “Chente” Fernández, El Rey de la Ranchera (The King of the Ranchera) perform four times in concert. The first time was in San Francisco. I’ve seen him twice since then in New York at sold-out shows at the Radio City Music Hall and Madison Square Garden, the latter with which he was accompanied by his son Alejandro. Billboard Magazine notes that he became the first ever performer to sell out Mexico's Plaza de Toros bullfighting stadium, singing to over 50,000 fans. Most recently, I saw him sing a couple of years ago at the Sharks Stadium in San Jose.

In his native Mexico, as well as throughout Latin America and Spain, Chente is known as a superstar of superstars, his acclaim equaling that of Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. See Billboard’s Biography on him for more about his history of success.

2008 marks the fortieth year of his professional career, having made his first album, La Voz Que Usted Esperaba (The Voice That You’ve Been Waiting For), in 1968.

Today, his albums still sell millions, even after recording 56 of them. And now, the musical reign is being passed on to his son Alejandro, who also has been recognized for his magnificently mellifluous voice and who likewise puts out albums, 18 of them since 1991, which instantly sell millions.

Much like Elvis, Vicente has also starred into several musical films, 25 of them since 1971. And thanks to YouTube we can now see clips from many of them, along with concert footage, that showcases how beautifully both father and son have sung Cuando Yo Quería Ser Grande over the years. The ages stated here are merely haphazard guesses on my part.

Vicente Fernández at 32, signing to his son, Vicente Jr. at 6

Vicente Fernández at 35, signing to his son, Vicente Jr. at 8, with little brother, Alejandro, at 5

Alejandro Fernández at 20, signing to his father Vicente at 40

Alejandro Fernández at 28, with a funny looking mustache, signing to a photo collage of photos of him and his father over the years.

Alejandro Fernández at 36, signing to his father Vicente at 66

Today, Vicente Fernández is now 68 and still touring with the same verve, passion and amazing voice he did forty years ago. He will be playing, as he does every year in New York in October, again on October 4th at Madison Square Garden.

Not only have his, and now his son’s, romantic repertoire and heartfelt interpretations long appealed to the machismo in me and made me feel very proud to be both a “man” and a Mexican, but with songs likeCuando Yo Quería Ser Grande they make me feel very proud to be a son, and a father, as well.



Here is a song which Vicente and Alejandro sing together with grand elan and melancholic flair, which they have sung together over the years and which requires some impressive acrobatic signing: Perdón

Alejandro in his early twenties, Vicente in his fifties

Alejandro in his late twenties, Vicente in his fifties

Alejandro in his thirties, Vicente in his sixties

Alejandro in his late thirties, Vicente in his late sixties

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What Matters Most

What Matters Most
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom


This morning I read a supposedly-serious piece in the AM New York health section about treating Shaky Legs Syndrome (SLS).

Actually, truth be told, they call it “Restless Legs Syndrome” (they say restless, I say shaky, let’s call the whole time rather silly…don’t you think?)

Anyway, quite frankly, this sort of thing perturbs, irks and concerns me to no end, because there is seemingly no end to the senseless garbage that pharmaceutical companies, and physicians who have sold out to them, feed the ignorant, gullible and seemingly helpless hoi-polloi.

Now, this is not to say that medicine, or the practice thereof, is frivolous by any means. Doctors heal and make people feel better and more importantly, save lives everyday—and night (as any bleary-eyed, sleepless resident will tell you). They once saved mine and have healed me many times over since.

However, what interminably concerns me is the culture and values that are cultivated when it comes to prescribing medication for everything under the sun, especially when it comes to resolving the problems that children purportedly have.

Being a father of two rambunctious boys, if anything, I believe the problem is often the parents and the strictures and structures and harnesses of values, duty, and principle that we impose upon our children—Get dressed! Get in bed! Go to sleep! Listen to me! Eat all your food! Don’t play with your food! Be quiet! Stop complaining!

If anything, we senselessly teach our children stress and anxiety and all those wonderful things that make them worry and fret and eventually let go of their natural, careless, state of being.

Nonetheless and allthemore, I strongly believe that the habit of shaking one’s legs is not a problem. If anything, it is merely a symptom of a “problem” that should be diagnosed and treated (only) if need be.

I’ve had shaky (actually, wavy) legs ever since I can remember.

But this has never been a problem, especially since I’ve long known and accepted why my legs nervously wave back and forth. Almost always, it is due to one of two things, either I’m anxious or I’m excited, one often abetting the other.

Most of the time the phenomena is simply a matter about being anxious about getting back to a project I am excited about, and in the midst of undertaking, some tedious task such as work, a meeting or an obligation incurs upon.

Ultimately, I firmly believe that the vast majority of the time it is a matter of putting mind over matter. Getting a grip and coming to terms with, as well as accepting that which matters most is determined by whatever we set our minds to mattering. And thus, it is only a matter of changing our minds, or rather, often, our perspective on such matters, that cures us of our troubles.

For example, currently I am in the midst of developing, creating, organizing and executing an upcoming celebration called 25!, to be held on Saturday, October 25.

As you may know, on October 20, the Lucie Awards (the Oscars of Photogrpahy) will be held at the Lincoln Center in Manhattan. And from October 23 to October 25, PDN PhotoPlus will host its 25th Expo and Conference in New York City, with over 27,000 photography enthusiasts and professionals attending from all over the world.

On the afternoon of Saturday, October 25, the last day of the expo, I am organizing an art opening, featuring a 4-year retrospective of my NYC street photography with prints sponsored by HP (I was their lead launch artist for their 2008 Be Brilliant Ad Campaign, see "artists,)" with partial proceeds going to breast cancer research, and a party to celebrate both the 25th anniversary of the expo and the (re)launch of my book 25 Lessons. 25% of the proceeds for the art opening will go to the Susan G. Komen foundation, which happens to also be celebrating its 25th Anniversary.

And in sum, I am in charge of and, for the most part, doing everything myself, in my “spare time” (i.e. usually every precious minute after work until about 2 AM, and again from 6 AM until 8 AM, as well as all weekend long).

Everything involves contacting and negotiating deals with sponsors, creating marketing collateral, writing the code and testing the website, arranging for a venue, learning to use a professional wide-format printer and making the prints for the art show, and a million other things to ensure this is a wonderful and meaningful success for both all those who are involved and those who attend ( buy your tickets now before it sells out!).

Point is, the cumulative weight of all-there-is-to-do puts a lot of pressure on me, it makes me anxious and a little nervous that all the pieces may not ultimately fall into place, and this important event may not happen after all. In other words, I’ve been having a lot of Shaky Legs Syndrome episodes lately.

But, But! What I ultimately realize is that this anxiety can be easily controlled if I simply control my thoughts and subsequent emotions, and if I consciously look at the situation differently.

For what is the worst that could happen? If the event doesn’t take place, the worst that could happen is that it is cancelled and I have to spend a few hours issuing refunds and writing letters of apology to sponsors. In sum, no one is going to die, get sick, or lose their home or job, if it doesn’t happen.

If anything, all the sponsors would have benefited from all the free advertising they’re getting.

So, point is, when I get SLS I don’t look to meds to cure me of my worries and woes, I simply rely on the knowledge that the problem lies within and that I have the power within me to alter my perspective and make myself feel better.

I also rely on the knowledge that if something truly troubles you far too much, you can always gracefully bow out at anytime—that goes for practically anything from your career to a bad relationship, to even a commitment to one too many passions.

Moreover, my kids have long and often remind me of the vital importance of not taking things too seriously. Life should ultimately be enjoyed and relished and appreciated for its inherently pleasing simplicity and beauty.

Just the other day, Enzo excitedly and delightfully recalled in spectacular detail how he, his brother and their four cousins had entertained themselves at their grandparents' house with a ball of string for “an hour and half”—“First we played spies and tied each other up…and then we pretended that the string was a laser light trap…and then we made old-fashioned tin-can phones, like the kind that you and Mom used to use…” and then and then and then.

Listening to him regale this tale of simple-minded amusement not only reminded me of how mirthful childhood can be, but also made me realize how silly it is to take things so seriously—for the precious moments that we live should never be lost to the obligations we conjure in the process of dying, i.e. growing up and getting old.

This is an extremely important thing to understand, accept and realize in one’s life, because it is often the source of our problems, our stress, as well as all the physical ailments that result from the makeshift duress.

Besides, if I am going to entertain any concerns, I’m going to let it be something real like ABD (Alex Baldwin Disease).

Really people, come on now!


25! The Celebration, Saturday, October 25!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My Life, Unlike An Epic Poem

She's My Saving Grace
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

"Have you read Don Quixote?"
"I have, and found myself the hero."
"Be so good as to read once more the chapter of the windmills."
"Chapter Thirteen."
"Windmills, remember, if you fight with them may swing round their huge arms and cast you down into the mires."
"...Or up among the stars."
Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmond Rostand

My Life, Unlike An Epic Poem
August 6, 2008, En Route to Atlanta:

“…epic poem.”

Suddenly, the slightly stout, yet largely attractive airline attendant at the check-in counter, who I had been ogling with intermittent glances with each turn of a page, interrupted my thoughts as she announced the last boarding call.

Having passed through the metal and explosives detectors without a hitch, I had been sitting, waiting at Gate 93 for FLT 1167 to Atlanta, for the last hour slowly chipping away at my luke-warm breakfast pannini, sipping at my super-sized bananaberry smoothie, while reading a book through bleary eyes.

Albeit tired, I was genuinely cheerful, believing I’d finally learned how to navigate the ever-shifting straits of airport security— no steel-reinforced chastity belts, no firearms—no matter how much you like your right to bear arms, and no foolish attempts at trafficking herbal remedies.

Or, at least, I thought I had learned.

Alas, because the airlines are tightening their belts, squeezing more into less and passing on the pain to passengers, I’ve been forced to rethink my packing strategy.

Hence, I pressed tight corners into all my shirts, stuffed socks into shoes, and expanded my carryon to its fullest capacity in order to avoid the dreaded wait at the baggage claim.

Lo and behold, not only do they charge you for peanuts now, they’ve seemingly shrunk the overhead compartments as well.

And so, to my dismay, I instantly became one of those rather annoying fellow passengers who holds up the aisle, and ultimately, the flight, as I futilely attempted to squeeze, push and maneuver my bag into place, but to no avail.

Eventually, to make this melodramatic recapitulation of my rather mundane moment all the less heroic, I removed my shoes from the bottom compartment of my suitcase and sat on it to compress all the air out of it.

My saving grace was a wiser, older lady in the row behind me who smiled as she pointed out, “You can probably fit that now under the seat in front of you.” Fortunately, I had changed my seat , as I always do, to the emergency aisle, and so she was quite right, as I had an extra pocket of space to the left of my seat, because there was no seat between myself and the window.

I nodded in deference to her benevolence and wisdom and said, “Thank you,” as I easily slid my shoeless bag underneath.

I apologized profusely to anyone and everyone I had inconvenienced throughout the ordeal, and finally sat down.

Closing my eyes, I inhaled slowly, imagining that I had put wax in my ears, silencing the internal sirens of self-castigation. And after exhaling, I buckled, expelling the last of the dissenting demons within, through the false sense of safety that pulling the belt tighter often gave me, well knowing that if we went down, this precaution would merely help the investigative team identify the charred body strapped to my seat.

Albeit, my chance at being the next Sophisticated Traveler of the Year was now riddled with holes, I was relieved that I didn’t have to “You’ll have to check in that bag sir,” after all.

Assuredly, I’ll chalk it up as simply another lesson learned, happy to now know what not to do on my return flight home.


Right before I donned my dunce cap, I had read a bit in my new read, Special Topics in Calamity Physics about prisoners being inspired by Homer—Homer as in The Odyssey, not Homer as in the Simpsons—and smiled, as I am often reminded by such literary references, about the stories, like Joyce’s Ulysses, that have likewise inspired me to entertain the delusion that my life will read like an exciting, exuberant and intelligent epic poem some day.

Yes, perhaps one day, but just not today….


(Ted) Turner loved Gone With the Wind. He loved the romance, the drama, the epic sweep. He called it "a noble movie-the greatest movie ever made." He had seen it dozens of times; more than one guest visiting his plantation recalls being forced to sit through the film with him. Ted pictured himself as a Rhett Butler of the cable age- a brash, handsome, devil-may-care maverick. So, intriguingly, did the media. The Atlanta Constitution once ran an article comparing the two: "Both were tossed out of school...Both are great sailors...Both are full of political contradictions...Both are outsiders in a landscape they dominate." Turner had in fact, consciously gone to certain lengths to pattern himself on the character, admitting that he had fashioned his mustache after Rhett's. He had considered calling his first son Rhett, after a contraction of the initials for Robert Edward Turner, and actually did name his second boy Rhett (although Jane had drawn the line at naming their daughter Scarlett).
Citizen Turner, The Wild Rise of an American Tycoon, Robert & Gerald Jay Goldberg

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My First RAW

My First RAW
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom


This is the very first RAW file I processed through Adobe Lightroom and then CS3.

Admittedly, I'm a bit daunted by the whole process; it was so much easier to just work with JPGs.

Oh, well. I've now invested in a camera that shoots RAW (Canon Powershot G9), after testing and ultimately returning the Canon EOS SLR, the 450d (Rebel Xsi) because it simply wasn't for me and isn't the tool of preference (for me) when shooting on the street and attempting to capture those exquisite decisive moments.

Thus, only time will tell if RAW is right for me or not.

Hopefully, I am doing the right thing, because I've also just sunk a lot of money into the D-65 workshop to be held in September in NYC. This 4-day course covers all the basics of RAW workflow processing, esp. via Lightroom.

Anyway, would be happy to hear your thoughts on the benefits of RAW...



Sunday, July 27, 2008

Fat as a Cat and Feeling Good

The Cat on Chat-Ray Street
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

July 27, 2008, New Orleans, LA:

This here cat, looks exactly like how I'm feeling right now, after eating at Muriel's in the French Quarter again for the second day in a row.

Today, I began with a glass of Lucid Absinthe Suisesse, a wonderfully cool and refreshing cocktail made with absinthe, anisette, white crème de menthe, and raw egg white, all blended together and served over cracked ice. It was so good, I had to order a second one to complement our brunch.

Brunch began with Fontana's West End Turtle Soup, which exceeded my expectations. The bits of turtle had the texture of tofu in Chinese hot and sour soup.

It was followed by a tender slice of rib-eye topped with an incredibly savory sauce and crispy crawfish (or "crawdads" as we like to call them up north or "mudbugs" as "guys from freaking Omaha who wear Mardi Gras beads in the middle of July," as one website aptly puts it).

Some of the other unusual highlights from our culinary adventure over the last three days have also included BBQ shrimp and fried gator ("aligator" that is), which for lack of either a refined palate or the sophisticated vocabulary of a gourmand, I'd have to say "tastes just like chicken," tough chicken that is, but chicken nonetheless.

And yesterday afternoon, the first time we went to Muriel's, I had Escargots Orleans, which they describe as "Tender Escargots with Fennel, Leeks, oyster Mushrooms and apple smoked bacon simmered in a roasted garlic butter." Oh, my goodness, quite honestly, those were some of the best snails I've ever tasted.

Anyway, them is just a few of the highlights we've experienced so far here on my trip to New Orleans ("Nuor-lins").

Got to sign off now, because its time for a nap.

Summertime, and the living is easy.
Fish are jumping, the cotton is high.
Oh, your daddy's rich, your mama's good looking
I said, "Hush little baby. Baby, don't you cry."
Summertime, George Gershwin

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Waiting for The Train

"Think Good Thoughts, Think Good Thoughts..."
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom


July 22, 2008, New York City:

Resigned, he leaned back against the pole, sighed and waited.

Disappointed, he frowned and turned away, walking further down the platform.

Impatient, she precariously leaned into the track to catch a glimmer of the oncoming train, and when she saw no gleam, she stretched out her neck to see if it would improve her vision.

Understanding, she sat down to read the paper.

Efficient, he read his book, while listening for the roar, and waiting for the tell-tale waft of cool wind.

Anxious, she flipped open her phone every few minutes, watching the seconds pass into hours, wondering if anyone would notice that she’s late again for work.

Happy, she adjusted the volume on her iPod.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hello People

Big Man, Small Man
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

This set represents an important milestone for me, for all 110 photos were posted unedited.

Previously, I had posted over 27,000 photos to flickr, and almost all of them edited in one way or another—usually for color, contrast, or composition.

However, this time around I was so happy with the results of these photos, which I took yesterday morning at approximately 8 AM at the dead-end intersection of 9th Avenue and 59th Street, that I have challenged myself to submit them as is.

I came across this unique mural of light, reflected off the buildings from across the street, the morning before and decided that I had to make sure to return to this exquisite spot again the following day to capture a little bit of the magic that I saw.

Needless to say, I am happy with the results and I am glad that I made the extra effort.

Another milestone is on the horizon for me, as I will soon be receiving my Canon Powershot G9, which I plan to begin shooting RAW with.

I had recently purchased and tried out the Canon EOS Rebel Xsi 450D prosumer SLR. However, after a week I decided, “This is definitely not for me.”

It just wasn’t the right fit for the kind of art I like to create and my methods of creating it.

So, after some nail-biting contemplation, I made the decision to return it and get the G9 instead. It was truly a somewhat tough decision because for a very long time friends and fellow photographers had encouraged me to “upgrade” to an SLR.

However, I balked. At least, until quite recently, when I came across a little bit of extra disposable income and decided that it was high-time that I made an investment in one of my greatest passions and consciously made a big step forward toward establishing myself as a “professional” in my craft.

Alas, ultimately, the move didn’t make me very happy. So, as I mentioned, I figured out a way to produce better quality photos and still have a tool that is conducive to my style of photographyThe G9.

Granted, I will be comprising the burst rate (shooting speed) with the exchange, but that never really mattered much to me. I’ve long been happy with what the lower-level Powershot models (D60, D70 and A520) can do, so I can’t imagine I will be disappointed with what the ultimate upgrade in this class will produce.

I’m looking forward to sharing.

As usual, thanks for tuning in.


Monday, July 14, 2008

(History Favors) Loving Strangers

(History Favors) Loving Strangers
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom


(History Favors) Loving Strangers
July 13, 2008, Salt Lake City, UT:

I spend a lot of time in motel rooms.

Roadside, big neon signs that flash VACANCY almost always, an OFFICE next to Room 1A.

Most don’t know the time of day and have never heard of the word “concierge.” Some got swimming pools, and quite a few ‘ve got vibrating beds. “Quarters available at the change machine next to the ice box” one once read—it didn’t matter that night, because we made use of practically every other piece of furniture in the room—the dresser with the mirror, the little round table, the arm chair, the bathroom sink and window sill.

When they’ve only got headboards that you can hold on to, I use the bed frame posts instead. Old and worn sheets stolen from other motel linen closets strip rather easily and make great soft tethers; the ripping sound is especially titillating if you blindfold them first.

I particularly like when the chamber maids get involved. I’m turned on by the ones that wear the little black uniforms with the aprons on the front, they always remind me of the dollies that my grandmother used to have on all her coffee tables. White shirts and skirts are pretty nice too though.

I like it when their hair is pulled back; I enjoy pulling pigtails, and I love it when they squeal.

One time we jumped naked in the pool with one of them right after midnight. She happened to be the night manager too—“Owners actually live in another town,” she said as she hurriedly took off her clothes. “They call a couple of times a week, but usually come out only once a month, especially if its slow, like now.”

The bed didn’t get many quarters that summer night. We watched the sunrise at poolside instead, and then we all went back to the one room with the king size bed and slept till noon. It was so hot we slept naked, on top of the sheets, on top of each other, with the door wide open for the world to see how wonderful life truly is.

Never did see Maria or Sandy ever again, but I certainly do think of them often.

I fondly remember how Maria had a smile that said, “Suddenly, I feel free as a bird,” and how she excitedly told us “I’ve been working here for four years now and I’ve never been skinny dipping before!”

Sandy, on the other hand, who I had just met at the local bar down the street, seemed like she had been swimming naked all her life.

It was just a feeling though, never got to know her much beyond her name; didn’t even know if she was living there or a just another vagabond like me, just passing through other people’s humdrum lives, sometimes shaking things up a bit, if only because you know it’ll make life a wee bit more exciting for them.


I suppose I could fly more often, for it certainly would get me where I’m going a lot faster.

Alas, these days the stewardesses just keep getting older, uglier and fatter—or gay. So, that’s just one of the many reasons that I prefer to drive.

Besides, cocktail waitresses, diner wenches and lonely housewives rifling through glossy magazines at the local Stop-and-Shop are almost always far prettier and quite willing. Odds are far better too.

Admittedly, I don’t know why, but I’m still surprised by how easy it all is sometimes.

Guess, when you live in the city and you’re a rambling man like me—always on the road, rarely a spare moment to think about how damned bored I would otherwise be—you don’t realize how boring life is for everyone else.

Half of the time, I’m not even trying, but there’s just this gleam in their eye, that certain sparkle, that inspires you to set them free, to set them on fire. This is especially true, when they make the first move—pretending to check out the potato chips, when all they really came in for was a pint of ice cream, The Enquirer and a box of tampons. And you can just tell by the way they shuffle that they have a whole lot of frustration pent up inside and that they’re ready to spontaneously let it all out during one long evening with you.

That’s why living a life of ennui—one of stability, security, predictability and utter boredom—just doesn’t make any sense to me.

I’ve learned that sometimes the solution to all the world’s problems lies in a little bit of loving. Which is why, when you travel as much as I do, you’ve got to let a stranger love you every once in a while—just a nice and easy night together, no wondering “What if?,” no strings attached, no emotional baggage to handle.

This is why, when I go somewhere I’ve never been before, I never waste my time being a tourist. Because I know, unlike the statues and the stories and the legends, the local attractions for me are very much alive and often feeling alone in the world, much like me.

Besides, why would I want to read about the tall tales of others when I can assuredly weave some pretty interesting yarns of my own?

“The "timeless" men are those who make history, for history can be made only by those who are not floating with the stream. It is only those who are unconditioned by time who have real value, and whose productions have an enduring force.”
Otto Weininger


This story is fictional. R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Her Apocrine Allure

Her Apocrine Allure
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

July 2, 2008, San Jose, CA:

“You’re trouble mister,” she smiled, pushing me away.

I was buried nose-deep in the heady pit of her neck, inhaling deeply, intoxicated by a sultry mix of feline heat and the poison she called her personal line of perfume.

It was a hundred and four and we were deep and punch-drunk in the heart of Texas, sipping on some sweating Lone Star and Tecate beers. Two empty shots of Patron lined with crusty-salt ( "training wheels" the sassy waitress called them) with half-eaten lime wedges sat next to the bottles on the bar. Old Elvis tunes rang through the joint from a jukebox in the corner.

You fooled me with your kisses
You cheated and you schemed
Heaven knows how you lied to me
You're not the way you seemed

She fanned herself with the paper menu, “Wheh! Oh, Lordy, Lord. I’m feeling hotter than a whore in church. What are you doing to me mister?," she intonated, like a siren wailing under the full moon.

I grabbed the arms of her stool and pulled her in again, my knee sliding in smoothly between her damp legs.

She pressed her naked knees together (she loved to wear dresses— "I have a whole closet full of them," she once beamed to me proudly, her dimples curling higher than I've ever seen before); she squeezed them together almost as if she was trying to exorcise that aching feeling; the one that I now sensed. Much like a K9 smells through to a femme fatale tightly wrapped in black leather or a seisomograph feels the trembles of trouble at the fault line, I felt something ornery acoming on, a certain redolent pulsation now emanating from between her whet thighs.

Looking awry at the floor with a shy smile that almost fooled me, she spoke softly, demurely asking, “Have I ever told you that I’ve got a problem with my knees?”

I cocked my head in the same curious manner that dogs do when their masters confuse them, and then squinted, trying to see through my suspicious mind, furrowing my brow so that I just might remember.

Alas, I was caught in a trap, and I couldn't get out, even as I gave one good last shove of the surly lash that was now cocked warily, like a pious pirate ready to plunder, above my one good eye.

Knowing I was hooked, she placed her hands, one atop the other, on my captive knee. And then, looking at me straight in the eye, she leaned in to whisper, al the while digging deeply, “…You see, the problem is that whenever I’m around you, I can’t seem to keep them together…”

Momentarily dazed and confused by the vertigo of her allure— the girlish voice meant to disguise a vixen's intentions, the apocrine waft of her perfume that was now pulsing in synch with the aching drumbeat of my desire, and the sharp pangs that were now coursing up my thigh as she pressed her sharp nails into it— It took me a long moment to understand.

Once she saw the slight curl of my lip, the reassuring tell that told her that, indeed, I felt the pain, she informed me through clenched teeth and a wicked smile of satisfaction "'Vamp,’ the color is ‘vamp,' mister.”

It was then, then that I understood.

"What is second sight? A gift? A training? Or is it simply that suddenly within the brain a thousand impressions, ideas, sights, sounds, and smells coincide to provide an impression of what is to be? The mind gathers its grain in all fields...” Louis L'Amour


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)