Images of concert goers from last summer at Prospect Park and Central Park.
The J’ouvert festival recently unloaded itself unto our weary Brooklyn and it now stands firmly, surely, as my favorite annual cultural event. Starting at 3am, its hypnotic, rhythmic procession of steel drums and motor oil covered revelers snake their way down Flatbush to … Continue reading
After 3 years of mediocre results gardening in the north-facing, tree-shaded, mosquito breeding ground, old dog-fighting training area junkyard, huge 60×60 ft. (by NYC standards) area we call our backyard, I grudgingly moved plants and soil alike upstairs to the 5th story roof … Continue reading
During the Passover holiday’s of the Jewish religion observant Jews go thru the laborious but important task of cleaning out all and any trace of “Chametz” (or leavened bread) from their home. And they get VERY intense about it as its one of the greatest religious transgressions if one ingests any bread during the holiday (All of this bread business relates to the story of the exodus of the Jews fleeing Egypt with Moses and not having time to wait for their bread to rise so only unleavened bread of “matzoh” can be eating for the entire holiday). I attended a passover seder in a Lubavitch family home whose kitchen was covered in tin-foil so I made my way back a couple of days later and shot in the homes of four families. They cover the bookshelves the entire kitchen cabinets, stove, etc., to make sure any sort of crumb doesn’t mix with their food. At first what I mistook to be some sort of alien radar transmission set up turned out to be yet another modern day incarnation of ancient tradition.
Shot this event, a re-union at the Gowanus Houses, on a nice hot Sunday in August.
Yes, there were at least 3 shootings and innocent folks were killed and yes, its weird when detectives tape off an area and mark bullet casings on the sidewalk as marijuana and jerk chicken scents intermingle and people carry on as if nobody was just shot 10 minutes before in that very spot. But, people keep on keeping on and they surely did this last Carnival weekend. I attended J’ouvert which is a warm up to the main carnival but for many people its the main attraction and is celebrated more then the carnival parade itself. Its more folkloric in nature, starts in the middle of the night, allows all to participate and is a bit more dionysisian in its ritual and practice. I was blown away, for the first time, by steel drum bands. A hypnotic and voracious aural attack fueled by rum, paint, sweat and played on instruments crafted from left over found materials. Lots of car parts found new life as musical instruments. View a video of a steel-drum band in the parade at the end of the post.
After several shootings during the parade police presence ramped up.
Was happily startled by this scene the other day walking behind the Brooklyn Museum on the way home. Distracted by museum detritus in a giant dumpster I looked up and was about 15 ft from this sort of “urban” National Geographic scene. Was fascinating. The hawk was pulling the feathers off the neck area of the bird before eating and feathers slowly drifted across the street and into the air. The head was about 30ft away. Cars would drive by getting with-in 6 ft and she held her ground. Thinking of using the tags on her left leg to see if I can identify it thru the tagging system (is there an App for that?) but feel free to yourself and let me know if you get any info on this bad-ass Brooklyn bird.
I sometimes feel are pieces not intended to be art at all but deconstructed advertisements in the subway or old doorways with 20 years of tags or just anything that seems to of accumulated things by mans hands then worn away over the years to a state of wear. These boards in the subway where advertisements are placed are always beautiful when they rip off the twenty layers of adhesive adds before starting the process over again. Layers of cultural detritus being stripped bare down to its bones.
I pitched a story about the methods people use to pick their winning numbers for the lottery awhile back and they liked the idea and hired me to shoot it. I went out with a reporter for the day and drove around hitting bodegas in 4 boroughs. It was really amazing to watch Alan Feuer, the writer, work. The story wasn’t easy as people are cagey about their gambling but he would disarm them in seconds using a lethal mix of a personable persona and rapid fire questions. Photographing was not easy as well and I was left shooting people during their 3 minute interviews with Alan. I think I squeaked out a couple nuggets though but would have to of spent a week, not a day, to make it super photogenic.
Here are some extra images I liked that they left out.
This guy owns a bodega in Crown Heights and sells 99% of his tickets to Lubavitcher Jews and says they always play the address of the Rebbe as their lucky numbers. To show this was Jewish related area and as there were no one buying tickets I tried to use the calling card in the background to give a hint of the location.