October 1, 2007

Last Day on State Street


October 1, 2007

Last Night on State Street


October 5, 2007

Status report

A few people have emailed asking why I haven't been posting lately... basically it's been a rotten week.

1. My one day move from State St. to Pacific St. turned into a three day move. Thank goodness for capped moving rates (thanks to tina for recommending Brian Shea). Note there's a fine line between being a collector of things and a packrat. I might have crossed that line.

2. On the first night in the new place I turned around while my 2 1/2 year old son was taking a bath. He tried to get out but being unused to the height of a clawfoot tub he fell hard and fractured his arm in two places. So we ended up in the emergency room. My wife keeps saying "at least it didn't happen on my watch."

3. I have no internet or phones at the new place yet. (writing this from a starbucks).

4. The new place is a loft with less square footage than the old place. And the thing you realize about lofts is that without walls you have no place to hang things or put things. Consequently we are living in a maze of boxes right now.

5. Shelves and shelves of books to organize.

6. General exhaustion.

Things should be back to normal next week.

October 10, 2007


Jenn to me while driving on the NJ Turnpike: "Don't deny you make moral judgements about people based on their font choices, you know it's true. Peel the onion a bit and there's an entire corrupt little universe based on a disdain of comic sans and the like."

October 12, 2007

Pierre Gonnord

After writing a post about Hendrik Kerstens' Dutch Masters-inspired photos, a friend recommended I check out the work of Pierre Gonnord who also makes portraits heavily influenced by Vermeer Rembrant and the like. This time the photographer is a Frenchman who lives in Madrid. My bet is that he uses simple lighting setups-one big diffused light or a big northern facing window-to achieve this look.

October 18, 2007

Servant of the Sahibs: A Book to Be Read Aloud

Over the years I've put together a pretty good little collection of late 19th century and early 20th century Tibet/Himalayan exploration literature. For years these books have been tucked away in boxes in the attic, but with our recent move I’ve finally had a chance to put the collection together on the shelf. Tonight I unpacked a book called Servant of the Sahibs by Rassul Galwan. It’s one of my favorites-a the dairy of a Ladakhi Muslim guide whose many adventures included a trip from Leh to Yarkland with the legendary Sir Francis Younghusband. The book was published in 1924 and recounts travels spanning 30 years.

Some excerpts:

There were much rocks and darkness and the rain made mud. We fell into unluck that night.

Now I said to these lie-men. "Please tell true, how lost those ponies." They said: "You had charge in our hands. We went a little sleep. Then we looked to ponies, and we lost that place, at what place the ponies had grazing. Therefore we waked you." Now there were many up and down places where I could not get. Now from midnight we searched until morning which had little light. We had traveled wrong way the half-night. These men make bad luck. Head hurting mad.


Now my first wife I had not liked very much. That my mother knew. Yet she was not so bad, and after her death I remembered her much. And my mother said to me: "You must look very careful for next marriage." I said, "Yes mother, and I like that kind of wife who will obey, you the same as myself." Mother said, "You will teach her"

One day my mother said at breakfast to that woman who cooked for us: "Do you know any girl, outside Leh town which Rassul would like and who would obey me?" That woman answered "At Shushat village there is a beautiful honest girl and she will obey you." When I heard that from that woman, I liked that girl without seeing. I said to my mother, "I like this one." My mother said "Without looking, how can you like? No good. Before marry you must look."

I said to my mother again, "This one, whatever kind of girl, I like her, you must send word to her mother and brothers. In a few days my mother sent words, and some tea and butter. Then came the relay that they like to give me their daugher. And I heard my wife had liked me, without seeing. I was much glad with this news.

The writer takes up his pen again, after that long interval of war. I have lost my art. I am not much remember where was much happy. All that, not remember. The difficult and hard place are good remember. And the youth-time remember were very good. In the old-time is not good remember as youth. Anyway I am written with very careful. Not got any wrong, though I had no learning besides travel.

October 18, 2007

Dinu Li

Today I came across the website of Dinu Li a Hong Kong born artist whose family emigrated to England when he was a young child. His work from China/Hong Kong is especially remarkable, and strike me as the images of someone both looking for himself and trying to picture a past that doesn't necessarily exist anymore.

I should note I found this work via Asian Photography Blog which is fast becoming one of my favorite daily reads.

October 23, 2007

Michael Schmelling

If I were in a band I'd want my album cover to be photographed by Michael Schmelling who is known for his atmospheric band portraits. He also has a terrific set of personal stories online. The image above from his series titled El Paso.

October 23, 2007


My wife on my hopes of getting internet service in our new apartment which seems to exist in a one block blackhole of telecommunication : "You know what you are, you're a duck in a game preserve. So happy, so hopeful: "Look," you quack, "the cage door is open. A pond, blue sky, lets go waddle out and flyyyy...."

October 24, 2007

Simon Roberts at Klompching

Ever since I first noticed Simon Roberts' Motherland project I've been waiting for it to show here in New York. Tonight it opened at the newly minted Klompching Gallery and the exhibition does not disappoint. I definitely recommend heading over to DUMBO to check it out.

Klompching is the creation of the husband and wife team of Darren Ching and Debra Klomp Ching both of whom are well known in the photo world, he for his work as creative director at PDN and she for her smart writing about photography. This was their inaugural opening and they are putting together a sharp roster of emerging photographers including Lisa M. Robinson and Tessa Bunney (check out the Romania portfolio). It's a promising start. I know I'll stay tuned...

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