fairytale of new york

This is Matt Dillon visiting Shane MacGowan backstage after a Pogues show at a club called The World in NYC in 1986. The World used to be down near Houston and Avenue C, and many a video was shot there in the 80's, including Talking Heads "Burning Down the House." But when the Xmas season rolls around, it's the Pogues 1987 video - Fairytale of New York - that tops the charts. Right up there with hearing John Lennon or Phil Spector. And so enjoy your xmas and say a prayer for the great Kirsty MacColl.


it's a wonderful life - xmas 2007 in florida

that was then & this is now...i gotta say i was running out of ideas for xmas pictures in new york city - who how where when? then it came - an invitation to florida for christmas - no snow, no cold weather, no cleaning off the windshield, no shoveling snow. a serious no brainer.

so here i stand, head in hand - cool calm collected - with a ton of great xmas pictures laid out right in front of me - look out & say cheese...


gone fishing

this is my friend mitch's mom's gefilte fish. you see this stuff, it means the jewish holidays are here.

what holiday? new year's 5758. how did they do that? i don't know - i was wondering how heinz ketchup didn't take more advantage of last year being 5757.

everyone in New York loves the jewish holidays. Schools out, alternate side parking is cancelled - i.e. you can park for free - the streets are quiet, there's no road traffic, no standing on lines, empty seats on the subways, and if your boss is jewish, he ain't at work.

but check out the gefilte fish - this is the real thing. Not from the jar - made by hand, by mitch's mom Helene. And you gotta love the way it's laid out on the plate. Look at all those plates. You make this stuff by hand, you bet you're inviting lots of people over.

And if one of those people is a photographer - a jewish photographer (is there any other kind?) - you can bet he's gonna photograph them fish.



NYC 1999

In 2001, I was living down near the world trade center, just a few blocks east on Maiden Lane - had been living there since 1995. I was knee deep in a project to photograph the downtown area at night - based on the template of the old New Amsterdam, when New York City was under Dutch rule. Same area photographed by Berenice Abbott in the 1930's.

I was busy trying to get pictures of old buildings around the financial district and the seaport that I figured would soon be gone. In the process, I tended to avoid the World Trade Center - it was the place I went on hot summer days to get good air conditioning, but I didn't think it was something I would have to make top priority on my soon to be gone list.

Who knew??


this year's model

While it still feels like summer, one more look at the july 4th girl of 1909

Here are a few more pix of her that I found at the same flea market. This girl really had it - coulda been a star.

This is her again. Same room. I'm guessing she's on her father's lap - is she relaxed or what? This little model should have hooked up with Lartigue.

And here's my favorite of the bunch - same room - the piano, the wallpaper - this must be mom - reading the newspaper. The question is - did she take this - and all the others? I think so.


Last Days

With the end of summer, I present this found at a flea market photo from someone's July 4th in 1909.


R.I.P. Hilly Kristal

Hilly was our Dad. He landed on the Bowery, set up shop, and let us all hang out in his house. Whatever we wanted to create, as long as we played by his rules - and there weren't many - was ours to create. It was like going over to your friend's house - the one with the good parents - and being able for the first time to really be yourself. Full out. Nobody watching. Nobody commenting.

That's how the New York punk scene happened, right there in his backyard. Just a bunch of dumb letters that sounded like chord changes and would eventually, beyond anyone's expectations land on t-shirts, and symbolise more than they were ever intended to be. Hilly was our protector. He was our enabler. There's not enough that can be said about him. And not that much you need to say.

Ultimately undone by the forces of NYC real estate and an organization ironically called the Bowery Residents Committee. Hilly was the original Bowery Resident. His spirit will live forever on that boulevard he called home.


camels in new jersey

ok, so it's the end of the summer, and i'm out in new jersey driving the back roads to ikea when i pass upon this scene - 2 camels in a parking lot. bingo - camera time. lady next to me is groaning - i shoulda brought my camera - she's not yet in the 21st century my cell phone's got a camera mode, so she just looks.

shooting is looking and showing everyone else you're looking. szarkowski called it pointing and saying look at that!

so here's my return to the blog - did i tell you i saw two camels in new jersey last weekend?