summer photography

Acropolis photographer, Athens 1972

So it's summer. You could set yourself up on a hill in Athens taking souvenir postcard photos of tourists at the Acropolis. But that all sounds so ancient. Are these photogs out of business now? Is the Acropolis still there? Is there now an app for that?

While summer is still in full swing, here are a few summer memories from the Godlis archives. Get out the barbecue, get out the sunglasses, get out the camera...

Brian demonstrates jellyfish grabbing, Massachusetts summer 1975

Hassid, Coney Island - summer 1979

Fenway Park, Boston summer 1975

Sadie walking across the Brooklyn Bridge - summer 2001

Abandoned Roadside Cabins, Adirondacks  summer 2003

Central Park, Summer 1980

Coney Island, Summer 1978

Eileen, Coney Island - summer 1979

Watching Minor League Baseball -  Massachusetts, summer 2009

Coney Island, Summer 1990 - shot on plastic mail order camera


Quatorze Juillet...pardon my french

Ooh La La! C'est la vie. There I am in Paris in the 1990's. Vive la difference! Quel heure est il?  Bien sur. OK, to honor Bastille Day, what better than a little Jean-Luc Godard . Here is  the trailer for "Vivre Sa Vie" starring the great Anna Karina, from 1962, en noir et blanc. LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!


Da Doo Ron Ron / LaLa Brooks of The Crystals at Film Forum!!!

LaLa Brooks with Phil Spector in the 1960's

LaLa Brooks last night at the Film Forum

         When the documentary, "The Agony And The Ecstasy of Phil Spector" now playing at the Film Forum, ended and the lights in the theater came up, in she walked - the other Great Voice fronting the Spector Wall of Sound - Delores LaLa Brooks. She was just 15 when she sang lead vocals with The Crystals on "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Then He Kissed Me".  Answering questions at the Film Forum last night she looked positively radiant.  Born in Brooklyn and living in NY's East Village now, she talked openly about Phil and the Crystals sessions. About being on the road with The Crystals when they heard the Darlene Love vocal on "He's A Rebel".  How little room there was inside the Wall of Sound studio. About leaving The Crystals and singing "Aquarius" in the original Broadway production of Hair. About trying to get money from Phil. Like Darlene Love and Ronnie Spector, she saw little payment and no royalties, and had to eat from the studio vending machine while recording.  With any luck, Film Forum was taping and will upload as one of their podcasts. 

          The documentary itself is a must see - strange, in that it mixes in-depth interviews with the ultra-reclusive producer, beside Court TV footage of his murder trial.  J.Hoberman's review in the Village Voice is right on the mark: "Round-faced and wide-eyed, snugly fitted with a bowl-cut blond wig and ever eager to vent, Spector has the look of the imp off a Rice Krispies box." 

          Find out why he holds a grudge against Tony Bennet. Hear him imitate John Lennon. See the Teddy Bears performing "To Know Him Is to Love Him". Find out why he held Martin Scorsese's career in the palm of his hand. How he named the song Da Doo Ron Ron. And decide for yourself whether he shot Lana Clarkson. Teenage Tycoon Megalomania unleashed + Incredible music. Weird indeed. Go see it now!

          In the meantime, watch LaLa Brooks and The Crystals knock one out of the park. 

heat wave 4th

July 4th 1975 - Boston

After two days of brutal 100 + temperatures here in New York City - with the prospect of a 90 degree day tomorrow sounding like a relief - I'm reminded of this photo I took on July 4th in 1975.  If there's anything worse than trying to get through a heat wave, it's trying to get through a heat wave with a baby. I remember seeing this mom and kid at a MacDonald's in the Allston Brighton section.  I knew this woman was not having an easy day. Still I had to take this photo. The only one who noticed me was the baby. Hey I was just as hot as her.  This is what it is to endure a heat wave.  Even indoors, the air looks thick with humidity.  Definitely hot town summer in the city time. Sound familiar?


the 4th revisited

re: the July 4th photos I posted yesterday.  

July 4th is a street photographer's working holiday.  With Robert Frank's photograph "Fourth of July - Jay, New York" in mind, and camera in hand,  every year I walk through a world of flags, patriotism, parades, and hot dogs looking for one more shot to explain it all. 

July 4th,  1980 - Middleboro, Massachusetts

This photograph from the southeastern Massachusetts town of Middleboro is one of my favorites.  Middleboro, as it turns out, is the hometown of Lavinia Warren, who was married to  General Tom Thumb (yes P.T. Barnum's Tom Thumb) in 1863, at Grace Church in NYC.  So every year, they would commemorate Lavinia's wedding ceremony in Middleboro's 4th of July parade.  You really can't make these things up.  Taken 30 years ago, I can't help thinking that these kids, pretending to be dwarfs, are in their 40's now. 

From Harper's Weekly 1863

July 4th, 1975 - Nantasket Beach, Massachusetts

This photo, which I didn't post yesterday, is also one of my favorites.  I took it on a very hot summer night in the beach town of Nantasket, Massachusetts - site of Paragon Park.  This was the summer before I moved to NYC. This night photograph, with these gypsy types lit up by the amusement park lights, precedes and points to all the hand held 35mm night shooting I would be doing the next year on the Bowery.  

July 4th, 2010 - Onset, Massachusetts

And then there's this year's July 4th picture.  Actually shot on July 3rd, I believe it still qualifies for a July 4th pic if it's taken at the July 4th fireworks. This is the beach town of Onset, Massachusetts nearby to Cape Cod.  Standing atop the bluffs overlooking the beach, I shot this hand held night shot at 1/8th of a second to get the crowded beach lit up by fireworks. Totally a guessed exposure, I pass this info on for the benefit of all so inclined.  

Gotta go barbecue. A final July 4th roundup tomorrow...


the 4th

A few pix from 4th of July past & present.  More about these later. Got to go out now and shoot a few more.  

July 4th, 2010 - Onset,Massachusetts

July 4th, 2010 - Onset, Massachusetts

July 4th, 1980 - Middleboro, Massachusetts

July 4th, 1992 - New York City