Saturday, May 25, 2024

STL DPB IN NEW YORK - SIGNING OFF

Okay, last post from New York. I have an interesting event in STL to shoot today. This picture was taken by another member of the group (thanks, Martin) before we descended into a basement restaurant in Chinatown. I look pretty cheerful for someone whose spine felt like it was going to crumble, but I don't give up easily.

Time  to look around the home town. But I'll be back in New York in just over a month with Ellie and Mrs. C.            

Friday, May 24, 2024

STL DPB IN NEW YORK - FROM ABOVE


A few more pictures from New York before I come back home. This is another shot from the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine. A member of my group gives a sense of scale while photographing Anne Patterson's installation, Divine Pathways. It's only there through June if you are interested in seeing it.

I need to find some new material back here in The Lou. My mobility is somewhat limited by my back issues (new medical consultation soon) but I should be able to find something.                

Thursday, May 23, 2024

STL DPB IN NEW YORK - SHAVE AND A HAIRCUT

 

Some people don't want to have their picture taken. Some just love it. When a group of photographers peeked into this Washington Heights barber shop, the crew just loved to show off. Look at the scissor action! You gotta look good in this city.           

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

STL DPB IN NEW YORK - IN THE CATACOMBS

 

New York's catacombs are, of course, the subway system. The public knows little about its secrets. This station is 181st Street and Broadway in Washington Heights. You might want to enlarge the image, noting the three semi-hidden men with their backs to the camera and the one lounging on the bench.               

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

STL DPB IN NEW YORK - IN MEMORIAM

At least for me, one of the most gut-wrenching features of the current World Trade Center is the pair of memorial pools in the precise shape and location of the Twin Towers. They fall down from sidewalk level with waterfalls on all sides into a shallow basin, which then empties into a smaller and seemingly bottomless central pit. Around the edges, black marble is engraved with the names of those who died on 9/11, the recesses colored gold. Here and there, the living tucked paper flowers bound with twist ties into the spaces.            

Monday, May 20, 2024

STL DPB IN NEW YORK - INSIDE THE OCULUS


First off, I found that I have been misspelling the name of this building for the last couple of posts. One C, not two.

The view is from a balcony, symmetrical to the one in the background. It feels like you are inside of a space ship-cathedral, or possibly within Moby Dick's rib cage. It was a cloudy day and the upper reaches were a cool gray. There are two levels of shops beneath, whose interior lights send a warm glow. The far background leads to a transit hub with several subway lines and the PATH trains (Port Authority Trans Hudson) trains to New Jersey.          

Sunday, May 19, 2024

STL DPB IN NEW YORK - 1 WTC AND THE OCCULUS

After returning from Ellis Island, the group went a short way north to the World Trade Center complex. After the tragedies of 9/11. the tower of 1 World Trade Center now dominates downtown. Below it is an amazing piece of architecture called the Occulus, containing a shopping center and major transit hub. I think we'll come back to more of that.            

Saturday, May 18, 2024

STL DPB IN NEW YORK - ELLIS ISLAND

From 1855 to 1890, immigration to the United states was controlled by the individual states. About 8 million people passed through a station at the lower tip of Manhattan, likely including my grandparents, coming from Ireland and Poland.  Ellis Island in New York harbor was the point of arrival for most immigrants to the United States from 1892 until 1954. 12 million people would enter the U.S. through it. https://www.statueofliberty.org/ellis-island/overview-history/

Our photography group went to Ellis Island but did not visit the main museum. You can go on a tour with a guide of the old, abandoned hospital. It is in various states of decay and restoration, mostly the former. A French artist who goes by simply JR has created haunting photo-montages on the walls and windows, drawn from images of the arriving, hopeful people. https://www.jr-art.net/projects/unframed-ellis-island-usa-2014 Back then, this country wanted immigrants to populate our vast spaces. Clearly, that is no longer the case.             

Friday, May 17, 2024

STL DPB IN NEW YORK - VIEW FROM A BRIDGE


One of the photo group's activities was to walk across the Manhattan Bridge from Chinatown, at least part of the way. I got separated from the group and went all the way to Brooklyn, my back on the verge of crumbling. One of my colleagues, much fitter than I, made the same mistake and got me back across safely. We considered getting an AirTag to put in my pocket so the leaders could find me if I got lost again.

This is the view to the south from the start of the path on the Manhattan side. The lettering was on the top of an old building beside the bridge. No idea what it means.                

Thursday, May 16, 2024

STL DPB IN NEW YORK - HIGH ROLLER

There is a park in Manhattan's Chinatown that is a social center for older people. Most of what's going on is games involving gambling. The tables are strictly segregated by sex. The women were mostly playing cards. The men were playing a game in which counters with Chinese characters were placed on a grid. None of our group understood what was going on but money was clearly changing hands.

The man in the shiny pink hat, chain smoking and gesturing with his right hand, was the center of attention. Like a good poker player, his face never showed expression. I don't know if he was winning or losing but he was the center of attention.             

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

STL DPB IN NEW YORK - INDIAN CLOTHING IN JACKSON HEIGHTS

As mentioned earlier, Jackson Heights, Queens, has more ethnic diversity than any zip code in the United States. This is a traditional Indian clothing store, displaying very creepy mannequins of children. Note the girl's right forearm.          

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

STL DPB IN NEW YORK - FUNNEL CAKES

After leaving Brighton Beach, the group walked a mile down the oceanfront boardwalk to Coney Island. My back and I took the subway. The area is lined with amusement rides and arcades and, of course, Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs. (Ever watch the Fourth of July hot dog eating contest?) None of the attractions were open, probably waiting for our Memorial Day weekend later this month. I used to love to go there when I was a kid. This refreshment stand didn't have a lot of business yet but the attendant was a great subject.                

Monday, May 13, 2024

STL DPB IN NEW YORK - THE SUBWAY

Everybody has heard of the New York subway. Not everyone knows that 40% of the system is at or above ground level, although locals call all of it the subway. It has 472 stations, 36 lines and 248 miles / 399 km of routes. I commuted to high school on the subway from 1963 to 1967. Still ride it every time I'm in town. This is a station in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, but I've never set foot in the vast majority of them.    

Sunday, May 12, 2024

STL DPB IN NEW YORK - NEWS OF THE WORLD

Much of the signage in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, is written, all or in part, in Cyrillic. The population is Russian and Ukrainian, both Christian Orthodox and Jewish. You don't have to deal with English to get through day-to-day life.                    

Saturday, May 11, 2024

STL DPB IN NEW YORK - ST. JOHN THE DIVINE

Rain threatened off and on all of Friday and our street photography group modified its schedule. We visited the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the seat of the Episcopal Church in New York. It is massive and yet unfinished. Doesn't get a lot of visitors as it's a bit out of the way, located on the far Upper West Side, between the northwest corner of Central Park and Columbia University.

Much of the nave is taken up by the stunning artwork Divine Pathways by Anne Patterson. No matter your religious preference, it creates a strong connection with something beyond us.              

Friday, May 10, 2024

STL DPB IN NEW YORK - ELLIS ISLAND

Our street photography group went to Ellis Island yesterday. It is the place where, in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, a growing nation hungry for population processed immigrants in New York harbor. We took a hard hat tour of the hospital facilities, where the physically sick and mentally ill were confined until they recovered, died, or were deported back to from whence they came. 

This room is part of the tuberculosis ward, where patients were held in isolation. The image in the mirror could make them cling to hope or fall into despair.            

Thursday, May 9, 2024

STL DPB IN NEW YORK - CHINATOWN


The Chinese neighborhood in the Lower East Side of Manhattan remains vibrant. Some of the population has moved to the outer boroughs and the suburbs but immigration of people fleeing China replenishes it. There is a small city park off Mulberry Street where the community gathers. There are card games and tile games going on that we don't understand. Strictly segregated by sex and, with complicated chips, obviously heavy gambling going on. Wednesday was warm and humid, and this gamer needed ventilation while he studied his next move.                       

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

STL DPB IN NEW YORK - JACKSON HEIGHTS

Jackson Heights, Queens, has more different ethnic groups than any other zip code in the United States. (The borough and county of Queens has more than any other county in the U.S.) Our group stepped off the train and could immediately smell the curry cooking. It's Indian, Pakistani, Nepali, Tibetan, Mexican, Ecuadorian, Colombian, Peruvian and many others. You don't have to travel out of the country to sample so many cultures in a small space.

This was taken in a pedestrianized block in the south Asian area. I'll be putting many others on Flickr.                   

Monday, May 6, 2024

STL DPB IN NEW YORK - BRIGHTON BEACH

Day 1 of the New York street photography workshop. We started in Brighton Beach, an Intense neighborhood I never had a reason to visit when I lived here. It's Russian-Ukrainian-Jewish-miscellaneous Middle Eastern. As many signs are written in Cyrillic as Latin characters. When I paid for something in a local shop, the cashier said spasibo - thank you in Russian (one of about four Russian words I know). We had lunch in a Uighur restaurant.

Not sure what these two women are about. Maybe mother and daughter, standing under the Q Line el. 

STL DPB IN NEW YORK - AFTER THE RAIN

Am I ever home? Well, in a sense, this is home, my place of origin. Starting a five day street photography workshop today and there couldn't be a better place. This is on West 79th Street, just down the block from the hotel where the group is staying. Today we're going to deepest  Brooklyn. First stop Brighton Beach, largely Ukrainian and Russian, and then down to Coney Island. I haven't been there since I was a kid.                

Sunday, May 5, 2024

STL DPB IN TOLEDO - THAT CATHOLIC THING

Spain, as westerners know, was intensely Catholic. After all, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, who drove the last Muslim kingdom from Iberia and dispatched Columbus to the New World to, in the end, plunder and spread communicable disease, were known as Los Reyes Catolicos. It gave us the Spanish Inquisition. Like most of Europe, churchgoing isn't so much of a thing these days, but the monuments remain. The Toledo Cathedral is enormous and made me think about the portion of the region's resources devoted to creating it. I come from a Catholic family and education so, you know, I'm just saying.

This hasn't been much of a St. Louis photo blog lately. It's going to get worse. I arrive in New York today for a five day street photography workshop. Home sweet home.              

Saturday, May 4, 2024

STL DPB IN TOLEDO - TOLERANCE


Toledo, Spain, has a magnificent cathedral but there are also well-preserved synagogues, as here. The city has a Jewish quarter, marked by tiles with Hebrew characters in the street. There was a time when Christian, Muslim and Jewish residents lived together in relative peace (how relative depending on who was in charge). It didn't last.                            

Friday, May 3, 2024

STL DPB IN TOLEDO - THAT GREEK GUY

We all know about Doménikos Theotokópoulos, right?  El Greco to you. Born in Crete, studied in Venice under Titian, and then primarily lived and worked in Toledo. This is one of his masterpieces, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz, in the Church of Santo Tomé, Obviously, it is very complex. You can find a discussion at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Burial_of_the_Count_of_Orgaz .            

                      

Thursday, May 2, 2024

STL DPB ON THE ROAD - VIEW OF TOLEDO

One day last week we took a trip to the historic city of Toledo, about an hour south of Madrid. It's hilly, and was tough on a couple of 70-somethings. There was lots to see. The main buildings seen here on the horizon are the cathedral on the left and the Alcazar, an old military facility, on the right.            

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

CITY DAILY PHOTO MAY THEME - CYCLISTS

You might find this in many cities. There are street bicycle races around here a few times a year, always good for color and action. These people are impressive athletes who take risks - I've seen a couple of wrecks. Not for me though. The last time I rode a bike I had to get a steroid shot in my knee.             

Witness City Daily pedal power from around the world at https://citydailyphoto.org/category/theme-days/ .