Thursday, October 2, 2014

The NY Report...

Well, the Climate March in NYC on 9/21 got 350,000+ people, considerably more than expected (approx 100,000). And what was especially good to see was that it wasn't just the usual gang of aging White hippies out there- it was multi-generational, multi-ethnic and multi-racial. And it's a damn good thing we protested on the streets of midtown (not to mention the sit down event the following day near Wall St.), because they weren't letting anyone anywhere near the UN building on the the day of the actual conference on the 23rd. One of the coolest things of the whole event was when the march stopped dead at 42 St. between Broadway and Seventh and had a moment of silence for Mother Earth- never did hear Times Square quite so eerily silent in all my years...

Sadly, the protest is merely an exclamation point, one desperate all out plea for a reality check that will not arrive anytime soon; the real progress occurs behind the scenes, and suffice to say, I really don't think any real action(s) of consequence will occur until the tsunamis are licking at the doors of those in power in real time. Of course, by then, it will already have been far too late...




Meanwhile, NYC has managed to cram yet another several million people unto its streets since I visited last year, and it was while I was promenading through Bryant Park that I spotted the oddest looking tour bus ever, in which people are seated in rows, theater style, all facing one side of the sidewalk, with pedestrians literally on stage and on display- a much more unsettling experience than even the bizarre scenario below alludes to, I assure you!

Photo: Marc Bryan-Brown
Also couldn't help but notice that there were considerably more photographers of color out taking fashion and wedding photos (a good thing), more people of color in the NYPD (good if their diversity impacts the police force- and not vice versa, as is usually the case), and MOST surprisingly of all... more people of color in the dancing, chanting Hare Krishnas- talk about... unsettling!

Naturally, I went to play with all the new cameras at B&H, and I'm happy to report that there wasn't one I was truly excited about save for the Fujifilm XT-1; happy because there's no way I can afford one of those along with a couple of lenses, happy because I'll no longer be tempted by anything else, happy to remain happy with what I got.... And I'm also bizarrely happy, confused and perplexed to report that I didn't see one single book at Dashwood, MOMA or Strands that I absolutely, positively had to have- not a one. And lord knows I have enough relatively recent acquisitions that I have yet to pay adequate homage and attention to.

Couldn't get to a lotta shows since I had familial obligations to attend to (my 91 year old father was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's), but did see Matt Black at Anastasia Gallery, and did manage to make it to Photoville on its last day. The latter was a bit overwhelming to do in just one day, even without attending any workshops/conferences; there was just so much there in all those assorted shipping containers- good, bad and indifferent, that in the end made for quite an impressive showing nonetheless. One was dedicated solely to James Nachtwey's work- always fascinating to see how he remains just one notch above everyone else's work in that particular "genre."

Gorged myself on Two Boots Pizza and donuts at the appropriately named Donut Pub on W14 St, but was disheartened to find that St. Mark's Books is no longer with us- that particular book store was to The East Village what CBGB's was to its music scene- RIP.

Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo of NY created a commission to examine corruption- only to disband it when it began to examine the festerings in his own backyard. And speaking of cover ups.... new mayor of NYC Bill de Blasio dropped the groundhog presented to him on Groundhog Day, which later died of internal injuries. The zoo however reports that the precipitous fall from the good mayor's arms had nothing to do with its demise. Why this came out in September, when it occurred in February...

Favorite T-shirt (particularly in these times when people my age are contemplating their own mortality while dealing with that of their elders): Too Old To Die Young (almost as good as the one I saw earlier this year- Don't Bro Me If Ya Don't Know Me).

Got four rolls to process and edit (a helluva lot for me), hopefully something to show for in the upcoming weeks, and will also be posting on my favorite new photographer spotted at Photoville. Oh, and one last thing- put my Tri-X naked into a clear baggie, asked for hand inspection, and request granted no ifs, ands, or buts... least at SFO and JFK!

2 comments:

Bruce Haley said...

Hi Stan - so sorry to hear about your father, but I'm glad that you got to see Matt's show. I wish I could have been at the opening, to hang out with the gang and support him. Matt is a friend so I'm rather biased, but I think he's a great guy and the epitome of the old term "the concerned photographer" - he's extremely dedicated and committed to that project, and all of that heart just shines through in those images...

Stan B. said...

Thanks, Bruce.

Matt's work is truly amazing, and whenever I start feeling sorry for myself for not having the latest this or that, I remind myself of his grainy images and how they epitomize that it's what's behind the camera that counts.

Unfortunately, genius here wrote down the wrong date and spent opening night doing my laundry...