Quotidian

Cecilia Dougherty

Featured image above is from the Women’s March in New York on Jan 21, 2017. Resistance begins right away, and we have to sustain it until our job is done. The artist’s job, as always, is to show the society to itself.

February 12, 2018

Medical offices, emergency rooms, and other places that people with chronic illnesses are known to frequent.

February 1, 2018 Various and Varied

lower Manhattan
View of lower Manhattan from the back seat of a taxi.
iPhone screen shot
Playing with my phone and this occurred. Couldn’t resist.
iPhone photo lower Manhattan
Again, the iPhone doing what it’s probably not supposed to do.
digital art
Digital art reminding me of olden days in the darkroom.
digital art
Abstract photo – this one is more like what happens in color printing rather than what happens in the b&w darkroom.
ship on New York Bay
From the deck of the Staten Island Ferry I spied a ship on New York Bay, under a pink cloud.
summer day on the Staten Island Ferry
A summer day on the Staten Island Ferry. Almost everyone is on the observation deck.
ferry docking at St. George Terminal
The ferry is docking at St. George Terminal.
Passengers waiting to exit the ferry
Passengers waiting to exit the ferry
Staten Island Ferry observation deck
Staten Island Ferry observation deck, when 180° becomes 360°
view from the 7th floor, 23rd St., Manhattan
The view from the 7th floor, 23rd St., Manhattan
Sofa put out on the sidewalk
Really difficult to reconstruct this sofa in the imagination. Probably in physical reality as well. St. George, Staten Island.

January 25, 2018

People at 14th Street subway station, NYC
I was on the same train as the three people here – the ones carrying lots of things – and they were homeless and traveling. They had energy, they had a plan, and they were carrying it out together. I’ve seen other young homeless people in the same situation. On the move. I hope they make it.
Cleaning the fish tank at the St. George Ferry Terminal.
Cleaning the fish tank at the St. George Ferry Terminal.
people getting onto the Staten island Ferry
The final stragglers getting onto the ferry before it leaves Whitehall.

January 2, 2018

Happy New Year. One can hope. I’m putting up a series of images from the past year or so, all of them in New York. 

Starting out in the Brooklyn sublet. I’m watching a scene similar to my real life moment – a workspace in a slightly crummy room. Click to enlarge.

photo of computer screen
A desk inside a desk.

The image below is of my downstairs neighbor, who cooked large amounts of meat on a very expensive-looking grill as often as possible. Since I was there in the summer, and my only windows looked out onto his deck, I found it impossible to ignore him. I had to leave the windows open (until I got an air conditioner) or suffer. It was hot! However, the open windows also let in the smell and smoke of cooking meat and the apartment was filled with it. I also had to listen to his conversations and his music when he had friends over to eat the meat, which was three or four times a week. And inhale their cigarette smoke. Which was often. Don’t young people know that cigarettes will kill them? Let it go! Okay! I let it go. I wish him well. I never want to go back to that apartment and – guess what? – I don’t have to!

The neighbor, the meat cooking (to the left).
sculpture at the UN General Assembly buildilng
In the lobby of the UN General Assembly building, during a lunch break from a WordPress conference, I found this lonely sculpture placed in a corner, but it seems determined to express itself fully nonetheless.
a page from a notebook
A page from someone’s notebook.
prism and flower petals
A glass prism and a few petals from the blooming begonia.
photo of someone's back and neck
The back of someone’s head and neck can tell some interesting stories.
a man on a bus, pictured from the back
This one on the S52 bus from St. George Terminal, Staten Island
Vietnam War Veteran
A Vietnam War Veteran at the SI Ferry Terminal. Seeing this old man made me realize how old I myself am. I think the war in Vietnam is what made me grow up, but in some ways, I’m stuck there, politically.
lower Manhattan architecture
A building inside a building, lower Manhattan.
St. Paul's Bookstore, Staten Island
One of the most remarkable and, to my eye, ugliest buildings around – it’s the St. Paul’s Bookstore on Victory Boulevard, Staten Island. Brutal.
Brooklyn car repair shop
A car repair shop in Brooklyn.
subway station art, Brooklyn
An earlier version of the subway art pictured in the post below. G-train at Clinton-Washington, Brooklyn.
subway station, City Hall
Two images of the end of the line – which train is this? May be the 6-train at City Hall.

subway station, City Hall

Now that I live in Staten Island, I rely on the Staten Island Ferry to get to the rest of the city and I’m in love with it.

Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry, this image and the three following. Happy 2018!

December 26, 2017

It’s been ages since I’ve posted new photos, although I’ve been taking them all along. I had an interesting and difficult semester teaching five classes and when I wasn’t teaching, I was prepping for my five classes.  I had no time for much of anything else including uploading photos! But I was taking pictures nonetheless and want to share these from the last few months, in and around New York.

photo from Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
A glimpse of the sky and the sun hitting the side of a building – a world in a puddle, somewhere in Bed-Stuy.
photo taken from the J train stairs
Order looks like chaos looks like order. Taken from the stairs going up to the J train over Broadway in on the Bed-Stuy-Bushwick border.
interior shot - fridge and shelves, tables
I don’t remember where this was taken – it’s an employee lounge/kitchen area tucked away in some hole somewhere in the city.
signs on pharmacy counter
Signs at the prescription counter of my old pharmacy, Greene Community Pharmacy on Fulton Street, Fort Greene, Bklyn
pharmacy waiting area
…and this is the roomy waiting area of the Greene Community Pharmacy.
subway worker's station, brooklyn
A cubicle workstation on a subway platform at the York Street F train station.
meal ticket
I found a meal ticket on the street. I think it was still good. A glimpse into the life that awaits, if we’re not careful, each and every one of us, as the nation is divided more harshly into rich and poor.
meal ticket
Sorry for the above caption – finding this meal ticket on the ground meant that this person was not going to get lunch or dinner that day. It hurts.
blocked off section at Atlantic Terminal
A circular area at the Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn, that’s blocked off for no apparent reason. Things are set up neatly and willfully, but it’s hard to say why.
subway map with Riker's Island circled
At a subway station, someone circled Riker’s Island on the map.
Riker's Islnad torture
Amd they wrote what goes on there. I believe this 100%.
cleaning broom, Staten island Ferry Terminal.
In the Staten Island Ferry Terminal bathroom, a worker has put her name on the broom. Would I do that if I worked there? I guess I would if the other cleaners were taking my brooms.
dirty laundrymat.
On Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn, near Smith Street where I had a sublet last year, there’s a laundrymat that is the dirtiest and most unkempt laundrymat I’ve ever visited.
bus going into the Brooklyn Detention Center
The prisoner’s bus going into the inner locked driveway of the Brooklyn Detention Center on Atlantic Ave. I wonder who is on that bus and how long they’ll be detained?
at the Lyon's Fitness Center, Staten Island
An inspiring tower of gym equipment that looks like a brutish scupture. It’s at the Lyon’s Fitness Center, Staten Island.
women's entrance to a mosue in Brookly9n
The women’s entrance to a mosque on Atlantic Ave. Brooklyn.
Bayonne Bridge, Staten Island
Work is being done on the mighty Bayonne Bridge that connects New Jersey to Staten Island.
I took this last Spring from the College of Staten Island shuttle bus – the hand juts out from broken signage and the flag unfurls across the top of a broken window. I love it.

 

August 6, 2017 A walk through Stapleton, Staten Island

Car detailing shop, Van Duzer Street
Car detailing shop, Van Duzer Street
Tip of the Wagon Italian Ices, Van Duzer Street, Staten Island
Tip of the Wagon on Van Duzer Street. Making the most of a tiny tiny storefront with gay-friendly Italian gelato and alcohol-infused ice on offer, all less than a mile from my house!

August 3, 2017

aboard the Staten Island Ferry
The ferry is almost at Whitehall Terminal, after a rather nice ride across New York Bay. tourists and locals alike begin to crowd the deck as we get closer to the shore.

On the trip back home, what the camera saw (rolling seas) ….

view from the Staten Island Ferry
From aboard the rolling Staten Island Ferry, an accidental photo of actual movement of the boat across the Bay

and what I saw (plenty of calm).

rear deck of the Staten Island Ferry
From the rear deck of the Staten Island Ferry, same view as the pano shot above.

photo of rings in La Salsa Laundromat, Staten Island
I was doing my laundry at La Salsa laundromat on Stuyvesant Street, Staten Island, and noticed new artwork. It took a concentrated effort to realize what was pictured. When I first saw the photo I was looking for some connection to laundry and this completely obscured my perception. What we have is a photo of rings, fancy gemstone rings. A horizontal image placed an framed vertically. That, too, threw me off.

 

Walking around Battery Park, which is a place I rarely ever considered a “place” before (except the landscaping and gardening is beautiful – which I notice for just one second as I rush from the Bowling Green subway station to the Staten Island Ferry Building). I had about half an hour before the next ferry – had just missed one and it was a foggy night at the bottom of Manhattan, so I took a brief detour into Battery Park. I caught this carousel:

…and when I first uploaded it to YouTube, and like an idiot wrote faithfully it’s name and proper location, the video was instantly blocked. Big Brother was protecting the soundtrack. But it’s diagetic sound! If they want the sound protected, they need to not let it be heard in the open air. I have a right to record what’s in my space if I’m in a public space. So, fuck you copyrightists. I had to reupload without any descriptive terms. Fish. Every inch a space of commerce. How to escape?

Foggy evening, lower Manhattan
Across from Battery Park, at the southernmost tip of Manhattan, a fog had settled in.
Staten Island Borough Hall in the fog
View of Staten Island Borough Hall from Hayes St. & Saint Mark’s Place on the same foggy night, other side of NY Bay.
Steeple of Spanish Baptist Church, Staten island, foggy night.
The Spanish Baptist Church on St. Mark’s, at the top of the hill overlooking the Borough Hall. This is where I go to vote. They have an open meditation space every day at 11:00AM. I was always meaning to go there – it’s only a block from my house – but I’m always doing something else at 11:00AM.

[click to enlarge]

 This group of 17 photos represents random encounters with people and places along my usual routes.

Painting at the US Post Office, St. George, Staten Island
A painting on display at the US Post Office on Bay Street, St. George, Staten Island. I’m transfixed – everything about this painting is right, and is wrong, in equal measure.

 

Waiting to board the SI Ferry
Something on my phone created this image, but can’t say what it was – I mean, the luminous blue outlines that make magic of the situation – we’re waiting to board the Staten Island Ferry

 

The Stonewall Inn, NYC
The Stonewall Inn, historic site and same old dive it ever was

and recorded live that evening at the Stonewall…

 

protestors, May Day, NYC
Young communist protestors, the best-dressed revolutionaries at the May Day demo.

 

May Day demonstration, nYC
Union members and others demonstrating in NYC on May Day. Someone was singing a Woodie Guthrie tune.

 

Man on subway with swollen legs
This man was on the subway sitting across from me. His legs were so swollen that I was alarmed, but he was not. Wearing a uniform from his job, he was on his way home. I looked it up later – is it his liver? Can he survive for very long? Why is he working and not in treatment? Our country. Our healthcare system. Our lack of basic job rights – all of this went through my head.

 

On the S52 bus, Staten Island
She’s got it figured out. On the S52 bus from St. George Terminal to wherever one needs to go on Staten Island.

 

shot of subway cars from above
In-between from above, 14th Street, Union Square station.

 

R-train at Rector Street Station
The R-train stops at Rector Street

 

Roof Garden at the new St. George Mall, Staten Island
The Mall at St. George, in progress. There’s a roof garden there, which completely changes my view of the mall, for now.

 

Roof garden, mall, St. George, Staten Island
The garden, continued.

 

Roof garden, mall, St. George, Staten Island
The Mall, St. George, taking shape

 

Mall at St. George
How the mall is situated: The Ferry Terminal (out of view, but I’m taking this picture from a raised walkway at the terminal), New York Bay, the Staten Island Yankees stadium (where the tall lights are), the 9/11 Memorial (white sculpture jutting out towards the Bay). Imagine, now, the world’s tallest ferris wheel thrown into the lot, just beyond the baseball stadium, in the center of the picture.

 

Food stall at Whitehall Terminal
This person at Whitehall Terminal wearing her work uniform that says “Check Out Our Carving Station,” which seems like an invitation to food poisoning.

 

Fish sculpture, R-train station, Whitehall
If you’re not running towards the R-train at Whitehall you might see this rather nice iron sculpture of a fish. It’s mounted on the i-beams above the platform.

 

Food stand, Whitehall Terminal
At the end of the day, I’m on my way home again and at the Whitehall Terminal, this same person, in the same place, doing the same thing. This is many hours later.

 

Outside the Lyons Pool and Recreation Center, Staten Island
Such an odd assortment of stairs, ramps, and walkways at the very end of Victory Blvd., Staten Island, that will take you to the Lyons Pool and Recreation Center. $25/per year fee for “seniors.” The white building jutting into the frame on the left-hand side of the photo is the Tompkinsville Staten Island Railroad Station.

 


The professor's pants. Columbia University, Butler Library
The professor’s pants. Columbia University, Butler Library.

I was at the checkout desk at Butler Library, Columbia University, waiting for this gentleman to finish so I could make my request and I was struck by his appearance. Well, what’s not shown is his wild white hair and his bushy white mustache, which you will have to imagine. But imagine those aspects of his appearance with these beautiful roomy shiny trousers and you’ll have a complete image of the professor.


Carrie Moyer painting at the Whitney Biennial
Museum ladies having a meeting in front of a painting by Carrie Moyer in her gallery at the Whitney Biennial

Walking through the Whitney Biennial I entered the gallery where the work of an old friend, Carrie Moyer, is being displayed. Large, gorgeous paintings. Full of care and also abandon. These museum ladies found a loveseat directly in front of one. They should be planning some great things for Carrie and her work.


haircut from the S52 bus, Staten Island
I sat behind this person on the S52 bus going from the Staten Island Ferry to St. Mark’s Place and beyond. The hair makes a statement. I was transfixed.

On the S52 Bus

As a commuter, I end up staring at the backs of so many people’s heads that it becomes something to do – an actual activity.  Not boring in the least!


Eating on the go at Columbia University

On Fridays I teach a 6-hour video class at Columbia University. I love the class. I’m grateful for the post. And I stayed absolutely fueled for the whole day with a box lunch of a peanut butter & jelly sandwich and a skinny dry capp, which I get at Cafe Joe in the lobby of Dodge Hall, at the School of the Arts. Without my PB&J and cappuccino I think my day would probably go south very quickly. I actually look forward to this every week.

sandwich and coffee at Columbia University
Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich, just barely unwrapped, and a skinny dry cappuccino from Cafe Joe at Columbia University. Thanks guys!

Funny weather we’re having, Staten Island style

I was walking down St. Mark’s Place one day, here in the St. George neighborhood. There was a heavy fog in from the sea. I walked past this one place, below, where it was raining. It was raining on the pavement, on the cars, and on the trees. Not just a drizzle, but rather rain. You can see the wet pavement, right?

When I faced the opposite direction I saw that it wasn’t raining on the rest of the block, as you can see on the picture below: a lot of fog, but the ground remains dry.

In fact, it was only raining in front of that one house. I stood in an interstitial area between where it was raining and where it wasn’t and felt just a few drops blow my way. Thank you, multiverse, for playing this joke on me!


 

Williamsburg loft space, pre-gentrificaiton
Entrance to old-style loft space in Williamsburg.

I’m taking a writing class with award-winning novelist Laurie Weeks (Lambda, 2011 for Zipper Mouth) in a loft space in Williamsburg that has inoculated itself from the rabies of gentrification. This is the entrance beyond the outside door.

The Alice Austen, Staten Island Ferry
The Alice Austen, the smallest of the Staten Island Ferry fleet. Onboard this boat, you really can feel the waves that are rolling beneath the floor. Horsepower for the Alice Austen is 4000SHP. Horsepower for the larger ferries is from 8,000 to 10,000SHP.
Inside the Alice Austin ferry boat.
Inside the Alice Austen, Staten Island Ferry fleet. Everything is on a small scale. This is the boat they roll out at 1AM.
Gavel Grill on Hayes St., St. George, Staten Island
Wednesday morning at the Gavel Grill on Hayes Street, Staten Island. This diner is in the heart of St. George, near the police station (120th Precinct), the courthouse, SI Borough Hall, social services, and major construction zones. Clientele are workers, lawyers, and old-timers. I’m here having a coffee and bagel while my laundry is spinning at the laundromat on the next block.
photo Staten Island Courthouse
Left, people waiting in the rain for the Courthouse in St. George, Staten Island to open. The humblest, quietest line I’ve seen in a while. Right, people waiting to get off the Staten Island Ferry. The mood is quiet.

 

photo College of Staten Island, Media Culture Department
Just after Trump signs an executive order banning Muslims from entering the country, this appeared on the Media Culture Dept. door, College of Staten Island CUNY. It made me feel both good and bad.