Quotidian

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.

[images below, click to enlarge]

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. Doing my “artist’s job.”

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.