new york city

Sipping, Chatting, and Developing in Coffee, with NYC Photographer Giovanni Savino

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

A Man and His Camera, with Giovanni Savino, Inwood, NYC
You can learn a lot about someone by what they choose to post about on social networking sites.  There is so much junk to wade though that those that actually have  a voice stand out and speak to me as a human being.  This is how I first became aware of the work of NYC based photographer Giovanni Savino .

I am not sure exactly how our paths crossed in the image making digital stratosphere.  Most likely it was though our mutual friend art historian John E. Walford.  I very quickly became fascinated with Giovanni’s candid NYC street portraits.  His brilliant black and white portraits on the New York streets stood above the much of what people unfortunately call “street photography.”  It didn’t hurt either that Giovanni often hit the streets armed with my favorite camera, the Ricoh GR.

I did what I usually do when I come across work that I can relate to, is I want to dig deeper and explore more of the artists vision of the world.  His website’s images came alive.  The portraiture of everyday people in the DR (Dominican Republic).  His images were unpretentious, and full of soul.  I instantly developed a rapport with the images, I wanted to know more about the man behind them.

I read his blog.  I waited with anticipation for the next images top be posted on Flickr,  Facebook or fascinating thoughts on his blog.  Again, I was drawn into his world.  We started some backchannel conversations, and I decided, since I was coming to NYC, if he was down, we should link up for a face to face meeting.

It was on a freezing snowy Tuesday in February that I headed uptown on the A train, last stop, Inwood 207 Street. Any further and I would I have been in the Bronx, or New Jersey.  The absolute top of Manhattan.
Giovanni Savino on the Water's Edge, Inwood, NYC

Before heading up to Giovanni part of town, I made a quick stop in a hungover haze to the Moma, thanks to borrowing friend, Jerry’s MOMA card.  I got there before the galleries opened and I knew all I really wanted to see was a small selection celebrating the 75 anniversary of the publication of Walker Evan’s  photographs .  It was a pleasure to see them in the flesh, as printed by the master himself.

In a quiet corner of the Museum I stood gazing at a Jackson pollock painting.  Away from the noise of school children running amuck, I just stood and stared.  The splats and splatters danced and pulsated like never before, possible due to my underestimating the power of NYC sized martinis versus Tokyo ones.

The trip to MOMA, was only the beginning to a beautiful day.  Giovanni greeted me just outside the station like a long lost brother.  In fact, he often used the word, “brother,” when referring to me.  I instantly knew this was going to be a good day.

Inwood is a dominantly DR neighborhood, yet, it is on verge of gentrification like most of the city.  Giovani told me the hood was much different 20 years ago when he first moved in.  Giovanni and his wife took me to their favorite DR place to have some roasted chicken, sadly, they were out, but that didn’t stop us.  We had a great meal and then he showed me the sights around the neighborhood.
Roasted Chicken Reflection, Inwood, NYC

 

He would occasionally take out one of his “cursed” e-cigs and puff on it as we chatted about the streets of New York, photography, life, and everything.  There was nothing off limits, and we both opened up and were happy to be in each others company.

The sun had finally come out by the time we reached a view of the George Washington Bridge.  It was time to head back to his studio and really dig into photography.

From Inwood to The George Washington Bridge, NYC

He brewed us up a cup of black espresso using an Italian stovetop maker.  This coffee was for sipping, but we would soon brew up another batch for developing, in coffee.  I would love the way Giovanni would say “in coffee!”  There was such wonderment in the way the words would just roll off his palette.  Just the simplest of pleasures that photographs can be developed in a brew of homemade Caffinol.

He told me that he had been depressed at the end of last year.  His doctors wanted to put him on anti-depreesents.  He wouldn’t have it.  He knew that there had to be a better way.  And there was.  He brought out his large format camera, and started developing “in coffee!”  So coffee and photography was part of his progress to a healthier life.  That was so beautiful to share with me.  We all struggle with depression, and to find happiness by getting our hands dirty by making a clean mind.

He told me that our energies that create our work come from either the light or the dark.  I want to be in the light!  We both do.  We are both comfortable with our place, and the work that helps us though, and understand the truth in life.

Brewing Coffee (for Developing), with Giovanni Savino, Inwood, NYC

 

It was time to bring out the lights, and big old fashioned Tachihara 4×5 camera loaded with first poloraoid then  Fujifilm positive, with a mounted Schneider Symmar-S 210mm lens for a portrait session.  First with polaroids and then some negs that would be processed, “in coffee!”  I hadn’t used a large format camera since my high school days, but we set it up, mixed up some different temperature lights and got down to business.

There is no waste in Giovanni’s studio.  After peeling off the back of the polaroids, we taped them down and removed the plastic to save the negatives that most people discard.  I loved that low tech way of making images.  Perfection in it’s imperfection.

Low Tech Perfection, with Giovanni Savino, Inwood, NYC

Then it was time to brew up the Caffinol and another portrait session.  Giovanni explained the chemicals needed, and we went to town.  I sat in the light, and he squeezed the cable release.  We went into his light tight darkroom/bathroom, and in complete darkness set about to develop the negatives.  It was so dark that after a few minutes you think that you can see.  Our conversation continued in the pitch black.  About my life in Japan.  Giovanni’s history in NYC, as a news cameraman, his work at ground zero after 911, his support of his wife’s family in the DR and beyond.  A good soul, with a gentle heart.

Polaroid Portrait Exchange with Giovanni aka Baron Von Savino, Inwood, NYC

 

Such an oddness two photographers in the dark, chatting.  I loved every minute of it.  But, all good things don’t necessarily have to end.  The conversation has been started.  The lucid communication will continue.  Giovanni is full of love and joy, and that shines though his art of photography.  I know that I will always have my photographic brother in NYC, Giovanni Savino.

Check Giovanni’s images, and writings with the links below.

Website

Flickr

Facebook

blog

some more images from my one day adventure in Inwood, with NYC Giovanni Savino

 

Petals, Snow on a Manhole Cover, Inwood, NYC

 

 

Used Cars in the Snow with Graffiti Inwood, NYC

 

 

Brewing Coffee (for Sipping) with Giovanni Savino, Inwood, NYC

 

 

One Photographer's Lightroom and Another's Pixels, with Giovanni Savino, Inwood, NYC

Meet the Hitlers with Jerry Kolber

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Meet the Hitlers, Cast in Dressing Room During Intermission 2,NYC

Actors in costume during intermission at Meet the Hitlers.

 

On a cold spring evening in March a group of close friends, colleagues and family gathered in a little theater in the East Village, NYC to all Meet the Hitlers.  Yeah, I know I said Meet the Hitlers.  You all must be wondering what is going on in Lucid Communication’s mind.  That is the most absurd title  for a play in the history of absurd titles, but I assure you it fits this fabulously written satire by Jerry Kolber.

I have known Jerry almost as long as I have known my own brother.  I first read a draft of this a few years ago, and it made me laugh till I cried.  Forward to 2012, Jerry had a few read throughs of the play with the help of Josh Adler as director and he began to polish up the script.  When I heard that they were going to do a public read through of the play I knew that I had to be there to document and to just Meet the Hitlers for myself.

This read through wasn’t your ordinary read through.  In a typical read through the actors sit around a large table and read their parts aloud as the writer, producer, and director watch, and give the actors some feedback.  It is a way for the producers to start to get a feel of how it is to hear the written words spoken out loud.  This read through was more of a semi-staged production thanks to some staging by Josh Adler.

I watched and photographed a marathon rehearsal on the same day as the evening performance.  Josh and Jerry were on hand and they went through the play step by step with all the actors.  In fact, that rehearsal was one one of three that had been done before the curtain was raised.

I enjoyed watching the process of the play unfold before my eyes.  Even though all the actors kept the script in hand, they took on the their roles and I could see them transform before my lens.  Jerry has always showed me slices of New York culture that I never would have seen if it wasn’t for him.  This was another experience to add to that list.  Watching the inner working theater being on stage with the excitement.

At one point in the rehearsal Jerry pulled me aside and asked me to go over to the local synagogue to find a yarmulke for one of the characters.  Now this was a Saturday afternoon in New York City, I thought out loud on the Sabbath.  Who would be open?  I wandered over to the East Village Jewish Community Center to find the doors locked.  I Stop in over at Ricky’s on First Avenue seeing if I could find anything in their costume section.  Finally I remembered that there is the weekend Flea Market on Avenue A.  Rushed over had a look around, and talked to a lady asking if she had any yarmulkes.  She actually said that she did, but she didn’t bring any of them today.  A bit defeated, I headed back to the theater.  Right next to the theater there was a children’s used clothing shop.  I wandered in think might as well try.  I found a great knit cap. I bought it and showed it to Jerry, and he thought it looked to Muslim, and not Jewish enough.  Ah HA!  Why don’t we just cut a bit off the bottom, and it was perfect!  You have just got to love the theater.  There is just something electric about doing everything live and on the go.

This play tackles all the big issues:  race, sexuality, youth, getting old, revenge, destiny.  The list goes on and on.  I feel so fortunate to have witnessed this event with Jerry and a room full of friends.  I think it would be best to let Jerry tell Lucid Communication about his work and himself as a creative individual.

I sat down with Jerry the other day to find out more about the play and what it means to him, and the audience.  I want to thank him for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk to Lucid Communication.

Meet the Hitlers, Jerry, Josh and SelfNYC

The technical side before the show.

 

Jerry please take a min introduce yourself to the Lucid Communication community. 

Hello Lucid Communication. I’m Jerry Kolber, a New York City based playwright, television show creator and executive producer, and novelist.  Basically I consider myself a storyteller whose job it is to make my audience feel like they are in confident hands. Jacob Schere is one of my oldest, best friends. We met as a result of fighting in a pre-school playground at Temple Beth Am in Miami in 1976; our parents were called in to discuss our bad behavior, and both they – and we – became best friends.

 

The setting for play all happens over the course of a one-night dinner party.  Can please you tell us a little about each of the characters?

Meet the Hitlers is an ensemble piece where each character has a specific need that is met (or unmet) during the course of a dinner, and their needs are spoken (or unspoken) at some point in the play. I would say the characters represent the spectrum of my own needs and how vocal I am – or am not – about them; in another sense you could say they broadly represent, through character specificity, the spectrum of how people approach transitional moments in their lives.

Meet the Hitlers, Ben and Billy NYC

Ben and Billy

Billy, the gay vegan punk futurist teenage grandson of Adolf Hitler, seems to telegraph a need for attention and to be a leader, but really he just wants to be loved for who he is. Ben, the Rabbi’s son from next door, seems like the sweet closeted “other side” of Billy in his khaki pants and good manners, but secretly he wants to change the world – a desire he got from his repressed mother Sheila, who has turned to new age philosophy and self-empowerment seminars as a potential escape hatch from her stilted marriage to Rabbi Weinberg.

But really, Sheila needs a fresh perspective, a geographical and point-of-view refresh, which is provided by Carol, the black daughter-in-law of Adolph whose creative freedom Sheila admires and wants to emulate.  Carol wants to return to her studies of African history – and is also trapped in a respectful, but passionless marriage – and in the immediate sense wants to solve the mystery of why Adolph won’t die; her husband Robert seems like a headstrong authority figure, but all he really wants is for the tyranny of Adolph to end – but has no sense of who he is beyond that “want”, so he perpetually plays out the same pattern of want/don’t want to avoid the abyss of egoless identity.

Adolph himself is a gothic figure of darkness and mirth, feeding and growing off hate, withering under the presence of love, essentially an emotional thermometer.

Meet the Hitlers, Carol and Sheila, NYC

Sheila the Rabbi’s wife and Carol

What was your inspiration behind the need to write the play, Meet the Hitlers?

I believe the world can be divided perfectly into three kinds of people.  Those who believe (as a result of naiveté or denial) that everything is just fine.  Those who believe (as a result of direct experience, or early exposure) that the world is filled with evil just about to erupt. And those – a smaller handful – who see 19-degrees behind the stage curtain to what is really happening, a much more gray and less black-and-white version of reality – those are generally called artists, or visionaries, and it is their responsibility to help the other two groups of people communicate with each other and avoid killing each other.  I’m in that group, and take my responsibility as a translator seriously.

Meet the Hitlers specifically was inspired by my own direct experience of visiting Holocaust death camps, and realizing how much more complicated the moral and logistical situation was than the neat version we were taught in school.  It’s both incredibly easy – and incredibly hard – for a Holocaust to happen.  When I read an article in the New York Times a few years ago about the only living relatives of Adolph Hitler – the sons of his Irish nephew – living in Long Island, the play popped fully formed into my mind as a hilarious venue in which to explore racism, religious tolerance, apathy, futurism, hypocrisy, and the ever-present specter of Adolph.

 

Who did you model the characters come from? 

All the characters are some version of myself, with other specific models.  Sheila is a very exaggerated and lovable version of my mother, while Billy is modeled on a kid I went to high school in Israel with – who was very much Billy to my khaki-Ben-ish self.  Anyone who knows me knows that Ben couldn’t possibly be the high school version of me. cough-cough.

Meet the Hitlers, Robert, Carol, Ben and Billy, NYC

Robert, Carol, Ben and Billy

 

How do you envision the staging of Meet the Hitlers?

It will be staged in a dark, scary, over-the-top version of a German beer hall- one that just might have been an officers club for the Nazis.

 

What did you learn from the read through of the play?

I learned that most of what I write is even funnier to an audience than I hoped, and that as expected a small chunk of the audience found the play repulsive and insane (I actually got hate mail from friends of mine after, a first); a bigger section found it thought-provoking and kept talking about it for days after; and most everyone found it entertaining. I also learned that one section of the play in particular that deals extensively with the N-word went over much better than I feared it might.  I was actually biting my nails when that part started.

Meet the Hitlers, Josh Adler Directing Rehearsal, NYC

Josh Adler directs the actors during rehearsal

 

 

At one point in the play Billy says he wants to run of to Germany and “make art and start an intentional community” Ben replies, “I don’t even know what that is”, and Billy says “Neither does anyone else! But let’s go do it, together.”  I loved this moment in the play.  As a young Jerry did you want to run off and create a commune in Germany?  If so, why?

I had no interest in running off to start a commune in Germany in my mis-spent youth, but I did want to start some sort of art colony and still do.  In a sense, Jacob, you and I are already in that colony together – how many projects and ideas and how much support have we exchanged over the years in person and online, and ultimately what is an art community but a group of artists who support each other in whatever way they can. I did take 20 theater friends to Prague in 1992 to spend a summer making art there, and it was as exciting, inspiring, and difficult as I could imagine.  Would I say no to another summer with a bunch of 20-something creative people, making theater, drinking beer, and coming up with plans to change the world (which disappeared when my backpack was stolen) – no, I would not say no.   Please address proposals and invitations to me at Jerry’s Twitter Feed.

Meet the Hitlers, Ben Reads While Josh Directs

Ben reading the script while Josh Adler Directs

 

How do you describe your self as a creative person?

I am constantly growing more confident in my writing, my producing, and my creative leadership by example; while at the same time constantly berating myself for not creating enough.  It’s a vicious cycle of “I love you know matter what” vs. “You can do better than this and I’m only saying this because I love you”. Basically, my internalized creative persona is a tiny (well, tinier) version of my Jewish mother..  Hi Mom! But truly, my mother was and is an inspiring creative person who encouraged my sister and I, as well as many young people in the school where she taught, to pursue our own pathways. She has a great deal of clarity and is very vocal about injustice, both qualities I admire and emulate and that others frequently find annoying in me.

Meet the Hitlers, Sheila and Billy, NYC

Sheila and Billy

 

What visual artists inspire you?

Jacob, your work always inspires me, not only because you are so prolific and generous in the sharing of your work, but also because over the years you’ve developed an ability to capture a story in a frame. I always imagine you like a photography superhero, towering over everyone else in random Japanese neighborhoods, flicking your wrists and capturing these intensely personal narrative images. Your work taken as a whole has a quality of memory, like we are floating along in the conscious/subconscious of your experience as an outsider in Tokyo, seeing what you see with the meaning you ascribe to your vision also imprinted in the photos, but with enough space that we can either have the same “Outsider in Tokyo” experience as you – or bring our own myth and meaning to the image.

My father (Cliff Kolber Photography) inspires me because he embraced photography late in life, as a way of engaging others in his activism around the protection of the Everglades. He’s an environmentalist who uses his beautiful photographs of the outdoors and his essays to inspire others to care as much about the planet as he taught my sister and I to. Come to think of it, it was your dad Uncle Les who gave me that copy of Monkey Wrench Gang, that actually changed the way I thought about activism – and has a hand in the inspiration for the character of Billy in Meet the Hitlers!   Never underestimate the power of giving a kid a book.  Printed words are powerful.

I’m also into ancient Tibetan mandalas right now and have been incorporating them into my meditations and spiritual practice.

 

How has working in television helped you as a creative individual?

Television has taught me three things:

1. You have 30 seconds to get your audience invested in the character.  Just like real life.  If you don’t hook them then, you never will.  Give them a reason to love or hate the character – no slow burn, no blah characters – nobody paid good time (or money) to watch you take your time or hang out with people they could have hung out with anywhere.

2. Don’t be precious. If it’s not working, throw it out.  There’s 50 good ideas behind 100 bad ones, and the faster you can toss out stuff that isn’t working the faster you can get to what is working.   You’re not getting paid to pontificate.  And if you’re an artist who says, “I’m not worried about getting paid”, what that actually means is that you don’t care if you have an audience (or, you have a trust fund).  That said, when an idea resonates with you, own it and be confident in your instincts.

3. Tell a good story. Characters FIRST – story second.  No one cares about a good story that happened to a boring guy. But a great character can take a nothing story and make it special.  No matter how good your characters are, something has to happen to them. There’s a pattern to good story: A character you love or hate wants something; some obstacle prevents them from getting that thing they want; they overcome or fail to overcome the obstacle; the world is different as a result of their journey.  Blake Snyder’s book “Save the Cat” is the only book you ever need to read about storytelling.

Meet the Hitlers, Ben, NYC

Ben

 

If you could change the way television is made what would you be able to create?

I would create even more programs that are both entertaining but also make the viewer go “huh, I never thought of it that way”.  And a lot more boundary -pushing scripted work.

 

What projects do you currently have in development?

I’m Executive Producing a new series for National Geographic that delves into extreme manifestations of certain kinds of psychology.  I’ve also got a very new twist on a game show in the works, as well as a few other very exciting series projects for big channels that technically I cannot discuss just yet.

Meet the Hitlers, Rabbi Weinberg and Wife Shelia, NYC

Rabbi Weinberg and wife Sheila

 

Where on the web can we find out more about you and your work?

The best thing is to like my Miami the Novel facebook fan page, and follow me on Twitter. My personal page is ww.JerryKolber.com which just redirects to Twitter for now. If you want to get up close and personal, friend me on Facebook and tell me “Jacob sent me”.

 

Thank you Jerry Kolber for taking the time to explore your creativity with Lucid Communication.  I know I am looking forward to seeing Meet the Hitlers in full production in the near future.  It is always a pleasure talking to you about creativity.

Meet the Hitlers, Whole Cast in Costume Live Performance,NYC

Live and in full costume, Rabbi Weinberg, Billy, Robert, Carol, Sheila, Ben, and Adolf

 

Meet the Hitlers, Cast in Dressing Room During Intermission 2,NYC

Actors in costume during intermission, Part I.

Meet the Hitlers, The Cast's Dressing Room in Intermission, NYC

Actors in costume during intermission Part II.

 

 

 

I Love Central Park Anytime

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Central Park Shine

Most peoples’s image of central park are like that of the movies.  A romantic getaway with in New York’s concrete jungle, or the view runs the other way in which it is a place where you will get jumped after dark.

For me it lies somewhere between the two.  It is an amazing place to wander around and forget that you are in one of the worlds largest metropolises.  There are castles, lakes, fields, rambling hills.  The list is endless what one can find with in Central Park.

I did a photo shoot of the Allies there yesterday, but I need more time to go through them and sort out the top shots.  So, for now this image one the park will inspire.

As always, more to come.

 

New York CIty, Love in the Brick and Mortar

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

NYC Stacking Up Love

Everyone knows the I HEART NY campaign and logo.  It is inescapable.  They are everywhere, but where is the logo that says NY LOVES ME?  That is what I am feeling over the last 24 hours since I arrived in the city.  NY in it bricks, mortar and people has love for me too.

Sometimes that love might be in a man shouting to others on the subway to get out of his way.  A subway preacher reading scriptures to the riders, or homeless quietly looking for love so they can eat.  It is an honest love.  NY’s love for me is raw and unashamed.  NYC knows that no matter what may happen the love is mutual.  The city is never afraid to show it’s emotions to me.

I would not be able to see NYC’s love for me without my lens.  My lens creates a mystic bond between the pavement that I pound in my Sauconys and the light traveling though the aperture my optical appendage. The camera lets me seamlessly enter into it’s domain.

NYC sometimes shows that love in ways I can’t imagine right before my flesh.  The city wants to show me something that I have never seen before.  I need to be in tune with New York’s vibrations in order to feel that love.

I know that NYC will never disappoint. The city will always enlighten a piece of my heart.  The patter of the rain soaked traffic is calling me.

 

 

God Bless the World, 10 Years after September 11th, 2001

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

God Bless the World at Ground Zero, New York 2001

The day is here.  The day that seemed so far away from me.  It has now been 10 years since the September 11th attacks.  A day that forever change my life along with countless others in America and the world.  I remember thinking during my visit to New York City in November, 2001, and again on September 11th in 2002 that I wanted to be in New York City on the 10 year anniversary.  Ten years is a good whole number.  It is a decade.  It seemed to be a fitting time frame to come to some conclusions on what happened that day and the events that have happened since September 11th.  As things have happened I was not able to make a physical appearance in New York; therefore, I will have to explore these concepts in absentia.

In my trip to New York in 2001 the city was gripped in fear and many were clinging to nationalism as a means to escape the pain.  The collapsed twin towers fell upon the hearts and shoulders of my fellow Americans.  I wandered the city in a daze.  I really did not have time to react with my consciousness.  I was just able to point my camera and push the shutter.  Everywhere I turned my lens I saw the red white and blue of the American flag.  Around every concrete corner I stepped there were reminders of the city had been changed.  The twin towers stood no more.  What does that mean to me?  What does that mean to my fellow Americans?  How would this event change myself as an artist?  More importantly how will it change my view as a member of the human race?

I have never been overly patriotic.  I truly believe in the relishing of  cultural differences make a people stronger.  I do not want to single out people who are not like me and label them as other.  It allows too much room for hate.  If we relate to each other as “other” it becomes an escape to having to interact with people who may be very different from ourselves.  As I walked the streets of NYC, I saw the fear in peoples’ eyes.  I saw the middle eastern men in their kebab carts displaying the flag as readily as the old immigrants.  I thought to myself when will America grow up and accept all immigrants as Americans.

All Americans, except for the Native Americans, have come from the farthest reaches of the world.  We all came in order to have a better life in the United States.  I am amazed at how quickly my fellow Americans have forgotten that at one point in their family’s history that they too were the outsider.  They were oppressed.  They were not allowed to seek certain employment opportunities. The Private clubs were closed to them as well.  The were despised by the Americans who had immigrated at an early time.

Now we fast forward to 2011.  There is an African American in the oval office.  Something in my short life I thought that I would never see.  Yet, still people question his loyalty to his country.  The fact is that America’s racial and cultural composition has drastically been altered by immigration patterns over the last 50 years.  The day is fast approaching where white skinned Americans will be the minority and dark skinned Americans will be the majority.  Unfortunately instead of embracing our various cultural identities some of my fellow Americans are running scared from what the coming future.

When will Americans, regardless of cultural, release their hate from their lives and fill that void with love?  To love one another.  To seek truth over lies and deceit.  To venture forth and find real change.  Not the fleeting change that comes from politics, but the real change that lifts up humans hearts as we grow closer to one another through the Creator.  Like the hand written piece of fabric left at St. Paul’s Chapel that read, “God Bless the World.”  The world needs to be blessed by the Creator.  Not hate, but to allow love to flourish.

This 10 year anniversary should be a time to reflect as a people where have we journeyed over the past years.  For I, as an artist, the experience of September 11th has forever changed how I communicate to the world.  Our time here on earth is so limited.  I do not want to fill what little time I have been allotted with hate.  I want to go out to the world with an open heart with camera, brush, or word to bring more light into the world.  September 11th taught me to embrace by voice.  To go out into the world and use expression as my weapon to reveal slices of my soul.  It taught me not to be afraid of the unknown.  I am able to step with confidence out into a troubled world with the knowledge of love in my heart, and righteousness in my works.

Take the time this September 11th to take stock in yourself.  How do you want to spend the valuable life force we have been granted.  Let us take these energies to seek out good, justice, and beauty.  Do not let the hate and fear control your life.  Life is short to be filled with negative emotions.  Go out and livicate yourselves to each other.  Make the conscious choice to live in the light.

 

Flowers Crying Blood at Ground Zero, New York 2001

Firefighter American Flag Closed, New York 2001

below follow some previously published images from 2001 and 2002 in New York City

ny alarm

america is not for sale

talibanamerica, 2001 NYC

page01

the other side, NYC 2001

no more hate

Veselka, 2nd Avenue and 9th Street

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Veselka is in the news, again.  When I am in NYC I try to have breakfast at Veselka everyday.  It is also good for those late night cravings.  I have fond memories of having a slice of carrot cake.  Was it late night or early morning?  Does it really matter?  Anyways, those of you out there in NYC are fortunate to have such a fabulous place to eat, drink and be with friends.

check out the New York Times article on Veselka

more info about http://www.veselka.com/ from their website.

Veselka's Coffee Mug

The Other Side, this July 4th

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

I am at home, in front of my computer in Japan. I sometimes feel so disconnected to my life as an American.  I forget what it means, I drift of into an ethereal world we call metropolitan Tokyo.  So I started to drift back to the 10 days I had spent in NYC in November of 2001.  Just weeks after the September 11th attacks.  I wandered the streets with my wife, brother and parents.  I was driven by my soul to document, and photography everything I saw.

I had no time to process the information, or realize the significance of my images till much later.  I was usually horrified at what I saw as I walked the streets.  The obsessive flag waving, the hatred that was swelling within the American people, was sad.  I had no time to react emotionally to the images.  All I was able to do was point my camera and “click.”

On this July 4th, 8 years later, I am thankful for the changes coming to America and the world; however, i know that there is so much more to be done.  I want America to be the country that it set out to be.  I want America to be a TRUE beacon of justice and hope for all the world to see.  The government can not do it alone.  It will take a community of action, caring, and brotherhood.  Then we can sit back and watch the creation.  Until that time.

I call all freethinkers to arms.  Let us be the change with cameras, brushes, words, code, whatever and whoever is out there to instill the freedom, and happiness.  Not as it is, but as it should be.

the other side

NYC 2001

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