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Thursday, September 30, 2004

Top of the world

I'm on a very shaky WiFi line right now. I may go find something better later if I don't fall asleep, but for now, here's the view from our hotel in Vancouver, BC.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Seattle Bounty

Signs of Seattle

Gray skies?

Heavy traffic?

Cloud shrouded skyline?

Blogging from free WiFi at coffee place with noisy music, non-matching furniture and white people with dreadlocks?

Yup, we're in Seattle.

Blogging the sun

Sunrise at JFK airport. Thursday the 23rd. When was the last time you stayed up late enough/woke up early enough to see the sun rise?

Sunset over Seattle.

And our view of the Space Needle.

Don't worry, I'm sure it's perfectly healthy

I mean, they wouldn't let us live and work down here if the dust in the air was toxic, right? Right?

(photo: September 22, 2004)

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

How the hell did I miss that?

On my commute home, I take the 4th exit off the loop coming out of the Holland Tunnel, down West Broadway to Park Row, then onto Broadway. It's not as direct as West Street, but West if full of maddening traffic and busses around commute time, and my way is more interesting.

Anyway, today I'm on Park Row and crossing Church when suddenly there are blinding white lights everywhere and half the street is blocked off. There's a big stage set up and a massive flapping banner with "Green Day" on it.

Sure enough, staying late at work today caused me to missed a free Green Day show by J&R. I would have driven right into the middle of it if I'd come home regular time.

What really has me baffled is how I missed it. I've been out of the blog loop this past week as I've been busy at work, but last night I did a lot of catching up. I'm on two lower manhattan mailing lists and I read the local papers. (actually last week's Downtown Express is still sitting on the table, I never got past a quick look at the headlines), and, I was just in J&R buying the new Bjork, and I don't remember seeing anything about a free Green Day show.

Son of a gun.


I'm having blogger network problems. I'll update this post with a positive review and another photo and I'll explain why these reviews are so divergent later when the system is working better.


Here's the other photo I couldn't get to load earlier. There are two of those tables and a couple of two tops. This is one of the few places I've been to in the city where it's completely comfortable to sit at a table with someone you didn't come with.

Which brings me to why it got such divergent reviews. This is not a New York City restaurant, so if you're going, prepare yourself first or you'll hate it. You can sort of make out the menu if you click for the larger view, but let me just tell you, they don't have much. It's basically, do you want a burger or oatmeal. And if you want a burger, there's Kobe beef or sirloin, and the day I was there, they were out of sirloin (I ended up getting a turkey burger -and by the way, it comes on an English muffin.)

The place has two people working, a woman who takes the orders and a guy who works the grill. When you order a burger, the woman takes forever asking you if you want ketchup, mustard, mayo, lettuce... blah blah... She works slowly and deliberately. When I was there, a real estate broker was picking up food, and the woman was talking to her about how much apartments were going for in the neighborhood, and she was in no particular hurry to take my order and I just stood there and listened to them talk.

Even once you get the order in, it's not clear if you're supposed to pay or go sit or what.

So you can see how New Yorkers might hate it. Somehow I found it the most refreshing and comfortable time ever. If you go in thinking it's some kind of diner, you'll go crazy. But if you go in with a section of the Sunday Times in your hand and a morning to kill and you're just looking for a place to eat that isn't going to send your money back to corporate headquarters somewhere outside the city, and if you think that sometimes flaws are a reflection (hell, an indication) of humanity, then you can do well at Zaitzeff.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

TV Alley

Yankees v. Red Sox
(as always, best when you click and view the bigger version)

Not sure cropping helps the photo at all. In fact, a wider shot might have been even better. Thank goodnes for digital cameras because I had to take a batch to get these to come out even this well. Between focus and the long distance and the weird light contrast between the tunnel and the light at the end, this was a trick.

I was really excited to get the chance to take this shot after seeing it a few times in the past. This is the alley that runs behind the J&R stores. I'm not sure if those are store employees watching the TV or alley dwellers of some kind who happen to have found an outlet and a place where no one will bother them.

Sunday, September 19, 2004


I could not be more profoundly disappointed that I will not be able to attend the New York City Photoblogger gathering next week. Talk about sucky timing.


I wanted to make a remark on this report in the Times on Wednesday in which it is revealed that the Deutsche Bank building is still covered in toxic 9/11 dust. NO FUCKING KIDDING!!! Just look at the thing! Folks who spent any time down here after the event will shudder with recognition at the sight of the spray painted "searched" tag and the notes scrawled into the dust by the stricken. Yes, that's original 9/11 dust on that building. They never even bothered to wash the outside of it. In fact, for a couple years afterward there was still 9/11 dust in the Walk signs and on some of the phone booths. All these friggin' politicians come down here and make speeches and some pander to the lower Manhattan residents about how they're going to work to go after the EPA for flat out telling lies about the air down here, and meanwhile, they only halfway even bothered to clean the actual neighborhood. Did they even walk down here?? Or do they just stand at the specially constructed photo-op podium and then get the heck out?

This is the quote that really burns my butt:

"Yesterday, workers clad in protective suits could be seen entering the building. Their role, Ms. Peterson said, is to double-check the windows and plywood boards on the exterior and to inspect the plastic barriers around the contaminated areas."

What about the people living and working down here who aren't in protective suits? Just fuck them? Tough luck suckers! Shoulda moved out when the buildings started falling!

And what about all those comando guys who are constantly in and around that place? They don't count? Take deep breaths guys, no prob. Maybe when this job is done you can go guard a nuclear waste dump.

And don't even get me started about the cops who have to stand all day next to the asbestos dumpster -yes, it's still there.

We Remember March

I don't know if this was connected to all the bikes, below. Among the marchers were people with signs that read "We Remember March," so I guess that's what it was.

The camera didn't reset fast enough for me to catch the big drum. It says "Transit Pride Pipe and Drum" so perhaps the people being memorializes are Port Authority people.

Yeah, that guy in yellow looks like he's giving me the evil eye, and I guess it's pretty gross to photograph people who are mourning or memorializing or marching or whatever they're doing, but on the other hand, if you want people to remember, you have to indulge folks making a record of the events. I promise I won't sell this image on a t-shirt or in a snow globe or turn it into one of those pictures that moves as you walk by from a folding table.

Bikes are back

I'm starting to wonder if there's going to be a motorcycle parade every weekend at Ground Zero this fall.

In the mix today were several of these. They look almost fire engine red, right?

Sure enough, Harley makes a special firefighter edition.

I was trying to crop this for a zoom on the emblem when I saw that by happy accident I got a cool shot of the surrounding buildings in the reflection in the gas cap.

It's a what?

It's a Kymco Venox. I had to look it up. British bike. I've seen it over there before, so the owner must work or live in TriBeCa. Pretty hot styling for a 250cc bike.

When the circus leaves

This is really part of my Tribute in Light series since I did day shots and night shots. This is an "after" shot.

The shot itself might be a little over-dramatic with the tattered flag and bleak lot. That's not really a statement I was trying to make. In fact, my real goal with this shot was to try to duplicate something I saw at the top of the Battery Park City Broadsheet (I don't think they have a Web site, sorry, locals only).

They took this same photo, but they put the camera up next to the names and put the people in the background, which I think worked a whole lot better. So I when I first framed this shot from the other side of the lot I thought the flag made an interesting focus. Instead I walked around the other side and tried that trick. It worked pretty well I think.

Another apple

This is another in that Apple series of public art. The idea is that you turn the crank and confetti flies up around the figures like a snow globe. I guess the morning rain was too much because the little bits of white didn't fly when I turned it. Neat idea though. I like public art you can play with.

Ug, the bus

How can any productive day start with something as bleak as this? Bleh. I loathe the bus.

Ivan in the sky

I know I've been slackin' on the posts, but I haven't been slackin' on the photos, so here they come. Starting with Saturday's temestuous weather.

I'm not sure if weather photos are trite, but the Ivan sky was really striking and it's my damn blog, so I took pictures. You'll want to click these for the bigger version to get a better sense of the grandure.

That black band across the horizon was really somethin'.


I know, they're sunset photos, but what made them worth taking was the contrast with earlier in the day. Instead of that black stripe across the horizon, there was a stripe of light across the horizon. I got there just a little to late for the real light show, when all of those overhead clouds were full of color, but still, nice stuff.

It seemed like there should be a way to work the clock in there compositionally since it had the color, but somehow I think it ruins the shot.

I was disappointed this didn't come out better, but in the large view you can see what I was going for, Verrazzano on one side, Statue of Liberty on the other. with the naked eye you can see that the bridge also had lights on, so with boats in the harbor it made a nice string.

Clock again. Maybe more appropriate this time. Gives the eye a good starting point.


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