Monday, October 31, 2011

Adventures in Red Hook, Bay Ridge, Park Slope & Sunset Park

The day started off with a very very early morning shoot across the street with old Hampshire friend, Jenny, her husband Steve and their two kids Imogen and Odette.  They work freelance together at a production company, nuncle in Red Hook, mostly on award winning documentaries.  They had coffee ready and Steve made waffles and bacon for breakfast.  Odette showed me her remarkable drawing skills, while Imogen showed me her remarkable flying skills.

Then off to Bay Ridge to more Hampshire friends, Asia and Dan and to meet their son Roman.  Dan is a writer and also part of the Hampshire media mafia at CNBC. I don't think I had seen either one of them since Hampshire so it was great to catch up (over coffee and a very healthy fruit plate).  Roman also was quite taken with the Hasselblad so I taught him the tricks of the trade and he'll be working for me in no time flat.

Then off to Park Slope to yet another Hampshire friend, Lisa to meet her husband, Alex and daughter Enna. And her dad Peter happened to be visiting, too.  Lisa is a writer (another one singing the freelance woes) and is working on a book about friendship, so we talked friend shop.  She is also editing part time for a web magazine.

And finally, to Sunset Park to expat Mainers, Jeff & Maeve's place.  Jeff does web design and Maeve works in a gallery.  I missed the ruckus dance party the night before and they claimed the place was a mess, but I could barely tell a party existed. Needless to say they were troopers and we had a nice time catching up over a cup of tea in their backyard (!). 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Adventures in Brooklyn - Clinton Hill & Red Hook

I started off the morning in Clinton Hill with Hampshire friend, Rosy and her daughter Plum.  Rosy made me a delicious cappuccino and Plum gave me the run down on her stuffed animals and threw a dance party.   Rosy is a freelance book editor, although recently joined the "Hampshire media mafia" at CNBC because it became too difficult chasing people down for money.   This is a refrain I heard over and over again from friends who work creatively and do freelance, especially the ones with children.  When they actually could get work, it was months before they were paid and often required a relentless amount of phone calls and emails.

Both of my afternoon shoots were re-scheduled so I went back to Red Hook for a walk around the neighborhood and a supply run at the Fairway (I found out why everyone in NYC loves that grocery store so much). Red Hook is a really interesting neighborhood, it feels almost island like with the small neighborhood community and ocean access.   The old brick studio buildings, industrial ports, cobblestone walks and view of the statue of liberty make you feel like you're in old timey seaport NY.  I was also lucky enough to stumble upon the barge museum during open hours.

Then back to the house for a little work and then a reward - Robby made me a delicious bloody mary  at the Bait and Tackle.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Adventures on the F train, Chinatown, #OWS, Queens, Brooklyn Heights & Red Hook

I took the F train from Red Hook to Chinatown (and was serenade by an awesome Mexican duo) to meet Chris Buck for lunch.  He is a commercial portrait photographer I met over e-mail through high school & FB friend Andy Goldman.  Andy told me about a personal project he is working on to photograph as many other people named Chris Buck as he can.  I was intrigued by the project so I tracked him down and we met up for lunch in Chinatown.  We had a great conversation about portraiture and the difference/fine line between commercial and fine art photography.
I  had a couple of hours to kill before my shoot, so I walked down to #ows.   I have been to #occupyMaine, but as part of the project I have seen #occupyBoston from the bus, and been to #occupyProvidence as well.   As many of you know, I have been following the protests and cheering them on via FB and Twitter for weeks, so I was very excited to carve out a little bit of time to go and check them out in real life during the day (I went the night before as well). .   I was amazed at how different it is to experience #ows first hand, to see the community / little village that they have built, to see how organized and self sufficient they are, and my favorite part to participate in the human mic.   I can tell you first hand the mass media has the group all wrong.  This is not a group of dirty hippees or trust fund kids, they are not a group of violent police haters.  They are a very diverse group of passionate, hearty, smart and resourceful people.  They were feeding, sharing information, playing music for, dancing, meditating with anyone who wanted to join in.  It is a village by the people for the people.   I was also lucky enough to be there for the beginning of award winning journalists Leslie and Andrew Cockburn talk (on the people's mic!) about their film American Casino, a documentary about the subprime loans.  Please watch the video below!

Then off to photograph Hampshire friend (and 1st year hallmate) Lydia in Queens. Then off to dinner and a car service back to Red Hook where I got to watch some Spanish tv.

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