Sunday, June 28, 2009

see a fine picture: fritz henle

this one is for my sister:

frida kahlo at xochimilco, mexico, (1937). by fritz henle. via judith puckett-rinella @ the moment blog at nytimes.com

some of fritz henle's work seems familiar--or is it merely an appealing, recognizable style?
in any case, his name is new to me.

the harry ransom center, a humanities research library and museum at the university of texas at austin, is presenting a retrospective exhibition "fritz henle: in search of beauty," which will run through august 2, 2009.

i won't make it down to austin this summer, so i'll have to be satisfied with online gallery-viewing, or the book.

from what i've seen so far, my favorites are photos that he shot over a two week period in paris, in july 1938, for time magazine. the photo essay never ran in time, but several photos were picked up years later by the ny times magazine, and published in book format in 1947.

if you're interested in henle's recollections of the "paris 1938" experience, here's the link.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

read a good poem: having a coke with you. and see a fine picture...

photo via time.com


in honor of frank o'hara's birthday:


"having a coke with you"

is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them

I look

at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully
as the horse
it seems they were all cheated of some marvellous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I’m telling you about it
- frank o'hara

***

grace
to be born and live as variously as possible
- frank o'hara ("in memory of my feelings")


***

oh god it's wonderful
to get out of bed
and drink too much coffee
and smoke too many cigarettes
and love you so much

-frank o'hara ("steps")

Friday, June 26, 2009

the sky was all purple...



looking west, from the east side. round about 8:45pm.

my friend teresa text-alerted me to an amazing sky tonight, with crazy, "cartoon-like" clouds. but i had been doing my laundry. by the time i emerged from the basement and ran outside with my camera, it was not so crazy. but still pretty.

the way you make me feel (a cappella)



this track is too fun not to share. this a cappella version came out right around my freshman year of college. for a long time, it was only available on the bad cassette. yeah the cassette. my best friend, katie, and i played it all the time, and searched high and low for it in a format that wouldn't require rewinding, and rewinding, and rewinding. (plus, back then, you were wise to have back-up copy of your favorite songs, a pristine record or multiple copies of the tape.)

i still haven't seen it on any cd, but i'm sure its available somehow, somewhere.

enjoy.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

michael jackson: never can say goodbye

friends have been sharing, via facebook and twitter and text, sadness over michael jackson's death at the too young age of 50. and friends who i share a long history with remember me as someone who was crazy enough to collect--and save--all the billboard magazines that chronicled the record-breaking sales and accolades for "thriller" and spend hours learning the choreography from all the "thriller" videos (and then actually perform them for people! ha) and they are sending nice notes to me, thinking that i would be devastated. but i have been sad about him--and for him--for years. he seemed so very soul-sick...

his exceeding strangeness nearly soured me on the music--but so much of it is too good to try to forget, isn't it? "off the wall," is in regular rotation here at home (more than "thriller") and since re-discovering the jacksons' "triumph" a couple of years ago, i've been playing that a lot too. i cue it up on the ipod just about every other day. maybe you've seen me dancing in the streets to lovely one? can you feel it? and this lesser known, but great disco track? it's a real pick-me-up on a slow day:



***
someone posed the question once of "my favorite jackson 5 song." so many good ones, got to be there...who's loving you...

but mine is, without question, never can say goodbye.

i love how he breaks it down at the end of the album recording--the way he sings "don't wanna let you go-oh..." "ooh ooh baay-be..." and "no no no, oooh aaw..."

this version doesn't quite have the same yearning, but the early performances are always worth a look.




remember the time, indeed...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

birthday 2009: read a good poem, see a big spider


i received a birthday card from my aunt and uncle (the aunt who i have mentioned before, who has my whole life gifted me with words--hers and others--to try to open my mind and right my soul). Along with the birthday sentiments, she sent two poems.

Actually, the first is a quote from Julius Caesar. I'm sure I was to have read this in college--maybe i did? But I'm also sure it would not have resonated then, the way it does now.


Brutus:

There is a tide in the affairs of men.

Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

--Shakespeare. Julius Caesar Act 4, scene 3, 218-224.

how wonderful and wistful and resolute is "on such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves"?

and: do i have that in me?


***
i love the second poem too, and i thought it a wonderful twist that i received the card on the same day that i had visited dia beacon for the first time...and saw louise bourgeois' spider:

photo by florian holzherr. via diabeacon.org.

(btw, spider is just about the only bourgeois work that i liked. what am i missing?)

***
A Noiseless, Patient Spider

A noiseless, patient spider,

I mark'd, where, on a little promontory , it stood, isolated;
Mark'd how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;
Ever unreeling them--ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you, O my Soul, where you stand.
Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,--seeking the spheres, to connect them;
Till the bridge you will need, be form'd--till the ductile anchor hold;
Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul.

--Walt Whitman


***
a few light thoughts on el
día at dia beacon to come...

Monday, June 22, 2009

"it really is your birthday..."

for the last couple of years, i have been engaged in a row of sorts with a friend, who is a federer fan. (you know where i stand.) beyond merely being a fan of federer, it's fair to say, he cannot stand nadal, which staggers me. but i suppose, it makes for some good wagering and sparring between us.

a couple of weeks ago, i mentioned that my birthday was coming up on june 21st.

late last week, we were engaged in an im exchange that went something like this:

friend: oh my god

me: what?

friend: it really is your birthday on sunday. wanna know how i know?

me: how?

friend: the new york times is running a cover story on rafa on sunday.

me: yes! fantastic coincidence

friend: that was god

i was amused by the exchange, but in the context of nadal's lame knees and his withdrawal from wimbledon, this is really not the dream birthday cover that it should have been.


photo by ryan pierse/getty, via nytimes.com

under injury-free circumstances, i might have thrown a frame around this nadal cover and hung it up on one of the big, white blank walls in my apartment. or at least pinned it to the grey walls of my cubicle at work. instead, i filed the magazine away, in my "to read someday" pile, in pristine condition. i did not even flip the cover. i had read the first several paragraphs of cynthia gorney's article online earlier in the week, when the times decided to give readers a little "teaser." but that was all i could bear. and that was before he officially bailed on the tournament.

(i did scroll through the accompanying photo gallery. this is one of only 2 original photos related to this cover story:)

nadal, photographed at the grand hotel parco dei principi, by paolo pellegrin/magnum, for the new york times.

***

nadal is the player who brought me back, fully and heartily, into the game a few years ago. i've felt like a kid--unfettered enthusiasm, now powered by the internet. these eyes followed the "smaller" tournaments, not just the slams, tracked news and "pressers" and followed blogs (and happily discovered a world of the most engaging, thoughtful writing). but it got so that i started to wonder if i was really loving tennis, or if i was merely loving it when nadal played.


after nadal's withdrawal on friday, my first feeling was to skip wimbledon this year altogether.


but that same night, my favorite writer posted a preview of the ladies' championship. and i felt a little stirring...

hey ladies!
i had forgotten about the ladies.

my favorite, ivanovic, has been a shadow. but there are others that i will cheer for (caroline wozniacki!). and wow, sharapova is back--i never thought i'd be happy about that, but i find i prefer that merciless competitive glare of hers, to the sight of the other players...whiny and limpy and dragging her body and her racket (read: serena), ever-wincing and ready to burst into tears, even after a win (azarenka).

and if they weren't all so plain loud (ok, nothing plain about larcher de brito's "grunts")...

oh well. i will still have to watch the ladies "on mute," but i will most certainly tune in.

and: the cherry on top? mfw is blogging from wimbledon (terrifically prolifically--twice daily, so far).

i still miss rafa, but it's looking like there will be plenty during this wimbledon fortnight to satisfy this tennis fan.

cheerio!

***
steve tignor @ wimbledon, to date:
ladies' preview: "fortnight forecast"
gentlemen's preview: "fortnight forecast"
a little london color: "calm before storm"
peek at the london rags: "keeping tabs"
nice report on the young ones: "queen bees"


Saturday, June 20, 2009

bringin' da noise: canon g10

cash bar

cap'n cool

color strand

face to face

pieces of work

i recently purchased a canon g10 to serve as my every day, on-the-go camera. i've used it on three separate occasions so far, and i'm not loving the results. granted, i've been maxing out the zoom, and trying whenever possible not to use a flash. but there is a disappointing amount of noise and i don't know what to do...

i took the photos above at a book event at the fantastic jan larsen art studios in dumbo (hosted by gelf magazine). see what i mean? the only shot that isn't affected is one of the quilt...

sometimes i like grainy-ness in photos, but i don't want to see it in every shot.

i'm thinking about returning it. but what should i replace it with? a friend was happy with the results from the panasonic g1 he tested (while snowboarding, no less). but it looks from this review like that will present a similar problem? i should ask to see those photos.

i'm usually good about researching equipment before pulling the trigger (i loved the results from my canon A95, great saturated color, beautiful quality with a surprisingly robust zoom--and i bought it for around $250), but i was in a bit if a hurry this time as i needed a good back-up camera...thank goodness i didn't need to rely on this for my friend's wedding photos--there's no comparing the quality of the images between this and the xsi.

i'm going to take it for another run this weekend up in beacon, and then at home. maybe i just need to do a bit more fiddling around. fingers crossed.

but i remain open for suggestions...

more shots from the fun and fascinating gelf magazine series: "geeking out," here .

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

the wedding party

i shot my first wedding last saturday--a friend's wedding. a loving and low-key affair in upstate new york.

i'd been keyed up for weeks, a little ball of nerves.

but it was fantastic. who knew that someone else's wedding day would be one of the happiest days of my life?

i am sort of vexed by the shots i missed and could have done better. but i suppose that's just the way it goes and how i'll improve...

of the 2700+ that i shot, a few stood out to me as favorites from the moment they were taken:



i had nothing to do with this. we were contemplating a wide shot...and then into the frame comes flying the maid of honor (she's too hot to be a "matron"...) my lovely friend, teresa. completely unexpected and one hundred percent fun. just like her. and that photo inspired this one:



for obvious adorability, there is this one...

and this one...



sweet...

Monday, June 15, 2009

read a good poem: the way though

before the storm...same time, last year.

my friends have started to complain about all the june rain.

i don't think i'll ever tire of it. i love the before, during, and after a summer storm. fast moving clouds, swirly winds, people scurrying for shelter. me, in my duck boots.


***

the way through (1954)

let the rain plunge radiant
through sulky thunder
rage on rooftops

let it scissor and bounce its denials
on concrete slabs and black
roadways. flood the streets. it's much

but not enough, not yet: persist,
rain, real rain, sensuous,
swift, released from

vague skies, the tedium
up there.
under scared bucking trees
the beach road washed out -

trying to get by on the verge
is no good, earth crumbles into the
brown waterfall, but he backs up
the old car again and CHARGES.

the water flies in the halfwit's eyes
who didn't move fast enough
"who do you think i am, a horse?"
but we made it--

drown us, lose us
rain, let us loose, so,
to lose ourselves, to career
up the plunge of the hill.

--denise levertov
from the new american poetry, 1945-1960

***

favorite line:
trying to get by on the verge
is no good

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

pretty city: well-well-well-heeled

we happened upon a fashion shoot, in the early afternoon...


on the corner of 57th street and fifth avenue, in front of bergdorf goodman.


pretty, but what sad eyes.

her legs are as long and slender as her HIGH-heels. love the blue boots.

would you?

could you??

a few more looks here...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

pretty city: june 6

broadway.

mott street.


prince street.

lafayette street.

lafayette street.



prince street.

bleecker street.

more "pretty city photos" here...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

quelle drag

monfils is no more at roland garros this year. he lost to fed in 3 sets: 7-6, 6-2, 6-4. june 3, 2009. photo via rolandgarros.com.

i don't love the outcome, but the photo is something else...

read a good poem, or hear one read by nadal and fed







I found this 2008 wimbledon video of roger federer and rafael nadal reading kipling's "IF," via a post by thomas lin, on the straight sets blog, on the nytimes.com.

tonight i will be heading out to jla studios in dumbo for something called the gelf's varsity letters sports reading series--si tennis authority and tennis mag contributor l. jon wertheim be there to chat about his book, strokes of genius: federer, nadal, and the greatest match ever played.

IF you don't already have plans, i suggest heading out there. it's a great lineup of writers, and brooklyn is beautiful in the rain.

***
IF

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

--Rudyard Kipling

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

monfils le magnifique: monday night rewind

monfils at roland garros. june 1, 2009. via rolandgarros.com.

after the big win over roddick. june 1, 2009. photo by jacques demarthon/afp/getty images). via yahoo sports.

i missed this match, sadly, as well as most of the replay. i was actually hoping for a rain delay, so they might show it once again...on second thought, they may have instead shown the "upset of the century." i didn't see one minute of that nadal match, and i'd like to keep it that way.
anyway, i will be listening to today's action on roland garros radio in the am, and then working from home in the afternoon, so i'll get a lot more tennis viewing in today than i have in recent days...and whether i see it live or a recording, i'll definitely look forward to monfils v. federer.

guess who i'll be rooting loudly for?