Startling Tales of the Ocean-Sea: 3rd in a Series

No. 3 – In which I discover that the Allurement of Nautical Maidens by Means of Tartini’s Devil Trill is Vainglorious.

The Galleons of Mephisto come forth from the Fog, bearing Landward the Unholy Seamen of the Dead

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me in front of the camera for once…

photo by Ron Gejon Photography

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Startling Tales of the Ocean-Sea: 2nd in a Series

No. 2 – In which I receive a Revelation to let fall my Pistol and engage in Music to conjure the Maidens of the Ocean-Sea.

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me in front of the camera for once…

 

photo by Ron Gejon Photography

all those sunday mornings after

 

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copyright 2013

Startling Tales of the Ocean-Sea: 1st in a Series

No. 1 – In which I rain Fire upon the dread Squid so lately harassing our noble Shores.  Stand yo’ ground!

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me in front of the camera for once…

photo by Ron Gejon Photography

US OPEN – Queens Squirrels Rule!

Flushing Meadows – Corona Park:  Home of the 1964 World’s Fair, the iconic Unisphere, the NY Mets, the Billie Jean King Tennis Center…  and a small nation’s worth of squirrels.  Of all the wild creatures that make their home amongst human city-dwellers, they are surely the most endearing.  Especially in late summer, when the badass squirrels of Queens come down from their trees and take on the U.S. Open.

For the 2nd year in a row, one of our woodland neighbors eluded security and made it onto the court of Arthur Ashe Stadium, in front of countless global viewers.

 

And this, in 2012:

 

It’s always a joy when a tiny animal can interrupt international sport; long live the squirrels of NY!

Pictures from a heatwave

July, 2013, NYC –

 

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An article called “10 Cities in the Western Hemisphere that Feel Cooler Than NYC Right Now” mentioned Death Valley…  The week-long inferno peaked out at about 103 degrees, with matching humidity.  Everyone has a glazed look in their eye, and walk stiffly to minimize any motion that does not involve keeping cool.   The sort of heat that gives you chills – if this was the temperature of inside your body, you’d be laid in bed with fever, taking antibiotics

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Engulfed by concrete and brick; a pizza oven.

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Past dancing with present – Tompkins Square Park – as it was and as it is.

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There’s no gentility here in the Salt Meadows. A backwater on Stuyvesant’s farm, disturbed only in those days by the creatures of the tidal wetlands. The summers here lay down a blanket of fiery, hanging, swampish air. Dazed dog-day weeks spawn the seediness that has always been essential here. Die Weisse Garten, 1850’s Sunday picnics of beer and comraderie, Sabbath carousal that disgusted the Nativists. Nativists, whose days were numbered by the coming tsunami of immigration that made this Kleindeutschland. The third largest German-speaking city on the globe. An exotic enclave in an overwhelmingly Anglo country.

… There were still places in the city, such as Tompkins Square Park… where a passerby might overhear nothing but German…” (1895)

Their steps still plod along underneath, in silence. There is a lonely fountain, surrounded by the hyper voices of children in the playgrounds. There was that day more than 100 years ago that shattered this neighborhood. Fire on the River, 1000 gone. Just when they were beginning their summer.

In the 1980’s and early 90’s, the ever-encroaching grime gurgled up the swamp underneath, and generations of discontentment spewed forth police riots, encampments of men living in cardboard, junkies, squatters, crack heads, punks… When the tide turned, the city regained control of the park and reversed its decay- but never totally washed out the funk.

Fringes. They still sit huddled on the benches, their faces bent and darkened, in the corners where the old men play chess. Nearby there is a monument, erected in 1891, dedicated to Temperance, a deity that long ago became maligned in this wild square. 1840’s, 1870’s, 20th century – the radical center of a politically radical neighborhood. No number of old shady trees, grassy cosps, arranged flower beds, or dappled sun, has ever managed to moderate the mood here.

It’s not all disgust, fists in the air, overdoses on benches. The winter has long forgotten the old Germans it froze to death on Avenue B. Now the ice brings a serene crystallization, And the Spring, in turn, brings forth an orgy of excitement. It’s the sort of park where you try to immerse yourself in a book, and are unable. There is too much music and delight, too many beautiful passers-by. Central Park’s design tries to lead people into nature, Washington Square’s tries to lead people into lofty ideas and civic graces. Tompkins Square’s design, with its playgrounds and its dog run, and melange of people, tends to bring park-goers into vivid proximity to each other.

It was here, in the 1960’s, that the international hare krishna movement began under an ancient elm, perhaps planted in the days of the Germans. The age of Ginsberg’s livid “Howl”, when poets, musicians, and artists, like the punks of the ’80’s, exorcized their disgust of the world with exuberant wailing.

And so the mysterious forces of this buried salt marsh persist, the past dancing with the present, the seen mingling with the unseen. Never ending. All awaiting the death of time.

 

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Nature of Steel

Nature of Steel

Williamsburg Bridge, Brooklyn
Mt. Mitchell, North Carolina

As the gloom slowly slips away – Scroll Down for Spring

100th Post!!

This is that “just 10 degrees warmer please” time of year, when the long, gray drudgery of March starts to crack into early Spring.  People are sick of it – you know it’s April in New York when it gets just a hair above 60 degrees, and the sidewalk cafes are packed with bundled-up diners pretending not to shiver.  But as the flowers begin to appear, first tentatively, then explosively, we know sweet May is not long off.

These are some photos tracing the end of Winter and the first baby steps of Spring.  Near the bottom are pictures of the almost-complete 1 World Trade Center

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“Death of Time”

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Forest Hills, Queens
Zorki-4

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A pretty estuary it must have been before urbanity took hold. Probably not unlike similar coastal creeks I’ve kayaked along. Today, this is the border between the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn – a Superfund site which ranks among the most polluted waterways in the US. The snowy weather today tempered that fact for a little bit, and high above on the Pulaski Bridge it’s easier to imagine it as it once was.

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Queens Blvd
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cabland

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Rivington St.
Lower East Side

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Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

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33 stories above Lower Manhattan

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5Pointz
A world renowned graffiti/street art mecca, the exterior of this former-warehouse-turned-artist-studios-space is covered in amazing pieces which are constantly changing.
It is currently threatened by developers who aim to build a sterile, glass condo complex on the site.

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180 ft below Washington Heights

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Icy Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

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Century-old Skyscrapers in Lower Manhattan Gold

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Verticalia – World Trade Center, early April, 2013

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A climb out the window and a few flights up the fire escape to the roof is a treasure which makes all the b.s. of daily city life go away for a precious few moments.

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Into the Blue – World Trade Center, early April, 2013

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Washington Heights

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sudden sweet sultry haze of spring.
Ft. Tryon Park, Manhattan

“April King” – by Snazz Mammoth

A 2-part set of songs by my solo cello-rock-electronica project –

 

we were gone

 

looking back on our regrets

playback on an old cassette

you will be blamed

for taking off too soon

waking up the neighborhood

piling in the backseat

hit the gas and

off we go

 

we’re gone

 

we were gone

none of us were wrong

 

another bridge is calling

the playing field has been

all leveled out

 

we know we’ve been untrue

never wanted you to be disappointed

 

we’ll drive on

and on

and further

 

 

A Thousand Different Sighs

 

We have been gone so long

the pull’s too strong

out here

open road

 

We don’t know when

when we’ll be

be back home again

 

We sigh

a thousand different sighs

 

We every stop we make

our mind does wake

Under open sky

 

We wish we knew

Knew when we’d

We’d be back again

 

We sigh

a thousand different sighs