16-01-06 The Suburbs

In the suburbs I
I learned to drive
And you told me we’d never survive
Grab your mother’s keys we’re leavin’

Arcade Fire

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Kids wanna be so hard
But in my dreams we’re still screamin’ and runnin’ through the yard
And all of the walls that they built in the seventies finally fall
And all of the houses they build in the seventies finally fall
Meant nothin’ at all
Meant nothin’ at all
It meant nothin

Arcade Fire

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7-24-14 – Five Weeks (Who’s Counting)

How did it get so late so soon?
It’s night before it’s afternoon.
December is here before it’s June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?
~Dr. Seuss

 

I had the chance to go out and shoot Abigail and Lilah for the first time in almost a month today.  We went out to Riverside Park or at least the path outside it. I tried to get them to the river but no luck… We were all a little rusty and we all are a little distracted. We are coming up to the end of this project. In 35 days Lilah leaves for college. In 35 days we take Abigail to college.  I am not very happy with what I shot today but I do think I got a few interesting images. You will be the judge of that…

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5-22-14 This Is The End Of The Beginning

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.

Gilda Radner

Today was my last PA meeting, I assume, ever. Since Abigail entered pre-school there has not been a year when I was not on the PA or PTA or Board but graduation is only 18 days away and last I checked colleges don’t have PAs.

To balance that, Galerie Protégé, 197 Ninth Avenue (at W. 22nd Street), opened the show “Monsters: Curated by Students of The Friends Seminary”. The work shown is by both professional artists and students . It is only up until May 31 but I am lucky enough to have two photographs in the show and the SohoPhoto Gallery Show, “Juried Work: B&H Workshop” continues also through the 31st, so out of nowhere I am in two group shows simultaneously. If you are in the city…check them out!

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8-20-13 Day #962. The True End Of The Begining

A little over 2.5 years ago, I started blogging about my experiences on The Hudson River – primarily through photography, occasionally with commentary.

I started the blog on January 1, 2011, and vowed to post everyday for a year, shoot everyday and visit the river everyday I was in town.  I also said that I would make it to the source of the Hudson in 2011. Today is my 962nd straight day of blogging. I have not made it to the river everyday but thanks to smartphones I have shot everyday. Due to significant challenges to our family I didn’t make it to the source in 2011. In 2012 I damaged myself, particularly my right knee and did not make it to the source.

On August 14, 2013 I reached a source of the Hudson River. “A” source not “the” source?  Yes.  According to the New York State Legislature of 1870’s, Lake Tear of The Clouds, high up on Mount Marcy, is the source. According to mapmakers and earth scientists Henderson Lake in the Tahawus Tract is the actual start of the Hudson River at the Henderson Lake Dam (Outlet).

On August 14th, I drove out of Queensbury NY and headed up into the Adirondacks.  The weather was very changeable, going from bright sun to threatening overcast and some rain and then back again. This pattern repeated all morning. The road runs somewhat parallel to the Hudson but with frequent switchbacks and side trips. You cross the river several times.

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

It was a slow journey as I kept stopping to get out of the car, walk and shoot but always with the trailhead to Henderson Lake in my mind. I found myself slowing down the closer I got to the lake. Luckily only two or three cars passed me during the last 15 miles on 28N then Tahawus Road and finally Upper Works Road so I did not feel rushed.

When I finally reached the trailhead of the Upper Works Trail, I made sure to read all the park announcements, walk to the various trails that led off of it and even walked back down the road about 100 yards to look over some deserted and collapsed structures.

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

When I really could not delay any longer, I started up the trail. I kept leaving it to go down to the banks of the Hudson, which is no more than 10-20 feet wide at this point, to shoot. I really cannot express how beautiful the park, the forest, the mountains and the river are. These pictures that will follow do them slim justice.

Soon enough I came to the fork in the road. The trail continues in one direction heading into the mountains. The path leads to Henderson Dam. I took the path. I could tell when I was about 100 yards away from the Lake. I don’t know how I knew, I just did.

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

I turned on the video function on my camera and narrated the last bit of the walk for myself. I have not listened to it yet but I know it had to do with three years of work, three years of life, three years of striving, procrastinating, thinking and going on instinct all now coming to a (not the but a) culmination. I came to the top of the rise and stopped, just stopped. There was the lake no more than 20 feet in front of me. There was the dam maybe 200 feet away through a field of little purple flowers.  I took no pictures. I said no words. I just looked and listened. Did I not move for a minute? Five minutes? More? I have no idea.

When I finished absorbing what I needed, I picked up the camera and went to work.

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

I shot in every direction. I shot the lake, the river, the fields, and the mountains.

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

I bushwhacked about a half mile around the lake bank just because.

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Then I walked towards the dam. I took over 100 photographs around the lake, the dam and the headwaters of the river. Two are out of focus. The two I took as I went towards the dam.

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

When I came back I thought, “ok. Time to process. Time to leave.”

Like hell.  I had to get down to where the headwaters stopped being Henderson Lake and started being the Hudson. It was a steep but not impossible 10 feet down. For the first time I wished I had my old camera, both for practical reasons and sentimental ones but I had left it in the car.  I slid down, jammed my camera bag, gently between two boulders and walked/ crawled over three boulders.

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Then I looked down the river, the start of the river.

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

I stuck my hand out and just let the water roll over it right at the demarcation point.  I cupped both hands and took a drink. I took an iPhone shot.

This is the end

I grabbed my bag and started to scramble up.  A light rain started falling. I looked up but while it was overcast I didn’t see any rain clouds. I came to the top and realized that it wasn’t raining on the river and there were no drops on the lake, seemingly it was only raining in a 30/50/100 foot circle around me.  Again I just stopped and let the light rain hit me.  Then I walked forward out of the rain and when I turned around it was gone.

I am not a “spiritual” person. I’m not an astrology buff, I don’t talk to the spirit of the trees, I do not go to church, I am a rational humanist and as such, I knew something very special had happened.

After I returned home, I told Katherine the story. She is a spiritual person. I like her interpretation.  “What is rain?” she asked me. “Rain is the tears of the clouds. You didn’t make it to Lake Tear Of The Clouds so it came to you.” I liked that.

Then I realized that the real source of the Hudson is not Henderson Lake Or Lake Tear but rain. It falls and becomes the Hudson, the Hudson evaporates and becomes the rain and on and on.

I will make it up to Lake Tear someday reasonably soon and I will be excited, awed, and blown away and will feel many things. But, whether or no, I already have found an ending and for one precious moment in time I was totally relaxed, happy and at peace.

7-5-11 Maybe It Is Time To Be A Little Less Of A Class Act

Really, what exactly does that get you anymore?

A swell day on the river today.  It was hot and humid so people were out playing and sitting everywhere. Late afternoon picnics, couples spooning and making out in the first heat of love and passion, parents, with infants and toddlers, looking towards the future with hopes and dreams flying, old couples slowly moving down the promenade trailing their past but still together, still supporting each other through it all and facing whatever was left to them together.

America

Of course, there were also those couples who were arguing, soto voce (or not) and even more painful to see those not talking to each other and it was not one of those companionable silences that are celebrated in song and in writing but the slow burn of hostility and dreams dying.

The Dangling Conversation

But for the most part, it was just folks enjoy a quiet moment on the river before heading back to “their life”…although I firmly believe that most of them realized that this is their life and the rest is only the noise and repetition needed to get to these type of moments.

Me and Juliio