As I wrote on 4/21, Saturday, April 20th, was New York Cares Day Spring 2013. One of the places I shot was the William A. Harris Garden at 153rd Street and St Nicholas Avenue in Harlem. It is a great little community garden and I strongly recommend visiting. I was lucky enough to meet Lori Harris who seems to dedicate every free moment to the garden. If you are lucky she might be there when you come by!
Ms. Lori Harris and friends
After I finished shooting there I took a long walk over the Macombs Dam Bridge and back then down to The Hudson via 155th St (pictures to follow in the near future) and quite by accident stumbled upon another New York Cares work site. Well, there were 70 + after all. Here are a few pictures from that scene.
Dig we must
HR at work
I needed to revisit this great theme of Ailsa’s before it vanished. I had just introduced NYC at the end of the last “Wall post” and thought I needed to expand on it.
The first three pictures are from5 POINTZ in Queens.
The next three are from the Lower East Side.
The last one is from Harlem and is reputed to be the last Banksy in New York City.
“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”
Self-Reliance – Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I started The Quotidian Hudson its Constitution stated a picture a day. No more than one picture a day. Apparently those of us who drafted the Constitution were very into ropes and rules that winter. At some point fairly early in the process I decided it was a dumb rule and held a Constitutional Convention where we amended indeed eliminated, the rule and set no limit on what might be done.
However on January 30th, 2011 the “one picture rule” was still in effect. The two pictures below did not make the cut that day.
It really was winter in January of 2011.
If you are interested in seeing the picture that did make the cut… go here
Due to a wealth of computer problems that don’t interest me so I am sure would not interest you, I was chased from Photoshop back to Photoshop Elements 10, which is a lovely program but can’t recreate what I did yesterday. However after much play I enjoy what I came up with. It certainly is NOT the vision I had but getting there was fun.
I know some of you have read the title of this piece in the blog before but it is such a perfect statement for any part of life that I must repeat it now and again. I like it for many reasons but the biggest one, beyond the truth of it, is that it is neither a positive or negative statement. It just is. We set out to do something, and no matter how successful we may be, it is never the vision we started with. Sometimes better, sometimes not, but always different.
The Chair of the Pomona College Theater Department had this on the wall of his office when I first met him. It has always stayed with me.
Behold! The “vision” I did not have!
If you have followed the blog for six months or more you know that I shoot for New York Cares on their two big volunteer days each year. NY Cares is the largest volunteer organization in New York. They have things going every day of the year but twice a year (Fall and Spring) they put together a citywide clean up, spruce up, fix up day. Today was that day. I was assigned to the Harlem Renaissance High School on E 128th Street.
“The summer ended. Day by day, and taking its time, the summer ended. The noises in the street began to change, diminish, voices became fewer, the music sparse. Daily, blocks and blocks of children were spirited away. Grownups retreated from the streets, into the houses. Adolescents moved from the sidewalk to the stoop to the hallway to the stairs, and rooftops were abandoned. Such trees as there were allowed their leaves to fall – they fell unnoticed – seeming to promise, not without bitterness, to endure another year. At night, from a distance, the parks and playgrounds seemed inhabited by fireflies, and the night came sooner, inched in closer, fell with a greater weight. The sound of the alarm clock conquered the sound of the tambourine, the houses put on their winter faces. The houses stared down a bitter landscape, seeming, not without bitterness, to have resolved to endure another year.”
I know officially we have a few days to go but t’is not true. Fall is here…
Today was the annual spring New York Cares Day. I was assigned to shoot at Marcus Garvey Park. This is a park in the heart of Harlem. 10 years ago it was not a place where falling asleep on a park bench was advised. Since then the community rallied around it and it is now one of the nicest “small” parks in Manhattan. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t need love and some extra help. Lots of volunteers from lots of different organizations came out to paint, weed, collect trash, and in general spruce up.
Today, I was busy working on reinstalling files and software on the computer and so didn’t have the time or inclination for a road trip. Instead I thought I would take a walk through one little corner of my neighborhood. Specifically 109th, 108th, and 107th Streets, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.
The zip code 10025 (10025 Map/Data) is 1.1 square miles and goes from Riverside Park on the west, wraps around Morningside Park (best known, perhaps, for being the spark that lit the 1968 takeover of Columbia University) to Central Park West on the east and from W91st Street to W116th Street but does not include all of Columbia or Barnard. The area includes Manhattan Valley and part of Morningside Heights but does not include any part of Harlem as it was classically known. Instead “Southwest” Harlem is its northern border (You will note on the map that the Chamber of Commerce disagrees with me.)
PS/MS 165 Yard
Amsterdam and W 109th
Broadway and W 107th
Arctic Sunrise 2-8-11 (From Hoboken)