June 23, 2017

South Orange, NJ. December, 1969


Younger, thinner, more hair...but the same glasses! Some things never change. Like my disinterest in basketball games like this one. (Aside from one winter in the 1990s when Dennis Rodman was a volatile Chicago Bulls troublemaker, I never watched a single game on TV in my life, even under pressure. Just never got into it.) So why was I here? I was carrying a torch (literally) for my boyfriend the photographer. He’d placed me on the sidelines of the action (I’ll say) so that he could shoot the players head on and have them lit dramatically from the left. Anything to oblige. In those days anyway. At a lull in the game, he snapped me. Seton Hall University, Class of 1970. Pleasant memories for the most part. In spite of the pouty face. (To provide some balance: This is the same gymnasium in which two years earlier I had seen Judy Garland in concert, OK?)

June 22, 2017

Tucson. March, 2017


Here's another look at Gates Pass at sunset. Magnificent. Look at all the upright Saguaro cacti and the frightening road that I politely decline to drive down. Too scary.

June 21, 2017

Tucson. March, 2017


What better way to welcome summer than with a photo of a sunset in Tucson, where it seems to us Yankees that it's summer every day. Here, the sun sets over Gates Pass, one of the more photogenic spots just out of town. Please note my penchant for backlighting, a vainglorious attempt to wash out facial lines and wrinkles. At least in the photo.

June 20, 2017

East Houston St., New York, NY. Autumn, 1985?


My baby brother and I were walking all over lower Manhattan this day how many years ago? I remember that as we crossed the Bowery and encountered many drunken panhandlers, Brien asked me, “How do they know to come here?” An interesting question, no? How does anybody know where to go? From accumulated knowledge? The movies? Popular culture? Tradition? Happenstance? Continuing east, we passed community gardens, local musicians and this huge mural (Kenny Scharf continues to contribute to it even now) that stretched for almost a block. How could we not take advantage of the photo op it afforded? Brien obliged. A lovely serendipitous find. How did we know to come here?

June 19, 2017

Salem, MA. July, 2007


Sometimes the side streets are best. I headed to the Peabody Essex Museum specifically to see the Joseph Cornell exhibit, which was sensational (collages, boxes, films, assorted ephemera) in spite of the gruff guard and the somewhat day-care crowd (The museum is admirably free to Salem residents, especially, it seems, to those with loud youngsters in strollers. Just saying.) I bypassed the Chinese house, a top draw at this museum, and happened upon this mixed-media installation by Bose Krishnamachari. The artist had strung up 162 lunchpails, typical of the kind that are daily delivered to Indian laborers for their midday meal, and fitted 102 of them with small video monitors displaying a range of Mumbai residents -- street vendors and socialites, industrialists and intellectuals -- talking about their day-to-day lives (their voices heard on headphones if you so desired.) Surprising and unexpected, it provided a lovely reality-based moment after hours spent within the seductive and phantasmagorical world of Cornell.

June 18, 2017

Istanbul. June, 2007


It seems every time I run into a friend these days, he or she has become vegan. What’s going on? Is everyone turning vegan? Is this The Twilight Zone? Actually, when I started cooking for these friends, I realized, hey, I’ve generally been eating somewhat vegan myself without knowing it. And now that the tide is turning, and even mainstream restaurants offer vegan options (sometimes they’re not on the menu, but they have them), this dining philosophy is shedding some of its “outsider” status. Chinese, Indian and other ethnic restaurants here in the USA seem to serve up the easiest choices. And sticking to a “no animals/no animal liquids” diet while traveling can be relatively simple, too. For example, consider Turkey, land of lamb, lamb, more lamb...and yogurt. Turkish cooking also has a rich tradition of savory vegetable dishes braised in olive oil found in just about every restaurant. Here are just three examples of the many zeytignali (olive oil) offerings we had at Istanbul’s Haci Abdullah: grape leaves stuffed with rice, mint and pine nuts; beets with peppers and cabbage; artichokes with potatoes, carrots and peas. All terrific. Spain, France, Italy...assembling a vegan meal from appetizers, antipasti and a wide variety of vegetarian choices is a snap. (In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that my vegan friend David arrived in Italy, surveyed the markets, saw all the wonderful cheeses, quickly announced that he was going to be lacto-vegetarian for his three-week stay...and eventually couldn't resist the pasta alla carbonara.) Vegans of the world, rejoice! Just like at home, you are no longer forced to eat salad at every meal when you travel.

June 17, 2017

Essex, MA. January, 2017


Now that summer is a-comin' in, those in the know avoid Woodman's, the fabled fried seafood shack, like the plague. Filled with hot and sticky families returning from the beach, even its seafood combo and fried calamari (seen here) are not enough to lure us onto the block-long lines. Fortunately, we live close enough that we visit only during the cold-weather months. See how happy Dr. Blake is that we can enjoy some off-season peace and quiet.