February 29, 2016

Amasra, Turkey. September, 2014

The indoor market here in this Black Sea town had an astounding collection of BIG things. Just take a look at this accumulation of home-grown garlic. This is also the market where I encountered the biggest cabbages I've even seen. They looked as if they were about to go condo. I remember that most vendors were a bit reserved...until I dropped a little of the Turkish language I had learned. And I do mean a little. Mostly I can say, "I speak a little Turkish but my Turkish is not very good" or "Unfortunately I have no money at all." The first elicits a fine response. The second, no.

February 28, 2016

Napoli. October, 2015

Once again, the benefit and pleasure of looking down instead of up. This beautiful mosaic floor within the Galleria Umberto. One of many in this spacious downtown arcade.

February 27, 2016

Istanbul. September, 2014

I have been trying to limit my carbohydrates (again) lately. No flour, no sugar, no potatoes, you understand. So naturally it's this delivery van at an Istanbul farmers market that haunts my dreams. I just want to crawl right in there and hang out for awhile.

February 26, 2016

Agrigento, Sicily. October, 2015

Every time I visit ruins like this, I always think about the thousands of people who have walked here before. And perhaps still do. What were they wearing, talking about, worrying about? What did they have for lunch? What kind of shoes did they have on. I can't help it. And besides, those thoughts are much more interesting to me than whatever some chatterbox guide may be talking about.

February 25, 2016

Watertown, MA. August, 2015

In all the years of hearing about hailstorms, I'd never really experienced any hail larger than a snowflake. Until last August, when the warm skies opened and yielded an abundance of golfball-size hailstones. Seeing them fall was one thing. Hearing them land on the roof and windowpanes was quite another. This photo really doesn't do justice to the specimens you see on the grass through the trees. I should have provided a size reference (at Bose we always used a compact disc) but I was not about to go outside and be pelted.

February 24, 2016

Catania, Sicily. October, 2015

This little girl, mesmerized by the offerings at the daily fish market, has appeared on this blog before. But she was such a standout in the crowd of otherwise grizzly vendors and determined shoppers, that I had to take many photos of her. Here's another.

February 23, 2016

Valletta, Malta. October, 2015

The fortress town of Valletta is built almost entirely of golden stone. And nowhere is this more evident than upon leaving the sheltered harbor toward sunset.

February 22, 2016

Dorchester, MA. July, 2015

Meet my friend Betsi. She heads up a Boston-based dance company, Urbanity Dance, and does so with talent, enthusiasm and contagious effervescence. She's currently choreographing a piece to the Kurt Weill/Bertolt Brecht "sung ballet" The Seven Deadly Sins, and I cannot wait until April 9 to see it. Aside from the music's being my favorite from the Weill/Brecht canon, the conversations I've had with Betsi about it have been happy and inspiring occasions. Plus she's working with Emmanuel Music, one of Boston's finest organizations. The Seven Deadly Sins will be sung in English with a libretto by W. H. Auden. If you're in town that night, I'll see you there.

February 21, 2016

Napoli. October, 2015

Because of rough seas, our ship was forced to stay overnight in Napoli harbor. It would have been fun to attend this concert at the Teatro San Carlo. Unfortunately it was was tutto esaurito. Completely sold out. But now that I think of it months later, because it was Napoli, I bet we could have scared up some tickets.

February 20, 2016

Boston. February, 2014

Meet my friend, TJ. I took this photo of him two years ago at his birthday event, a skating/dinner party at the frozen Frog Pond in Boston Common. Today it's his birthday again. And his event this year, star-studded, is dinner and a movie (The Big Short.) I'll be out of town and will miss the party. But it will be fun to hear everyone's stories afterwards. And there always are stories .

February 19, 2016

Napoli. October, 2015

Note to travelers: Whenever you need a bathroom quickly, search for a big hotel, a public library or, as in this case, the local university where college kids likely know English and are happy to point you in the right direction.

February 18, 2016

Sliema, Malta. October, 2015

Sometimes the Maltese language is easy to understand. Especially on the rare occasion when it's close to French, Italian, Spanish...or all three.

February 17, 2016

Napoli. October, 2015

Look at these unusual mushrooms on sale at one of the city's many outdoor markets. They don't look at all like the tame specimens found in American supermarkets. I'd gladly eat them. Would you?

February 16, 2016

Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY. June, 2015

Can't get to Istanbul? No problem. My favorite Turkish restaurant outside of Turkey is not that far away. A visit to Hazar is always on the menu whenever I visit my friend Nick in his Brooklyn home. Here's the excellent lahmacun they serve, for something like three for $10. I'm counting the days (38) until I'm there again.

February 15, 2016

Civitavecchia, Italy. October, 2015

Seen all over Italy, the Vespa is a quick and easy way to get from place to place. In English, vespa means wasp, which might explain why this noisy gadabout is so named. When I was in a meeting in Florence back in 1984, an young English woman arrived late and explained her tardiness thusly: "My VESpa ran out of PETrol by the DUOmo aGAIN." Well, maybe you had to hear her to appreciate her excuse. When I told this story to my Swiss friend Andreas, he listened, paused, then evaluated: "So she's blaming the scooter." So Swiss.

February 14, 2016

Provincetown, MA. August, 1989

Another photo taken by our talented writer/photographer friend David. This one revisited today upon the feast of Saint Valentine. Here we are, two Valentines, considerably younger than we are now, sweltering on one of the most hot and humid nights in memory. Still, David worked his magic, and Dr. Blake and I look, well, better in many ways than we look today. (I'm doing the old Faye Dunaway trick of only showing my top row of teeth in a vainglorious attempt to avoid any snaggletooth flaws. And, of course, sunglasses.)

February 13, 2016

Las Vegas. January, 2004?

Every first week of January, the Consumer Electronics Show used to descend upon Las Vegas and sometimes I, as an employee of the most respected name in sound, would get to attend. Aside from seeing all the new gadgets and gizmos, CES was known for its abundance of giveaways (T-shirts, pens, etc.) that we'd bring back to Bose and distribute to our colleagues. What I found most amusing about the whole circus though was that the Adult Entertainment Industry would have its convention at the same time. It was fun trying to determine which people were in town for which trade show. Here's a photo that my colleague Kim snapped at the entrance to one of the many CES exhibit halls. Which trade show, do you think, brought those two ladies to Vegas. Tough call. (Click here to see another photo by Kim, this one of Dr. Blake.)

February 12, 2016

Boston. September, 1982

Several years ago, my friend John and I were in a band. Kidding. This is a doctored photo taken (and doctored) by our friend David. We'd taped up a big roll of seamless paper in John's Beacon Hill apartment, assembled a number of friends, a number of props and outfits, and had a "fashion shoot." Well, sort of. (Click here for another shot from that same shoot.)

February 11, 2016

Oregon Beach, Cotuit, MA. April, 2013

Frequent readers of SLS know that I love jumping pictures. I love taking them. I love being in them. Here is my absolute favorite jumping picture of all time. It shows my friend Floyd jumping after having told his partner Rob exactly how and when to take the picture. They both succeeded beautifully, don't you think? There's something very X-Files about this picture, which may be one reason I'm so drawn to it.

February 10, 2016

Los Angeles. Late 1980s

This photo of my friends Vincent Price and his wife Coral Browne was taken by Helmut Newton. I like it because it shows Vincent, whom most know only as a horror-film actor, joking around with his glasses. And because it shows Coral adhering to the strict rule that every Hollywood actor knows: Find your best angle and always show it to the camera.

February 9, 2016

Somewhere in MA. Sometime around 2008

Meet my friend Tong, a talented graphic designer and photographer with whom I had the pleasure of working at Bose for a few years. Tong is from Thailand and has recently given up his Massachusetts residence to return to his ancestral home. A sweet guy who is missed by all of us Bose-os, present and former. From time to time, Tong liked to come off as a tough guy with attitude, as evidenced by this photo taken by who-knows-whom.

February 8, 2016

Framingham, MA. November, 2002

This week, I'm posting photos taken by others that I happen to like. Both the photos and (mostly) the others. Here's one that a colleague took of me for a departmental employee "map" when I worked at Bose, the most respected name in sound (alleged.) What do you think? Smirky McSmirk? A lifetime of studying photos of aging authors on book jackets had prepared me for the "casual hand masking sagging chin" trick.

February 7, 2016

Palermo. October, 2015

These machines in Sicily's largest port may have been speaking the lost language of cranes, but it sure sounded like Italian to us.

February 6, 2016

New York, New York. June, 2015

On my way from the Metropolitan Transit Authority offices (where I got my senior pass for New York's public transportation system) to the 9-11 memorial (on the site of the former World Trade Center buildings,) I passed many newly constructed buildings, all seeming to reflect their neighbors, both old and new.

February 5, 2016

Palermo. October, 2015

Frequent visitors to this blog know that I have a thing for both cemeteries and manhole covers. (Put away your Penguin Freud, please.) Here, a recent addition to my photo collection of the latter.

February 4, 2016

Watertown, MA. October, 2015

The Learned Three. Hiram, Ruth Ann and Samuel. Sounds like a '60s folk group you might have heard at a hootenanny. Or some obscure trio of Old Testament prophets whose disgraced reputation is only now being recognized as foundational to all Western thought.

February 3, 2016

Senglea, Malta. October, 2015

Sometimes in our travels, Jay will wonder why I stop to photograph the things I do. Here's one example. During a warm morning stroll along the harbor, I saw this example of graffiti, employing, well, some universal language. I have no idea who may have written this, but I hope the sentiment expressed passed quickly.

February 2, 2016

Brooklyn, NY. December, 2015

My friend Roberto during a quiet moment at my friend Nick's Christmas table. (I've started taking photos with an iPhone and this is one of them. I like it.)

February 1, 2016

Gloucester, MA. September, 2015

Plato's Allegory of the Cocktail Party.