Showing posts from July, 2010

My Rapa Nui

Horses, horses, dogs Green hills. cerulean sea Waves pounding on rocks That is the haiku that I wrote on my first night on Rapa Nui. One of the most remote places on earth -- Easter Island is some 2,000 miles from Tahiti and Chile. An archeologist's dream -- but will we ever really understand the culture that created the giant Moai. Perhaps more importantly -- do we need to? I am particularly drawn to places where I can walk in the steps of those who went before me. I hate it when I can only look but can not touch -- or more importantly can't stand smack dab in the center of a space and imagine what it felt like to be of that civilization, of that time. How did the Christians feel as they waited beneath the coliseum and heard the roar of the crowd? What was it like for the harem dwellers of the Alhambra as they waited for the Sultan's call? Was being chosen a good thing or a bad thing? How did Doris Duke feel as she built her own private Shangri-La on the shores of Oahu? A


Yesterday was the first time I had been in the neighborhood of Gino's at 61st and Lexington since it closed. The green and white awning was gone and there was a for rent sign in the window. All was locked up tightly behind green gates. 1945 to 2010 is a pretty long run for a restaurant -- just think, it opened as my father was returning from WWII. For while over a decade, Gino's, was one of my three favorite restaurants in NYC (the other two are Union Square Cafe and Big Nick's). It was the kind of place where the maitre'd would greet me Italian style when I wandered in for a meal. This was a restaurant that was all cash all the time and sometimes, if you looked in the corner, it seemed that the bosses had taken over one corner and their bodyguards the other. It drew upper Eastside couples dressed in silks, ascots, and double-breasted navy blue blazers. There were tourists who had must have read about it in some guidebook or spotted it's green and white awning as t

Fear of Failure

I had a horrible thought tonight as I conversed about this blog with a friend. All of a sudden the blog got bigger in my head and started to suck up all the available space. And, I asked out loud -- "what does it mean if I get to the 100th post and I have no followers?" We kind of chuckled and moved on in our conversation but that little tiny fear stayed with me and it grew. Googling "blogs + number of blogs" didn't help at all. As an aside, it did remind me that I LOVE LOVE LOVE google with 177 million results and the first 10 relevant to what I wanted to know. Just how many blogs are there out there? 112.8 million blogs as a February 2010. Oh my word -- that is a slew of blogs. A whole lot of people with something to say. Have you ever paid attention to the way the leaves are on a gingko tree -- all tightly packed togther on a branch. In the spring here in the northeast, those leaves emerge in clusters out of a single tiny bud. Is that what blogspot is all ab

Things Gone, Memories Intact

Have you ever dreamed of living in a castle? One with rich tapestries hanging from the rafters and a roast goose on the spit over the fire? While, maybe I'll skip the goose on a spit and go for a viking stove, bosche dishwasher and sub-zero refrigerator. Of course, a castle would mean more space to be filled, more cleaning, more stuff to throw out if it was -- say -- invaded by pests (aka bedbugs). I just finished two days of mad cleaning of the fabrics in my apartment. Bed bugs in the office appear to have migrated to my castle. Dry, 20 minutes, high heat. there are about 80 -- ok, maybe 15 -- bags in my kitchen all sealed up. a bunch of stuff is at the dry cleaners with more to follow tomorrow. and countless things were tossed today. my paul simon and bruce springsteen t-shirts. gone. t-shirts from the trip to africa with lisa -- gone. hall high field hockey shirt. gone. columbia sweat shirts. gone. beanie babies. gone. gone. gone. aah but the memories, they stay..... Hall High F


Ever since I can remember, I have been fascinated by -- and afraid of -- the ocean. The sound of waves crashing on the shore -- soothing. The sheer sensual delight of being cradled by gentle swells just beyond the wave break -- among life's pure joys. The terror of being turned upside down and inside out at Cape Cod's National Sea Shore -- a reminder that we are all mortal. What is it about the ocean that brings me back time and again as I try to catch it on film? is it the sheer variety of the colors or that no two waves are alike? Maybe it's the sheer power of the water as it pounds against the shore? Or is it the promise the ocean offers of connecting me to new places, new people, new adventures? I have yet to touch all the oceans and seas of the world but there are some memorable moments for those that I've met and come to know. I don't know if Old Lyme, CT was the first place that I saw the Atlantic ocean but I have a mental picture of my Dad sheparding us off

Alter Ego

I wonder if the founding fathers had alter egos -- inner personas that didn't believe in tea parties and freedom? This January,, in Chile, I started to sketch out an alter ego for myself -- the famously reclusive Chilean photographer Soledad Franco. She was named for our tour guide (Soledad) and our driver (Franco). Given that I speak no Spanish, it made sense that she would be reclusive. As the trip progressed, she became Soledad Franco the famously reclusive Chilean photograph who lived on Easter Island. Her photos were treasured by regular people and priced accordingly. She had an assistant -- oddly named Nancy -- who spoke only broken English and who would show tourists the grounds of her simple studio when asked to do so. Soledad's photos would be found in the local craft markets in Rapa Nui as well as in several smaller galleries in that delightfully arty little city by the sea -- Valparaiso. They were a steady source of income that supported her simple needs on Easter Is