Song of Myself, on a barge in Red Hook

Saturday evening there was a fundraising event on the historic museum barge in Red Hook; the reading of every last canto of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself, as read by a number of local luminaries. It began before and ended just after sunset over Brooklyn’s Buttermilk Channel and Erie Basin, the once-Dutch, fierce little neighborhood called Red Hook.

I’ve long had emotional ties to ol’ Walt on account of my father having been a fan; he passed it on to me. So when I read him in high school (the same all girls Catholic school with fierce teachers that managed to get A Handmaid’s Tale on our reading list), I was all in.

Walt Whitman reading on Red Hook barge
Interior of the barge from where I stood
Walt Whitman reading on Red Hook barge
My dear friend, Tara Lynne, reading Canto 23
Walt Whitman reading on Red Hook barge
The program
The drawing as it looked when we left, in pencil.
Walt Whitman reading on Red Hook barge
The plants in boots nearby the gangway

A pleasant surprise (in addition to some celebrity personages) was that one of my classmates from aforementioned high school was among the readers. I ought to’ve stayed to say hello, but it was crowded and felt like it may have been complicated after so long. Her name is Alison Smith; I read her book Name All the Animals a few of years back. It was really well written; poignant and heartbreaking. It was the first time I’d seen her since high school, and brought some memories to mind.

Proceeds went to the ACLU, PEN America, NEA, Sunny’s Bar (Red Hook), and to the Waterfront Museum (the host of the event). It was a fine reward after a seven mile wander, followed by a feast at Ice House.

The Comme des Garçons show at the Met

Comme des Garçons show at the Met
Some friends and I took a trip into the Big Town on Monday to check out a couple exhibits at the Met. One was the Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons exhibit of works spanning some decades. The gallery space was designed specially for this, a collaboration between the artist and the Met, and the whole experience was stunning and ethereal, and sometimes creepy (in a great way). We really enjoyed it, and I wish it had been less crowded even, so I may have spent more time sketching.

We also looked at the Irving Penn retrospective, also pretty damn wonderful and inspiring. Below are some photos from the first exhibit. Enjoy!
Comme des Garçons show at the MetComme des Garçons show at the MetComme des Garçons show at the MetComme des Garçons show at the MetComme des Garçons show at the MetComme des Garçons show at the Met

An afternoon in the Big Town followed by miles of walking

observations of people out on a warm eveningHere’s a sketch from Friday evening. I’d only just started when its subjects vacated the backyard, so I had to improvise. I re-cast them indoors, among the lamps, after the fact.

Had an afternoon meeting followed by a stroll through lower Manhattan on Friday. I walked from Madison Square Park to City Hall, with some decent photographic moments while across the river on a fine Spring day.

Had I worn better shoes for it, I’d have walked across Brooklyn Bridge, as is my inclination on a first fine day in Manhattan in Springtime. Next time.

New York Life
The gold-tipped New York Life building, nearby Madison Square Park
Washington Mews garden
Secret garden at the Washington Mews
The Secret Garden, NYC, the Village
Exterior windows of the mews, facing Fifth Avenue

Fifth Avenue, NYC, Secret

Flatiron building
Flatiron building


Adventures in Light: Charm City

Lanterns above illuminated hand-cranked animation machine by Elizabeth Whitmore Crankie
Ceiling of Penn Station Baltimore
The beautiful skylights inside Penn Station Baltimore

Here are some selects from my photographs during Light City Baltimore 2017. Attributions of the various installations (as many as I could gather) are listed in the photo captions. There were many more installations than shown here, but some of them simply don’t convey well in still images.

Baltimore
View above the courtyard of UMBC’s Spark Gallery at Light City 2017
Looking toward the harbor from UMBC's Spark Gallery
Looking toward the harbor from UMBC’s Spark Gallery
“The Divided Line” by the RE/PUBLIC; a VR experience
“The Divided Line” by The RE/PUBLIC; In the googles, a stunning  VR experience that reimagined the harbor in 360º
Illuminated umbrellas
Illuminated umbrellas
“Light Happenings Part II” by Labbodies
“Light Happenings Part II” by Labbodies

Continue reading

LEDs and the dancing fireplace wall


Some fun lighting at Kelley’s house in Baltimore. Mini Light City right in the living room!

I got loads of photographs from installations around the Inner Harbor last night. I’ll be posting some of those soon.

Have you tried the the Nik Collection for photos?

Brugge canal houses
Brugge canal houses: A photo from my Canon Powershot with some curves applied in Photoshop. This is what I used for testing out the Nik Collection; it’s a lo-res version of original image).

Google has a set of photo filters that are really pretty powerful. There are loads of presets, and with ranges of layers that can be selectively controlled.

They say the filters work with Photoshop, Lightroom, etc, but you’ll see that they are installed as stand alone apps; I presume they draw upon Photoshop‘s engine to work their magic.

You will suffer from option paralysis!

Below are a few samples, with names of filters within each set. Captions note which are presets, and which have been modified. One of the most impressive tools in all of these is the integration of control points, with which you can affect specific areas of the image, when a global change isn’t optimal.

Analog Efex

Classic camera 2 [preset]
Brugge canal houses
Classic camera 4 [preset]
Silver Efex

Classic camera 5 [modified settings] Continue reading

What Stella looked like

Brooklyn in snow
Here are some quiet scenes from my neighborhood yesterday, after the thundersnow and wind calmed. The storm never really reached any kind of pitch, but many cancellations were planned, so it was a peaceful day. I spent all but 30 minutes of it indoors; worked an 11 hour day. My wander through the snow was pretty pleasant, however brief.
Brooklyn in snow
Brooklyn in snow
Brooklyn in snow