Tag Archives: photography

When Plans Go Awry… Take Photos!

The kids are here…

Water Park

And Richard and I are not…

That’s right.  We are having a staycation!  Woot!  Woot!

Don’t misunderstand me, I think about the kids all the time.  I began to worry when we hadn’t heard from them in 10 hours, but being in New York City for two days to just do whatever we want, when we want, without worrying about anything other than what museum we should go to next or where we should eat dinner, while knowing the kids are having a blast…  Yeah.  It’s pretty fabulous!

We began with a trip to the Metropolitan museum, where we saw the George Bellows show, followed by the Matisse show and then we wandered through various other galleries, and saw this, from the artist, El Anatsui who lives in Nigeria, but was born in Ghana. I love this artist.  Look at how the fabric drapes and folds.  This piece is massive and covers most of an entire museum wall.

El Anatsui

After a few hours we headed back downtown where we roamed the East Village, ate at a terrific little restaurant called The Redhead where the cheese grits are fantastic, as was the buttermilk fried chicken.  Then off we strolled to the IFC Center  (Independent Film Channel) where we saw the Academy Award-Nominated Live Action Short Films.  There are some great ones, but my vote goes to the South African short film, Asad.

Yesterday we slept in and went to MOMA (Museum of Modern Art).  This wonderful sculpture is on 6th Avenue and 54th Street.

The Egg

For those of you unfamiliar with my jewelry, I’m including an image of an 18 Kt gold and Ceylon Sapphire ring I designed and made three years ago.  I think you’ll see why this sculpture speaks to me!

R11zoom

After MOMA we went back to the IFC to catch the Academy Award-Nominated Documentary Short Films and had dinner at another fabulous East Village restaurant, Back Forty.  If you find yourself there, you have to get the  freshly baked Parkerhouse rolls.  Amazing!

At 3:50AM this morning my cell phone rang, which I ignored and then the home phone rang, which can only signal trouble.  It was my security company calling that they were being notified of “unknown” activity at my studio and did I want the police called.  Yes, thank you very much, I would like the police called, I responded groggily and then threw on some clothes, grabbed my keys and grabbed a cab and went over to my studio (which is NOT in Manhattan).  I arrived just in time to see a police car slowly cruise past my studio building without stopping!  I ran upstairs, carrying…

wait for it…

yup, my camera!  Because I am never one to miss an opportunity to photograph something and you never know…

I know.  Not exactly a weapon, but I figured if anything was amiss, I could at least document it.  This was my thinking.  And I’d just like to remind everyone that it was FOUR IN THE MORNING!   Everything was dark and quiet and so after checking all the windows and door, I returned to the city.  But not one to miss an opportunity I hung out the window of the cab and got some crazy shots of the Chrysler Building as we drove over the 59th Street bridge.  The white light is the Chrysler Building.

The Chryslar Building

I was back home by 4:30AM and… wide awake.

But what an adventure!

“Hurricane’s Suck, Have A Croissant”

Processing…  I haven’t.  There are still too many people who are without power, whose homes have been destroyed, too many people who continue to have no heat, no hot water or any water at all, too many displaced people, too many who have lost so much….  How does one process this?

Nic had nightmares last night about a zombie apocalypse where he was the lone survivor.  Emma is perseverating more than usual; her stims have gotten noticeably worse; her scripting more pronounced.  I watched her yesterday as she did her Sunday morning DJ routine, listening to all her favorite songs, singing and dancing, losing herself in the music and felt both grateful for all we have and utterly exhausted.  I slept seven and half hours last night and yet feel as though it were 5.  I am feeling fragile particularly sensitive and emotional, and we were the lucky ones.  We have power, heat, hot water, a home that is undamaged, everything’s back to “normal” and yet it isn’t.  I don’t know what normal means anymore.  Where do we go from here?  How do we process this?

On Friday I went downtown and took photographs.  The lighting wasn’t great, it was impossible to capture the mood or what it felt like to walk along empty streets where the only lights came from headlights on busses, taxis and those who still had enough gas in their cars to get around.  I couldn’t photograph the group of young women weeping in the street or the man looking for his father whom he had not heard from in four days or the old woman painstakingly climbing the stairs of her unlit building, her pug tugging on its leash, urging her upwards into the darkness or the faces of all those people I passed obsessively checking their dead cell phones, trudging north with the hope they might find an available electrical socket that would breathe life into it.  I’m not a skilled enough photographer to be able to capture any of that.  (I’ve provided a couple of links to some professional photographers who were though.)  But I did get a few images that at least document the storm and our resilience…

One of the many Chelsea art galleries whose flooded basement held art work. 

An intrepid New Yorker who found a way to stay open despite the power outage downtown

Powering up on 7th Avenue

The “Doll House” on 8th Avenue

Kindness on 14th Street

Pizza by candle light

Emma wasn’t able to go trick or treating, but she still dressed as a butterfly on October 31st

The Statue of Liberty during the storm

We are capable of so much.

Be grateful.

I am.

Emma’s photographs

About six months ago Emma discovered the camera feature on my iphone.  Since then she’s taken hundreds of photographs, many are of the floor and curtains, which I’ve deleted, as well as self-portraits with weird lighting.  But my favorites – the pictures of her surroundings as she is running, dancing, jumping give the photographs a surreal, slightly hallucinogenic, ethereal quality to them.

Self Portrait

Our living room as viewed by Emma

Emma – Self Portrait

I could go on about her “artistic vision,” what they seem to represent, how they appear to reflect her interior life etc.  But I don’t know how accurate any of my ideas really are and for Emma any thoughts I have on her photographic endeavors are meaningless.  She just likes to take photographs.  Interestingly, she has begun to take fewer photos of herself and her surroundings and more photos of the people who are around her at home – us.  Our much-coddled cat, Merlin remains sadly out of the loop however, as she has yet to photograph him.  Even so, I cannot help but feel this is positive as it indicates a growing awareness and interest in others.

When Emma was a toddler she had piles of photographs she would carry around with her.  If one went missing she knew within seconds and would become increasingly agitated until she was utterly inconsolable.  The only remedy was to recover the missing photograph.  If we couldn’t find it, her upset often went on for several hours.  The missing photograph seemed to represent so much more to her than we could understand.  Although I have come to view her disconsolation as more of an obsessive-compulsion than the shattering of her world, but to her it is probably the same thing.

As Emma’s interest in being behind the camera increases, her desire to look at piles of photographs has lessened. Which is something else I see as a positive change.

Even though Em didn’t take this photograph of Merlin – one day she might – and it’s important for him to feel included.  Notice the distended claw piercing the fabric on our couch.  Richard is inwardly cringing as he views this photograph.

For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism go to:  EmmasHopeBook.com

Emma’s Photographs

Emma has found the camera on my iphone4 and is in love or obsessed depending on your definition.  Out of the hundreds, literally hundreds of photographs she’s taken, these are a few of my favorites.  To me, they exemplify her very specific  view of our world, and like Emma, they are beautiful.  But maybe I’m reading too much in them.

Our bedroom

Paintings

Buddha

Self-Portrait