pocket

by sam on 04/21/2017

I live in a neighborhood with an abundance of parks, but this is my favorite. It was closed last year for repairs, but now it’s open again.

This is the entire thing. Just a tiny little pocket park with benches wedged between two buildings on 71st street. I took these a few weeks ago on the first not-freezing/rainy day of spring.



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subway

by sam on 04/16/2017

It was a long and arduous process, but over the decades, the New York City subway eventually adopted Helvetica as the font of the NYCT system. The really classic mosaic designs of the IRT system are (to my mind) more beautiful, but for sans serif fonts, nothing beats helvetica.

(I may be biased – helvetica is also the principal font on this site)

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tossed out for parts

by sam on 04/15/2017

Spotted on my wandering through Soho on Wednesday night. I got strangely sad at the sight.

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grand

by sam on 04/14/2017

The weather has finally started to turn radically pleasant here in NYC, which should last for about a week before we all start complaining about the heat.

On Wednesday, I decided to take advantage of the extreme niceness and a late appointment downtown, and spent a few hours after work wandering around the village and soho just soaking in the spring air (ok, it’s NYC exhaust, but it’s as close as we get around here).

Almost everything downtown is super gentrified, with high end furniture stores and designer dry goods and whatnots, but sometimes you cross an intersection and spot a tiny little sliver of old New York peeking through in all its graffitied glory.

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magic

by sam on 04/5/2017

I end up on this corner on a regular basis, even though I no longer live downtown – I still frequent all of my old favorite restaurants and shops – what’s a mere subway or bus ride against the allure of one’s favorite hole-in-the-wall sushi joint, where you barely need to order, and an extra chair magically appears despite there being no open seats at the bar?

So I see this view constantly. So much so that it’s de riguer. But sometimes, when the rain hasn’t started, and the light is just right…

It’s as magical as the first time.

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dusk

by sam on 03/21/2017

I took this pic about a month ago (February 24th), on the first evening that I left work where it wasn’t absolutely dark outside. Obviously now that it’s daylight savings time, it’s light out on the regular, but I always like the small moment of noticing that the darkness (at least of the celestial tilt variety) is coming to an end.

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(not my) presidents’ day

by sam on 02/20/2017

On a technical level, I recognize that trump won the election based on the rules as they are written. The fact that he and his cronies/backers/the russians may have gamed the system to influence voters (at best) or possibly outright rigged the system (at worst), is something that we need a better remedy for than relying on the integrity of members of his own party who view him, despite their whispered, off-the-record misgivings about his sanity, as a convenient patsy to sign their starve-the-poor legislation (at least for the time being).

So, yet again, this is what we do. It’s presidents’ day, so people took to the streets again to protest. In NYC, the main rally was very conveniently in my own neighborhood, and so I just wandered down central park west – since this was a little more planned than the immigrant ban protests, the signs and costumes were a bit wittier and funnier, and the whole thing was a bit better organized (and controlled by the police). I didn’t stay all day – once the main stage started playing some truly awful free jazz (yes, I know, insert every liberal stereotype here), I decided that was a subliminal method of crowd control and I willingly complied. The photos are pretty self-explanatory. as aways, click on the thumbnails after the page finishes loading to see the full image.

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chrysler

by sam on 02/12/2017

I accidentally took this photo with my camera’s white balance on the wrong settings, but I think it ended up having a nice effect.

View of the Chrysler building from 42nd street.

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the new world

by sam on 02/4/2017

We hear it said all the time. America is a nation of immigrants. To a greater or lesser extent, for those of us whose families came here over the past half a millennia, this is true. This is not true, of course, for the native americans who were already here and might have a bone to pick with the notion that we were immigrants and not invaders. This is also not true for the millions of african americans whose ancestors were kidnapped and brought here in chains.

But make no mistake. the overwhelming mass of people controlling the government, manning our borders, making decisions about “who we are” as a people? have roots that are not on this continent.

We are a nation of immigrants, refugees, slaves, and their descendants. We have, by and large, always struggled with what this means. There have been some ugly times in our past, even in the 20th century – from restrictive immigration laws to Japanese internment. But those are things that we studied and looked at from our late 20th/early 21st century viewpoint as how we failed as a society.

We’re failing again. Last weekend, the trump regime signed an order, late on a Friday (after anyone who could provide administrative guidance had gone home for the weekend) barring already-vetted legal visa-holding travelers to the US. It threw airports into chaos. Refugees who had spent years being vetted (and yes, despite claims to the contrary, we spend years vetting refugees), landed in the US and were immediately sent back to the danger they were fleeing. Green card holders who have lived here for decades, who have homes and families here, were being barred from entry for the crime of taking a vacation or going to a conference on the wrong day.

This is ugly, and un-American. and so we did what we do now. People turned up at airports around the country in force, and in public spaces to protest this. Because some of us remember history. And some of us simply know that this is not who we are. Courts are now stepping in and every single one is slamming this obviously racist, over broad, unconstitutional order.

These are photos from last Sunday’s protest in Battery Park and march to Foley Square.

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depth

by sam on 01/27/2017

From my photo class. Learning about how depth can be shown in ways other than the traditional ‘leading perspective lines off into the the distance’. Here you’ve got objects close up, in the middle distance, and in the far background, giving the impression of three dimensions even though a photograph is, as always, flat.

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