As with every year, labor day weekend conveniently coincides with my dad’s birthday, so I headed to the berkshires for the weekend. It was an opportunity to bake a gazillion pies with the ridiculous number of apples from our garden (links to instagram), and to visit friends tag sales and gardens. and dogs. everywhere. Other than the first few pics, which were taken at our friends’ tag sale, most were taken at our friends’ Maria and Roberto’s farm/garden/horse paddock/retreat. Their garden puts everyone else’s to shame and these pics don’t even begin to capture it.
In anticipation of my trip to the Galapagos in August, I went to B&H today and picked up a new wide angle (11-16) camera lens. Anyone who knows photography knows B&H, as it’s pretty much the biggest photography supply retailer in the country. It’s always an experience to go there, with the controlled chaos, and the tourists, and the crowds, and the fact that it’s in kind of a no-man’s-land on 9th avenue in Manhattan. As a bonus, it’s owned and almost entirely operated by members of the Orthodox/Hasidic Jewish community, so they’re closed on Saturdays and all major and minor jewish holidays, making it incredibly convenient for anyone who has a Monday thru Friday job. But I totally love it and pretty much won’t shop anywhere else for photo equipment (bonus tip – if you actually need to know when some obscure jewish holiday is, the calendar on their website is very handy!).
In any event, one of the upsides of visiting a store in the somewhat dodgy neighborhood near madison square garden is the plethora of older buildings and signs. Nothing glossy to see here!
My friend Scott, from up in the Berkshires, has run a local favorite establishment for many, many years. Recently though, he closed caffe Pomo d’Oro in west Stockbridge in order to buy, restore and reopen the Monterey General Store. MGS is the oldest general store in the United States and, except for the months it was closed between when it shut down and when Scott bought it with the intent of reopening it, was open continuously for over 200 years.
…and bonus. Scott’s words when he saw me in the doorway of the kitchen with my camera were something along the lines of “I better not end up on that blog of yours!”
Came up to the Berkshires on Friday, and my stepmom and I immediately headed out to the Memorial Day sample sales. Which are always in tents, and which it always seems to be raining for.
We headed up to pine cone hill in Pittsfield (after an accidental detour to their old location in Lenox), which is now located in this fabulous old factory.
Yet another in my pile of largely “decorative” cameras. I think it might still actually work, but it’s incredibly difficult (and expensive) to find film that fits, and in the age of the digital camera, it doesn’t seem to be worth the effort. But still a pretty cool looking piece that cost me $5 at a tag sale (I bargained the guy down from $10!).
I start a new engagement for my company with a different client in a few weeks, and they’re a little less business casual (as in, not business casual at all) than the last engagement. Or any job that I’ve had in about 12 years. I’ve got plenty of black pants and cute jackets and can certainly make do, but I thought it would be nice to get a few new items to just freshen everything up a bit, so I hit bloomie’s.
It’s much nicer to shop there now that they’ve finally moved the “women’s” department (the fancy name for plus-sizes) out of the basement/subway station where it had languished for years. I mentioned this to the sales ladies and they were in vehement agreement. That lower-level part of the store is now part of the men’s department – maybe men don’t mind shopping (and working?) so close to quite so much…vermin?
Once in a very blue moon, someone approaches me about buying a print of one of my photos. I end up having to deal with this manually, given that I don’t upload hi-res images here for copy-protection reasons, but I recently saw that blurb was testing out fotomoto, and I thought I’d give it a try. I had two big concerns – first, whether fotomoto would be able to take into account the slimbox plugin that I use to create the lightboxed albums on some of my entries, and second, whether it accounts for the fact that I upload low-res copyright bugged images to my site (no one would want to buy those!). It handles both issues. In particular for the latter, if you were to attempt to purchase one of my photos, I would get a notice and then have to upload a ‘clean’ hi-res image directly to fotomoto for the print to be made. If I failed to do so within a limited amount of time, the sale wouldn’t go through.
I’ve tried to keep the pricing reasonable, while not undervaluing my work (such as it is). I’m still working out the kinks on how the ‘buy prints’ link actually looks, because it’s defaulting to something kinda ugly in the lightbox, but it’s functional.
In any event, this isn’t an attempt to push sales or anything, it’s just to address an issue that has come up a handful of times over the many years that I’ve been posting photos.
(Side note first – you may be wondering why I’m not using the lightbox gallery for these – I’ve decided to only use the lightbox going forward when there are 10 or more pictures, so it’ll return eventually!)
A visit to union square and its immediate environs.
I (or really my dad) preordered a nook for me with an expected ship date of December 11. Latest update is that they “hope” to get it to me by the 24th. In the meantime, I got my cover last week and it’s making a nice display case for the nook-sized piece of styrofoam that fits inside.
I think my favorite part, of course, is the fact that they’re obsessively insisting that they’ll get it to us by “christmas”. That’s cold comfort for those of us who, um, celebrate other holidays. other holidays that ended at sundown tonight.