Monday, November 30, 2009


pre-flight wipedown

our shadow

on saturday i took my first helicopter ride. perhaps i'll talk more about it later, especially in relation to another very different experience i had with the sky last week. for now, i will say it was incredible. can't share many photos as they were taken for a job, but here are some peripheral images that evoke the experience nicely. my lens was too big to capture the interior of the chopper except in close up detail....

Friday, November 27, 2009

el 19 del marzo: farah y el primer desfile de san patricio en la habana, cuba

two people made this parade happen. i was one of them. it was amazing.

farah, calle o'reilly's most renowned drag queen, led our procession--a jab at the exclusionary customs of the new york and boston parades...

if you want to see more photos from the parade, click here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

17 marzo 2009: son of che

i know i could do well to leave jenny 101 up for a few days for more for y'all to admire, but i'm so excited that my project has just landed in cuba, one of the most magical times of my life, that i'm just eager to post.
again, i didn't write text for son of che. he was my little cuban leprechaun. my first day in cuba involved non-stop running around. the repossession of luggage seized under suspicion, the procuring of supplies and the pursuit of permission.
i came to cuba to organize the first annual st. patrick's day parade in havana. this was my job. che is a tattoo artist who rallied a crew of cuban youth covered in piercings and tattoos to carry our banners and ride bmx bikes and juggle fire in the procession. i gave his son a green rose. where i got it i have no idea.
my head was still spinning. and didn't stop for a long time. perhaps still hasn't.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

monday, 16 march 2009: jenny 101

i didn't get around to typing text for this image, i think because it just felt too important.
what do you say about a 101 year old woman whose beachside caribbean birthday you happen upon on a 3 hour layover to havana?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

someone, fetch me my teeth!

last night jade and i met after work for a seemingly naive and innocuous swing by art opening that turned into a surreal event of judgment.

first, to combat the inertia and laziness. jade had labored all day (saturday too!) hanging sheetrock, and i had traced all over the bronx in search of secret nyc green carts for a photo assignment. we were both beat and the trek from chelsea to deep alphabet city (avenue D and east 3rd) without a cab is something that would make the most energetic new yorker shudder.

but i had that little fairy called guilt and 'my word' hanging over my head to crack the whip and drag jade down the sidewalk toward a strange apartment building with absolutely no indication it contained an art gallery within. if i didn't have a copy of the invitation in my hand i swear i would have turned back thinking i had the wrong address. which is precisely what jade tried to get me to do. but after that walk? no way.

we tiptoed up the stairs and behold--aymar ccopacatty's show. sometimes, and these times come more rarely after thirteen years in the city, new york gives you a precious memory of what it felt like when you first landed here. where every staircase leads to an exciting mystery and a turn of a corner leads you somewhere that feels like another world. these moments are beautiful.

and there was aymar, dressed in his peruvian hat--not the knitted kind with llamas, but the leather kind that stands up to the austrailian or cowboy variety--knitting from a ball of shredded blue tarp spun yarn around his neck, surrounded by his awesome pieces woven from trash hung on cavases like paintings. though showing at 'a gathering of tribes' gallery, they managed to completely jump from the context of folk art into conceptual. a beautiful triumph and synthesis of his gemini split upbring in rhode island and peru. jade thanked me for dragging him there and declared it the best show he'd seen in a long time (naturally other than the ones we've just labored all summer over--but he's too modest to include those...).

having lasted the day on one peanut butter and jelly sandwich each, jade and i eventually migrated to the cheese and wine room. it was there that someone asked me to reach behind where i stood to grab his jacket. this one? i asked. and he gasped in mock horror: acid wash?! what do you take me for?
and i'd had enough wine to launch kitty joe style into a story. now, perhaps i haven't been writing enough drivel on my blog. you know, my blog is actually a tool of pity for those who surround me in daily life. it works as a filter so that i have somewhere to outlet these stupid memories and associations that i find so very important, thus saving the spoken world from my trivialities. the look of sheer boredom on the surrounding folks faces reminded me of this fact. and so, i'll double whammy and share here too. so this is what i said:

when i was in junior high, i wanted a jean jacket desperately, feverishly. i had no hope of attaining said object of luxury as it was not in the realm of mervyn's or the outlets (this was when you had to drive to san leandro to the outlets and they were in disparate wherehouses, not in strip malls). and then lo and behold, for reasons completely unbeknownst to me, my parents surprised me with the coveted jean jacket--just slipped it into my bedroom as if it had always been there. their expressions were proud and happy, but my stomach sank.
it was acid-washed. it was all the rage. but i hated acid-wash. i didn't listen to vanilla ice--i listened to the cure! how could this happen to me?! my dream come true turned into a nightmare.
but i was a good kid. a super guilty and obedient kid, and i understood very well that my parents were making a very special gesture. and i'd better show some gratitude fast. it even makes me squirm to admit this to this day. but i'm such a sucker for a story i just can't help myself, and maybe it's even a little theraputic to get it off my chest. though no need to alert said parental units if they're not already spying this.
so i wore that jacket every day to school for two years. i mean, i didn't actually have a choice--it was the jacket.
the end.

so two things happened when i told the story. for one, at the anti-climactic end, a tumbleweed cut through the clouds of east village art gallery smoke and rolled through the suddenly silent room.

and another, more horrific: when i set the scene and said,

'when i was in junior high in 1988....'
one of the dudes standing behind the bar gasped and yelped, far too enthusiastically,

'oh my god, i was only born the year before!!!'
which activated my super lazer eyes which accidentally burned him to a crisp on the spot.
ladies and gentlemen, i've gotten really old. i don't know how it happened, but it's true.

and i'll leave the second story for later because that's about all of the typing my arthritic hands can manage for now.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

rest in peace.

dear grandma donna,
i'm sorry i couldn't fly out to your memorial service today. if i could have, i would have brought a pretty notepad for all of the ladies and maybe a gravitationally powered mag-lite for the men.

please stand clear of the closing doors

okay, so i'm not just bumming you out with my stories of late night crime--here i feature one of the beauties of new york city--the subway entertainment.
footage courtesy of my sister abbie, who came out to visit a year ago exactly, i'm reminded, to celebrate her birthday. happy birthday again abbie!

the people in this first video were so full of infectious and ridiculous fun. happy makers. except the guy just under the two-minute mark, who wasn't too thrilled to be surrounded or infected...

and then, of course, the classic.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

bear crying wolf

i was having a frightening yet laughable dream that a bear was stalking me through a cabin window. i wanted to be quiet and lay low, but even though i was awake, i couldn't stop snoring. loud snoring. boy snoring. in fact, kind of like jade snoring. could it be my dream was intercepted by the ambient audio of the room?

no time to ruminate on that, though it now brings me chuckles, because my dream was pierced by another, more pressing audio--that of a girl calling out for help. her cries escalated to a volume you only hope you could attain in crisis. and suddenly we're wide awake--bears chased away--jade thowing on his carharts and boots to run outside.

on a corner that last week saw a violent rape, wanted posters still plastered to every window, naturally, our minds went there.
but no, only a drunk girl who didn't want to pay her cab fare.
something made me really angry about this. that we were taken in to care for her and duped by her selfish false alarm.
but perhaps more frightening was the fact that jade was the lone person who ran out to her rescue. what if she had been in real danger? no one would care.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

10 march 2009--john john

and while we're on the topic of john-johns...i had a neighbor while growing up cursed with that redundant name. he was a jerk kid. i guess sometimes little boys can't help themselves. john-john delighted in seeing me cry. he was a year or two older than me and it seemed twice my size. his large german mother was the only other in the neighborhood (except mine) whose bellowing call reverberated from their doorstep and through the fields to reach us where we played. but 'playing' with john-john was not a thing of happiness for me, as it usually entailed him stuffing gardener snakes in my mailbox just before i obsessively and promptly retrieved the letters at 3:15 each day. he also bore the distinction of being the first kid (in a line of many many) to tease my name. just the sound of him singing, "here.....kitty kitty kitty" brought tears. and 'kitty litter'? forget it. i was a wreck.