Non-Verbal Conversation

Conversation — Prompts – The Daily Post

As a lifelong dancer, I propose that dance is the ultimate non-verbal form of communication, as it requires no verbal or written language, no technology or instrument other than the human body.  It produces conversations that can transcend languages, borders and centuries.  It can soothe, incite, problem-solve, entertain, arouse, affect, remember, etc, just like conventional verbal conversation.   Dance is elusive and hard to photograph, but here are some of my favorites that I have managed to capture over the years.

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2017: New Ways of Seeing

When 2016 ended, I was happy to see it go.  It was a confusing and somewhat turbulent year for me personally, and the general mood in my city did little to soothe.  Now that we have turned the page on 2017, I can say that personally I had a much more positive year.  Myself aside though, in 2017 it seemed as if my city, my country and the world as a whole was losing its footing.  To put some positivity out into the blog-o-sphere, I feel inspired to share my own year in review, through my favorite photographs.  In 2017 found myself in a search for beauty and new ways of seeing .  I hope that you enjoy this journey.

JANUARY

A decades-long awaited reveal- the first stations of the Second Avenue Subway open.

FEBRUARY AND MARCH

The darkest months don’t keep me down.  I take advantage of a mild winter with my camera in tow.  An art exhibit on the life of and influences on Georgia O’Keefe at the Brooklyn Museum is the beginning of months of exploration for me artistically.

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APRIL, MAY AND JUNE

New ways of seeing: a photography course at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden pushes me to look beyond the cityscape and scenes directly taken from urban life.

JULY AND AUGUST

Continuing to focus on new imagery…

SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER’

I turn my attention back to New York City, but with a fresh perspective.

NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER

With the turning of the seasons, the light softens and colors mute.  Dry weather all summer even dulls the fall colors.  The mood darkens but there is still great imagery to explore in New York City.

Transformation: Real to Surreal

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As I was walking down a street in Soho recently, I was struck by the reflection of myself and the scene around me in the open door of a commercial truck.  The metal-lined door was shiny and acted as a mirror.  The effect was interesting so I quickly shot a self portrait.  I realized later that the reflected scene was not true to life, but transformed in a surreal way.  The folds in my jeans were exaggerated along with the the length of my legs and there is a Frankenstein-ian distortion of my my face too.  Similarly, the street scene around me was washed out by tricks of the reflected light or stippled by the pattern on the truck’s metal exterior, and the door and I appeared to be floating.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/transformation/

 

 

 

 

A Whirlwind of Change: the Essex Street Market and the Lower East Side

Rapid change seems to be factor in any highly populated area.  New York City’s tiny barrios, sections, and areas seem to especially prone to it.  For every stalwart surviving building or business, there are dozens of shiny new additions.  I don’t travel to the Lower East Side (located south of Houston Street, north of Canal Street and East of Broadway) often, but when I do, I am struck by its rate of change.

Every building is a potential canvas, every storefront a quick-change artist.  Old, grey housing blocks await demolition and already-planned replacements warm up in the wings.

Here are a few photos that I took on Open House New York Weekend (October 14-15) of the Essex Street Market and nearby streets.  There has been a market at 120 Essex Street for more than 100 years, but this too will change next year.  The market will move from its basic but cheery building to a new “mixed use” development around the corner.  I can only hope that it doesn’t lose its charm in the process.

The Essex Market

Finding Lightness at the World Trade Center

On a recent, sunny, crisp afternoon, I took a walk through Lower Manhattan.  I decided to head below ground to see the place where I had walked exactly 16 years and 6 days ago.  It was the old World Trade Center Plaza where I had stood in a soft rain on Sept. 10th, 2001, only to learn that the free dance performance I’d come to see had been rained out.

I then walked through the dark, claustrophobic rabbit warren of a mall that occupied the few floors just below ground, picked up a few things and went home.  I had no idea what would happen to this place only 12 hours later.

After the tragedy of September 11, 2001, there were seemingly endless quarrels and delays in the rebuilding process.  As a result, it happened in a piece-meal fashion.  There were some highlights- the opening of 7 World Trade Center, shiny and futuristic just a few years later.  Then there was the demolition of the Deutsche Bank building and the slow rise of 1 World Trade Center (the Freedom Tower) which finally opened in 2013.

Alongside the Freedom Tour, the bony wings of Calatrava’s “phoenix” also slowly transformed a new transit station.  Again, it was beleaguered by delays.

My walk this weekend confirmed, at least for me, that the wait was worth it.  Although the new space is largely a mall- the Westfield World Trade Center- it is also a lovely, soaring public space.  It is light-filled and white, with clean bathrooms, a myriad of food, market and retail options.  It’s soaring wings seem to protect us from the canyons of skyscrapers on all sides, and the Oculus seems to be a fitting reminder of what once stood there.

On a recent, sunny, crisp afternoon, I took a walk through Lower Manhattan.  I decided to head below ground to see the place where I had walked exactly 16 years and 6 days ago.  It was the old World Trade Center Plaza where I had stood in a soft rain on Sept. 10th, 2001, only to learn that the free dance performance I’d come to see had been rained out.

I then walked through the dark, claustrophobic rabbit warren of a mall that occupied the few floors just below ground, picked up a few things and went home.  I had no idea what would happen to this place only 12 hours later.

After the tragedy of September 11, 2001, there were seemingly endless quarrels and delays in the rebuilding process.  As a result, it happened in a piece-meal fashion.  There were some highlights- the opening of 7 World Trade Center, shiny and futuristic just a few years later.  Then there was the demolition of the Deutsche Bank building and the slow rise of 1 World Trade Center (the Freedom Tower) which finally opened in 2013.

Alongside the Freedom Tour, the bony wings of Calatrava’s “phoenix” also slowly transformed a new transit station.  Again, it was beleaguered by delays.

My walk this weekend confirmed, at least for me, that the wait was worth it.  Although the new space is largely a mall- the Westfield World Trade Center- it is also a lovely, soaring public space.  It is light-filled and white, with clean bathrooms, a myriad of food, market and retail options.  It’s soaring wings seem to protect us from the canyons of skyscrapers on all sides, and the Oculus seems to be a fitting reminder of what once stood there.

 

Escape the Jangle of the City

via Daily Prompt: Jangle

Within of my favorite places, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, I recently discovered the reinvigorated Native Flora Garden.  I found it to be an incredible escape from the jangle of life in New York City.  Brookyn’s three million human inhabitants so often get the upper hand and it is easy to forget that we are not alone in the city.  This garden is cool and quiet and ripe with life, the perfect respite on a busy summer day.

 

Beyond the Cityscape

Over the past 15 years, I have been primarily interested in documenting city life both at home in New York and abroad.  Parks and green spaces within urban areas have also been a frequent theme in my photography.  However, last fall I began taking some photography classes that have encouraged me to expand my repertoire.  These experiences have encouraged me to look up, down, and sideways for the unexpected within the city’s confines, for happy accidents that create interesting visual imagery.

Here are a few of my recent photographic experiments.  I hope you enjoy them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome, spring!

spring campus-COLLAGESpring has finally arrived in New York City.  In our northern climate, she often sneaks in slowly and flies away quickly, squeezed on either side by the more muscular New York winters and summers.

The warmer weather means a return to blogging for me, as I much prefer taking photos in the light of spring in summer.  Today I offer a haiku in celebration, and of course, a few photos.

The Bashful Tree

The pink and white tree

knows not whom she wants to be.

Spread your wings, dear tree!

pink-white tree

Waiting for the Bus at Sundown

  1. 20170307_17253320170307_173813I  tend to wax poetic in my posts about New York City. Today I will not cover art, music, dance or culture. I will simply share some photos taken with my Samsung Galaxy 7 camera while enduring an extra long wait for the bus in Brooklyn. Waiting, after all, is part of contemporary life, especially for urbanites.

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