Monday, June 30, 2014

Feeling the Heat

Sometimes drama happens on the most fundamental level from which it is impossible to disengage while all the nutty feelings sweep through and paralyze me. You want to explode as you implode, but life requires a kind of passive observance in order to limit the escalation. Tough times for this mom in Sleepy Hollow.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Visible and Invisible

I'm often amazed by what can be found in a single moment and the imaginary narratives that we weave in response. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Another Milestone around Here

Last night, our middle child, Sarah graduated from our local high school. As I was photographing for The Journal News I was amazed by the very complicated staging of the event by our district- but luckily, the weather held, it wasn't too horribly hot, no one fainted in the bleachers and while the last diplomas were handed out in virtual darkness- a good time was had by all.
We went to dinner afterward and breathed a sigh of happiness. Now it is onward to the next chapter and getting her ready to head off to college in August. Always amazed by how life flows forward even as we contemplate the past.

and for anyone who is wondering why my daughter is giving me such an attractive facial expression, I will add that she is tired of being photographed by her intrepid, camera-wielding mother- which I understand, mostly.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Now this is news (?)

As posted on Yahoo today in this story about her upcoming (well eventual) nuptials to Justin Theroux. I am fascinated by celebrities as much as your average citizen- but does it really matter how often Jennifer Aniston washes her hair?

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Last Day (I hope)

We have arrived at that sacred moment near and dear to anyone who has a child enrolled in school K-12. Yes, the last day of classes for my two kids remaining at home. Sarah is graduating on Thursday (g*d willing) and Jacob will be a junior next year. His last final, test  which I thought was tomorrow, is actually right now. But no worries, Mom! I'm cramming in my room!!

As younger offspring, those days were filled with class parties- misty-eyed gatherings where you handed over some small token of appreciation to the bus drivers, aides, secretaries and teachers who helped your kids along and kept them on the straight and narrow while filling their minds with useful and interesting content. In these later years, school is a kind of amorphous fog where you mostly hear the bad things and when things loom large, swift parental action is required. With three kids, we've been engaged for the last 16 years of getting them in on time, and prepared. Now that I am down to Jacob's last two, I definitely feel my connection changing to this aspect of our community. 

Still, I had to dig out images from a time back in kindergarten. When school wrapped for the year, the teachers and personnel would gather in front of the building and sing, dance and play noisemakers as the last bus pulled away on that final day. Many tears were shed and I'm sure come Thursday night, there will be a lot of teary eyes again. Along with a good measure of relief for many. (us included)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Soliloquies in Motion (presented by RAW)

I've been on the go keeping my usual assortment of plates spinning in the air- on the plus side I've recently had some nice opportunities to apply my talents. Last night I photographed RAW's (Rivertown Arts Workshop) Intimate Evening of Solos at Washington Irving School. An audience of 50 sat raptly on chairs arranged on the stage and it proved awkward to work during the live event. The man seated next to me was annoyed by what I was doing. Long story short- I put my camera down. I'm not big on antagonizing complete strangers.

Luckily I had come to the run through earlier that day and photographed when the theatre was empty.  The dancers ( Lisa Iannacito, Jonathan Gonzalez,  Megan Williams and Cynthia Bueschel Svigals) did a beautiful job creating a captivating evening of movement that reflected a host of the choreographer's styles.  So kudos to Sara Levine and Naomi Vladeck co-founders of RAW for staging another evening of inspired performance and artistry!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Cheap thrills for Mom and Daugther

My eldest, Nora, came home to visit from Vermont and was happy to run around in quest of household items for the rental she is sharing with friends. As she enjoys thrifting we hit a few new haunts where she found a set of worn but nicely painted stoneware, a pair of sheer curtains, a set of cloth napkins and a cast iron frying pan. (Total $30.00)

I scored this Esprit shirt and Mantero silk scarf for prices so ridiculously low that it is not worth disclosing what I paid.

An hour in Target uncovered this fab toaster  ($11.00 on clearance), a new shower curtain, food for her kitten Boo and goods to keep her kitchen clean.

But the most intriguing item of all was a small square Vera scarf  in mint condition that I found in a thrift store in New Rochelle. Screen-printed in a geometric design using gold metallic ink on what feels like it might be parachute silk- a material she used when she launched her business in the post-war years.

Trying to date it, I found an amazing post about Vera scarves by the wonderful  Lizzie Bramlett creator of the blog The Vintage Traveller. Based on her information, this scarf dates back to the 1950's (very early in the evolution of the Vera brand). Vera's operations were located in Ossining, NY (the town north of where we live) and in the beginning years, Vera and her husband lived above the design and production facilities. It is a beautiful scarf with a kind of magical charm and a little piece of local history. Excitement for mom!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sensory Bliss (around here)

For father's day, we kept it pretty simple. My husband bought himself a very nice bike and announced that he no longer requires any gifts from anyone for a very long time as he gifted himself an object he has longed desired. Still, as one who is fond of gestures I bought him a special bar of soap- special because its scent is one we both adore to wear.

Eau Sauvage was the first fragrence for men created by Christian Dior in 1966 and after the plethora of men scent's that now flood the market, this is far and away my favorite of all time. It has a light, citrusy scent that is especially intoxicating to wear during the summer months and I'm looking forward to the smell of his skin after a cool shower on a hot day...

When I checked the Christian Dior website, the soap was not for sale. I found this bar on Ebay.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

For James (on Father's Day)

Here's to my husband James- a father, partner, provider, brother, son, neighbor, friend, athlete, creator, chauffeur, fixer and all round good guy. Enjoy this day, Dad, and many more. We love you!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Perk of Older Kids

I am often the one to wax nostalgically about when my kids were little and required constant supervision of a parental nature. I didn't plan a spontaneous outing ever unless their dad was around or miraculously my three were all occupied elsewhere.  Now that  our progeny have all reached respectable ages of young adulthood (at least in their own minds)  they rarely inform us where they are going exactly (well you know based on past experience they are not going any where particularly exotic, like New York City or places more foreign to them) I am now free to do things based on whims of my own. So, when a friend suggests we meet for drinks after work on a Friday night at RiverMarket, I am there without needing to arrange anything but my clothing, face and hair after making a quick call to the husband to tell him dinner will be on the latish side and would he mind whipping something up when he gets around to it?
Sometimes nothing is nicer than a few leisurely hours at a softly lit bar to slowly sip a glass of wine (or something stronger), to chat uninterrupted over a small plate of delicious fare and catch up with a friend where confidences are easily exchanged. 
Arriving home, my husband and I curled up and talked in the quiet of the house. And our kids, arrived home after we fell asleep, as tired parents are wont to do. Amazing how things have morphed and changed for our clan here in Sleepy Hollow.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wisdom from the Aged

Recently, New York City's oldest resident (and briefly the world's), Alexander Imich,  died at the age of 111.
When asked by the New York Times reporter, Ralph Blumental, in an interview conducted 6 weeks before he died, how could he explain his longevity?

“I never thought I’d be that old,” he said.
He attributed his long life to the fact that he and his wife, Wela, a painter and therapist who died in 1986, never had children......... He also exercised, ate sparingly and never drank alcohol.
I knew my kids were destined to do me in. I guess it will be sooner rather than later, it seems.

Who do you love?

I'll admit that among the five human members of my family, good will doesn't necessarily abound 24/7. Harmony does happen, it's not a constant atmosphere of discontent by any means. But there is one member of our household whom everyone adores at all times, even when he misbehaves (well, eats someone's sandwich left in a spot conveniently placed for easy access by....him). 

Yes, Comet the dog, is a reliable source of happiness and companionship- maybe because he's always excited to see whoever walks through the door, is always interested in a belly rub or a scratch behind his ears and finds each of us fascinating, no matter what mundane chore requires our attention. (Okay, he's not really fond of the vacuum cleaner or lawn mower, if truth be told.)

And parentally speaking, it's also nice to have one household member who doesn't require a cell phone plan!

Monday, June 9, 2014

The BrArts Project (for Jill and Jenifer)

Jenifer Ross, my talented neighbor behind the popular co-working spot W@tercooler in Tarrytown recently hosted an inspired group of women who fashioned bras in to works of art through an amazing range of materials and methods. The bras were created to be sold to raise money to help with the costs of medical treatments for Jill Rose, a local chef and restauranteur, who is battling cancer. These amazing "BrArts" works are on display at W@tercooler for the rest of this week and they are selling out fast. (in case you are interested...)
At times like these, when folks come together to help one another, I'm truly grateful that we can call these villages home. 

And before these artworks disappear to parts hither and yon, I photographed as many I could to document this project. Above are just some of my favorites.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Wedding Happiness

My good friend Ellen got married last night to her longtime boyfriend Steven and they had a small intimate wedding in the city that couldn't have been nicer. I wish them health, happiness, fun and good fortune in the years to come!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Sarah Senior's Prom...

...which she attended with her handsome classmate Nick.  Smiles were in abundance as kids  decked out in their finery, algow and excited- mingled and posed for photographs.  A beautiful sun-lit send-off framed by the river.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

About darkness (award winning)

Lately I've noticed a pattern among the work of award winning photojournalists where the themes of domestic abuse, the ills of poverty, conflict and desperation in the Arabic world and the tragedy of addiction creates buzz and brings recognition to the creators of the work. Regardless of one's relationship to the events, whether you are a participant, a bystander, the photographer or the observer, there is a kind of sensationalism and sorrow at the same time. 

It creates waves of confusion in me as I am not drawn to matters foreign as a way of exploring what I long to express. I'm interested in exploring what is my truth, however unsensational it may be. I don't imagine I'll be photographing any of my children performing sexual acts for money because of a shortage of other economic opportunity, to date there have been no unintended pregnancies with men who seem to alternate between the street and jail. Domestic squalor does not prevail. So where does that leave me? In the tradition of a Kerterz? Dahl-Wolfe? Avedon? Penn? I know I am one of the lucky ones- a female educated and encouraged to have goals and ambitions and I try to use my talents to portray a world I think is worth living in, nothing more, nothing less in the end.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

(A) Maleficent (Memory)

My friend Liza and I were among the scores of Americans who flocked to their local movie theatre over the weekend to see Disney's latest release, Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie. Angelina did a fine job of bringing this legendary villainess to life and you really understood her dark ways so much better in light of how badly she had once been treated.

I did have a few fleeting moments of recalling similar theatrics I recorded a while back  of a far lesser known individual (who happens to be my daughter Sarah) and possibly our own future Maleficent in the making. Sometimes, as as parent, you're not completely sure what to wish for......