Grab the Bull…

… the horns, ¨nut sac¨, testicals…whatever your pleasure.

The ¨Charging Bull,¨ a.k.a The Bowling Green Bull or the Wall Street was sculpted from bronze by Arturo Di Modica and delivered in 1989. It was a Christmas gift to the New York Stock Exchange in the wake of the 1987 stock market crash, which stressed out a lot of suits, even killing a few. Read more about it, here.

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Son of a Pitch


One thing I hate about having a Jersey accent is that when I speak face-to-face with one of the more WASPY-looking editors, and tell them I have a couple pitches to send them, they usually tell me they don’t edit photos.

Mid-Atlantic accents aside, there’s this growing frustration with just getting a pitch accepted by folks up in here. Someone turned up the “son of a pitch” dial on the J school toughness meter or something. The photo above is a show flyer for one of the many, many Mexi-inspired noches de baile, or dance hall events, that are similar to the ones that pop up around the 5 boroughs on a nearly weekly basis. Great story I thought! I’m from Jerz man, I know how “new” this is, compared with L.A. or Arizona.  We’ll go to a show or two and  knock this out tight little video for DM.

Not so.

The first in the barrage or questions: How “new” is this scene?

Huh? It’s new to Sally down the street, I’m sure. She follows me on Twitter, she’ll watch the video if it’s good. New?

Little did I know this fuselage was coming:

How many concerts has [been] held? Where?  What kinds of crowds? How big?

What are you planning to shoot?

Have you developed a pre-script?

What access do you have to bands, concerts, the venues?

What about the talent?

Hold it, hold it, hold it…..I’m just talking about shooting cats as they pick guitars, sing in Spanish and wear matching uniforms with cowboy boots. What’s really good with the 20 Qs? But they kept coming…

How many clubs host Norteño music?

What neighborhoods?

How often?

Are there more than 5 years ago?

Have you done reporting to document this change?

How many bands play in the subway?

Have you asked the MTA how many have permits?

ALRIGHT. I get it. Enough.  Back to the grind.

Lisa Breaks Down My Photo Skills

One of the things I’m most grateful to my sister for is the fact I got to see Gordon Parks deliver the commencement at her graduation from F.I.T. He died a couple of years later. Besides being an author, composer and movie director, he was a badass shooter. And the man was self taught.
I’m working on getting my Gordon Parks on, but we’re a long way off. Grainy ISO settings be damned! Plus, I’m still kind of scary when it comes to sticking cameras in people’s grills.

Lisa, the digital associate angel on my shoulder gave me a fair, honest assessment of my first 3 homework assignments. Practice is definitely needed, but I think she would agree I have a little G. Parks in me, however tiny. Below are the photos with her comments. Live and learn, my folks.

“#23 is beautifully exposed….”

That’s right. Shorties at the Fairy Convention didn’t even flinch when I put the lens all up in their public space. Good feeling.

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Flexing the eye muscle

Any of my regular readers know that I generally don’t skip this many posts, this frequently. Between Strunk&White sessions, staying up till dawn, and taking hundreds upon hundreds of photos for a guy named Duy, it’s hard to find time to dedicate to anything resembling what I used to do. Just know that I’ll return with the same reporting on marginal cultures in distant lands once this work ebbs. For now, check out my pics.

And don’t forget, in the words of the great poet Edward Vedder, above, “I’m still alive.”

Harlem World, Circa 2010

I live in the birthplace of the Harlem Renaissance, now. As much as I love L.A., nothing compares to N.Y., especially in the hot, sticky summertime. I live on a block that 10 years ago was something like a battle zone. Funny how gentrification makes things all safe for Ivy leaguers. This is the new Harlem World.

That mix of old and new. The crumbling and the rebuilt, all exist in N.Y.C.

Of course there are some things that I think Harlem could do without. Scientology. Really? Saw enough of these kinds of outposts in Mexico City.

There’s a (brand new) special Target shuttle bus that stops along Lexington, and carries New Yorkers from all over the city to the East Harlem store. Here, happy shoppers get off the shuttle and hop on the subway back home. Reminds me. I need some housewares.