Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nurse Temptress

As I walked down the street I noticed a girl who was standing with a group of other people. I stopped and said hello. It turned out she was with her sister and nephew and their neighbour. The neighbour wondered if what I was carrying was a telescope. I told him that it was a tripod for my camera, and I use it to ensure the pictures come out nice and sharp. I extended the legs of the tripod and screwed the camera on the plate to demonstrate. Then I asked the girl if I could take her picture and she agreed. We had to cross the street and walk half a block to find some shade. She told me her name was Temptress and that she was a nurse at the local hospital.

To see more photographs of Newburgh click here.

Couple in Tillie's

No one living in the New York area will forget April 25th, 2009, the day the temperature rose to a blissful 85°, warming the body and the cockles of your heart, after the interminable period of this winter. The couple, however, would not have noticed if the temperature was 105° or 0°. I saw them as I left Tillie's, the café with a good feel and a wobbly table in Fort Greene in Brooklyn. I took one shot on the D40. (Probably could have stood there for ten minutes before they noticed me.) I had the camera set at 1600 ISO and on automatic, with the focal length between 35 and 24 mm.

Stylish young man

The style was what got me. I took two frames and tried to find out who he was but the noise of the traffic prevented me from understanding a word he said. It was taken outside Cooper Union in New York City.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Chef Depp

Cheeky and good. Brooklyn is full of good young chefs who work at places you want to go to because the food is perfectly all right and the people are fun. The Building on Bond in Boerum Hill is designed, built and managed by the owner who decorated it with metal furniture out of factories, vintage books, scales and bottles.

Also you can set up your office at an eight foot long table. Electric current to recharge ailing laptop batteries is available from an old pull down reel affixed to the ceiling. Charming staff. And what were those two woman sitting opposite each other smiling about, as they stared into their machines and typed for half-an-hour, laughing, but not saying a word?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Last Vice

Stan Rubinstein is a pianist but no relation to Arthur. I sat down next to him on a bench outside the restaurant Building on Bond in Boerum Hill. His wife told me that cigar smoking was his last vice; she has eliminated all others. Jazz is his first love but he doesn't play much these days as his left hand is a bit stiff.

"I'm a tough old Jew from Brooklyn and nothing is going to get me down."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Girl in a red hat in Café Regular

Thank you, Heather, for once again steering me in the right direction, and Happy Birthday! I hope you spent it in as romantic surroundings as Café Regular in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

On a drizzling Saturday afternoon we entered this tiny place
and found ourselves the only customers. The waitress was reading a book at one of the four or five tables but immediately rose to her feet and ducked under the counter through a hole in it. The flap could not be raised as a show case of pastries was on top of it. The waitress said nothing, just waited for us to order and then quickly produced our coffee and tea.

People soon came in and either perched on the narrow bench or ordered something to take with them. I particularly loved the window because it was misted up. You could not see the cars and
the not-quite-6th-Street-houses outside. We sat and dreamed.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A school-girl, Haifa, Israel

This was taken in the mid-seventies on a trip to Israel, and I am posting it in response to Andrea's comment about smiling photographs.

(See comments about "Teenage Couple", below.)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Rainbow at Botanica

Sometimes there are important characteristics in people that you cannot show in a portrait. There is something missing from this photograph, and it is that you cannot see that she moves with extreme grace and lightness.

We had landed up at this delightful place by chance. We were talking to
a young woman on the sidewalk outside who was applying gesso to some canvasses, and the proprietor of the bar joined us and asked us in. He was a perfect host and the sandwich was delicious.

He told us that he bought the three story brick building twelve years ago and that it was a burnt out wreck. "I restored it myself."

"Are you an architect?"

"No, an engineer."

Gesso girl

This is the young woman who brought us into the Botanica bar. Sunday was sunny and warm in Red Hook, but the sun was too high and harsh to take her with her canvasses and gesso out in the street where we found her. I took this in the shade on the other side of the street after being fortified by the Botantica's sandwich and expresso.

Weekdays she sells designer doorknobs in Soho.

Friday, April 3, 2009

David Hockney in Paris

recently heard that the National Portrait Gallery in London want to acquire about twenty of my portraits of writers and artists that I took while I was living there in the seventies and eighties.

Here is one that I took of Hockney at his Paris
studio in about 1975. I remember feeling very at home in this courtyard of his studio.