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."

12 comments:

  1. What comes to mind is Raw - Real - Cool
    I like your photos

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  2. Here's a real weathered New Yawker. What penetrating eyes, shnooz, and stoggie. I like the way the fleece echos his stubble, and the background his pallor. Reminds me of a Studs Terkel photo I once saw. A little like your wonderful shot of Graham Greene as well.

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  3. oh, yeah...he's the real deal. Brooklyn is losing them fast, but if you know where to look, they are still around...There's a great social club on Court Street [not far from where you took these shots] where you have the Italian versions of this guy, well...holding court on their cement patio with the statues carefully watching... Good Friday evening, there was a procession - glass jesus-filled coffin...lots of old ladies in black trailing behind...band playing funeral dirges...you may need to mark your calendar for next year...

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  4. My name is Nancy Kate Rubinstein, daughter of the subject at hand. My father has been through hell and back and is still trucking! From cancer, brain bleeds and seizures, to staph infections, spinal surgeries and broken ribs. This picture and his quote say it all. I've printed it out to hang underneath a black and white photo I have of him from his youthful "I'm with the band" days, cigarette hanging from his mouth, full head of hair. He is timeless and I am proud to say, he is mine!

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  5. I was very moved by your comment. It was a great pleasure meeting your parents.

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  6. What a great shot! Please don't be offended by this Kate, but your Dad would make a great "Popeye," - pipe instead of cigar, -a man of enormous strength, "timeless."
    He wears crimson beautifully and I love scruffy men. Love it, Dmitri.

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  7. ERD, no offense taken! He is what he is! "I y'am what I y'am"

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  8. It's a really great photo! He looks like a king without his crown!

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  9. without a doubt my favorite picture that youv'e ever taken dad. Very bad-ass.

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  10. The beauty of it is-not only is the pic bad ass, but so was the subject, back in his musician hey days!

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  11. Stan is our HERO!!!
    Thom & Lisa

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  12. First of all, I love the photo, but I'm not sure if it captures the Stan Rubenstein I knew. I am an old friend of Suzi's and the Stan I knew was educated, literate and a superb pianist. We all change in time, but this isn't a portrait of a trained classical pianist who has simply aged and gone thru hell, but looks more like a street person, which he definitely is not! But, then again, if Nancy thinks it's great & captures his soul, then who am I to complain? As a photographer myself, I know we capture images that don't always fit the person in real life (my work can be easily seen on Facebook or my blog: www.jillflyer.com.) Thanks anyway for the superb photo.

    Jill Flyer

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