Greenpoint, October, 2015

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Your Message Here

Bay Ridge, Gowanus Expressway
Low-tech version.
Staten Island Expressway
High-tech version.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Through the Roof

The combination of fine weather and frequent traffic stops creates photo ops. Starting out on Roosevelt Avenue, under the El:

The Baxter Avenue cut across to Woodside Avenue:

On the BQE!:

Thursday, September 25, 2014


My neighbor on the R train. He wore his mother's scarf over his head most of the ride.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Rise of the Roadie

Couple in Convertible, Los Angeles (1964)
I caught the last day of the Garry Winogrand retrospective at the Met. Cars appear often, however, as in the photograph above. More interesting, to me, are those taken from behind the wheel--or seeming to have been done so.
Albuquerque (1957)
This shot  feels as if it's taken through the driver's-side or passenger-side window (rolled down) from a car pulled over momentarily at the driveway's end.
Wyoming (1964)
A bit later, we have a full-on "roadie," sun streaks on the windshield and all. Winogrand shoots and steers as a creature of some sort crosses the road.
Los Angeles (1980-83)
The perspective in this L.A. photograph from the early 80s is more puzzling. Is the photographer rushing into the street to capture the horrific image of a woman lying by the curb? Or is he passing by, like the Porsche in front?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Right on Red

After Stop Right Turn Permitted On Red.
Clove Road & Howard Ave., Sunnyside, S.I.
He stopped first. By the way, this is an excellent right turn to take if you want a great view of the New York harbor and lower Manhattan.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Eyes on Staten Island

Yesterday, we tested your SI IQ with a detail (left) from a prominent Staten Island building. Today we reveal the source.

If you drive on Victory Blvd., and who doesn't?, you are bound to have seen it.

Here's a bit more (note security camera in upper left corner.):
Here's the whole enchilada. The Eye Institute building at 2177 Victory Blvd. at Ingram St. Constructed 1990, I can only imagine the architect had eyes in mind.
Not only is it beautiful, but it's available for lease. Just $7000 a month. Check out this realty site for interior photos.
Courtesy Staten Island Board of Realtors, Inc.

This could be your office window!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

So You Think You Know Staten Island

What in the world of Richmond is this?

Tomorrow: The solution. Plus a business opportunity. Bonus!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Shadow Town

A disabled vehicle in the right lane approaching Cadman Plaza provides the chance to contemplate late afternoon shadows. Somewhere below Cobble Hill.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Voting with Your Feet

You are looking (into the sun) at the BQE onramp at 37th Ave. between Jackson Heights and Woodside. Until recently it was officially a cars-only zone. So many people crossed over the BQE on this side of the overpass that the DOT designated it a crosswalk.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Moral Merger

Some kind of work is going on the BQE West under the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. It necessitates a lane closure at precisely the point the highway goes from three lanes to two at the Cadman Plaza exit. In other words, it's down to one. There's an announcement on one of those overhead signs a mile or so earlier but it doesn't say which lane is closed (right or left).

The first day I got stuck in it, I was in the far left lane--my usual protocol. By the time I got close enough to see the DOT truck with the flashing arrow pointing right, there was nothing I could do. I merged right at the last possible moment. (Thanks, brother.)

The next time, knowing it was the left lane that would be closed, I did the right thing. I got into the right lane much earlier. And I inched forward behind a sixteen wheeler while car after car passed me on the left.

The next next time, knowing what I knew, what did I do? Reader, I believe the photos speak for themselves.

Maybe it's just a traffic study. Ethics 101?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Door in the Wall

Sidewalk to nowhere?


Somewhere in America. September 2014.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fonts of Wisdom

"We move in silence to protect the mysteries of our hearts (sic) work."
Above Maspeth
Rambo and Pixote bomb another BQE billboard.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014


Hill blocks view. Tree blocks sign. Off we go.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


Summer nights are a good time to head up to the roof. The air is moving, and the light too. Moving away from us. Like summer.

Certainties—truth, beauty, and belief—
go in and out of focus. Mostly out.
Occasional flickers sheet a sky turned dull,
lit up by little else than recollection.
Life is lived both
according to the memory of the flash
and in the dimness of the aftermath.
The tide goes out; comes in.
The light fades low again.
The raw wound of the crater fills with green.
But ah, the afterglow.
And oh,
the undertow.

"The Afterglow," Rachel Hadas

Friday, September 5, 2014

Water Colors

Crossing the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, looking out at Coney Island from above the guardrails. One of the pleasures of commuting on the X10 bus.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Yellow Hour

Slow traffic on the BQE East, late afternoon in late August.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"I Got the Line-Up, Partner"

The way an express train
snubs the passengers at a local station

-Charles Reznikoff, from By the Well of Living and Seeing
(Jackson Heights, September 2012)
Here are all the poets and poems in the BTB's (Not Exactly) Poetry in Motion series.

Consuelo González Amézcua (Chelo), "I have a world in my thinking..."

Elizabeth Bishop, "The Man-Moth"*

Paul Blackburn, "The Franklin Avenue Line"*

Louise Bogan, "To an Artist, to Take Heart"

Bertolt Brecht, "Changing the Wheel"

Charles Bukowski, "The Laughing Heart"

Tom Clark, "Oracle"

Gregory Corso, "Birthplace Revisited"

Robert Creeley, "The Bird"

Emily Dickinson, "To few the mornings be..."

David Ferry, "At the Bus Stop; Eurydice"*

Paul Goodman, "Handball Players"

Miroslav Holub, "Napoleon"

Martin Jacobvitz, "Five Ways of Looking at a Flower"*

Franz Kafka, Zürau Aphorisms (#39a)

Anna Kamieńska, "Those Who Carry"

Ryszard Kapuscinski, "Ecology" (Ekologia)

Urszula Kozioł, "A Day Went By"

Philip Larkin, "Long Lion Days"

Denise Levertov, "O Taste and See"*

Eileen Myles, "Truth"*

Pablo Neruda, The Book of Questions (xxv)

Charles Olson, from "Maximus, to Himself"

Ezra Pound, "In a Station of the Metro"*

Charles Reznikoff, from "Going To and From and Walking Up and Down"*

Charles Simic, "That Little Something (for Li-Young Lee)"

Stevie Smith, "The Pleasures of Friendship"

Wallace Stevens, "Disillusionment at Ten O'Clock"

Robert Walser, "On Robert Walser"

William Carlos Williams, "The Locust Tree in Flower"

(The title of this post refers to what MTA conductors on the 7 train say to the motorman, or v.v., when they have the signal to leave Times Square.)

Monday, September 1, 2014

In the Orchard

We began our alternative Poetry in Motion series with Eileen Myles' "Truth." We close it, some eighty days later, with another truth, Denise Levertov's, "O Taste and See."

The world is
not with us enough.
O taste and see

the subway Bible poster said,
meaning The Lord, meaning
if anything all that lives
to the imagination's tongue,

grief, mercy, language,
tangerine, weather, to
breathe them, bite,
savor, chew, swallow, transform

into our flesh our
deaths, crossing the street, plum, quince
living in the orchard and being

hungry, and plucking
the fruit.

As subway posters become more and more standardized and corporate--an entire train's worth of American Express U.S. Open ads--it becomes harder and harder to find any inspiration there. Yet somebody did with the Jet Blue poster on the 82nd St. platform.

Tomorrow: "The Line-Up"!