Jon Crispin's Notebook

Pirates / PNC Park

Posted in Baseball, baseball stadiums, Jon Crispin, Sport, sports, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 03/04/2019

Pirates v St Louis

Peter and I arrived in Pittsburgh today so he could take a look at the Pitt program into which he was accepted.  The Buccos were in town and lost a really tough one to St. Louis in extra innings.   It was a great evening for an early Spring baseball game and we had a blast.

Pirates v St Louis

Is this a classic fist bump, or what?  As often happens, one of the participants doesn’t look too comfortable.  The guy on the left is kinda unsure that this is a good idea.  The guy on the right is totally going for it.  At least it wasn’t the proverbial “missed high five”.

London / Paris

Posted in Cities, Jon Crispin, Uncategorized, Weirdness by joncrispin on 06/03/2019

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Hi Everyone.  It’s been a while.  I have been mostly posting on Instagram on both the @jonkcrispin site and the @willardsuitcases site, and for some reason things have fallen off a bit here on WordPress.

Cris and I are traveling for a bit.  We had a very quick stay in London before catching the Eurostar to Paris.  A wonderful experience.  It was nice to walk through Bishop’s Park up to Craven Cottage.  We missed the Chelsea match by a day, but it was a nice walk.

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By an amazing coincidence my dear friends Alex and Cathy are also in Paris, and we met up and went to the Sévres Museum.  Walking back to the Metro we passed La Grande Cascade which is a very large fountain (not yet running for the season).  You have to say that the French do monuments really well.

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One might say that they also do weirdness pretty well.  I have no idea what was going on here.  The guy on the street didn’t fall; I saw him lie down and then lower his face shield. I watched for a bit but absolutely nothing happened.  The fellows up top just stood around chatting, and never really paid much attention the guy down below.  I eventually moved on, savoring the mystery.

Willard Suitcases/Charles F/News

 

Willard Suitcases Project

 

Happy New Year everyone.  And as usual, thanks so much for following along.  I wish you all a happy and productive 2019.  For many of us 2018 turned out to be a difficult year, but let’s all be positive and look forward.

I first met Ilan Stavans in the late 90’s when the New York Times hired me to photograph him for this article.  He and I have kept in touch over the years.  I found myself thinking of him while I was photographing Charles F.’s possessions for the Willard Suitcase Project.  There seemed to be a connection and so I was able to help Ilan get access to the New York State Museum storage facility to have a look at what Charles brought with him to Willard.  Ilan was very moved by what he saw and felt, and on the drive home we spoke about a collaboration, although at the time we had no clear idea as to what would develop.

 

Willard Suitcases Project

 

Several months ago we started talking in earnest about what we could each bring to a project about Charles, and it is exciting to be able to say that we have signed a contract with SUNY Press to produce a book.  I’ll have more details soon, but we are both really excited about this.  We are looking at an early 2020 publication date, which will coincide with an exhibit that will travel.

 

Willard Suitcases Project

 

This is just one of many collaborative efforts that has come out of my work with the suitcases, and it is one aspect of the project that makes me especially happy.  It is so nice to have been an inspiration to creative and interesting people and to be a part of their art.

For those of you who are on instagram, I am starting to post suitcase photos @willardsuitcases on what I hope will be a regular basis.  You can also still see my goofy side @jonkcrispin.

Ashley Reservoir

Posted in Jon Crispin, Nature, Travel, Uncategorized, walking, walking in the woods, Water by joncrispin on 29/12/2018

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Peter is taking the GREs today (please wish him luck) in an industrial park in West Springfield, MA and Cris and I have a few hours to fill.  Friends had told us about the Ashley Reservoir which is nearby so we decided on a walk.  This place is amazing.  Less than 5 minutes off the 91 and so peaceful.

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The fact that this place is so close to the Holyoke Mall and a major highway makes it even more surprising.

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What is especially cool is the ability to walk across these causeways and feel like you are in the middle of a lake.  Almost like walking on water!

Next time any of you are driving through Western Mass, take Exit 15 off the 91 and you are there.  Sadly, no doggies though.

Trip to Central New York

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This past Wednesday my pal Craig Williams hired me to take some photographs of the old Lock 52 in Port Byron, NY.  It is now an historic site with a great visitor center (open seasonally).

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The entrance to the site is off the New York State Thruway and is really interesting and well worth a stop if you are driving East.

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These limestone blocks are enormous.

Craig had me photographing some views to match historic photographs of the lock when it was still in use.  We worked for a bit before lunch which was at a really great diner in Port Byron.  I sat facing this flag, which I had seen before but never understood.

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Here is the text from the card above the stars. “This is a police flag.  Each strip on the emblem represents certain respective figures.  The blue center line represents law enforcement, the top black stripes represents the public, the bottom black stripes represents the criminals.”  I hesitate to be negative here, but as someone who is really interested in design as a way of conveying ideas, this seems completely wacky to me. / Great lunch though, fine diner with nice people.

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I am really digging this fish display on the wall above our table.  Award winning!

At lunch Craig mentioned that Brigham Young lived in Port Byron before heading west and that his house was still standing but in rough shape.  Some work was started on a restoration, but due to poor health of the two contractors, it was stopped.

Port Byron Historic Lock #52

The plaque on the door reads “This wood frame house built by James Pine circa 1818 and later occupied by Brigham Young and family.  Young’s first child a girl named Elizabeth, born here September 1825.”  Given the Mormon’s interest in history and genealogy, I was shocked to see this property is such a state of neglect and apparent disinterest by the church.

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A restored tavern is on part of the historic canal site.  These bottles sit atop the bar, which is partly original.  It seems rye whiskey was seriously popular in the 19th century. / After Port Byron I drove down to Ithaca to spend the night with my friends Brad and Tania.

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Their house is filled with great things including tons of Fiestaware.

A trip to Ithaca is never complete without a visit to the Lincoln Street Diner.

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Peter had just received the latest OSMO camera and we got the chance to goof around with it.

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Very cool.

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Lookin’ good Sport!

Thanks for following.  Happy Holidays.

 

 

 

Paperwhites

Posted in Jon Crispin, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 12/12/2018

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This year I bought several paperwhite bulbs for Cristine’s birthday in late October and they have just started blossoming.  When you pass by them the smell is amazing. /  On Sunday we went out and got a tree for the first time in years and Cris trimmed it that evening. / Here we have kind of a schmaltzy photo with a Santa in the background.  Who would have thought I would post anything about Christmas, but I must say, it feels quite nice to be getting into the spirit of the season.

Fog Lately

Posted in Jon Crispin, Rivers, Uncategorized, Weather by joncrispin on 04/12/2018

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It has been quite foggy recently.

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I have always liked this view of the Connecticut River from the dike in Hadley.

Things

Posted in Travel, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 04/11/2018

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Not much to say tonight. / Lots of photographs of these binocular things at tourist sites, but the design of this one at the Quabbin Reservoir Tower is lovely.

ganeshwp I bought this little Ganesh thingy in Kathmandu.  If you unscrew the top Ganesh, it allows  you to open up six little hinged compartments underneath him.

Have a great week everyone.  Please vote.

David Beck 1953 – 2018

Posted in Architecture, Art, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 02/11/2018

David Beck in his studio

It is very rare in our lives to be around genius.  I was so fortunate to spend several days with David Beck in his San Francisco studio back in 2005 when Peter Carroll and I worked on a film about David for the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

David Beck in his studio

Claire Larkin at SAAM hired Peter to make a short film about David’s piece “MVSEVM”, and I was hired to shoot stills and help set things up.

David Beck in his studio

I remember that David didn’t particularly like to be called a miniaturist even though the scale of his work was often quite small.

David Beck in his studio

I was terribly saddened today when Claire emailed to say that David had died.  Here is his obit in the Times.

David Beck in his studio

David was truly a genius.  I was completely in awe of his creativity and craftsmanship.  His spirit and sense of playfulness were as abundant as his talents.

During the shoot the four of us laughed so much and had an absolute blast together.  As we were packing up and getting ready to leave, I lost a bet with him about the name of the actress that played the lead in the Munsters.  He nailed it with Yvonne DeCarlo.

Peter’s film is linked above, and “MVSEVM is on permanent display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in D.C.  Watch Peter’s film and listen to David’s voice, which sadly will not be heard again.

Travel / Willard Suitcases Documentary / St Crispin’s Day

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Yesterday morning I drove out to Ithaca to begin work on the suitcases documentary that I am working on with Peter Carroll and Deborah Hoard.

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After a quick lunch at the Lincoln Street Diner, Peter and I drove up to Willard to shoot some B-roll in the Cemetery.

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It is a special place to visit in so many ways.  When I took this photograph, the smell of mint was intense.  It seemed odd that it was so healthy this late in the year.

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We are in the beginning stages of figuring out how to document my work with the suitcases.  The point of this early filming is to to create a short piece that will help us raise funds.  We will probably run another Kickstarter campaign, which I expect will be up in the early part of next year.

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It was a beautiful day on the lake.  Chilly and breezy, which is to be expected in late October.  I can’t emphasize enough what an amazing spot this is.  The fact that 5,776 former Willard patients are buried here makes for an emotional experience.

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With the help and encouragement of  the wonderful Peggy Ellsworth and Craig Williams, we were given access to the Romulus Historical Society to film the interview today.  It worked out really well (even though the heat is currently off in the building).

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Peter is a genius in setting up lighting for interviews.  This is a frame grab from the video.  I am looking a bit stern in this shot, but I do smile from time to time.  It was a really productive day and I was reminded of how great it is to work with Peter and Deb.

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The historical society has a few suitcases that for some reason never made it into the main collection in Albany.  It was nice to be able to use them in the setup.

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I have driven past this winterized travel trailer on Route 96 repeatedly and finally stopped to take a few photos.  I love how the little wheels are covered too!

Today is St. Crispin’s Day.  I usually try to drink a load of Cognac to assist me in feeling a connection to the French and English soldiers who died at the battle of Agincourt.  If this post is a bit wordy, I’ll blame it on the bottle of Hennessy that seems to be emptying at a rather steady pace.  Check out the amazing Olivier in the 1944 version of  Shakespeare’s Henry V.

Thanks for following. Be well.

 

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