Jon Crispin's Notebook

Roasted Veg

Posted in Food by joncrispin on 27/01/2013

I roasted some veg for dinner tonight.  I usually steam them for a few minutes to get them ready for the oven.  When they come out of the steamer, the colors are very intense.  Here are some sprouts, carrots, and small onions.  Later I added potatoes.  I put some olive oil in a bowl, lots of salt, pepper, and herbes de provence then roll ’em around.  Into a very hot oven for an hour.  So tasty.


Posted in Architecture, Sport by joncrispin on 23/01/2013

I was helping my photographer friend Thom Kendall set up an overhead platform at the Mullins Center today and had my little camera with me.  It is always fun seeing things from different angles.

Stinky 2

Posted in Newspapers by joncrispin on 23/01/2013

So weird.  When I looked at the front page of the dining section of the Times today a familiar word jumped out at me.  From the Dhaka Daily Star to the New York Times.


Posted in Animals, Community by joncrispin on 22/01/2013

Cris made it back from Bangladesh safely in spite of some bad weather in the UK which could have slowed her down.  Before she left Dhaka, she told me about this headline in “The Daily Star”.  I asked her to bring it home and here it is.  Something about the word stinky in a daily paper that struck me as funny.  The photo of the monkeys huddled together was to illustrate a recent cold snap in South Asia.

Pearl and her Rhino

Posted in Animals, Dogs by joncrispin on 17/01/2013

We gave this stuffed Rhino to the Pearl for Christmas.  As usual, she found it under the tree without any help from us. / Peter and I were eating breakfast this morning and I looked over and saw this.  She seems to have a wistful look on her face.  Maybe she was suffering from a bit of Weltschmerz as we all do from time to time.

Bob’s Clam Hut, Kittery Maine

Posted in Food, Fried Clams by joncrispin on 16/01/2013

Yesterday, Peter and I drove home from Maine where we were visiting my brother and his family.  Since we were near the coast, Pete had done a quick search of fried clam possibilities.  It is the off season so we weren’t sure what would be open.  A search of “fried clams southern maine” turned up one that looked promising.  So from Scarborough we headed south on the 95 and ended up in Kittery at Bob’s on Route 1.

It is really great; by far the cleanest and nicest of all the clam shacks that we have frequented.  And the woman who took our order was so nice.  You can see her on the right scooping out my chowder.

I had been feeling a bit poorly the day before and I wasn’t sure if fried clams at 11.45 in the morning were such a good idea, so I had the fish chowder.  It was perfect.  Not gloppy like some that use thickener or too much heavy cream.  The broth was milky and buttery with lots of fish.

Peter was going to get a small, but I figured I could eat a few so we got the medium box.  So the verdict is, highest marks to Bob’s.  It is now in our top two along with Farnham’s in Essex, MA.  I think the clams at Farnham’s are just a bit juicer, but Bob’s chowder is superior.

The Changing Face of What is Normal

Posted in Willard Asylum, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 15/01/2013

For much of last week Stephanie Bailey from the Exploratorium in San Francisco has been at the museum picking out objects for the exhibit that will be also featuring my suitcase photographs.  I went out to Rotterdam on Saturday to meet her and help out a bit.  Karen Miller and Craig Williams were there as well.  Details are mostly in place, and while there isn’t much information available on the web as of yet, the title of the exhibit is “The Changing Face of What is Normal”.  In addition to my photos, there will be a number of Karen’s poems and around 15 of the suitcases themselves.  I have seen the design for the display and it is going to be amazing.  It will open on the 17th of April when the new Exploratorium itself opens in the Embarcadero on (I think) Pier 15.  I will be there for the opening which should be a huge event.  At some point in mid May I’ll come back out for some programming to do with the exhibit.  And we are hoping to set up an “artists talk” sometime in the Autumn.

Some of the cases that are traveling to the exhibit were new to me and it was nice to see more of the possessions of the patients.

Madeline was a French teacher before she came to Willard.  This is a very beautiful copy of an illustrated Petit Larousse.

Her little coffee pot is nice too. /  It is amazing to me that some of the personal possessions of Willard patients will be shipped all the way across the country to be seen by a huge number of people.  As I have tried to handle the objects with great care when photographing them, the Exploratorium is showing great sensitivity in the way they are preparing the exhibit.  I really think it is going to be amazing.  As I know more about the timing of things over the next few months, I will post updates.  This will be an incredible and rare opportunity to see the cases up close.  The exhibit will run for at least six months, and we are hoping to have it extended for a full year.

Stadium Thing

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Landscape, Sport by joncrispin on 11/01/2013

I am not really sure what to call this post.  Just now when I uploaded the photograph, I saw that my shorthand for it was “stadium thing”.  I guess I’ll go with that.  I believe that it was built to sell snacks during UMASS football games, but I have never seen it in use.  If you look to the right of the photo you will note that there is a second one just to the south.  I have spent a lot of time around sports venues and never seen anything like it.  Oddly beautiful though.

Paperwhites (Narcissus papyraceus)

Posted in Flowers, Plants by joncrispin on 10/01/2013

Hey Cris!  The paperwhites are blooming.  They smell great and are awaiting your return.

Dr.Harvey Cushing / Yale

Posted in Health, History, People by joncrispin on 10/01/2013

I was at Yale in November speaking to Jessica Helfand’s class about the suitcase project.  I had done it last year and it was a great experience again this time.  At lunch Jessica introduced me to Joanna Radin who teaches in the Med School and she mentioned that some of Dr. Harvey Cushing’s artifacts were in a small office in the library and offered to take me to see them.  Last year I visited the Cushing Center to see the brain collection and I was excited to learn more about him.

Cushing was an incredible diarist and photographer.  His entire life is documented to a degree that is almost incomprehensible.  The above volumes contain his World War 1 journals and correspondence.

The correspondence during this period gives a fascinating view into the minutia of a wartime surgeon.  Volume after volume of military records.  This guy saved everything!

I only had a short amount of time and could have spent weeks photographing the collection.  I wonder who the “Southern gentleman” referred to was.  Clearly someone who wasn’t much liked by his peers.

A big thank you to the folks at the School of Medicine Library for giving me access to these materials.  They have a great website set up where it is possible to view some of the collections that have been digitized.  Check it out.

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