Jon Crispin's Notebook

Boudhanath / Full Moon

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Last night was the full moon and Cris thought it might be a nice idea to go to Boudhanath Stupa and have a stroll around.  We have come here quite often, but always during the day.

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It was a beautiful evening, the temperature was perfect, and the feeling was very peaceful and relaxing.

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This giant prayer wheel spins constantly and is just inside the doors of the little temple on the site.

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The area is really interesting.  One enters the main gate at 6 on a clock face and everyone strolls quietly around in a clockwise direction.  The stupa is on the inside of the clock and  is surrounded on the outside by restaurants, guesthouses, and smaller business enterprises.  Dogs and pigeons are everywhere.

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Nepal is so interesting in terms of religion.  The culture here blends Hinduism and Buddhism in what seems to me a beautiful way.  I have talked to Nepali friends about this and it seems quite natural to them.  If you think about religion in the West, there isn’t so much crossover.  The closest I can think of to this is Unitarianism, which is how I was raised, and seems to encourage people to take the best of all religions and build a personal philosophy around what you find useful.  One year my Sunday School was called “The Church Across the Street” and we spent the entire time visiting just about every church and denomination in Meadville.  I loved the Holy Rollers.

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Because one walks in a circle around the stupa it is easy to just keep going without realizing where you entered, which I eventually figured out is one reason for the visit.  I just had the feeling that it would be possible to walk all evening and not feel the time passing.  It was a lovely experience.

 

American Demographics / Hope and Feathers Exhibit (Image #11)

Posted in Art, Jon Crispin, Music, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 26/09/2018

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New York State Fair in Syracuse.  Shot in 1980.  I did a quick search for Red online and unfortunately nothing came up.  Anyone out there ever see him back in the day?

The Hope and Feathers exhibit opens on the 4th.  All these prints will be for sale at the gallery and online on my Photo Shelter site.  The online site will include images that didn’t make it on the walls due to space limitations.

American Demographics / Hope and Feathers Exhibit (Image #10)

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I have delivered all of the American Demographics photos to Hope and Feathers for framing.  I get back from Nepal on the 1st and the show will be hung on the 2nd.  The opening is Thursday the 4th.

I had heard that a house was to be moved in Ithaca and went down to hang out and watch the action.  These two guys seemed to be enjoying themselves.  You can just make out the corner of the house that is attached to this cool Peterbuilt.  Robby Aceto did a great job on the colors.

Hope to see you on the 4th.

Nepal 2018

Posted in Uncategorized, Travel, Art, Transportation, airports, airlines by joncrispin on 22/09/2018

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We tried something different this year on our trip to Kathmandu.  Instead of going through Dubai we opted to fly Qatar Airways through Doha.  It was a nice long flight and the Doha airport is wild.  Here is the giant teddy bear with a lamp on its head.  Quite bizarre.

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The flight to Kathmandu from Doha was 4 1/2 hours and I was getting a bit tired and bored.

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It is always great to get off the plane and be in Nepal.  You can deplane from the front and back just like in Long Beach!

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They have renovated our usual room at the Hotel Tibet.  Brilliant sunset last night from our window. / We have today to goof around before Cris starts her World Education work tomorrow.  Cheers and thanks for following.

American Demographics / Hope and Feathers Exhibit (Image #2)

Posted in Art, Jon Crispin, photography, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 20/07/2018

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This photo was taken in Columbus, Ohio in late December of 1981.  I almost felt compelled to knock on the door and see if they wanted to interview me.   It was an unsettling time in my life. / Those Millar Mitts do go way back.

I’m working on my statement for the exhibit and will continue to post here whenever Hope and Feathers start putting details online.  Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for following.

An Interesting Day or Two

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Yesterday I took the train from Stratford upon Avon to Marylebone London.  It was raining.

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I made it with plenty of time to spare to make the 5.30 kickoff for the Fulham v Derby County match (ended in a 1-1 draw, but still fun).

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After the match I walked back to my hotel past my favorite row of houses.  Most of them have these amazing stained glass doors.  Mind blowingly beautiful.

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This morning I had a bit of a plan that started in Bishop’s Park.

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I wanted to walk past the Cottage again.  Last night, I entered the ground through door 36.  Quite narrow.

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I really like these graphic tiles set into the pavements along the Thames Walk.  Especially the smell lines coming out of the poo.

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Next stop was The Dove in Hammersmith for a pint of ESB.  Nice

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I started inside in the tiny bar and then moved to the deck out back.

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Just before I got to my ultimate destination (next photo), I got a text from Cris at home telling me to call immediately.  This is why; a giant fookin’ tree had fallen on my Element, and had knocked over my Vespa.  I think the Element might just be toast, but the Vespa could be ok.  Kind of put a damper on things.

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Many years ago John Wilson surprised me at the end of a very long walk along the Thames with this view.

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Here is a closer look at the Naked Ladies of Twickenham.

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And another.

I made it back to the Dove for more beer and a Sunday roast.  Tomorrow I have some meetings with folks interested in the suitcase project.  V exciting.

Huntington Library

Posted in Art, Fish, Jon Crispin, museums, Trees, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 17/06/2017

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I was back at The Huntington yesterday for my annual visit to the Blue Boy.  It is breathtaking.  It’s quite impossible to look at a reproduction and get any sense of just how amazing this painting is in person.

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At the opposite end of the gallery is this painting by Thomas Lawrence which is commonly referred to as “Pinkie”.  I had never really paid much attention to her, but it is pretty easy to get lost in gazing at it.

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It was very hot yesterday so I didn’t walk around the gardens for long.  There are lots of ginkgo trees on the grounds.  I grew up with one in my side yard in Meadville and clearly remember climbing it as a boy.  It was the only one I ever saw as a kid, and is still my favorite tree.

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As I walked over a little bridge in the Japanese garden, these guys showed up thinking I might feed them.  Sorry I couldn’t oblige.

Willard Patient Dress / Part 2

The Willard Suitcase Project

This is the back of the dress that I posted the other day.

The Willard Suitcase Project

There is more of the beautiful orange thread on this side, as well as some very fanciful figures.

The Willard Suitcase Project

In the image below, I love how the two horizontal lines at the bottom of the dress seem to me to indicate water.  And is that a spigot just above the lines?

The Willard Suitcase Project

Here is the reverse side of the above figure.  I was thinking at the time we were shooting that people who do embroidery might like to see this view.

The Willard Suitcase Project

This figure is similar to one on the front of the dress.

The Willard Suitcase Project

The faces she does are so expressive.

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Here is another detail of a hand, and I am not sure what is represented coming out of what appears to be a pocket.

The Willard Suitcase Project

The figure below in the box looks like either a kind of face or something from the depths of the ocean.

The Willard Suitcase Project

Is this another face?

The Willard Suitcase Project

Her use of lines is very cool.

The Willard Suitcase Project

I have been trying to figure out how the grid below fits in to the overall design.  At first I thought it represented a building, but I am not so sure.

The Willard Suitcase Project

And here are just a few more shots of the reverse side of the dress.

The Willard Suitcase Project

The Willard Suitcase Project

The Willard Suitcase Project

The Willard Suitcase Project

Thanks for checking this out.  I will continue my efforts to find the name of the Willard patient who created this.  In the meantime you can continue to see the latest uploads of the cases at the Willard Suitcases site.

Karma Congestion… (UPDATE)

©2016 Jon Crispin

…is a phrase my dear friend Alex Ross coined many years ago.  I think I have mentioned it here before.  We use it as a general catch-all to cover anything from mild creative block to what the Germans call Weltschmerz.  I have been somewhere in it for a while now.  I haven’t been posting much, but I have been shooting quite a bit and I wanted to put up a few shots here. / I was chastised by a Kathmandu policeman just after I shot this ↑.  The white kiosk in the middle of the intersection was put there this very day.  The old one was lying on its side on the corner beside me (and is quite possibly still there).

©2016 Jon Crispin

I’ve been in and out of the New Haven train station a lot lately and have always liked these tunnels.

©2016 Jon Crispin

Our friends Scott and Lisa very generously invite us to visit them on Block Island for a few days in July.  This was the view from their rental.  We had a lovely time.

©2016 Jon Crispin

Olive is now just over 2 years old and is the most wonderful dog. My pal Peter Carroll took this picture.

©2016 Jon Crispin

These two big stones are in the empty lot next to the house on Ensenada Drive in Woodland Hills, CA where Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band recorded “Trout Mask Replica”.  I was going to take a photo of the house, but it is a private residence now and I didn’t want to bother the current occupants.  I had a friend in college by the name of Greg Trout whose granny gave him a copy of the album for his birthday.  The only reason she bought it for him was that his surname was in the title.  When I first heard it, it seemed beyond unlistenable.  Now it is one of my most favorite records.  Beefheart was a genius.  Click on this only if you are open to weirdness.

©2016 Jon Crispin

My brother-in law John is also a huge Beefheart fan.  He was up for the excursion to Woodland Hills especially if it involved a stop at Musso and Frank is Hollywood.  John is totally amazing and so much fun to be with.  He was raised in Southern California and  his knowledge of the area is staggering.

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He grew up in Palos Verdes and gave us a tour on a lovely Sunday morning.  This is a detail of a fountain  that is in the center of town.

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Here is John and Lynne’s dog Scooter.  He is a mischievous sweetie.

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Cris and I always go to Huntington Beach when we are in California.  The summer program for future lifeguards was happening as we were there.  There was a wide range of ages of the kids, and it was way cool to see all of the participants in their red suits and colorful caps.

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The older kids paddled out beyone the end of the pier and back.  It looked exhausting.

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The US Open of Surfing was happening the same day and the pier was jammed with people.

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We also usually make it out to the Huntington Library in Pasadena,

©2016 Jon Crispin

mostly just for the chance to see Gainsborough’s Blue Boy.  It never gets old.

©2016 Jon Crispin

Peter was visiting from DC last week, and we made our annual trip to Essex to eat  fried clams at Farnham’s.  It was a beautiful day and the view from the picnic tables can not be beat.

Thanks for following and for giving me the opportunity to unclog some of that karma congestion.  I think it worked.  Cheers.

UPDATE.  This is indicative of how spaced out I am, but the picture of Olive was taken by Peter Carroll.  It is the best photograph of her ever, and he totally deserves the credit.  Sorry Pete!

Durbar Square / Hindu Gods

Travel to Nepal and Day 1

Cris starts work tomorrow, so today was a day to walk around a bit.  The earthquake damage is very obvious with piles of brick everywhere and scaffolding around many buildings.

Travel to Nepal and Day 1

These shots are all from around Durbar Square.

Travel to Nepal and Day 1

Cris would gasp just about every time we turned a corner in this part of Kathmandu.  She came here first in 1979 as a Peace Corps volunteer, has subsequently come back to work in Nepal on a regular basis, and is really familiar with the city. It is really shocking to see the devastation.

Travel to Nepal and Day 1

As we were walking back to the hotel I started noticing pictures of Hindu gods that were about 3 feet off the ground and which were spread out about every five yards along a huge brick wall.  They are evocative in the odd way that things that attract my attention are.  I began taking pictures of them when I saw this next guy, who looked much more contemporary than the rest.

Travel to Nepal and Day 1

These next two are Krishna.

Travel to Nepal and Day 1

He is almost always depicted with a cow and a flute.

Travel to Nepal and Day 1

And often a milkmaid.

Travel to Nepal and Day 1

This sign was higher up on the wall and Cris was looking at it and smiling as I walked past her.  It is amazing to come to a place like Nepal with someone who speaks and reads the language.  It basically says, don’t piss or shit on the wall.  Which is why the images of the gods are placed just about the height at which a man’s stream would fall.  It seems a pretty effective deterrent.

Travel to Nepal and Day 1

The issue of public defecation is something that the current government has begun to work on (for obvious reasons).

Travel to Nepal and Day 1

We like Ganesh as he is the remover of obstacles and the patron of the arts and sciences. For some reason, we have always associated him with travel, which is something we do quite often.  Finally, here is Hanuman, the monkey god.

Travel to Nepal and Day 1

Thanks for following. We are a bit sketchy on Hindu lore, so please pardon me if I have gotten anything wrong about the gods.

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