Jon Crispin's Notebook

Pennsylvania License Plate

Posted in Automobiles, Family, Transportation by joncrispin on 31/07/2013


My parents were pretty straight-forward people for the most part, but they did something together in their later years that was very amusing to me .  When the state of Pennsylvania changed the format of license plates sometime in the early 1990s, my folks were forced to give up a plate number that they had had for ages.  They were really unhappy about this so instead of having a new random number assigned to them, they opted to pay for a vanity plate with their old number on it.  I am sure it was a small victory as these things go, but it meant a lot to them.  After my mom died and we sold their car, I took the plate off and kept it as a reminder of  their spirit and sense of playfulness.  It is on the door of my studio and brings a smile to my face whenever I look at it.

Ithaca, NY

Posted in Automobiles, Cities, Travel by joncrispin on 18/12/2012

Here’s a shot I took from the top of the Ithaca parking garage a long time ago.  It was around this time I started to become interested in motion.  I really like the movement of the arm reaching out to the mailbox. /  Sorry for the dearth of posts lately.  My cold really knocked me down.  Finally feeling somewhat healthy again.

New York Thruway (Eastbound)

Posted in Automobiles, Bridges, Travel by joncrispin on 01/12/2012

As I was driving home from Brockport yesterday afternoon the light was similar to that in my previous post, though at a different time of the day.  As my film-maker friends might say, “magic hour”. / I seem to have come down with a very nasty chest cold.  I know it is all about the virus, but I can’t help wondering if  lack of sleep and being in hotel rooms didn’t make it worse.   So I’m drinking lots of fluids and sleeping as much as I can.  If anyone else is in the same boat, let me know and I’ll post my hot toddy recipe.

New York Thruway

Posted in Automobiles by joncrispin on 29/11/2012

It has been a busy few days.  I was at Yale on Monday speaking about the suitcases to Jessica Helfand’s class.  Peggy Ross came over Tuesday morning and we worked all day on suitcase stuff and that evening I shot a play at UMASS, then immediately hopped in my car and drove west toward Brockport, NY.  Stopped just west of Syracuse for what was left of the night and was shooting at the College at Brockport by 9.00 the next morning. / I liked the early morning light on the Thruway early Wednesday.  It was very fleeting though; about 5 miles down the road it was totally cloudy.

1969 Ford Torino GT

Posted in Automobiles, Friends, History, Jon Crispin by joncrispin on 25/10/2012

I have been driving past this car for quite some time.  Today was a good day to stop and take some photos.  Torinos were based on the Fairlane platform and as I learned on wikipedia, the name Torino gradually replaced the Fairlane badge.  The ones I really remember are the GT versions of which this is a 1969 example.  When I first saw these cars, I thought they were quite ugly, but in time they have really grown on me.

This one is mostly covered in primer, but you can note from the pictures that the original color is still evident in some places.

This blue/green is the only color I can recall on this vintage of the GT model. /  There are two Ford Torinos in my past.  My college roommate Gail had one our Senior year.  I am pretty sure it wasn’t a GT, but it could well have been.  I remember her coming back to school from Ridgeway, PA where  her family lived and telling me that her dad would give her a few extra dollars to put “a tank of Ethyl” in it.  And my friend Paul who now lives in Arizona had a really nice GT that he has since sold.  He did a lot of work on it himself and in fact one day he drove it out from Boston and tinkered around with it in my driveway.

So, this one is for sale.  Paul? Gail?

Fox and Herald

Posted in Animals, Automobiles, Cities, Friends, Nature by joncrispin on 18/12/2011

I am back home, and will post some UK images over the next few days.  It is a bit odd to put up photos after I have returned; I usually have internet connections as I travel.  For various reasons on this trip I wasn’t able to get online very much, and when I did, WordPress didn’t seem to want to take the uploaded photos. /  John and I were walking back from the pub late one night and this fox was just wandering around the street.  It walked into a front garden and the resident cat wasn’t very happy about his visit.  John says he sees foxes all the time in the neighborhood and that they are not bothered much by people.

This sweet little Triumph Herald was parked just down the road from where I saw the fox.  It has a really nice set of Minilite wheels and some kind of custom exhaust.  I always liked these cars.  My parent’s friend Polly Seeley had one in Meadville and I distinctly remember her driving up to our house on Cullum Street with the top down.

Tustin Walk

Posted in Architecture, Automobiles, Buildings, Flowers, Plants, Travel, Windows by joncrispin on 04/07/2011

Peter and I had a nice walk around the neighborhood today.  It is very hot, but there is a bit of a breeze and there is always something interesting to see.  Plants just grow out here, many of which I have never seen before.  This round thing is about twice the size of a basketball.

This El Camino SS 396 is parked just down the street.  We’ve been driving by it all week and I especially wanted to get some photos before we leave.

Eating in car

Posted in Automobiles, Cutlery, Food, People, Travel, Windows by joncrispin on 14/03/2011

Peter and I were once in Northampton at a stoplight and we noticed that the person driving the car next to us was eating a bowl of cereal while waiting for the light to change.  She saw us looking at her and smiled sheepishly.  /  I walked by a car recently and saw this bowl on the front seat.  Looks like they might have had some coffee too.

Winter driving

Posted in Automobiles, Travel, Weather by joncrispin on 01/02/2011


I left the house this morning with the intention of driving to Washington, DC.  The Tilghman shoot starts on Thursday.  The original plan was to leave early Wednesday, but with the storm coming in I moved the trip up a day.  It seemed it would be OK once I made it south of New York City, but I never got that far.  The roads were not so bad initially, but the 91 was a mess.  The wipers picked up ice and basically stopped working, and when the traffic slowed to 10 miles per hour, it seemed prudent to turn around.  Tomorrow is supposed to be worse than today, so I’ll just have to wait it out.  It is nice to be home for the storm though.  I’ll crank up the snow blower and try to keep ahead of it all.

Snow in NYC

Posted in Architecture, Automobiles, Buildings, Weather by joncrispin on 30/01/2011

Snow on Car

New York City has gotten slammed with snow this year.  On Thursday in the late afternoon when I was shooting outside of the Broadway Theatre, I saw a guy in a very late model 911 trying to park in about a foot of snow and slush.  How sad.  My first thought is that if you can afford a Porsche, you should also be able to own something that is suitable to drive in the snow. /  This car was one of many on 96th Street somewhere between Columbus and Broadway.  /  On Tuesday, I am off to Tilghman Island to continue shooting the waterman story with Peter Carroll. Can’t wait.

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