Jon Crispin's Notebook

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.

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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.

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.

 

Hope and Feathers/Walks

Posted in Architecture, autumn, Buildings, Jon Crispin, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 09/10/2018

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The opening for the Hope and Feathers exhibit was lovely.  Quite a few American Demographics folks made the trip to Amherst, and it was a grand reunion.  Special thanks to founder Peter Francese for coming down from New Hampshire, to Brad Edmondson who wrote a very flattering piece about me, and to Mike Rider who designed a lovely flyer for the show.  Seeing everyone made me happy.

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The folks at Hope and Feathers were great, and thanks to Bronwen for all her hard work, and to Simone for hanging the photos.  And thanks to Michelle for agreeing to this somewhat out of left field project.

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It is great to have our Peter back home for a while.  One of the benefits of having him around is that we often take walks in and around Amherst, and it is fun to grab a camera and take some pictures.

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I love the Autumn and how plants adapt to the changing seasons.

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Concrete too.  But it doesn’t change much.

Thanks for following.

American Demographics / Hope and Feathers Exhibit (Image #13)

Posted in Jon Crispin, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 29/09/2018

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I have always liked this photograph.  These two women could be sisters.  Robby Aceto did a really nice coloring job on this; I especially like the way the water looks on the American side.  Less than a week to go for the opening at Hope and Feathers, Amherst.

Symbols

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  Whenever I am here in Nepal I always keep an eye out for bricks, as seeing them makes me think of my good friend Richard Pieper.  Most buildings are adorned with them, and the walls surrounding the Royal Palace are all brick.  On our daily walk to the World Education office we pass by a large section of the Palace wall which is undergoing a post earthquake renovation.  I saw this pile and noticed the markings and didn’t think much of it at the time, but the next day I stopped and took this picture.  It is not at all uncommon to see the swastika used as a symbol in various ways around Nepal.  It got me thinking about how we in the West are so conditioned to see the obvious negative aspects of it.  I went to the wiki page and learned a lot of interesting facts about its history and usage.  I would encourage anyone interested to check it out.  What got to me especially was that under the section of the wiki that showed the varieties of swastikas, the Hakenkreuz (second row, bottom left) gave me a visceral reaction.

We head back to the US on Sunday.  I have managed to pick up a bothersome cold and have been a bit less active than I would like, but Cris’ work ends today and we will have some time to goof around tomorrow and Sunday morning.  Thanks for following.

American Demographics / Hope and Feathers Exhibit (Image #12)

Posted in Animals, Automobiles, Jon Crispin, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 27/09/2018

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To me this photo represents a lot of what Ithaca was like in the 1980s.  This VW Beetle was parked in front of the Ithaca Diner and the goat inside seemed quite content.  I can’t remember what article in American Demographics that it was used to illustrate, but it shows how creative Mike Rider and Jim Keller were in choosing images.  Pretty cool.

The opening of the exhibit is a week from today.  I’ll probably be jet-lagged, but stop by and I’ll mumble a heartfelt hello.

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.

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