Jon Crispin's Notebook

Back in England

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My friend John Wilson picked me up at Heathrow on Monday morning.  After a jammed up drive to Stratford upon Avon on the M40, we made it in time for the dog’s evening walk.  Here he is with Violet, and Sid and Lilly.  Sid is a pup and Lilly wears a muzzle because twice now she has eaten small plastic balls that had to be removed surgically.

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The next morning we all went for a nice long walk on the Welcombe Hills.

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The obelisk off in the distance is very cool.

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These sheep were very interested in the dogs, but the dogs couldn’t be bothered.

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Here are Flora and Violet heading back to the car.

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And Sid taking a bit of a break while he kept an eye out for squirrels.

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Today was another warmish day so we drove to Broadway in the Cotswolds for another chance to walk the dogs.

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I first met John when I was living in Berlin in the 1980s and we have been fast friends ever since.   I have actually had this Barbour jacket (which he originally bought in Berlin) for the last 20 or so years.  He needed it back for his dog walks so it is now his again.  I hope to have it back someday.

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Here is Sid patiently waiting for a treat.

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I have always had a soft spot for Morgan cars.  This one is sitting in front of one of the Broadway hotels, and it took my breath away when I saw it.

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After our walk we ended up here for a lovely lunch.  We have come to the Snowshill Arms many times, and it always makes me so happy.

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While John was sorting out the dogs and Flora was getting Violet organized, I went in to see about a table.  John said “Four people and two dogs”.  Sid and Lilly were under the table the whole meal.  Here is Siddy giving me a nuzzle.  What a sweet boy.

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.

©2016 Jon Crispin

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.

©2016 Jon Crispin

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

©2016 Jon Crispin

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.

©2016 Jon Crispin

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,

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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!

Walking and Bricks

Posted in Cities, Construction, Dogs, Landscape, Rivers, Transportation, Travel, Uncategorized, Water by joncrispin on 15/06/2016

Nepal 14 June 2016

I have been spending my afternoons walking around Kathmandu.  Whenever I see bricks (and there are a lot of them here) I think of my friend Richard Pieper.  He loves bricks.  It is nice to be a photographer as it is impossible to ever be bored.  I see bricks, I think of Pieper, I see motor scooters and I am interested because I have a Vespa, I see people giving water to a stray, injured dog and I am touched, I see rivers and I think of Peter Carroll’s brother Alan who worked on water quality here a long time ago, and I see young children reading and I think of all the work Cris does in helping kids become literate.  I see these things, but I don’t always photograph them.  I am a bit self conscious about poking a camera into the lives of people who are just going about their days.  It always takes me a while to be comfortable, and the only way I can do so is to engage with the people I see.  It is a bit more difficult in a place where many speak only a bit of English, and I speak no Nepali.  But after today, I am beginning to see things that I want to photograph, and I know I will eventually wrap my head about how to go about it.  So today I am showing you bricks.

Nepal 14 June 2016

And another representation of Krishna.

Nepal 14 June 2016

Here is the Bishnumati River.  I almost didn’t take this picture,  and I almost didn’t post it here because it felt exploitative in a way.  Coming to a place like Kathmandu and pointing out what we Westerners think of as being messed up largely misses the point.  Water quality is a huge issue here.  This river is everything from a sewer to a rubbish heap and then some.  It is easy for me to say it should be cleaned up.  And it is easy for governments and NGOs to put money into doing just that.  But it is not easy, and there are a lot of people putting a ton of effort into sorting this problem out.  I just wonder what it will take.  Somewhere at its source this river came out of the mountains clean and pure.  Along the way it became this. I’m not really sure how to end here, but it is important for me to be a little optimistic, which I guess I still am.  Maybe someday.

Bradley Airport Terminal B

Bradley Airport Terminal B

Peter and I used to drop off Cristine at this terminal when she would be leaving on some of her long trips to South Asia for work.  After she went to her gate he and I would sit on a bench at curbside and record the names and numbers on the shuttle vans as they came past.  I still have some of the notebooks that we used all those years ago.

On Friday I drove her to the airport for a brief trip to DC and on the approach road, this is what we saw.  I guess I knew that they would be tearing it down at some point, but it was still a bit of a shock. / She flies in later tonight, but I came down early to try to get a shot.  The sun went below the horizon within 30 seconds of taking this photo and the light changed completely.  It is always amazing to me that a building once so full of activity could be reduced to this.  It will be completely gone very soon.

Star / Higgins Beach

Posted in Beaches, Landscape, ocean, Uncategorized, Water, waves by joncrispin on 26/12/2015

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We are up in Maine for a few days.  The Christmas tree came down earlier today and some of the stars fell off on the way out of the house.

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Cris, Olive, and I had a lovely walk on Higgins Beach just before the sun went down.

I’ll try to post before the New Year, but if I don’t get the chance, happy end of 2015 to all of you, and best for 2016

A Lovely Sunday

Posted in Animals, Architecture, Dogs, Friends, Jon Crispin, Landscape, Nature, Superstition, Travel, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 05/10/2014

I thought it might be a nice day today as this happened this morning when I threw a handful of things from my pocket on the bed.

John, Flora, Violet, and I drove to Broadway in the Cotswolds to walk from there to Snowshill and back.

We started on the outskirts of Broadway and we were immediately in fields.

Blackberries were plentiful.

Quite quickly we climbed up to the ridge where the view was spectacular.

As we were walking next to this pasture, we were passed by a horse carrier that contained one of this fellow’s mates.  They were both whinnying and it was obvious that they weren’t happy about being split up.  Horses are really interesting animals.

The footpath at times was on public roads, and at times just a narrow trail through the woods.

This is the view of Snowshill when we were about 10 minutes walk away.

Here’s another example of when the public footpath shares a country lane.

I have always liked these convex mirrors.

St. Barnabas is directly arcross the road from our halfway stop.

The Snowshill Arms is a great place for a couple of pints and the Sunday Roast.  It was excellent.

After lunch, I stuck my head inside the church.  It is very simple and not old (in relative terms), and the windows are beautiful.

This sweet little cat followed us for a bit and mewed the whole way.

Once outside the village, we were pretty quickly back into the woods.

It is such a peaceful walk, and we rarely saw others on the path.

Violet gave me this stone with moss growing on it.

This property is called Middle Hill House.  It is pretty easy to fantasize about living in a place like this.

This sort of day is so exotic to me; for my friends who live less than an hour away it is a regular trip to make at the weekend.

  It is so interesting to me that the public footpath goes right through the middle of farms and fields.  We shared our walk with horses, cows, dogs, cats, and of course, lots of sheep.

This particular horse was very friendly though he could be a bit nippy.

A farm just on the outskirts of Broadway breeds dogs for the hunt, and these very friendly pups loved the attention.

A great day.  Thanks to John, Flora, and Violet. Wonderful.

Recent

Posted in Animals, Architecture, Dogs, Fungi, Jon Crispin, Landscape, Nature, Plants, Seasons, Trees by joncrispin on 20/09/2014

I haven’t been posting lately, and I suspect one of the reasons is above.  I am remembering that it takes a ton of work to have a puppy in the house.

The good news is that I am spending a ton of time in the woods with her.  Any help on what this lot is?

Cris and I flew out of Boston early yesterday on our way to Denver.  Hard to believe the above shot was taken in the airport.  Looks like something out of someone’s private home in South Boston. / On our way up to the mountains we stopped in Arvada to see the house where my aunt Leora and uncle Herald lived, a place I have been visiting since a young child.

We are in Colorado for the wedding of one of Cristine’s grad students.  Laura was a favorite of ours, and the nuptials are in Beaver Creek.  It is beautiful here.  The aspens are so lovely at this time of the year.

TEDx Martha’s Vineyard

Posted in Art, Asylums, Boats, Landscape, Ships, Transportation, Travel, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 21/08/2014

I’m back from the TEDx event at the Vineyard.  It was an intense couple of days and was really interesting.  Aside from my usual anxiety about presenting the project to people, my biggest concern was how to get 10 20 x 24 inch framed prints from my house to the venue.  It all worked out, but it was a bit nerve wracking.

I was really happy that I was only showing prints, and not doing a formal presentation.  I travel around and talk about the suitcases quite a lot, but mostly in give and take type of situations.  The idea of standing up and delivering a 15 minute presentation still seems a bit intimidating.  It was really helpful though to watch how others talk about their work in this type of format, and I learned a ton about how I want to refine my presentations.

Here’s Jon Ronson giving his talk.  I had read “The Psychopath Test” and seen “The Men Who Stare at Goats” and was happy to get the chance to hang out with him.  So many creative and stimulating people were a part of the event, and the organizers did a great job setting up time for the participants to relax and talk about our work.  It was an honor to be asked to a part of it and I am really grateful to all involved, especially Katy Decker who is an amazing bundle of energy and sweetness.  It was also fantastic that my dear friend Sue Jackson, her husband Rick, and their friend Joanie made the trip over from the Cape.  It meant so much to me to have familiar faces there.

The Vineyard is a really lovely place and as I hadn’t been there in years, it was great to be back.

It was only slightly weird that since the President was in residence for his vacation, the Coast Guard was out in force.  I would guess it was just for training purposes, but there were three chase boats that shadowed us back to Wood’s Hole and it felt a bit strange to see a manned 50 caliber machine gun so near to the ferry.

I am hoping to post more here over the next week.  Thanks, as usual, for following.

Block Island Southeast Light

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, History, Jon Crispin, Landscape by joncrispin on 01/07/2014

I took a long bike ride around the island this morning with the intention of stopping at the Southeast lighthouse.

It is now owned by a private foundation, and they offer brief tours for $10.00.

A very nice young woman by the name of Winter showed me around.

The building was built in the 1870s and shows signs of wear, but it is still a functioning lighthouse.

The lens is amazing and beautiful.

There are two bulbs; Winter thought the one on the left was a backup.  It cycles on and off every 3.7 seconds. It is interesting how such a small bulb can produce so much illumination.

The hexagonal shapes in the floor are small glass skylights.

  I usually photograph Nineteenth Century buildings that are not in use and are abandoned.  It is lovely to be in one that is still used for its original purpose.

Block Island

Posted in Beaches, Jon Crispin, Landscape, Nature, People, Science, Travel, Water by joncrispin on 29/06/2014

We took the ferry to Block Island today.  This evening we walked down to Mansion Beach.  Cris has a knack for finding the most amazing things on beaches.  She found an iPhone once in South Carolina.

Tonight she found this.

And then she found the box it came in.

It appears to be some kine of weather device that was attached to a balloon.

Here’s the code number.

It’s in the back of the car now.

Here’s a sand castle about to disappear.

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