Jon Crispin's Notebook

Victory Players / Whippy Dip / Fenway


I had fun last week photographing a new musical ensemble that is sponsored by the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts.  The Victory Players are (from left to right) Han Chen, Giovanni Perez, Elly Toyoda, Robert Rocheteau, Eric Schultz, YuMi Bae, and Conductor Tian Ng.


The top photograph was made at the Victory Theatre in Holyoke, which is about to be restored to its former glory, but currently has an abandoned feel to it.  The photo with the piano was shot on the Mount Holyoke College campus and in spite of looking totally staged, was really quite spontaneous.  Robert Rocheteau was taking selfies and it just sort of fell together for me.

Victory Ensemble.  Robert Rocheteau

I also did individual shots of each of the musicians.  There is something about this photograph of Robert Rocheteau that really grabs me.  He has fabulous hair.


On Friday night I went to a performance of the ensemble in Holyoke and stopped on the way home at Cindy’s in Granby for an ice cream.  I made it just before closing.  My friend Alex always referred to every summer roadside stand as a “Whippy Dip”, and this one is a classic.


To end the week, my friend Lisa and I went to a Red Sox / White Sox game on Saturday.  She had gotten amazing seats for us and the weather was perfect for a 4:05 start.  I took this from our seats just after a J.D. Martinez home run, and I think he was still rounding the bases as I fired the shutter.  The (Red) Sox won 4-2.

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.

Union Square

Posted in Architecture, Cities, Jon Crispin, Panoramas, Travel, Windows by joncrispin on 30/04/2013

We will be heading back East early tomorrow.  I had hoped to have a long post about the Exploratorium exhibit ready to go, but I am still processing my feelings.  I will have something up by Thursday.  What can be said now though is that by mounting “The Changing Face of What is Normal” in what was basically a museum dedicated to science related issues, they have done something incredibly daring.  It is not what many people familiar with the Exploratorium expect to see, and for that I give them a ton of credit.  It is a very interesting experience and for those of you who get the chance to be in the area, well worth the effort.

Stahl House (Case Study House #22)

Posted in Architecture, Art, ephemera, Family, History, Jon Crispin, Landscape, Panoramas, Travel by joncrispin on 23/04/2013

I have been fortunate as a photographer to get into a number amazing buildings.  Not many quite as incredible as the Stahl House in LA.  Cristine’s sister Lynne and her husband John are docents there, and on Sunday evening we had the privilege to be in one of the most iconic mid-century homes in the world.

The story of the house is well documented so I will not go into it, but it is well worth reading about.  Click on the Stahl House link above and you can read a bit more about it here.

The most amazing aspect of the house now is that it is still family owned, and they have graciously made it open to the public.  For what is a very reasonable fee, small groups can have guided tours (possibly by Lynne and John) that allow visitors to experience something so rare that it is almost inconceivable.  (Cristine looks quite at home in this shot.)

This is a stitched photograph (2 images) that is not perfect (one funky area that I noticed right away), but it shows the house pretty well at twilight. / Big thanks to the Stahl family, and especially to Lynne and John who have become experts in mid-century architecture and artifacts.  They also docent at the Eames House, which is open to the public on a limited basis. / Go to the Stahl House website to poke around and set up a tour.  If you are in LA it is easily one of the top 5 things to do.

Sutro Baths

Posted in Architecture, Government, Landscape, Nature, Panoramas, Plants, Water by joncrispin on 15/02/2013

I am sitting in the San Francisco airport waiting for my redeye flight home.  This morning’s quick meeting with the team ended well.  I know know pretty much what I need to do in the next few weeks as far as printing goes.

I had yesterday pretty much to myself.  Around noon I met with an old friend from Ithaca, Katie Harhen and we ate a couple of dozen oysters in the Ferry Terminal and had a great time catching up.  She is a really wonderful person and has created a great life out here in the Bay Area.

I had been hearing about the Sutro Baths from the Exploratorium folks and Stephanie Bailey said it was her favorite place in the area.  I hopped on the Geary bus and after a long ride out to the western-most part of SF got to a cliff above the ocean.

I especially like the fact that except for a few spots one is totally free to roam around the ruins without having to be warned of imminent danger.  It is part of  a National Park, and for now the only areas that are closed off are to do with a river otter that has taken up residence.  (He wasn’t there when I showed up.)

There was a little tunnel through the rocks that was kind of eerie.  You could hear the waves crashing and in a few spots could actually see the water.

The ocean was a steely gray for most of the time I was there.

It was foggy and quite cold when I arrived and just as I was leaving at about 5.00, the sun came out.

The flora reminded me a lot of what you would see on the Cornwall coast.

It is a very special place.  And the gift shop at the top of the hill is way cool.  I got a great mug and a bunch of vintage postcard reproductions. It is always completely baffling to me how something as cool and popular as the baths can virtually disappear.  Check out some other links to the history of the place and be sure to visit if you are in the area.

Hadley, MA field

Posted in Architecture, Landscape, Panoramas, Weather by joncrispin on 28/10/2012

I don’t know if it makes sense to post this panorama at only 720 pixels (maximum wordpress size for this template), but I like this shot.  If you are trying to look at it on your phones, I would forget about it.  On a big screen it should look pretty nice.  I took the three photos on Friday and stitched them together a few minutes ago. / All of on the east coast are in for a wild few days with hurricane Sandy starting to rile things up.  Lots of rain and high winds beginning tomorrow.

%d bloggers like this: