Jon Crispin's Notebook

American Demographics / Hope and Feathers Exhibit (Image #9)

Posted in Jon Crispin, Rivers, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 10/09/2018

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Here is another of the Soviet Union photos.  I was in Leningrad in March of 1982 and the Neva River was still mostly frozen.  From what I could tell, these women came to the river every day for a dip.  I really like how the school children are standing around watching. Another amazing hand coloring job by Robbie Aceto.

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.

Cologne

Posted in Architecture, historic buildings, Rivers, Travel, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 27/10/2016

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Cristine and I are in Cologne for a few days.  She is at a meeting at the University presenting her work on women’s health literacy in Nepal.  I feel so lucky to be tagging along and to be back in Germany after a very long absence.

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It was grey and cool this morning, but the sun is out now.

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There are flowers at most cafés which makes it really nice to sit outside and have a coffee.

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Looks like the Sonnenstudio just took delivery of a new megaSun 6900.

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The cathedral here really can take your breath away.

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Cris has more meetings tomorrow morning, so I’ll get another chance to walk around.

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.

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And another representation of Krishna.

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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.

Mass Pike / Willard Suitcases / Rodrigo L / Rochester

Posted in Cities, driving, History, Mental Health, Rivers, Travel by joncrispin on 07/10/2015

I started the day very early driving west on the Mass Pike on my way to shoot suitcases.

We were able to learn quite a bit about Rodrigo from his papers.  He came to Salt Lake City from the Philippines to attend high school.

He was always active in Filipino organizations in the US.  After Salt Lake, he moved to Chicago for a time, then onto Buffalo before ending up at Willard.

I did a quick search for Herbert Ray Olmsted and found this on RootsWeb.

OLMSTEAD HERBERT R., Portrait enlargements and kindred lines of Art Work, 		
	studio and office 5 Delevan, h 11 Gaylord   (See adv

Love Herbert’s stylish handwriting.

I am in an EconoLodge in Brockport, NY on my way to meet some Erie Canal folks to spend tomorrow shooting the autumn inspection of some of the locks east of Buffalo.  Stopped in Rochester for a bite to eat just as the evening was arriving.

Tilghman(‘s) Island/DuPont Circle

Posted in Architecture, Automobiles, Buildings, Cities, Fishing, Food, History, Maps, Rivers, Transportation, Travel, Water, Work by joncrispin on 26/06/2014

I  have spent the last two days on Tilghman Island shooting more artifacts and a bunch of really interesting artwork.  It is a remarkable place, and I just love working there.  The above shot is a detail from a very old linen map of oyster beds near the island.  It was literally falling apart but is an amazing remnant of work life on the bay.

After 6 months of really hard work, it looks like Peter has found a job.  It will be a few weeks before he starts, but we are so happy for him.  I took a quick shower after the drive back to DC from Tilghman’s and we went right out to buy him some work clothes.  There is a GAP practically next to Nando’s so we ate some chicken and then went to Larry’s for ice cream.  It is a wonderful place on Connecticut Avenue.  I had lavender, which was probably the most interesting flavor I’ve had in years.

Home tomorrow.

Connecticut River / Hadley

Posted in Nature, Rivers, Seasons, Water by joncrispin on 21/05/2014

I was driving home from Northampton early this evening and stopped at my favorite spot on the Connecticut river.  The light was quite nice as I stood on this levee looking West.  It has been a beautiful Spring here this year.

Travels

Posted in Architecture, Art, Bridges, Buildings, Cities, Family, Jon Crispin, Rivers, Travel, Uncategorized, Water by joncrispin on 19/03/2014

It has been a while since I’ve posted.  I think it was a combination of having the Kickstarter campaign wrap up and feeling a bit of “Kharma Congestion” as my friend Alex would call it.

Last week Cris and I drove to Toronto.  She was presenting at the annual CIES Conference and I was tagging along for fun.

We went out to an amazing South Indian restaurant called Udupi Palace and it was the best.  Cristine’s favorite food in the world is a paper masala dosa, and Udupi has the best ones she has ever found outside of India.  After we ate, we were waiting for a streetcar to take us back downtown and I saw this window display.  Love the hands.

I was very excited to get back to Toronto to be able to see the Thompson Collection of Cornelius Krieghoff paintings at The Art Gallery of Ontario.  Here is a previous post about my relation to him.  The museum has a ton of his work.  I was really jazzed to see so many in one place.

This is a detail from one of his paintings that is a sort of self-portrait of his family (in the sleigh).

I especially liked reading the bottom paragraph here.  It helps to explain where I might get my own disregard for authority.

After Toronto, we drove to Pittsburgh for another of Cris’ conferences.  On the way we had to stop at Niagara Falls.  I hadn’t been on the Canadian side for years, and it was a beautiful day.  (Unlike many, I also really like the American side.)

In Toronto we scored some of these great Roots mittens.  And I bought this hat in the Soviet Union in 1982, a very long time ago.

Next stop was Eddie’s Footlong Hot Dogs on the Lake Road just outside of Meadville.  I grew up eating these and was thrilled to see that they had opened for the season just a few days earlier.  I rarely post pictures of food, but oh man are these good.  Too cold to eat at the picnic tables, but two with the works hit the spot.

We got to Pittsburgh in time for a nice walk along the River.  It is a fantastic city that somehow remains largely intact.  The downtown is full of beautiful buildings that are mostly in good shape, and it seems, just waiting for a revival of sorts.  It is hard to imagine why young artists aren’t flocking here and making it home.  It is such a cheap place to live, with amazing loft spaces right in town, and tons of culture.  And the rivers!

So many beautiful steel bridges.  This one leads to PNC Park, just across the river from downtown.

Here’s a view looking back across the water.

Our hotel was very near to Penn Station and on Sunday morning I took a walk over to check it out.  As a kid I had traveled through it on the train, and the upper floors are now converted to “luxury” apartments.  This is a section of the dome which used to be the main entryway from the street.

It was sad to see the “modern” waiting room like this.

With only two trains a day, and nothing running North/South there isn’t much activity.  And the times aren’t particularly convenient.

Thanks for checking in.  I’ll try to get on a more regular schedule of posting.  Tomorrow Peggy Ross is coming over and we are meeting with my friends at Small Batch Books to start work on the Suitcases book reward.  I’ll keep updating progress on the project, and plan to be back shooting next week.

End of a Week

Posted in Abandoned Buildings, Architecture, Art, Flowers, Friends, Landscape, Nature, Plants, Rivers, Water by joncrispin on 22/09/2013

Last Saturday I posted pictures from the Amherst Farmers’ Market.  On Thursday I got an email from Casey at Old Friends Farm asking if he could use some of the photos in the farm’s weekly newsletter.  I was more than happy to oblige and went into heavy negotiation mode.  Pictures for flowers;  quite a good deal for us both.

Earlier in the week I went to watch Cris teach an undergrad class in one of the UMASS School of Ed. buildings.  The class meets in a now-closed elementary school  auditorium.   Down a hallway and behind a set of doors with a “NO ENTRY” sign was this school gymnasium.  I can remember being a kid at the East End School in Meadville and being in a similar gym (they all look pretty much alike).  I especially like the climbing ropes and the cargo net.

Today we drove to Williamstown to meet up with Peggy Ross, her husband Peter, and their friend Pierette who is visiting from France.   We met at the Williams College Museum of Art and then walked into town for a beer.  It is a lovely small New England town with 2 great museums (the other being the Clark, which is a gem).

Driving back along Route 2, I was compelled to stop and grab a few shots of the Deerfield River.

I hope to have the willardsuitcases.com site up and running tomorrow.  I am so excited and will post an update as soon as it is online.

Tilghman Island / New Orleans

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Cities, Family, Friends, Jon Crispin, Nature, Rivers, Travel, Weather by joncrispin on 25/03/2013

I am going to break a few of my self-imposed rules in this post.  I have always assumed that the reason people come to this site was to see interesting aspects of the world that they might not otherwise notice.  I have never wanted it to be about me.  But this post is mostly  personal.

Peter Carroll and I have been working on a project on Tilghman Island for the past several years.  In conjunction with the Tilghman Island Waterman’s Museum, we have been documenting the life of the watermen for two films that Peter has been shooting.  The second of those films had its premier on Saturday evening at the elementary school.  The auditorium was full and everyone loved it.

Then on Sunday Cristine and I flew to New Orleans where she was to receive an award from the Commission on Adult Basic Education.  We walked around the city most of the day yesterday and it was as amazing to me as everyone said it would be.

Cris got the Kenneth J. Mattran Award for “Promoting Literacy Nationally and Internationally”.  I was so proud and it was great to see people come up to her and thank her for being so inspirational.

After the luncheon we bugged out and walked back to the French Quarter.  I would love to have seen this neon sign lit up, but The Pearl was closed today.  Next stop was Cafe´du Monde for beignets and coffee.  Later as we were walking down an almost totally deserted RiverWalk, we saw a video crew doing a stand up shot of a guy with the river in the background. It turned out to be Jim Cantore from the Weather Channel.

So here’s where I really break my self-imposed rule (don’t ever have a picture of me in this blog).  My great friend Tania Werbizky has at various times in her life been totally obsessed with the Weather Channel.  After Jim was done with his work, I approached him and asked if I could take a photograph.  He was so nice and immediately suggested that he and I be in the shot.  So Tania, I mentioned you to Jim effing Cantore.  How’s about that?

Our hotel is just next to the Superdome and this is the view from the 17th floor hallway. / It is impossible to walk around this city and not think of hurricane Katrina and the devastation it caused.  And looking at this building that housed so many people in such great need is more than a bit unsettling.  This is an amazing part of America and I feel fortunate to have finally made it down here.

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