Jon Crispin's Notebook

Julianne Wick Davis / Grand Central Station

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The evening at Joe’s Pub was amazing.  Julianne Wick Davis’ song cycle based on my suitcases photos was really incredible.  I was completely blown away by her talent and drive to get this going.  The project is still in the early stages of development, but it is so exciting to have been an inspiration to her. / I was so thrilled that my buddy from Wittenberg, Chris Brigham came out from Chicago for the event.  It was so great to see her.

I am on the Metro North train heading back to New Haven which goes in and out of Grand Central Station.

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It is quite a place.

The suitcases site has been having a slew of problems of late.  We are close to getting it sorted and it is currently back up and running.  It appears that it has been innundated with bot attacks attempting to take over the site.  Thanks to Steve Fox at Born Digital for all his hard work.  It has been very frustrating and costly, but fingers crossed we are working towards a resolution.  Cheers all, and thanks for following.

 

 

Ford Thunderbird LX “Roadster”

Posted in Automobiles, ephemera, Friends, Jon Crispin, Transportation, Travel, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 18/04/2018

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I have posted here and here about my interest in how American car companies choose to name special models of their cars.  It seems like this was really popular back in the 80s and 90s.

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This T-Bird belongs to our friends Suzan and Max, and they love this car!  They are grad students from the Netherlands and did what many Europeans do when buying a vehicle in the States; get some serious “Detroit Iron”.  I couldn’t find a specific reference to this Roadster model.  I’ll have to ask Max if this is the 6 or 8 cylinder, and what year it is.

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I really love the Thunderbird logo.  It looks very Southwestern.

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It appears in several places around the car.  None more beautiful than the one in the grille on the front bumper.

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I wouldn’t think those are real turquoise stones.

I tried to explain to Suzan that the term “roadster” doesn’t exactly fit this style of vehicle. This particular model is from the 10th generation of T-birds which were produced starting in 1989.

 

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.

Dogs / Thanks / Home

Posted in Animals, Dogs, Jon Crispin, Travel, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 05/06/2017

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I walked Cris to the World Ed office every morning, and back to the hotel at the end of the day.  Kathmandu has a lot of street dogs, most of whom don’t seem attached to any particular person, although the ones we  regularly saw were in the same areas every day.  You would never want to try to pet them, and they mostly ignore you anyway.  We got used to seeing this pup twice a day near a shop, and she was one of the few leashed dogs that we encountered.  She clearly belonged to someone who cared for her.

Thanks to everyone who passed along good wishes in regards to my eye thing.  I really appreciate it.  We are home now and I see my retina guy tomorrow morning; I am really eager to see what he has to say.  The huge black blob is beginning to resolve a bit, which is encouraging.

More suitcase uploads coming soon.  Thanks for following.

Back in Nepal / Eye

Posted in Institutions, Jon Crispin, Medicine, Travel, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 31/05/2017

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Cris and I are back in Nepal where she continues her work on the UNICEF funded early grade reading project through World Education.

It has been an interesting trip.  I developed a problem with my right eye when I landed in Dubai, and by the time I got to Kathmandu last Tuesday evening it was clear that something was really wrong.  Cris took me directly to CIWEC travel medicine clinic where they set me up with an ophthalmologist early the next morning (Wednesday).  Dr.  Meenu is a cornea expert, but she wanted me to see the retina guy at the Triphuvan Teaching Hospital. She immediately put me in her car and drove me there.  Dr Pratap examined me and saw two spots on my retina that were torn and bleeding.  He immediately took me into the laser room and repaired as much of the damage as he could.  I saw him this past Monday for a follow-up and he was really happy with the results.  Since this whole thing started I have had huge black floaters in the middle of my right (shooting) eye, but they should begin to resolve in the next few months.  It was all a bit unsettling, and I am so grateful to Dr. Pratap for caring for me.

Nepal / B.P. Koirala Lions Centre for Ophthalmic Studies / Teching Hospital

Here he is on the left with some of his students.

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And with a patient.

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I learned pretty quickly that Nepal has a great reputation for eye treatment in the developing world.

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Dr. Pratap’s notes.

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Here’s the clinic.  Officially the B.P. Koirala Lions Centre for Ophthalmic Studies.  Note the  word “Lions” in the name.  The Lions Club is famous for it’s support around eye issues, but I had no idea their reach extended as far as Nepal.

I debated with myself a long time about posting this.  Blogs like this are by definition self serving and ego based, but I have always tried to steer away from having it be about me, per se.  But weird things can happen when one travels, and I wanted to share my good fortune in getting such prompt and excellent treatment, and to give thanks to all the people here who have helped me.  Cris has been a brick through this whole thing and so patient with my worries.  I also really want to thank Peggy Ross for getting on the phone and setting up an appointment with my ophthalmologist in Springfield soon after I get back to the States.  Her skills at getting through bureaucratic systems are unmatched.

Opening Day

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I will often go to Fenway without a ticket in the hope that something will pop up (no pun intended).  When I got to the park I was amazed to see the line for the “day of game” tickets was quite short so I queued up and snagged a cheap (for the Sox) ticket out in the right field  grandstand.

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It is always special to walk into Fenway, especially on opening day.

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The NESN sideline reporter was ready for the cold, but it warmed up nicely.  By the 4th inning I took off my jacket, down vest, and wool sweater.

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I am including this shot for Peter Carroll.  Look closely and you will notice that the “camera” on the tripod for this guy’s live feed is an iPhone!  Amazing.

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The Sox were playing the Pirates, and I am including this shot for my son Peter.  We joke a lot about the 1970s Pirates hats, and this gentleman was totally decked out, including his Willie Stargell jersey.  He wasn’t so happy at the end of the day, as the Sox won 5-3.

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I ended up sitting in the second row of right field box 88, and had a really enjoyable time with the usher in that section, Bobby the Brick.  It was a blast to watch him work the game; keeping people moving, and bantering with the crowd.  He would randomly ask folks what the score was, how many runners were on base, etc, just to make sure we were all paying attention.  He is a totally great guy who grew up in the North End and loves his job.

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I always like to look around between innings.  My seat was just under the retired numbers of famous Red Sox players.  Love that blue sky.

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This was the first time I had taken the Commuter Rail to the park.  There is a new stop just steps from Fenway and it was great.  I love trains.

Atlanta

Posted in Architecture, Jon Crispin, public transport, Transportation, Travel, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 07/03/2017

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I’m in Atlanta for a few days.

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Cristine is at the annual CIES conference and I am editing photos in the morning and exploring in the afternoons.

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This was the entrance to a parking garage in Buckhead.  I think it was connected to an AMC movie theatre complex that advertised that you could eat a meal and watch a movie at the same time.  What is this world coming to?  (I just checked and here’s a link.)

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This is the Peachtree Center MARTA stop.  I love that the walls are left to show the exposed bedrock.

For those of you who might be interested, I post mostly goofy stuff on instagram.  Just go to the top of this page, and under the sites links on the top right, hit the “Jon’s Instagram” link.

Howth

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We have been spending most of our time in busy cities on this trip, so we decided to take the DART train to Howth yesterday and spend some time on the coastal path.

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This is a lovely seaside  fishing village, and since it was Sunday it was a bit crowded, but we really wanted to walk, so it was worth it.

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As we walked through the carpark at the beginning of the path, we saw a guy in a superman costume get out of a taxi.  We didn’t think much about it at the time since it was a few days before Halloween.  We started our walk, and some minutes later looked down to a little island just off the coast and saw him jump off a diving platform.  He is in mid-flight in this photo but it is a bit difficult to see him.  Look for the red spot on the left.  Wild.

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It was a lovely day.  Not too hot, not too cool.

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Ireland is really green, and like Cornwall has a really interesting variety of plants.

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I can never keep these things straight, but I think this is gorse.  So lovely.

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There were amazing views throughout the walk.  In the foreground is an entire field of ferns that are just starting to turn brown.

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At one point the coast path crossed an enormous golf course.  We were instructed to stay quiet.  We obliged, and we did see some golfers teeing off.  It would have been a lovely day to play 18.

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But by far the coolest part of the walk was when we went through the Bog of Frogs.  It was boggy, but not noticeably froggy.

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We walked well over 10 miles, and it was spectacular.  It was great to get a pint and some fish and chips once back in Howth.

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As we waited for the train to Dublin, a Carphone Warehouse advert kept scrolling through this sign at the station.

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Once back in Dublin, we stopped at Mary’s Bar and Hardware for a whiskey.  They really love JFK here.  And the whiskey was nice.

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.

DC / Van Ness

Posted in Cities, Transportation, Travel, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 20/09/2016

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They have been working on the escalators at the Van Ness Metro stop for quite a while now.  Two down, one to go.  The LED lighting is very nice.

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