Jon Crispin's Notebook

Lock 12, Erie Canal / “Ward’s Island” Derrick Boat Decomissioned (EDITED)

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I got a call yesterday from my friend and sometimes patron Craig Williams.  Craig worked at the New York State Museum and was responsible for getting me access to the Willard Suitcases, as well as work photographing the panels and artifacts from the World Trade Center 9-11 attack, and a ton of other interesting photography projects.

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Craig has been really concerned with a plan that the NY State Canal Corporation has to scrap some historically important canal boats and sink them off the coast of Long Island to creat artificial reefs.  He asked me to meet him at Lock 12 in Tribe’s Hill, NY and take a few photos of one of the boats as it made its way Eastward.

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Above is the derrick boat “Ward’s Island” which is being pushed from Lyons, NY  through the Erie Canal System and down the Hudson to be sunk off the coast of Long Island.

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Craig and fellow supporters of Canal history are waging a bit of a protest in regards to the State’s decision to move ahead with this plan.  On the left is Will Van Dorp who has a great wordpress site having to do with shipping.  Here is a link that talks about the Ward’s Island.  Interestingly enough, the boat was commissioned by the NY State office of Mental Hygiene in 1929 to ferry cars and people from Manhattan to the Ward’s Island asylum.

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After about 10 years downstate, she was sent up to the Canal to begin life as a derrick boat, and was only decomissioned last year.  Here she is in the lock.  Note that this is the stern; she is being pushed backwards through the Canal.

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Here’s a detail of the stern.  She was sitting really high in the water as much of the weight was stripped out before the beginning of the trip.

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It was an incredibly beautiful day at the Lock.  I have felt for a long time that the Canal is a very underutilized feature of New York State.  Destroying a part of its history is probably not a good way to attract positive attention to it.

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Here’s the tug Lucy H pushing her towards Amsterdam.

The next boat scheduled for scrap is the tug “Urger” (Edit; Urger is not meant for scrap.   As of now the State wants to take it out of the water, beach it, and make it into a display at Lock E13. / Also, Will Van Dorp contacted me with a few more links about the Ward’s Island.  Here and here).  Here is a link to the Urger.  Let’s hope it is not too late to save her.

Olive

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Today was a nice and grey day and after editing some suitcase photos and watching Fulham beat Wolves, Olive and I headed up into the woods.  I have never seen a winter with so much water, and it was really wet with small rivulets running all over the place.  Olive was in her element.  She carried that birch log that is in front of her for most of the walk.

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It is always a bit surprising to see something so colorful in the middle of winter.  With all this water, it might just be a good year for mushrooming.

I wanted to do this post for Patty, who follows this site and recently asked for more pictures of the Olive.  It’s probably a good time to mention that if you want to see more of her, I post on instagram as jonkcrispin.  It is a nice outlet for me to put up photographs that I take with my phone.  So check it out, and thanks for following.

Big Stick / Water / Crocus

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Now that the winter is (maybe…probably) over, it is nice to be able to walk in the woods without snow shoes.

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Olive always has a funny look on her face when she is carrying a big stick.  Once she has ventured into the woods and made the difficult decision as to her preference, she is all business.

Waterfall

This time of the year is great for her as she gets the opportunity to spend a lot of time romping in the streams that surround our neighborhood.  By August, this waterfall is usually just a trickle.

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These little guys are starting to pop up through the pine needles.  Nice.

Olive in the Woods

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We had a very dry Summer and Autumn this past year and there has been hardly any water  in the woods above the house.  Olive has really missed splashing around.  After the heavy snow of two weeks ago, the warm temperatures, and the recent rains, she is now back in luck.

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She is amazing when it comes to chasing sticks.

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  It’s colder today so she is spending time next to the wood stove.

Wishing you all a great week.

Olive at the Beach / Dolphins?!?

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Today is Olive’s last day at the beach this year.  The weather is incredible and she has been so happy being in the water almost every day.

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We bought her this green flying saucer type thing which really soars on a windy day.  She swims out to get it and then comes right back.

Except yesterday when Cris was playing with her.  Olive paddled out to the saucer and then started to swim out a bit farther into the ocean.  Cris couldn’t figure out what was going on, and then spotted dolphin fins. Olive must have sensed them as well.  It is hard to know what kind of interaction there would have been if she hadn’t come right back when called.  You would like to think that it would have ended in a nice “Flipper-like” scenario with lots of cavorting and intra-mammal bonding, but you never know.

Thanks to Bob and Kath for having us in the house again this year, and it is so great that they have been here for the latter part of our stay.  Heading back North tomorrow.

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).

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I’ve been in and out of the New Haven train station a lot lately and have always liked these tunnels.

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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.

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Olive is now just over 2 years old and is the most wonderful dog. My pal Peter Carroll took this picture.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

It’s Growing

Posted in Jon Crispin, Plants, Uncategorized, Water by joncrispin on 28/04/2016

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Here it is from a different angle.  It is growing nicely.  I wonder if it will flower.

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Water Plant

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We had a lovely walk in the woods this morning.  The trees are just starting to show new growth, and I was pleased to see that some of these water plants (identification anyone?) are starting to appear in the  small streams.  This one is right near a spot where Olive likes to lie in the water and rub her back on the moss covered rocks.

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This is from a few days ago.  It might be time for a bath.

Olive Takes a Dip

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I think I post a version of this photograph more than I probably should.  We have had a ton of rain in the past few days, and Olive and I had a lovely wet walk in the woods this afternoon.  But for some reason, the water, the leaves, and the dog make me feel quite happy and I wanted to share it.

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