Jon Crispin's Notebook

A Saturday Post

Posted in Asylums, Family, Graveyards, History, Jon Crispin, Travel, Willard Asylum, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 30/03/2013

Here’s a bunch of random stuff.

On our last day in New Orleans we took the trolley out to the Garden District.  I was very happy to walk under The Pearl neon sign and see that it was turned on this time.

I have always liked wandering around graveyards and the Lafayette Cemetery was near to the trolley.

There is a great bookstore nearby and I was finally able to find a copy of Maira Kalman’s “And The Pursuit of Happiness”.  I have been looking for a while now, and was so happy to find it.  She sent me the nicest email about the Willard Suitcases and I was eager to see this book, as I really like her work.  I especially like that she mentions the numbered graves at Gettysburg since they are so much like the ones at the Willard cemetery.

We flew back very late into BWI and this is what I saw out the window as we flew over DC.

I had a great shoot on Wednesday with another amazing writer.  Poets & Writers asked me to photograph Neil Gaiman and he is the nicest guy.  I can not post any shots until the story runs sometime this summer, but I will as soon as I can.

And finally, we drive Peter to DC tomorrow to help him find a place to live and get him settled.  The usual melancholy has been creeping in and so I have been listening to a lot of Percy Grainger.  I have always been so taken with his music.  I seem to recall as a boy listening to a CBC program with my dad that used this piece as a theme.  Here’s another that I especially like.  The thing for me about Grainger is that there  is an element of sadness in his music in spite of the light-hearted feeling of the tunes.  He was a pretty out there fellow and the one quote of his that I think of often is him talking about his work.  When speaking of his use of harmony, he said “My efforts even in those young days, were to wrench the listener’s heart with my chords.  It is the contrast between the sweet and the harsh…that is heart-rending…And the worth of my music will never be guessed, or its value to mankind felt, until the approach to my music is consciously undertaken as a ‘pilgrimage to sorrows.'”

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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