Jon Crispin's Notebook

Ithaca / Willard / Ovid Library Talk / Golden Rod

Posted in golden rod, History, Mental Health by joncrispin on 06/09/2015

I drove to Ithaca on Friday in order to attend the annual Willard Psychiatric Center employee reunion.  Saturday morning, Peter Carroll and I started our day in the usual way; breakfast at the Lincoln St. Diner and then a photo of him jumping.  It is the best diner breakfast anywhere.

I seem to remember a time when the Happy Landing was open, although I never did eat there.  It is on Route 96 between Trumansburg and Willard, and I have driven past it hundreds of times.  Love the sign.

I have been to the employee reunion before, and it is an amazing event.  Peter came along this time so that Peggy Ellsworth could introduce him to some of the retired staff.  It looks like he and Deb Hoard will be making a documentary on the suitcases project that will include some interviews with former employees.  It is something Peter and Deb have been talking to me about for a while, and is very exciting.  It’s still early days, and funding is a big hurdle, but I really think it will happen.

After the event, we drove over to Ovid to look at the “three bears” buildings in the center of town.  I noticed that the public library was still open, so I went in to say hi.  Librarian Katie Fontana was just closing up but was happy to show me the room where I will be speaking on Thursday the 24th of this month.  I would encourage any of you who are nearby to come.  There also will be some sort of brown bag lunch the next day.  Here’s is a link to the library web site.  Hope to see you there.  And this is the BEST sign ever.

On our way back to Ithaca, we had time for a quick stop at the Rongovian Embassy in Trumansburg for a beer with Craig Williams and Helen McLallen.  Quite a place with lots of history.

On my way out on Friday, I had noticed more goldenrod than I’ve seen in ages.  This shot was taken about 3 miles East of Bainbridge, just before I got back on Route 88 for the drive home. The hillsides are covered with it.

If any of you can make it to Ovid for the talk, shoot me an email.  Maybe a bunch of us can meet at the Rongo for a beer afterwards.  Cheers, y’all.

Ithaca / Drone / Peter Carroll

Posted in digital imaging, Drones, quad copters by joncrispin on 14/06/2015

I’m in Ithaca for an interesting meeting about the suitcases, and have been staying with Peter Carroll.  He has been flying drones for his work for a few years now and just got the latest Phantom 3.  Very cool and amazing to watch.  Here is a link to some of his test footage.  Digital imaging has changed the world for videographers and photographers to such an extent that our ability to do new an interesting things is almost unbelievable.

Have a great week everybody.

Peter Carroll

Posted in Friends by joncrispin on 24/04/2015

I am in Ithaca to shoot part of the big Cornell 150th celebration and am staying with my pal Peter Carroll.  I like this photograph of him. / It was snowing yesterday when I arrived, and is cold and cloudy today. C,mon Spring!

Elli Carroll

Posted in Friends by joncrispin on 04/04/2015

I am in DC for a few days.  Yesterday I hung out with my friend Peter Carroll and his brother Alan while they sorted through their late mom Elli’s photographs.  Peter is doing a bit of an imitation of Elli’s friend Giancarlo, who featured in quite a few of the photos.  Here is a link from the Holocaust Museum that talks about Elli’s life.  She was a wonderful and fascinating person and I always enjoyed seeing her, and from time to time going to lunch at The Pines of Rome in Bethesda.

In recent years, Elli lived at the Westchester.  It is a beautiful pre-war complex not far from the Cathedral, with amazing details like this peep hole in the door.

Pingry and Travel

Posted in Flowers, Friends, Landscape, Nature, Plants, Seasons, Travel, Trees, Weather by joncrispin on 10/05/2014

I just spent the past four days shooting a project at the Pingry School in New Jersey.  The days were very full, the work was great and since it was with my friends at the Herson Group, we enjoyed ourselves tremendously. /  I have been photographing Peter Carroll jumping almost as long as I have known him (which is a very long time).  And while I was living in Ithaca, I spent a lot of time photographing portable toilets, and had a very one sided postcard correspondence with The Portable Sanitation Association.  These toilets were on the high end of comfort and I believe they were even air conditioned.

The spring is much further (farther?) along in New Jersey than it is in Massachusetts, and these dogwood blossoms were at their peak.  Ours don’t even have leaves yet.

As I was driving through Springfield, the sky got really interesting and I pulled into a scenic area on the 91 to check out this beautiful rainbow.  Not a great shot, but a lot of cars had stopped to watch it and there was a nice little collection of people taking in the scene. /  Enjoy the weekend everyone.

Artists / Marc Castelli

Posted in Art, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 20/02/2014

Whenever I photograph artists, I always like to get a few shots of the mixture of paints on their palettes.

Today as part of the Tilghman Waterman’s Museum work, Peter Carroll and I went to Chestertown, MD and videotaped and photographed the artist Marc Castelli.  His main focus is working with, and learning about the lives of the watermen.  He spends a few days a week out on the bay with them,  then goes back to his studio and produces beautiful paintings of life on the water.

Tomorrow, I go back to shooting Tilghman artifacts, which is always fascinating.

My Kickstarter suitcases appeal had a good day today with 2 different $500 backers as well as some great other supporters .  We are down to 12 days to go and I am really working hard to spread the word.  Thanks to all of you followers of this blog who have helped out so far.

Tilghman Again

Posted in Architecture, Bridges, Buildings, Travel by joncrispin on 19/02/2014

I drove to Tilghman today for several days of shooting for the Waterman’s Museum.  The sun was setting just as I crossed the Knapps Narrows Bridge and I stopped to take a few shots.  I love this little bridge tender’s building.  It is purportedly the busiest drawbridge in the US.  / Looking forward to hanging with the Tilgman folks and working with Peter Carroll; it is always fun and they are so welcoming to us.  And I am REALLY looking forward to Saturday’s Oyster and Ham dinner at the church.

Danger / Invisible Laser Beam

Posted in Asylums, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 13/12/2013

I really liked this case when I shot it on Wednesday.  It belonged to Mabel Y.  The pattern on it is actual weave as opposed to a fake print pattern made to look like weave.  It, like many of the suitcases, has no means to support the top when opened, so Peg and I are constantly coming up with some way to hold it upright for the photograph.

Here is one of our usual tricks.  My parents gave me this thermos for my birthday at least 30 years ago.  I always make a pot of milky tea for the drive over to Rotterdam, and since the storage facility is very chilly in the Winter months it is great to have something warm during the day.  The laser beam sticker comes from my great friend Peter Carroll who seems to pick up things like this on occasion.  /  You can see Peg in the background working on her computer.  She created an amazing database into which we can enter all the pertinent information about each case, its contents, and the owner.  She is doing her best keeping me and the project organized, and I am so grateful for her help and support.

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.

Golden Coffee

Posted in Architecture, Food by joncrispin on 11/02/2013

My flight to San Francisco went smoothly.  I am staying at the same part of town where Claire Larkin, Peter Carroll, and I stayed when we were working on a project for the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  We came to Golden Coffee for breakfast most mornings.  It is fabulous.  They were still closed this morning when I went out to get tea, but I’ll head over there in a bit to have breakfast and then off to the Exploratorium.

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