Jon Crispin's Notebook

Wine Bib

Posted in Art, Family, Food, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 30/11/2011

My friend Peter Carroll has a way of making these little napkin bibs for wine bottles to prevent drips.  His always look perfect.  Cris did a pretty good job on this one on Thanksgiving, but we are still aspiring to Peter’s high standards.

There was a very nice mention of the Willard suitcase project on Very Short List today.  It is a way cool website.  Here’s the link.  I’m so grateful for all the attention, and welcome to all of you new subscribers to my notebook.

Pound Netting on the Chesapeake

Posted in Animals, Fishing, Food, People, Water, Work by joncrispin on 10/05/2011

This is going to be a fairly picture heavy post.  On a technical note, all of the pre dawn images, and most of the early morning ones were shot at an amazingly high ISO of 12,800.  No flash, just the boat’s work lights.

Peter and I got to the dock at 4.00 AM to meet Robby Wilson who runs a pound net operation not far from Tilghman’s Island in the Chesapeake Bay.

We were on a scow that had been converted from an old houseboat, and his 2 crew were on a smaller skiff.  We motored out of Tilghman for about 40 minutes and got to the first of 4 of his nets before 5.00 AM.

The two guys in the skiff had arrived some minutes before us, and were already hauling up the “pound”.

I asked several people where the term pound net comes from and there seems to be no consensus.  It might come from the early American idea of a collection point for animals.  The FAO has a pretty good description here.

The two boats work together to roll up the pound and then scoop the fish into the scow with the help of a winch.

The primary species Robby is fishing for is alewife.  Many different fishes are caught in the nets, so the crew’s job is to cull most of the others, of which rockfish (striped bass) are the commonest.  Some catfish and flounder are kept to sell as food fish.  The alewife are sold mainly as bait for crabbers.  After the first of June, the season for rockfish opens, and he is allowed to sell those.

It is wet, strenuous, and demanding work.  It was unusually calm and clear yesterday, but the boat was still rocking, and water and fish scales were flying everywhere.  After the cull, the crew would hop in the skiff and motor to the next set of nets.

The culling goes on until the pound is empty and then the crew moves on to the next location.

The process is repeated for each of the four sites.  Travel time between them us usually less than a half hour.

Below is a good shot of system.  Robby and the crew usually are out putting the stakes into the bottom around the first of March. They fell the trees and sharpen them in the off season. The depth of the water is anywhere between 7 and 15 feet.

Robby’s dad Clifford “Big Daddy” Wilson came out to help out.  He is also a waterman; a few years ago Peter and I went out on his crab boat.

On the way back to the dock, the fish are shoveled into plastic baskets so they can be off-loaded into one of Robby’s trucks to be taken to Cambridge, MD to be sold.

They were nice enough to stop for a minute for a photo, but other wise they are constantly in motion.

The boats were back at the dock around 8.00 AM.

It’s about an hour to unload into the truck, and then the scow is cleaned up and made ready for the next day.  It is pretty much a seven day a week job as the nets fill up pretty fast.

An amazing day.  We are very fortunate to hang around with these guys and document their work.  They couldn’t have been nicer or more accommodating.

Peter Carroll

Posted in Friends, People, Water by joncrispin on 07/05/2011

Peter Carroll and I are back on Tilghman’s Island to continue documenting Chesapeake Bay watermen.  We were on the water by 5 this morning with Roy and Colleen Sadler.

Peter Carroll

Posted in Friends, History, People by joncrispin on 06/02/2011

Here’s Peter shooting an interview for the Tilghman waterman’s project.  Each time we go back to the island we meet new people, but it is always nice to visit some of the folks we spent time with on the earlier shoots.  We got the chance to see some of our favorites which was really nice.

Graham Sherwood

Posted in Friends, People by joncrispin on 04/02/2011

We are in the interview stage of the second Tilghman’s Island project.  The people down here are so warm and welcoming, and it is cool to hear them talk about their lives living and working on the Bay.  Since I was delayed in coming down here by the weather, Peter spent the day on Wednesday setting up the location.  As usual, he did an incredible job getting it to look just right.  I am so used to shooting people with available light that when I shoot with his set-up, it feels a bit like cheating.

Snow in NYC

Posted in Architecture, Automobiles, Buildings, Weather by joncrispin on 30/01/2011

Snow on Car

New York City has gotten slammed with snow this year.  On Thursday in the late afternoon when I was shooting outside of the Broadway Theatre, I saw a guy in a very late model 911 trying to park in about a foot of snow and slush.  How sad.  My first thought is that if you can afford a Porsche, you should also be able to own something that is suitable to drive in the snow. /  This car was one of many on 96th Street somewhere between Columbus and Broadway.  /  On Tuesday, I am off to Tilghman Island to continue shooting the waterman story with Peter Carroll. Can’t wait.

Lemon Tart

Posted in Family, Food, Friends by joncrispin on 01/01/2011

Tart

 

When I started this site, I vowed I would never take photos of food that I had cooked.  Since I lived alone in Ithaca in the “80s, I have taken pictures of my dinners from time to time, but lately with the whole food on tv thing, it seems kind of  self indulgent.  But, as Emerson said, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds”.  So, I will write about love and friendship while posting a picture of something I cooked.  John Wilson sent me a cookbook by Raymond Blanc a while back, and around holiday time, I use it alot.  My son Peter loves it when we have big meals planned, and so it is lots of fun to put energy into producing something really good.  Last night was French onion soup.   Tonight was coq au vin, potatoes Dauphinoise, and for dessert, a lemon tart, all from the Blanc book.  This picture of the lemon tart features the crust, of which I am particularly proud. /  Yesterday as 2010 was winding down, I spoke to three amazing people on the phone.  Alex Ross and I speak 4 or 5 days a week, Peter Carroll and I about the same, and John Wilson in the UK and I skype regularly. After our chats I just felt so blessed to have them as friends.  Later in the day Cris and I ran some errands and went to a movie, then she, Pete and I had a quiet New Year’s Eve. /  I was at my sister Karen’s just after Thanksgiving and got to see her entire family.  At Christmas, we went to Maine to see my brother Bob and his family and had a great time. And this past Wednesday, Brad Edmondson and Tania Werbizky spent the night while on their way to the White Mountains. /  As we were eating dinner tonight, after a long day of cooking, I fantasized about a huge long farmhouse table with all the people who give me so much love and support sitting around me.  What a meal that would be. / We take Peter back to Union tomorrow, and I always get a bit melancholy when he leaves.  In his words, I am “waxing a bit poetic” here, but if you can’t say how much your friends and family mean to you, something isn’t quite right. /  So, to all of you dear people in my life, best wishes for the new year.

Royal Palm

Posted in Buildings, Friends, History, Windows by joncrispin on 16/09/2010

Peter Carroll and I went out for Indian food in Collegtown when I was in Ithaca.  The Royal Palm has been there forever without much obvious change.  It is a pretty cool building.

Peter at Antonios

Posted in Food, Friends, People by joncrispin on 25/07/2010

Peter Carroll came up for the weekend and as always, his visit involved multiple visits to Antonios.  Today he had a fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil, then a salad slice.  I had the special which was melanzana (eggplant, feta, roasted red pepper, and spinach).

Big Pete in NYC

Posted in People, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 22/04/2010

Peter Carroll and I have been working together on and off for a very long time.  He is always willing to stand around while I take goofy photographs.  We are in New York for a couple of days and just after this we found an amazing falafel stand for lunch.  What a sport!

%d bloggers like this: