Jon Crispin's Notebook

DC From the Past (Update)

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Cities, Friends, Government, People by joncrispin on 15/10/2013

After I posted the shots of the capitol building yesterday, I found myself thinking about previous visits to the same location.  I took the above picture sometime in 1985 (when this Studebaker Lark was already over 20 years old).  It was this photo that popped into my mind as I was taking yesterday’s shot.

I took the above photograph on 19th January, 1985 the night before Reagan’s second inauguration.  Stacy Dabney (and I am not sure of the exact spelling) was living under these very same steps.  My friend Brad Edmondson and I were walking around the building the night before the ceremony and we were surprised to see this gentleman living there.  He was happy to talk to us about his situation.  He was a veteran and felt he was getting screwed by the VA.  The Capitol Police didn’t bother him much, but Stacy was pretty sure they would kick him out by the next day.  They did.  I remember thinking at the time that this was a HUGE story that no one was covering.  A homeless guy living under the capitol building.

Brad and I were back in DC that April working on a story about congressman Matt McHugh (D-NY 1975-1993).  We went back to the capitol steps and sure enough Stacy was still in residence.  We caught him late at night just as he was turning in.  It still seems amazing that not only was he living there, but the police never really hassled him.  This shot was taken on 24 April, 1985 and it was the last time I saw him.   Do any of you out there remember meeting him or reading about him?  I did a search for his name and nothing came up.  (UPDATE.  Thanks to reader DotRot for letting me know his real name.; Stacy Abner.  Here is a link to an article that explains the situation.  Still an amazing story.)

I really like this photo of Brad, taken that same evening just after we left Stacy.

Ben’s Chili Bowl and MLK Speech Anniversary

Posted in Abandoned Buildings, Architecture, ephemera, Food, Government, History, Jon Crispin, People by joncrispin on 28/08/2013

 

Peter and I had an interesting “one-two” today.  We had lunch at Ben’s Chili Bowl (amazing) and then headed down to the Mall to check out the events surrounding the 50th anniversary of the “I have a dream speech”.  Ben’s had CSPAN on so we were able to see some of the proceedings on TV which was really great.

We got to the area near the Washington Monument just as the President started speaking.  We were way back, but it was nice to be a part of the crowd.  I really love DC.  It is such an interesting  city.

I also want to add a note to yesterday’s post.  The document in the Shanghai Garden window is actually a “permit to raze”, which really bums me out.  Once that little building is gone, it is gone for good.  I am so glad I got to grab a photo before it was demolished.

DC in August

Cris and I took the train from New Haven to DC on Monday.  She has a couple of days of consulting and I get to hang out with Peter.

This tiny restaurant is near to the Van Ness metro station and has been closed since Peter moved to the neighborhood.  I really like the retro feel of the facade, and with the building permit in the window you know it will change soon.

I have always enjoyed shooting in underground stations.  I like the movement of the trains during long exposures.

 I will often stop after exiting the giant escalator at Dupont Circle to look down on cars that are passing below.

Peter was working the Nationals game last night so Cris and I showed up at around 6:00 to get tickets.  The Nats are struggling this year and with playoff hopes low, they are selling seats for $5.00!  $5.00; unbelievable.  We got a couple of great seats in section 402 and saw a really good game with a win over the Marlins.  My current favorite pitcher, Ross Ohlendorf, was on the mound and his old school wind-up is unique.  You can get a look at it here. / Every time Wilson Ramos came up to bat, some guy behind me started chanting  Hu go Cha vez,  Hu go Cha vez.  (There is a Venezuelan connection; only in DC can you hear something like this at a ball game.)

It was beautiful night, and between innings it was nice to look around at some of the architectural features of the park.  Cris noticed these lights just above us and pointed them out to me.

We are off to the Lincoln Memorial in a bit to see if we can see the President speak in honor of the 50th anniversary of the MLK “I have a dream” speech.  Could be interesting.

Washington Nationals

Posted in Advertising, Architecture, Baseball, Buildings, Community, Family, Landscape, Sport by joncrispin on 21/07/2013

Cristine and I are visiting Peter in DC for the weekend.  Pete is working as a “fan ambassador” for the Nationals.  His job is to welcome people into the park and help them with any questions that they might have.  So if you go to a game, chances are good that he will be around the center field entrance just inside the main gate.  Look him up!  He is a great guy and would love to chat.  / The Nats are having a rough season this year and last night was emblematic of how things are going for them.  A difficult loss in 10 innings.  Everyone was moving very slowly on a hot summer’s night and the game lasted over 4 hours. It was a sell out and the only tickets Cris and I could get were standing room.  But at $15.00 a real deal.  Peter got us comp tickets for Monday’s game vs the Pirates and we are looking forward to having actual seats.

Pups in the Park

Posted in Baseball, Family, Flowers, Trees by joncrispin on 14/04/2013

I made a run down to DC yesterday to deliver more household stuff for Peter’s apartment.  Today we went to see the Nats and were delighted to discover that it was “Pups in the Park” day.  And as is obvious, there was sniffing.

This picture shows Gio Gonzalez’s first pitch, which B.J. Upton promptly put into left field for a double.  It went downhill for the Nationals from there.  The final was 9-0 Braves, but it was a fun game to watch.  Peter was especially excited about being able to walk up to the box office and get $20.00 seats an hour before first pitch.  Something that hasn’t happened at Fenway for a very long time.

This is my second trip to the park, and the fact that you can see the Capitol as you are exiting from the upper levels is way cool.

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Pete also told me that these cherry trees were an important part of the planning of the park.  So nice to see them in bloom.  It was beautiful here in the District today and a perfect day for baseball.

Vietnam Memorial and SAAM

Posted in Architecture, Art, Buildings, Friends, History by joncrispin on 06/10/2012

Cris and I are in DC visiting Peter.  He is amazing and is doing really well.  We took the time for a quick visit to the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  I can never get enough of it and I always come back to this part of the building which is near the Lunder Conservation Center.  If any of you reading this are in the area and have never been here you really should make the effort.  There is a great wood fired pizza place a couple of blocks away called The Matchbox.  Get a small pizza and see some art!

Two of my friends from Meadville were killed in Viet Nam.  Jim Rudd was a neighbor whom I knew quite well.  We spent a lot of time together at the YMCA and I can remember his talking about his interest in Native American culture.  He was a very sweet guy.  He was a private in the Marines and died on 6 August, 1968.

I knew David Dragosavac less well, but Meadville was small and I am pretty sure we were on the Y swim team together at one point.  David was a Sergeant in the Army and was killed on 1 April, 1970.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is really worth a visit.  Very moving.

Albert Bierstadt

Posted in Architecture, Art, Buildings, History, Landscape, Nature, Travel, Water, Weather by joncrispin on 15/05/2012

I have always liked this painting.  Bierstadt was apparently quite the operator.  / I’ve been in DC the past few days and had the chance to spend a few hours at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  It is the best museum in a city full of great museums.  It shares the old patent office building with the National Portrait Gallery which in itself is pretty cool.  While there I got the chance to see some of the people that Peter Carroll and I worked with on the Lunder Conservation Center project, and had a really nice visit. /  Back to Massachusetts tomorrow and will mail out the next level of rewards for the suitcase backers.

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Posted in Automobiles, Family, History by joncrispin on 02/11/2010

 

I was in DC last week shooting Tom Carroll’s African art collection.  I love walking in the neighborhoods around Tom’s house. / When my family was in Innsbruck in the mid 50s, we used to walk past a Mercedes dealership where there was a black 190 just like this one.  My dad used to joke about buying it and bringing it back to the States, but even at that time these cars were way beyond our means.  When I was photographing, the owner and his wife came out of their house and we had a nice chat.  This one is a 1957 model, and it is in really nice shape.

Smithsonian

Posted in Art, Buildings by joncrispin on 06/06/2010

I was in Washington last week and got a chance to see a friend at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  It is such an wonderful building and the art is so accessible.  Peter Carroll and I worked on a project several years ago there for the Lunder Conservation Center.  It is worth checking out; Peter’s videos and my photos are still looking great after all this time.  The work is on display on the 4th floor in the media hallway and when I saw it a flood of nice memories came back.  A lot of really great and talented people to have worked with.

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