Saturday, February 25, 2012

February 25, 2012

Image ... Nightclub entrance, Nassau.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

February 16, 2012

Image ... Lower Mills.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February 15, 2012

Well, as some of you may know, my camera - a beloved Olympus D-620L - along with my entire camera bag was stolen. I was robbed in SOWA in the South End, which can be a rough neighborhood with thieves, drug dealers, prostitutes, addicts, sex offenders and the insane. Plus the artists, cops, art dealers, yuppies and loft-living lawyers. That was the start to my new year. I'd had that camera since 1999, the first affordable (a grand or so over ten years ago) digital SLR that came on the market. That camera had heart. How could I ever replace it?

Anyway, so now I'm cameraless, for the first time since I began photographing. But I'm looking around. I've always wanted a Leica M. That was Cartier Bresson's camera, of course. The M9 is digital, $10,000 with a lens or two.

Walking around seeing pictures and making notes, taking word pictures.

There's a woman who I see almost every day, sometimes several times, in the vicinity of the Prudential Center or Copley Place. I think she's an Indian from the Andes, but I'm not sure. She has a large face topped with a thick thatch of matted brown hair and slightly slanting eyes. She dresses in thick, warm-looking layers of yellow, red and blue ponchos under which she carries two bulging white cotton bags. She's always hatless and wears sockless sandals in every weather. Her legs are like tree trunks.

She often does a little dance standing in place, swaying and stepping from side to side, sometimes smiling, and falls to sleep standing up, eyes closed, head thrown slightly back, never losing her balance, eyes suddenly snapping open as if out of a distant dream. Sometimes I see her eating at Shaw's supermarket when I'm shopping.

Speaking of which, what is it with Whole Foods and their wretched prepared foods commanding premium prices? Their steam table offerings are awful - they can't even make a decent American Chop Suey - and the over-priced prefab refrigerated sandwiches (who wants a cold sandwich anyway?) and deli items are DOA.

Image ... Map mural (detail) on a traffic signal control box. Across from the Stony Brook T station in Jamaica Plain.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day all!

Image ... Door transom near Old North Church.

Monday, February 13, 2012

February 13, 2012

Mitt Romney stated that he was seriously conservative as the governor of Massachusetts. I, and more than a few others, thought that phrase was seriously weird. But then Sarah Pailin proved once again that she has the permanent lock and patent on weirdness.

Whitney? Did I miss something. She sang schlock. I Will Always Love You? Case closed. At least Bobby Brown could dance.

Image ... Woodswoman.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

February 9, 2012

Here's one of the Red-tailed hawks who frequent the gardens. Aren't they magificent?
As Peter says, Aren't you always thrilled when the hawks fly overhead? Yes, without a doubt.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February 8, 2012

Thought for now ...
Sauces are the splendor and the glory of French cooking.
... Julia Child.

Image ... Prayer flags, Dorchester.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February 7, 2012

Thought for now ...
I don't watch TV. I have no time for that. You know, that's another thing. When I'm at home alone, I hate voices. I like music or singing, but I hate voices and stories. It has the feeling that they enter my life. I love to be alone to read, to sketch with music, but I don't like ready-made images. I prefer to live on my imagination.
... Karl Lagerfeld.

Image ... Tony playing drums with Blacksnake at Lucky's.

Monday, February 6, 2012

February 6, 2012

Image ... Light tower at Fenway Park.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

February 5, 2012

Image ... Psychic's chair.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

February 4, 2012

Image ... Roofdeck outside Roofscape's old office ovwerlooking the Fiedler footbridge.

Friday, February 3, 2012

February 3, 2012

Le Chameau

On many days my regular route from SOWA profond to Back Bay, my home base, leads up Shawmut Avenue and past The Syrian Grocery. The display window features a crazy jumble suggesting a junk shop in some seedy souk. Hookahs, omelet pans, chased brass serving trays, kitchen utensils, a Little French Chef toy cooking set, packages of dried dates and figs, pots and pans, tagines, lanterns, pot holders, candlesticks, plus a myriad of other miscellania requisite for civilized living ... and a camel saddle.

The store has been there for years, ever since the street became the center of the Boston's Syrian and Lebanese communities (Kahlil Gibran, the author of The Prophet, lived here). In the years I've been browsing, the same camel saddle has been a fixture in the window.

It became a private little joke. I'd stare in the window and think, "I guess that there's just not that much demand nowadays for camel saddles in the South End." And the thought would always make me smile (I'm easily amused).

Then the other day, surveying the Syrian window I saw ... the camel saddle was gone. I looked high and low. How could this be? After all these years ... gone. And I said under my breath, "I wonder who just bought a camel?"

Champignons Fourme d'Ambert

Fourme d’Ambert is one of the oldest French cheeses, dating back at least to the Roman occupation around the turn of the millennium and probably even earlier to the Gauls and Druids. Fourme, from the Old French word for cheese, is a mild, semi-hard cow’s milk blue cheese. Ambert is the center of Fourme’s production, a town in the rugged and rural Auvergne region of south-central France.

It’s one of the mildest and subtlest of blue cheeses, quite understated compared to the more robust and equally ancient Roquefort, made with sheep’s milk. Fourme is rich, creamy, buttery, with at least a 50% fat content, and a light blue veining. It has an earthy sort of odor, absorbed no doubt from the damp caves it’s aged in. It’s profile is often described as deep and dark, punchy and spicy. Flavor overtones frequently mentioned include: roasted nuts, mushrooms and wine with delicate hints of fruit. It often appeals to people who think that they don’t like stinky and/or blue cheeses.


large stuffing mushrooms, stems removed, caps and stems washed, stems minced
extra-virgin olive oil
shallots, minced
garlic, minced and mashed
celery, minced
bacon, cooked and minced
thyme or Herbes de Provence
parsley, curly
chestnuts, cooked and minced
bread crumbs, from a crusty country-style white loaf
lemon zest
white wine, dry
soy sauce
pepper, freshly ground
Fourme d’Ambert cheese

Thursday, February 2, 2012

February 2, 2012

Image ... Basketball court, North End.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February 1, 2012

Image ... Painter.