Friday, September 30, 2022

New Hampshire

I'm warming to New Hampshire. It's a beautiful place with big mountains, small towns and medium-sized people. :)

On my way to the White Mountains I stopped in Keene, NH today. It has a notable attraction. Politicians say “the run to the White House runs through Lindy's Diner.” The diner, built in 1961, is popular among candidates for U.S. President. New Hampshire holds the first national primary and Lindy's is the central landmark here. Everyone from George H.W. Bush to Biden has eaten breakfast at Lindy’s. I figured I'd give it a try.

Meh. Food is ordinary. If you want really good food in a rural diner, go to Gracie's Luncheonette in Leeds, NY (an hour south of Albany). I'm glad I saw Lindy's for its history but won't return for a meal.

Now on to some mountains!

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Old Photography

I love the images you can get from film and old cameras. They're impossible to duplicate with digital equipment.

These were taken last month. It takes three weeks to get film negatives developed and scanned.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Amber Cowan

In New York if you're not first you're last.

I popped into NYC today and bought another work of glass art. I squeezed the trip into my schedule -- ahead of my journey to NH tomorrow -- because an artist's show is getting rave reviews and will sell out before I return from hiking. Competing with museums and other rich collectors requires fleet feet.

Last week I attended a private event celebrating the Corning Museum of Glass's release of its annual New Glass Review. I got to hobnob with the Museum's president and chat with Susie Silbert, its irrepressible Curator of contemporary glass art. I saw Susie on TV two months ago when she was Guest Judge on "Blown Away," Netflix's show about glass. At this event I also spoke with an artist unknown to me, Amber Cowan, and viewed some of her work.

Amber is a Philly-based artist who handles material I didn't recognize (milk glass) and uses techniques I've never heard of (e.g., flameworking). In addition to having pieces in several museums, Amber is well-known to powerful people in the fashion and entertainment industries. Her show, up right now at the Heller Gallery in Manhattan, is attracting major media attention. Three magazines have covered it and a lengthy, glowing review will be published soon in The New York Times. 

I examined Amber's work more closely today and made my move. Good thing too -- several well-heeled collectors are vying for pieces and it's a race to the finish line. I'm pleased to have slipped in before it was too late. The work I acquired has hummingbirds in it! (See below.)

If you're in New York take a look at Amber's art. Or come visit me when I invite you to future parties. :)

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Lansky Bros.

The new Elvis movie is bringing attention to the coolest place to buy clothes in America -- Lansky Brothers ("Clothier To The King"). A store in Memphis, Lansky Brothers gave free clothes to Elvis when he was struggling to make it in the music business and later designed costumes for him to wear performing. Bernard Lansky was a mensch who helped many other rock stars (famous and unknown) find their unique style.

I had the good fortune to visit the Lansky Bros. store in Memphis 15 years ago. It's inside the Peabody Hotel which is famous for a pond in the lobby that's full of ducks. Real ducks. Several times a day the ducks walk in a line to and from the pond, amusing observers. It's a magical place. A scene in the new movie takes place inside the Lansky Bros. store and shows Elvis's affection for its staff.

I brought home from that trip a fun Elvis-jacket and have mail-ordered many shirts since. A package arrived today with a cool red bowling shirt with vertical leopard stripes and a t-shirt with Elvis's personal logo on it -- TCB (Takin' Care of Business). The logo is displayed in the title-scene of the movie.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022


This outfit started with ruffles. I saw a cute top in a discount-store and conceived an outfit around it. Then I looked for a skirt that complemented the ruffles' femininity and found one. 

I like this look. What do you think?

Saturday, September 17, 2022


During the dance, "Arthur keeps watching his feet, but his mind's on Odile's mouth and her romantic kisses. Odile is wondering if the boys notice her breasts moving under her sweater. Franz thinks of everything and nothing. He wonders if the world is becoming a dream or if the dream is becoming the world." (Band of Outsiders [1964]; discussed here). 

The dialogue reminds me of two photographs I took recently in my hometown (Huntington, NY). The first is of a sculpture on top of a building and the second is a new mural painted on the side of a building.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Jean Luc Godard

Jean Luc Godard died Tuesday. A film legend, Godard was best-known for "Breathless," his first of 44 movies. "Breathless" is a 1960 crime drama that introduced new cinematic techniques, like jump-cuts, and paid homage to film history. It shouldn't be a surprise that before making movies, Godard was a respected film critic.

Revisiting his œuvre I just admired "Band of Outsiders" (Bande à part). The work is many people's favorite Godard film, including Quentin Tarantino. The film stars Godard's muse at the time (Anna Karina) as the linchpin of a three-person heist. Anna was an "effervescent free spirit of the French new wave;" she was also a widely imitated style-icon of the time. 

There's an unexpected, oddly charming dance scene in "Band of Outsiders" that has been referenced many times in later films. The scene inspired the famous dance sequence in "Pulp Fiction" with Uma Thurman and John Travolta. Uma's black wig and iconic look was stolen directly from another character in "Band..." (seen in the bathroom just before the dance). You can catch the dance scene here; it's short and lots of fun to watch.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Summer Dress and Introspection

Often we're blind to ourselves. This is especially the case when you're brought up and forced to be someone you're not. I'm on a journey toward discovering my true self and I make mistakes along the way.

One mistake is not understanding why we do things. For example, I crave common female experiences, like picking out a cute dress in a store, accessorizing it with jewelry, squeezing into its tight fit and then showing it off to friends. The appeal are the experiences generated, not the end-result.

So when I engage in this fun behavior, I enjoy myself -- up to the point of seeing photos of the result. Then I get sad because, of course, I'm not attractive or even passable under current, heightened social conventions of female beauty. That sadness usually propels me to make excuses when posting pictures.

I shouldn't. Because I'm losing sight of the whole point which is to create joy in my life, such as it is. I'll never compete with the beauty of cis-gender women whose lifelong efforts and natural advantages eclipse anything I can do, particularly now. But I don't have to measure myself with that yardstick; it's not the goal. The real aim is to take what and where I am and improve on it. And I'm doing that simply by moving toward authenticity. In truth, I relish these experiences and need to remind myself of that.