Walker Evans – Crate Tool

In 1955, Fortune Magazine published a piece by Walker Evans entitled, “The Beauty of the Common Tool.” Previously, he had shot portraits of workers at their jobs. This studio work was designed to show the tool, highlighting its shape, form and metallic color. along with its price and manufacturer. Like any glamour picture, the beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. The viewer didn’t need to know the function to appeciate its looks.

Shelly Isaacs, Cafe Cinématique

Not much good to say about where I live. Lots of ill-mannered New Yorker/New Jerseans who rush everywhere, drive madly and think they know it all. Arts and crafts. Cards. Golf. Restaurants, especially early bird specials. Lots of lines, people who talk about grandkids and coupons.

Not a lot of culture, even though we have several museums, nature walks and a plethora of movie theaters. People who watch MSNBC and CNN talk like they have a seat at the table, never mind the ones who watch Fox who control foreign policy. One day in the gym, three televisions had Fox news on, entertaining people on treadmills and stationary bikes.

But, we do have Shelly and his movies. He introduces movies you might not go to see and leads discussions at their conclusion. Always upbeat and tolerant of dumb comments, he increases awareness of cinematic art.

Now, remember, I am a photographic artist, a cult that people know little about, despite the democratization of cameras and photo making. I constantly strive to see better. Shelly’s incisive comments help me to watch movies more critically, though he’s more reviewer than critic. Going to his movies makes life a little more bearable down here.

Baby Alligator

So, we walked at Green Cay, again. Love the place. People smile. Some workout by walking around and around.  Mostly, people want to see an alligator.

Here’s a baby. Mom swam nearby. Several other babies hid in the reeds. A woman standing next to me, photographing with a cell phone complained: “…, hard to get this shot; he has the same coloring at the grass.”

“Yup, I replied, “and it only took 200 million years.” She didn’t laugh, but others did.

BRADY’s LAWYER DEAD at 90

So, Brady’s lawyer died at 90, a good age, time to do enough and live. Didn’t you want to know what some of these lawyers and defendants looked like? How many times do you ask for Brady material? Did you ever read the original case and then look to see how it has been eviscerated?

Don’t forget Brady applies to stuff that inculates and exculpates, though prosecutors are loathe to say anything positive about those they think to indict and convict. One might ask the latest SCOTUS nominee what he thinks of it, too.

TRUMPsky’S TEAM

Front page. NYT. Your task, should you decide to accept it, is to determine who, if any, of the assembled represents your best interests.

One of them has already been dismissed, not for what he did, conferring with the Russians who had just disrupted the American election process, but for not telling the VP what he had done.

Another is the former head of the Republican party, the party of Mitch, Paul arhat d Dick Cheney, amongst others. Don’t hold his party affiliation against him. Fuck it. You can.

Then there’s Pence, a former talk show host, who may be in line to become President if the Donald is impeached. He would not have been re-elected in Indiana, so they made him VP. He was a former radio talk show host and a known opponent of women’s and gay rights. Big legislation: Pay for Fetus Funerals.

Bannon. He’s well read. Vote for him if you share “The Fourth Turning” by William Strauss and Neil Howe as one of your favorites. He worked for Goldman, which hit a new high yesterday, and isn’t a crime, unless you got a fee for speaking to them, a fee his holdings paid for.

And then there’s the mouthpiece Spicer. He wants you to know that you don’t know, telling your brain, which he assumes doesn’t work or you would not be listening to him, that his boss, the president (oh, how that kills me) really cares about you and that’s why he cannot tell you exactly what his boss has done, knows or will do, except that it will be great, because to do so would give the bad hombres a chance to interfere.

I left out Jared. He’s counting his money, buying buildings on the West Bank. He’s just there for the Jews, the right wingers who don’t see the people identified as Palestinians and to talk with his adopted god-father, Rupert Murdoch.

Your pick is …?

Morikami and Melania

So, Melania went to Morikami, yesterday. We go there all the time. It’s peaceful, well maintained and has a better than average Japanese restaurant. There’s a library, tea services and flower arranging, ikebana, and guided tours. Recent shows in the exhibition space have highlighted Japanese arts and culture, like tattoos, paper folding, lanterns.

Two recent shows would have benefitted Mrs Trump: one highlighted the people interned; another, a Japanese photographer who made images in a camp. Pictured above are facsimile tags handed to the internees who had to turn over their property before being imprisoned and denied their rights.

Keep in mind, among these people interred were CITIZENs.

Prospect Park Carousel and Lorin Duckman

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So, several years ago when I was still a person and not an object of scorn and derision. I lived in a wonderful neighborhood in Brooklyn, Prospect Lefferts Gardens in our dream house. We lost it and more when I was removed.

The brownstone sat on Maple Street near Prospect Park, Olmsted’s gem. The park offered a zoo, with animals who needed more modern environs, a carosel, which didn’t work, and the Vale of Cashmere, an area featured in a Barbara Streisand movie. Sharon ran with the Prospect Park Track Club. I rode my bike. We were volunteers.

The neighborhood was rough then. A group of Alleged Revolutionaries held drills on rooftops. We had a car service to and from the subway. No place to buy much of anything except for a cold beer. It was the scene of the Crown Heights Riots. And one of the best ethnic mixes you could ever imagine.

In the Park, Tucker Thomas and Dicki Graff were our friends. Tucker got people to care about the place. Dicki wrote a book on the park. She’s dead.

Dicki, Sharon and I, and a few other people from the Central Park Conservancy, fixed up the Vale of Cashmere. Sharon and I were married there on July 10, 1983 or 1984, I cannot remember, by Justice Archie Garfinkel, a wonderful man and lover of justice. He’s dead, too.

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As members of the Prospect Park Alliance, we worked on work crews, cleaning debris and rehabbing failed buildings, tunnels and water routes. We organized for “You gotta have Park” when people didn’t give a damn. And, we raised money to restore two horses on the carousel.

I was on trial in the SDNY in the case of USA v Anthony Gaggi, et, al. It was a case that involved some organized crime figures and some wonderful lawyers. It lasted 18 months and most of the charges were sustained. Rudy was the US Atty at the time. I represented a lesser man whose conviction was ultimately reversed.

During the trial, I solicited money from the lawyers and defendants and families and whomever I could find around court to restore horses on the carousel. People thought I was nuts, raising money for wooden horses in a drug riddled part of the park. But I told them it would build community and bring safety to a desolate part of one of the brightest jewels in the world. Raising enough, I got the honor of naming two horses. I named one. Sharon named the other.

Sharon named hers, “Woodstock Nation.” It was an homage to all of us who grew up in the age of acquarius. She went to Woodstock.

Me. I named mine the 6th Amendment. Now, I don’t have the park, my house, any friends and I don’t practice law. But I hope some kids or people enjoyed riding on our horses. It could be the last good thing I ever did.