Found some old pictures from….

philosoraptor

…the time my girlfriend and I visited the High Line. I went to New York a lot more when I was first starting out with photography. I miss it. :c

Advertisements
Found some old pictures from….

A Non-Travel Blog: New Market Pond

numarquette
Huh. The iPhone 6 camera really isn’t bad in a pinch.

The pond sits almost at the very edge of my home town of Piscataway – just two or three minutes down New Market Road and you’ve already hit Dunellen. From there, you can buy a $20 something round trip to New York Penn, leave the suburbs in your bellowing wake, and lose the night wandering around after a few hours at that nice Japanese bar in the East Village. In that time, it’s easy to forget the small things your shabby stopover town has to offer.

So today, let’s forego the $20 something train ticket. Save it for a fast lunch later down this week. Park the car by the precarious intersection where the train whistles never stop blowing and the pigeons come to roost. Stay in town for the night.

Venture a bit closer waterside and you’ll notice all the signs warning you not to eat the fish – all sized small enough to remain unsettlingly vague as to why the hell not. The stories vary around town. Decades of pollution. Toxic runoff. Mutant pond sharks. The list goes on, I’m sure. Still, you’ll find no shortage of fisherfolk present on any given day – playing catch and release with the poor irradiated swimmers.

The water itself has two outfits. The first is for when it feels like looking young again – showing off that glistening, reflective veneer painted the color of whatever brilliant sky is hanging overhead that day. Check the prom photos taken there – you’ll see it showing off. The second is for sweatpant days, where it’s not as concerned, and sees no need to hide the teeming layers of pond scum floating in a green blanket on its face. The latter of the two is a bit more honest – the rotten core has just risen to the surface for the world to see.

From what I’ve heard, though, the sordid nature of this patch of pondwater is something that’s just happened with age. I used to have a physics teacher back in high school that always used to talk about when people could swim at New Market – back when they grew corn where the elementary school was, and the concrete wasn’t slowly anaconda-ing all the green. Can’t even imagine wading in there now. Might end up like one of those old cartoons – resurface after waddling waist deep with my ribcage and hipbones showing, either from acid water or piranhas.

But before you tell me to fuck off and drive to Dunellen for that train ticket, step back into last night with me. It’s 8 PM, and we’re sitting on the next gazebo down on the water, the one that juts out and wiggles and bobs when someone’s kid jumps up and down on the newly painted wooden planks. The sky is this brilliant lavender fire as the sun bows out slowly, the feisty 90 degree day ebbing out into the cool curtain of dusk. It’s a paintbrush that streaks the water. Even being there doesn’t do it justice. There are people sitting behind the railing from us, chatting in some other language, their laughter lifting into the air – carried away by a breeze that ripples the mirror – brushes the fountain. There’s a concert playing on the main gazebo. You can hear them from where we are.

They’re covering Marley.

You’re sitting there, smiling, in the town that’s seen more than a decade and a half of your life. The dirt is nowhere that matters.

Don’t worry. Be happy.

A Non-Travel Blog: New Market Pond

The Metropolis

fiddlerontheground

It’s one of the nicknames that the city of Montreal can call its own. But for me, at least, the nickname and the place don’t make an immediate connection. I’m from the glorious tristate – where you find your way to the best known places by moving along the chain links of stopover towns, one after the next. “Metropolis” means bustle – its the body formed by the layer of skyscraper tops that doesn’t seem to notice the man slinging hotdogs at the corner. It’s the audible heartbeat of a city without silence – every moment punctuated by pulses that sound different than the last. It’s New York in all of its simultaneously sleek and grimy splendor. It’s something I know.

But Montreal is not New York.

I mean sure, if someone flew you over blindfolded, struck you deaf to block out the French, hid all the obvious signs of nationality, and spun you around three times for good measure, I’m sure there are a decent number of places in the city that are almost indistinguishable from the stretches in midtown. That’s one of the things that I love about the urban environment, after all – the almost-always-present sense of familiarity, despite place, despite space, despite time of day. But there’s something about Montreal that’s just unique, and I wish I could verbalize it for you. It’s this sense of magic that boils up inside me when I step over the street that divides Old Montreal from the rest of the city – leaving the asphalt and sidewalk for cobblestone corridors.

There’s something about the Old Town – something about the Old Port that agh I just…

You emerge from the sprawl – from a place where the name “Metropolis” makes sense – and the first thing that strikes you is the narrow. Not the narrow _____, just the narrow of it all. Cars can’t come here – there are posts holding them at bay, jutting from the smooth stones, making sure that the space is safe for the people milling back and forth in the collective shadows of old taverns, shops, the looming church. Progress has and hasn’t happened here – it has sort of bled into the pages, but frozen halfway – caught in the space between, the pause – like the buildings, like the people, like you. You’re lost.

And then, you step out into the air. You’re at the port. The ships have pulled away.

The sun is setting.

The Metropolis

[AudioCoffee] To Pound’s Station

Like a scene from Pound

where everyone in this

station is

an apparition, save for –

no –

I can’t say that, can I?

All the faces

are blurred now.

Yours,

mine,

the nameless passing

around

through

between

cradling it

all of it

and it’s all just

smoke,

blown away when the

Amtrac blurs past

on its way to Penn Station.

Ezra –

I’ve fought your words

since first I heard them –

two lines that,

before,

got only one response from me:

Bullshit.

Utter Bullshit.

After all, how could

anyone even presume to know

how to condense so much

life

into

fifty-seven letters

fourteen words

there’s too much

there’s just too much.

And somehow you packed it

into a blurb

smaller

than an address line.

It’s as if someone decided to write

about the ocean

and settled on

yellow fish.

Truth be told I

still

don’t understand why you

would.

But I get

that you can.

I see how the faces blur

like water on bark,

dropping from the grain before

you can

name them.

But they do have names,

Ezra.

They have voices.

Listen close,

and you might hear it, too.

 

[AudioCoffee] To Pound’s Station