Jul 11

A brief storm


A brief storm swept through the neighborhood last week. Here is the tail end above one of our landmarks. Shot with my cell phone, unfortunately.

Jun 11

Greetings from Cambridge, MA

Some of my favorites from a little trip to the old country. They look like those old postcards from the town welcome center, so I rounded the edges.

May 11

Southern Wedding, Southern Camera, Expired Film



Here are a couple of photos I took at Tallu and Robbie’s wonderful wedding in Tennessee last weekend. It was the trial run for a 1961 Continette camera that I got while visiting my family in Chile last month. The film is expired Kodak Portra left over from the last big batch I bought before I discovered this digital stuff. It had been sitting in a ‘frige drawer since then. This is a much better use for it…and it’s nice to have that drawer back.

Mar 11

One Who Loves

Amador RivasHere is Amador. He is Cuban and though he has papers, I’m including him in the Undocumented project because really the title was always meant as a double entendre; and because the difference between him and someone without papers, seems so small as to be almost incidental. He’s lived the same life in shadows, worked the same factory-restaurant-cleaning jobs, been mistaken countless times on the street for someone without papers. He’s protested and marched both beside the paperless and on their behalf.
Born in Bautista’s Cuba four years before its end, Amador was raised in the infancy of The Revolution. In the ’80s, he went to Angola as a medic with Cuban troops fighting on the side of communist forces during that country’s endless civil war. Back in Cuba in the early 90s, he decided to come to America. His sister was dying of cancer in Florida. The small boat he and a handful of others took was picked up a few miles into the journey and Amador spent a year in Guantanamo, waiting, until he was finally released into the country. His sister died soon after their reunion and Amador left for Boston and then New York.

Amador Rivas

Feb 11

Rabbi Klaperman

Rabbi Gilbert Klaperman

Rabbi Gilbert Klaperman, 90, pictured in his study in Lawrence.

Yesterday I drove out to Lawrence to photograph Rabbi Gilbert Klaperman at his home for a story my friend Michael Orbach is doing. The rabbi, who turned 90 this past weekend, was born in Harlem to Polish parents who immigrated to the United States in 1911. For some context, Taft was president and the Panama Canal was 3 years from completion when Gilbert’s parents, along with the 637,003 other immigrants who passed through Ellis Island that year, first laid eyes on New York harbor. In his long life, Klaperman has been a religious leader, teacher and a lawyer. He has met heads of state, including Kennedy, Nixon, Khrushchev and Pope John Paul II, the latter two in an effort to open channels of emigration for Soviet Jews and to have the Vatican recognize the state of Israel, which it did. When I was leaving, I mentioned that I had to make a phone call, and he insisted that I use his home phone. That’s old school.

Feb 11

Back to Bands

Another music gig for The Star-Ledger (article)! This one was of the bands Thursday and Underoath at Terminal 5 in Manhattan and was a bit more challenging. The bands were hardcore (or punk, not good with my music genres) and preferred to remain in the dark or backlit most of the time. For the first 3 songs of each band, we (the photographers) were allowed into a space right in front of the stage, and snapped away as crowd surfers were passed to waiting security staff just behind us. It was a somewhat comical scene: screaming wailing band, pack of photographers furiously snapping away, and rabid fans and crowd surfers being passed to security in the span of 10 feet.

Feb 11

Some Bands

Here are some of my favorites from a recent assignment for The Star-Ledger (see the article.) They are the bands hellogoodbye, You, Me and Everyone We Know, and Gold Motel performing at the Highline Ballroom last week. I hadn’t heard of them before, but they all put on a good show and I would be curious to check them out again. And the thing about music, the light is always great… well, usually. I’ve been to some places, let me tell you.

Jan 11

A Moving Still

New year’s snow fall out my back window.

Dec 10

Dream a Little Dream

Last month Gloria and Esteban went to the local Post Office to apply for a passport for their one-year-old daughter, Jessica. Even though Esteban hasn’t been working much lately, they pulled together the $105 application fee and in another 2 to 4 weeks will receive in the mail that ultimate symbol of Jessica’s American citizenship. At that point she, unlike they, will be able to travel to Guatemala on a plane, without coyotes, or the risks of the desert.
Today the Dream Act, which would provide a way to citizenship for children brought to the U.S. by their migrant parents, is stalled in the U.S. Senate. If passed, which seems unlikely, it would make it so that those children, who have lived most of their lives in America, could become citizens after attending college for 2 years. For now, they, unlike, Jessica, are not entitled to a passport and the rights it represents.

Nov 10

Diamond District

A man walks along the diamond district.

Every now and then I pretend to be a street photographer. I love the woman in the back right. Someone’s always got to bust you. Humans are watchers. Like the gorillas at the zoo, staring from the other side of the glass.