Rudy's Blog

   Buy Rudy's books! Click covers for info.      Blog text and images copyright (C) Rudy Rucker 2019.

New York #2. WTC, Seaport, Eddie, Midtown. Plus Backlog.

Here’s a few more photos from Manhattan, followed by some pictures from my backlog.

One of the best deals in the city is the East River Ferry, which runs from 34th St. to Wall St. stopping in four or fives Brooklyn docks on the way. Takes about half an hour, great views and fresh air, uncrowded, $4.

Near Union Square. I love the ever-changing kaleidoscope of people, signs, and machines in the big city. The sign vaguely sinister here, like Big Sister is Watching You. Fashion police?

Cool wall painting near Wall St. This part of town is the oldest, going back to colonial days. I like poking around here. And you see genuine financiers.

We were resting on a bench and two ambulances pulled up—a regular one and a Jewish one. Some bond-trader type guy had had a heart attack or maybe just a panic attack, and after fifteen minutes he came walking out, a little shaky. He went for the Jewish ambulance.

The big new world trade center building is done, they call it One World Trade Center or Freedom Tower. Very cool to see it suddenly there amid the streets down around Wall St.

We made our way there, and it’s really awesome. I felt this surge of patriotism and gladness. We’re back! In your face! Bigger and better. That thing made of fins is a glorified subway stop, like for suburban trains as well.

There’s this little old colonial church by the World Trade Center, it’s St. Pauls Episcopal Church, and it has an ancient graveyard, you can go in there and sit on a shady bench. Kind of dizzying to sit there and imagine a fast-forward movie of the neighborhood as seen from the once-peaceful graveyard—the growth of the city, the rise and collapse of the first towers, the construction of the new ones…and then what?

Such gorgeous ornamentation and elaborations on those 40s buildings. Fractal. When will the long desert of flat glass end?

We made our way over to the South Street Seaport, kind of an urban mall, with cobblestones. Not plastic, exactly, but a bit chainy. Had some great crab cakes amid numerous colorful locals on lunch break. The good part there is a pier with old ships. It was a trip to look at the old ships’ rigging against the Wall St. towers.

I always dig taking high-speed photos of water in motion. It’s all a matter of time-scale. A lot of things in ordinary life can be thought of as slow-motion fluid flow. Our bodies, our cities, out landscapes.

Gotta have a least one photo of a big-ass NY truck. This one’s near Union Square, which is always a good spot to visit. Lots of benches, good people-watching. I bought some new walking shoes near here, New Balance 990s—I got the idea from seeing an article in the Sunday Times, some guy swearing by them. The salesman was great, urban gay, with that tired kind of voice, he observed that he’d sold a lot of this model that day, and I told him about the Times article and he looked it up. On a trip, you’re happy if you manage to have a conversation with anyone.

I always love how the sidewalk scenes are mirrored in the windows.

We got together with our old friend Eddie Marritz for dinner at cool West Village place he recommended, Mary’s Fish Camp. We’ve known Eddie since 1968, when he showed up at Rutgers U. in New Brunswick, New Jersey as a freshman. Sylvia and I were in grad school there—we’d gone to college with Eddie’s older brother Don. Just about fifty years ago. Half a frikkin’ century. Eddie’s a very successful cinematographer now, he gets work shooting a lot of documentary films. It’s so relaxing to talk to a very old friend, the complete trust, the sensitivity to subtle allusions. Sylvia took this photo with her iPhone.

I love the rich architectural details in Manhattan. Like this “awning” over the door in a mid-down.

I’ve got some more NY photos, but I’ll post them another day.

For now, I’m noticing that I have quite of backlog of older photos, so I’ll go ahead a post some of them today. On the shell theme, here’s some of those nice, crisp black scallop (?) shells that Sylvia collected at the Outer Banks. Sitting on a glass table, hovering in space.

What would American photography be without neon signs amid window reflections?

A “Rudy” photo of the pool skimmer at our OBX McMansion-cottage. I dig these kinds of collage / angles / shades photos.

An iPhone photo of my car’s windshield below a palm in Los Gatos a couple of months ago. The thing about iPhones, they basically suck in terms of photo quality, but sometimes they’re all you’ve got. That old saying, “The best camera is the one you have with you.”

I kind of wonder about that recent Apple ad campaign, with high-art black-and-white full-page magazine photos labeled, “Shot with an iPhone 6.” It’s certainly safer to go black-and-white, as then there’s less chance of digital crud. And of course they’d be running the photos through something like Lightroom—dialing up Clarity and Sharpness a bit, and cleaning up pixel stutter with the Noise sliders. And if it’s a wonderfully envisioned and framed shot, it’s gonna look good. If you have strong lighting that helps too. And you’d want to shoot it in such a way that you don’t have to crop, so that the meager iPhone pixel count isn’t being stretched too much for the blow-up.

What’s this? Bolts of cloth and buttons in Hart’s fabric store in Santa Cruz. I end up accompanying Sylvia here quite often, and to pass the time, I tend to take a photo or two. Sf concept: a “fabric store” where supernal god-like aliens buy materials for making quilt-like universes.

Going back another month or two, here’s a seagull at Fort Mason in SF. Haughty aplomb.

A red flag at Ft. Mason! Rothko style. I’m crazy about weathered old walls. Easy to shoot, as they’re flat, like a photo. All you need to do is to see the shot, do a minimally competent job with the camera (never a gimmie!), and fix the light in Lightroom. Got this one the day I went there for the beatnik con with V. Vale and Marian, and I lost my glasses (now replaced).

And that’s about enough for today.

2 Responses to “New York #2. WTC, Seaport, Eddie, Midtown. Plus Backlog.”

  1. eo Says:

    love nyc. last time I was there we had dinner in Harlem and got invited by our dinner neighbors to the oldest extent jazz club in Harlem. It was a marvelous evening.

    The fabric store would simply be list of googol digit numbers. Seed values for the cosmic generator machine. Or, your supernal aliens could perhaps ingest the number and create the new universe as waste. 🙂

  2. JamesPadraicR Says:

    Okay, I had to look up the ambulance Hebrew (Khevrah Hatzalah) with the Google Translate app. It came up with Salvage Company, which is kinda funny/creepy in a SFnal way. Taking out my trusty Ben-Yehuda’s dictionary I find Rescue Society is a more proper translation.

    As always, nice photos.

Rudy's Blog is powered by WordPress