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Entries in civilized ku, manmade landscape (1380)

diptych # 146 /civilized ku # 2924 / tourist pictures ~ quirky-ness

upstairs porch light thing / day and night ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
Clare and Carl's Hot Dog Stand ~ Plattsburgh, NY • click to embiggen
Brawler's Back Alley Deli ~ Buffalo, NY • click to embiggen
Tickets ~ Plattsburgh, NY • click to embiggen

Some simple facts about the diptych and Clare and Carl's Hot Dog Stand pictures.

The upstairs porch thing was thrown together using a dress form found in a store in the Catskill Mountains and a flower light (meant to hang) purchased by the wife in Lake Placid. They just seem to be made to go together.

Clare and Carl's has been standing and slowly listing since the 50s. It is a noted and must visit hot dog stand in Plattsburgh, NY. Visitors come from near and far to sample their Michigan hot dogs, a very popular New York State North Country delight.

Strangely enough, I have never stopped at Clare and Carl's even though I have passed by it a zillion and a half times. In large part that is due to the fact that I am not a fan of boiled hot dogs. But, to be fair, the hot dog ingredient in a Michigan is just there as a substance on which to put the Michigan sauce. And it is the sauce, the raison d'etre of the Michigan experience, which separates a merely good from a truly excellent Michigan.

Although the origins of the Michigan are unknown, the first known advertisement for Michigans appeared in the Plattsburgh Daily Republican in the Friday, May 27, 1927 edition. That ad announced the opening of a Michigan Hot Dog Stand which was located between two dance halls. The establishment may or may not have been the same one which was mentioned in a later PDR article which read in part:

Garth C. Otis has leased the quarters in the Plattsburgh Theatre building formerly occupied as the Locomobile salesroom in which place he will conduct an eating place under the name of the Michigan Hot Dog and Sandwich Shop opening Saturday. Mexican chili con carne will be one of the specialties. Mr. Otis promises a first class place for those who desire short order lunches.

On a related note, early this Fall, I'll be visiting Rochester where I will picture (and eat) a Nick Tahou Garbage Plate, Rochester's version of a Michigan, albeit a Michigan on steroids.

diptych # 144 / civilized ku # 2922 / tourist polaroid / rain # 70 ~ an organizing principle

Yacht•Boat House / Episcopal Cathedral ~ 1000 Islands, NY / Buffalo, NY • click to embiggen
building mechanicals with flowers ~ Buffalo, NY • click to embiggen
polar bear / Kingston Brewing Co. ~ Kingston, Canada • click to embiggen
Canadian island ~ 1000 Islands, Canada • click to embiggen

I have figured out what to do / how to categorize those pictures which do not fall into any of my existing bodies of work. The answer is simple .... create another body of work labeled tourist pictures.

Despite the name, the pictures which will fall into that body of work will not necessarily be pictures made while on my various travels. The defining characteristic of tourist pictures will be those pictures made of people / places / things which are rather obvious referents which motivate most people to make pictures. That characteristic will stand in contrast to my other pictures which fall into one category or another of my existing bodies of work, virtually all of which are pictures of people / places / things which people see but most often overlook.

An obvious referent would be like the polar bear picture in this entry - if one is in the Kingston Brewing Co. pub, why wouldn't one make a picture of the polar bear? That picture stands in contrast to the building mechanicals with flowers picture wherein the question might be - why would one take a picture of that stuff*?

Just as my pictures of referents overlooked have a black border, the tourist pictures will all the presented as pseudo polaroids. And, just as my black border is a throwback to the days of analog printing to include film edges, the polaroid shtick is meant as a throwback to the days when a lot of tourist / casual pictures were made with polaroid cameras. In addition, the tourist pictures body of work will also allow me to create printed books with multiple pictures per page in order to present a look much like the family picture album of days gone by.

*ANSWER: It's not what you see, it's how you see it. And, I like making pictures of referents people see but most often overlook.

diptych # 143 / kitchen sink # 28 / tourist polaroid / life in pictures #19 ~ a picture making dilemma of sorts

graffiti ~ New York, NY • click to embiggen
hotdog debri ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
red umbrella / Hugo ~ 1000 Islands, NY • click to embiggen
Chanel N˚5 ~ New York, NY • click to embiggen

Over the past few weeks I have been moving about the landscape and have managed to make almost 100 pictures. As is my wont, those pictures are all over the landscape (metaphorically writing), referent wise. Some of the pictures fit into some of my various bodies of work but most do not.

Consequently, as I sit viewing all of the pictures - all open on my screen - I find myself ill at ease with the notion that I may be making too many pictures for my own good inasmuch as I don't know how to organize / categorize the ones which do not fit into one or the other of my existing bodies of work.

Some of the pictures suggest opportunities to create new bodies of work, assuming that I want to do so. While I have, in fact, been contemplating my next picture making thing, I am limited by my location in pursuing specific picture making opportunities. As an example, I live in a rather remote area so any thought of pursuing a body of work which requires regular access to big-city stuff - reference the graffiti pictures in this entry - is somewhat of a lost cause. So, looking the reality of the situation in the eye, I feel that I should (must?) find a new picture making thing which is within reach, literally and figuratively.

While I will never be able to rein in my picture making promiscuity, I do have the desire to sink my picture making teeth into a focused endeavor. Fortunately, thanks to a couple angst filled days of staring at my recent accumulation of pictures, I believe I have come up with an idea for my next picture making thing.

civilized ku # 2918 / diptych # 141 ~ lots of Buffalo

beer taps / Pearl Street Brewery ~ Buffalo, NY • click to embiggen
Buffalo Trace ~ Buffalo, NY • click to embiggen

Before departing to Buffalo I picked up a bottle of Buffalo Trace Kentucky Bourbon to have for the hotel room. During my walk about in downtown Buffalo, I stopped into the Pearl Street Brewery for lunch and to sample some of their beers.

As I sat at the bar, right there in front of me was a Buffalo Trace napkin / straw fixture. Needless to write, I wanted it but no amount of offers (money wise) could get it in my hands. As it turned out, that was a good thing because the wife said I would have to get my own apartment if I showed up with it.

FYI, Buffalo Trace bourbon is not made in Buffalo. It is made in Kentucky, as are most bourbons, at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. The name of the bourbon derives from the fact that the distillery - 200 years old and named as a National Historic Landmark - is located near what was once a buffalo path/trail. In Kentucky, a path or trail is referred to as a trace. Hence, the name.

If one is not a bourbon aficionado, one would not know the distillery makes (under contract to various recipe holders) quite a number of highly sought after bourbons including the # 1 rated bourbon in the world, Van Winkle.
Posted on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 03:01PM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , | Comments1 Comment

single woman # 31 / civilized ku # 2915-16 - a (another) painted lady - in the nickel city

single woman ~ Buffalo, NY • click to embiggen
hotel fountain in rain and fog ~ Buffalo, NY • click to embiggen
sailing themed hotel bar and restaurant ~ Buffalo, NY • click to embiggen
Hugo / rink parking garage mural ~ Buffalo, NY • click to embiggen
main rink ~ Buffalo, NY • click to embiggen

We're back from the hockey tournament in Buffalo, nicknamed the Nickel City*. The tournament was held in a beautiful 2 rink facility. The rinks are located on the top (6th floor) of a parking garage.

Between games on Saturday, while Hugo and his dad (the Cinemascapist) visited Niagara Falls, I roamed around downtown Buffalo making some pictures. Those pictures will follow.

* for those non-US citizens, the American nickel (5 cent coin) has a Buffalo on its face.

civilized ku # 2914 / triptych (civilized ku # 2915-17) ~ hanging with and smelling like the cows

Holsteins ~ Miner Institute / Chazy, NY - near the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
2220 and infrastructure ~ Miner Institute / Chazy, NY - near the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
Estate Tax and Succession Planning ad for the agriculture community • click to embiggen

Been kinda busy over the past 5-6 days with a client project. Since I am the Creative Director / Art Director / Copy Writer / Picture Maker / Media Research and Placement Coordinator on the project, it has consumed most of my working time. Hence, no blog entries.

Fortunately, the end is within sight and things should return to a more normal balance of work and play soon ... soon being after this week's hockey tournament (Thursday - Sunday) in Buffalo, NY (at the other end of the NY State).

FYI # 1, the Holsteins were pictured at the Miner Institute, an institution which "conducts integrated, cutting-edge education, research, and demonstration programs that optimize the biological and economic relationships among forage-crop production, dairy and equine management, and environmental stewardship".

And, if you want a picture making challenge, try making a picture wherein ad message specific facial expressions of 3 different people need to be captured simultaneously (in one frame). That is always somewhat of a challenge. Now try it by substituting a cow for one of the people. That's a real picture making challenge if ever there was one.

FYI # 2, the ad project is focused on estate tax and succession planning services for the agriculture community - in this case, dairy farmers. The ad, with only the headline in place, can be viewed above.

diptych # 140 ~ mixed message

2 ideas, re: art ~ New York, NY • click to embiggen
To make or not to make. That is the question.

Posted on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 09:07AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , , | CommentsPost a Comment

civilized ku # 2910-13 ~ hotel ennui

hotel great room ~ Warwick, Rhode Island • click to embiggen
view from hotel window ~ Warwick, Rhode Island • click to embiggen
view of living room from hotel bedroom ~ Warwick, Rhode Island • click to embiggen
great room tv ~ Warwick, Rhode Island • click to embiggen

Some hotels are better than others when it comes to creating common space with a modicum of intimacy / people-scale-ness. The hotel in Rhode Island was not one such hotel.

Fortunately, we had suite which included a small kitchen / dining space, bedroom, bathroom with a separate vanity space, and a living room space. As a NYC apartment, the suite would probably qualify as "spacious" and cost a thousands of dollars a month to rent or, literally, a cool million to purchase. In any event, the suite provided us, ennui aside, with a space to hangout and relax without having to go to a common area to find a comfortable place to sit.

A question: Does the word "ennui" cause you look at these pictures in a manner that you might not without that word? Just wondering how much of an effect, if any, a word might have on influencing the viewing of a picture.
Posted on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 11:55AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in | CommentsPost a Comment