Friday, February 27, 2015

Katya Kasterine, Fermey-Voltaire, France




My grandchild, 14 year-old Katya Kasterine, gossips with her sister in French, argues and pleads with her mother in Spanish, and with her father in English. 


Dinner at Brasserie Charlot, Paris, France

After an absence of many years I was thrilled to see that what the French still cared most about was food, good service and love. Not to mention the great concern they have to preserve their buildings.

Getting there now from England by Eurostar is probably the most pleasant travel experience you can have anywhere in the world. We went standard premier which meant that you get a light lunch. It was excellent with service to match. It is a thrill to travel at 180 mph, even if it feels as though you are not — the train moves in an effortless vibrationless glide.




Lunch at Brasserie Charlot

We discovered this place by asking at Isabel Marant in the Marais where my daughter Cathy had also sought help in finding places to eat. Then we asked the Italian couple who were lunching at the next table to us where else they went. They said the Brasserie Flo, which was where we landed up that evening. See next post.   

Diners at Brasserie Flo

The French at dinner are mostly wholly absorbed in their meal as are the trio on the right or wholly absorbed in each other as are the couple on the left. In the next post we see that love has taken over completely from food.

A loving couple at dinner on Rue Jacob, Paris

Where food and wine are secondary...

The Eiffel Tower

This was the woman who told Caroline how to get into the Louvre without queuing, legally, avec un billet. Do you think we are going to tell you how? 

The lady is there most days around 10.30 in the morning to walk her dog at the edge of Les Jardin des Tuileries. She speaks English. Clue: it is an entrance under an arch and is closed on Thursdays. There were just four people buying tickets when we found it. The queue to get in by the other two entrances was estimated at four hours—and this was February. 

Lily


Lily is my daughter Cathy's eldest child. She is head girl at her primary school in Kensal Rise in London. 

When she puts on her mother's white kitchen apron and horn-rimmed glasses, attaches a questionnaire to her clipboard and strides in to examine the state of the kitchen as the local health inspector, you would never know she was not the real thing. Tone of voice, stance, jargon — it's all there, perfectly performed.  


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Miami: our hosts, George and Emily Lansbury

George and Emily at the Raleigh Hotel — the only place, unless you count next door. It was a cold day (75 degrees F). The guard at the pool was falling asleep from lack of business. Brunch and service were perfect. I wondered who the people around us were and what they did. Next door at the Delano, one glance and you know what they did.

En route to Miami

By JetBlue to Miami, the low cost American airline. Like EasyJet in Europe but without the fights in the isles, and much more expensive. 

Proper photographers do not take sunsets. I offer no excuse.

Miami: one foot in the air

Skateboarding father. I stood behind a bench in the shade, focused on the middle of the path, set a slow shutter-speed and waited.

Miami: elegant rollerbladder

Rollerbladers: some are elegant, some awkward, some steady, others are acrobatic.

Miami: not illegal (or is it?)

 This street is not one way...

Miami: beach loving couple

He is Polish, she is German. They live in Key Largo, where he runs a scuba diving school and she owns a management consulting business based in Germany. "I go there every few months, otherwise I can run it very well from Key Largo." Caroline and I were invited to Key Largo. If we had not been going to London surely we would have accepted.  

Young women with name and number



When I asked if I could take her picture, her friend said she was famous. After I took the picture she said she was returning to Boston the next day and hoped we could work together in the future. Some work—two clicks and done. We too were heading back north to the Hudson Valley and wondered who they were. Perhaps her tattoo reveals that.    

Miami: A South Beach smile

It was a Tuesday, mid-afternoon on Ocean Drive. Time on her hands. 

Miami tassels

A peaceful day on South Beach. Two friends with their phones. They were not sure they knew what we meant when we said we would send them a print of the photograph. "You mean... like a polaroid?"

Miami: faded beauty

Faded but not yet done. I'd liked to think the proprietors were taking a day off. When they returned, I'd imagined the waiting customers spilling into the street. 

I had been turned loose in the warehouse district by Emily (our host) and Caroline. They had gone to the beach. Many artists and galleries have found spaces to live and work in this North West district.  

Friday, January 23, 2015

Valentine from Newburgh, NY


This is a Valentine from Newburgh to all those who love the place. It features the guitarist Ralph Atkins who has lived there since the 1970s. As he plays, and describes the importance of love and freedom, we catch glimpses of people who illustrate his way of life.

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Finest: Martha and The Wherehouse



This is Alysia, friend of David Ludwig, proprietor of Martha, the coffee shop and café in Newburgh, NY. I do not why, but the two best eating places in our part of the Hudson Valley are in Newburgh, the overlooked and ignored city on the wrong side of the river. Besides helping at the café, Alysia is a film maker, ink and water colorist and photographer.

Simple and perfectly cooked food at the right price, quickly made and served in soothing surroundings, Martha serves such rarities as coffee in large plain white cups and saucers, carrot butter, kimchi and curried tuna.

It is named after you know who, who's husband's headquarters stands across the street. 




Almost next door is The Wherehouse, the second of the two finest of the Hudson Valley.  It is scarcely soothing ― being a pub with TV and music (often live) ― but Dan Brown, the owner, can make you laugh however you are feeling.  His wife Michele double checks everything—including Dan and the place runs as smoothly as silk.

Burgers etc., cooked how you expected them, are served in a room lined with vintage LP record covers. The Wherehouse also offers a selection of vegan and vegetarian fare: onion soup and vegan chili.  The vinyl records from the covers are stuck to the ceiling. Lighted beer ads facing outwards are placed in the large windows and give the room a soft glow. 

Below is Dan and his wife Michele with some of their staff at the Wherehouse. Between them they have a gift for finding people who are friendly and efficient but never familiar. Dan gives benefit nights to artists, writers and local businesses when he sees they need some help with a project. Often the evenings are supported by Newburgh Brewing Company.





 


Monday, April 14, 2014

Kinga

Thirteen years ago I was playing tennis without my eye on the ball in Stowe, Vermont. I shouted to my opponent's wife as I saw this face walk by, "Quick, ask her if I may photograph her."

The next day I took this picture. Last week I had an e-mail from a collector in Reading, Pennsylvania saying he wanted to buy a print of it. He will hang it above his desk, he told me. He had seen it several years ago on my website, always liked it and was now in a position to buy it.

Kinga is Polish. At the time I photographed her she was a housekeeper at the hotel where we were staying and was studying drama at the University of Warsaw. A few years ago her husband ask me if I would send him a print of the picture.