Monthly Archives: November 2013

Mum’s The Word?

Where: Philadelphia, PA



Between Meeting: Before a Meeting in South Jersey





I’m in the Philadelphia area today and I was reminded of a trip a few years ago when I had some free time before a meeting with Shades of Paper.



I drove around South Philly since it was close to the airport and in the direction of Mt. Laurel.  I was on the lookout for the famous Cheesesteak Sandwich, but when I came across a painted wall featuring Philadelphia Mummers, I forgot about lunch.



While working on this file I looked up the definition of a Mummer.  I was told long ago by a relative that the name comes from those in a parade who hummed. Fail! Mummery (which is performed by Mummers) is derived from Middle French momerie, was first used in 1530, and has nothing to do with humming but performing.





Posted in Between Meetings

Lilac Festival or Freshener?

Where: Rochester, NY



Between Meeting: Back Home After a Business Trip



65Rochester is known as the “Flower City” but it’s a misnomer.  In the 19th century the area was known as the “Flour City” due to the many flour mills in the area.  Since flowers are easier to celebrate and easier on the eye than flour, the Flower City name stuck.



In keeping with flowers vs flour, Rochester has an annual Lilac Festival.  One year, immediately after I got home from a long trip, my daughter said we should go and I reluctantly agreed.  So I tried to make the best of it and noticed that many things were painted a lilac color including the portable toilets.  Those who know my work would not be surprised that I soon was hanging out by the purple porta-potties.



When a woman wearing a color that vibrated against lilac headed for a leaning toilet, I was very happy that my daughter convinced me to check out the festival.



Posted in Between Meetings

Bring Back Daylight Saving Time!

Where: Long Beach, CA



Between Meeting: Working on a Sunday



RBAn out-of-date concept that’s always a bit depressing, the shift a few days ago to Standard Time, reminded me of an amazing afternoon I had at Gerry’s Barber Shop.



On a Sunday a few years ago I was in the office preparing for a Monday morning meeting. It was about this time of year and the day was suddenly shorter due to the end of Daylight Saving Time. I was feeling a bit down due to losing an hour of light, and decided to medicate my out-of-synch circadian rhythm with some type of coffee/chocolate thing.



I was about to make a right for the local Starbucks, but suddenly saw a flash of bright primary colors to my left. So I went left instead and found a barber shop decorated in brilliant red, white and blue. Not only was the window filled with color, but the sidewalk in front of the building had a fresh coat of red and blue paint. I started shooting and a man in his late 60’s, dressed like a Hollywood leading man from the 40’s, popped out from the shop and barked, “Hey if you’re with the City I have a permit to paint that sidewalk”. The man, Gerry, thought I was documenting his paint job for a complaint. When I told him I loved the colors, he sat down on his freshly painted red, white and blue bench and with great delight, watched me shoot all the amazing color.



The best shot (above) is when I asked Gerry to cross his legs which put each shoe in a separate color and I worked the center line for the best symmetry. The end of day light, brought out all the texture in the sidewalk. It’s a straight forward picture and be sure to click on it for full screen to see the subtle details.



With the sun setting Gerry muttered how much he hated going to Standard Time. Not only did I agree with him, but was thrilled to see a large sign above the barber shop door, “Headquarters for the Proposition to Keep Daylight Savings Time All Year Long”.



Then Gerry invited me in for a beer.  As soon as I went inside it was transported into a museum of Hollywood memorabilia from the early 20th century mixed with decor from a 19th century bordello. I learned Gerry was a great collector of “Stuff” including rare pre-World War II cartoon films.



If I had made that right turn I would have been sitting in a rental car feeling sorry for myself sipping a Mocha Frappuccino in pursuit of a sugar rush. But by going left, I was sitting in a barber chair, having a brew with my new best friend Gerry and watching cartoons. And what made it all so much sweeter, is this bald guy had not been in a barber’s chair for over 15 years!



On a recent trip I noticed that Gerry’s shop was gone. It looked like a chain fitness center took over the building.



I found this blog talking about Gerry’s Barber Shop with wonderful pictures of Jerry, the impeccable way he dressed and that wild interior.



While Gerry was forced out, his dream about Daylight Saving Time still lives. So readers of this blog who are US Citizens, please email your representatives in Congress and let them know all the benefits of Daylight Saving Time being year round.  Do it for Gerry!



Posted in Between Meetings

Taj Mahal (Behind Me)

Where: Agra India



Between Meeting: Between Events in Mumbai and Delhi





Had to see the Taj Mahal. And it really was amazing. In my teens I contemplated a career as an architect and I continue to have a fascination with all structures be it Ancient, Medieval, Postmodern or in this case, Mughal.



One of the most interesting things I learned is the depth of the carved calligraphy becomes shallower going up, to counter the vanishing point perspective. It’s one of the reasons the entire structure looks so symmetrical.



Of course I took many exposures looking for an angle that no one has seen.  But after 365 years and hundreds of of millions of visitors, it would be safe to say the angles have all been figure out.  Then while walking away from the entrance for a wider shot, I found my shot!



Posted in Between Meetings