Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Maybe with the right dressing, condiments, and spices I can get that scrawny dude to actually eat a decent meal!"

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Finding Nirvana On 163rd Street

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Monday, February 23, 2009

The Bracelet

Sunday, February 22, 2009

BIG News! North Miami Mayor Kevin Burns Running for Senate!

I know that I've been remiss in writing on the blog the last few days but my friend Robin is in town visiting from Vero Beach. She's being real good about not "straightening up" the place. She knows that I know which "pile of junk" has what things hidden in it, and that I'd never find a damned thing if the place was suddenly "neat". It's OK for her to pick things up and dust them, but then they have to go back exactly where they were before. Anyway, I WILL get caught up, and then head on to the next Big Project working as Monkette's assistant in her political consulting business.

Two years ago North Miami Mayor Kevin Burns was running for re-election and Monkette and I took lotsd of photographs, posted them on The Price of Silver, and covered the election campaign as if Monkette was in fact the campaign chairwoman, hadling everything from strategy to publicity. It seems that if you googled just about any combination of kew words trying to find out some news about the North Miami mayoral race you'd find The Price of Silver at the top of the list followed by the Miami Herald's story of the day. Yup, more people were following this blog thanthe Miami Herald!

Kevin is now up against term limits ~ no more than two consecutive terms ~ and he's decided to run for a senate seat. Monkette is really excited about the possibilities!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Recycling North Miami's Recycling Program

(Shhhh! I lifted the story from Counciman Scott Galvin's website.)

North Miami Adopts Fresh New Recycling Program
Get ready for some excitement from an area that normally doesn't provide it. Recycling in North Miami is about to become fun...and earn YOU benefits!

Starting in 2009, our city will implement a new recycling program with the help of RecycleBank.

Our Public Works Department has for 20 years operated a curb-side recycling program for our residents. Over that period, the percentage of residents that participate in this program has been minimal.

But with the new RecycleBank program, our new program would go automated in 2009. Residents will each get a new 96-gallon roll out container and a new automated collection vehicle will pick them up.

But here's the fun part!

RecycleBank provides an incentive to residents who recycle by sending them coupons redeemable at local merchants, like IKEA, Coca-Cola, and more. The amount of th ecouplon is dependenton the amount of recycling the resident generates.

And there are savings for us, too!

The more we recycle, the less goes into our garbage dumps. And the less garbage we put out, the less the City pays for disposal of it. North Miami Public Works Department has also entered into a contract with Waste Management to deliver our recyclables to their new Hialeah facility and the city will be compensated for the tonnage delivered. In the past, the City was not financially compensated for the recyclables that we disposed of, but we did not have to pay to dispose of them either. Now we will generate a revenue with the sale of the recycling and reduce our garbage disposal costs.

The new program will start only with single-family residences, not multi-family residences or commercial locations. Pick-up will be changed from once-per-week to twice-per-month.

And where are recyclables used? RecycleBank tells us that products are used in park benches, paper plates, garbage bins, boat docks, and more. They are also working with Coca-Cola to recycle their own cans into new ones.
Now we'll just have to wait and see if the citizens are motivated enough. The last time around the city spent a fortune on containers. Everybody got one. They were just the right size to store things in the garage and a dozen other uses. You hardly ever saw one sitting outside on pick-up day.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Golden Wedding Anniversary 1885 ~ 1935

I'm assuming that this is the family and friends of my father's family. His mother's maiden name was Cohen and it was amongst the photographs that I saved from her attic when she passed away in the early 1970's. My mother's maiden name also was Cohen but the features on the faces reflect my paternal grandmother's lineage.
The print is dated December 29th 1935 and it's printed on double weight paper. The brownish tone extends into the whites so I suspect it wasn't toned but rather it's a result of staining from age and some obvious water damage. It also has some cracks in the emulsion. I turned down a few offers of "Oh, I can run that through Photoshop and get rid of the cracks and discoloration for you" but I'd rather show it as it really looks. The inscription appears to have been written on the negative with a lettering pen and India ink. No doubt every couple at the event got a print.
The paper measures 13.75 inches by 8.5 inches with an image area of 13.25 x 7.125 inches I assume it was shot with a very wide angle lens because of the distortion near the corners of the image (see the woman's face on the lower left), cropped and contact printed from an 11x 14 negative.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ike and Tina Turner

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Final Drink As A Free Man 2/21/81

I was about to marry Mia Ward and my long time friend John Patteson had said that yes, he would be best man at the wedding. The occasion was such that John and I both got our hair "styled" and wore suits. I even bought a new one! In this shot we were having a few drinks in preperation for the wedding.

Mia's dad was an Airforce colonel stationed at Homestead Airforce Base. We got married in the base chapel. My friend Father Philemon Payiatis from the Greek Orthodox Church here in North Miami drove the forty or so miles south to Homestead to perform the ceremony. Leon Finklestein was the photographer. He had a thing for liking cheap Yashicamats but he got some good pictures out of them. The marriage lasted about a year. John is still single. He's a smart man!

This is scanned off of a pretty well faded 8x10 print that's been hiding in an album for close to thirty years. I have no idea where Mia is these days.

Thankfully I have friends that are members of the clergy and friends that are attornies. It helps to make multiple weddings and divorces more affordable.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

County Mayor Steve Clark At The North Dade YMCA

Networking, it's called. You meet one person, through them you meet others, one thing leads to another. I was already doing some photography for the City of North Miami, and their public relations lady had met me because I covered city events for The North Dade Journal. One day I was at as council meeting and met Doug Dennison, the director of the North Dade YMCA.

He asked me to do some photography for the Y and told me that he wasn't asking for any free photography. After a bit of discussion we compromised. I'd charge them for expenses. I was looking at it as a way to meet potential clients. Their board of directors was made up of people in local political circles and local business people. Many of them bought prints of themselves shaking hands with various other political types. Also there were lots of dinners and luncheons that I got to attend for free and could bring my wife along also, not really such a bad deal considering that Mia, my wife at the time, was a bit of a social climber.

I have no recollection now of what this event was, but Steve Clark, the county mayor, was speaking. I took a bunch of pictures of various people shaking his hand and he suggested that I should get a photo with him also. I handed the camera off to somebody, we shook hands, and I had another picture for my wall.

After awhile it ended up in a carton with a mess of other framed photographs, the roof in that room developed a leak, everything got wet, and the print got these white spots all over. I decided to just scan and post it as is.

I ran into Doug a couple months back, the first time in decades. His hair is all white now. We exchanged a few pleasantries. I'll probably never see him again. The North Dade YMCA no longer exists either, a victim of demographic changes in the area.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Back In Boston, The Magic Of Jay In 1963

I used to spend the occasional weekend in New York City when I lived in Boston. The New York, New Haven, and Harford Railroad had a deal where you could catch a train on Friday evening, then take a return trip Sunday evening, and make the round trip between Boston and New York for $12.48. Of course you got about no sleep for those two nights, and you'd party all night Saturday, but we were young and the world was exciting, too exciting to waste time sleeping if there was an interesting enough alternative.
Returning to Boston one Sunday I sat next to a tall blonde girl from Scarsdale. She was then going to take a bus to her exclusive prep school on Cape Cod. I had no phone but we exchanged addresses. We exchanged a couple of letters, then one evening there was as knock on my door. Jay was standing there suitcase in hand. I invited her in, we ate some dinner, and I convinced her that we really should call her folks so they wouldn't worry. The next morning her dad was at my place in Boston to reclaim his daughter.
About a week later there was another knock on the door. There was Jay again. I called her dad. He said that coming to get her again was probably a futile gesture. He thought that I was a responsible guy and he'd rather have Jay living with me then being God knows where. He offered to send me a check every week. Jay and I made several trips to Scarsdale to visit her folks. Life was good. I was in love. It lasted for about a year. She ran off with someone else. I called her dad and returned his last check. I recall running into her one more time a few weeks later.
That's Jay in the top three frames of strip #376. I remember most of the other people on the contact sheet, but not their names. There was no need to.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Rene Ricard, Ben Lackey, And The Mystery Chick

This was shot in Boston and Cambridge the winter of 1962/1963. I don't have a clue as to who that blonde chick is but I do remember chatting wth her in a restaurant/sub shop/coffee house type of place in Harvard Square called Mike's Club.

Rene Ricard and Ben Lackey were guys I'd first met in my hometown of New Bedford, but at this point I was living in Boston and Rene was staying at Prescott Townsend's place on Beacon Hill. Prescott was Old Money, and lots of it. He was also very active in trying to bring homosexuality out of the shadows. Rene idolized him and Precott thought that Rene was special. Everything was fine until Rene went to New York and met Andy Warhol. He came back to Boston, but he'd chaged. Soon he was living at Andy Warhol's Factory. He kept up with his poetry and painting, and added movie acting to his repetoire.

So what was he doing on the floor? Honestly, I don't know if he was just turned on by the music or perhaps some wine and cannibus? Or perhaps...? Nah, magic mushrooms, peyote, and LSD hadn't arrived in our lives as yet.

Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to scan and post an occasional contact sheet, something different! Yup, I still have the negatives too.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Boston ~ December, 1964, Cold, Snow, And A Warm New Wife

It was cold in Boston the winter of 1964. I'd been working at Zeff Photo Supply for about a year Before I worked there Joe Lopes worket there. Like me he was originally from New Beford although I didn't know him from there. He'd stop by Zeff on occasion, sometimes with his kid, shown in strip 706. Joe was best man at my wedding to Stephanie. The next three strips show my new bride Stephanie doing a taste test of that night's dinner. We had an apartment at 3 Willis Terrace, behind the Roxbury Courthouse.
Most of the other pictures are just depicting the snow on the Boston Commons.
I have no idea whatever happened to Joe. When my son Jonathan moved to the Boston area a few years ago he chacked out a few of my old haunts. Willis Terrace still has the same three story house behind the courthouse. Zeff long ago moved from 36 Bromfield Street, the old "photo district", to a new location out in the suburbs. Shortly after I took these pictures I got a new job in the photo lab at Boston Blueprint Company at 777 Boylston Street. The work wasn't as interesting, but I got a 33% boost in my income! I had a new wife to support.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The 1936 Massachusettes License Plate

Sam Kaplan, my paternal grandfather, used to hang his old license plates from nails in the rafters of his garage. Before WW-II cars in Massachusettes had both front and rear plates. During the war steel was in short supply and they went to just as single plate. After the war they resumed the the two plates.
He died and eight or nine years later when my grandmother passed away I salvaged a bunch of old family photographs from the attic and took the license plates from the garage before the house was sold. Nobody else wanted them. My don is now Keeper of the Photograph Archives.
A bout thirty-five years later I listed the plates on Ebay, all except for this one. I don't think that there are all that many license plate collectors out there but people who own vintage cars will pay through the nose for one of the correct model year. It was well worth the effort of moving them from a nail in New Bedford to a nail in North Miami. I kept this one "just because".

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

From Wilma Siegel's "Former Hippie" Series...

A couple of years ago I received an unexpected email from a woman, an artist in Fort Lauderdale, who told me that she'd found me via a google search. Not because she was looking for me but because she was looking for middle aged people who'd looked like Hippies back in the sixties, long hair, bell bottom jeans, perhaps a guitar or a VW Microbus painted up in wild colors.
Well, there were plenty of photographs of myself and my friends posted here on this blog and elsewhere. There were plenty of "key words" in the text for a google search to find. Her idea was to do a series of paintings of the way we look now. I emailed some links to some more recent photographs of me. I agreed to meet her at her studio and pose for a painting. While I was there I also shot some B&W ultra-wide angle photographs with myself in the foreground on black and white film.
She started sketching a huge painting. As I remember it, the canvas was about four by six feet! I guess I was there for two hours or so. She did some sketching and shot a few photos of me also. She also asked me if I was still in touch with anyone else that met her criteria. I gave her John Patteson's name. He later told me that he'd given her a few more names. I've never seen any of the paintings themselves but she did send me an 8x10 color print of the picture of me. A couple of weeks ago I got an email invitation to an opening of Wilma's paintings at a gallery in Ft. Lauderdale. It was scheduled for the same night as the opening of my photography exhibit here in North Miami. Maybe next time...

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Pen and Ink Sketches On The Streets Of Boston By Donald Kaplan

After high school my dad spent a couple of years at art school in Boston. I suppose if I heard the school's name I'd recognize it, but off hand I can't recollect what it was. Most all of his art work from that period of his life either disintegrated from poor quality acidic paper, or more likely got thrown out by my grandmother during the years that my dad was in India and the Marrianna Islands during World War Two.
All that is left is a framed 20 X 24 charcoal portrait of my dad by one of his classmates, signed Turkle 37, and this page of quick pen and ink sketches. He said it was an assignment for class and he always loved it.
For awhile in the mid nineten-fifties he got interested in pottery, developing a unique geometric incised design in the pottery, together with matt glazes in mostly earthen hues. A couple of his pieces are in the collection of the Rhode Island School of Design. He used to give them to friends. I still have several pieces.

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My Dad's Three Older Brothers, Circa 192?

My dad was the youngest of four brothers. I never did find out for sure if Grandma Kaplan was making a final attempt at getting a daughter or if my father was just an accident. She may well have only planned on two children, but the second pregnancy produced identical twin boys, Sydney (usually a girl's name spelling, but that's how she wanted it) and Nathan. Seymour was the oldest.

Actually, the third pregnancy was an accident theory might well be the real truth because there was such as long gap between the second and third pregnancies. My dad would have barely been a toddler when this picture was taken.

Seymore always had wavy hair. That's him on the left. As to which one is Sydney and which one is Nathan? I have no idea. They're twins, right?

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Can't Smoke Inside, Can't Drink Outside? Selective Enforcement!

The last Friday of the month the City of North Miami hosts an evening jazz concert outside of the art museum and tthere's a Gallery Walk where all the art galleries stay open late. You can either wander around on your own or take the guided walk. It's also the night when galleries open new exhibits.
I was in froint of Mario Flores' Gallery wher I had some photographs hanging on the wall. It's against the law to smoke inside these days. Several of us kept wandering outside to light up. That's when you discover how many people there really are who "gave up smoking, honest, but could I bum one off of you?"
We carried our wine glasses out with us. Of course it's against the law to drink alcaholic beverages outside on the sidewalk. We were directly across the street from City Hall, half a block from the Police Station. Talk about flaunting the law! If this had been a blue collar bar we all would have spent the night in jail. Somehow or another the rules are different when you're dealing with art collectors, business owners, lawyers, doctors, acountants, and the like. They just kept wandering in and out of galleries, wine glass in hand. But they made damned sure that they didn't smoke inside. At least you can smoke in a real bar!

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

It Wouldn't Be Complete Without A Pretty Girl (or a cigarette)

You can just look at pictures for so long without a break. For some reason it's against the law to smoke inside, but being a largely smoking crowd there was constant traffic in and out as people headed out to light up.

I'm always amazed at the large number of "non-smokers" who would better be described as "I can contol the urge as long as I'm not near anybody who is smoking" smokers. You're chatting with somebody, the two of you head outside so one of you can light up, and suddenly it's "I don't usually smoke but could you spare me one of yours?" I excused myself and headed outside to take my chances with the other addicts.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Pictures Are Up, The Doors Are Open!

It was opening night of the group photography exhibit at the Mario Flores Gallery. That's Mario over on the right standing next to some of his color prints, arm raised as he paid hommage to a guy who is without a doubt the greatest photographer in South Florida. At least that's how I look at myself.
Mario's wife Stephanie, center, was supposed to be taking photos of the opening festivities with that Nikon DSLR in her hands, but with Mario and myself bantering back and forth with one another ~ we were on a roll! ~ she couldn't keep from cracking up. Fortunately, with modern marvels such as "image stabilization", the camera was able to keep sharp almost as many photos as were out of focus because the "auto focus" picked the wrong thing upon which to focus (yup, that IS the correct grammar). Anyway, I stopped by the gallery, saw her photos, and my main gripe was that she hadn't shot enough of/with me.
I made the mistake of mentioning to Mario that I had posed for a painting by Wilma Siegal, a Fort Lauderdale artist, a couple years back. I should run a picture of the painting here in the blog! Anyway, now Mario wants me to pose for some pictures. He says that I have an "interesting face". Next Wednesday is the Big Day.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

On The Wall At The Mario Flores Gallery

The opening party was last Friday and there were actually a lot of people there but I managed to chase a few away from in front of my display of photographs long enough to actually see the pictures in the shot. No, Phil Morris wasn't "posed", but he was already looking at the photos before I tried to get this shot. He lingered afterwards for quite awhile and we chatted a bit. He seemed most interested in the photos of the Miccosukee and Seminole Indians. Most people are.
I was the only one showing traditional black and white gelatin silver prints, and frankly some of the other photographers' work was, to me anyway, stretching the definition of photography a bit more than I'm comfortable with. Still, Mario has been encouraging me to go off exploring some new directions with my black and white photography, which seems to be getting me out of the rut I've been stuck in the past few years. It's still gelatin silver though.
This photo was shot with a 21mm Super-Angulon on a Leica M3, scanned off of a 4"x6" print.

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Monday, February 02, 2009

What Do They Look Like Now?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Into The Looking Glass ~ Tiger Tiger

Some of these page paste-ups held up well for nearly forty years while others show the effects of the sulpher in rubber cement on black and white photographs along with just the wear and tear of age and being shuffled about over the years. It's a wonder that I still have them at all! I don't remember which of the underground newspapers wanted me to shoot this one. It was either The Daily Planet or Strawberry Fields, but I got in free for three days, had a backstage pass, and had a great time!
This is one of the pages for a piece on the POW-WOW at the Hollywood Seminole Indian Reservation back in the late sixties. I think it was here that the rock group Tiger Tiger first performed. They were a talented group of young Seminoles headed up by brothers Lee and Stephen Tiger. They've released several albums, and played at Woodstock and numerous other rock festivals. Stephen died in June 2006 but the group is still around, still putting out some dynamite rock.
A quick google search will bring up a bunch of sites with links to about everything you'd want to know about them.

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