The color is autumn

Sommer, she’s i’passin’ oot,

All sing g’bye.

Autumn he’s i’cumin’ in,

All sing “Haloo!”


Wabi sabi is a Japanese aesthetic paradigm meaning intentionally flawed beauty…referring to the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. It’s not the kind of thing that sits well with our Western standards of beauty. It’s not young and fresh and energetic with big boobs or biceps or a Mercedes to die for. For me, wabi sabi is Autumn, and here I’d like you to look for a moment into your gut. It’s the feelings that accompany the movement of the seasons at this time of year that I’m carrying on about. Not talking about value judgments, mind you. Talking ’bout feelings–and I’m not going to suggest anything. This is about you. Those of you who are fortunate enough to be blessed with life in a climate hosting Autumn you know what Autumn is: cooler temps, clearer light, sharper shadows, brighter colors, cooler temps, faster moving air. Autumn is life recharged, ready or not.


For me as a photographer–There! I’ve called myself that! After decades of resisting the label, I’m right now in your presence, admitting to taking a portion of my identity from my pretty-much favorite activity–Autumn is the sublime expression of colors and the great burst of life preceding the quiet gray of winter. Autumn is wabi-sabi at its natural best.

So here come a dozen photos, all but the last actually made over the summer, yet all advertising the colors of Autumn. I say “advertising,” because that’s what I’m selling. Many are indoors made. A lot down in the subway, only theoretically distanced from the impact of seasonality. Lots involve looking up. The first one, the window with the rusted metal gate: after I took the snap, a woman approached me to ask what I was doing. My head overwhelmed by the reality of wabi-sabi, however I answered didn’t much matter. She didn’t call the cops and I got the snap.

These folks were involved each in their own worlds on the way to the beach. Their colors were those of joy.


And artwork from who knows how long ago as Pennsylvania Station continues moving west.


And the entrance to Coppola’s on West 79th Street, where for decades–yes, decades--Bobbie and I have shared a Ceasar salad and Grandpa Salvatore’s pizza and a couple of glasses of wine.


Canal Street’s #1 local station captures wabi sabi brilliantly when you’re ready to see it. What a gift when that happens. You overhear people complaining about it, that it’s not clean and shiny and so forth, and it reminds you of folks who’d like ice cream much better if it weren’t so damned cold.



I climb up out of the subway at 19th Street on my way to the Chelsea art galleries and I climb through and into the art of my city!


Right now there’s a whole load of folks who devote their waking hours to hating my city’s newest architecture. Their loss.


This remarkable interlacing of bamboo and steel lives in the Lower East Side on Essex Street. Behind it, in the midst of centuries of squalor, lives a little park. Check it out!



Sometimes, as it happened for me in this instance, you’re lucky enough to be hearing the music that’s just right for you. You You relax. Your eyes drift out a window and oooh, you discover that the perfectly ordinary is oddly magical.


My city is filled with windows which create magic no matter what they reflect.


And the coldest metal and cement become alive with–vu den?--life!


Finally, Snap # 12, taken through the window of a Metro-North commuter train from New York gliding along the Long Island Sound through southern Connecticut to New Haven. Autumn, real Autumn, is i’cummin’in.”


What’s Autumn to you? Inquiring minds want to know, and there’s a comments section below. Feel free to use it.

Published in: on October 3, 2022 at 8:18 pm  Comments (18)  

Nine Snaps and Then Three More

The first 8–all recent–photos were thrown up in random order by forces ruling technology. I thought of protesting, of diligently rearranging them according to some structure of chronology or location then decided that was just the voice of my New England schooling and it’s incessant demand for order. The last three though, I made sure to arrange so as to support my little bit of narration. Richie and I were both 23 in 1965 when I, mourning the death of my dad, dropped out of grad school and moved to New York to become a starving poet. Richie owned half a bar, a joint called The Annex on Avenue B between 10th and 11th, which was annexed to nothing beyond the whole incredible ethos of the East Village as it emerged from the Lower East Side.

When I checked “The Annex” in my blog look up, it produced four more entries:

Whatever, here’s some brief respite from concerns of pandemic, race, religious, political and gender hatreds.




Outside MoMA


Under 103rd and Broadway


Amsterdam & 79th


Viewing the Alice Neel show at the Met Museum


Broadway at 125th


125th west of Broadway


125th west of Broadway


The Highline crossing 10th Avenue around 30th Street


Grafitto on the A train platform under 8th & 34th subway

*   *   *

And now the “Three More.” Think of these as a short story and, having done so, feel free to create your own plot. Should you actually do so, please continue feeling free and submit your creation as a comment. Rest assured it will be printed.

RSG, who in 1965 lived across East 11th Street, remarkably near Avenue B, from the Free Public Baths of the City of New York.

The very baths referenced in the caption above.


Richie V, the man who in 1965 gave the man who lived across from those

Baths his very first job in New York City and who now lives in the

self-same building occupied in 1965 by  the (I love this word!) self-same RSG.

(Another) Revelation!


WARNING: This is going to be one of those posts in which I’ll begin by being a little cute and ramble around until I eventually focus on something.  Since I keep dealing with the same things and since there’s really no reason to expect I’m about to try something new or different now, you might find yourself wondering why you’re bothering to read this in the first place.  You already know that somehow it will eventually come back to a moment of discovery, me gaining a new and brilliant understanding which, when all is said and done,  was obvious to anyone who was paying attention from the beginning.  And God forbid I should let it all end without some final cutitude.

Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

*   *   *

It’s been about a month since I’ve added anything to this space.  Not that there hasn’t been subject matter:

1. The lingering impact of a bike crash way back on Labor Day weekend.

2. Our block association’s annual White Elephant Sale.

3. A colonoscopy and an endoscopy (not done simultaneously.)

4. Joyfully reconnecting with folks from my past through Facebook.

5. My participation in a 5 day Western Zen Retreat up north (some of my readers will respond more to that geographic reference than will others).

6. A one day tour of wineries and farm stands on Long Island’s North Fork.

7. My computer which now takes a full 15 minutes to contact the internet.

8. Right now, when I’d ordinarily be sitting in meditation at Still Mind Zendo, but left after only a few minutes this morning when the pain in my knee (see #1 above) set off a round of suffering which made continued sitting impossible for me.

OK, forget the warning!  Let me just get right to it, the same “it” which runs through all 8 possibilities–especially when I realize that #1 and #8 are the same.

Anyhow, here come the revelations, beginning with #2:



Imagine me and Bobbie sitting out behind a table and in front of a schoolyard fence both covered with things we once loved or needed or–more likely–wanted on a beautiful Sunday morning and eventually afternoon.  Me thinking: I hate this.  This is the last place on earth–with the exception of active combat zones–that I want to be.  I want to be on my bicycle.  I’m only doing this out of marital obligation.  If I were single or if I loved Bobbie any less–but I’m neither of those, and I do love helping her–actually this helps us–and it’s kind of fun being out here in the sun,  meeting people and getting into conversations with folks I’ve never met before, even reminiscing behind some of the life artifacts up for sale.

Hey! When I focus on what I’m actually doing and not what I’m thinking,  I’m not suffering.

Hey hey!! Here I am out in the sunshine  having a great time and noticing that I choose to suffer or not by my perspective.  It all comes from how I see things, not from what I see.

Hey hey hey !!! (with apologies to Krusty the Klown)  This is good stuff.

Rereading what I’ve put down so far, it now occurs to me that my point’s been made.  No need to write about the retreat or leaving the zendo early or discovering that the 15 minutes it takes to get onto the internet makes for a built-in 15 minute meditation period.  Definitely no need to write about tubes being stuck into my digestive and ingestive systems.

‘Nuff said, I say!  although I really want to include this from the first email opened after the 15 minute wait:

…it is the perspective of the sufferer that determines whether a given experience perpetuates suffering or is a vehicle for awakening.

–Mark Epstein


Published in: on October 24, 2009 at 12:53 pm  Comments (6)  

My Summer by Dickie G, age 67 and 3/4

Here are 20 point-and-shoots taken over the Summer.

Brooklyn Cyclones at Staten Island Yankees


Bobbie & Mike


IMG_1433Lew & April & Jason & Cori


Graeme & Emily’s Horse Farm


It’s a lazy day…


Same day, joyful day!


Las Senadoras



IMG_1364Summer Sky, NYC


Route 76, Pennsylvania


NY400 celebration, NYC


Edgar retires


Ron loving retirement


(A Drawing for Alix)


Circle Line Music Cruise


Amsterdam Avenue Street Fair

IMG_1774From the High Line

IMG_1798On the High Line


IMG_1962Late summer sun


Published in: on September 21, 2009 at 10:17 am  Comments (5)  

Better late…?




Published in: on January 18, 2009 at 12:50 pm  Comments (3)  

OK world, smile at the camera!

OK, I’m in love with little digital point-and-shoot cameras, and tonight it feels right to post a few new snaps. The influence of Bruno Moyen’s New York City: a state of mind on this, my first effort in about 35 years at re-seeing the city, will be apparent to those of you who’ve seen the book or the website ( He used indoor film to record outdoor images, then took things further from the land of simple reportage in the darkroom. For me Google’s Picasa was the tool for making a similar trip.













Thanks to those of you who made it down this far. For those who are curious about locations all the exposures (do we use that word for digital?) were made on Manhattan’s west side, from 125th Street down to 76th. They were all made on the same day, so something was really working for me.

I hope they work for you.


Published in: on March 3, 2008 at 10:51 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: ,




Staring at myself
reflected in a subway window.

My thought, smiling:

It took me 65+ years to create this
and it’s not finished yet.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Published in: on October 18, 2007 at 10:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

2, maybe 3 poems

2, maybe 3 poems, depending on how you see the first two, which are maybe one.  The last (I say ‘last’ so I don’t have to get into a 2 v. 3 controversy) just (I word I’m currently fond of) fell onto the keyboard when I was actually hoping to go in another direction altogether.  Right now that other direction escapes me.

Should you enjoy these, please let me know.  If you don’t, I’m ready to hear that too.

Be well!



POEMS 8/10/07

Workday’s End

Biking home

across the narrow, pedestrian bridge path

through slow, dense, honking traffic

up and down a hill to the bike path along the river–

this cool, quiet place

right now beyond time.



Pedaling home along the river

The rush and substance of my day’s work

dissolve into the warm breeze and thoughts of you.


Last night, waking periodically

from the irregular agonies

climbing up and down a pain column

extending from jaw to solar plexus

yet reassured

by a reputable authority

after scientifically verifiable testing

that my heart was not at all involved,

this occurred to me with a crystal clarity so rare as to be truly noteworthy:

(Hear me now!) The Difference (note the perhaps extravagant use of the capital D!) is really simple and for that matter bipolar:

that the things of this material world pass more quickly as they are used more frequently. They wear down. They wear out. They are, in two words, used up.

The things of this idea world, however gain strength with use.  The more often we think them the stronger they become.

But now, in the gray, overcast quiet light of midday,

(meditation over, email checked, Bobbie out at a movie, the cats both littered and fed) I’m not so sure. The stronger an idea becomes through repetition the more– and I hesitate (but not really) to use this word–

the more real it becomes.

And the more it’s repeated into acceptability

[Trusting authorities was once a novel idea]

the more susceptible to challenge,

to attack, to diminishment,

to dumbing down, acceptance


Beyond even make-believe

All the way back to non-existence.

Although, it occurs to me just now

Non-existence may only be

where things hang out

waiting to be discovered…

.     .     .

.     .     .

.      .     .

(25 years ago I had to smoke reefer

to think this way.)

Published in: on August 10, 2007 at 5:05 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: ,

Do It Yourself Brain Surgery

Happy New Year!

 Here’s a special gift for the New Year, instructions in do it yourself brain surgery by Alix Lorance.  Alix lives in Seattle with her husband, Dan.  She and I communicate by brief emails about three times a year.  We never phone–except for once when I thought she was dead and called to find out that I was wrong–and we’ve seen each other in person perhaps 3 times in the last 2.5 decades.  Still I feel her to be a close friend.  We first met back in the earliest 1970’s.   One of the great good deeds in my life was to accompany her to the Brooklyn Museum where she signed up for her first art class.  I was also present when she discovered that should she position herself at right angles to the page she was drawing on, things came out squished.  I still have vague memories of her sketch of then-baby Drew looking like he was a close-up on a sports bar tv set.

You would have needed either Realplayer or Quicktime and sound to view and hear this instructional film the way it was made to be viewed.  The sound is an old Brubeck tune, one I recognize but cannot name.  It’s lively and off the Take Five album.  Sadly WordPress will not let me post it for fear that it will dork up their system.  So find your own music and play it along with the slides.  To truly appreciate it you’ll also need a sense of humor as profound as hers.

Here’s how to view it:

1. Put on the Brubeck album.

2.Go to

 3. Click on “slideshow” and set the timer to 15 seconds by hitting the + symbol.

4. (Of course) Enjoy!

 Again, happy new year!


Published in: on December 31, 2006 at 5:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Drinking, Drugging & Drawing

in-front-of-55.jpg Back in the very early 1980’s, although I didn’t realize it at the time, I was approaching the end of 25 years of a lot of intoxication. i-am-not-a-junkie.jpg

(By the way you can click on each drawing to enlarge it. Sometimes it takes a lot of scrolling to see the whole image.)

More and more of my feelings were finding their way into consciousness, sometimes disguised, philosopher-queen.jpg sometimes not. bar-rage.jpg

Bar life let-me-guess.jpg hadn’t changed but I had.  The clown in front of the tequila, weed in the wallet, mouth filled with clever bar talk, had morphed into a character where he was once a participant.  Even more disturbing, an ever-growing part of me had found a way to stand away from the bar, observe and even make remarks about my nightly performances in this land of I’d-rather-be-elsewhere-believe-me. Sometimes it was cute.  owen.jpg Sometimes it was worse.  not-responsible.jpg

But time is cool, especially when you can be patient and curious.  By the mid-’80’s it was all different again.

Published in: on December 9, 2006 at 9:58 pm  Comments (3)