Author Archives: flyingmonk

Pride and colors in New York

The PRIDE parade, NYC

The LGBT parade flooded the city in color. The Rainbow flag was proudly displayed almost all over town and many bars and restaurants in downtown have huge colorful balloons arcades at their entrance.

Demonstration against guns, PRIDE parade, NYC

The PRIDE parade flowed over 5th Avenue on Sunday with floats and lots of people. Beside the issues related to LGBT communities the parade encompassed the main issues our society is challenged by: violence, police brutality, inequality, death by guns and a current administration that cannot be trusted.

PRIDE parade, NYC

The parade ran for more than 5 hours passing in front of the Stonewall in Christopher Street, the place of the 1969 riots that kick started the movement, where finally a memorial commemorating those events might be raised sometimes this year.

PRIDE parade, New York City

If the colors spread by the Parade were not enough another set of colors were covering Union Square where it was celebrated Inti Raymi, the solstice sun celebration of the Inca. Started like a major religious event in the time of the Inca, the festival became nowadays a way to connect with the tradition, a large celebration with tickets sold way in advance, happening on the solstice day in Sacsayhuaman, the religious center located on top of Cusco, the old Inca capital of Peru. In New York the festival is honoring all the South American countries that once were part of the Inca empire of Tihunatinsuyo.

Festival Inti Raymi – Andean Sun Festival, Union Square, New York

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Posted by on June 25, 2017 in Blog, USA


Bushwick graffiti

Bushwick, Brooklyn, NYC

Every year or so, I plan a walk in the heart of Brooklyn looking for graffiti or paintings that abound in the borough. With a sanitized, gentrified and overpriced Manhattan, artists, and not only them, were pushed out and together with them their creativity that leaves space in the island only for the (lots of) money making enterprises.

Bushwick, Brooklyn, NYC

It is not surprising to hear that if you really want to see cutting edge art and productions you have to go in Brooklyn and to no surprise the Brooklyn Academy of Music hosts many spectacular European and world productions that would hardly be of any interest to the hoards of tourists who trample the Manhattan island.

Bushwick, Brooklyn, NYC

But even Brooklyn nowadays is getting gentrified and invaded by new expensive buildings, all labeled luxury, in neighborhoods that till just few years ago were labeled as poor. The old industrial Dumbo clogged by storage and old brick building who till recently hosted a spectacular art festival, Williamsburg, for many years ago a hideout of artists or the quiet Polish Greenpoint all were invaded by new companies pushed out from Manhattan and their relatively highly paid employees who changed their fabric and pushed the rents higher and higher. So many artists who could not afford these rents anymore moved to Bushwick, joining the hundreds that were there for quite a while.

Bushwick, Brooklyn, NYC

Bushwick art scene is thriving and you can tell by the numerous art festivals that it hosts and the numerous graffiti that adorn garage doors, walls or entire buildings, spectacular works done by artists who probably many have their studios throughout the neighborhood.

Bushwick, Brooklyn, NYC

Unfortunately we missed the last week art festival and decided on a whim to walk today the streets of Brooklyn that still somehow are able to preserve a faint flavor of what New York used to be some years ago.

Bushwick, Brooklyn, NYC

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Posted by on June 24, 2017 in Blog, USA


A controversial Caesar

Against “Julius Caesar” play posters at the Delacorte Theater, Central Park, New York City

The Free Shakespeare in the Park Festival was not business as usual this year. With a polarized nation and a president attacking the institutions of the state, especially the press that refuses to praise his lack luster performance, spirits run high across the country. If it were not bad enough that a radical anti-Trump activist went in a despicable act of shooting congressmen training for a charity baseball game, Fox News, in their constant vitriolic approach of creating controversial news, sparked a controversy about the 500 years Shakespeare play. I posted a while ago about the “Julius Caesar” play that happens in the Park, whose last performance was today and recently lost its sponsorship from two major donors, whose executives probably never saw or read the play, or if they read it did not understand it, but they had to play nice to their business model. Money runs this country and elect officials, in a legislated corruption procedure that is called here with the professional name of “lobby”. Meanwhile on the peaceful lawn in front of the Delacorte Theater, fences came up and opposing protests, pro and anti-play, are overlooked by police while in the theater far-right wing activists tried to stop the performance. The circus-theater offered by the President on the daily basis is spilling onto the streets.

Pro “Julius Caesar” play posters at the Delacorte Theater, Central Park, New York City

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Posted by on June 18, 2017 in Blog, USA


Sounds and images of India and Tibet

Rubin Museum of Art staircase, New York

The opening of the exhibit “The World is Sound” at the Rubin was highly attended on Friday night, the entire museum being wired as a sound box. Navigating its spiral staircase you could travel through these amazing sounds, immersed in various themes as you go by. On its top floor, mantras and devotional chants were played as you touch walls that conceal inside ancient representation of Tibetan deities.

Ahmedabad, Gujarat, india – 1966

One floor lower you could hear the sounds but you are touched visually by the exhibit “India in Full Frame” by Henry Cartier-Bresson, one of the co-founders of Magnum. His amazing body of work was shot during five travels he had to do in India, in assignments for Life and Harper Bazaar magazines.

Khumb Mela in Allahabad, 1966

He started right after India got its independence, in 1948, being a witness to the dual sense refugee flow following the Partition, to Gandhi’s death with whom he had a meeting with just one hour before his assassination, as well as the passing of Ramana Maharishi.

Women in front of a mosque in Srinagar, India – 1948

Latter on he returned and there are incredible images from Khumb Mela in Allahabad and many from Ahmedabad in Gujarat, shot latter in the middle 60s.

Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

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Posted by on June 16, 2017 in Blog, India, USA


Van Gogh in East Village

8th Street East Village, New York

I walk many times the East Village streets of New York, one of the few places that strives very hard to preserve a breath of the old New York, a city under full attack of unfettered gentrification and development. Some of the murals and the graffiti preserve some of its original flavor but they are so far between in comparison with the old days. But one, apparently done by a Bushwick Collective, is representing Van Gogh who would have been a perfect match as an inhabitant of the village. I shot the garage door a number of times in the past years and these are just two of the variants.

8th Street, East Village, New York

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Posted by on June 12, 2017 in Blog, USA


Lives through images

Jersey City, NJ over the Hudson River

For a third year in a row, B&H & Lindblad Expeditions made us enjoy the OPTIC Photo show hosted by the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan, a collection of talks and images held by luminaries of professional photography. This year the guest speakers went from Sam Abell and Alison Wright from National Geographic to Art Wolfe and to Jill and Kyla, two runaway girls who presented their adventurous Thelma-and-Louise-type life through pictures that gathered an impressive following on the Instagram. Their less technical approach was replaced by a freshness that was awarded with rounds of applause.

Our Lady Liberty whose spirit we strive to preserve these days overlooking NY Harbor

As usual, a number of outdoor events were scheduled, this year the main tour happening on Tuesday in the Bronx Botanical Garden. On Monday night the cruise on the Hudson happened under a sky that tried to withhold a downpour but entail the photographers to shoot atmospheric images from the boat.

Downtown New York City seen from the Hudson

seen from the Hudson

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Posted by on June 5, 2017 in Blog, USA


Figawi on the other side

Nantucket Harbor, MA

We were last year in Hyannis when the annual Figawi race departed towards Nantucket and wrote about it. This year we found ourselves on the other end of the race, in Nantucket. The race starts on the Saturday morning of the Memorial Day weekend and all boaters spend the weekend in Nantucket, whose harbor is packed by their sailing and motor boats. Besides the boaters, throngs of college students invade the island, but primarily its harbor,¬† for a three day weekend of boozing and heavy partying. The harbor bars’ lines start to form even before the bars are opened in the morning and they never subside even in the late hours of the night. In spite of this year unseasonable chilly weekend all are waiting long time outside hoping for a warm up with the booze and the crowds inside the bars that are completely packed almost bursting through the windows. Wherever you go in Nantucket during this weekend you’d stumble upon other long lines. A little bit further from the harbor a huge tent is hosting the largest party in town, attended both by boaters and students, all moving Brownianly from party to party. Of course in the evening the heavy booze is taking its toll on the charming cobble stones streets of Nantucket.

Line for entering the bar in Nantucket Harbor, MA

As long as we are not into heavy boozing we chose to go for a long bike ride. The island is crisscrossed by bike trails and the best is the 20+ miles loop trail that leaves the harbor and the town and goes all the way to its other side in Siasconset, passing on its return the lighthouse of Sankaty Head, The lighthouse was built in the middle of the 19th century and the heavy winds and waves erode heavily the bluffs close to it. After many years of talks, the funds were allocated  and, about 9 years ago, it was finally relocated, not far but sufficiently not to be endangered.

Sankaty Head Lighthouse, Nantucket, MA

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Posted by on May 28, 2017 in Blog, USA