The cathedral of cypress, ebony, spruce, cedar and rosewood in Midtown.
An amazing and dangerous place to visit is RetroFret in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn. A used and vintage collection of stringed instruments, RetroFret is a museum, a retail space, a place to learn and an occasion to silently crunch numbers in your head in the corner as you figure out if you can really afford the five string handmade banjo that is cradled in your hands like a newborn.
Guitars, mandolins, banjos, electrics, flamenco, classical, violins, ukes, amps; they have it all. I learned so much in my hour long visit about the history of some instruments and was able to play a lap steel solid body Gibson, the first electric guitar.
Call and make an appointment today and leave your credit cards behind. They also offer repairs on guitars, violins and your church’s organ.
This was an early 70’s Ramirez, a flamenco blanca. I have played numerous Ramirez flamencos and as is true with this famous maker, you have to really search for the authentic gems amid all of their clunkers. All of the previous Ramirez’s in my hands were incredibly heavy and dead with a thick and boomy sound, so deep and ponderous.
The one pictured below was a dream. It had a rich, throaty and deep voice, sonorous and woody and dark. Playability was a dream and the guitar was incredibly light and responsive. We were putting the guitar down on the workbench to get the dental mirrors out to identify the particular luthier at Ramirez that had created this one.
I can still hear this blanca. And I did not buy it.
Sailing on mutli-million dollar America’s Cup boats in the Caribbean is a dream opportunity. Unless you’ve been hired to shoot the event and because of the gear, you cannot participate. I love sailing and have spent some time on boats and it was tough to be on these incredibly crafted boats, cradling my gear and watching others grind and tack.
These photos were from St. Maarten on board the Stars and Stripes, racing against the Canada II. The water glimmered, the sun was bright, the winds were brisk, our boats skimmed the surface of a jewel all afternoon long.
The one downside was that I was sprayed several times and the salt water damage to my D300 and D200 still exists, even after several visits to the Nikon Repair Service. Nothing kills gear like salt water.
Oh, and we lost to Canada II. Bastards.
The view from my window.
As my friend Karl put it, “Even bounty hunting has been hit hard by this economy…”
Met a bunch of shooters walking around town today. A Nikon shooter with a D40 and the great 50mm f1.4 lens. In Washington Square, there was a Leica M6 with an early version of the 50mm Summicron.
My gear was caked with snow early on today. Need to take better care when I’m out. But I never will. Use it or lose it.
Very few people out today, except at Pilgrim Hill which I guess is the only sledding game in town.
Nikon D300, 12-24mm Nikkor, 35-70mm Nikkor.
Hassan Hakmoun performed last week at that great space, Le Poisson Rouge in the Village. The occasion was the Global Music Double Fundraiser which raised funds for the victims of the Haiti earthquake. Also performing that night were Falu, Basya Schechter (Pharaoh’s Daughter), Luqmon Brown (Funkface), Malika Zarra, Haale, Bill Bragin (DJ Set) and Amon Drum (DJ Set).
It was a great night of music. And if the guy with the mesh back shirt is included, a great night of dancing too.
Shot with a Nikon D300, 35-70mm Nikkor, 12-24mm Nikkor.
This past October, The Merce Cunningham Dance Company organized a memorial for Merce who had passed away this summer. In attendance were many notable figures in the New York scene including Jasper Johns and former Company members, many of whom also performed. It was a celebration of his amazing career and contribution to the world of modern dance and performance.
It was truly a pleasure and a gift to be in attendance and to capture the night for the Company.