Photographic Memories

I’ve loved taking photos since I was a teenager. I’m fairly certain that the pink Le Clic disc camera was my first camera.

Courtesy of liketotally80s.com

Courtesy of liketotally80s.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was looking through some old photos recently and was reminded that I haven’t printed any photos since 2008, besides the occasional photo book of a particular event. Darn you, digital camera! Sometimes I miss the mystery of film…not knowing how your photos turned out until you had them developed.

I made a pact with myself to start ordering prints from the last eight years of my life after recently visiting the George Eastman Museum in my hometown.

I hadn’t been to the museum in years, possibly decades. This seems odd for someone who loves photography, but usually my visits to see family are too brief as it is and there is no time to “sightsee.”

The museum is partly exhibits and partly George Eastman’s house, which he had built in 1902–1905.

The museum exhibits were interesting. My favorite was Jason Lazarus’s Too Hard to Keep, which was part of a bigger exhibit. Since 2010, he has invited people to send him photos that they didn’t want to keep but they didn’t want to destroy. Many of the photos in the room had no description; they were just adhered to the wall. A slide projector on the floor projected slides nowhere. (Some people ask for the photos not to be shared.)

Too Hard to Keep

Too Hard to Keep

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the holidays, the museum fundraises by holding gingerbread house and wreath auctions. Thirty-plus houses and wreaths were on display and visitors could bid on each of them. This was one of my favorite gingerbread houses:

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The house itself is beautiful. George had exquisite taste.

Living room of George Eastman's house

Living room of George Eastman’s house

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I walked through the house, I wondered what George would think about phone cameras. I think it’s “too easy” to take photos with a phone camera. And what do we all do with the photos? Recently, I’ve quelled my desire to capture every single beautiful moment just because it’s convenient. I saw a breathtaking sunset during a flight a few weeks ago. As I reached for my phone, I said to myself, “Just enjoy the moment. Don’t try to capture it.”

I saw this question in the museum and answered “no.” And so I begin the process of printing out hundreds of photos from the last eight years.

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Do you print out your photos?

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A Promise to My Two-Year-Old Niece

Dear Niyah,

I promise you that I will do everything I can to ensure you are safe and supported (legally and emotionally) if:

  • You love, and wish to marry, a woman;
  • You decide you will be happier living as a male;
  • You want to use birth control; or
  • You want to get an abortion.

I promise to help your parents and grandparents teach you that EVERYONE is equal and deserves justice, no matter their ethnicity, national origin, religion, ability or disability, gender identity/expression, or age.

I also pledge to do what I can to slow the advancement of climate change. The current outlook on this is terribly bleak, but many Americans are mobilizing and ready to fight those who choose to ignore scientific research.

I admit that I’m scared for you (and every other American including myself), but hope is stronger than fear. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Light and love will see us through.

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4, 3, 2, 1

My third favorite band is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. I discovered these guys on December 31, 2000, when they opened for Barenaked Ladies in Boston. I had been a Boston resident for a year and a half, so to me, Guster is synonymous with my entire life in Boston….i.e., my early 20s to early 40s and counting.

Guster had been a band for nine years at that point, having met each other during their freshman year at Tufts University. I dug their music because a lot of it was fun and had a great beat, yet they could also write songs that were serious and thoughtful. And I dug them as people because I found them to be great musicians, as well as being spontaneous, quirky, creative, and comical.

I got to know them well because they toured in New England A LOT, it being their home turf. This is mind-boggling, but between the years of 2001 and 2016, I have seen them at least 27 times. I say “at least” because I know I am missing a few ticket stubs.

January 2016, Boston

January 2016, Boston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What sealed the deal for this love affair is that during my early years of following the band, Brian, the drummer, wrote an online “road journal” about their adventures on the road. I remember laughing out loud until I cried many, many times. My love for this journal led me to send an email into the ether, to Guster’s general email address, to express my appreciation.

And Brian wrote back! We had an email correspondence for a few years. It was a special experience and I really appreciated how he took time to chat with the fans.

There have been many concert highlights over the years, but here are a few:

  • Seeing them at University of New Hampshire in 2003 with a new work friend…we drove up on a weeknight and waited outside after the show and met Brian! So fun. We were giddy and goofy the entire ride home as only 20-somethings who just met a rock star could be. Years later, the same friend scored backstage passes for one of their Boston shows and we met them again.
  • Attending a show at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston on Halloween: Both Guster and the fans dressed up. I think that they also opened the show by descending from the ceiling while seated in chairs.
  • Seeing them perform at Radio City Music Hall and with the Boston Pops Orchestra.
  • Seeing them in my hometown in New York. It was my second time seeing them outside of their home turf of New England. It was sold out, and a friend and I stood around before the show trying to find her a ticket. And at the last minute, we did! It was great to see Guster being embraced in my hometown.

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Guster just announced a four-day residency at the Paradise in Boston in January. Guess who bought a four-day pass?

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40 things to do on the birthday list!

BirthdayJune 1st, 2015

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