I mentioned previously that I had recently started a new book about the conception and construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. As it turns out, the bridge was the brainchild of the Prussian immigrant architect/engineer/genius named John Roebling. The construction was overseen by himself and his son Washington Roebling, who evidently was equally gifted. John actually passed away pretty early on in the construction phase, after complications related to an injury he sustained at the construction site.
Apparently, at the time, the majority of Brooklyn belonged to the democratic party. The political control seemed to lie predominantly with the Irish immigrants. John Roebling, in addition to all of his other attributes was a very strongly opinionated fellow. In Roebling’s opinion, the Irish democrats did not share his same strong feelings about the bridge. When they would walk off the job demanding higher pay, Roebling would fire them, and hire Germans immigrants, to replace them. While referring to this matter, Roebling once stated:
No democrat can be trusted, they are all disloyal and treacherous, more or less.
Hahahaha. To me, the best part about Roebling’s statement, is that I can think of a few prominent right wing talking heads who are still trying to push that generalization as fact. I’m pretty sure you know who I’m talking about.
We found out this morning that Piper will be going back to NJ on Tuesday. We knew that she was next on the list, for a couple of weeks now. But I was secretly hoping that she wouldn’t go back until after the holidays, and everything. She has been at Blythedale for a long time now, and it really does feel like home.
I’m trying very hard to be optimistic. Last time Piper was transferred to this place in NJ, it got off to a bad start, which kind of set the tone for the remainder of her stay there. Eventually she developed bi-lateral pneumonia, spent some time in the ICU and ended up back in Westchester.
But, in fairness, Piper had a rough first round at Blythedale, too. We kicked and screamed for her not to go back there, then ultimately ended up completely falling in love with the place. It is mostly because of the wonderful wonderful people who take care of Piper while she is there.
So, it’s possible that Piper’s second round at Wanaque (the place in NJ), will pan out to be equally good for Piper. It is just a little hard to feel like that right now, since anxiety levels are pretty much off the chart. Change of venue, has always been a tough thing for Piper (and us). Keep your fingers crossed for the little squirt. I will update as things progress.
When I was just a little tyke, snowboarding was just starting to become an acceptable sport. What I mean by acceptable, is that it had it’s foot in the door, among the alpine sports community. There was only one resort along the Wasatch Front that allowed snowboards in, and it was only on two lifts. Yes, that’s right, segregation. Brighton, and it’s parent Boyne was like the like JFK of snowboarding, trying to usher in the era of peaceful co-existence between snowboarding and twoplanking.
Not long afterward, several other Resorts along the Wasatch range decided to allow those pesky mogul wrecking “ski-boarders.” The early 90′s brought in the Jim Crow-type of era for snowboarders. “Sure, you can come on the lifts with us since you are buying a ticket, but don’t get too comfortable around here, you lateral stance hip-hop loving freaks.”
What happened next, I still have mixed feelings about. Snowboarding made its debut as an Olympic event, which was kind of the catalyst for world acceptance of the sport. Before that, I think that it was still viewed as a passing fad, to a certain degree. It was so exciting, as a snowboarder, to feel validated. At the same time it was kind of sad, because snowboarding was losing it’s edgy nouveau freshness. Suddenly snowboarding was all the rage. All of the little silver spoon turtleneck wearing Austrian tourists were riding, instead of skiing. Those were the same kids that we got in fights with on the ski-bus bus in jr. high.
Suddenly the sport was flooded with tons and tons of money. From the perspective of a kid who had to save for months and months to buy his first deck, and who wore Sorel boots because he couldn’t afford Burton, it felt kind of sad to see the sport change directions so abruptly. It felt like the sport went from a bunch of rag-tag hoodlums to glitz and bling, over the course of a few short years.
After 2002 SLC, I embraced the new “snowboard culture.” I accepted the fact that, like anything else, the sport and culture associated with it, is an organic thing. I was a little irked at Park City Ski resort, that vying for the Olympic bid is what it took for them to finally open their doors to snowboarders, and buy a pipe dragon. There are still a few resorts that don’t allow riding. Not surprising, two of them are in UT. One is Alta, another is Deer Valley. I like to think of them as the dirty south good old boys of ski-resorts. Since Alta is located on BLM land, there is no stopping riders from poaching early season pow, before the lifts open. In honesty, I prefer the bird anyway.
Before this rant/manifesto carries on too much longer, I’ll get to the point. One of the things that I absolutely love about the modern snowboard culture, is that the roots rowdy originality that has always surrounded the sport, still comes through in modern snowboarding innovation. Only– now it is super deep with funding. The DC mountain lab is a great example of this. I’m sure that Ken Block isn’t the first dude to come up with the idea of a rally car-style snow cat. But since DC supplied the cash flow, he was able to make it a reality. When I saw this video, I was smiling ear to ear. Who else is getting stoked for snowboarding season?
BTW: all references to the American civil rights movement are tongue-in-cheek. This post is not meant to diminish the struggle for racial equality, in any way. I fully understand that the struggle for snowboarders to be recognized as athletes, can’t even be measured on the same scale as the magnitude of the civil right movement. So there is my disclaimer
I have been a huge fan of Shepard Fairey since I first discovered his work. Despite his recent legal battles, which include the City of Boston (for illegal street art), and the Associated Press (being sued for copyright infringement, Re: the image from which is based his “change”/”hope” image), I still think that he is pretty freaking awesome. A lot of street artists feel like Fairey has sort of sold out, with his commercial projects. He did a Saks ad last year (proceeds went to charity). Then there is his Obey line of clothing. Obey is what brought him to Times Square last night. He created a live installation to promote the collaboration that Obey is doing with Levi’s. The installation was right in front of the Levi’s store in Times Square. I was covering the event for SoJones. It was pretty cool hanging out, like that, with one of my long time, idols. I had a really great time shooting it.
Sorry to bomb this post all up with so many photos, but I really liked all of these.
^—There was a pretty solid crowd spectating (like there ever isn’t one, in TS)
^–Even though this thing was probably going straight in the trash, Shep still paid attention to detail.
Below was shot from a cherry picker. I kind of liked this vantage point. I wished that I had brought more lenses.
The first one caught my eye because it is about a guy who lives in a cave in Moab. It’s called “Could you survive without money? Meet the guy who does.” It was in the latest issue of Details. It is basically about a guy named Daniel Suelo who used to be a college professor before swearing off modern capitalism, and reverting to living off of the land.
The author follows Suelo around Moab, documenting the way that he subsists from dumpster diving, eating road kill, and sleeping in a cave.
I confess that the main reason that I was interested in the article is because it involves Moab. Frankly, I would be very surprised if Suelo is the only guy in Moab who lives in a cave. As I was reading it, I thought that his ideas also probably seem pretty tame compared to some of the other philosophies that abound in that region. It certainly is a beautiful place to be homeless though.
I also thought that the idea of swearing off money was an interesting one. It is a quick read, so even if you hate it, you won’t be wasting more than a few minutes. Christopher Ketcham is the author. The photo is by Mark Heithoff. Here is the link.
The next article that really grabbed me, this week is called “Never Forget,” by Michael Patemiti. The article ran in the latest issue of GQ. I am not sure how to best describe this article. I want to call it deeply disturbing, but it is also a heart-breaker. Definitely only read it, if you have a strong stomach. The story details the atrocities that occurred in Cambodia during the reign of the Khmer Rouge.
The author focuses on one labor camp specifically, called S-21, where roughly 15,000 Cambodians were tortured and murdered. The story also catches up a couple of the seven people who survived the camp, as well as telling the story of the former Khmer Rouge operative who was in charge of running the camp.
I definitely recommend this story, not only as an extremely moving story, but as a fantastic piece of journalism. Here is the link.
I totally cracked up, when I saw this photo, last night. Obama busted at a G8 Summit, by a Reuters photographer, scoping out some Brazilian booty. It appears, that the Jr. delegate, Bam is ogling, is an 18 y/o Brazilian who lives just outside of Rio. I say give the guy a break. Under normal circumstance, I’m sure that that he would have been able to maintain his composure. But the Brazil factor tends to set things off kilter a bit. I admit that I caught myself pulling the same move Obama is demonstrating above, on a couple of occasions during my stint in Brazil. And that is saying something, because dude, I was extremely focused during those years. Thank goodness I wasn’t surrounded by packs of journalists with their lenses constantly aimed in my direction.
I seriously can’t believe that it is July 2009. I guess part of it is likely due to the fact that May and June were just one large rainy blob. This year, NYC missed the June rainfall record by 1/4 of an inch. Now, get ready for a bunch of randomness.
Today is also Canada Day. Isn’t it funny that Canada Day shares the same month as USA’s Independence Day? Also, the Declaration of Independence was actually finalized and executed on the 7th of July, not the 4th (according to historical facts compiled by David McCullough).
Last random blurb, for today: In GQ, this month (the one with Sascha Baron Cohen on the cover), there is this awesome article about NASA. The last I heard about NASA, Dubya wanted to go to the moon again, and eventually to Mars. Then I heard about Obama drastically cutting NASA funding, and I assumed that nothing was to come of the future lunar or martian trips. Welllll, I was wrong.
Did you realize that the shuttle flights are set to be phased out next year, and for the next 5 years after, Americans will be carted into space by the Russians? I had no idea. I also learned that The guy who got us to the moon under Kennedy, was the same guy who developed the Nazi v-2 Rocket in WWII (which helped the Nazis pulverize residential London). What!!??
As far as the future plans for lunar, and eventually martian landing go, things are in full swing. The rocket that will carry the astronauts is called the Constellation. The logo for the ship has been commissioned to the guy who did the design for the Star Trek the Next Generation logo (no joke).
This whole article made me wish that I would have studied harder in school, and wish that I didn’t have such an aversion to math. If you have a nerdy bone in your body, I strongly suggest that you check out this article.
As of yesterday, with Hillary Clinton’s mishap, all four of the women above have suffered a broken bone, caused by a trip and fall, in the last two weeks. What’s going on here? It’s summer. There isn’t even any ice on the ground. See if you can name the other three individuals pictured above without looking them up.