Archive for the New York Category

Autumn on the Move in NYC

Posted in Aesthetic Realism, American History, Art, Autumn, Beauty, Birds, Fall, New York, New York Landmarks, Parks, Photography, Poetry, Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , on November 10, 2015 by maine1nyc

My wife, Carol Driscoll, and I wanted to honor the waning Fall season by discovering a place which we have never been before, Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, one of the most picturesque and beautiful areas in NYC. And are we glad we did! There are areas in this park where you can get a sense of what it must have felt like in NY hundreds of years ago. It has a rich history, and is a must visit, or I should say many visits, for a landscape photographer.

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It is an area that many winged beings like to visit. We didn’t see any unusual fliers this day, but were favorited by a being that is much taken for granted, including by myself, in NY—the pigeon. However, I was affected by this photo that Carol took, that had me reconsider. I’m also including a poem by Ellen Reiss, Aesthetic Realism Chairman of Education, which can have all of us value this most overlooked bird in a new and surprising way.

New York Pigeons
By Ellen Reiss

New York City pigeons are bold.
They peruse the ledgers of dead economies.
They give me critical looks.

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To An Old Friend

Posted in American History, Beauty, Bridges, Landscape, New York, New York Landmarks, Photography, Rivers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2015 by maine1nyc
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If inanimate objects could talk what might they say? As one who often photographs in Williamsburg, I could not help but see how this area is changing, and imagining what two of the most prominent Brooklyn icons might say to each other if they could.

Willie B: Well my old friend, we’ve both been around for a long time, me since I opened in 1903 have seen a lot of water under the bridge.

[fmr] Domino Sugar Plant: You sure have, and I can’t count how many cars and people have crossed you. Look at me, I’ve been at this location since 1882. I was the largest sugar refinery in the world. Sugar is not so popular these days, but at one time you just couldn’t get enough of it. Look at me now—many of my buildings were torn down. And I’m being converted into many different things, from condos, stores, who knows? I too, have seen a lot of time pass in this part of the world, and valued your friendship all these years. Remember I saw you grow up. Well I guess I’ll still be useful in some way, but I miss the good old days!

Willie B: I am sorry to see you go my friend, but glad you’ll still be around in some form. I, too, value your friendship and the time we’ve spent watching over Manhattan, Brooklyn & the East River. For as long as I’m here I’ll keep an eye on you and never forget you. We were both fortunate to have made our mark on history and be linked together forever in time.

Squirrels of Corlears Park

Posted in Aesthetic Realism, Beauty, New York, New York Landmarks, Parks, Photography, Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , on May 17, 2015 by maine1nyc

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(Click photo to enlarge.)

In preparation for a trip later this year to photograph Puffins in Maine, I thought it would be a good idea to practice on some fast moving, but oh so common beings, like the squirrel. New York doesn’t have that mysterious & colorful Puffin—but boy do we have squirrels!

Was I surprised to find out how wrong I was taking so ordinary a being, like the squirrel, for granted. As I followed some around on their adventures I was surprised to see how much I was affected by them. Not only are they fast, but they’re inquisitive and daring, they’re industrious and can be quarrelsome, and they have a kind of grandeur. I was taken by how many traits that we have in common—not the least of which is a deep pleasure that can be felt when they take in the world through food. I felt both criticized and inspired when I read this maxim by Eli Siegel, “What we’re used to, if explored, will surprise.”

As I left the park and looked behind at the squirrels I was grateful to them for showing me how wonderfully surprising what I see all the time can be if I looked with fresh eyes. Click here for more squirrels.

Finally—It’s Here!

Posted in Aesthetic Realism, Beauty, Landscape, New York, Photography, Poetry, Spring with tags , , , , , on May 3, 2015 by maine1nyc

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A favorite poem of mine by Eli Siegel. Spring is really happening this year at last.

Come, Spring Flowers

Though the whole world will work to make you to,
I say, Come, spring flowers.

 From  Hail, American Development (Definition Press) © 1968 by Eli Siegel

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Montauk Lighthouse Landscape

Posted in Aesthetic Realism, American History, Art, Autumn, Beaches, Beauty, Fall, Landscape, Lighthouse, New York, New York Landmarks, Parks, Photography with tags , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2014 by maine1nyc
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On a recent visit with my wife Carol to Montauk, LI to experience the last days of the fall season, I was reminded of just how beautiful this place really is. And as a special treat we were greeted with “breeze’n up” weather—great for photographing. As we approached one of the most photographed and historic lighthouses in the country, I was affected by how the surrounding reeds interacted with the lighthouse. The wind was blowing hard, with gusts of up to 50 mph, yet the reeds showed their strength & grace. They held their own, even as they swayed while the lighthouse stood firmly in the distance, somewhat blurred by the reeds. I wanted to capture not only the motion of the reeds, but also their individuality as they moved, because I felt this would highlight their graceful strength in relation to the stolid lighthouse.

I am stirred by this critically important essay, by Eli Siegel, “Art as Flexibility.” As he writes you get a new insight into how crucial this aspect of art is. It begins:

“Art shows reality as resisting, bending; asserting, fading—which is how it is. Reality is as it changes, and flexibility in art is a visual likelihood of a thing’s changing in space, while remaining what it is. As a stem of a flower sways in the wind, we have a sight of flexibility. Yieldingness as sight is much in pictures; the yieldingness that makes for strength is what we look for in art.”

Copyright © by Definition Press 1960, 1962, 1974

Your creative imagination will be inspired after reading this work. If you would like to see more of my photos of Montauk visit my web-site: harveyspears.com

Super Moon Over Brooklyn 2014

Posted in Aesthetic Realism, Art, Beauty, Landscape, New York, New York Landmarks, Photography, Rivers with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2014 by maine1nyc

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This was surely one of the best moons I ever saw in NYC. Wow! I hope these photos do some justice to what I saw. I also include a poem by Eli Siegel that I love and believe honors the large meaning of the moon. (Click photos to enlarge.)
Girl and Moon

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July 4th Celebration 2014 on the East River NYC

Posted in American History, Beauty, Bridges, Brooklyn Bridge, Fireworks, Independence Day, July 4th, Landscape, New York, New York Landmarks, Parks, Photography, Rivers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2014 by maine1nyc

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While people lined the shores of the East River & New York Harbor at sunset the grand celebration was preparing to begin. And it was done with style! As the sun set, the darkened sky and the Brooklyn Bridge were aglow. New York & The Brooklyn Bridge welcome back the Macy’s grand fireworks celebration, and I’m so glad I was there. (Click photos to enlarge.)

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To view more photos click on this link

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