Friday, July 07, 2006

Critical Mass DC . Dupont Circle . First Friday, 7 July @ 6pm

In an attempt to solve our global oil crisis and so as to breath cleaner air, once a month, in cities throughout the world folks get together for community bike rides. In Washington DC, beginning at around 5pm on the first Friday of each month, bicyclists congregate in Dupont Circle for a 6 pm step off and bike ride through the city. This photographer has captured the assemblance in Dupont Circle on more than one occasion since the summer of 2002. Particularly, in recent months on 7 April 2006 and 5 May 2006. Join other bicyclists later this afternoon on Friday, 7 July 2006, for a 6 PM step-off from Dupont Circle for a special critical mass in solidarity with G8 protests in St. Petersburg, a G8 meeting focusing on the issue of Climate Change. For more information visit Critical Mass DC.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

After the Fireworks

According to an article in the 05 July 2006 issue of the Washington Post, officials say that the post-fireworks evacuation plan was a glowing success. This photojournalist is in agreement. At least from where he stood. Or, perhaps, in the shoes that he walked.

Though still under construction, this photographer would capture his trek, after the fireworks, from 15th Street between Pennsylvania and Constitution avenues which is where he would snap his last shot of the fireworks, across the National Mall, down 7th Street across I Street to the SW Waterfront area by taking pictures along the way.

However, since this photographer took many photos over the 4 July Weekend it will take some time before he completes the After the Fireworks Photo Project.

Mary Anne Rose lectures at Chez Gentry event at Amistad Center @ Wadsworth Atheneum on 11 July

On Wednesday, 21 June I would visit the Parish Gallery in Georgetown as the unofficial photographer for the Living with Legends: Hotel Chelsea Blog who had posted information pertaining to the Fifteen Years: Six of Six Exhibition at the Parish Gallery, which includes 5 works by Herb Gentry, who for many years was a resident at the Hotel Chelsea. A day later I would receive an email from Mary Anne Rose, the widower of Herb Gentry, informing me of an 11 July Chez Gentry event at the The Amistad Center for Art & Culture Wadsworth Atheneum that she will be the featured lecturer. When I would receive her email on the evening of 22 June not only was I in the midst of mailing photographic material to contacts that I had made in South Boston VA over the weekend of 16 - 18 June during which time I would photograph the Juneteenth Celebration at Berry Hill Plantation but I was was gearing up for a weekend trip to NYC to photograph the NYC Gay Pride Festival. So, I did not have too much time to get the word out about 11 July Chez Gentry event at Hartford CT's Wadsworth Atheneum.

I got the photographic material in the mail just in time to catch up with Ken and Mark for our Friday evening drive to NYC. We'd depart from WDC around 5 PM and arrive in NYC around 10:30 PM. It would rain for much of the weekend, sporadically. When Mark, Ken and I would leave from Arthur and Michael's apartment at the corner of 9th Avenue and 22nd Street in Chelsea on Sunday morning, at around 11 AM, en route to our respective locations, there were a few sprinkles. Mark and Ken would brunch at The Dish on 8th Avenue in Chelsea before heading to 5th Avenue and 22nd Street and I would head down to the Village. In search of a light brunch before the parade reached the Village and to avoid the pending rain shower, I'd veer inside of a cafe at the corner of the Avenue of the Americas and _______.

As I walked inside of the cafe I observed Stanley Crouch sitting at a table in the company of two people. Though we have never met before, we exchanged eye contact as if we had. It was not unlike a greeting amongst colleaques. I, almost, walked over to his table to inquire if he had heard of the 11 July Chez Gentry event at the Wadsworth Atheneum at the Amistad Center in Hartford CT.

But like a true NYer, at heart, I did not feel that it would be appropriate for me to interrupt his conversation. And, yet, if I had, I know that he would have been appreciative and would not have felt that I was interferring. A few days ago, I'd see Stanley Crouch in an interview with Tavis Smiley discussing his recent book "Considering Genius, Writings on Jazz". I would then reflect on the fact that I wished that I had spoken with Stanley Crouch regarding the 11 July Chez Gentry event.

The menu at the cafe, consisting mostly bagels and the like, was too limited for my appetite, at that moment in time. So, I would thank the waitresses behind the counter for her time and said that I would visit the cafe again. Which I will when I visit NYC again.

Though I can not now recall the name of the cafe, what I do remember is that it is located next door to what was once The Tiffany. Which is now a bit more upscale and too high priced than what I remember The Tiffany to have been for the many years that Frank and I would eat there.

Opening on 22 December 2005 Moved by Music: Herbert Gentry paintings, prints, and drawings will be on display at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art through 29 October 2006. It is an exhbition that would fit very well into the scheme of things at the Berry Hill Plantation Resort in South Boston VA. Though recently sold, the Berry Hill Plantation, in recent years, would house one of the most progressive french culinary schools in the world where french chefs were sent for an intensive training program. What better place to exhibit the work of Herbert Gentry than at a world class plantatation resort ...

And the 11 July Chez Gentry event certainly would be an event that would be of interest to Stanley Crouch. I now wished that I had said something to him. The next time that I am in a similar situation, I will not walk away wishing that I had ...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Archie Edwards' Blues Heritage Foundation

Some Saturday's ago, on 10 June 2006, I had hoped to trek out to Bunker Hill Road in NE WDC for the expressed purpose of visiting and capturing blues musicians performing at the Archie Edwards' Barbershop.

I'd take the red line out to Brookland Station and when I'd inquire of the station attendent where was the best place to get a taxi he said that if one did not in the parking and bus lot than I should walk up to the main drag. After more than a few minutes of waitring in the bus parkiing lot, I walked to the main drag at Monroe Street. Several cabs would pass me by so I asked several passersby where was the best place to fetch a cab. They each advised me to walk up to Michigan Avenue. With two cameras hanging from my body, I was surpsied that the few taxis that passed (each that was empty) did not stop. Finally, one did stop, and when I said that I needed to go to 2700 Bunker Hill Road he said that it was too far for him to drive.

At that point I decided to head back downtown to capture the 2006 Capital Pride Parade. But, before heading back into town I stopped in at the 2006 Dance Africa DC event at Dance Place.

I would first become aware of members of the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation during the 2000 Smithsonian Folklife Festival when I'd capture the DC Blues Society. And since then I have always wanted to capture, document and record the various members of the group. On 10 June I would join their emal alert list.

On this Saturday, 9 July 2006, Phil Wiggins will continue his monthly harmonica workshops at the Archie Edwards’ Barbershop from 11am to 2pm. Cost is $20. Phil will cover basic and advanced material. The barbershop is located at 2007 Bunkerhill Rd NE, Washington, DC. For more information visit the webiste or telephone 202-526-7539.

The above photo of of harmonica player Steve Levine whom I hope to add many more photos of to my collection was taken during the 2000 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

On the morning of the 10 june when I telephoned Archie Edwards Barbershop inquiring if I may come out and take pictures, not only was I welcomed to come, but I was told that if I needed a ride from the Brookland Station that someone from the barbershop would be glad to pick me up at a prearranged time.

Now that I know that the location is not as close to the Brookland Station as I thought, one of these Saturdays, not too far in the future, I will take a day trip out the Archie Edwards Barbershop and spend more than a few hours, capturing, documenting the Bunker Hill Road, NE, WDC neighborhood. And, if the mood strikes me, I may even stay over night ...



Launched on 4 July 2006, FREEDOM represents an aspect of my photojournalism that has always been the root of my work. This blog will attempt to capture, document and record the the travels, day drips and weekend excursions that I may take and report and/or comment the venues, exhibitions and shows that I may visit. The intent is to bring attention to businesses, institutions, progressive entrepeneurs, artists, the arts and other cultural matters that are of interest to me. Or that others bring to my attention. This particularly posting represents my first entry at this blog site and will familiarize me with the layout, etc. Freedom! The above photo was taken in WDC during the 2006 Independence Day Marijuana Legalization Smoke-In Rally and March. Though I do not smoke weed, the 4 july Smoke-In is amongst the many recurring events that I have documented, over the years. The event and, in particular, the photo are indicative of the kind of freedom that I am speaking of. Freedom!