Friday, July 04, 2008

Alfredo Hernandez's Drum Circle "Lesson" at Dupont Circle last Sunday

Though I was not at Dupont Circle for long this past Sunday while there I made a point to capture a variety of scenarios in connection my ongoing Sundays at Dupont Circle Project, including this photographer in action.

Though, over the past two years I sometimes have ventured to Malcolm X. Park at Meridian Hill for the Sunday afternoon Drum & Dance Circle my introduction to the Drum Circle scene in DC is rooted in Alfredo Hernandez's sessions and often lessons that he and others in his network have held on Sunday afternoon in Dupont Circle.

Which I have captured dating back to 1994. Perhaps, before!

Realizing now that the Dupont Circle sessions are sometimes lessions held by Alfredo Hernandez and others in his network ... my focus when capturing the Drum Circle in Dupont Cirlce this past Sunday was to depict Hernandez and others in the process of mentoring, instructing and teaching.

Click the above image to view my Drum Circle - Dupont Circle - 29 June 2008 photoset.

The videos are as follows:

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Music That I'm Listening To: Julie Clark's FEEL FREE

In turn for having sent her a cd of the video footage and photography images that I took of her during the Capital Pride Festival, songwriter Julie Clark sent me a copy of her debut cd entitled Feel Free.

Which, since its arrival last Friday evening, I've listened to many times. Often repeating One Of These Days, The Naked Song, Think Too Much, Your Wings and She's Movin' On. Especially, One Of These Days ... over and over again.

When I first listened to FEEL FREE while fixing dinner last Friday evening I kept thinking that she reminds me of another artist but could not put my thumb on who it was.

Then, eating dinner and taking the time to glance at the lyrics while listening to the cd ... it dawned on me.

Julie Clark, in particular, her songwriting reminded me of Carole King. Who I had just saw a few nights before on one of the late night talk shows discussing that she her recent re-emergence and soon to be launched The Living Room Tour.

FEEL FREE by Julie Clark is a cd that I be listening to for a long, long time. And many times over!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I Hate Shopping At Whole Foods

For more than two weeks I had searched the dairy section at the Safeway at Waterfront Mall for Monterey Pepper Jack Cheese which, living in SW DC since November 2001, is where I have purchased it many times over the years.

Planning to mix up a batch of ground beef for burgers for Sunday's dinner and the weeks leftovers before leaving the apartment for my 29 June 2008 Sunday photo walk I made a mental note to stop in at the Whole Foods on P Street, during my walk, to pick up some monterey pepper jack cheese.

And when I say a mental note I usually will say the world outloud or jot int down into my note pad which is deliberate on my part so as to register the thought in my brain making it more likely that I will forget.

Not even a second would pass after registering "Monterey Pepper Jack Cheese - Whole Foods Market" did the words or thought but more flashback "I hate shopping at Whole Foods" spiral through my head.

My white friends talk about how they love shopping at Whole Foods or brag about how this one and that one cruised them at the DC Eagle or the fabulous time they had at some circuit party or the bath house my reflections which haunting similar to those that flashed before on Sunday afternoon when I contemplated stopping in a Whole Foods for some Monterey Pepper Jack Cheese.

While Whole Foods may be organic and eco-inclined and have received awards for one of the best places to work ... from the very first moment that they saw me, a black man, walk through door their first, last and after thought was to oversee, police, watch, and stalk me.

In the exact same way that when I visited the DC Eagle the night before that they watched my ever move that they have watched my ever move since my first visit to the first DC Eagle almost 30 years ago. If after 30 years I can not walk into the DC Eagle or on my job without being overseen, policed, stalked at every along the way ... Independence Day does not mean to me, a black man ... what it means to you.

But, shopping at Whole Foods is no different than shopping at Safeway. If I can not walk into the Safeway at Waterfront without being targeted the problem is not me. Nor has it ever been me. The problem, at least from where I stand is you!

If you were me or I were you ... what would you do!

I hate shopping at Whole Foods but Safeway, too!

The problem, for me ... has always been you!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Diverse Markets Management Announces Debut of Annual Fall Crystal City Markets

On Friday, 27 June 2008 I received an E-Newsletter from Diverse Markets Management which announced the September 2008 debut of the new annual fall Crystal City Market in Arlington VA.

Operating every Thursday through Saturday for 6 weeks, it will open Thursday, 18 September, and will run for a total of 18 days ending on Saturday, 25 October. Hours will be from 11:30 am - 6:30 pm each day. Additionally, there will be two special event Sunday markets in coordination with Vintage Crystal, a wine festival, on Sunday, 21 September and the Marine Corps Marathon’s leg through Crystal City on Sunday, 26 October.

Click above Crystal Market / Crystal City logo for details.

The Sergeant of Dupont Circle Memorial to Little Freddy

Since first meeting and capturing The Sergeant of Dupont Circle last August seldom to I not pass through Dupont Circle without looking for him. In recent months he has suggested that we shoould collaborate of one or two stories which I am contemplating.

But as I told him, it is not my intention nor practice to tell the story of others but more that my photography is about capturing 'a moment in time'. And since an image of 'a moment in the time of one's life could not ever tell the whole story nor could I ever attempt to tell another's story based on the few moments in each of our lives that we shared.

However, it is often my hope that when a subject views an image that I took of them that they may will then reflect on what they were experiencing or feeling at the time. And, perhaps, be inspired to 'write their own story' through the image (s) that I took of them.

Getting involved in the lives of others for the purpose of telling their story is something that does not fascinate nor interest me. I can't image having another person telling my story. Nor them telling mine!

Each time that I take on such projects it actually opens myself up for other people to enter into my life. Which is something that I am very cautious of. Equally as cautious as 'entering into the life of another person. I do not enter into the lives of other people. Nor do I want other people to invite themselves into my life.

With that having been said, if I take the time to document or capture a moment in time of your life that neither infers nor suggests that you have any claim to me nor do I have any claim to you. We simply crossed paths and that is that.

I say this because it has been my experience, as a black male, that when people see me they see me as their project and a means by which they can get something that has no connection to me. But, more accurately stated ... someone that they will henceforth oversee and police.

But that they will attempt to convince me that they are 'doing it for me' or for some cause to better or save the world.

So, each time that The Sergeant suggests that we should collaborate on projects pertaining to homeless veterans, I am reminded of the many different articles, issues and causes that I have reported on and supported, over the years, ... many which have no connection to me.

And, yet, as a 50 something black male, I can not tell you how many veterans, civil servants and government agents have 'come through me' over the past 35 to 40 years ... feeding through black men. Many who may now be veterans but were then in the miltary. Many who now may have retired from law enforcement, federal or state positions but who, then were civil servants.

And their relationship with me now is the same as it was then but, then ... I did not realize that they saw me and other black men ... just as their ... project!

When during my 29 June 2008 Sunday photo walk that I passed through Dupont Circle, the Sergeant asked that I photograph is memorial to Little Freddy, a sterling, that died in his hands after being attacked in the park by several black birds.

The Sergeant said that he had been taking care of Little Freddy since its birth ... almost two months ago. And that the injury in the palm of his right hand resulted when during the attack upon Little Freddy that he attempted to fight off the black birds.

Since his arrival to Dupont Circle last summer, The Sergeant has gone out of his way to establish a network of other homeless people, many who are veterans, that assist and look out for each other.

He refers to this network as 'family'.

I like that about him.