March 1, 2011

Speed Bandage

“The forecast looked good,” I reminded my grandfather as we marched through the accumulating snow.

“Welcome, to Wisconsin.”

“Well put.” I chuckled. Deer prints from early that day guided us along the trail into the 80 acre woods behind my grandfather’s farm. I followed my grandfather’s size 15 Eddie Bauer foot prints.

Two days before, a high of 50 had melted the midwinter snow, exposing raw fields and the stench of manure for the first time since mid November. Arriving in Milwaukee on Thursday night, I spent a long weekend in Sheboygan County poking around for antiques, enjoying fish fries and most importantly, the rustic serenity of my grandfather’s farm.

Waking early and falling asleep before eleven, my daily schedule mimicked the sun’s. My cell phone barely worked and the internet was reminiscent of dial up. I didn’t complain.

Twilight.

I love these colors.

Country road, take me home. John Denver got it.

Sound the bell.

Binoculars.

Sunday I awoke to light flurries as a storm moved in across the plains from the west. Taking the opportunity to explore the recently white landscape, my grandfather and I set out into the woods behind his house.

The heavy falling snow muffled the woods. Occasionally, a branch gave way, shaking the snow resting on top of it. Sparsely breaking the silence, we followed the deer’s tracks in the woods.

After an hour walk, we headed back, bushwacking a trail through the dense ceder swamp. Arriving at the house, I packed up my things, bid farewell and headed to the Airport to catch my flight back LaGuardia. Five hours later, I was in New York. I had caught the last flight out before the storm shut the area down.

Call it a speed bandage for alleviating some of the frustrations of living in New York.

Here are some more links,
Wisconsin (Picasa),
Farmville (ART).

February 15, 2011

Escaping

With a crunch, I fell through the thin layer of ice, sinking to my knees. Avoiding scraping my shins on the jagged corners, I pulled my foot directly up through the snow and stepped gingerly back onto the frozen Massachusetts countryside. As the sun set, I made my way across the snow-covered field towards the comfort of a warm fire and dinner. Every 10 or so paces, an overzealous step cracked the ice again, repeating the process.

The last flirtations of daylight retreated behind the hills as I kicked my feet together, in a hopeless attempt to remove the snow from my boots, before opening the backdoor. The smell of pan-seared steaks from a local farmer greeted me as I walked into the kitchen. “Fuck New York,” I said to my roommates with a grin on my face like a thirteen-year-old that had just found a Playboy stashed in his older brother’s dresser.

For two days, we holed up, watching the snow fall outside and the wind rattle the windows. Early in the morning and before sunset, I went on walks around the idylic New England roads that surrounded the Wijnberg’s house. The honks and busy streets of New York felt worlds away.

Faded paint.

Edge reading on Sunday morning.

Sunset.

The fire place.

Breakfast.

Daybreak.

Kicking Snow.

Lunch time.

Sunset on a lone birdhouse.

A nearby barn through an antique window.

Function over form. Nike SFB.

Distance makes the heart fonder.

Here are some more links,
Getting Away (Picasa),
Two and a Half Hours (ART).

February 8, 2011

Winter


I arrived home in the beginning of January to forgotten Christmas trees, empty Fresh Direct boxes and mountains of garbage along the streets of Manhattan. In the Northeast, the holidays aren’t half-time in the scheme of winter but merely the first quarter. A constant cycle of heavy snowfall and subsequent rain and thawing sets the tempo. Without this baseline of uncomfortable weather, the occasional sunny day in the 40s would be taken for granted.
Here are some of my my photos taken in the last month, during my first winter in New York.
Candy cured bacon.
Newspaper, Columbus Ave.

My Aunt and Uncle’s fireplace in Bala Cynwyd.


Bloody Mary, Peels.

Snow day, Central Park.

Street meat malfeasance.

Allusions to Maine.

Drinks in Williamsburg

A warm day in the East Village.

Yours truly. My friend Alexxa took this photo.

Farmers Market.

Another snow day in Central Park.

At the warm points in the thaw and snow cycle, spring feels right around the corner. The next storm dashes these hopes. We still have two more months left. Now you can call it halftime.

Here are some more links,

January (Picasa),
February (Picasa).

December 14, 2010

Two and a Half Hours

The train headed north from 125 street. On the two hour ride, I listened to Mr. Dylan and responded to emails in typical Saturday morning fashion. By noon, the train made its last stop in northern Connecticut, and half an hour later, I was walking down the snow dusted driveway of the Wijnberg’s house in Ashley Falls, MA.

Worlds away from my Manhattan apartment, I set down my pack in the mudroom of the 200 year old house and set off on a walk with Nick, Jacob and their eight month old puppy.

The cold New England air and rolling farmland took me back to my time in Maine, clearing my mind of the distractions amassed spending 12 hours a day in an office building in Midtown. As we trolled down the country road, the occasional farm dog barked and ran to the edge of the fence. Every so often a pickup truck gave us a wide birth, slowing and echoing a friendly honk.

Making it back to the house at twilight, Lorenzo (the Wijnberg’s eight month old Italian Spinone) fell to the floor in a deep sleep, resting on his crossed paws. After starting a fire and stocking it with enough wood to last a few hours, I followed suit, measuring my length on a couch.

Late afternoon’s light.

Wood smoke.

The woods.

104 years old.

Early morning light.

A dusting.

The next morning, I woke early, cherishing the country quite and cold before heading back to the city. Like sitting in a hot tub and then jumping in the snow, the contrasts invigorate, making each extreme more pronounced and apparent.
Here are some more links,
Two and a Half Hours (Picasa),
Foster Huntington (Twitter).