NEW BIG DOG

Up in the Hudson Valley
Lived a dog named Zo
He was always the biggest pooch
Wherever he would go.

Weighing more than most grownups,
Even far away he looked tall,
“No dog in all this land,” thought Zo,
“Could ever make me feel small.”

As he started each day
That was Zo’s world view
It kept his sun warm,
Made his sky extra blue.

And that’s how it was
As he strolled a new street
One morning and looked up
And saw two large feet,

And above them huge legs,
Giant ears, a big kisser,
Eyes climbing, Zo thought,
“What have we got here, Mister?

“That can’t be a dog,
There’s no way. But it is.
Up there … on that roof ….
That whole building is his.

“Do my peepers deceive me?
Is he bigger than I?
Who am I kidding?
He blocks out the sky!

“Could he be part Bull?
Smooth Fox? Jack Russell?
Would even Godzilla
With this fella tussle?”

Politely Zo nodded
And yipped a hello.
The roof dog’s response
Was too slight to show.

Or too little, at least,
To detect from the street,
At the level of Zo’s
Now fast moving feet.

“Good day sir,” Zo barked,
without looking back,
“It appears on this street
You’ve got things well intact.

“Should you stop what you’re doing
because of me? No!
You just hang out up there,
I’ll go keep being Zo.”

Then off he moseyed
Politely smiling
While in his brain this address
He was filing.

Good old clear sighted Zo
Still gets thrown in a fog
Thinking back to first meeting
That other big dog.

EGG ODE

Twelve letters say it:
Why Not The Egg?
Up there so high
without even one leg.

Why Not The Egg?
It isn’t a joke:
It just might contain
Planet Earth’s biggest yolk,

Or hard boiled folk,
Or a shell hard as oak
Or be filled to the brim
With Poached Cherry Coke.

The Egg is no yoke
that saddles its city,
As giant Egg buildings go
it’s downright pretty

Making the skyline
so very fine
It’s an Egg to admire,
not on which to dine.

The scramble to see it
does not ever stop,
Not its round belly bottom
or skyward flat top.

All that and more
is why it’s no bull
That Egg lovers glasses
are always half full.

Shouting, “Why Not The Egg?”
Those twelve little letters
For Egg-love reminders
no Dozen is better.

SUI EGGENERIS: The Egg – Albany, NY

 

ONE SUMMER ROADMAP

Collected from May to today

From New Orleans to Albany

These shots together form a

FlyIreWerDelis.

Buzzing, brightening

Petals, pavement,

Earth, sky, shining sea:

A mashed-up summer roadmap bouquet,

The FlyIreWerDelis

FlyIreWerDelis

For more photos, check out my Instagram gallery at tweed_typewriter

New Look at a Classic: “I HEART NY”

New to me are these regional spins on the iconic I HEART NY logo.  I saw them for the first time just recently, alongside even more takes in which the red image between the I and NY represented other aspects of the Empire State.

Though they obviously don’t use the words BUFFALO

FullSizeRender

or SARATOGA,

FullSizeRender[1]

to my mind these two renditions can’t help but explicitly represent those cities, and as such, they had me dreaming of an “explicitly” Albany version that would feature the profile of the Capital City’s most iconic building, The Egg.

iEGG_sketch

Apologies to the New York State Tourism Bureau if this was already present somewhere on the very billboard where I saw the official buffalo and horse images above. And if it wasn’t: get cracking on production of the “I Egg NY” merch! FOOTNOTE to THE EGG: I can’t put a number on how many times I saw this building in my life before the day I stood before it on assignment to direct a short film about a football player from Albany. That day, for the first time ever to me, The Egg looked like a football:  virtually the top of the Lombardi Trophy itself, tipped slightly and blown up a lot.

In all that I-Hearting I came across this fabulous story of the original logo, the remarkable designer who created it, and the interesting life that both man and art have led.  Definitely worth a read and/or listen, via the podcast 99% Invisible.

STROLLING THE $1 MILLION STAIRCASE: A Steller Story from Albany, NY

Due to the boundaries of conventional photography, it’s necessary to see the Grand Canyon in person if you want to have any real sense of it.  Even then, the limitations of the human eyeball and depth perception make it challenging to compute what exactly it is that’s before you.  The scale. The structure.  The origin story.  They combine to form something like nothing else, and so by definition, laying eyes on it is a moment for which you cannot be prepared.  Even as you’re looking at the Canyon, it’s hard to know where to direct your eyes first, next, or last.  The result can be a sort of dizzying rush of astonishment and adrenaline.

As man made things go, the $1 Million Staircase — located in the New York State Capitol Building in Albany, NY — sent my head into similar spaces.  Capturing a photograph that could successfully illustrate both the massiveness and nuance of the Stairs seemed impossible.  In an effort to instead take a series of mental snapshots, every neck contortion and eye swivel I could muster felt insufficient.  There was simply too much to the space, also referred to in Capitol parlance as The Great Western Staircase, to feel like I’d seen or digested it all.  To try and add it up as I walked it was to be transported into a real-life composite of MC Escher artwork, someplace at once concrete and impossible.

The Staircase is a singular sight with a remarkable story ; for someone interested in art, architecture, or history, it’s an absolute must-see.  And believe it or not, the tour is free ; not a bad deal for a look at something priceless that may just leave you speechless.

For a sneak peek and more on how the $1 Million Staircase came to be, read my Steller Story on it by clicking the photo below.

Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 11.21.26 PM

To see The $1 Million Staircase inside the historic New York State Capitol Building via @StellerStories, click on the image above.

A SON-OF-ALBANY STORY, CO-STARRING MY DAD

PROLOGUE – Following is a behind-the-scenes account of my recent short film on a fellow Son of Albany, Charles Leigh.  He made history as the first player known to sign an NFL contract directly out of high school, before becoming part of the Miami Dolphins Dynasty of the 1970s.  This summer I had the privilege of telling his story for NFL Films Presents.

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 9.28.17 PM

LOGUE – Below is the second part of the written story originally published on the NFL Films blog, “They Call it Pro Football.”  To see the piece there, where it includes a slideshow of production photos and a link to a Charles Leigh highlight video consisting of footage discovered during the making of the film, click here.

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 9.30.04 PM

EPILOGUE – During our July, 2015 shoot in my hometown, I brought my Dad to work.  Actually, I needed him to drive me to locations, so it’s probably more accurate to say that he brought me to work.  Either way, it all felt somewhat prophetic come fall when I learned the Leigh feature, previewed in the Albany Times-Union, would premiere as part of an episode titled “Fathers and Sons”.

 

O. bOy

To be like
the letter O,
around and around
you must go.

pano_shore

Turn all day
but corners resist,
like a gyroscope-dreidel-top
let spinning persist.

pano_palace

Then when a donut
Is in your looking glass –
Holey Hula-hoop, you’ve made it! –
You’re an O at last.

pano_thatch

Pan-O-Ramas, from Top:
The Boardwalk, Ocean City, NJ ;
The Palace Theater, Albany, NY ;
John Boyd Thatcher State Park ; Voorheesville, NY ;
Photos: PaC

JOY OF X

It marks the spot
From the last it is third
But for x-ray
It starts almost no words.

Expunges
Expires
Examines
Extolls

Elixir, a mixer
Ex post facto.

In both cases it looks the same
Like Cousin C
It’s a cross only not straight up
Like Cousin T.

Explaining
Exerting
Expatriating

Extant, exacting
Exasperating

There’s no alphabet king
No one “Letter Rex”
But in Alphabetowne
There’s no one quite like X

MALLING IT IN

Remember Jake and Elwood literally driving through their local shopping mall, delighted that it now housed a Pier One?  Or Wyatt and Gary finally achieving a moment of teenage cool, only to have it destroyed by a red Icee raining down on their heads?  And who can forget the epic opening title sequence to Cameron Crowe’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High?   Yes boys and girls, there once was a time when the big screen simply reflected what the world firmly believed:  that if something was happening, it was happening at your local mall.

A generation ago, these one-stop Shangri-las of food courts, multiplexes, anchor stores, and fake plants were still sprouting up all across America, promising to be a new kind of lifestyle altering cultural-commerical crossroads, equal parts vast Persian marketplace and great Parisian salon.  And if you think that’s hyperbole, gettaloadathis:

The feature attraction in that video opened exactly thirty years ago.  I can attest that today it’s still alive and kicking, unlike some of the spots in this photo collection of abandoned shopping malls recently published on FastCoexist.com — images that provide a great sense of what a One Day Sale would look like if it was held at the End of Days.  Clearly not every utopian indoor shopping concept blossomed into a world famous attraction like the Mall of America, where legions still flock to ride one of the planet’s few roller coasters covered by skylights rather than sky.

For the rest of the malls in America, the up and down ride through our hearts continues.  And while you can continue to expect long lines at the nearby mall when Kris Kringle or Peter Cottontail are in the house, history has shown that developing an over-dependence on the Christmas and Easter crowds can transform a spirited community house into a temple of fund raisers.  Even those magnets once fit for the silver screen eventually lose their drawing power.  And when they do, sometimes all that’s left is plenty of good parking.

A giant Legoman dwarfs visitors to the Mall of America in October, 2013.  (Photo: PaC)

A giant Legoman dwarfs visitors to the Mall of America in October, 2013. (Photo: PaC)