Jordan had been trying to talk me into this one for quite awhile. We had scouted it, but for some reason I just wasn't really into it. Well I have to say he was 100% right. What an amazing spot! We went through an overgrown lot to a small local gift shop that closed about 10 years ago. Jordan wanted to get into this spot for years as it has been rumored to be torn down soon for new development. We just could not let this place get demolished without documenting a spot as special as this. This location specialized in Christmas decor and also farm fresh fruits and vegetables. Sadly spray paint and damage from young people had taken it's toll on this place.
2: Story Behind the Photos: Quiet Riot. You would have to live under a rock to not know teaching and learning are under attack in this country. As teachers we feel helpless. Cogs in a machine helpless. Jen, Larisa, and I quietly boarded a coach early in the morning in East Syracuse and sped off to our state capital. It was like heading into war. Bus after bus of soldiers. No guns, our weapons, were markers and grammatically correct signage. A polite group of people who were sick and tired, of being sick and tired. You could see it on their faces. We knew complaining about our plight in the teachers’ lounge was going to bring no relief, but how on earth would shaking a sign matter? We went that day to make a very small ripple in the universe. There was an uneasiness in the group as we stepped off the last stair and were led to the rally. We had never trained; teachers are good at turning the other cheek. I brought my camera to tell the story. I walked around the reflecting pool of Empire State Plaza and headed to the back of the crowd. It was a huge concrete oasis, unusual buildings with large facades lining the rectangle. There was a lot of shouting and lots of signs and I had to get away. My introvert kicked in and I needed quiet time. I walked to the back, what seemed like miles away from the shouting crowds. You could hear the megaphones in the far distance. On my way back I spotted this man, sitting on a bench, fighting his own way. No screaming, no shouting. Just a determined man with his Diet Coke. I asked if I could take his picture, and he quietly said yes. I wonder what he taught? Was he an introvert or a pacifist? He held his NYSUT umbrella and fought the good fight. He was making a ripple in the universe. I wish I had asked him his story, I bet it was a good one. Here is the photo of the man that day.
Story behind the Photos: “Gratitude” The young waiter said loudly, “too much, too much” after we had tried to order one item from each section of the menu. He was trying to protect us from ourselves. We were still trying to figure out ordering on our second night in Rome. We sat for hours, marveling at the food off the beaten path. The restaurant looked like a movie set, a movie set of what an Italian restaurant was supposed to look like. Drinking wine and saying how lucky we were too many times to count, was to become the theme of the night. The emotion was a mix of excited, in love, and scared shitless for me. It’s hard to be out of your comfort zone, to be that person, who has no idea how things work. I was glad I married the woman across the small table, she was a great travel planner, and went with the flow in new situations. We decided over espresso to go for a midnight walk, one of our favorite activities. A quiet stroll would round out the night nicely. We payed, looked around one last time, and knew that was the best it got. That feeling deep in your gut of supreme gratitude, we both had it. Our gratitude tanks were full. We stepped out on the street and started our walk, no direction at all. I used my camera and tried to capture the feeling of the moment, but I knew it was futile. The water on the cobble streets, the warm spring air, the smells, my camera would miss all of that. Here is one of the photos I captured that night on the walk.