Monday, November 30, 2009

If the arena/expo jammed with gear is Mecca, then this is the moon... or the roof of Madison Square Garden facing 31st. Same difference to me.

For the record, this would be a perfectly clich├ęd moment to use the popular and underrated line, "Just when you think things can't get any better...," but I've never really believed in that. I always, always, always think things get better.

Every week is the best week ever, Kids. Happy Monday.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Two women watching (one photographing) the parade move south from their hotel rooms. Though I'm quite confident shooting into a private, albeit temporary, residence with a telephoto lens breaches many a legality, I figured I'd take a chance on this one. Unfortunately, I wasn't physically able to politely push the crowds to reach a desirable angle in time to catch the lady on the right in her PJs and towel turban. Really enjoying the sign, giving both place and direction, I truly consider lack of towel turban to be the major downfall of the shot.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Of the many Thanksgivings I can forsee being away from home, I figured this was a good year to cross off "see Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as pedestrian" on my life to-do list.

For those of you who love kicking butt at trivia nights, you may thank me for this later: the first balloon to appear in the parade? Felix the Cat in 1927 - and he was filled with air rather than helium. But wasn't the first parade in 1924? Yep, but no balloons... live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo! I expect a written thank-you when you win your team a round when you answer the bonus question correctly.

Anyway, it was an experience, again, that is uncannily unique to New York. So what if parades aren't your thing. Like Times Square, it's cool for the sheer fact that it can exist. I laugh to myself though, as I write this, because if you asked most New Yorkers what they thought of both those things, they'd say that they'd do anything to steer clear of the overwhelming calamity that either can be. As a transplant, I see past the lights, see past the crowds, see past the vast amounts of helium and see only a fascinating environment which enables such things to happen.

Photo 1: The first Mickey Mouse balloon to make an appearance in the Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 29, 1934 at 105th and Broadway.

Photo 2: The 4th version of Mickey Mouse appearing in the November 26, 2009 Thanksgiving Day Parade on the corner of 50th and 7th.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Radio City Rockettes riding a 1930s IND train from the Chambers Street Station downtown to Rockefeller Center last Thursday morning. (Meant to post this yesterday too! Whoopsy daisy)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Radio City Rockettes riding a 1930s IND train from the Chambers Street Station downtown to Rockefeller Center last Thursday morning.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mecca? Close.

Road cases stacked to the ceiling in the Garden's expo center. The only person who reads this blog who found out how huge this area is (besides you darlings who also work there) is Ms. Lauren Brown who went to go visit the elephants with me when the circus was in town. My point? This space, not only occupies half the 5th floor of the building, but houses elephants and tigers... on an annual basis.

Did I mention the ceiling? These cases are stacked to the ceiling!? Forget Mick and Bono, I doubt many people in the business have ever seen or will ever see that. Wonderful absurdity.

Now this was one hell of a show.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

An email from the boss:

Tonight Bono named these hallowed halls "the cathedral of Rock and Roll" - And the world was shown another history-making event for the books. Each of you, and your teams all contributed to the success. You can and should take pride in the jobs you do. Without the effort and dedication of this amazing team, rock history would have been left to another time, another place.

Thank you for making the Garden the great cathedral of rock.

- Tim Parsaca, Saturday 10/31/09, 1:21 a.m.

Photo: Bono and Mick Jagger performing the Stones' "Gimme Shelter" at Madison Square Garden on 10/30/09.

Could have been great, Al, could have been great...


I'm posting it anyway... as a public note to not screw up such moments as the above.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wait... is that... Mick Jagger? Well what do you know! It is!

Whatever you've heard about him... it's all true. Damn, that man can move.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I distinctly remember one music discussion involving one of my dearest friends, Kelly McStay, my dad and myself where U2 was the headlining subject. The song in question was "Vertigo" and all Kelly had to say was, "I mean, he counts from 3 to 14."

End topic. Moving on!

Just because I saw the above on some kid while covering a pop-punk show once...

As the highly acclaimed (according to "almost 3/4" Dr. Jeff Stambough) Urban Dictionary defines it, a "Bonosaurus" is somewhere between "A dinosaur [,] preferably a brontosaurus*[,] with Bono's head on it and an "object obtained when a woman performs the ho stretch."

You decide which one better fits your lifestyle.

In addendum, if any of you are not familiar with the montstrosity U2 has been touring worldwide, have at it...

*I, umm, think that was the joke.

Monday, November 16, 2009

How was that $8 Chard?

Photo: Bono

"Can you believe these new girls? None of them use birth control and they eat all the steak!" - Almost Famous

Photo: Bono

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fergie and Edge... together at last. Really? I wonder A) how the Black Eyed Peas fenegled their way into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame show and B) who was pulling to see U2 with BEP? Whatever, people seemed stoked and really, that's all I care about.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

David Howell Evans, otherwise known as the Edge, lead guitarist for U2. 'Sup, dude? Yeah, so we dropped off an $8 Chardonnay in your dressing room. Hmm. You don't seem pleased. You're telling me you have the palette to differentiate taste between an $8 Chard and an $80 Chard? I don't believe you. I don't remember your Wikipedia entry saying "wine connoisseur."

Monday, November 09, 2009

One day last January, I was told by a prospective suitor to meet him on the NE corner of 33rd and 7th. He had a surprise belated Christmas present for me and punctuality, not always a strong suit of mine, was moderately crucial. With hair done, slight make-up applied, my best jeans, heeled black boots and a long gray sweater that sits elegantly off the left shoulder, I left my apartment just in time to catch the 2/3 train uptown to meet him.

I walked up the stairs to street level where I saw him standing in his nicely tailored coat. I said his name and he turned. At about 6'5, his linebacker frame wrapped around me with my third step onto the sidewalk - he facing the stairs and I facing Madison Square Garden. I was only present with him for a minute before I realized that I was not at work and yet again, staring at this building. Noticing the glance of my direction, he pulled out two tickets to the Pittsburgh Penguins/New York Rangers game that was about to start in T minus 6 minutes. I wasn't really dressed in my standard hockey garb, but at least I looked presentable.

Still, I jumped on him in excitement and away we went. The important part of this whole thing, however, was the conversation between us following the first period of the game:

"I just absolutely love this place."
"You keep saying that... it looks kind of old and in need of renovation to me."
(Blank stare)
"Well, hun, that's not exactly what I mean. I mean a few things... the history - the events and people that have graced this space. The world's greatest everything! Musicians, athletes, actors, dancers, production people, political figures, photographers, comedians, etc... Whether they were performing here or playing here or just coming to watch some kind of event, they have been here. I mean the effort and precision it takes to run a cat show, a Cirque du Soleil performance and a hockey game all in the same night and then do three totally different events tomorrow!"
"I think we're next in line for ice cream, what would you like?"
(Blank stare)
"Mint-chocolate-chip, please."

The Pens didn't score a goal that night, but I realized something very important. That I was in love with an environment. An environment that, with a year's passing, has now become a home, family included. Over the two days of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame shows, I watched the entire U2 set from stage right. I watched multiple performers from a legendary generation of music from every angle that venue has to offer. I got to see and hug my favorite and one of the best stage managers (DMB/Stones/Sinatra/etc.) out there. I got to quote Almost Famous within context multiple times. I watched the front row jump up and down yelling for Bono, yelling for Bruce, yelling for... Mick. I was in a one-of-a-kind position with people I love, yet again. Doesn't matter that it wasn't the best angle to shoot a show. I was home.

Photo: Stage right at the Garden for U2's set. U2's lead guitar, the Edge closest with Bono center stage.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Some of U2's gear from backstage right. The spot in the middle of the frame is lighting Bono downstage center.

Dinner breaks from Cirque du Soleil rehearsals = quiet theater = optimal editing time.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

"Let me explain something to you - you have not been standing in front of thirty-thousand decibels for thirty-five years... WRITE ME A NOTE." - Ozzy Osbourne

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

*Ring* *Ring*

"Hey Jeff, this is Eric. I have some news - some pretty crappy news. My gallbladder's been giving me muchos problemas. Need surgery. Doc says I need two weeks recovery time. No, no - don't worry, I'm fine. I just won't be able to make one little girl's dreams of photographing my hands come true this week at the Hall of Fame's gig at the Garden. Yeah, yeah... I know. Big show. I'm bummed. What's that? Yeah I love that place too. So if you could be a pal and help me out, fill in for me, I would appreciate it. Thanks, Jeff. Yeah, yeah... Jimmy's on vacation. Pete doesn't want to do it. Keith might've died today. Jimi's dead. Carlos is busy making shoes... what can I say? You're my guy, Beck."

Photo: Jeff Beck

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Coo coo ca choo, Mr. Robinson.

You go sing "Tracks of My Tears" with Stevie Wonder in 20 minutes. Have a ball.

Photo: Smokey Robinson

Nothing says "I'm performing at the biggest rock concert of the year at one of the most famous venues in the world" like a checkered navy blue velvet suit and black patent leather shoes. Few could pull that combo off as nicely as Mr. John Legend.

Not so much a legend quite yet, Mr. Legend, but you sure are cute.

Monday, November 02, 2009

When you see the Southern Cross for the first time,
You understand now why you came this way
'Cause the truth you might be runnin' from
Is so small, but it's as big as the promise
The promise of a comin' day...

In a somewhat appropriate (I saw/knew where to look for the Southern Cross for the first time in Australia), yet abrupt, transition, I'm going to switch gears to all the crazy happenings of this past weekend at Madison Square Garden before we return to the mystical land of Tasmania. When I posted last night, I tried to ignore my Rock and Roll Hall of Fame folder... but it just kept staring at me. *Sigh* - such a softy when it comes to legendary music.

Not the best shot of CSN, but Stephen Stills is looking at me - who cares if I had a camera in my hand. I also had no flash... under-equipped and doing just fine.

Photo: (L-R) David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash Thursday night in the press room at Madison Square Garden.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Do you think he thinks about the possibility of getting stuck?

Launceston countryside.

Not so devilish now, are you Tasmanian Devil? Yes, I'm talking to you...

Speaking of Tasmanian Devil, was anyone else unsure of their existence (or the state's existence, for that matter) when watching Looney Tunes? I would add, "as a kid" to that, but I still watch them... frequently.

The correct plural of platypus is platypuses and NOT platypi. What a bummer.

Photo taken at the "Platypus House" just north of Launceston.

In taking a trip to Hobart from Launceston with Justin and his family my first weekend in Tasmania, I was able to see a lot more of the state than I had expected. Passing mountains, horse pastures, sheep pastures, canola fields and other sorts of farmland, I quickly noticed that I wasn't part of the conversation for a majority of the three-hour trip. For those of you who have spent some time with me, all I can say is that my inability to focus on the audio of the primary situation was certainly in full swing. Had I been driving, it would have taken us about seven hours to get to Hobart, as I would have insisted on photographing everything I passed.

Our destination upon arrival was a darling house owned by a family friend of the Hermans. Again, I was taken aback by yet another beautiful home with an even more beautiful view. With the warmth of the sun frequently luring me into the window's right corner, I couldn't resist the perfect perch with a cup of Earl Grey each time I was in the kitchen.