Although controversial, there is an immense truth behind Robert Frank’s photographs. The faces of Americans working “nine to five just to stay alive”, expressions of tiredness and discontent. We all live in this huge mass, surrounded by water, a land where our President is considered to be the most powerful man alive, we have to save face, some may argue that we are inclined to put our best foot forward. The land of the free, a land were each individual is granted certain rights and freedoms. I absolutely hate talking about race, so this blog post will be very short. Just as Robert Frank photographs show a true depiction of life in New York City, at a particular time in history, where segregation was an issue then, and racism is still a huge issue today. There was one photograph that really stood out to me, the picture of the little girl with her hands held up and her siblings. I wondered if it was indeed just an act of imitation, she looked very young , too young to fully comprehend the matter at hand. She was happy and had a lovely smile, I wonder if children naturally see the world in the shades of grey, where we are all alike, and the only thing that separates us from one another is my character.
First, I’d like to say that I found this short film a absolute thrill to watch, it is a spectacular depiction of what makes moving pictures so fascinating. It showcases the allure of the imagination and over all story telling. The style is very reminiscent of early photography staging, that of Southworth and Hawes. The use of backgrounds and various objects really creates the overall settings, that is needed to fabricate a variety of environments needed for the various scenes in Le Voyange dans la Lune. It is also has a hint of surrealism, for example the moon was portrayed as a face made of cheese. I remember growing up I often heard of stories about a man on the moon and the is often compared to swiss cheese, because of the carters on the moon’s surface. Also the figures such as stars and the planets became life like because of the actors portraying them. The over all movie was very enjoyable, it had a lot of movement, and simple visual effects such as smoke and snow.
It is true that you can tell a lot about a person by what he or she eats, and as much as they would want us not to believe this, rock stars are people too! I believe that the over all concept is really interesting, though the way and style it was executed was done poorly, the lighting is terrible. Famous celebrities such as Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears already have such recognizable personas already, there is already a premeditated assumption of them, made by several factors such as fashion and their music. That that it leaves very little to be desired. What surprised me the most is that the foods requested aren’t a crudité platter or of some bottle of water, from some place over wonder, that is distilled through volcanic rocks and rainbows ( over dramatizing). If anything this justifies claims of a certain celebrity being a Diva or high maintenance. I can rest a shore that I do have one thing in common with my favorite performer on the list, me and Beyoncé love some fried chicken wings!
When we were having a debate during our last meeting about the “Fallen Solider Photograph,” I did make a point about the left hand being curled and I was very pleased to have read about it in the article, “Franks told me in conversation that the fact that the fingers are somewhat curled toward the palm clearly indicates that the man’s muscles have gone limp and that he is already dead. Hardly anyone faking death would ever know that such a hand position was necessary in order to make the photograph realistic.” Whether or not the photograph was staged or not, having coming to learn about the grave lengths that Robert Capa went for his art, I have gained commendable appreciation for him as a photographer.
When I think about California, I think of the great weather, white sanded beaches, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Hollywood sign, Rodeo Drive and the relaxed way of life. Maybe it’s due to my need of a vacation, but it’s to my very own ignorance, that the acceptance of where my weekly groceries come from, is the little label located on the containers. California produces a vast number of the fruits, vegetables and animal products that the U.S consumes. It was under my assumption that the state of California, though the climax is dry, it is noteworthy for the “perfect growing conditions” due to the coastal fog and the soil, as well as the vast number of acres dedicated to farming. Knowing this it would be safe to assume that there must be come impeccable water infrastructure, irrigation systems and water distillery plants to support farming on such a grand scale. I’m very taken back by the fact that most of California relies on man-made irrigation in Central Valley, where a vast number of these crops are grown. Also a large percent of water is produced in northern California, but the same need is located in southern California, this all just does not make any sense to me. It’s pretty devastating, seeing the people and the animals suffering. It’s natural, for me as a reader, to try and think of solutions that might help these people, but with barriers such as politics, locations and environmental conditions including global warning, it seems like there is no end in sight. There was a quote in the video “who really does make the food? ” the farmers, the silent heroes, bestowed the task of feeding millions, are now the ones without jobs and are struggling to make a living. Similarly to the FSA photography, which depicted the state of devastation during the Great Depression, the same can be said with these photographs, the black and white photos truly depict the state of disarray and the desolated lands that are plaguing the Central Valley.
I can see the similarity between the Subway Portraits taken during the Great Depression and those of the faces of subway riders today. From what I can tell, the looks on those photographed and the looks of the commuters i see everyday, is that we are just trying to get from point A to point B. What happens between point A and Point B is simply this, you swipe your metrocard , a reminder of the ever raising fares for services that does not change,a variety of people from all different points of life, all with their own story, each with one thing in common. Everyone is subjected to the confines of a tight space, lined with rows of seats and the sharp unpleasant noise of metal wheels on metal tracks. It is a coexistence that takes place in a given time frame, granted there is no delays , which there always are, searching for a smile in a sea of faces, hearing several different conversations, child’s being loud, babies crying,the overall the ultimate test of patience and tuning out everything into background noise. You have time on your hands, time that can be spent on taking a nap, listening to music, reading a book, thinking about your problems, that exam you need to study for, those bills that need to get paid and what have you. Now if I were to discreetly photograph the people i see on the train, it would be no suprise to me that their expressions are of those commuters some 80 years ago. Although the fasions may change,the trains may change, the state of our country may change, those expressions on subway commuter’s faces may not.
I was born and raised in a country called Guyana, located in South America for until t was about 12 years old. before I moved to the States. What we ate for breakfast is totally different from what is eaten here, the breakfast there is usually consisted of highly unprocessed starchy foods. Breakfast is truly the most important meal in a highly manual/physical labored workforce in country like Guyana in the early 90’s. Lunch and dinner tended to be a lot lighter than breakfast.
Some of my favorite breakfast foods are:
Tennis Roll with Cheese – A tennis roll is similar to a dinner roll, but is slightly bigger and the dough is rich, making the tennis roll chewy. buttery and compliments a slice of local cheese very well.
Bake and Salt Fish – A “Bake” is a West Indian fried bread, usually served with salt fish, that has been soaked for a day or two to get rid of the very strong salt flavor and to rehydrate the fish. The fish is then sautéed with onions, tomatoes, seasonings and peppers.
Or for a vegetarian option. there is “callaloo” and it is another popular option. Callaloo is similar to collard greens. The leafs are also sautéed with tomatoes, seasonings and peppers.
This has to be my absolute favorite breakfast ever! It’s called “Dosa” . It is similar to a pancake, but is much more denser and savory. Dosa can be served with various sauces, salsas or reductions. My love eating Dosa with Masala potatoes, served with a spicy green mango reduction.
Papaya is a very popular fruit to eat after a breakfast meal, it is excellent for aiding in digestion and very nutritious. Papaya is easily cultivated and can be grown in the backyard.
A West Indian breakfast is not complete without a cup of milo or ovaltine, a delicious cup of hot coco that is filled with tons of vitamins.
I personally understand the whole allure that comes with spiritualism photography, it’s something that lives in that grey area of the photography in general. It is definity werid to me and so far fetched , but who am I to judge those who are mourning or believe in different truths than I do? I can also see why it is so popular, the overall idea that when the thing that we love and hold dear to us have left us, there is a certain distilled yourning to feel some sort of presence as if that personor thing is still with us, existing somewhere between one world and the next because of the fear of being left alone or adandoned. Growing up in South America, there were so many folk lore and supertistions that pretty much ruin any hopes of mine to have even an once of appreciation for spirtualism photography. I remember when me and my friends were in our later teenage years and had might night curfews, we would have to walk backwards into the house, in the effort to negat a stray ‘Jumbies’ (spiritual figures) following you home or if you were a girl with long hair walking home during the late evening you would have to put your hair in a bun, because ‘spirits’ would hang on to the ends of your hair and follow you home. Now that I think about it, it won’t Suprise me that these folklores were made up by parents who wanted to keep their kids home, because it was such a process to get into the house when it was time to head home! I know, it all sounds like a bunch of baloney, but I did walk into the house backwards everytime I’m out pass might night, because you never know. That is the fuel to the fire, the element of ‘what if’, to ablity to explain the unexplainable and the emotional entrapment behind the overall purpose of something such as spiritualism photography. Hey, to each there own, this stuff really freaks me out , ‘ghost’ pictures, Jesus toast, and folk lore is just a bit too much for me.
Jen’s Lemony Mash with fresh rosemary!
Behold, my plate of irresistible mash potato goodness! They say that when presented with a plate of food or even having a visual of some sort of a food item, it is our eyes that “taste” the food first, you know what “puppy eyed drool factor” when you see your favorite dish?. Sight plays an important role in how we perceive food, observing the textures, colors, and how the ingredients are used is essential,thus making it a key component of success in the food business. In the picture above , I can tell that the mash potatoes are creamy based on smoothness and moisture that is keeping the mash potatoes in tack. There is a sense of heartiness to the dish because the potatoes appear to still be slightly dense, while remaining fluffy. I personally made this as a side dish yesterday. I completely mashed the boiled potatoes and added just enough mayo and butter to smooth out the texture of the boiled potatoes, so in the end I would have a creamy product. What you can not tell from this photo is that there is lemon added to the mash potatoes to cut down the richness of the mayo, and also minced rosemary leaves were added to compliment the flavor of the lemon.
It’s pretty interesting, ever since the dawn of man, there has been countless wars fought, win or lose, there is one thing that has remained consult, the source of fuel and comfort and that is food. During times of war, where survival is challenged, the ability to adapt is essential for victory. James M. Sanderson in many ways was a pioneer during the civil war. His idea to educate men who were on the field about basic cooking and food sanitary skills is pretty amazing. It is no surprise to me the vast amounts of coffee was consumed during the civil war, after all it’s a excellent source of caffeine and for staying up. Fast forward to the present, I was watching a show just yesterday about the elections that are approaching, it’s so ironic that the anchor referred to huge urban cities like New York City as “Starbucks Nation”. He was spot on, I mean there is a Starbucks in our cafeteria, one across the street and two more locations just blocks from one another. I believe that there is no longer blood running through veins of college students and professionals, but coffee! I love a cup of ice coffee every now and then but I am not much of a coffee drinker, but I love iced tea. My favorite is the very fruity and floral teas, such as hibiscus passion fruit with a touch of fresh lemonade and lots of ice. It is both refreshing, delicious, filled with antioxidants, helps t regulate blood pressure and is low on caffeine.