Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I’ve been a bit fluish for the past week. / After shooting the Attica artifacts in Palmyra, we went over to a near-by site in which Craig Williams was interested. In the 1960′s, New York State built a comprehensive system of underground bunkers to house important people in case of nuclear attack. The sites were spread all around the state. This one was totally abandoned about ten years ago, but for a time housed some State Police offices. I met one of the guys who had to work down here; an undercover narcotics detective and he said the conditions were pretty awful. After years of neglect, this place was gross. All the maps that were painted on the walls were faded, there was mold everywhere, the air quality was probably toxic, and it was just plain nasty. What a great place to photograph.
One of the greatest aspects of being a photographer is the ability to go places and see things that are not accessible to most people. I have been so lucky to work with Craig Williams at the New York State Museum who has given me access to all sorts of amazing places. Sometimes we get funding to work together, and sometimes when there is no money available, he is kind enough to let me tag along and document his work. This past Tuesday was a volunteer day for me. The State Police in Batavia have been storing items from the 1971 Attica Prison riot and Craig went out to do a quick survey and pick up a few artifacts. Amazing.
It is always a good idea to have a healthy respect for mother nature and her ability to cause havoc with the human digestive tract. I have become over-cautious with regards to consuming anything that hasn’t been run through some sort of system for sale to the general public. When I see water running out of a hillside through a piece of pvc pipe, my usual inclination is to just keep driving. But I have known about this spring on Route 79 near Lisle, New York since I lived in Ithaca in the seventies. The water is cold and very refreshing. John Hoeffel and I used to drive here with empty 5 gallon carboys to get water to make beer.
No matter where I live, there is one spot which I am always surprised to see. It is as if it doesn’t belong to its surroundings, so in my mind I block it out. In Ithaca there was a stretch of road that gave me the feeling of being somewhere else, and there was a street in Springfield, OH that had the same affect on me. / Peter and I were walking in downtown Amherst yesterday and as I looked to my left down an alley, I saw this graveyard. It is literally in the very center of town, but is situated in such a way that it is not visible unless you are really looking for it. Emily Dickinson is buried here, so there are almost always vague looking people wandering around paying their respects.
I have always been interested in how large American companies market some of their crappiest products. GM was notorious for this. Here we see a fine example. I parked next to this Buick Park Avenue on Friday, and the Presidential Seal jumped right out at me. I am a bit baffled by the snaps on the metal trim underneath the seal. They look like something off a boat.