Wednesday, December 31, 2008

You Tell 'Em, Girl!

There ain't nothing I can do, or nothing I can say,
Some folks will criticize me.
So I'm gonna do just what I want to anyway,
And don't care if you all despise me.

If I should take a notion
To jump into the ocean,
It ain't nobody's business if I do.

If I go to church on Sunday
And I shimmy down on Monday,
It ain't nobody's business if I do.

And if my friend ain't got no money
And I say, "All right, take all of mine honey,"
It ain't nobody's business if I do.

If I lend her my last nickel
And it leaves me in a pickle,
It ain't nobody's business if I do.

Billie Holiday was one for the ages. We'll close 2008 with some great live footage. Here's the classic torch song 'My Man,' translated from the French 'Mon Homme...'

this entry's permalink

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Spill The Wine

Museum of Aaron's Childhood: Exhibit 1. Groove on this lovely jazz-funk nugget by Eric Burdon and War from Summer 1970...

this entry's permalink

Monday, December 29, 2008

Latter-Day Soul Sister

Let's end 2008 with some R-E-S-P-E-C-T...

Today's Song of the Week is 'Stuck To You' by funky, soulful, bluesy 38-year-old Nikka Costa, a blue-eyed soulstress/songwriter who's been kicking around for three decades...

She belts out like Aretha Franklin, Melba Moore, or any number of 60s-70s spunky, funky soul divas.. She is, fittingly, signed to the legendary soul label Stax Records..

Fame is fleeting: a Hilfiger commercial in the mid-1990s, a 1981 hit at age 10 throughout Europe with 'Out Here On My Own,' a song from 'Fame...'

Her father was Don Costa, who produced and arranged none other than Frank Sinatra in the late 1960s and early 1970s, including the classic 'My Way...'

She's not Brazilian, as her name might sound. Her Dad is from Boston, of Italian descent...

Stuck To You:

Like A Feather:

Get Off My Sunshine:

this entry's permalink

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Just back from an overnight trip to Tucson with my nephew Dan, where we explored the awesome Pima Air & Space museum (we sat in the cockpit of JFK's Air Force One!), took a sunset drive through the hills of pitchforked cacti that are Saguaro National Park, and saw the latest Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. I listed to hip-hop top 40, a good chance to catch up on the tastes of young people of today, and heard T.I. & Rihanna's 'Live Your Life' at least 15 times...

this entry's permalink

Sunil's India - Part 6


Sunil: 'Fathepur Sikri, a palace complex built during the second half of the 16th century by Emperor Akbar. It was the capital of the Mughal empire', a Moslem dynasty that ruled much of India during the middle ages, until the British kicked them out in the 18th century...

Sunil: 'No one (in India) is too young to start working...'
Aaron: 'India. Where vehicles poop...'

Sunil: 'Fisherman showing us his catch...'

this entry's permalink

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head

Erik didn't listen... :-) This was supposed to be a 'little snack' before dinner in Copan Ruinas, Honduras...

I can't believe he ate the whole thing... In this shot, he looks like something out of 'Alien..'

Some local children carrying local wood in the local rain...

Erik photographed some local schoolchildren, playing soccer....


this entry's permalink

Friday, December 26, 2008

Eartha Kitt RIP

We lost an original yesterday.... Read it and marvel...

Santa Baby.... We're in the 1950s here, and she's singing as Santa's mistress!

Here the cat-like Kitt takes over as Catwoman on 'Batman,' brining a feral, menacing interpretation that contrasted with Julie Newmar's statuesque wit and chemistry with Adam West....

Eartha Kitt worked up until the end - here she is on Today plugging her 2006 Broadway run...

this entry's permalink

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wish You A Colorful Christmas

Like the flaming parrots at the gate of Copan Ruins, Honduras...




this entry's permalink

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hey there, greetings from Arizona, where I'm spending the holidays with my family... Help the neediest without spending a cent! Just click 'fight world hunger' in the left margin of this page, and you'll be led to a site where big corporations will donate to charities based on how many people bother to click. No gimmicks here, no catches, no mailing lists... only rule is one click per computer per cause per day...

I just saw that Wikipedia is seeking donations, to continue the excellent work they do despite a low-paid, skeleton staff. As a major user in several languages, I will probably contribute.

this entry's permalink

A Non-Christmas Tale

I never did finish that Central America trip description. On Day 14 of 17, we arrived at the charming colonial town of Copan Ruins in a torrential rainstorm...

We were soaked from head to toe...

I had to carry my voluminous luggate up the steep cobblestone streets...

After a long, wet trudge, we arrived at our hotel... They didn't have the reservation, but the hotel across the street was happy to take us in. Their key chains were wooden carvings in the shape of Honduras.. How cute...


this entry's permalink

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

You Can't Go There

... unless you practice Islam.

But you can look, thanks to Google and Flickr!

It's Mecca, during the Haj - pilgrimage time...

but first, last exit for non-muslims.. This is the sign for the last highway stop before the Mecca area... Arafat means mountain, I believe..

Come with me to the Kaaba... This 'Cube' is the most sacred site in Islam, and has the Masjid al-Haram mosque built around it. At several points during the Haj pilgrims are required to walk
several times around the Kaaba in a counter-clockwise direction...

Arrival in Mecca after a long, long journey..

Mecca aerial view....... and the Great Mosque - Masjid Al-Haram, by night..

The Great Mosque, front entrance...

Long march to Jabal Al-Rahma.. The Mount of Mercy

this entry's permalink

Monday, December 22, 2008

Never Miss A Beat

2008's penultimate Song of The Week is 'Never Miss A Beat,' the latest burst of fresh air from British neo-new-wavesters Kaiser Chiefs.

This group's cheeky wit, neo-retro melodicism, and clever songwriting won me over from the get-go, back in 2005, with their early singles 'Every Day I Love You Less and Less' and 'Oh My God,' both of which can be enjoyed below..

The Chiefs' early albums, while good, felt top-heavy compared to the strong singles.

Not this time, every single track on their just-released 'Off With Their Heads' is a gem...

Without further ado, the lead-off single, 'Never Miss A Beat...,' live on BBC with very good sound quality

The Chiefs actually formed in 1997 and wouldn't release an album for over seven years! They are named after a South African soccer team...

Critical accolades soon followed, and Drowned In Sound put it best: "quintessentially British, without pretension and most importantly, a whole lot of fun.."

Anyway, a quick stroll through their best moments follows...

"Every Day I Love You Less and Less" had great special effects!

"Oh My God"

"Love's Not A Competition (But I'm Winning), live in Antwerp..."

this entry's permalink

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunil's India - Part 5


Sunil: 'view of Udaipur from the mountain top...'

Sunil: 'Elephant parking, they take their rest here...' This is Fort Akbar in Japiur, Rajasthan. An elephant ride up the hill to the palace is a highlight of any Indian journey. It was a moment I'll never forget...

Sunil: 'Kids bathing in the Yamuna river - the water buffaloes do the same...'

Sunil: 'Pic of me at the Taj!'

this entry's permalink

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm headed out to my family in Arizona for the holidays. I'll be back New Year's Day 2009, and will continue to post throughout. 

I got a message from US Airways that my flight was delayed 2 hours, so I have plenty of time to pack...

Seasons Greetings!  Ho Ho Ho!

this entry's permalink

Happy Birthday, Bart!

I've known Bart for most of his adult life! (and an eventful chunk of my own...)

Bart is very multi-faceted... Here he is getting Venetian with good friend Melissa...

Bart's outside the Hudson River Museum, where he is Director of Exhibitions.. this was in late 2006...

Here's Bart cutting the rug, so to speak, at his lovely wedding two years ago...

Bart and Ashley, just moments before saying their vows...   My photography needs work....

this entry's permalink

Friday, December 19, 2008

Holiday Space Is The Place

Saturday was Ed's annual holiday party - he lives with two roomates in a uncommonly gigantic apartment up on Claremont Avenue, north of W 116th St, a block west of Broadway...

The party wound down, leaving a group of 8 friends or so...

This is the couch, around which we draped ourselves to watch the, er, seminal 'The Boys In The Band,' of which Ed recently acquired the 40th anniversary commemorative DVD.

Sunil is wearing a very spiffy shirt, flanked here by friends Hillman and Adrienne...

Norberto on a rocking chair, the hints of a smile pushing through his sober expression. I have many great pictures of Norberto smiling, but here's my first great picture of him in a classic pose, fittingly sitting on rocking chair in a prewar apartment. I, alas, overslept two weeks ago and missed Norberto's and Rajat's housewarming party in New Jersey. I almost overslept through Ed's too. But happily a gust of air awoke me and I got my butt up to Morningside Heights...

I wish I had a picture of our host, Ed. All I have to represent him is his piquant chili and his holiday cheer of a ham, cooked to juicy tangy perfection...These dishes I shall remember as two of December 2008's tastier moments...


this entry's permalink

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bright City, Big Light

With the windows gone, nothing stood between me and spectacular 10th floor views of Chelsea... . Here we look north-east, diagonally across the intersection of 8th Avenue and 23rd St, where my gym waits silently for me....

Here's the same view, but the light is kind of washed out. I bet Thomas would know why.. Speaking of Thomas, check out his awesome new Buenos Aires Photographer blog - the link is now in my left margin, just below the link to his personal blog.

Look out below - ten stories below! How the yellow taxis, black sedans, and myriad white vehicles impatiently wait to charge across 23rd St...

Leaning out the window, looking south down 8th Avenue...  It's about noon on a Friday.. On the northeast corner of 8th & 22nd St, Noodle Corner is no more... Dig the green scaffolding hugging my building during the window project...

Lean in the place where you are, now face north, think about direction, wonder why you haven't before...


this entry's permalink

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?