to blog…to follow…to comment…

random thoughts…today it’s about the blog…

to blog or not to blog…

to comment or not…

to subscribe or not…

Disclaimer:  Before you even start reading this, I know this post is filled with “I” this and “I” that.  I really really try hard not to do that in my blog postings.  “I” try not to come across as it’s “all about me” or at least that’s what “I” have hoped for…and I know in the written word that it’s better to avoid using personal references such as “I.”  But for this post…that’s all out the window.

So I’ve been giving a lot of thought about my blog lately.  You know this blog was a brainstorm of mine about five years ago simply to show family and close friends why one would ever want to live “a year” in New York City…thus the reason for Gotham Girl.  Well we know what happened there…that has now turned into five years and three months and after a number of visits to my city…people now have a much better understanding as to why I love this city and want to share it.  With my good fortune to live in two incredible areas of the United States and travel throughout the world, this blog has grown into more of a events and travel log of sorts with the sole purpose of chronicling experiences for myself and sharing the world with others. (I don’t know about you…but I find it hard to remember what happened last week much less two years ago.)

Anyway, during these five years I was dealing with my dad’s decline because of his Alzheimer’s and wanted a space to chronicle my thoughts and experiences, as well as to document my progress as I dipped my toes into the mixed media world.  Thus my more personal blog was born.  Well my last posting on that blog was a week before my dad passed away and I haven’t touched it since.  But really…there was also another reason as to why I started the second one.  Several people mentioned to me they wanted to hear more about my personal thoughts and experiences and when I started to do that on this blog…I began to receive those horrible “unsubscribe” emails. Many of you have blogs…for me when that “unsubscription notification” arrives in my inbox… it’s like a dagger going through my heart.  WTF?   Hmm…now why in the world does that become important I ask myself?  So that’s what I’ve been contemplating.   Hey you bloggers out there…am I the only one that gets that dagger feeling?

Then on top of that, I added my blog as a separate page to Facebook.  Now why did I do that?  Because that’s how you build your followers.  So that’s what I’ve been contemplating too.  I see blogs that have tons of comments and tons of subscribers. I think as a blogger that’s our goal, right?  To build our reader base?  But why?  Yes, I get that many people hope to earn income, but most of the bloggers I know don’t need those pennies earned by those annoying advertisements, nor do they plan to offer future on-line workshops and classes.  So why does it matter?

Then there’s the…how often should I post?  I have enough content that I could sit here at this computer for the next six months and blog daily…but when does it become too much?  I often wonder if I post too much and no one wants to hear about it.  I think I’ve lost subscribers for that reason too.  But I love to blog.  I love to photograph.  I love to share.  So why do I care about the number of visitors/subscribers???

And what about comments?  I’ve entertained the idea of shutting off comments…I never want people to feel like they have to comment.  I’m horrible about commenting to their comments (sorry) but that’s just the way it is.  I do try though, but not often enough.  I know I follow a number of blogs but never leave comments, yet I’m a faithful follower because I enjoy their content.  So are comments that important?

This isn’t a pity party, it’s just what I’ve been contemplating for awhile now…along with a mass of other stuff.  You’ll be hearing about it.

But, in the interim, I’d love to hear your thoughts about all of this.

the weekend…rockaway!

the weekend…

at the art festival by the sea…

Rockaway! celebrating the ongoing recovery of the Rockaway Peninsula in new york city.

(remember my day of volunteering after Hurricane Sandy a couple of years ago?)

~~~

The exhibition includes an array of works by Patti Smith

but the most notable of which is Smith’s installation…

Resilience of the Dreamer

A Rockaway Beach resident herself, Smith installed an ethereal gold and white bed inside an abandoned locomotive repair facility, still littered with debris and graffiti.  The building is missing windows and part of its roof, and as the season wears on, the bed will wear down physically, while still remaining in place—a powerful testament to the endurance of the Rockaways.

Rockaway!

Rockaway!

“a symbol of courage and resilience…”

Rockaway! Patti Smith installation

Rockaway!

Rockaway!

“It’s with stones that we rebuild….”

And rebuilt they have…

throwback thursday…

 i scream…you scream…we all scream for ice cream!

Ice cream in mexico

Ice cream in mexico

ice cream in mexico

Ice cream in mexico

Ice cream in mexico

Ice cream in mexico

Ice cream in mexico

oh…the memories…

When I was growing up we made ice cream all the time using the wooden hand cranked maker that probably doesn’t even exist today.  As a family we would all take turns cranking…and the flavors were always delicious…berries out of the garden and peaches from the orchard…so yummy.  Seeing the ice cream served out of these wooden barrels immediately brought back those memories…as well as hearing that far-off sound of that familiar ice cream jingle.

My how things can change…fast forward…New Yorkers have lodged a brain-freezing 7,031 complaints about music-blasting ice cream trucks in the past four years.  On the western front…Scottsdale (Arizona) just recently unfroze a decades-old ban on ice cream trucks.  Go figure.

 ~~~

 photos taken in several cities throughout my travels in Mexico…

oh, and if your curious about gansito flavor? click here

kenn’s broome street bar

kenn's broome street bar in soho, nyc

Oh…how I’ve loved you…and oh…how I’m going to miss you…

One thing about living in New York City, you become acutely aware how so many “mom and pop” stores, bars and restaurants that have been around for years…close on a daily basis.  And the pending closure of Kenn’s Broome Street Bar has to be, by far, the most devastating news for me. <sob>

My first visit was back in the early 80′s on a snowy, wintry day…back when Soho was filled with unique, one-of-a-kind boutiques instead of the trendy, cookie cutter shops of today.  It’s your classic dive bar (since 1972) with bad decor, rickety chairs and fabulous tunes.  My first hamburger served in a pita. It truly was love at first sight.

And speaking of great tunes, one of my favorite experiences years ago was listening to the Amazing Rhythm Aces and I totally fell in love with the song Third Rate Romance.  Nowhere to be located for purchase at that time, the bartender told me he’d record it for me that night if I’d return for it the next day.  I did and I still have that cassette tape today. What a sweetie pie he was…

Way back in the day…can you picture photographer Robert Mapplethorpe or artist Willem de Kooning sitting on one of those bar stools?  Thanks to Kenn, the owner, the bar quickly became known as the artists’ hangout back before the art community moved out of Soho to the Chelsea area.
Kenn's Broome Street Bar, Soho, NYC

Kenn's Broome Street Bar, Soho, NYC

Kenn's Broome Street Bar, Soho, NYC

Kenn's Broome Street Bar, Soho, NYC

Back in February of this year, “Kenn died while on vacation in Florida, after having a margarita, a nice lunch and a swim in the hotel pool. He was 92.”  <I so want my obituary to read like that one day…>  And now the building has been purchased by a new owner for a cool $12 million and will soon become just another restaurant in Soho.  It’s such a shame to see greed take over this city…rents so high that New York City will one day become just a huge mall filled with chain stores.

At least I’ll be able to say…back in the day

a secret in guanajuato, mexico

~~~

spiraling…flowing…

sensual…fluid…sinuous…

muted…feminine…

all the words to describe the art nouveau area in Guanajuato, Mexico.

You won’t find much on the internet…you have to go to experience…

Just ask for directions to the La Presa area…

~ amazing ~

Craig_20140729_6787

La Victoriana in Guanajuato, mexico

art nouveau in guanajuato, mexico

art nouveau in guanajuato, mexico

 art nouveau area of guanajuato, mexico

art nouveau in guanajuato, mexico

Not exactly what one pictures when you think Mexico, right?

more tales coming soon…

now that I’m back in my city and in the groove…

nyc volkswagen traffic jam

Fun times showing a little love for the classics at the NYC Volkswagen Traffic Jam

held on Governors Island this weekend!

Volkswagen enthusiasts, restorers, and appreciators

gathered to picnic, socialize, and check out unique air-cooled VW’s from New York City and beyond.

 The VW beetle is guaranteed to bring a smile!

nyc volkswagon traffic jam

nyc volkswagen traffic jam

there’s one in every crowd…

nyc volkswagon traffic jam

nyc volkswagon traffic jam

nyc volkswagen traffic jam

nyc volkswagon traffic jam

nyc volkswagon traffic jam

nyc volkswagon traffic jam

nyc volkswagen traffic jam

carpe diem

All settled in and ready to take on my city!

my mantra…

Seize the Day

because just like this night-blooming cereus…

it’s gone before we know it!

cactus blossom

cactus blossom

cactus blossom

cactus blossom

cactus blossom

 Have a wonderful weekend!

heading east…to my city.

Craig_20140709_5202

So long 100 plus degree days…

lazy afternoons…

incredible sunsets…

and time with good friends.

I’ll miss you…but my city is calling…

There’s more to come once I get settled!

 

my favorite peeps of mexico

~~~

He played so beautifully while sitting on a sidewalk in Patzcuaro

sight impaired and so trying to make a living…

people of mexico

Oh how I could’ve taken this one home with me….

a sweetheart…just walking the streets of Patzcuaro

people of mexico

The next day I caught him napping in the jardin

people of mexico

Her mom was the restroom attendant at the House of Eleven Patios in Patzcuaro

and she waited so patiently…

people of mexico

What a cutie pie sitting on the steps of the Universidad de Guanajuato…loved his glasses!

people of mexico

omg…a little cherub just playing in a store front entryway in Patzcuaro

people of mexico

Oh look!

Doc Severinsen, Gil Gutierrez and the San Miguel Five playing at an intimate venue in San Miguel de Allende

Hard to imagine that Doc is 87 years old and still going strong!

doc in san miguel de allende

“On the Streets” of San Miguel de Allende

Bill Cunningham and Scott Schuman would’ve loved him!

people of mexico

Occupied while her mom opened up her souvenir shop in the centro of Patzcuaro…

little gal in Patzcuaro

Another sweetheart sitting in front of the church in Atotonilco

people of mexico

Looking through a door slat at a local in Tzintzuntzan

woman in Tzintzuntzan, Mexico

And another selling produce on the streets of Guanajuato

We had a great chat without either of us understanding a word…

I sat down beside her…showed her the photo in my camera…

and she just laughed out loud while speaking Spanish a mile a minute!

people of mexico

And of course these adorable little swallow peeps in Santa Rosa

peeps of mexico

“All the technique in the world doesn’t compensate for the inability to notice.”

Elliott Erwitt, photographer

~~~

Have a great weekend!

chef diego of quiroga, mexico

Chef Diego at Los Molcajetes in Quiroga, Mexico

Let’s set the scene. You’re in a little town of about 13,000 Mexicans and three gringos – that be us.   You stop and park in front of a very local restaurant filled with eight tables…all covered with red plastic table cloths compliments of coca-cola with matching red and white chairs.  Toss in lime green painted walls and a kitchen area just big enough for two and you’ve entered the domain of Chef Diego.

Los Molcajetes - chef Diego

Chef Diego begins by lining his molcajete (well seasoned for sure!) with napoles (grilled paddles of the prickly pear cactus) and then adding chirizo (pork sausage) or bistec (beefsteak) or chuleta (pork) or costilla (ribs) – your choice.  Of course seasoned on his grill with some cebollitas (scallions)…then the queso (cheese) topped with avocado and served with salsa.  Voila…you have Chef Diego’s volcano!

Los Molcajetes - chef Diego in Quiroga, Mexico

So if you find yourself in the small town of Quiroga in the Michoacan state of Mexico…stop by Los Molcajetes and have Chef Diego prepare you his specialty!  To die for….and four of us ate for $275 pesos.  That’s 20 bucks U.S…and we couldn’t even eat it all.  Oh, and by all means toss in some Mexican beer!