Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2001 9:22 AM
Subject: No longer riding on the merry go round

Wednesday July 11th didn't really start for me until sometime around noon, when I finally made myself get up and take a shower.  Went back to the photography store to return something and ended buying another $100 worth of stuff.  Started thinking about Photography and the music I had heard the night before and had a little bit of a revelation.  I hadn't been having as much fun with Photography for a while and was trying to figure out why.  In Photography there seems to be almost a religion around technical proficiency to make the perfect picture.  As I had been learning more and reading about it, I started trying to conform to this standard and stopped having fun.  What I realized was that I could try to be like David Sanborn's band, and have remarkably precise and perfect photos, but that were not a product of my vision, or I could go back to using ridiculously high speed film, handholding shots that should be on a tripod, and using my own composition ideas (basically breaking all the "rules").  I could then use all the "rules" when I needed them for the desired effect, but otherwise shooting what I saw and felt.  I would much prefer people (and myself) seeing my pictures to have a connection to the image itself, not the technical expertise of the image.  So anyhow, enough of that, took some pictures when I was down at the photo store...
Empire state building and Madison Square Garden
I wanted to go to the John Lennon memorial, Strawberry Fields, in Central Park.  Suzanne and I walked up there to check it out and to meet Todd, a former coworker of ours who now lives in the city.  It was pretty intense, I had been listening to a lot of John Lennon in the last few weeks, so to walk by the Dakota, where he was shot was spooky.  The memorial is in a little clearing in the park with some benches and a mosaic in the walkway.
There were a lot of people sitting around and someone had put those flowers and candle on the mosaic.  There was a guy sitting on one of the benches with a guitar playing beatles and John Lennon songs.
You can see him in the upper left of this picture.  If you notice, there is a luggage tag on the guitar case.  He had a noticeable accent.  When he got up to leave, he took a quick picture of the mosaic and started to walk away.  Somebody offered to take a picture of him sitting there with his guitar and you could tell he was really excited.  I don't know what his story is, but here is what I think.  He was this huge John Lennon fan, learned how to play guitar, and a bunch of Beatles/Lennon songs, even though he doesn't know english, and he came all the way to New York to pay tribute and play his guitar.  It was all really kind of cool.  After that Todd, Suzanne and I went out to dinner, and then to Todd's apartment to sit around and have a few drinks.  On the way back, got this picture of the Empire State Building:
Packed up a little, it was time to leave the next morning.....