Morning walk, Trax on 52

… i spend the bulk of my time writing an email to a woman who wants to know where she can show her photography… it’s an extensive response…

Trax, Route 52

… there are people coming and going but nobody staying… as i left for my walk i realized i wasn’t feeling that well… intestinal malaise… this seems to happen more frequently lately…

… the people coming and going are regulars… they seem to know the barista… it seems only male baristas are working the morning shift… i am wondering if it has anything to do with being a little isolated and women not feeling secure by themselves…

… a woman ordering coffee… she wears a t-shirt with “BOMB FACTORY” printed on the back… some kind of business… i don’t think it has anything to do with making bombs in a literal sense…

… barista dude and customer dude talking… barista dude reciting a long list of analog weaponry… hatchet, spear, etc… i am wondering if he has a collection of physical objects or if this is related to computer gaming… hard to know… they continue to geek out as barista dude prepares customer dudes coffee… it’s a bro moment…

… while looking through recent app updates i note that halide now includes a macro mode?… i play with it a little… interesting… the iPhone 13 actually has a macro mode built in… my plan is to wait for the 14 to come out before upgrading…

… a young woman with long curly hair walks in… it’s blond and reminds me of my niece S… the woman is shorter…

Cafe Mutton…

… after the family zoom meeting we drive up to Hudson for a late lunch at our niece’s restaurant… lunch turns into a feast when they bring out a few extras because we are family… no need for dinner tonight… we love that they have a restaurant which requires their presence… we always now where to find them Wednesday to Sunday… we don’t get a lot of time with them but i am learning that small moments of contact can be very rewarding… hello, are you there?… yes, we are here!…

… a few of the dishes we enjoyed…

… tomato soup…

…country pate (made on premises) sandwich…

Baguette with butter and salami (made on premises), sautéed ham steak with garlic/parsley butter…

… i need to get better at making photos of the food…

Walking…

… i pass an old woman in a wheelchair in the middle of the grass… i check that she is ok… she assures me she is… she is watching the dogs in the dog run… she tells me they treat people like animals in the assisted living place up the road… she is writing a book about it she says… she is moving next week she says…

… at Trax, the barista is an extremely attractive and fit young male… they must easily break the hearts of young men/women wherever they go… it’s not often i comment on the beauty of males, my primal self is much more into young females, but this one is exceptional… short, slender, fit, latin face, curly black hair, captivating smile and eyes…

… zoftig young woman jogs by… i say good morning… she ignores me…

… on the walk of sorrows i pass a tall, slender, elderly man, white mask, white hair… i say good morning… he quietly says good morning back…

… still on the walk of sorrows, i pass another younger man, shuffling along, mask pulled down below his chin… he moves out into the road to pass well in advance of reaching me… i think to myself, i would have done that… it’s safer, i would be facing the oncoming traffic… i say good morning to him… he looks at me suspiciously and makes no reply…

… as i walk, i am thinking about the “Girls” photo project i wrote about yesterday… the question arises, is the male gaze no longer to be shunned?… do young women feel they can handle the gaze, even provoke it, and still be appreciated as more than sex objects?…

… at Trax on 52… pretty sure this will be go to coffee shop during winter… nobody stays in the space to have their coffee… all grab and go… Big Mouth is possible too, but the crowd builds up after 8:00 AM…

… a nice morning… sunny, no wind, warm enough… trees reaching peak color… maybe H and i should go for a drive… though rain later… Sunday will be nicer… i think i will propose it to H…

… walking along thinking about something J told me this past week… i told them M and i text daily… they said they tried that for a while but it didn’t last… they were to write each other what they were grateful for… that is very like J… i am not surprised that it didn’t last, it places a performance burden on the communication… sometimes a simple “are you there?…yes i am here!”… is enough… in fact, most of the time it’s enough…

Big Mouth Coffee Roasters…

… rain deluging the roof of the coffee shop… barista and customer exchanging comments about the rain then going on to discuss what they are doing, where they are living… i learn the barista recently moved up from Tennessee… the rain continuing to pour down in waves… barista is a young black woman with a zoftig venus statue figure… they wear a blank expression on their face, maybe as defense from judgmental looks, but when i talk with them they light up a bright smile… i make note of their accent, which is not southern, is educated, suggesting middle class, upper middle class upbringing…

… M reports their foot may be broken, or at least sprained… they will see the podiatrist today… i tell them i hope it is sprained, not broken…

… the dogs wake up… i let them out of the bedroom… follow them downstairs… let them out… Chas seems particularly anxious to go out and is first, followed by a more lackluster Fiona… i wash some of last night’s dishes and wonder why i am not hearing whining at the door to come in… when i finish the dishes, i open the back door and Fiona strolls up the driveway, the stairs, and in… Chas is nowhere to be seen… i do a few more things around the kitchen then go back to check on Chas… he is waiting, but not whining… he walks in slowly, saunters into the dining room, then turns around and saunters into the kitchen… he is usually much more enthusiastic about the treats he gets in the morning… i offer him the aforementioned treats… he takes them but then spits them out… it appears he is not feeling well… refusing treats is extremely unlike him… we will have to keep an eye on him…

… today a new pair of flannel (or maybe fleece?) lined jeans will arrive… i have been looking for them all week, even though shipping information said firmly it would be today that they arrive… i chose the slow boat to save money… it amazes me how much we look forward to receiving the things we purchase online… it’s like little Christmases, birthdays and anniversaries all year long… ahh, the psychology of acquiring things!… i ordered these jeans to have a second pair to alternate wearing during the winter months…

… it strikes me that one of the reasons more people aren’t up in arms about the possibility of authoritarian rule is that things are largely behaving the way they normally do and “authoritarian rule” is an abstract concept… the majority won’t object strongly enough until it is too late…

…feeling frustrated… slept late… unable to pursue the morning routine fully… more interruption later today… the prime issue is the increasing difficulty i have staying focused on photography and writing… so many interruptions at a time in my life when i ought to be able to say no to most of them… there is little that i have to do… the beauty of not having to actively produce an income…

… as i walked this morning, i wondered why i feel compelled to title my posts… this blog is Notes On Attention Paid, is it not?… notes don’t need titles… notes only need tagging for significant content i may want to revisit down the road…

… i am in Big Mouth Coffee this AM… i haven’t been here since the pandemic became a thing… it stays empty and people widely dispersed… it’s a big space… easy to keep distant… coffee is good too… BM moves high on the list of places to stop in and get warm during the winter…

… squealing jazz music playing… unlike the quasi corporate music in Kitchen and Coffee… i get the impression employees are permitted to choose the music… it makes the place more idiosyncratic…

… M sends the usual morning text except they report falling in the bathroom last night… not good… they don’t sound hurt… nothing broken they report… still, they are senior and living alone… i am wondering if they need some kind of Life Alert system to call for help if they need it… will have to discuss with J this afternoon…

Notations

… feeling happy again… my writing and photography are making sense this morning…

… a moment of terror… big vicious sounding dog approaching from behind… starts snarling and barking… thank the cosmos it’s behind the fence i walk along…

… i decided before walking out the door that today would be halfway up Mt. Beacon day… the potential symbolism of doing so on a Wednesday, aka “hump day,” is not lost on me…

… thinking about the Salon last night… the work of one photographer occupied the space between time lapse and detailed investigation of lake terrain… it wasn’t either, though intent seemed to be the former, not the latter… i think of the Movie Smoke and the photographic series Harvey Keitel’s character made…

… i made it to my usual spot… stream burble-gurgles by with a hissing undertone…

… i make a series of selfies…

… i like my look this AM…

Notations

… large black pickup truck waiting at the light… country music… muffler disabled… jacked up chassis… truck bed filled with tires…

… grizzled old man in watch cap, cigarette dangling from mouth, peddling a bicycle, sidewalk too narrow, i step aside, as he passes i think he belongs in a back alley bar of a seaport town…

… i pass Mr. and Mrs. Clause out for their morning constitutional… i have been passing them on my walks for years… i don’t know their names, but he especially looks like Santa Clause and she makes a suitable Mrs. Clause…

… i am walking out 52.. in the summer, walking this direction puts the sun in my eyes so i don’t… now, the sunrise has moved south and cuts perpendicularly across the road, making photographs and seeing easier…

The sort of truck that was filled with tires and had no muffler

… the sort of truck that was filled with tires and had no muffler…

… sitting in Trax coffee shop now… people coming and going in ones or twos for coffee to go… i am the only one staying… this is the least populated in the morning coffee shop on any of my routes so i favor it… still COVID shy even though vaccinated and boostered…

… feeling pretty good this morning… only two beers last night… went to bed a little before 9, fell asleep quickly, slept till a little before 4 AM… i feel rested…


… back home… breakfast finished… breakfast chat with H demoralizing… me telling H it’s a beautiful day, i am in a good mood, everyone i encountered was in a good mood, happy… why not?… sunny, warm, beautiful fall day… H says how frustrated they are… they never get what they want… they have no control over their life… they can’t get into a car and just drive somewhere (they don’t drive, would probably be a danger to self and others if they did)… they can’t spend their money the way they want, etc. etc. etc… they pull back on the last one, modify it to soften it but the damage is done… they are the bread winner, have been for large parts of our partnership… i become a casualty of their angry frustration… my good mood destroyed… could they not stand my good mood while they wallow in misery?… in retrospect, it seems deliberate even if subconscious… are they really that angry with me?… i give and give and give to them in all the ways i am able, it is never enough…

… i retreat to my studio, close the door, put on my headphones and start writing… i am churning with anger and despair now… WTF?!… i am busted… i had hoped for productive preparation for tonight’s Salon… was actually looking forward to putting something together… i will do best i can…


… later now… H in a better mood… they had tea with a friend and went for a walk with Chas… i don’t think they know how i was affected by them this morning… they did take my advice to get out for a walk, even if a short one…

… i did manage to pull some work together for presentation… not quite what i was imagining but i am suspended between working in color and working in black and white… being immediate to the blog dictates, for now, color… black and white is where my creative heart lies…

Notations

… cold, clear, heavy frost…

… walking over the bridge at the train station i note that there are few cars in the parking lot at 7:15 AM… before the pandemic it would have been full… i wonder if it will ever fill by 7 again or has the pandemic shifted things permanently?…

… a hillock fenced in to protect the grass on the ridge… people walk the ridge to get a higher vantage point on the river… if i were managing the park i would remove the hillock or find a way to make walking the ridge without damage possible… when they remove the fence, as they will, the cycle will repeat…

… reflection of a plane high above…

… alien tree, river

… i pass a man, tall, late 40’s, mustache, knit cap, sweatshirt, jeans, steaming cup of coffee… we exchange greetings…

… down by the river…

… thinking about my first thoughts post this AM… thinking i am getting a sense of how to develop in the direction of meaningful contemplation…

… an older woman passes me dragged forward by a smallish dog worthy of being in a Tim Burton animation… fish jumps in the river… the rhythmic crunch of walker’s footsteps…

… i continue to think i want to do a final thoughts at the end of the day… make a cup of camomile tea… pen a few thoughts… lights out… most dependent on whether there is alcohol or not…

… car stopped on the bridge… music blasting out through the open sun roof… bearded dude leaning against the concrete railing… lighting up a cigarette… jeans, jean jacket… i say good morning… he nods minimally… i am a little suspicious, a little creeped out… fantasy of him walking up behind me and putting a bullet through my brain as i walk past…


… breakfast and then H and i both turn to home cooking, H backing bread, i pickle fish… ceviche for tonight… Cape Malay pickled fish for a couple days from now…

Cape Malay pickled fish ready for refrigerator.

… and then ceviche…

… the final product…

… and now to bed…

Notations on the Day

… out for my morning meditative photo walk… R texts about family meeting… we chat some… they tell me J is really into photography, that they want to be a photographer for non-profit social benefit entities… they want to travel… i say J can come visit anytime, that hopefully i will get out to see them soon, that in the meantime i will share some websites that they might find interesting…

… i am in Kitchen and Coffee again this morning… i got here earlier… not as crowded yet… the music and decor are comfortably inoffensive to anyone’s sensibilities, unless you hate vanilla moderne decor…

… i am again the oldest human in the cafe by far… lots of young voices chattering away…

… need to put together photos for Salon on Tuesday…

… it’s so white in here… i think, that is what slightly disturbs me… it’s corporate patriarchal white…


… sitting in the living room watching bread baking how to videos by Sune the Food Geek… H’s pandemic skill is bread baking, especially sour dough… H belongs to a bread baking group that Sune belongs to and communicates with them directly…

… the end of a busy Sunday… Fiona with her head in my lap… Chas comfortably ensconced in the chair across the room… not sure where Rubie (the cat, named after the Harry Potter character, Rubeus Hagrid) is…

Notations on the Day

… i am reading The Journals of Denton Welch… transcribing a particularly interesting passage into my notes… i look and see that it is 5:30 AM, time to wake H so that we can gather ourselves and go to vote…

… as i am reading, i feel i am reading in the dark… the lamp over the desk is pointed up to the ceiling so there is only reflected light… i turn the lamp around to point down at the desk… now i can see…


… voted… low turnout in this off, off year cycle…


… walking…

… a patriotic mural on the side of the DMV building… something worries me about this… there is no signature from the artist12

… i pass L walking their dog and on their way to vote… we discuss briefly the Republican shenanigans…

… as i walk i consider that the next step in my photo/blogging project will be weekly summaries with Saturday and Sunday devoted to that task…

… i see a sign about the Hudson River Greenway Trail… i look it up and find maps of the entire length


… i seem to have tumbled down a tech rabbit hole… Ulysses wasn’t syncing properly… so i started the process of moving folders to iCloud syncing as opposed to the external dropbox syncing i had been doing… trying to locate the issue… now it is syncing through dropbox properly, but i have an extended syncing operation going on the iPhone that i have to let finish before backing out of it?… dropbox seems to be preserving things like favorites better… i should learn to be patient when there is a synching problem… it usually sorts itself out…

… while i have been waiting for Ulysses to get synced, i have been collecting entries together around subject material gathered by tag searches… this is so cool!… so easy to pull related material together due to tagging discipline!… will make it easy to find my way to subjects, topics, whatever, should i want to write something more planned and considered…


  1. … later, walking home from breakfast we see the artist working on it… a woman… she tells the other woman that she will finish it today… i will reserve judgement until i see it finished… [return]
  2. … a town member posted an update on the mural… it honors veterans… sponsored by one of the funeral homes in town… [return]

Notations

Walking…

… a warm morning with, as M put it, interesting clouds… i would add interesting light too…

… now that there is update capability between Ulysses and M.b, i am daring to post as i go… i started this morning with a picture post when i am only half way through my walk…

… signs that there may not be a farmer’s market this AM… transitioning indoors?… they usually break for a week when they do that… no signs of vendors at either the DMV parking lot or the VFW…

… sitting by the falls, the “dull roar” masking all other sounds…

… very interesting email from Jorg Colberg…

Farmer’s Market…

… stripped bass for dinner, Chas eagerly waiting for fish skin dog treats… radicchio, carots, fennel, broccoli… D and K… S and S… Chas and Fiona’s #1 fan… kids in costumes… rainbow storm trooper, ladybug, Godzilla, Jack Skellington… fish lady dressed as an octopus…

Later in the day…

… preparing the pot roast for the oven… classic old horror movies on the television… waiting to see if there will be trick-or-treaters… and now, Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu… what a great movie!…