[43]   "R@bbi Packed Too Much"

[43] "R@bbi Packed Too Much"

(Manhattan, NY - 2006) Sholom & I hitch hiked down from Boston into NYC. Our last ride, a semi, dropped us off on a turnpike near the George Washington Bridge (in New Jersey). We walked all the way across the G.W. Bridge into Manhattan. This photo of Sholom is a few minutes after we finally got off the bridge.

[44]   "About Face"

[44] "About Face"

(Boston, MA - 2006) There is lots of interesting old buildings in this very old city.

[45]   "Dew Droplets"

[45] "Dew Droplets"

(Providence, RI - 2006) On our way down to NYC (from Boston), Sholom & I stopped in Providence to visit a friend who has been printing an activist 'zine for prisoners since the early 90's (Fan-O-Rama... Sholom later modeled in the 'zine). This photo was taken in his yard.

[46]   "24 Up"

[46] "24 Up"

(Providence, RI - 2006) While we were in Providence visiting our friend, we discovered a punk rock warehouse show. In the middle of the show I stepped out for air & took this photo.

[47]   "Squeege & Mr. Sniggles Meet"

[47] "Squeege & Mr. Sniggles Meet"

(Queens, NY - 2006) My rat, Squeege, & our free range bunny, Mr. Sniggles, finally meet out on the cement porch of our Astoria (Queens) apartment. They were both very playful and lovable critters & I miss them both!

[48]   "Rooftop Spectacle"

[48] "Rooftop Spectacle"

(Queens, NY - 2006) On top of a punk rock 'arthouse' in Queens, I look out into the forest of buildings & by using a lengthened exposure, I get to see something NOT normally visible in NYC... stars in the sky!

[49]   "Unnecessarily Orange"

[49] "Unnecessarily Orange"

(Queens, NY - 2006) The lighting on the foreground is so unnatural & gross, making me miss the soft blue street lights of my childhood, that were easy on the eyes & easy to hide in.

[50]   "Lego-Maniac"

[50] "Lego-Maniac"

(Queens, NY - 2006) Taken in Astoria Park (in Astoria, Queens), only a few blocks from the apartment I briefly lived in. The red filter knocked out all the distracting mundane colors & simplified it all, making the 'lego' like structures of the Queens residential appear to all be the same color.

[51]   "Hangin Out"

[51] "Hangin Out"

(Manhattan, NY - 2006) Visiting a friend's penthouse near Times Square, I hang off his balcony... 8 stories up. Besides being a precarious place to be taking photos, I also had to use a lengthened exposure (with no tripod), so I had to try to hold still while hanging off the edge.

[52]   "Heightened Status"

[52] "Heightened Status"

(Queens, NY - 2006) Another rooftop adventure, another photo.

[53]   "Laying in the Street"

[53] "Laying in the Street"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) Looking at the Brooklyn Bridge, I lay down in the quiet 3am street for my shot... nervously looking around since I was alone, had an expensive camera & was temporarily vulnerable, laying flat on the street.

[54]   "Squeege"

[54] "Squeege"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) My rat, Squeege, loved to drink! Since he was only gonna live about 2 years, I figured I'd let him 'do whatever the hell he wanted to do'. (Though, later in his life, I only let him drink wine & beer ...no more whiskey!) Squeege was well known where ever I went, he had friends all over the country!

[55]   "Ft. Legit Wall"

[55] "Ft. Legit Wall"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) Ft. Legit & Ft. Whitey were 2 punk houses (in Crown Heights) that stood next to each other. I went to lots of house shows at both of them, people would spin fire & smoke in the back 'yard' here.

[56]   "ContraBAND"

[56] "ContraBAND"

(Manhattan, NY - 2006) LES (Lower East Side) in Thompkins Square, a band called 'Leftover Crack' played a free show. The cop is pulling an empty 40 oz. bottle of beer out of the trash for some reason, a crust punk sitting by the trash can turns to see what the cop is doing. I like that the cop is holding his hat in his other hand.

[57]   "Hard at Work"

[57] "Hard at Work"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) A mail employee sits and reads a book in Williamsburgh, when I saw her, I stepped back around the corner, pulled out my camera & got this shot before she saw what I was doing.

[58]   "Rooftop Hopping"

[58] "Rooftop Hopping"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) One of the reasons I really liked Brooklyn was because: A. almost all the rooftops were connected. B. almost every building had an easy access/public access to the roof. So, once you got on one roof, you could easily hop over a few more to hang out on a better rooftop.

[59]   "Rooftop View of NYC"

[59] "Rooftop View of NYC"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) The view from Sholom & I's favorite roof to sleep on. It was a warehouse full of hipsters, that eventually befriended us & invited us to sleep on their couches (but, we usually preferred to sleep outside, rather than listen to bad hipster music all night! hahahaha!)

[60]   "Barb & Stacks"

[60] "Barb & Stacks"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) Cities are gross.

[61]   "Westside Waters"

[61] "Westside Waters"

(Manhattan, NY - 2006) During a fashion show held by one of Sholom's 'radical Jewish' friends, I watched the lights & moon reflect on the waters below.

[62]   "Still"

[62] "Still"

(Manhattan, NY - 2006) Sholom & I used to volunteer (a lot) with an awesome NYC bike co-op called 'Times Up!' They hosted & ran the HUGE NYC Critical Mass bike protests every month. Afterwards, everybody met back at Times Up! for a huge party! Tables full of delicious dumpstered vegetarian food, The Rude Mechanical Orchestra usually played too. Hundreds of bicyclists would show up. After a long night of partying & workin' at Times Up! Sholom & I watched the sunrise over the east river.

Devilish Self Portrait

Devilish Self Portrait

(Queens, NY - 2006) Hahahahaha! Well, we were all a little crazy back then...

[63]   "Melting Point"

[63] "Melting Point"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) Most windows in Brooklyn have bars, but with the red filter & the blazing sun... this looks very post-apocalyptic.

[64]   "Early Morning Waterfront"

[64] "Early Morning Waterfront"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) The Grand St. Waterfront (in Williamsburgh) was a favorite place to hang out & camp out because of this incredible view of the NYC skyline.

[65]   "Our Front Yard"

[65] "Our Front Yard"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) In Williamsburgh, the Grand St. Waterfront was a little river side park that Sholom & I used to write poetry & punch out written art (for 'zines) on a dumpstered typewriter that I found (it had no ink ribbon, so I had to smash down as many key as I could, then 'ink' the letters with a fat permanent marker... then hurry and type before the ink dried up again!)

[66]   "Lullaby"

[66] "Lullaby"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) At night, on the Williamsburgh Grand St. Waterfront, this is what I saw every night as I fell asleep (whenever we camped out there instead of sleeping on a rooftop). Though I was in a HUGE city full of lights & sirens & noise... this view gave me comfort & soothed me to sleep.

[67]   "Barred In"

[67] "Barred In"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) Using a yellow filter, I made the already yellow bricks more so. This photo was the first photo I took specifically for using as a page in a 'zine. Which I did finally: in Starving Iguanas Magazine: Volume 3

[68]   "Creepy Hitler Bush Baby"

[68] "Creepy Hitler Bush Baby"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) So, this creepy statue with a Hitler mustache & 'son of a bush' tagged on the side of it's head, had nothing to do with the words on the wall. By framing them together I accomplished making one of the most disturbing photos I have ever taken.

[69]   "Caboose Door"

[69] "Caboose Door"

(Tobyhana, PA - 2006) During one of my 'escapes for sanity' from the hectic & crazy NYC... My friend Kristian took me to Tobyhana. There was an abandoned train yard there, with all sorts of 'turn of the century' train cars, many of them made of wood, such as this caboose.

[70]   "Just Add Carharts"

[70] "Just Add Carharts"

(Tobyhana, PA - 2006) A yellow filter brings out the blue/greens of this oily retired tanker (train car). The title, is making fun of crust punx & travelkidz, who are commonly wearing Carharts (coveralls) that eventually are covered in grease from climbing on & riding freight trains.

[71]   "Magical Waterfall Forest"

[71] "Magical Waterfall Forest"

(Tobyhana, PA - 2006) This mountainous forest is filled with waterfalls & ancient rock foundations of homes long gone. It was a nice break from the craziness of NYC.

[72]   "Hidden"

[72] "Hidden"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) A girl & I were drinking wine on a roof in Brooklyn. A man, who lived directly under the roof, came up & began cursing at us for making too much noise. He then threw a chair at me! I decided, wine on breath, the best decision was to throw it back at him! HA! He shut & locked the door back into the building & called the cops. We hopped a few rooftops until we found a way down & hid in the basement as cops showed up. All we had for light was a small blue LED 'raver' light.

[73]   "Confederate Pyramid"

[73] "Confederate Pyramid"

(Richmond, VA - 2006) During another 'escape for sanity' from NYC, I hopped on a Chinatown bus to Richmond (because I had never been there before!) I helped the FNB kidz, checked out a 'zine library (Flying Brick Library) & they recommended I check out Hollywood Cemetery. There I found this 2 story pyramid, built for confederate soldiers. It had a cold creepy energy coming off of it that you could feel 20 foot away.

[74]   "Geared Up"

[74] "Geared Up"

(Richmond, VA - 2006) One of the reasons I took the Chinatown bus down to Richmond, was because a friend had told me about an island there, that he thought would be a good place to to camp/squat for a while. I went to the island, Belle Isle, & it was not at all what I had hoped for. But, I found an old hydro-electric powerplant that I explored, getting this photo in the process.

[75]   "Mathematics"

[75] "Mathematics"

(Queens, NY - 2006) Waiting for the N train at the Queens-borough platform, I saw this strange math & urban decay. One of the things I also like about this photo is that it looks like a light switch if you look at it right. Because of that I have also called this photo 'Faux Light Switch' occasionally ...but most of my photos have had a few different names throughout the years.

[76]   "Free Ripples"

[76] "Free Ripples"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) A silver painted light bulb reflects the silvery surface back onto the wall.

[77]   "Apocalyptic Railway"

[77] "Apocalyptic Railway"

(Queens, NY - 2006) A set of subway tracks & the cityscape skyline of industrial Queens, combined with a blazing sun & my favored red filter, helped create this memorable photograph.

[78]   "Chulent Light Switch"

[78] "Chulent Light Switch"

(Manhattan, NY - 2006) In NYC, Sholom introduced me to his 'radical Jewish' friends (a collection of Jewish friends that for one reason or another, were attempting to separate/break free of some/all their Jewish practices/obligations/rituals/communities) One of the bi-products of this 'radical Jewish movement' was 'chulent' parties. (Chulent is a Jewish chili served at the parties.) We attended 'chulent parties' once a week usually. This is outside by the smoker's area.

[79]   "Faux Penitentiary"

[79] "Faux Penitentiary"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) This is NOT a penitentiary tower, it does look like it though. I think it was part of the Domino sugar refinement plant (but I can't honestly remember anymore!)

[80]   "Reign"

[80] "Reign"

(Manhattan, NY - 2006) Outside a 'radical Jewish' gathering (a 'chulent party'), I captured this silhouetted shot, the small yellow window helping to gain perspective & bring a new color.

[81]   "Textured Red"

[81] "Textured Red"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) One of the first (in many over the years) of red light (or red filtered) electrical outlets. A favorite photo subject for me, though I don't know why.

[82]   "Red Switch of Destiny"

[82] "Red Switch of Destiny"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) Such great texture & the red lighting really helps simplify it all, by keeping distracting colors at bay.

[83]   "Red Switch of Destiny #2"

[83] "Red Switch of Destiny #2"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) The texture, the red lighting & the unkempt look of this switch are just great. Combining my love of 'red' photographs with another favorite ...'grimey' photos.

[84]   "Bondage"

[84] "Bondage"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) At an emptied out pool in McCarren park, hundreds of people gathered for a free music show. This is one of my favorite 'urban decay' photos from back in the day.

[85]   "Overgrown"

[85] "Overgrown"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) Vines making a street light furry, Williamsburgh Bridge in the background.

[86]   "Pink Sludge"

[86] "Pink Sludge"

(Brooklyn, NY - 2006) A reflected sunset sky creates pink puddles at this construction site. The East River full of small yachts (an uncommon sight... it was the 4th of July & fireworks were soon to start.) The Empire State Building can just barely be seen on the far right. I have been informed that this view (from atop one of our favorite rooftops in Williamsburgh) is no longer viewable, this site now houses expensive lofts for hipsters to live in.

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2006: NYC

Boston, Providence, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens Tobyhana (PA) &  Richmond (VA)
 

After the brief 2006 tour with Matthawk through 13 states. I returned to NYC, in mid-summer with nothing more than my army pack, my camera & a fierce determination to build my photographic portfolio...

I traveled & existed with my friend Sholom, (the 'anarchist r@bbi') in different areas of Boston & Brooklyn (Williamsburgh, Crown Heights). We discovered many safe rooftops in Brooklyn to exist/camp on... most with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. I usually explored Astoria (Queens) when not spending time in Brooklyn.

 

Occasionally, the city would be too much for me... so, I'd hop onto a cheap Chinatown Bus to Boston, Philly or Richmond (VA).

Up tha Punx!

Up tha Punx!

(Brooklyn, NY - 2007) My homey, Kristian & I being goofy in Crown Heights (Brooklyn) during the last month I spent in NYC.

[87] "Dylan Sewing"

[87] "Dylan Sewing"

(Asheville, NC - 2007) I had been in NYC for too long, I needed to either go back to Iowa (not likely) or continue traveling & taking photos... but I couldn't find anyone to travel with (I still hadn't hitch hiked much & I had only ridden 1 freight train at that point.) Out of the blue, I got an email from a Boston homey, Dylan... "Hey man! thinking about hitchin' down to Florida! Wanna go?" ...and off we went.

[88] "Inferno"

[88] "Inferno"

(Miami, FL - 2007) Palm trees are silhouetted in front of a beautiful sunset, a barely visible airplane sits frozen in the sky.

[89] "Dirty Globe"

[89] "Dirty Globe"

(Daytona Beach, FL - 2007)

[90] "Barnacles & Ever Waves"

[90] "Barnacles & Ever Waves"

(Daytona Beach, FL - 2007) Under the piers, where the waves will be crashing... that's where you'll find me.

[91] "Forgotten Lights"

[91] "Forgotten Lights"

(Gainesville, FL - 2007) Some forgotten lights on an abandoned set of RR trax.

[92] "Forgotten Lights: Profile"

[92] "Forgotten Lights: Profile"

(Gainesville, Fl - 2007)

[93] "Palm Tree Close Up"

[93] "Palm Tree Close Up"

(Gainesville, FL - 2007) I really liked the tiny fern like plants that grew from these Palm trees.

[94] "Palm Tree Close Up #2"

[94] "Palm Tree Close Up #2"

(Gainesville, FL - 2007) My personal favorite of the Palm tree close up photos.

[95] "Palm Tree Close Up #3"

[95] "Palm Tree Close Up #3"

(Gainesville, FL - 2007) The tiny ferns reaching upwards with their tiny fern fingers...

Hitchin' as the Clouds Roll In

Hitchin' as the Clouds Roll In

(Florida - 2007) My friend Alex Pickett, used to write for a Tampa newspaper called Creative Loafing. Alex asked me if I would take him hitch hiking, so he could write about it. We hitched over to Daytona Beach & most the way back. It was a pretty interesting trip, even for me! This is a photo he took for the article (it ended up being the cover story!) ...If you want to read the story, there is a link to the full article (just right of this paragraph) ... 'Hitch Hiker's Guide to Florida'

[96] "Majestic"

[96] "Majestic"

(Tampa, FL - 2007) Cotton candy clouds over the Tampa Bay as our boat slowly returned from our 'dolphin cruise'. For $20, a boat would take you out on the bay & GUARANTEE that you saw a dolphin or else you get another cruise for free. (Oh yeah... you got free wine & beer too!)

[97] "Elaphantasmo"

[97] "Elaphantasmo"

(St. Petersburg, FL - 2007) This B&W photo of a fantastic Banyon tree has always reminded me of part of an elephant somehow. (I got the word 'Elaphantasmo' off a White Zombie song title... because they are awesome, obviously!)

[98] "Peaking Thru the Banyon"

[98] "Peaking Thru the Banyon"

(St. Petersburg, FL - 2007) Once at this very same tree, on a dare I got closer & closer to 2 swans until one of them finally bit me! Hahaha! Another time I saw 2 male swans begin violently fighting on land (under the Banyon tree), they kept getting closer & closer to the water edge, then SPLASH! It suddenly became a water fight! One swan got the upper hand (wing) & held the opposing swan under water. The drowning swan then swam UNDERWATER about 20 foot to make his get-away! Crazy swans!

[99] "Pretend Topographical Map"

[99] "Pretend Topographical Map"

(St. Petersburg, FL - 2007) This is just a moldy & grimey part of an alley that I liked. But, if you look at it again, it looks like the view from an airplane of some land below.

[100] "Dampness Grows"

[100] "Dampness Grows"

(St. Petersburg, FL - 2007) I used a yellow filter to bring out more of the greens that were growing under the wetness of this dripping pipe.

[101] "Shadow Stairs"

[101] "Shadow Stairs"

(St. Petersburg, FL - 2007) One of my 1st uses of strange night time shadows in my photography.

[102] "Flock"

[102] "Flock"

(St. Petersburg, FL - 2007) There were always lots of different types of birds here. A favorite neighborhood park when I visited my St. Pete friends.

[103] "Bad Habit"

[103] "Bad Habit"

(New Orleans, LA - 2007) This guy is VERY drunk. I mean, look at him! He is leaning at the same angle as the 'bus route' sign that somebody hit & bent. I followed this guy for almost 3 blocks waiting for the best photo I could take! Hahahaha! Yeah Mardi Gras!

[104] "Rusticles"

[104] "Rusticles"

(New Orleans, LA - 2007) This is the type of 'breaking down of man made structures' that I love! I think this is beautiful!

[105] "Down the Pipes"

[105] "Down the Pipes"

(New Orleans, LA - 2007) Post-Katrina left a lot of water damaged areas & a lot of black mold & mildew on top of the already sometimes disgusting city. The colors & textures in this just screamed for me to photograph it.

[106] "Electrical Meltdown"

[106] "Electrical Meltdown"

(New Orleans, LA - 2007) Another red lighted outlet that caught my eye.

[107] "Beauty Amongst the Rubble"

[107] "Beauty Amongst the Rubble"

(New Orleans, LA - 2007) I found this fallen down wharf in the 9th ward. I originally thought it was a skatepark because of the way the cement is bent! I'm not sure which happened first... if the wharf fell first or it caught fire first. I really like how downtown New Orleans is blended in with the burnt legs of the wharf in the background.

[108] "That Cloud Knows Something"

[108] "That Cloud Knows Something"

(New Orleans, LA - 2007) A fallen wharf in the 9th ward, downtown NOLA in the background & a cloud that looks like it could crush them both if it wanted to.

[109] "The House Still Stands"

[109] "The House Still Stands"

(New Orleans, LA - 2007) I didn't paint this house, it was there when I found it. I really like how the burnt leg of the fallen wharf is poking through the cement somehow.

[110] "NOT the DAMNED Joshua Tree!"

[110] "NOT the DAMNED Joshua Tree!"

(Monterrey, Mexico - 2007) This photo used to have a different name, a REAL name... but, so many people kept asking if it was the Joshua Tree that I renamed it. So there!

[111] "Crash"

[111] "Crash"

(Manzanillo, Mexico - 2007) Looking out over the beautiful Mexican beach, as the Pacific Ocean crashes onto the jagged rocks below. I ate a dinner of fresh caught fish & listened to the waves.

[112] "Zag"

[112] "Zag"

(Zacatecas, Mexico - 2007) The ruggedness of these lands far from towns & cities... We bought a special chip for our GPS SPECIFICALLY for Mexico (we were driving). The funny thing was that there was STILL giant grey areas being shown on the GPS!! That means you are WAY THE HELL OUT THERE, I guess. Hahahaha!

[113] "Crazy Guy's House"

[113] "Crazy Guy's House"

(Detroit, MI - 2007) Some of my friends knew I was into photography, so they brought me to this guy's house. He had a pile of typewriters & a ring of vaccuum cleaners in his yard!

[114] "Barb got Fired"

[114] "Barb got Fired"

(Detroit, MI - 2007) Another photo from 'the crazy guy's house'. I never found out what his deal was.

[115] "That's Love for Ya"

[115] "That's Love for Ya"

(Detroit, MI - 2007) There was so much weirdness in this yard, I wish I had gotten to go inside.

[116] "The Marston Yard"

[116] "The Marston Yard"

(Detroit, MI - 2007) This is at the old Marston St. house that a bunch of my Michigan friends lived at & I stayed at for a month or so. It was only half a mile from downtown Detroit. We used to shoot guns in the backyard, during the day, because no one cared & no one called the cops. They had more important things to deal with then some kidz shooting off guns (especially if no one was gettin' hurt!)

2007
Daytona Beach, Miami, Tampa, St. Petersburgh, New Orleans, MEXICO & Detroit


Leaving NYC with a friend, we headed all the way down the East coast until finally reaching Miami. Though I had hitched before, it was during 2007 when I began hitch hiking & riding freight trains EVERYWHERE. Suddenly, I was no longer bound to grow stagnant in geographical locations... I was free to move around how & when I wanted! 

 

Also in 2007, my friend Alex Pickett wrote a story about me (and him) hitch hiking through Florida for Tampa's 'Creative Loafing' Newspaper in 2007. Here's a link to the article: