Archive for January 2nd, 2011

The Blizzard of 2010–Part I.

Jan. 2nd 2011

 Christmas night, I  headed to Marriott Hotel in Stamford, Connecticut for a week of photographic work and culture in New York City.

There was a rumor snow was in the forecast, yet being a native New Englander, snow in New England,  is like sand & sun is to Jamaica.  Sounds like an old SAT exam analogy question; confusing and convoluted.

As I boarded the Excela Train from Boston to Stamford, Connecticut,  one could sense snow was in the air, yet it hesitated to tumble from the sky.  Anticipation or hesitation? I am uncertain.

As I stood in the Amtrak station thoughts turned to Michael Schwab, a fellow artist. He designed the graphics for Amtrak. I reveled in seeing Michael’s, larger-than-life work displayed in Penn Station, featured on the Amtrak Website, and on the walls of the Stamford Commuter Rail Station. Michael’s studio is north of San Francisco. Seeing his work made me hum California Dreaming by the Mamas and the Papas. 

 I read  (War and Peace——-No. MAD magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and Swan by Mary Oliver ) on the train ride from Boston to Stamford. I slept the final leg of the journey.

Three cheers to Omar, from the Stamford Marriott, for arranging transportation to the hotel when I arrived in Connecticut. I was met on time, checked into the Marriott, worked on my camera equipment for about an hour, then called it a night.

Technically, it was still Christmas. Santa had come and was headed back to the North Pole. I am not a gambling man, yet I bet Mrs. Clause was glad Santa and his smelly reindeer were out-of- her-hair for a few days.  A  jolly weight-challenged man who perpetually wears  a red power suit, surrounded by fawning elves, 24/7 would drive me to drinking spiked eggnog STAT. Hope you enjoyed the silence, Mrs. Clause.

There is a highway close to the hotel. The front desk crew assigned me a quiet room far from the highway, yet I awoke around 2 Am to the sound of sanders and snowplows.  Snow was falling. Strike  that. Snow was blowing sideways. Ta da. The Blizzard of 2010 was at my doorstep. And, New York was not prepared to deal with impending mess.

What did I do at 2 AM?

I took out one of my Cannon cameras with a high power zoom, shut off  all lights, adjusted my light meter, and shot images of the blizzard unfolding outside my hotel window from the 11th floor. Snap. Snap. I then crawled back into into bed and drift off to sleep for the second time.

6:00 AM my wake up call stuns me from hibernation. Time to travel into NYC, yet the hotel front desk staff informed me trains to New York City will run on a  weekend schedule–all week long due to the BLIZZARD.

The “B” word!

Not “snow storm.”

A BLIZZARD; with a capital “B.”

I made  adjustments to my work and leisue schedules, then  headed into the city.  Snow was whipping and swirling like miniature twisters.

I like snow. In the past I LOVED snow. Funny. The older one gets, love turns to like.

 While in New York City I visited the Museum of Modern Art twice. The Andy Warhol Motion Picture exhibition on the 6th floor gallery is riveting. The human piano human installation art piece on the MOMA’s1st floor is profound.  It’s far more engaging than a performance artist  I viewed, at different art venue— nude, covered head-to-toe in honey, moving about in a plexi-glass chamber- with live bees buzzing around her.

 Art is many things to many people. I enjoy art-on-the edge, but what distracted me when observing “Honey Woman” was the thought ………”Does she have a Epipen handy?”

 Thank you to all I worked with this week under trying circumstances. You met the BBF challenge.  During the week I shot outside  and indoor photographic work. I conducted  street photography.      What blizzard!         What snow!    What whipping wind!

Thank you to the native Connecticut and New Yorker citizens  who provided  directions. I appreciate all who drove me around in the snow. Hats-off to the train conductors and train staff who had to listen to heaps of B’ing and M’ing  by  passengers who were late. 

Late for what?


Life is not an appointment.

Thank you to  the bus driver whom I had the most delightful conversation while traveling down 5th Avenue at the zenith of the blizzard. I was her ONLY rider. She refused a HUGE tip. Ethics live in NYC. So do kind bus drivers.

This post is a warm up. No pun intended. My next post will be a stream of consciousness piece about the Blizzard of 2010 in New York City. Little stories about people, places, things, and special moments I encountered on my work/holiday in Connecticut and New York City.

New Year’s Eve has come and gone. I hope the crystal ball in Times Square did not bonk you on the head. Better yet, I hope your head does not feel like a shattered crystal ball due to post New Year’s Eve indulgence. 

“Say CHEESE”………

The shutter clicks……….the flash goes off.

“Man, it is too early in the morning for photographs. Enough already, BBF!!!!”

Brendan Ben Feeney

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