Two years after superstorm, one year after fire

No Jersey Shore boardwalk has been hurt as much by nature and mankind the past two years as the Seaside Heights boardwalk.  As if Superstorm Sandy didn’t cause enough damage in late October 2012, a windswept fire in mid-September 2013 added insult to injury.

If middle-age couples want to recapture memories of high times at Seaside, or their children are looking for the Jersey Shore of Snooki, JWoww and friends, they may be disappointed today.  But, bigger than the storm, more fiery than a fire, Seaside Heights is determined to bounce back.  


Over 25 years after The Silos were voted the best new American band in Rolling Stone magazine’s critics poll, Walter Salas-Humara remains true to his muse, creating new songs and playing solo or with his band or a guest musician, as he did at The Low Beat in Albany, NY on Monday night.

Walter also remains true to his Cuban-American roots, singing a song in Spanish, and spends time painting — his first artistic calling — when he’s not performing. Like the title of first popular song, the (Tennessee) Fire still burns inside this native New Yorker.

Private Property

No Trespassing

Violators Will Be Prosecuted

Keep Out

Summer Ends

It’s officially the first week of autumn. In the Catskill Mountains region, however, it feels like the first week of winter. Rolling south on a train along the Hudson River towards New York City, you can almost feel the last warm rays of the sun before it retires.

In my head, I’m hearing “Summer Ends” from the Raveonettes new disk, Pe’ahi. I’m trying to make some sense of the juxtaposition of the music and lyrics I’m hearing and sights I’m seeing. Mostly, though, I’m simply appreciating them for what they are—striking, as summer ends.

(To hear “Summer Ends” by the Raveonettes, click:

Spam Spam Spam





Long before the dawn of junk emails, “spam” was a Hormel food creation provided to World War II soldiers and purchased by American consumers. In Hawaii, it remains available as a sushi preparation. In locales on the continent, it is still marketed as a breakfast, lunch or dinner possibility. The product line has expanded beyond the original ham-like offering to include turkey and, for the health-conscious, a low-sodium option. Tapping into the growing Hispanic market in the U.S., a chorizo-flavored product is now available.

Beyond supermarket aisles and dining tables, one can never be too sure where spam will surface. In recent years, besides computer messages, spam has been seen on theater stages and, more recently, on a beach.

For those who are still failing to appreciate the qualities of spam, or at least the humor, there is always the Monty Python homage:

Moffitt’s, Speculator, Adirondacks

The Adirondack Mountains in New York, with its cold winters and small population, have long been a challenge for year-round residents and businesses.  Its rural landscape and serenity, however, have always attracted vacationers young and old.  It seems little has changed at Moffitt Beach, where private homes and public campsites mix peacefully, by the village of Speculator (population: 321) located in Hamilton County.  

Heavyweight champion Gene Tunney trained locally nearly a century ago, and budget shortfalls seem to impact current services.  But, it’s hard to imagine much changing during the next century.  That’s a good thing.

Promises Kept

Where do old horses go after they’ve run their last race, galloped a last time for the pleasure of a paying customer, or worked their last shift? One possibility — an alternative to the proverbial “glue factory” — is a retirement home like this one in rural upstate New York.

The future of photojournalism: countdown to an evolution

Jim Cummins was spot-on 40 yrs ago — and he still is today.

Canyons of New York








What would George Washington think if he stepped through a time tunnel after enjoying a chicken pie at Fraunces Tavern and headed north on Pearl Street?  Probably, he would be amazed at the tall buildings that line the narrow streets of New York City’s oldest neighborhood. 

The Financial District has reinvented itself through the ups and downs its tenants have gone through in riding — if not causing — the cycles of American capitalism.  Look carefully, however, and you can still find remnants of the old mixed in with, often in the shadows of, the new.  

The chaotic harmony that has always been lower Manhattan, usually New York City, often the United States for over 200 years, remains.