Saturday, October 11, 2008

a hodgepodge of things

Quite a bit has been going on. I still haven't heard anything about the job to which I applied, but I've been keeping myself busy nonetheless. As this is the first time that I've applied for a job in well over a year, it's probably prudent that I also expand my options. With the way the economy is going, those searching for employment need to look in multiple places.

I've been enjoying the playoffs though I'm not sure of whom I should root for. I'm impressed by the Phillies and like the Dodgers in part, I'm sure, because of Joe Torre. In the Rays, it's always exciting to see a promising new kid on the block. As to the Red Sox, it's a different story. Though in all seriousness, I find Boston's pitcher, Jon Lester, to be just so impressive. After winning his battle against Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, he has gone on to excel winning a World Series clincher, pitching a no-hitter, and most recently, leading his team into the playoffs. Just amazing.

Watching the Giants play and gain control of the NFC East, thus far, has been pretty sweet as well.

I continue to be fascinated by the regrowth of my right thumb nail. It's amazing really. Apparently, it's related to my transplant. I wonder if there's a GVHD connection too. A few times each day I find myself spending a few seconds examining it, looking to see if there's any noticeable change from the previous day.

My other fingers nails have also changed in color and are regrowing, but this process is most clear on my right thumb nail. I wonder how long it will take for the entire nail to be replaced and how the new one will look. Of the new nail that I can see, it is not smooth at all. Quite ugly really but perhaps this will change as the process continues.

Several days ago, I learned about the passing of Leroy Sievers, who touched and inspired thousands via his NPR blog, My Cancer. Though I was very well aware of his story, I wasn't a regular reader of blog and so when I checked in last week after too long of an absence, I was both surprised and saddened by the news. Sievers was 53.

I made it up to Katonah to check out the art exhibition, All Things Bright and Beautiful: California Impressionists, just a few days before it closed on the 5th. It was a real treat. For starters, traveling up there was a pleasant though brief escape from the city. I caught a morning Metro-North train from 125th Street in Harlem and about 1 hour later, I was in Katonah. The museum itself is a nice 20 minute walk away. I can't remember the last time prior to this that I rode the Metro-North. I used to ride it periodically while at Vassar when I traveled back and forth between breaks.

The exhibition itself was spectacular, a real gem. I've never been to California, so the locales depicted I know in name only but they were gorgeous, inspirational works of art. The paintings were composed of portraits, still life, garden scenes, seascapes, and landscapes (including one nocturnal). I had never heard of any of the early 20th century artists exhibited the show, but apparently in California they were quite well-known during their time. Many of them also worked with or had been trained by some of the more famous American artists of the period.

Last weekend was Open House New York Weekend, an annual event throughout NYC in which places and buildings of historical and/or architectural significance are opened to the public for free. I learned about this from a few Flickr buddies many months ago and so, I was relieved when I was reminded about it just in time to catch it this time around. On Saturday, I visited the Hall of Fame for Great Americans and the Gould Memorial Library, both creations of the architect Stanford White, at Bronx Community College (formerly New York University). Both are quite beautiful. From BCC, I crossed the river into Manhattan where I visited the High Bridge Water Tower, a site I've visited several times before.

On Wednesday after my appointment with Dr. Levine, I stopped by the nearby Grand Central Terminal to check out a temporary exhibition honoring the 100th anniversary of the Great White Fleet.
Though modest in size, it gives a very interesting overview of the Fleet's famous good will circumnavigation of the world from 1907 - 1909. It focuses especially on its relief work in eastern Sicily and southern Italy, where a devastating earthquake occurred in 1908. Model warships, sailors' clothing, fascinating photographs and other interesting types of memorabilia are found in the exhibition hall. Learn more about this exhibition here.

There are a couple of other exhibitions in the city that I'm eager to check out. Thankfully, these will be around for a couple of months. There's Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night at the MOMA. At the Schomberg, there's Aaron Douglas: African American Modernist. And finally, at the nearby Bronx Museum of the Arts there's Street Art, Street Life. With regards to art, the fall seems to be a lively time.

Just yesterday I completed a brief movie review for the winter issue of Bridges. I took a look at Kris Carr's documentary film, Crazy Sexy Cancer.

Finally, I'm happy to say that after a few of weeks of putting lots of hours into reorganizing my hard drive and its backup, recataloguing my photography archive and then, most recently several days of web design and server headaches, I've managed to create a web photo gallery finally. It's my first. The web gallery replaces my Flickr page. Just look for the tab below my blog's header titled Harlem River Photography Project.

The gallery itself is very simple. The program that I used to create it doesn't allow me to infuse a great amount of text into it. Nevertheless, I think it has the essentials. At some point in the near future, I'm sure I'll want to spruce it up a bit.

I've titled this endeavor The Harlem River Photography Project: The Harlem River, Its Bridges, and Places Nearby. Collectively, the 26 images that are displayed imbue, I hope, a sense of what I like to call my "photographic wanderlust" since coming home from the hospital 13 months ago. Beginning on day +46 and ending on day +410 (last Saturday), the gallery presents a sample of some of the different subjects that I've captured: bridges (of course), but also the waterfront, parks, flowers, architectural details, buildings, and on the rare occasion, people.

On the upper left side of the web gallery, you'll see a tab labeled "View." Once you click it, you'll see another tab, "About these Photos." Click this and you'll find a brief history about this project.

I hope you enjoy it. Please let me know what you think. Comments, suggestions, advice . . . they're all welcome.


Comment Anonymous Anonymous said...


My nails did the same thing after auto transplant. When the last of the old nail reaches the end it gets difficult because it's always catching on things and is partly on and partly off but still too much attached to clip. Hard to explain but you'll see what I mean when it gets to that point. For awhile I wore bandaids around them to keep them from hooking things. My toenails did the same things.

7:44 PM  
Comment Blogger Jennifer said...

Yes, the fingernails and toenails. It is a very strange feeling. Mine all shed for my auto transplant and my allo. I "helped" them all along because they did catch on things and that made it worse because they would bleed. When they first grew back they were like baby nails, very thin and sharp. They are all fine now. Just be careful of infection. =)

8:11 PM  
Comment Anonymous Ben said...

Hey. All those photos are great! My favorites are the 145th Street Bridge and the Park Avenue Railroad Bridge.

12:42 AM  
Comment Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, your gallery is impressive. Great work!

10:48 AM  
Comment Blogger Adrienne said...

The photos are beautiful. I hope you keep taking pictures for all to enjoy. Hugs, Alison (Adrienne's mom)

2:25 AM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Hi Jen and Anonymous,

Thanks for the info. regarding my finger nails. It's weird but I don't recall this happening after auto SCT.

9:24 AM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Many thanks to those who commented on my modest photo gallery. Much appreciated. I'm just trying to get a feel for what people think, since this is all new to me.

9:26 AM  

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