Monday, March 31, 2003


033103 (21k image)
antiwar protest 3.20.03

04:34 PM PST

Friday, March 28, 2003


be good tanyas
the be good tanyas

12:15 AM PST

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

» Top row, middle deck.

This unassuming and thoroughly "1980"'s skateboard deck, was purchased at High Gear Cyclery in Stirling, NJ and given to me as a Christmas gift from my parents. The board had fluorescent yellow grip tape, pink wheels, and blue trucks.

That Christmas morning was unseasonably warm, and I rode my board down the wet street, feeling the smoothness of the road and the grit of the grip tape underneath my feet. My first ride was the beginning of a long path that I still find myself on, filled with late nights in parking lots, explorations through northern New Jersey looking for those perfect skate spots, and countless bloody elbows and twisted ankles.

On my left elbow is a purplish scar from trying a nose grind in light rain on a white marble ledge near my house. My left knee has a protruding bump just below my kneecap from falling on that same spot so many times. My right wrist aches if I try to do a push-up, coming from a boardslide where the deck broke and my wrist singularly absorbed the shock of the fall.

There's been weeks, and even several months sometimes when I have not stepped on a board, and there's been months where I've hardly missed a day.

During my sophomore year of college, I lived a hundred feet from an entire city block of marble ledges that were lit-up at night. I could see them outside of the window by my computer, and often looked out when I was stuck on a bug in a coding assignment in the quiet hours before the sun rose.

My last two years of college found me with a wonderful view, but few accessible skate spots. I skated less in those two years than at any time since I started.

Now in Portland, my skateboarding fluctuates. I've found a parking garage that keeps me going through the rainy winter. As it begins to warm, I've been skateboarding more as a form of urban exploration - riding down dark, empty roads in the industrial district, relearning kickflips on the smooth loading docks, and spending as much time walking down empty railroad tracks as skating waxed ledges.

Last night, I crossed under an overpass, through streets of rusting warehouses and cracked sidewalks, dirty in a way that comes when people don't walk there anymore. I started getting more consistent on ollieing to manual, and have nose picks down, practicing them on crumbling pieces of concrete that chip away each time my truck hits them. It grew dark, and the streets have no lights, so I pushed hard, feeling for cracks that I couldn't see. Sweating in the cool of the late March night, I kept my legs loose, pushing against the rough pavement, fighting against the slowing forward motion, pushing, always pushing ahead.

11:56 PM PST

Friday, March 21, 2003


032103 (23k image)
seconds before being sprayed with pepper spray
(canister is in lower left of frame)

While covering the Portland anti-war protest (for the Willamette Week) on the Steel Bridge, I was at the front line, covering the clashes between the police and the protesters. I photographed them being pepper sprayed, then was pepper sprayed myself, directly in my face. The first feeling was like walking through a heavy mist as nearby pepper spray rose in the air. Then I was sprayed directly, and a wetness covered my eyes and the back of my neck as I turned away. The heat slowly rose, like standing over a pot of heating water, then became more intense as the oil-based pepper spray began to burn. The burning was localized around my eyes and neck, and became nearly unbearable as I struggled to keep my eyes open. Within 30 minutes (with the excellent help of Black Cross first aid-ers), I was able to see, and continued to photograph the event until about 9 'o clock. I saw the crossing of the Burnside bridge, shutting down of the Interstate, and lots of destruction perpetrated by a small number of people.

When I got home, I began showering, at which time I realized that the pepper spray was still all over my head/face, and the warm water reactivated it, and it felt like I was being sprayed again, but it was even more painful. Charlene quickly searched the web for good remedies (this being the best site), and I tried in earnest to scrub the spray off my face. It took several hours of standing under the shower with the water as cold as it could go (while occasionally warming it up to keep my body temperature up) before the pain subsided. Charlene put the clothes in plastic bags and ran them through the washing machine twice (after taking them out of the dryer today, they appear to be free of pepper spray). I used baking soda and soap, and the baking soda seemed to help while it was on my skin, but the pain came back once it was washed off.

Today, the area around my eyes ache from squinting, and I feel a very light stinging on the back of my neck.

04:54 PM PST

Wednesday, March 19, 2003


031903 (22k image)
confiscated scissors

At the Portland International Airport, people have few options when potentially dangerous items are found on them during security check-in. Most of these tweezers, nail files and swiss army knives are voluntarily surrendered by their owners. Up until now, all of this stuff was ending up at thrift stores, but now the Oregon Department of Administrative Services is auctioning them on ebay, giving you the ability to bid on fourteen pounds of scissors, and sixteen pounds of corkscrews/cigar cutters.

10:26 AM PST

Tuesday, March 18, 2003


portland protest
Portland Anti-War Protest, 3-15-03

10:52 AM PST

Monday, March 17, 2003


031703 (17k image)

When you run, Digger, Runner, Listener, Thief, you carry it all with you. Today I woke up uncertain, and you know that gives me the fits, so I left this land of fungible convictions because it seemed like the pits. And when I say, "conviction," I mean it's something to abjure, and when I say, "uncertain," I mean to doubt I'll not turn a caricature. So I set off in search of my forebears, 'coz my forbearance was in need, but the only job I could get in Dear Old Blighty was working on the railway between Selby and Leeds. So I took a ferry to Belfast, where I had cause to think: they wanted none of my arm-chair convictions, but nobody seemed to mind when I was putting on the drinks!

And you didn't think they could hate you, now did you? You didn't think they could hate you, now did you? Ah, but they hate you you, and they hate you 'coz you're guilty, so...

I stayed out all night in Ibiza, by the way of San Sebastian, where they said, "Yanque, you better watch what you're sayin' unless you're sayin' it in Basque or Catalan!" So all the way east to Novi-sad, where narry a bridge was to be seen, but Mother Russia, she laid her pontoons on down, so I crossed over, if you know what I mean.. Then on the road to Damascus, yes, the scales, they fell from my eyes, and the simplest lesson I learned at The Mount of Olives: everybody lies. And the French Foreign Legion - you know they did their best - but I never believed in T.E. Lawrence, so how the hell could I believe in Beau Gest?

And you didn't think they could hate you, now did you? You didn't think they could hate you, now did you? Ah, but they hate you you, and they hate you 'coz you're guilty, so...

I spent a night in Kigali in a five diamond hotel, where maybe someday, they'll do the Wa-Tutsi down in Hutu Hell. And I fell in with a Merchant Marine who promised to take me home, but when I woke up beaten and bloodied, I couldn't tell if it was Jersey or Sierra Leone!

And you didn't think they could hate you, now did you? You didn't think they could hate you, now did you? Ah, but they hate you you, and they hate you 'coz you're guilty

And the knocking in my head, just like the knocking at my door. And maybe it was me or maybe it was my brother, but either me or me and him went down to the bar, where I got seven Powers in me for to give me the cure, but when seven Powers failed to spin me, I had to get me seven more. And when I say, "me," I mean my brain. And when I say, "give me the cure," I mean to kill the pain. And when I say, "kill the pain," I mean to get the Devil out. And when I say, "Devil," I mean the Manifestation of Doubt!

And you didn't think they could hate you, now did you? You didn't think they could hate you, now did you? You didn't think they could hate you, now did you? Ah, but they hate you you, make no mistake - they hate you...

-Ted Leo, "The Ballad of the Sin Eater

09:21 AM PST

Thursday, March 13, 2003

» I finished editing photos and put up a new photo essay on Columbia Villa. In shooting the story for the local paper here, I took many more photographs that I liked than they ran, and thought I could tell the story of the Villa well through these photographs.

10:12 PM PST

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

» Today's Willamette Week and Philadelphia Inquirer both have some photographs I've taken. In the Willamette is the cover story on Columbia Villa, and in the Inquirer is a story on what basketball players do outside of practice when they're on the road. For the story, I got to hang out with Brian Skinner from the 76ers as he contemplated a tattoo, went for sushi, and talked wine with the bartender at a downtown wine bar.

10:40 AM PST

Monday, March 3, 2003

» Traveling to Seattle






09:49 PM PST

Sunday, March 2, 2003

» Half pipes of war.

06:31 PM PST

» Washington DC Photographer

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