Harlem EatUp!

I spent four hours at the Harlem EatUp! today. I love food. This was my first time there. My invite was akin to a backstage pass which allowed me to be in the eat-as-much-as-you-want area. I thought it only fair that I take a few photos of what I ate. I will also tell you how many tastes I had which will reveal the ones I loved the most. Everything was good. Some just not my taste.

Out of the gate, I had lamb on some kind of delicious sauce with a scalloped potato, from Settepani. Yum! After tasting many dishes, I went back to this and they didn't have anything let. :(

Ethiopian cuisine from Zoma. I have no idea what I ate but it was tasty. Crispy shell and a stuffing that I think had a bean base. Lots of flavor.

From Row House Harlem, a delicious appetizer of heirloom tomatoes etc on French bread. Delicious. Couldn't find it on their menu but I bet all their food is yummy. Even those dabs of something on the side were great. Yes, I snuck back for seconds before I left.

I asked the blonde and the dude behind her on the right to step in for a few second. They said "NO!" because I don't have a Citibank account or credit card. I was already in the 'exclusive' part of this shindig but they were fine to discriminate based on where I bank. I thought that was a bass-ackwards way to do it. They already have all those clients...shouldn't they let me in and treat me so nice that I want to be a customer. Since they snubbed me and probably a bunch of other people, you won't see me doing business with them anytime soon.

This was made by Barilla. They don't even have a restaurant but this dish was delicious. I had three helpings of this dish. Oink!

Harlem Shake, not to be confused with Shake Shack. The dish depicted was something white and fluffy topped with deep-fried fish...like fish'n'chips. They also had a fried chicken slider. I had one of each. I like the fish best, the chicken would have been better for me if it was the breast. Their menu looks great...I don't see the fish on it but they have a lot of other meals that I could gobble up.

Spoonbread Too was offering up catfish and cornbread. That might have been my first taste of catfish, which I liked, and cornbread is one of my faves. They didn't disappoint. I would have gone back for more but they had a line. And I was getting full.

From the kitchen of Charles Gabriel's restaurant, Charles' Fried Pan Chicken, they were handing out fried chicken, collard greens, yams and, my favorite, mac and cheese. The crisp on the chicken was amazing, again, they were giving out small bits so it wasn't breast meat. I'll definitely go to the restaurant for a fried chicken breast when I have a craving. Here's the Yelp link.

The Harlem Chocolate Factory fed me a new addiction. They don't have a brick and mortar yet but you can get these...uh oh, their order page on the website is 'down for maintenance'. I don't see this particular yummiest thing that made me go back to the table and scarf at least three. There was the delicious crust cup with chocolate inside and awesome whipped cream with a tad of whiskey in it. These little devils were like eating the best chocolate pudding from my childhood memory with the bliss of whiskey for the grown up part of me. OMG...find them and eat them.

There were other stands that I didn't get to because as the time went on the lines got long...such as the Icelandic Fish place and a bunch inside of the tent which had hordes of people to get through...well, not that bad but I like space.

So, if you're not doing anything tomorrow, the Harlem EatUp! is still on. You can get tickets HERE. Get there early (12:30pm) and don't forget to take your appetite.  Eat! Eat! Eat!

Or else help support the local Harlem restaurants which is also a way to support the community!

Seeing Sam

Sam is a very good friend of mine. Sadly, she passed away this morning. She was stuck in a bad body but that never stopped her. At the end of her life, her mobility was more than compromised, but she was still the smartest person in the room.

After the immediate things that needed to be done today were done, I was driving back to her apartment with her boyfriend (aka Mikey) and noticed the unusual California sky. It contained everything...dark ominous clouds, blue sky, puffy cauliflower clouds and sunshine. It was so unusual, I decided to grab my camera and head to the hills to see if I could find Sam up there. Especially, since last night I was telling her that some day she would be flying through the sky above fields of yellow flowers.

Ha!

This is the first image I caught, where I saw her image in it...she's the girl in the middle spinning and dancing as an audience surrounds her until she is the center of attention...

 
 

Then I found this shot, where she has become a dolphin and is about to eat the sun.

 
 

I shot these photographs because I believe they are her, based on the last two goals she wanted to fulfill:

• After losing her ability to walk, her goal was to go dancing with Mikey.
• After she was saddled with a tracheostomy, her goal was to eat a burrito.

Watch THIS VIDEO and you will see verified proof and truth of what I am saying here. While you're on the video link, and if you've enjoyed my photos and the video, please consider a small contribution toward Sam's cremation. The money raised there goes directly into Mikey's savings account. He's already paid the $700 cost, so he will use the donations to pay the credit card bill. The earlier donations on the video site were used toward the costs of staying at home. She was so grateful for the help she received.

 

 

 

Lexington Av Exp

As you may already know, I have an intimate relationship with the NY subway system. I shot this photograph three years ago. From 1:27PM to 7:26PM I shot 117 frames in at least 13 locations. Previously, I edited and may have posted 11 photographs from this particular day.

This photograph was not one of those. I remembered it clearly when I saw it today. And I think it deserves to see the light of day. 

 
 

The image tells a lot about what it feels like to live in New York.

A Different Beach

 I have no idea why I'm feeling so drawn to my beach photographs lately. Maybe because I'm in California and haven't had time to go to the beach lately even though the temperatures have been beach worthy.

These two are from Huntington Beach with the very charming pier.

I'm definitely in a photographic storytelling mode and there's always a story to be found at the beach, especially when there are dogs.

Body Language

Remember the photograph of the girl standing in the sand at the beach? It was actually one of four photographs focused on her and her boyfriend (not the guy in the first photograph). When I first saw them I felt there was a story I could tell. 

Now I'm going to the last photograph in the set of four because it really fits as a bookend to the first one. This time it's her boyfriend without her in the shot. And maybe my favorite.

Body Language #4 - 12/8/15 3:28pm

Body Language #4 - 12/8/15 3:28pm

Two minutes earlier, there was this photograph with the girlfriend in it.

Body Language #3 - 12/8/15 3:26pm

Body Language #3 - 12/8/15 3:26pm

Proof of who the couple is...

Body Language #2 - 12/8/15 2:58pm

Body Language #2 - 12/8/15 2:58pm

The first photograph of the series. The girlfriend in front of another man.

Body Language #1 - 12/8/15 2:57pm

Body Language #1 - 12/8/15 2:57pm

Did you also notice the changes of the dogs? For me, they are the spine of the story.

Sand Flowers

I always love it when I see a photograph I shot that has extra details I don't remember seeing. This is an example of that - I knew I was shooting nature-made flower images I found in the sand as well as the shell under the left flower and the grittier sand at the bottom. I'm not sure I noticed the intricacy of the two darker feathers. I'm not sure you can see the detail in them on this lo res file but they are pretty striking when on the hi res file.

My point (or tip) is that you should look for surprises while you shoot and be thankful when they show up courtesy of the photography gods.

Abstraction

This  photograph popped up when I was using a date search for something to post today. So this file number was 0221, today's date. I had no idea what the subject of the photo was, nor where or when I shot it. Of course I was intrigued and instead of looking  up when I took I decided to stare at it. All kinds of things crossed my mind and at some point I even thought it could be a completely different medium.

What do you think it is?

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