Sunday, January 15, 2017

Westchester Refugee Task Force at Congregation Sons of Israel Briarcliff Manor

Wed, January 11, 2017, Congregation Sons of Israel in Briarcliff Manor hosted the Westchester Refugee Task Force's "Stories of Escape and Resettlement."

We are in the midst of the worst global refugee crisis since World War II and yet instead of learning from our past mistakes and opening our doors and lending assistance to these people, facing danger, impoverishment and death, driven from their homes because to stay was almost certain death, we hear of our national and many local political leaders, quivering in fear that we might let a bad person in with all the deserving, preferring to shut the door, bolt the gates and stick their heads in the sand.
Prof. Mary Refling
With more than 300 members of the community present, from throughout central and northern Westchester, we heard four moving speakers tell of us of their own experiences. The first, Riva Silverman of HAIS, spoke of the evolving mission of HAIS from parochial to global, aiding refugees wherever the need arises. The second, Nya Chambang was a refugee who was lucky to escape South Sudan with her life, and is working now to help her people settle into safe villages. She is president of Thon Met African Peace Foundation. The third, Susan Smith of the Muslim Peace Fellowship told us of her experience as a volunteer at a refugee camp in Greece. The keynote speaker, Chris George, executive director of IRIS - Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services spoke of his experiences working with the issues of resettlement as the director of a state-wide program in Connecticut and gave us direction as to what we can and should be doing to help these people. It was informative, it was moving and it was inspirational.
Riva Silverman
The invocation and concluding statements were delivered by Rabbi Steven Kane of CSI, the event was mc'ed by one of the founders of the Westchester Task Force, Professor Mary Refling.

Rabbi Steven Kane

If you click on the picture it will open a slide show in most browsers, or enlarge the picture in others.

Nya Chambang
Nya Chambang

Susan Smith

Chris George

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A very short story and the photo that goes with it

A few weeks ago I was at the bar in the Sidewalk Cafe on Ave. A in Manhattan. It was an early sunset and I got into a conversation with these three people. They kept talking about their experience with another person, not present, and their manner of describing this absent party was such that I had to ask: was this person the boss from hell, a huge, ogre who upon entering a room bit off the head of the person nearest the door, picking up others and hurling them into the wall on the opposite side, leaving them jerking in agony on the floor?

It wasn't and the gentleman on the right, in the watch cap, had some very choice words to say about the person they were discussing and his rather close relationship with her.

Anyway, here are Todd, Lila and Jonathan. If you run into them, they can tell you more.

Two other randomly selected photos.  One was shot outside the Sidewalk a little bit later. It was an early sunset.

This one was shot a couple of nights before, while walking past the Jimmy Chu store in the Waldorf Astoria. I worked in retail a long time ago.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Should there ever be another cute cat picture posted to the web?

I'll answer my own question: No! Never! Unnecessary, already been done, but, as it turns out, inevitable.

One of the cats with whom I share my home likes to get his water from the bathtub faucet. He follows me in and looks longingly at it, waiting for me to make the water drip.

Inevitably, I took pictures, many pictures, yet rather than give in completely to the temptation to overshare, here's just a couple

His name, if you are wondering, is Pancake.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

One Photo: Shalom Neuman

January 2016 - Brooklyn NY

If you don't know who he is, look him up. His art speaks for itself, he speaks for himself.

Friday, December 16, 2016

If the street's the cave and the cave is the street . . .

That which is knowable will be known;
That which is unknowable does not exist.
The which is known is a source of exploration;
that which is unknowable is the source for our fantasies.
 The quiet, the dark, regions where light impinges on emptiness and begins to fill the void lead to motion. What comes out of chaos?

Monday, December 5, 2016

The rhythm of the street

I missed a week. Bad me. I got busy editing a novel I wrote and forgot to edit photos I shot.
Well, here's three more.
Funny thing about shooting at night is that people see me standing there with the camera held up to my face but they keep going without any sense of self-consciousness about being photographed.

Click on these shadowy photos to see them much larger.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Chappaqua Interfaith Community Thanksgiving Service and Dinner, Nov. 20, 2016

I wasn't planning to publish photos of this event but it was requested of me by the minister of the host church and one of its members.

Clicking on a photo in most browsers will either open a slide display or enlarge the individual photo.

The cause supported this year is the Westchester Refugee Task Force, whose mission statement is at the end of the posting.

You can figure out who is who if you wish, with some exceptions, I can't.  I've posted in the order the events occurred. Here's an outline of the participants: 

November 20, 2016 

Interfaith Community Thanksgiving Service and Dinner
First Congregational Church, Chappaqua NY

Sponsored by the Chappaqua Interfaith Council

Rev. Dr. Martha Jacobs
First Congregational Church


Badr BaSaeed  


Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester
Children of the World
Temple Beth El’s Jew-Be-Glee Senior Choir,
Directed by Cantor Star Trompeter

Hindu Community
Gail, Ayan and Ethan Makode

Baha’is of New Castle
Baha’i Community Choir
Under the direction of Susan Cody

Native American Prayer
Recited by Ellen Lewis

First Congregational Church

Chancel Choir with Keith Robellard, Minister of Music

Chappaqua Friends Meeting

Upper Westchester Muslim Society

Badr BaSaeed;Numan Maloney.

Guest Speaker
Mary Refling
Westchester Refugee Task Force

The Sikh Community
Tej Anand

St. John and St. Mary Catholic Church
St. John and St. Mary Choir
Organ:  Kyle Mango, Director of Music

Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer
Rev. Dr. Leigh Pezet

St. Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church
Gail Dedona and Molly Holmes

Introduction of the new Rector of St. Mary the Virgin, Episcopal
Rev. Canon Alan Dennis
by Rev. Dr. Martha Jacobs

Blessing of the Meal
Rev. Canon Alan Dennis

Westchester Refugee Task Force

Westchester Refugee Task Force includes many churches, synagogues, Islamic centers, civic groups and individuals, which work together with other agencies to advocate for and support refugee resettlement efforts in Connecticut and Westchester County.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

In memoriam Leonard Cohen: There's a crack where the water comes in

For Leonard Cohen, it was light that came through the break in the world and as in Genesis, from the light came everything else.

For me, it's the water.

Monday, November 14, 2016

East Village, autumn, Sunday

East Village, autumn, Sunday, trying to stay optimistic in an era of noisy divisiveness and a decided lack of civility in the political process.

Stopping to talk in front of the William Barnacle Tavern, a former speak easy, downstairs from the NY Gangsters Museum and next door to the Theater 80. Larkin, the owner, isn’t around but the bartender, Jody, a Scottish woman now 12 years in New York, is setting out the happy hour signs. We chat about Scotch, living in NYC, and the best places to drink Scotch in NYC. Mike Quinn from Brooklyn who’s rented a space about the size of a closet, with a window out onto the street, is getting ready to sell his Feltman’s hot dog. He either runs or used to run historical tours of Coney Island and kept a Brooklyn blog.

Arnie, the super of a building somewhere on the block stops to chat. He’s got his dogs, Marie and Houdini, and they are a calm pair of pooches, obviously beloved, certainly pampered. Arnie is unhappy about people who throw away their wet garbage but don’t tie the bags shut. He can’t get any respect, but Jody and Mike like him and respect him.

Around the corner at East Village Cheese I get into a conversation with a woman who is trying to find some Latin American cheese for a recipe. The store doesn’t have any but she and I discuss the flavor profile of the required cheese and make suggestions. She is with her mom, Rhonda who’s in from Long Island to go to a show with her daughters - “Something Rotten.”

One of these days I’ll go back and get a picture of the bartender.

By then the woman below will have figured out how to use the Citibike kiosk.

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