3.31.2009

SOMETIMES, PROGRESS CAN SUCK IT

Horse racing is fun. Sarah and I win all the time - well, Sarah wins all the time. The key is to pick the horses that remind us of our cats. The hell you say? Well, once we won $500 at Bay Meadows on a trifecta based on the looks of our cats. So it pains me that in the name of progress, the city of San Mateo has torn down the Bay Meadows racecourse, the longest continually operating thoroughbred racetrack in California. It's was so old that even Seabiscuit ran there (and won) back in 1937 and 1938. So thank the Lord for closing something awesome and historical so a new commercial and housing development can be built.

Here's what's left of Bay Meadows.



photo © geoffrey ellis

3.30.2009

HELEN LEVITT R.I.P.

Helen Levitt had a long career in photography (nearly 70 years). She was born in 1913 and started photographing in the late 1930s. In 1949-59 she was a filmmaker and in 1959-60, she returned to still photography and started exploring color as part of a Guggenheim Foundation grant. In 1970, someone broke into her place and stole almost all of those images. Fortunately she shot more color in the 70s, 80s and 90s. In the late 1990s she gave up on color because she had to go to specialty labs and could no longer get the result she desired. According to the New York Times, changes in neighborhood life also affected her work. “I go where there’s a lot of activity,” she said. “Children used to be outside. Now the streets are empty. People are indoors looking at television or something.”

Her incredible color images of New York street life have always been my favorite of her work. Her book Slideshow contains over 100 of these color images.

Helen Levitt died at age 95 on March 29, 2009.















































photos © Helen Levitt

CLOSE SHAVE

You too can get the top of your head cut off for a mere $10.
























photo © geoffrey ellis

3.25.2009

SARAH IN THE HOLY LAND

My wife Sarah (since she calls me Mr. Lacy on her blog, I will call her Mrs. Ellis on mine) is in Israel for a couple of weeks. So she's having all kinds of fun, being insanely controversial, and taking the photos that I should be taking. I'd say she's doing a pretty good job at all of those things.









photos © Sarah Lacy

WEST VALLEY PT II

Old cars, green rocks, no grass, hand-painted windows, cheap haircuts for seniors...







photos © geoffrey ellis

3.23.2009

WEST VALLEY PT I

The west valley area of Phoenix is a almost literally (with its desert heat) a melting pot of old people, older people, even older people, hispanics, white trash, military personnel, working families, retirees, well-to-do, dirt poor - well, you get the idea. It's an incredible mixture in a place that has grown too fast and has a few too many identity problems. Lots of weird little towns, retirement villages, and farms soon to become the future tract housing development du jour.











































photos © geoffrey ellis