Thursday, November 19, 2009

Atlantic Interview with Tim Gautreaux

Another old interview with Tim Gautreaux, this one from The Atlantic: Tim Gautreaux interview.
I just set a couple characters against each other on the first page, and next thing I know, the story is "about" some idea that interests me -- and that is the theme.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Robert Birnbaum interviews Tim Gautreaux

This is not hot news, but while we're on the subject of great interviews of great authors, check out Robert Birnbaum's interview of Tim Gautreaux. Birnbaum's interviews are great reading, as are Gautreaux's books.

John Jurgensen Interviews Cormac McCarthy

John Jurgensen interviewed author Cormac McCarthy (author of All the Pretty Horses and The Road) in the Wall Street Journal.  McCarthy is a writer of prose that is both muscular and lyrical.  In the interview, McCarthy talks about many things, including the difference between making movies and writing novels.

Dick Pearce and I made a film in North Carolina about 30 years ago and I thought, "This is just hell. Who would do this?" Instead, I get up and have a cup of coffee and wander around and read a little bit, sit down and type a few words and look out the window.

WSJ interview with Cormac McCarthy

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Charlie Manuel in Philadelphia

Shibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1911

I think you have to give Charlie Manuel a great deal of the credit for the Phillies' success over the past few years. Yes, they have a great core of players in Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley, along with some rising stars like Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino. But Manuel has managed each year to get the team to the end of the season healthy and strong. It really paid off last year. While it's unrealistic to expect the Phillies to repeat as World Series champs this year, it looks pretty good for the division championship (but Phillies fans can never count their chickens, not after 1964). Thank Charlie Manuel for handling the team with great skill and a good sense of pace over a long season.

The photograph is from the Library of Congress photostream on Flickr.  It shows people waiting to get tickets to the 1911 World Series between the Philadelphia Athletics and the New York Giants.  The A's ended up repeating as series champs in six games. Phillies fans can always hope.

Downturn Over? Motel 6 Index Rises

Yesterday morning, the Motel 6 Nashua rate went up to $59.99 from the usual $49.99.  When I came home in the evening, the rate was up to $89.99, the highest I've ever seen it.  Is the recession over, or are the leaves really starting to turn?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Poughkeepsie Railway Bridge Reopening

Poughkeepsie, New York, March 2008

The massive railway bridge over the Hudson River is opening once again as a pedestrian and bicycle bridge. For more details, see

Update (25 Feb. 2011): they have a link to the text of a short piece on the bridge by Ian Frazier here:

Friday, September 11, 2009

Jet Lowe in Northampton

This bridge, built in 1897, carried the Boston & Maine Railroad across the Connecticut River just above Northampton. Today it is part of the Norwottuck Rail Trail. Jet Lowe took these pictures in 1984 for the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER).

See also my earlier post about this bridge.

Detail view looking north
Detail view looking East showing lattice truss configuration and bridge plate at far right

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Portland in the Rain

I'd forgotten how rain can make any street into a reflecting pool, maybe even worth a photograph. Hurricane Danny helped me remember this.

Rainy street. Portland, Maine.

Rainy crosswalk. Portland, Maine.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Howard Frank Mosher Blog

Howard Frank Mosher, who is one of the best and most accessible contemporary novelists, has a blog: The Kingdom Journal. He's not prolific, but it's well worth reading.

In his post about spring reading, he mentions the author Tim Gautreaux, a Louisiana writer of short stories and novels. I picked up a copy of Gautreaux's novel The Clearing, and I can see why Howard Frank Mosher likes him so much: he's a fantastic writer and storyteller who evokes the atmosphere of a bayou logging camp in the 1920s with a fine touch.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Jet Lowe in Brooklyn

View from top of Brooklyn Tower looking NW

Just saw Man on Wire about Philippe Petit's walk between the two towers in 1974. Jet Lowe took this picture (and many others) in 1982 while documenting the Brooklyn Bridge for the HABS/HAER project. Notice the old Bell System logo on the central office to the right of the bridge. Click on the picture for a larger version.

Original caption:
42. View from top of Brooklyn Tower looking NW showing main cables and suspendors with lower Manhattan in the background. Jet Lowe, photographer, 1982.
HAER NY,31-NEYO,90-42

Monday, January 19, 2009

Cool Dashboard

Dashboard. Pownal, Vermont photo by Ed Bacher

The weather last week made me feel like this photograph. It was only -4 F here in southern New Hampshire, but up in Berlin, it got down to -37. I made this photograph many years ago in the hills above Pownal, Vermont, where I used my old Ford Pinto as an off-road vehicle to explore the marginal dirt roads.