Plain in the city

A plain Quaker folk singer with a Juris Doctorate in his back pocket, salt in his blood, and a set of currach oars in the closet, Ulleann Pipes under his arm, guitar on his back, Anglo Irish baggage, wandering through New York City ... in constant amaze. Statement of Faithfulness. As a member of the Quaker Bloggers Ad Hoc Committee I affirm that I will be faithful to the Book of Discipline of my Meeting 15th Street Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

New York lost a friend

Lower Manhattan lost a friend this month
James J. Savastano died suddenly of a heart attack on October 9, 2007. I remember him, on a day I covered a small fire on Grand Street a few months ago. On the way home I thought, what a real gentleman that chief was... Having a press photographer hovering about, gathering the images which tell the story is not a big priority for those who must protect the community by stopping fire from growing from a small incident into a major disaster. He tolerated my being where I had to be -- albeit I am always careful to stay out of the way of the work ... he answered those questions he could and in short, was a gentleman.
His distinguished career with the Fire Department of the City of New York spanned 29 years. At the time of his death, he was a Battalion Chief / 4th Battalion Commander. He leaves behind a wife Lorraine and children Janine, Karen, James & Laura, and sisters Regina Keenan, Patricia Tschacher, Kathleen Woodworth, and brothers Edward, Roy and Richard. He will be missed by many colleagues, friends and the people of Downtown New York, who he protected until his unexpected loss.
Most of all, we will all be thankful that this gentleman risked everything for us, every day of his working life.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Light Within (Without)


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Two Pieces of Candy - Muslims and Jews Eid ul Fitr and Simchat Torah

A couple's devotion

Devotion at the Eid 2

Simchat Torah ends the cycle of reading the Torah and celebrates the beginning of the cycle anew. It is a joyous holiday. The Eid ul Fitr ends the month of fasting at Ramadan, celebrating the Quran being sent from heaven. It is a joyous holiday.
A Chassid friend called me and said, "Don't bring your cameras, but come to the synagogue in Williamsburg to see how we celebrate Simchat Torah." I did go to the synagogue. I must ask Jacob to which branch of the Chassidim this synagogue belongs. I asked one of the young folks there, and he told be they were Veen. During the dancing and singing, as the Chassidim danced the Torahs around the synagogue, children handed out candy to each other, and to me.
Yesterday, I went to photograph the Eid ul Fitr in the park behind the Madina Masjid Mosque on First Ave. and 11th Street.

Eid 2

Hundreds of fathers, sons and grandfathers gathered together, barefoot on prayer rugs, or long sheets of brown paper to give thanks at the feast which ends Ramadan, the most important time in the Muslim year. Children handed out candy to each other, and to me.

Handing out candy - Eid ul Fitr in New York

A few hours to shabbet - Williamsburg

Prayers at the Eid ul Fitr in New York

Simchat Torah and Eid ul Fitr candy
Salaam - Shalom my friends