Confessions of a Knick fan

Thanks to all-nba-all-basketball.com for graphic

Full disclosure-I was a major basketball jock as a kid in Brooklyn and played quite avidly until college. One of my major sources of inspiration was the NY Knicks. My home team. The NY Nets didn’t count (even though they had Dr. J.) because they were from Long Island, some foreign country nearby and physically attached to the Brooklyn of my youth.

I do have some fondness for some other teams-the Phoenix Suns, because I lived in Arizona for 11 years but I am a Knick fan. There hasn’t been much to root about or get excited over these last few years. I give big props to my homeboy Spike Lee who still supports the home team heartily and still makes great films. When I found out Mike D’Antoni, the same coach that made the Suns a contender and fun to watch had taken the job as Knicks coach I was quite intrigued. There are so many differences in team culture, fans, etc.

Anyway, the Knicks got off to a great start winning the first game of the season against the Miami Heat. I hope this signals that there is some hope in the Apple for the boys in Orange and Blue again. It’s way premature to be talking playoffs and such but one can hope right? Anyhow kudos to Mike D and team and wishing continued success to harmonious team play for the season.

Before I close I’d liek to share a personal Knick moment from back in the day:

I lived next to Brooklyn College as a kid and would often go and play on their indoor courts. One time Iwas heading there and just about to the entrance when I spotted some Lincoln Continental pull in to park ahead of where I was walking. The driver got out-one tall black dude in fact. Lo and behold it was my beloved Willis Reed-the captain of my Knicks. A true warrior and one who’s “big heart” style of play and dedication inspired me to play harder in my own game. Any way I was walking a little bit behind him and as an 11 year old fan was so tempted to get gushy and such with my hero. I however played it cool being a Brooklyn kid and not wanting to be uncool. After a little ways Willis turned to me and asked me if I knew where such and such a room was. I answered, “It’s over that way Willis.” The friendly giant of a man smiled at me and said , “thanks.”

Full disclosure-even though Willis was way cool Dave Debusschere was my idol-us forwards have to stick together. :D

Big props to my son Kevin who’s enthusiasm and passion for sports has got me taking some notice again.

Pretty guitar chords

Last night this all got started when my buddy Jack shared some lounge singer’s video because he was playing nice jazz guitar chords. Indeed jazz guitar chording is the ultimate. This got me digging on you tube and I came up with this one by Lenny Breau-I’ve heard of him zillions of times but this is the first time I’ve actually heard him. He is the guitarists guitarist-hopefully you can feel that from the video.

This was another one that I found of Tal Farlow-totally self taught guitarist. Makes me want to go break my guitars, or learn to play them much, much better :D.

Taichung Jazz Festival

At some point the city fathers decided they wanted Taichung to be the “cultural center” of Taiwan as well as the geographic center. Part of this resulted in the now annual Jazz Festival that takes place here in October. I attended the first night at People’s Square with my son Kevin. We stayed for the first act and got to enjoy the night sights, energy of a crowd together outdoors, and music all for the  same free price. It’s great to attend outdoor events in a nice setting and People’s Square didn’t disappoint. The Barry Likumahuwa Project from Indonesia are a group of young, energetic musicians playing mostly what I call “smooth” or “pop” jazz. Not my favorite but certainly passable under the circumstances. My cynical side would be to call it jazz for people that don’t like or “get” jazz but I digress.

I think they were a good choice for an opener since they brought good energy and familiar Asian friendliness to the air. Here are some shots from that night.

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Mayor jason Hu, emceee’s and other local dignitaries.

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The band and it’s 15 year old sax player.

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As mentioned they had good energy and a lot of movement.

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I loved Barry’s geeky Atari shirt-a classic. Was ready fro a game of Pong after seeing that… :D

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Hot sax player in jam session from Thailand.

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Some of the night lights-nearby Eslite Mall.

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Shot of stage from the side.

Saying R.I.P. Levi Stubbs

The Four Tops were a major part of that wonderful Motown sound that was part of the aural background of my childhood: Sugar Pie,Honey Bunch, Reach Out and I’ll be There. Lead singer Levi Stubbs died today at 72. He had a wonderful baritone voice and brought many smiles to my face through the beautiful harmonies he performed with his musical brothers. Thank you Levi for the wonderful music and my condolences to your family-you’ll be missed.

What I’ve been looking at…

Here are some of the images I’ve taken recently on walks and jaunts around Taichung-central Taiwan.

Idoling 

Just loved this “buddha” outing. Several on the truck in the beautiful morning light.

Sweeping 

Diligently tidying up for 10/10 Taiwan national hioliday.

 Fishing peacefully 

Fishing on the holiday-good way to chill and pass time.

Red lantern dawn 

Lanterns in a row-the temple was visibkle from far end of stream. It added nice color and contrast to my view.

Blossom from back 

Decided to shoot this purple bloom from behind for a change of pace.

Streambed textures 

Lot’s of nice textural images from streambed-both close-up and long-view.

 Bending 

Early morning exereciser along bank.

Water flows 

Some geometric feel in the mix.

Concrete soldiers 

More patterns in the streambed

Fenced in sun 

Loved how this fence framed the rising sun.

Betel nut girl poster

Closed betel nut stand with betel nut beauties standing guard in poster form.

 1st Square 

Cube at First Square-did car pop out of cube? :D

Brian al fresco 

Brian being deep at nice nook off of Computer Alley. Love sitting outside in the nice weather. Great spot.

Downtown looking up 

I love the colors and textures of this downtown pedestrian mall archway.

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Kind of like a Taiwan Buena Vista Social Club? Well a Mah Jong Rooster Social Club anyway….

More shadows and light

This offering will be a little more eclectic than usual…or maybe not.

Lil Red Roosters 

This bowl of roosters was spotted down on a recent trip to ChienKuo Market for some things. Fresh doesn’t get any fresher….

The trees 

The pattern that leaves make is one of my favorites.

Pondering? 

Took this shot during break from father and son football toss in nearby park.

Senior pushups 

This old chap was quite good about getting his exercise regimen in.

Father & son by pond 

Thought this was a nice shot of another father and son-hanging out by stream and pond that run through park.

 Winding alley 

This almost feels Mediterranean to me-maybe it’s the color palette or the soft light?

Roadside guava shopping 

A couple of ladies stopping dueing lunch breeak for guava purchase while I run for lunch.

Plush set 

“Plush” clear out sale across from my noodle stand choice of the moment.

Kevin & Reggie postcard browsing 

Kevin and Reggie check out the mini paper model postcards on lively Lukang 9 Curve Alley.

Topper winding up 

Some guy gets ready to do his Chinese top throwing.

9 turn alley bloom 

Pretty bloom growing along busy alley.

Happy lanterns 

At the famous lantern shop on Lukang’s main drag.

Reggie at the picture tile wall 

Reggie checking out the tile murals-enjoying his first Lukang vist.

Mountains in the clouds 

Mountains above the clouds from my bedroom window.

Chilling in Taichung Park 

Kevin and Reggie hanging in Taichung park towards the end of Reggie’s visit. Couldn’t ask for better fall weather.