Floyd Bennet Field, Brooklyn, New York

Floyd Bennet Field, Brooklyn, New York

This picture was taken at Floyd Bennet Field, a former New York City airport in Brooklyn. Today it's run by the National Park Service and is essentially a collection of abandoned runways overgrown with vegetation. The Marines have an outpost here and there is a hangar on the property that has been restored into an athletic center replete with two ice skating rinks and a huge basketball court. This photo was taken in the northern section of the island near where the NYPD lands emergency helicopters.

G., 2013

Greig Roselli


Photograph: "Plato's Cave"

"Plato's Cave"

© 2013 Greig Roselli


Scared D Train (Repost)

Just to say: this is my neighborhood subway station at 36th Street and Fourth Avenue, the contractual confluence of the D, N, and R trains! Sometimes the D does hide in the hollow of the station entrance. This phenomenon also occurs at Delancey/Essex Street most commonly with the M train waiting to go over the Williamsburg Bridge. 
Scared D Train: Reposted from Adam Sack's Youtube Channel


"Who AM I?" And Do We Ever Change (Also A Brief Reflection On "Is Being Together Possible?")

Looking Back At March 31, 1997

Pencils in My Pocket
I spent last Saturday reading my journal from 1997. Look at what I wrote on March 31, 1997.
It’s proof that I have not changed. At all. I will be sixty and still wondering about my place in the cosmos (and hopefully with a better HMO):

How do I fit in the grand scheme of the cosmos? I am seventeen, medium height, medium weight, hazel eyes, brown hair, mild complexion, have acne, am Catholic, attend a public high school, love to read and participate in other cultural activities, learn about historical events, visit art museums and view fine films. That’s me in a nutshell (into clichés tonight). I am an independent person and don’t care for much intervention. I get the most joy out of completing tasks by myself, not because I like doing it by myself. I don’t get my joy for performing and doing things for others, when I act I please myself. It is fun to see people laugh at my jokes or comment or something. I do, but frankly I don’t do it for them. People who know me well may think I am cold-hearted, I don’t think so. I love people and love seeing people happy. I desire the best for anyone I know; I am talking about the core of my being, what gives me most enjoyment: people or myself? The answer must be myself. I’d rather ride my bike alone or walk my dog alone. I’d rather cook a meal or read a book alone. I’d rather tour a museum alone or view the stars by myself. But I do love sharing my experiences. I am not shy when it comes to depositing my knowledge. The gift of teaching resides in me. That is what God gave me. I never grow tired of friendships and good conversation. I would get lonesome being by myself too long. I would want to escape and experience something else …. I have more to offer the world than wash dishes, get braces, being obedient, etc. I am impatient, but am hanging on the vine.
  I am not sure I agree with my seventeen-year-old self that teaching is depositing knowledge but I will forgive him because he had not read yet Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed. I no longer have acne and I am not sure where I stand on Catholicism but the gist of what I wrote that night in March of 1997 still rings true in 2013. Is this the same for everyone? Even if you don’t have access to a journal entry you wrote 16 years ago it is still interesting to reflect on how much we change. It's interesting I wrote that entry during my Senior year of high school. So it makes sense I would be thinking about what I want out of life. Now after having finished college and two graduate degree programs, as well as some years of teaching - and don't forget my six years as a Benedictine monk - I still think of what this seventeen-year-old boy was thinking: who the hell am I?
I think I am thinking about this more than ever because I feel this persistent push to be something, to do something, but at the same time I have this other feeling inside of me that I am (and have been) doing it all along - I just hadn’t noticed. It’s like I spend so much time thinking about what I will be or will do that I have forgotten what I did, what I have seen and heard. My seventeen-year-old self is telling my thirty-three-year-old self “to please myself” and continue to take pleasure out of art, novels, friends and all that jazz.
It sounds like what I am saying is that if I am ever going to find someone else to share my life with they also have to know their joy. We come together and share what joys we know. When I first read this entry I thought, *&^%, I will be alone for the rest of my life. But I read it again and it struck me, something I did not notice the first time I read this scrap of paper from the past. It’s so human to want to please yourself and to think of the future but at the same, I sense a longing to share that something with someone else and to know their joy. Is that what they call interdependence? It's when I say “I love sharing my experiences.” That’s the art of being together. That’s what I crave and I think it is what a lot of human beings crave. I love how at the end I say I am impatient and holding on the vine. That’s very Greig Roselli.


A Judgment of Beauty At West Fourth Street Station (And a Rant about Education in These United States)

     Sometimes as a teacher of college students I am ridiculed by my own students. Today I got excited about describing an aesthetic judgment of beauty I witnessed in the cavity of the West Fourth Street Station as the D train sidled into the station - I will explain what that moment was in a moment - and Olivia, a student in the front row, just flat out laughed - you know, in that one-off laugh that does not indicate joy, but rather a mean, derisive laugh (a rough form of "huh") meant to show that she could not relate to what I was saying, so her only response was not to question me why, nor to give me a chance to elaborate, but to laugh in such a way as to communicate to me and the rest of the class, "what is this man talking about?"

     Maybe there was derisive laughter from this student because beauty and the subterranean chaos of the New York City subway system did not equate in her mind with a notion of beauty, or, it seems to me, the notion of beauty, a capacity to appreciate it - albeit in the slum of the West Fourth Street Station. I felt sad and isolated in front of the class. Not because they missed my point, but I felt isolated in that way a kid feels when they have said something wrong in front of a group of adults. As if I had said the wrong thing to a group of fellow human beings - and I do not think I am over-thinking this moment. I think educators, people like me who spend lots of time in classrooms, have witnessed two critical deformations in intellectual seriousness. First, we are educated to be producers, not thinkers. What this means is that a sharing response to what is beautiful is not what we do in classrooms. Notionally, we should be doing other more important endeavors (what this other stuff is exactly I have not fully ascertained but I get the impression it is dull and prosaic). Second, in the name of entertainment, the public sphere has been dumbed down to such a point that beauty is losing its shareability. I actually had the president of the school where I work tell me and a large group of faculty members that first and foremost the students should be entertained in the classroom. Tell a joke, he said. One time during a midterm exam a student got up from her seat and gave me her test. I asked her why she had not finished it and she told me, "if you had made this class more fun I would know this stuff." I never saw her again. She dropped the class.


Leon Trotsky's Brain

Leon Trotsky's Brain, Mexico City

Source: Paglen, Trevor. The Last Pictures. 2012. Print.


Aesthetic Thursday: Surrealism in Film

Perhaps one of my favorite films of all time: Luis Buñuel's The Phantom of Liberty (1974). 
Interpret this nonsensical "dream sequence" however you want - I think it is pure brilliance. Compare this scene to Buñuel's other dream sequence in Los Olvidados (1950). Interesting, right?