New York Daily Photo Analytics

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Comfort and Joy

There is nothing like a small, intimate community or family gathering. Certainly the dramatic and lavish is enjoyable in New York, but in a city where stress and intensity dominate, immersion into a social activity is a good way to reconnect with humanity, providing a respite from all that is electric.
Historically I have been rather scroogish in my attitude towards Christmas, bristling at its overly commercial nature. But over time, I have softened, and realize that nothing is gained in being a curmudgeon. Why stand alone on principle and isolate yourself, while the rest of the world is busy singing around you? I am not saying that one should throw principle into the wind, but certainly looking for the good is not the worst life approach. So I see holidays as opportunities to celebrate - and there are so many ways and places to celebrate everything imaginable here, both religious and secular. I wrote of this in my posting Let's Have a Parade.
I joined the annual tree lighting ceremony last night in Washington Square Park. In its 82nd year, the ritual actually dates back earlier than the tree lighting in Rockefeller Center. The weather was balmy and drizzly with a small turnout huddled under the arch. Christmas Carol books were distributed for a sing along, guided by a small group of musicians.
Not to be insensitive to the needs of the have-nots, but for most of us there is much truth in Willy Wonka's assertion: "If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it."
New York City is a place of the driven and ambitious. Living here is costly. If you are interested in coasting through life, there are better places to do so. But work and purpose should not define acceptable behavior.
So if you find yourself concerned that perhaps some activity or indulgence is perhaps capricious or not worthy of your time, remember this other morsel of wisdom from Wonka: "A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men." To which I would add a little comfort and joy ...

Photo Note: Click on the photo to see the original green version.


Terry B said...

Brian, the image appears as a negative. Thought you should know about the little technical glitch.

Jarart said...

Nice eye catching effect.

An Honest Man said...

The title words always brings back the carol and that brings back the sound of a Salvation Army brass band playing the tune.

A quintessentially Christmas memory to match the picture.

Brian Dubé said...

Terry B - the effect was intentional.
Jarart- Thanks
Honest Man - Thanks.

I love some of the Willy Wonka quotes. Very heart warming and inspiring. One of my favorites is: "So Shines a Good Deed in a Weary World"

Terry B said...

My mistake, Brian. It is quite beautiful this way. I'd be curious to see the more conventional version too.

Shirley said...

I follow your daily photos with interest and just finally needed to say how much I am enjoying your Thanksgiving and Christmas series! I love this city and you never disappoint.

Brian Dubé said...

Terry B - hope you clicked on the photo itself - you will see the unaltered version.

Shirley - thanks and I hope to maintain quality content and convey my feelings about NYC.

Mary said...

Dear Brian--

Thanks. The photo is really beautiful with the gold on top. It's not REALLY a negative, is it?

It looks like the most wonderful snowstorm hit WSP. (It's a particularly beautiful tree this year, don't you think?)



Brian Dubé said...

This was a number of Photoshop effects, not really a negative.

Brian Dubé said...

This was a number of Photoshop effects, not really a negative.

Ryan said...


Thank you for this beautiful picture - the special effect makes it. I couldn't agree with you more regarding what you said about Christmas. I think it's often harder to find the positive and beautiful in a world so permeated with weariness and sorrow. Thank you also for all the time you have given over to this blog so that our world's, your readers', may be even richer.


Marlene said...

Hi Brian... I love the blog, see if you like this one... I found it in stumble upon, and it is pretty cool

Therese said...

Wonderful effect!
These last days pictures have been in the real Christmas spirit to say the least...
Happy Holidays.