Pasture (Color Version)


Color infrared of pasture near Sleepy Hollow.

You walk up to the top of Sleepy Hollow towards an aqueduct (which we never did find) and you are on private property.  There is this field, maybe the emptiest area I’ve seen since going cross country, with this one lonely tree.  I thought maybe it was a place for cows during warmer weather, but neither of us could figure out what exactly this place was.  Les found a 3-point deer antler here.  City boys – suddenly in an empty space. (I haven’t shown the picture from far back because I’m still working on it – so this is already pretty close to the one tree in the field).

Les is a great travel companion.  He has his own camera.  Once we get to some area, we usually split up, just wandering around until we find something interesting.  As I say, this was a huge empty area, and after walking to the tree I looked around and didn’t see Les.  I put my broken glasses on, and there was a dot of blue – lying down in the center of the empty field.  Maybe staring at the empty sky.  I wasn’t sure if it was him but I waved my arms – signaling ready to go and the dot got up and walked towards me until I recognized that it was Les.  We said nothing to each other and continued on to look for the car.

One odd thing – was that although we had a map showing the famous spots in the cemetery, we never did find them.  There was always something strange to see that stopped us.

Returning to the city, even from such a short stay in a wide-open empty place, intensifies the city experience.  As you enter Manhattan and begin to see pedestrians, you notice how intent they are on making it.  They dart across streets filled with oncoming cars because the light is taking too long to change.  (Of course I do the same thing).  They are glued to sensory inputs that help protect them from the frenzy.  The phone, the ipod, the whatever comes next device that helps take them to another place.  And within a few hours, you are one with them again.

But upon that first entrance, the question you find yourself asking is, where are they all going in such a hurry.  Is there something so important for each one of them at the end of the trip?  Of course, a lot of them are in a hurry to get to the job just so that they can leave the job and return to the empty place they left in the morning.  Wherever we go, out-of-New York, the towns are empty because the denizens are all here during the day.  What a price to pay.


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My name is Dave Beckerman. I am a fine art photographer working in New York City.

6 thoughts on “Pasture (Color Version)”

  1. so. How do you find that emptiness? Is there a quantifiable difference on cognition? Not having the brain waves of 70,000 people per square mile mixing it up with the Beckerman brainwaves?

  2. It was just so relaxing – that emptiness. The empty sky and the empty ground. I was drawn to it like a magnet. We probably stayed in this empty field longer than anywhere else, just tramping around on half-frozen grass.

    One thing that people may not realize, is that I shoot the city – not because I’m in love with it – but because I have a love / hate complex with it.

  3. This is the Rockefeller State Park Preserve and it’s enormous – 1,233 acres. Dave and I wandered into one tiny section of the park adjacent to the cemetery, with an empty field that could easily hold five or six square city blocks, but thankfully doesn’t.

    Yes, I laid back near the top of the hill, carefully avoided deer pellets, closed my eyes and listened to…nothing! No sounds except my breathing, until Dave’s distant shout. I think the reasons there were no other people is a) winter, b) weekday, and c) distance from the visitor center, which is several miles on the opposite side of the park.

    The park is open to joggers, hikers, equestrians, and dog-walkers (on a less than 10 foot leash) and includes wetlands, woodlands, meadows, fields, streams, rivers, and lakes. The trails traverse wood and stone bridges, including the first triple arch bridge in America. One road passes by the foundation of Rockwood Hall, once the 220 room home of William Rockefeller with a panoramic view of the Hudson River. The grounds of the Rockefeller estate was designed by an old friend of Dave’s, Frederick Law Olmstead, who also designed Central Park.

    And yes, I found a three-pronged deer antler, which corresponded neatly with the three incidents of bad luck we had that day. The lucky antler canceled out the misfortunes, and I would suggest that Dave fix his broken eyeglass ear piece with a piece of antler.

  4. We’re going to go again – but I don’t know when yet. It usually takes me about two weeks to catch up with stuff between trips… so probably in two weeks. I’ll drop you a line next time. I’m not going to spend that much time in the cemetery – I want to check out Rockefeller Park which is next to it. DB

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