Posts tagged pandemic

A Change of Perspective: Matthew Raynor Turns Sight from Sea to Sky through Drone Photography

The open sea is an endless source of inspiration, energy, mystery and wonder. It conjures fear and curiosity, longing and serenity. It is equally relentless and soothing, unforgiving and welcoming — a character that has touched, and taken, endless lives.

For Matthew Raynor, it was nearly the latter.

Even after a swim gone wrong left the former commercial fisherman paralyzed from his chest down in 2019, his love for the water — and capturing it through his camera lens — persists, though it has taken on a new shape and approach.

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Protests and Pandemic Lead Bridgehampton Photographer Back Home

Six days out, one day in.

For Lori Hawkins, the words became a mantra. They were her schedule, a repetitive routine. A source of comfort and reassurance, stress and depression. An escape, a homecoming, her sense of normalcy.

For the last six months, that one sentence defined her life. And it has led to the most fulfilling photography series of her 20-year career.

“I feel like I’m creating my best work ever,” Hawkins said from her home in Bridgehampton. “I feel like I’m more focused on telling stories.”

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New York City Galleries Find a Home on the East End

Despite a legacy that includes contemporary giants such as Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein, Lee Krasner and Robert Rauschenberg — who all famously lived and worked here — high-end New York galleries have largely shunned the East End as a serious year-round art destination, until an international pandemic buoyed it to the surface.

Gone are the days of summertime pop-up galleries, many of the converted newcomers agree. Now, they’re finally here to stay.

“I’d like to say this was one big strategic decision,” said Gordon VeneKlasen, managing partner of Michael Werner Gallery, three days after opening the new East Hampton space. “But in fact, it was sort of an instinctual thing. It seems so obvious now.”

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Ahead of His Time: Ben Vereen Reflects on Broadway’s Place in Black History

When Ben Vereen auditioned for “Pippin,” the burgeoning Broadway star never thought he would get the part.

But not only did he nail the audition — in front of the original production’s director, Bob Fosse, no less — his performance as the Leading Player would win him the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical in 1973.

At the behest of Bay Street Theater Artistic Director Scott Schwartz — whose father, Stephen Schwartz, wrote the music and lyrics of “Pippin” — Vereen has reprised the role for the Sag Harbor venue’s virtual gala, “A Starry Night,” a celebration of 1970s Broadway musicals on Wednesday, July 22, at 8 p.m., featuring performances by luminary figures of the performing arts.

Ahead of the gala, Vereen caught up with The Express News Group, reflecting on his 55-year career, the current civil rights movement and its place in the theater.

“Every war, every conflict we’ve ever had, the arts has been the thing that has brought us through,” the 73-year-old Broadway veteran said from his home in Florida. “Because the arts is spiritual. The arts has no color… It is an expression of the most high. And the conflicts of the human race, we can reflect back on our races and say, ‘This has to be changed, and this is what you need to know about the joy of your journey.’”

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Child Cancer Survivor Pays It Forward, Aspires To Be Pediatric Nurse

Halle Kneeland is, undeniably, an inherently positive young woman.

When the skies opened up, creating a downpour on Pierson High School’s graduation last month, the 18-year-old couldn’t help but smile as the rain soaked through her cap and gown, her long blonde curls framing her beaming face.

After all, she was simply alive. She had not only survived the COVID-19 crisis that changed the face of her senior year, but she also beat a devastating cancer diagnosis four years earlier — a chapter that defined her career path as she looks ahead toward nursing school at the University of Florida this fall.

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Mind Offline Kits Spark Creativity

When Jesse Spooner woke up and stumbled into the kitchen on a recent Sunday morning, he found his wife, Nicole Delma, fussing over six bubbling pots on the stove.

Except she wasn’t cooking the breakfast he’d expected.

Instead, her aromatic concoctions were walnut and turmeric, annatto, madder and osage, boiling in water to form all-nature dye baths that would consume the rest of her day — as well as the curiosity of her daughters, 4-year-old Georgica and 3-year-old Indigo-Marie — as she readied for the launch of her newest venture, Mind Offline Kits, just 24 hours later.

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East End Hospice Turns Bereavement Support Group Toward COVID-19

In my 10 years of reporting, this is one of the most heartbreaking stories I have ever experienced.

I cried over and over again writing it. My editor cried reading it.

As I’ve learned, the bereavement and trauma coming out of the COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented, but the stories of loss are eerily similar, marked by a sudden illness and a rapid decline — their family and friends left behind in the chaos.

To Maribeth Edmonds, and Lauren and Eileen Weinclawski, the way in which you shared your stories, with such raw honesty and openness, was staggering. You will help others understand the weight of this pandemic, opening their eyes and hearts to a world that is impossible to understand — unless you’ve lived it.

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Comedian Des Bishop Finds Unexpected Comfort in West Hampton Dunes — And In Fostering Pit Bulls

When Des Bishop strolls down to the ocean these days, he has company.

Trotting in the sand alongside him, tongue lolling out of her mouth, is a 60-pound ball of energy named Porsha, a pit bull-mix that the Irish-American comedian is now fostering while sheltering in place at his home-away-from-home in West Hampton Dunes.

“She’s a very energetic, amazing dog, but she needs a lot of stimulation. She needs a lot of walks, she needs a lot of toys,” Mr. Bishop said less than 24 hours after bringing her home from the Southampton Animal Shelter in Hampton Bays, as she waits for her forever home. “So far, it’s just been super fun. She’s like a full-time job, in a good way — because all I have is time.”

Like millions of others keeping themselves safe from COVID-19, Mr. Bishop said there are, admittedly, worse places to hide from an international pandemic than the East End, and the area has already taken on new meaning for him.

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Not Safer at Home: Domestic Violence Hotlines Field Dramatic Volume Increase

The sudden uptick in calls to The Retreat’s 24-hour emergency hotline startled Loretta Davis, executive director of the safe haven for domestic abuse victims. And even stranger were simultaneous upticks at the four remaining agencies across Long Island that same day.

The surge in calls motivated Ms. Davis to reach out to the local paper — and when my editor asked me to take the story, I immediately accepted.

But not before my body went hot, and my hands started shaking, and I felt an all-too-familiar trauma response that I thought I’d left far behind.

I am a survivor of domestic abuse. I know firsthand how impossible it can feel to leave, and the subsequent terror that you will be found — fears that, I’m sure, are only amplified against the backdrop of an international pandemic.

But I promise you, there is a way out — and you are not alone.

At the bottom of the article, I’ve included a list of resources: emergency numbers and a sample safety plan, as well as a checklist to help you determine whether you’re in an abusive situation.

If you are, I know that you have the strength within you to leave. And it is my hope that this story helps at least one person do just that.

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