Bread City Basketball

January 18, 2012, 6:07 am
Filed under: Art, Bread City, Photography, Shaq | Tags: , , ,

They just don’t make stock photo backdrops like they used to.

Shaq and Olajuwon best 90s centers


Every Basketball Court in Manhattan
January 10, 2012, 6:55 am
Filed under: Art, Basketball, Bread City, New York City, Photography | Tags: , ,

Jenny Odell makes collages from Google Maps’ satellite view mode, like the digital print entitled Every Basketball Court in Manhattan. She writes, “From this view, the lines that make up basketball courts… become like hieroglyphs that read: people were here.”

There are at least 100 in this image. Still, there’s no way she got them all. My favorite courts are somehow obscured. Some are partially hidden from view in chain-link rooftop domes. Others are concealed below the West Side Highway, so safe from the elements that you can play a pick-up game in a hurricane. And many are simple backboards in schoolyards without lines or marks.

But Odell is right about one thing: The court is a record. There are no written accounts or pick-up game historians. The physical court itself is the only proof we have of what happened there.

Jenny Odell Basketball Courts

Helmets and Gloves
January 6, 2012, 2:49 pm
Filed under: Bread City, Hockey, Photography | Tags: ,

For a century now, in hockey, the possibility of having to engage in a fist-fight with a bad character has been the primary deterrent preventing this or that player from trying to hurt an opponent on the other team.
– Nick Paumgarten for The New Yorker, 12/7/11

But what happens when the player you want to hurt is wearing the same color jersey?

This isn’t about hockey equipment. This is about middle-class omertá, and what happens after practice.

In high school locker rooms everywhere, teammates strip their pads down to helmets and gloves, and beat the hell out of each other while the rest of the team watches.

Sometimes it’s a way of settling disputes. Sometimes it’s a way of enforcing team rules. Sometimes it’s just because teenagers like to fight. Either way, helmets and gloves is a bona fide subculture-within-a-sport. It has its own codes of conduct and is a universal experience within North American high school hockey culture. The pads all smell the same. The coaches all look the other way. And it remains a secret.

Boston Bruins, Vintage Polaroid, Hockey Art
photo by Mrs. Toews

The Secret File
November 1, 2011, 8:56 am
Filed under: Bread City, Photography, Poetry | Tags:

New York cops in Jersey
and girls who never smile:
there’s something going on there
that’s in a secret file.

Mysterious girl photo by Ana Kras
photo by Ana Kras


All the carny game barkers have headset microphones; some are saying “Testing” and reciting their pitch lines in tentative warm-up ways. A lot of the pitches seem frankly sexual: You got to get it up to get it in. Take it out and lay ‘er down, only a dollar. Make it stand up. Two dollars, five chances. Make it stand up. Rows of stuffed animals hang by their feet in the booths like game put out to cure. It smells like machine grease and hair tonic down here…
David Foster Wallace, Harpers Magazine, 09/94

David Foster Wallace's essay on the Illinois State Fair
photo by Sam Quinn


Swishing on chain nets
the very last cigarette
the first bowl of cereal
subway timing miracles
crisp American dollars.

photo by Eugene Tan

October 10, 2010, 10:10 am
Filed under: Bread City, Phoenix Suns, Photography

Phoenix Suns Mascot