Sunday, April 24, 2022

The Truth About Truth or Consequences

On the way to TorC we drove overland to Cuchillo a down at the heels ghost town fifteen miles west of I-25. Thanks to David Michael Kennedy for the hint. It was the photographic highlight of our trip. 

Yahuah, King of Kings. I am coming 2030. Cuchillo.

I have one word of advice about visiting Truth or Consequences. Don’t.

This is the target demographic in TorC.

Snacks and Food, Downtown Truth or Consequences.

Every business on Main Street was a second hand store. Baby doll waves goodbye.

Jesus what a pit! We arrived about 3:30 to find very retail shop closed for a seven-day lunch. The visitor’s center was closed. The gallery where a friend shows his work was closed. Only the Truth or Consequences Brewery was open, and a murder of bikers filled the patio. They were so dissipated that Peggy wouldn’t enter the joint. Those folks looked like they’d just left a methadone clinic.

For some reason we chose to spend our first night in Truth or Consequences. I’d have chosen Silver City and Peggy would have opted for Ruidoso. Las Cruces was the obvious compromise. But, oh no, we had to see someplace new. We had heard about a new art gallery in the town and the restaurant options seemed interesting. Unfortunately, the gallery was closed and there was only one restaurant was worth visiting. I  mean open. Truth or Consequences is a dying. Make that dead.

The only good things in TorC were the trim and colorful Rocket Inn, an updated mid-century motor court and Los Arcos, a steak house that opened 50 years ago. The Rocket Inn was well kept and professionally operated. Cidney, the proprietor, recommended Los Arcos Steak House as the best restaurant in town. I was doubtful. If it was merely adequate, it would be a victory. To Cidney’s credit Los Arcos delivered gracious and timely service, an excellent Caesar Salad and an 18- ounce rib-eye served rare as requested. That’s not to mention the lowest priced wines by the glass I’ve seen in 20 years. Good wines for $9.50. Burt, our waiter, suggested that we share the monster ribeye. We took his advice, split the steak and had enough left for a sliced steak and gorgonzola salad at home Wednesday night.

We were so finished with Truth or Consequences that we were northbound to Taos at dark o’clock Wednesday morning.

The best part of TorC is putting it in your rearview window.

Monday, April 18, 2022

On the Run, Way of Life

I ran down Market Street to the Ferry Building where I stopped for a few shots then ran all the way to Chrissy Field at the foot of the Golden Gate. This is of the Bay Bridge from San Francisco to Yerba Buena Island.

The second of my blog posts featuring photographs taken while running, prompted a thoughtful response from my good friends David and Carol. They told me they had enjoyed the post and that “it demonstrates a way of life that has been yours for a long time.” I had never thought of it that way or ascribed that kind of import to something so ordinary. But when I began running on the wintery streets of New Canaan, Connecticut in March of 1976 my life was changed. It launched a pursuit that continues into my 80th year. I reckon I won't stop till my body won't let me.

A runner as seen from Confluence Park in downtown Denver.

A tractor on the beach at low tide, Keremma, Brittany.

Fresh tracks at sunup, Keremma.

Rain drops, Museum Hill, Santa Fe, NM.

As I was running my regular course up Cañon Este yesterday I came to the realization that the short run in New Canaan was transformative as few things have been. Running became a way of life that day. I had just opened a restaurant, The Harvest Table, in Danvers, Massachusetts and lost 15 pounds on the 100 hour a week diet. I liked the change and decided to keep it off. The running boom was in full flight. For several months I operated my 22-unit restaurant company in Boston plus a failing 230-unit region of a major fast-food chain, at the same time. It was one hell of a weight loss regimen. I turned the region around in 18 months. It's good to be cocksure and 34.

Nothing would stop me back then. I ran despite the frequent 100-hour weeks opening restaurants. I ran at 20 below with gale force winds. I simply had to do it. And still do.

My name is Steve Immel. I’m an addict. 

Monday, April 11, 2022

On the run, two

Modes of transport, Right Bank of the Seine.

Last week I set the stage for a series of posts of photographs taken with an iphone during my daily runs wherever I happen to be. The wonderful thing about running is that if you’re resourceful there’s always a place to do it. My worst ever experience was running around the parking lot of a motel in Overland Park, Kansas about a hundred times in 1982. Or was it running through cemetery across the street from the O’Hare Marriott in the dead of winter?

Lone Figure, the beach in Keremma, Brittany.

At my running pace, scarcely more than a brisk walk, it’s no great effort to stop and snap a subject that captures my fancy. I’m not even winded. If nothing else, I get a record shot that will take me back to a sweet moment in the past. And, like every photograph I’ve ever taken, I have nearly complete recall of that moment, the weather, my running course and how I felt.

As I ran toward the beach from our hotel I passed a young woman who was trying to catch the bus that was pulling away from the curb. Arc de Triomf, Barcelona.

Possibly my favorite running route of all time is the 8 mile loop through Saguaro National Park East in Tucson. Here Barrel Cactus needles and deep shadows form a Sonoran desert still life.

Capturing a finite moment in time like this keeps the memory fresh when without the visual cue it might have faded entirely. Early Sunday morning I had that revelation and the revelation told me to pursue photographs that combine running which I am compelled to do with photography that I should do. There I’ve said it again. For 46 years running has been the first thing on my mind when I get up in the morning. That suggests that I should get it out of the way first, so it doesn’t hang over me like damp rag the rest of the day. My true self is aware that the habit isn’t entirely healthy and that it mitigates against balance and more august pursuits like serious writing and photography. But, until I finish therapy, I’ll keep on feeding the rat. 

Monday, April 04, 2022

On the Run

I was running toward the beach just over the rise in Keremma, Brittany.

I encountered this cycling couple on my pre-beer run in Munich's historic Alt Stadt.

This is the entrance to the Cimetiére de Artignosc on my morning run from Baudinard sur Verdon.

Footprints, Salinas River Beach, Moss Landing, California.

These cobbles are taking me to the Salzach River in Salzburg, Austria.

I’m not much of a multi-tasker. One mission is quite enough. Thank you very much. But there are two activities that fit seamlessly together. They are running and photography. To be fair, it’s really one activity, running, and I always carry my iphone for emergency purposes. And, since the device is already in my clutches, I can manifest the occasional keeper. Featured here are handful of photographs that are worthy of display despite their humble beginnings in my sweaty mitts.

It's a good thing I’ve got archives of iphone work as I’ve been preoccupied by portraits for the last three weeks.