“Smooth Road, Clear Day”

NYC Manhattan New York City Central Park bandshell snowfall snow winter black and white

The Mall at Central Park, January 2009. New York City, NY

As many photographers can attest, the final shutter click of the day is often the proudest. And while I have yet to make any sense of this odd little phenomenon, it proved hard to argue against on this day. Above is the type if image that prepares itself long before a humble photographer stumbles across it. Built on a historical foundation and lined with timely good fortune, it is the shot that presents for a fleeting moment, in starkness of clarity between the brightness of day and the sluggish haze of dusk, and quietly offers itself to be properly captured.

The title – a detail I often obsess over far longer than its visual composition – wrote itself… a quarter century before I was born. And while numerous legendary jazz giants have covered the immortal Herb Ellis classic “Detour Ahead” over the years, it was my favorite siren, Jane Monheit (I still love you, Ella…forgive me) whose particular serenade inspired this pairing.

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