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Posts from the ‘Misc.’ Category

Are you a Monday or a Saturday Puzzle?


Rufus Mangrove

Every year since 1978, crossword puzzlers from all walks of life come together to compete in the world’s largest crossword puzzle tournament, the ACPT, founded and directed by the one and only Will Shortz. He’s the editor of the New York Times crossword puzzle and the Puzzlemaster on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday. This year, nearly 600 contestants squeezed themselves into a banquet hall at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott and over the course of three days, lived, breathed, worshipped, and on occasion, swore at the mighty crossword.

Some puzzlers had come for the first time. Many came together. Others were veterans and crossword legends in their own right. And then there were the puzzlers that could devour each puzzle in impossible times. But regardless of whether a player came to win it all, finish the puzzle, beat their times from last year, or just to meet and hang out with friends, there was one thing in particular that all the puzzlers had in common: a sense of true camaraderie.

This was my first time attending the tournament. I have been living in New York City for about a decade and I never knew that there was such a thing as a crossword puzzle tournament, much less that the one here in Brooklyn was the world’s largest. It was always my impression that crossword puzzles were done in the kitchen and that was the end of it. But that was until a few months ago when I caught the documentary, Wordplay, on Hulu, and then did a simple search on google and found blogs completely and utterly dedicated to the crossword puzzle. The realization then hit me that while crossword puzzling is for the most part a solitary endeavor, the sheer amount of people that play and live the New York Times crossword puzzle each day suggests that something a lot larger is at work here.

For more, please visit my American Crossword Puzzle Tournament photoessay here:

body parts love company


Rufus Mangrove


Chris Weeks: The Ender Wiggins of Street Photography


Rufus Mangrove

I received this comment a few months back and it got me thinking:  is street photography dead?

” i’ve become terminally bored of what photography is today. the internet, the complete ubiquity of imaging. everytime i pick up a magazine or newspaper – everyone now is ‘an award winning photographer’ of this or that genre, ‘an artist’. it’s become utterly banal. art/flickr/street photography. i’m embarrassed to tell my nearest and dearest who regard me as ‘the resident expert’ on cameras and photography that i’m done with it and that, how the world has changed, i find all so cliched, contrived and meaningless now.

the internet has burnt it up. made what was novel mundane. a street scene in new delhi/nyc/paris/moscow/khartoum – a thousand photoshopped examples anwhere/anytime 24/7 at the click of a mouse. it’s been fun along the way but now..the riskiest shot in a seedy quarter of a foreign city is just another screensaver cliche. photojournalism is routine, the world has moved on even if it still needs to sell its legacy in the form of DSLRs and colomn inches.”

Everyone has a camera of some form or another.  The digital revolution has made that possible for the masses.  The rise of blogging sites and the internet have increased the distribution of street photography images.  And more and more people now, when you ask them what kind of photography they do, they say, “I do street photography.”  If you look up street photography on google, you’ll get an insanely long list of sites of people either doing street photography or discussing the technical aspects surrounding it. 

I of course include myself in this blob of masses.  I don’t make a living off photography.  I don’t even make lunch money off this.  I have a film camera but I primarily use a digital camera.  I post my photos on this site and on flickr.  I look at a lot of my photos on this site and I honestly think they suck ass.  I’m not going to take them off my site, as street photography to me is as much a journey as it is the final product you hang on your wall or a gallery’s wall.  It’s like a diary as opposed to an art show.  Maybe it’s just some fucked up way for me to express myself, for both personal self-expression reasons and the more human emotion to be recognized.  

The mere amount of street photography that is out there now — the almost ubiquitious nature of it — have called into question whether street photography as a genre is dead.  While I think the rise of street photograhy has increased the amount of mediocre images (I include many of my own) floating around, I think it also has increased the amount of stunning and powerful images out there.  

The problem is finding them.  There is so much out there now, that sometimes you have to sift through a lot of shit until you find images that move you and represent, at least in your view, what HCB and GW had in mind.  It’s harder now to find inspiration with the current mold of street photographers.  Twenty years ago, you had a solid handful of street photographers.  You knew where to look.  You knew where to start.

Now where do you start?  Whose images break free from the mediocrity that plagues most of us?  Who will save street photography as a ubiquitious, faceless genre?   

Meet Chris Weeks. Still Photographer. Run on sentences. Thoughts. Feelings. Oblivion. Black hole.

He is the Ender Wiggins of Street Photography. Irreverant. Rude. Egotistical. An asshole. These are all interpretations by the Launchies. We all are launchies compared to him.

It’s not his god damn leica and leica lenses. 

It’s his eye for the human condition.

That’s what is magic.

He is here to save street photography from itself.

He is here: Chris Weeks

Two Avocadoes & A Sweet Potato


Rufus Mangrove

Two Avocadoes and A Sweet Potato walk into a bar. . .



Rufus Mangrove

Zastavas.  communist engineering, still running strong.  near the “gladiator” theatre, in lake ohrid.

The Fishermen of Lake Ohrid


Rufus Mangrove

The Fishermen of Lake Ohrid.  old men fish for the trout of lake ohrid.

Rowing A Boat On Lake Ohrid


Rufus Mangrove

Rowing A Boat.  he’s rowing a boat in lake ohrid, on the macedonian side.  twenty degrees.  spring is here.  summer is around the corner.



Rufus Mangrove

Exiting.  two siblings exiting their apartment building after school.

Trafiku Urban


Rufus Mangrove

Trafiku Urban.  one of the many obstacles you will face crossing the street in pristina, kosovo.



Rufus Mangrove

Speedracer.  go speedracer, go speedracer, goooooooooo!