Posted on November 23, 2015
Flying Aer Lingus. Great people,spectacular service, but………………….
A few weeks ago I flew Aer Lingus from Boston to Rome and back again with a layover in Dublin. I fly a lot, and like anybody who does, I have opinions about air lines. What I like, what I think works, and what I absolutely hate.
Flying these days demands self control and patience. I know I am going to be waiting in lines, strangers will jostle me for position. I will be searched, sprint to make connecting flights. I will pay too much for bad food. If I make the flight, I will then be crammed into a small tubular flying petri dish for many hours, hoping not to fall out of the sky. All I expect an airline to do is to try their best to make it as easy as possible.
Aer Lingus has some of the best staff I have ever encountered. They were personable, efficient and well, really funny. As a photographer I love observing people who were good at their jobs. As a passenger, I was grateful. They helped me snag the last Aisle seat. They dealt with a sick passenger with kindness and seemed to enjoy the abundant personal requests made of them.
Dinner and beverages were served with a smile, The seats were pretty comfortable, plenty of box office movies, and I have to say that the food was damn good for economy class.
In Dublin, thanks to Aer Lingus I had pre arranged access to use the business class lounge.
What a fantastic thing to have a comfortable lounge seat, free wifi, a fine selection of beverages, and a buffet style breakfast bar. There are two floors with a quiet section in the rear of the 2nd floor. A nice oasis to escape to.
Now for the but……………..
With all the good things I had been feeling about Aer Lingus, I was not expecting the comedy of errors clown show that was my return home flight from Rome to Dublin.
- Arriving at the check in desk, it was closed. I had to ask information to find out it had been moved to another terminal. No small thing and a long walk.
- Finally ticketed, I was told the wrong gate for the transfer bus.
- The transfer bus deposits you in a small terminal with too few chairs and just a small coffee shop. Eat before you get there, you are trapped.
- 40 minute wait in line after the flight had been called.
- Plane boards from both the front and the rear. Mayhem and gridlock in the isle as folks squeeze past each other. This was actually the most comedic moment of my whole trip.
- US bound passengers must clear US customs in Dublin. No customs forms given out on the plane before landing.,
- Rush to customs, Crowd gathers to fill out forms, get in line. We are individually told that we cannot be seen and must wait until our luggage arrives. We wait…. and wait. Get back in line.
After clearing customs we all sprint to make the flight to Boston. A kind of solidarity of shared struggle had enveloped the group. One man said,” I hate this” A lady said, ‘ I fly them because they have the best price, it’s worth it” Another woman looked up and said “ and the people are great”
That’s exactly how I felt. Aer Lingus has a reputation for good service, good people for good reason. I would fly with them again with delight, but watch out for the Rome connections.
Posted on October 3, 2015
Democratic presidential candidate, US Sen. Bernie Sanders I-Vt., brought his campaign to the Mass Mutual center in Springfield, MA. today Oct,3 201. Speaking to a crowd of over 6000, Sanders captivated the room with his message of hope by working together to end wealth inequality. I have covered a few presidential campaigns, but none that compare with the enthusiasm people have for Bernie Sanders.
Posted on September 20, 2015
A friend gave me a call yesterday that there was a Red Tailed Hawk in her yard, close to the ground that had been hanging around after munching down a squirrel. What a beautiful creature. I got within 10 ft. and she did not seem fazed at all until a neighbors dog burst upon the scene.
Posted on September 1, 2015
I stopped by the Gonomad office yesterday to talk with Max about where to travel next. Looks like it will be Italy! I noticed his pile of thumb drives by the computer, each representing a journey taken somewhere on planet. Max started to clean up his desk when he saw me shooting. ” Don’t touch a thing” I said, “this is beautiful”.
Posted on July 5, 2015
Inverness, Cape Breton Nova Scotia. On board the “Missy 2 lobster boat with Joe and Robert Gillis, Eagles wait along the cliffs for the fishermen to toss Sculpin fish for them to catch. The Sculpin often come up in the traps and float on the surface making for an easy grab
Posted on June 16, 2015
I have been working on the United way of Hampshire county new campaign. It is a pleasure to be collaborating with a client that gets it. I work with many advertising and PR agencies, but United Way has given me the freedom to capture real images of real people really getting help. This shot is from the people’s institute in Northampton MA.
Posted on May 22, 2015
Turku is Finland’s oldest city, located in the Southwest of the country. Home to over 30,000 students, it is beautiful, comfortable and walkable with an impressive amount of fine restaurants that some think will challenge Helsinki for the top spot in Finland’s growing culinary scene. There is a lot to see in Turku, for more info on travel there go to:
Posted on May 20, 2015
The Art Bank in Pargas Finland is a small museum and the personal collection of Ted Wallin. He has amassed an impressive amount of work by his hero Salvador Dali. He is a man obsessed by Dali, and after a half hour of conversation, I believe he might be actually possessed by the artist as well. What a pleasure to meet him and to see the work of Dali up close in such a small venue.
Posted on May 18, 2015
Just a 45 minute drive from Helsinki, Hawkhill Nature cottages rest on the shores of a beautiful lake boarding the Nuuksio National Park in Finland. Smoked salmon, potatoes and pancakes cooked on the grill, a wood fired sauna and a bottle of Russian vodka generously gifted to us by the owner and our host Annu Huotari made for a fantastic stay there. Thank you Annu! The image above was taken at 5:30 in the morning as the early morning mist covering the lake started to evaporate. The Finns love getting away into nature and many have summer cottages. HawkHill offers a rare opportunity to experience that life in a totally charming, comfortable setting.
For more info go to Hawkhill Nature
Posted on May 7, 2015
I am very pleased to have a half page image I took of Raymond Luc Levasseur in the new book Days of Rage by best selling author Bryan Burrough. Aside from my own pride, this is an important book about our history that holds lessons for today. It is a must read. Below is a link to the NYT review.
Posted on April 5, 2015
Just out of reach.
Posted on March 19, 2015
My heart goes out to Tunisia and to the families of those killed during the terrorist attack the Bardo museum in Tunis yesterday. I traveled to Tunisia in 2009. I remember being somewhat nervous before the trip. It was my first time in a Muslim country, I am Jewish, and Israel was bombing the hell out of Gaza at the time. When I brought this up to a Tunisian woman I had met, she said ” don’t worry, we do not think all Jews are the Israeli army, just as we do not think that all Americans are George Bush….. that would be crazy” With so many Americans lumping all Muslims together with terrorist extremists, I found her statement to be refreshingly intelligent. I was greeted with open arms in Tunisia, it remains one of my favorite trips and regardless of this attack I will be going back.
Posted on February 20, 2015
Senator Elizabeth Warren held an open house at her office in Springfield Mass Thursday. It was packed with supporters and state and local officials. MoveOn.org was there to deliver a message to her, “Run Warren Run” They delivered a petition to encourage her to run for president signed by 9,030 Massachusetts residents. Afterwards she headed up to Northampton , MA for a stop at the Bluebonet diner with Northampton mayor David Narkewicz
Posted on December 22, 2014
Travel with pets. Waiting to board a plane in San Juan Puerto Rico.