Monday, December 28, 2009

011 - No Joe

As we wind down the last week, of the last year, of the first decade, of the (not so new anymore) millennium, this Joe would like to reflect on those named Joe, Joseph, Jose, Joey, etc., who are no longer with us.

Since the infamous Y2K, we have lost many - far too many to name but here is an abridged list of some that I found worthy of mention:

Joseph Ransohoff - father of modern neurosurgery
Joey Ramone - punk musician and singer - The Ramones
Yousuf Karsh - portrait photographer
Joseph Barbera - cartoonist
Joel Siegel - film critic
Joey Bishop - entertainer - The Rat Pack

In 2009, we lost the famous sons of a Joe and a late Joe - The King of Pop, Michael Jackson and The Lion of the Senate, Senator Edward Kennedy, respectively.

We lost a music man - Joe Cuba - considered by many to be the "Father of Latin Boogaloo".

We lost someone who penned letters for a president - Joseph Lester "Jody" Powell, Jr. was President Jimmy Carter's White House Press Secretary.

We lost someone who did a different type of lettering for a different type of American icon. Joe Rosen was a comic book letterer responsible for titles such as Captain America, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, and many others

We lost a sportsman. Brazilian soccer goalkeeper Jose Carlos da Costa Araujo was best known as Ze Carlos. He played for the national team that brought the 1990 FIFA World Cup home to Brazil.

Last, but not least, we lost wise men - more specifically a Weisman and a Wiseman.
Dr. Joel D. Weisman was a Los Angeles doctor credited with being one of the first to detect AIDS and became a national advocate for AIDS research.

Joseph Wiseman was an actor best known for his role in the first James Bond film - "Dr. No."

This Joe bids farewell to all the Joe's and non Joe's that have passed. This Joe also thanks the ten Joe's that have made this photoblog possible. This Joe also thanks you, the readers, for your continued interest. Look for more about Joe, Joseph, Jose, Joey, and others in the new year/decade. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

010 - SpaHa Jose

This week I feature someone with sass, style, Puerto Rican roots and this person just happens to get home "on the 6" train.  No, it's not J.Lo, it's J. O. or Jose Ortiz.  Jose Ortiz 2nd is 39 and was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.  [Coincidentally J Lo or Jennifer Lopez is also 39 or perhaps she is 40.  It depends on which source you read.]  Jose now lives in Spanish Harlem, the Manhattan neighborhood which he affectionately calls SpaHa.

He studied architecture in college but is now a Visual Merchandising Manager for "a major fashion retailer known for its jeans and t-shirts."  He has been with the company for over six year with the past two being in the field of visual merchandising.  On the day of our photoshoot, we were short in time and short on mannequin parts.  That is the reason for the lone hand.  Jose has promised me a second photoshoot in the near future.  Jose is very inspired by Simon Doonan "for making kiss ass displays!"  He continued by telling me that "his [Simon's] Barney's windows would stop traffic, get people talking and interested in shopping...not to mention that he is over-the-top gay!"

I asked Jose about his other influences and he did not have to think twice before answering - "Mom for teaching me how to have faith."  I asked him to elaborate and he did by telling me "well its just the belief that if you think positive, surround yourself with good, positive people and vibes then you will always be happy and healthy..."  And happy and healthy he is.  One childhood ritual that he still enjoys when visiting his family, who "are all in Jersey" is a unique meal. " mom would make me corned beef, white rice, and canned corn...Yum!"

Besides his family, Jose has another reason for crossing the Hudson River.  "Well now that I have a bf in jersey, [I go] every weekend."  Jose shared some of his holiday plans and wishes with me. "One thing that I'm really looking forward to, aside from my spending time with my family during the holidays, is the fact that I will also be spending it with someone I met 5 months ago...he's a terrific guy and yes it is love so just spending it alone with him is the one thing that I am really going to appreciate this year...oh and I will be going to New Orleans for the first time with him for New Years Eve."  Jose, have a Hurricane for me!

The retail world can be challenging, especially at this time of year.  Right now Jose is working on "getting over the holiday hump and right into Spring 2010."  In his free time Jose enjoys reading, photography, fashion, shopping, and taking walks.  Can there possibly be a more walkable city than New York City?  Can there possibly be more colorful characters than in New York City?  Jose posted this on his FaceBook page and told me that I could share it: "
so I'm walking in the city and some guy walks up to me and asks if I can spare a $20! WTF, are times really that hard? then he asks if I'm broke after I give him the nastiest look!"

Since this is being posted just before Christmas, this Joe would like to wish all his readers a safe healthy holiday.  I asked Jose if he had any special holiday wishes - "Well one of the Christmas wishes that I have is that my relationship with my bf gets stronger and better."

Monday, December 14, 2009

009 - SnowBo Joe

The weather in the North East can be unpredictable which can be a bad thing.  It can also be a good thing.  It all depends on how one feels about the weather.  This week's Joe, Joe Kang Lee, loves the snow.  When I asked him about hobbies, he told me about just one - snowboarding.  With the lack of snow in the Scarsdale, New York area, in which he lives, I tried to contact Joe over this past weekend to ask if he had had the opportunity to snowboard yet this winter.

This Joe was originally concerned about not hearing back from Joe but was happy to hear his reason.  "Sorry about the delay. I was in Vermont this weekend on a snowboarding trip. I'm actually still on my way back home right now... yes!  I had my first run at Killington."

Like the weather, life, too, can be unpredictable as is the case with how Joe began his modeling career.  It all started back in high school per the suggestion of his American History teacher, Rashid Silvera, who was one of the first African-American male models to be on the cover of GQ Magazine.  "His agency was looking for Asian models to shoot Japanese fashion for The New Yorker magazine and so he asked me to participate.  I had a lot of fun then and recently I decided it might be fun to pursue on the side!"

As for how the industry is different today for Joe, now 24, than when he started at age 16 he says "I was very young and new to the scene back then and very eager to learn.  I had an amazing time and I've got to say, not much has changed.  The only thing that is different now is that with the receding economy, there are fewer ad campaigns - IE - jobs for models.  It's been easier for some models and harder for others, but I think it will soon change.  People are always looking to shop and buy things - it's the American spirit!."

Joe, who is 100% Korean, acknowledges Mr. Silvera's contributions stating that "he was definitely one of the pioneers in bringing diversity to GQ."  Perhaps one day Joe will continue in his teacher's footsteps and also grace the cover of GQ.  Currently, Joe is part of the Global Recess campaign and can be seen on their site -  Global Recess is a new fashion line started by model and entrepreneur Erica Emarie Wiltz who was featured on Project Runway - Season 6 as well as its sister show Models of the Runway.

Speaking of the runway,Joe starts training this week to model at Abercombie & Fitch's flagship store on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue.  He has also recently had a photoshoot for the Michael Anthony winter collection.  As for the ultimate modeling gig. "I think an early inspiration for me was the Abercrombie and Fitch models.  I'd love to be a part of their campaign - they could definitely use some diversity in their print!"  With a live modeling gig at AF, that print job might not be far behind.  Joe is also a big fan of the Calvin Klein campaigns.

The snowboarding sure helps keep Joe's 5'10" frame at 160 pounds but what does he do for the rest of his workout routine?  "Haha, Oh boy - I always get this question.  Back in college, I used to work out religiously - a lot of free weights with a focus on building muscle.  My school had a great gym so I was in there practically every day.  Now, my focus is more on definition so about once or twice a week I run the roads of Scarsdale for about 30 minutes."

And that school that Joe mentioned was Boston University and its School of Medicine from where he holds BS in Human Physiology and MA in Medical Sciences degrees.  Joe is currently waiting acceptance to medical school which he hopes to start in the Fall of 2010. 

Until he gets his name on the roster of a medical school, Joe will stay on the roster of his New York City modeling agency - CESD, where he will continue to gain modeling experience.  His favorite thing about modeling is "meeting new people, creating art and getting paid to do it."  He will also stay at his job at a Dermatology office in Manhattan, where he will continue to gain medical experience. 

On the day of our photoshoot we met at the infamous clock at Grand Central Terminal.  Joe will continue his daily commute to Grand Central but unlike the day of our photoshoot, Grand Central is now in full holiday spirit, complete with a laser show and projected snowflakes.  I wonder what thoughts go through Joe Kang Lee's mind as he looks at those giant snowflakes while waiting to board his train.

Monday, December 7, 2009

008 - J Was for Joey [originally "J is for Joey"]

UPDATED - original post removed on Friday, April 8, 2011
J is for Joey.  Actually, J was for Joey in this PhotoBlog entry that was originally posted on Monday, December 7, 2009.  Like the other posts, it featured a light-hearted story, original photos, and a web link chosen by the featured Joe, Joseph, Jose, Joey, or Joel.

The featured subject of "J is for Joey" recently requested that his last name be removed from the post to prevent it from future internet search queries. This would require a major re-write of the story in order for it to make sense.  I felt that it made more sense to remove the story, photos, and link to the subject's personal site.


There will be more installments of the Joe Joseph Jose Joey Blog.  This Joe plans to resurrect it this Summer and will post updates on Twitter.