Mr. & Mrs. Hawkeye Pierce In The Bronx

Alan & Arlene Alda photographed at the New York Botanical Garden

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Alan Alda. Academy Award-nominated actor, director, screenwriter, author, board member of the World Science Festival and a visiting Professor at SUNY Stony Brook School of Journalism. Arlene Alda. Photographer, writer, Fulbright Scholar…and just a Kid from the Bronx. Which is how we ended up at the Bronx Botanical Garden on a 20 degree day in February. Arlene has just written Just Kids From The Bronx, an oral history on what it was like to grow up in the place that bred influencers in just about every field of endeavor today, with thoughts from Bronxites as varied as Neil deGrasse Tyson, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Al Pacino, Carl Reiner, Mary Higgins Clark, Colin Powell, and on and on and on. When Arlene and Alan began seeing each other, a lot of those dates took place in the Bronx, including taking long walks through the Botanical Gardens. And while it would have been great to shoot them walking the paths of the Gardens on a sunny day in May, her book was coming out now, so inside we wentā€¦here’s what we foundā€¦

While it was nice to walk among the greenery inside the Enid Haupt conservatory, it was still too early for the Orchid show and too soon for the Spring bloomsā€¦

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ā€¦but this indoor fountain area showed some promiseā€¦

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But I had also learned that the Alda’s had donated a bench on the groundsā€¦and despite the freezing temperatures and the fact that it was buried in snow, I had to check it outā€¦

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On the day of the shoot it was a brisk 22 degrees outsideā€¦but about 85 inside with Lousianna-like humidity. When Alan and Arlene arrived, while I waited for the sun to come out of the clouds, we did a few shots of them just walking through the galleriesā€¦

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And then Kaz and I set up our main shot at the fountainā€¦

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ā€¦which seemed to please Alan and Arlene immenselyā€¦

Alan & Arlene Alda photographed at the New York Botanical Garden

Alan & Arlene Alda photographed at the New York Botanical Garden

Half-way through our shoot, Gregory Long…the President of the New York Botanical Gardenā€¦dropped in to get his copy of Arlene’s book autographedā€¦

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Here’s how things look in The Journal..

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And then…because we were just getting too warm in there…Kaz and I decide that we just had to shoot that bench!

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Thanks Alanā€¦thanks Arleneā€¦and special thanks to the Botanical Gardens for warming us up on one very cold day!

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11 thoughts on “Mr. & Mrs. Hawkeye Pierce In The Bronx

  1. Nice story, great pics. I spent an hour or more with him waiting for luggage in Charlotte Amalie Airport around 1980ā€¦. didn’t say much more than hello.

  2. Very cool. I’m a HUGE M*A*S*H fan, and a big Alan Alda fan. Interestingly (and I didn’t know this till recently) the guy who played the psychiatrist, Sidney, is Allan Arbus…husband of Diane.

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