Summer’s Wake






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Just like that an summer is over.  And I’m not quite ready to let go of the warm breeze with the sun on my face, the colors of the abundant produce, the feel of the grass on my feet, the quiet moments of filtered summer light. It was a good summer, filled with good friends, gentle adventures and culinary experimentation. These images together represent all of that. And let me hold on just a moment longer.

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tender spaces






I was reviewing the film that I have had developed over the past year and noticed a lot of photos taken in parks and green spaces. I picked these out and put them together because they express what is meaningful to me about being in a park.  I love how art installations or structures in and around parks allow each person to interact with nature and their environment in a new way. Sometimes the trees and the natural growth are the art itself.  Parks can be so vast that it is hard to take it all in.  I like to use the camera to notice the small details, the tender spaces amidst the vastness.  These photos were taken in Sunset Park, Elizabeth Park in Hartford Connecticut, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and on the High Line. The final photo in the post was taken on an iphone. The others are film taken on a Pentax K-1000.





These two photos were taken a day apart and both times I was responding to the combination of color, light, texture and shadow.  They evoke similar feelings for me and that is why I am sharing them together.

Remembering Spring


These are photos taken in the lovely courtyard of my office building, the Center for Family Life in Sunset Park.  The building and courtyard have been home to the Center for about 30 years and we will have one more spring there before we move to a new building.  There is deeply rooted history here.  I can feel it, though I have only been a part of the organization for close to 2 years.  Still, I immediately fell in love with the courtyard, a sanctuary for grabbing a peaceful moment, eating an outdoor communal meal, watching the children be free. Come springtime,  the magical magnolia blossoms carpet the ground with pastel playfulness and it takes me to another place all together.  I learned yesterday that construction on an adjacent lot will cause changes in the courtyard so I feel compelled to share these today, so that our enchanted space can be remembered.

Yum Yum Dim Sum

It has been way too much time since I last posted here, but I am back.  And what better way to be back than with photos of Dim Sum.  Back in May, I was lucky to be invited out to celebrate the birthday of a friend at Pacificana in Sunset Park.  The day just felt right from the beginning.  From the group of people who came together to the walk down 8th Avenue, Brooklyn’s own Chinatown, to sharing a meal and celebrating a friend.  We sat at a circular table at the window and the light was perfect.  There is something about communal meals, dumplings and laughter…you should try it sometime.

double take

Last week’s school vacation afforded me the opportunity to spend time in the City with a very special visitor from Boston, my friend Emma.  In our short evening together, I set out to show her some of my favorite small details that often go unnoticed or unappreciated in the hustle of city life.  We started out on the N train from Brooklyn, so that Emma could see the animation art in the subway tunnel by Bill Brand.  It is best seen from the Q train, but we took what we could get from the N.  We were determined, with destinations in mind.  Namely, Prada SoHo and Rockefeller Center.  We rode over the bridge in the late afternoon sunlight. The view always takes my breath away.

Upon arrival in SoHo, and after the purchase of one $6.00 Canal Street infinity scarf, we strolled Broadway. We saw jeans with a unicorn print, jeweled eyelashes, and more styles of UGG boots than I knew existed. And then there was Prada.  Walking through the door is like walking into another world.  The extravagance of the brand aside, the building‘s architecture is stunning and it did not surprise me to learn that the space had previously been the location of the Guggenheim’s SoHo location.  Not one to ever set foot in a high end store, I was further surprised to find myself appreciating the beauty of the products, which almost seemed like works of art.  If there had not been very proper Prada employees at every turn, I imagine I could spend all day in that store taking photos.

From one beautiful building to another.  We headed to midtown to experience Rockefeller Center.  Secretly, or not so secretly, both Emma and I were wishing for a chance run-in with Liz Lemon, or at least Kenneth.  No such luck.  But we happily proceeded to the Top of the Rock anyway.  67 floors up and a little queasy, we found ourselves in another magnificent building.  This one was all art deco glory.  I was almost sad we had lost the daylight with with to see some of the building details…

But then there was this.  And I fell in love with New York all over again.  Whether we looked through the viewfinders or not, what a way to see the city.  And what a way to watch others see the city.  And especially, what a way to watch Emma see the city.  An evening that began with me thinking about how I would show Emma New York ended with me feeling grateful to Emma for showing me New York.  If it was not for her, I may not have ever gone to Prada SoHo or Top of the Rock.  And I am so glad I did.  Thank you, Emma.

year of the dragon

For Chinese New Year, I found myself in Sunset Park.  This neighborhood in Brooklyn is where I work and is notable for the large communities of both Mexican and Chinese immigrants. It is vibrant and hearty and diverse.  I arrived at 8th Avenue, the main artery of the Chinese community, for the Lunar New Year parade to an explosion of visual stimulation.  People, color, movement, and celebration was happening everywhere. There were bubbles floating, canisters of silly string being sprayed at a ferocious clip, and in good order, children creating giant multi-colored wands out of leftover canister lids.  There were children in traditional clothing, plastic dolls and fans, firecrackers and even baby pet turtles.  In between pork buns, I snapped away.  Photographing random people is not in my comfort zone.  I took many shots but none of them spoke to me like the photos I am sharing above. I was most drawn to the edges of the celebration- sun reflecting on balloons or nearby doorways, a bubble lifting into the sky, what is discarded.  That is what I celebrate.


I have come to realize that almost anywhere you travel in New York that is not New York City is referred to as upstate.  In this case, upstate was the Finger Lakes region.  I was compelled to visit after reading about the farms and wineries producing bushels of local flavor.  I fell in love with Trumansburg, a sleepy town about 20 miles outside of Ithaca, where Seth and I stayed at a B&B.  I sometimes fantasize about moving up there to an old cottage and being an apprentice at The Piggery or another nearby farm.  Saturday mornings would be spent at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market and afternoons making jam or ketchup or pickled beets.  I would have a craft room and a bike with a basket.  But then my city side kicks in.  Thanks to the greenmarkets and CSAs, much of what is grown on New York farms is available here in Brooklyn.  My 20 quart stockpot works just fine in my tiny kitchen.  And when I need a nature fix, upstate is just a short drive away.


My arrival in New York coincided with my acquisition of a smartphone.  I quickly began documenting my experience of New York using the camera phone and the Retro Camera application.  For a while the camera phone felt like an extension of my eye and I created a series of photos meant to show others how I see New York.  Others have become used to discovering, ten steps later, that I have stopped to take a photo (I usually give no warning when the urge strikes) of something that most might walk by, unnoticed.  I want to breathe life into these little pieces of the City, make them into something different all together.  I am excited by color, and by the abstractions and patterns that are created by getting close.

I like the Retro Camera application because it replicates the effect of film and it’s accompanying nostalgia.  Now that I have begun to shoot film again, I have noticed that I have been taking far less camera phone photos. It just doesn’t compare with the real thing.  This will probably change in June, when I will be able to switch from an Android phone to an iPhone (counting the months!) and have a wider range of photo applications available to me.

I shared the photos from this project with friends on Facebook and I am working on ways to share them with a larger audience- posting them here being one.  As I learn how to blog, I am trying to figure out a way to have the whole series on another page of this blog (hence you see the In New York link at the top of the blog.)  Once I figure it out, I will let you know. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the above preview!

inside out

In September I visited Boston for the weekend as I have done every couple of months since moving to Brooklyn.  On this particular weekend I joined some friends at South End Open Studios.  Even more than the art itself, I love being able to be inside the artist’s studios.  It’s a little like being inside their creativity, seeing what inspires them, the setting they choose to create in.  It’s an honor to be invited in.

This day is coming back to me as I write this.  I remember loving the feel of the Pentax in my hands, the heaviness of it.  I remember the way the light was streaming in the windows and bouncing off the brick of the converted warehouse building. I was interested in the lines going every which way- lines from the sun, the window panes, the brick, the rafters and the fabrics.  I was in sync with the camera and it felt effortless.  One of my favorite kinds of camera moments.