Sunday, March 20, 2011

Underwater Magic

My cousins Josh and Anna sent me Jason deCaires Taylor's website and directed me to his videos where you can witness underwater installations of statues that are incredibly life-like yet survive in an atmosphere where humans cannot. Watching the transformation of the statues as the natural environment envelopes them reminds me how powerful nature can be and how intrinsically we are intertwined.  I can't help but smile while watching these videos and get a little giddy as the light rays cast through the water and the colorful tropical fish swim by the familiarly posed people like birds in flight.  

Thanks to Josh and Anna for introducing me to this inspired work! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

To the Bay and Back!

Two college friends, Ben and Austin, had visited me in Brooklyn a number of times over the years; the former coming from Portland, the latter from the Bay Area.  Often for a brief - but fabulously exciting time; we drank, danced, smoked and laughed our way through the days (with shopping and purse-watching at the bottom of Ben's list...yet unavoidable).

So when Ben called and said he had a free weekend approaching soon and suggested a trip to the Bay to visit Austin - I jumped on it!  Turns out the weekend wasn't exactly "free", but for an independent business owner there are rarely free moments.  Yes, Ben started The Chicken Gardener and has become Eugene Oregon's premier chicken cooper!  Supplying the Pacific Northwest - and now - Northern California with beautiful cedar chicken coops and raised flower beds of his own design and built with his very own blood, sweat, and tears.

Ben and I began our trip in Eugene where we stayed up into the wee hours while Ben put the finishing touches on a coop to be delivered in a town on our way down to the Bay.  Once we got to the Bay, Austin greeted us with great and sincere hospitality (offering copious amounts of our very favorite party favors) and we spent a fast weekend doing what we do best!  Spending time in the Berkeley Hills, in SF proper, and partying in Oakland.

This is not the first time I've been to the Bay, and revisiting gave me a strong nostalgic pang.  I moved to Berkeley after turning 20 and lived there for two years - years which I fondly look back upon and reminisce about.  My cousin who took me under his wing and became a surrogate brother still lives in Oakland - now with his beautiful wife and I am so grateful I had a chance to spend a moment with them.  I do feel like I left a piece of my heart in San Francisco years ago, and every trip back (especially spent with my good friends and family) feels like visiting that lost piece.  Maybe someday I'll reconnect them to build a whole again...

Austin and I spent a warm-ish day in the Berkeley Botanical Garden.
The Bird Whisperer
Thank you to Ben, Austin, Josh, and Anna - miss y'all already!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Winter Wonderland

The first time I cross country skied I was in middle school and had mixed up the date of the field trip (not much has changed there).  So when the day came to ski I was totally unprepared - but determined, and got on the school bus with my classmates and went somewhere near Mt. Hood (I was a kid and didn't pay attention often to where I was going...not much has changed there either).  I fully enjoyed the snow...for the first ten minutes.  The rest of the time was a wet and cold misery.

Now that I'm older and have more outdoor gear, I LOVE cross country skiing!  The quiet, the natural beauty, the physical exertion and the shared experience with friends is something I didn't get enough of living in Brooklyn.  Dare I say - I zen-out and appreciate my life in moments like that.  Here are a few shots from the several trips I've taken so far this winter: