Each day, I exit the condo’s gym and head for the mailbox. A young boy races down the hallway to excitably greet me as “Mr. James” hijacks my keys, unlocks, and attempts to reach high enough to grab hold of whatever has been left in the box that day. It’s become a ritual. One I look forward to and highly anticipate. Being only three years old. His attempts to unlock and reach in far enough to seize whatever resides within is tricky, to say the least because he moves quicker than a puma. It’s even harder to catch him with my lens. Still, I love the space and shading of the area, which often has me thinking of setting up my tripod and taking some long exposures. Until then, I just brought my camera and fish eye lens to see what would develop. Below is an image I captured. Enjoy.
Stops Along the Way.
If you’ve been paying attention, there’s this phrase by some guy named Emerson, that been passed around that says, “It’s not the destination. It’s the journey that matters.” Emerson was also quoted as saying, “Always do what you’re afraid to do.” Not being a philosopher myself. I have often sought understanding through travel and exploring different cultures, different ideologies, and economic imbalances. My experiences traveling (To another continent or just down the hall.) and interactions with people have educated me and informed me. Eliminating many prejudices and stereotypes, I might have had if I’d stayed within my bubble. And for that, I am forever grateful.
Exploration often leads to Discovery.
As I continue to work on my balance issues. My drive to be more independent, to explore more, and to not so awkwardly engage with those I wish to photograph with the confidence that once led me to less traveled roads and adventures grows stronger.
Attempting to do things I was forced to take a break from have become more attainable. That thirst for adventure, exploring, and creating, sometimes, off-limits subject matter sharpens. Having lived in our condo for over a year now. I can’t help but question why I haven’t explored the many nooks and crannies of an architectural achievement. Unsurprisingly, we often find inspiration while venturing into areas and corridors just off our daily path. Coming upon this paint inspired me to get a lower perspective and reminded me of stopping at a fire-damaged automotive repair shop on my way home from Boston.
Day Trip to Richmond
This weekend, for the first time in more than ten years. I took a trip to Richmond to attend a long-time friends inclusion in an intimate record show. Aside from seeing this beautiful friend, getting the stuffing hugged out of me, and meeting her husband. I enjoyed nourishing food, walked the streets of a diverse city and took lots of pictures. On the right is the restaurant, delicatessen where we started our day.
We recently returned to Pike and Rose in Bethesda to do some shopping and capture those funky stairs with the proper gear. (I don’t consider my phone to be a camera.) After taking my time to capture the flow, I was approached by a security guard who seemed a bit too intrusive as to what I was doing. “I’m doing my thing.” was all I could think of. Which, in the end, seemed good enough.
A Moment of Solitude
Imagine yourself sitting at a bar with nothing to drink, no bartender to serve you, and no alcohol to serve. That was me today at Baltimore’s Cross Street Market. Kind of cool. Don’t you think?
Memorial Day Weekend; (Searching for Luna)
Earlier this Monday, we embarked on a trip to find Seattle’s Luna Park. While the park is noted as a great spot to catch the sunrise. I know better than to expect my wife to get out of bed early enough on the weekends, or any designated holiday, to accompany me to a spot that doesn’t provide coffee and a hearty breakfast. Knowing that our usual way to the area was constricted by long over due repairs and construction, we took the long, local route. Talk about a headache. The alternate route took us three times longer than usual. While allowing us to pick up a couple of bagels and coffee. I was promised that there would be no more trips to the area until the bridge was reopened. All things said, we both really enjoyed the beautiful weather and breath taking view of the city we’ve called home since June, 2017.
Ghosts of Belltown
Earlier today, we viewed a couple of condos in the Seattle neighborhood know as Belltown. We really love the area and feel comfortable there as it is just a few blocks from the apartments we were temporarily housed in when we first came to Seattle. I was lucky enough to take these two images while waiting to be taken or resuming our tour of the building. The one on the left was taken while trying to find the parking spot our unit would provide. ( I kind of dig the ghostly Inspector Gadget vibe it gives off. The black & white image on the right was taken in the lobby, showing how the entrance and the mail room are cleverly separated from one another.
By the time I was seven, I was finally enjoying some of the freedom I so craved. With my parents about to divorce, I bounced from my mother to my father and on to my grandmother. Being that my parents had worked different shifts,’ my mom was a 9-5 secretary and my dad working as 3-11 since I was born. I spent most of my early years with my baby sitter and her family of two boys and an older sister. By the age of seven, I became schooled in many of the pockets and corners of my neighborhood. While there were several parks and ball fields within reach, you might think I’d be found climbing monkey bars or holding onto a swing as I launched into the air.
Two things I did enjoy from time to time. However, the sudden need for housing and the new and bursting real estate market provided all the excitement a kid could want or even handle. The first one just happened to be on the way home from school. With there would be a bunch of kids, many I called friends or knew from the neighborhood already hanging out inside just outside of the wood panels and fences marked “No Trespassing.” There would always be an irresistible draw to join in and maybe journey farther within than the older kids.
On one particularly memorable day, some of the older kids started to throw a football around. Perhaps since they were older or I never quite got into throwing the pigskin around, I started heading home. Matthew went long on a pass and fell about two floors to the rubble below. I still remember the moment, the complete shock that left everyone’s expression in a frozen state. I had seen people die on TV and the movies before, but this was very, very different. I still remember the blood, the concrete pieces in his hair, and around his face and that frozen look that said: “I won’t be coming back in the squeal.” The next day, the news of Matthew’s accident reported over the school’s loudspeaker. Though he had not died immediately, he remained vegetated until his heart gave out a few days later. Strangely enough, I always felt his mom. The secretary at the school we attended and the two I later went to, knew I was there when that horrible accident happened. And while I didn’t understand why she was always so hard on me then. These days, I wish there was something I could have said or done something to comfort her during that time.
A Chance Meeting.
When my wife asked if I’d go sweater shopping with her, I immediately agreed. Knowing how much time she invests in trying to make sure I’m happy, it seemed as if my wish that she finally do something rewarding for herself had finally arrived. Having become used to accompanying her to a mall or outlet, I was a bit puzzled when she got off the highway and began navigating her way down a winding, dirt road. Was this a well crafted surprise or perhaps a pit stop where jugs of apple cider and sugar coated donuts await. Judging from the barking dogs and strange looking beasts that flanked us on both sides, probably not. It was then when my wife pointed to a small hut and said “That’s where I’m going to look for a sweater.” Being that I already own four sweaters and try to limit my shopping to bacon and records. I took a moment to enjoy the farm and meet its inhabitants. Enclosed within a wide open field were twenty or more Alpaca spread out over what looked like a pretty big field. Like many of the farm animals I’ve come across while traveling, Alpacas are pretty chill and seem more curious than bothered by visitors. Within a few moments, a number of them gravitated towards me, perhaps to say hello, or more likely to see if I had brought presents. Then, just as I began to move closer to the fence, the one pictured below came around the corner like a boss. I don’t know how she got out, but the man who ran the farm told me she was quite the escape artist.