Not a day goes by when we don’t mention how much we’ve enjoyed the opportunity to move out west and experience life in ways we might not have back east. All things considered, our move to Seattle and in particular Columbia City , has offered more than its share of rewards. Great food, weather and plenty of things to or not to do. That said, not a day goes by without talk about Seattle being a two year pit stop on the way to another town, city, state or country. Being one who lived his entire life on the East Coast. The idea of traveling to different places and living light, really appeals to me. Who knows where life brings me. If I can be happy and inspire, I’ll take it. (The pictures below were taken this morning at the park adjacent to where I am currently living in Columbia City, Seattle.)
As we were celebrating my brother’s 21st birthday over a couple of tasty lobsters yesterday. I wanted to share with him the little wisdom I still had to offer. For the most part, we talked about school and the new baby our other brother had welcomed into the world just a day earlier. Though I wanted to speak as few words as possible and listen to the words of someone in the throes of becoming a unique and very intelligent adult. He seemed more interested in the city I grew up in years before he was born. My brother’s curiosity and curious nature had me on the hot seat.
Speaking in the most positive way this old coot could muster. I explained that much of the city I grew up in was gone. Yet my own personal experiences and stories kept it alive in my heart. How, while the drastic changes to the both the cities landscape and overall chemistry did not appeal to me. There was no reason they should deter him from finding his favorite corners, nooks and destinations. Change is inevitable and an integral part in our growth process. Without movement and change, we become stagnant. For me, or anyone else for that matter, to expect things to remain the same would not only be selfish. It would be downright foolish. And as much as I find myself shaking my fists at tourists and the franchises that have replaced many of my old haunts. I’m finding new and exciting things that appeal to my senses.Later that day, just blocks from the Bleeker St. corner where we enjoyed our meal. I came upon some pretty eye-popping street art. A convenient reminder how change brings possibilities. As I get older, I’m coming to realize it is not healthy to live in the past or worry about the future. To live in the moment. To enjoy the now. That’s my happy place.
I was sitting with my friend going over the weeks sessions when I half jokingly said, “You’re going to put me in the poor house.” The remark was in response to his pointing out the next expensive item I needed to invest in. Being that the last six or so months had seen me purchasing a new camera, a lens, photo software, a sturdy tripod, new umbrellas and a studio light to name a few. It seemed a proper reaction. Then I thought about the education he’s been giving me and I suddenly found myself eating my words.
As I took a moment from my mason jar of home-made tea. I thought about how much time and effort has been invested in bringing me back and making every studio session better than the last through honest critiquing and continuing building blocks. And I continue to book shoots and regularly use the tools and knowlege given. My confidence builds, allowing me to have more creative control and in the end, satisfaction. For now I’ll keep my “thank you’s” to a minimum and use my time to listen, learn and appreciate. 感謝、私は残っています。
While today, our last full one in Japan, was scheduled to be a laid back and get packed before family arrive for a parting dinner kind of day.The weather was just to good to pass up as It turned out to be anything but laid back. According to plan we were going to take the bus down to the Zushi train station to do a little exploring of the side streets and back areas we have bypassed since day 1 of our arrival. Some lunch, a stroll and back up the hill to the homestead.
After a long walk through the area we headed back to a place called Aroyas that had advertised scorpion as one of the days specials. Though I had just a short glance of the venue while passing by. The thought of eating something completely new to my palette (Even at the risk of dying) overtook me. So with belly’s rumbling we sat down and doubled up on scorpions before moving on tour our main course of curry shrimp. We ate so much food that we decided to get on the train to Kamakura where we could really walk it off. With no evident signs of heading to our graves due to our dance with plates of predatory arachnids.
Earlier tonight the eight of us went out for a going away sushi dinner. It’s one of those places that the sushi travels on a conveyor belt. We ate so much that by the end of our stay there were, counted them, 66 single plates carefully stacked in three piles. I had my final and sixteenth consecutive night of after dinner drinks with my Father-In-Law ( I know he’s going to miss me.) Refreshing after fifteen nights of vodka. We finally moved on to saki.
So we’ve finally come to the end of our trip. While I’m really going to miss everyone and just about everything Japan has to offer. I’m ready to go home. Our flight departs from Narita Airport tomorrow around five. I’m sure I’ll have some time to write tomorrow, but for the most part. This trip is history. I’m very appreciative of the incredible people in my life. Both those within arms reach and those around the globe who inspire me daily. I’d like to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous New Year. “Don’t take shit form anybody.”
Last night I received a heads up that the print I had mailed to a friend had arrived. Just a week before, Cindi stopped in at the loft for a fun, laid back photo session that would hopefully allow me to test some new gear and experiment with high key lighting. I style I had just learned from a friend and fellow photographer. Looking at older studio sessions I often shot a darker, low key side that tended to produce, moody yet stark results. Hoping to bing light to both my work and mood. I enlisted one of my favorite musicians. The image below, her showing off my box set of The Replacements first four albums. Was a personal favorite. In the past we’ve shared our mutual love for the band. Sending her an enlargement was just my way of thanking her for helping me to try some new things while returning to the type of work that inspires me the most. Thanks Cindi.
Last week my wife and decided to forgo our excursion into the city to stay somewhat local and explore Jersey City. As we came upon the historic Harsimus Cemetery I realized that, while we had passed and spoken about it countless times. I had never taken her inside to visit the goats who call the cemetery their summer home. Knowing how much she would enjoy the experience. I convinced her to stop in for a visit without going much further in detail as to what was ahead.
Quicker than it took to ascend the hill. Kayuri’s curiosity turned to wonderment as she began building a quick kinship with the beautiful goats of Harsimus. Within minutes she was racing back down the hill to exchange her bills for quarters so that she could score some snacks to feed her new friends with. Gleefully squealing and squirming as J.W., Arturo and Alexander (Correct me if I’m wrong on that one.) eagerly feasted on every morsel she hand fed them. It was a rewarding experience she still speaks about a week later.
Having something as unique and special in our very own backyard is worthy of both celebration and support. The amount of work put in to maintaining this historic spot is paramount in supporting our community, as well as it’s history. For more information, a calendar of events and how to volunteer. Visit Jersey City Cemetary