Monday, November 30, 2009

New York City #2

Friday morning we woke up and rode the A train (a daily occurrence) to 14th Street and walked a block or so to Murray's Bagels, which came highly recommended by Brian. Thank you, sir! Murray's was insanely good. I am a freak of onion bagels with chive cream cheese, and this crowded but cozy little place was tops. Heather and I sat on a bench out front in the light rain and couldn't believe how delicious our breakfast was. The fresh-squeezed OJ didn't hurt. We walked across the street to Rite Aid for some Advil and found a display of Snuggies for dogs instead. After doubling over with laughter, we walked to the Empire State Building for my first big view of the city. We ended up going on the New York Skyride before heading to the observatory. Lame! Kevin Bacon should be ashamed of himself. But at least we had a good laugh. Up on the 86th floor, we bundled up and went outside into the gusty winds. There were times when we had to crouch down and take cover next to the stone walls. It was like walking in a wind tunnel, but oh so funny. We rode the elevator down and I peeled a Polaroid in the lobby while a lot of people gave me really strange looks, then we walked outside and boarded a double-decker red bus for a tour of the city.

Freezing and windblown since we rode in the upstairs, exposed-to-the-elements part, we got off in Soho and booked it to Eastern Mountain Sports where I bought a much-needed beanie and a bunch of stuff I didn't need (new argyle socks, a t-shirt, and a small Timbuk2 messenger bag) but considered them my NYC souvenirs even though there's nothing NYC about them. We had an amazingly fresh and cheap lunch afterward at Spring Street Natural, recommended to us by an employee at EMS. I've said this about a lot of the food I ate there, but I would seriously fly all the way back to New York just for that lunch. Next, we accidentally broke a fancy, expensive pagoda ornament in Kate's Paperie , then browsed and bought a few things to help make up for it. I found some really cool camera iron-ons and lots of ideas for Christmas cards. By the time we left Kate's it was dark and rainy and cold, so we stopped in Starbucks (despite my dislike of the place) and got really yummy caramel apple spice hot drinks. I may or may not be hooked and may or may not have to go to Starbucks occasionally now. Boo. We hopped back on the double-decker bus and rode through the Financial District, Chinatown, and back to Midtown where we hopped on the subway to Chelsea. We went to Chelsea Market for Fat Witch brownies and Jacques Torres chocolates, then on to the Meatpacking District for yet another amazing meal, this time dinner at Vento, recommended to us by an employee at the Apple store across the street. We made a few Polaroids in the rain after dinner, then took a cab to a 30 Rock-themed birthday party for a friend of Heather's, then a walk to the subway, then home. And now that I’m writing and reliving all of this, I can’t believe we did all of that in one day. Whew!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

New York City #1

I've been home from New York City for two weeks now, so it's about time I made a proper post about it, and it's going to be in long segments, but before you read any further, head over to 8tracks, click play, and then come back to read. It's our NYC playlist, because every trip should have a playlist.

I think Heather and I started saying "Wouldn't it be fun if I came to visit you in New York?" back in August, and by the first of September, I bought plane tickets, and then came the agonizingly long wait till November 12. I flew to Chicago Midway and got delayed two hours, then on to LaGuardia. (I should preface this next bit by reminding you that I am from a small city in Utah, and that I now live in a very small town in Utah, and that I have an orchard over my back fence, deer in my yard on a regular basis, and I'm usually in bed by 10pm. Oh, and I don't normally use public transportation.) Two nights before I left for my first-time-since-I-was-8 NYC adventure, I was so freaked out by the thought of flying to the east coast alone, staying in Manhattan, and just being in New York City, that I very, very briefly considered bagging the whole trip. But duh, that would have been the most stupid thing I could have ever done. Fears and nervousness aside, I walked on the plane in SLC, started watching movies on my iPod and knitting, and soon enough I wound up in New York City for a few days of fun with Heather, and oh man was it fun!

I waited for a cab at the airport and gave the driver directions to Heather's place. It was only about 7pm, but dark of course, so the city lights looked so pretty as I was driven over Triborough Bridge. That's the moment I realized I was in New York City, and suddenly all my scaredy-cat feelings disappeared. A few minutes later, I handed the driver some cash and called Heather to come let me in. About an hour later, we were on the A train headed toward Serendipity for overpriced but good cheeseburgers and their signature crazy delicious Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. We strolled along Fifth Avenue after dinner and saw Christmas displays going up in all the shop windows, and then through Rockefeller Center and saw the scaffolding going up around the Christmas tree, and watched ice skaters down on the rink below. We walked past Radio City Music Hall and stopped for a few photos, and then on to my official "Welcome to New York City!" greeting at Times Square. I thought the "Oh my gosh, I'm in New York!" feeling on the Triborough Bridge was cool, but Times Square?! Whoa. The lights and the crowds and the noise! Did I mention the lights? We found a spot atop the ruby red stairs and I just stood there with my chin on the ground for about ten minutes. It was amazing! (You'll hear that a lot from me in the next few days.) We rode the Subway back home and stayed up till almost 2AM. I know, I'm a total rebel.

Tune in tomorrow for the second installment of NYC...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


The purpose of this Polaroid is twofold. Let's start with the big BIG news first. I made a book! Just last night, I uploaded 142 pages of photo goodness to Blurb, and I'm now very anxiously awaiting the arrival of my copy of Into the Woods: A Season on the National Forests. It's not available to the public just yet; I want to check it out first and make sure it's ok. I have to admit that this book was mostly motivated by #2 on my list, although it's not specifically Polaroid and it doesn't span those years, I feel like I accomplished my goal. Plus, I think my initial goal was a little grandiose. If I made a book with all of my Polaroids from 2005-08, it would have been a 350+ page book. So, this one is a much more affordable option! Inside are over 160 photos: color, b/w, Polaroid, film, and yes, just a few digital. It spans my entire season with the Forest Service, and I am so very proud of it. So that's it. That's my news. Oh, and this image? It's in the book.

Secondly, this time of year it's very easy to get caught up in the hurried flurry of shopping and baking and decorating and partying, but in between all that busy-ness, I realize just how fortunate I am. It's been a weird year for me, what with an extra job and all the traveling that came with it. My husband has had an insane year of work and full-time school, and it's just now dawning on me that this will be my first set of holidays without my grandma. But still, I am so thankful for my marriage, my home, my family, my job(s), my friends, my traditions. Tomorrow will be filled with amazing food made by my amazing dad, and there will be a whole lot of laughs and stories, and even more mooches and squeezes from my niece and nephew. It will be a happy day, and I hope yours will be too. Happy Thanksgiving, friends.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hit the Ground Running

hand shoes

What a whirlwind the last couple of weeks have been! I've been absent from this space for a little while because I was in New York City! The last post was made from the hardwood floor of my friend Heather's apartment in Manhattan. Isn't that crazy? I've always wanted to see the city -- last time I was there I was 8, and I only remember the throngs of yellow cabs -- but I never really thought I'd ever go, but I did! I have a million photos to share, but first, I have to tell you why I've hit the ground running. Last Wednesday night, as I had just zipped my suitcase shut for my NY adventure, Cynthia at Blazing Needles, the lovely yarn shop I visited two weeks ago to re-learn how to knit, invited me to show/sell my work at her first-ever local artist night tomorrow from 6-9pm in conjunction with gallery stroll. I've been running around like mad, gathering ribbon to package my brand new (brand new!) note cards, ordering prints, driving to Ikea during rush hour traffic to buy new frames, meeting with Cynthia, and tonight, I'll be framing 16 prints. I'm so excited about this event, and I can't wait to get my display all set up!

So, in closing, if you're in Salt Lake City tomorrow night from 6-9ish, stop by Blazing Needles to see beautiful work by textile artists, woodworkers, jewelers, potters, and me! 1365 South 1100 East. Start your holiday shopping right here.

PS: The lovely knitted "hand shoes" up above, yeah, they're at Blazing Needles. It's such a cool place. Just come.

Friday, November 13, 2009


This is an odd post for this nature girl, but tonight, I got to hang out with both the model and the photographer who made this awesome shot. My friend Heather made this photo and it is among the top 10 finalists for Armani's photography competition. Please, please, please go cast your vote for Heather. It would be a huge thing for her, and for Whitney, her model. Go cast your vote here!

Thursday, November 05, 2009


It's Polaroid Week and it's Thursday and I'm just now getting my head in the game. Monday would have been my day to get out and shoot, but I was on a Forest Service field trip all day and the light was just not conducive to Polaroid-making, and yesterday I planned to get out on my lunch break and then ended up getting stuck at work, and the one Polaroid I did shoot in the morning ended up getting lost between my desk at work and my house, so after visiting my mom and having dinner with my dad last night, I decided I needed to make something happen. (Was that just the longest sentence ever?) I took my SLR 680 out at night and made some dark Polaroids filled with light which I am quite thrilled with, except the one obvious piece of film that would have been awesome but I jammed my camera on the piece of the bridge that I was using as a tripod of sorts and the goo squished out the back. It's still an ok shot as far as a funky finished product goes, but not at all what I had imagined. I'll have to go back. Anyway, Happy 'Roid Week to you all. I hope it's been great!

And today is my dad's birthday! Happy Birthday Dad!

Monday, November 02, 2009

So Much Love and Kindness

My mom's dearest friend very unexpectedly passed away last week. She was only 52, healthy and hilarious. She had three kids, five grandbabies, and a wonderful husband. I feel so sad for her family and for my mom, who received heaps and heaps of love and kindness from this lovely lady. She will be sorely missed, especially by my family. Rest in peace dear friend, and thank you for everything you did for my mom.

Fall is always a beautiful and much-anticipated time of year for me, but this one was a little tough. The tragic news of last week, and before that, heavy work schedules, hectic weekends, and the like, but it all was mixed with good things here and there. Things are easing now and hopefully looking up. I hope you all are doing well, enjoying your fall, and lovin' on your family and friends.