For more please head over to my collection on Flickr, Street Art Photography, an album containing over a thousand photos of street art captured over the past 15 years in NYC and Sacramento, with some images taken in other cities and countries. From tags to large scale murals, with everything in between… Some of this artwork has long disappeared, others remain, some are hidden between buildings, others are displayed prominently, proudly, on visible walls. Many of the photos in this album were taken in Bushwick in Brooklyn over a decade ago, an area which has undergone significant changes in the past few years, with more artwork going up, but, at the same time, a lot disappearing too. Art is everywhere, we just need to look around to see it.
I spent many a day roaming around NYC, snapping photos of buildings, signs, art, sometimes even people if I felt confident enough. There was always at least one camera in my bag, digital and/or film. New York City embodies art. NYC IS art. NYC is a huge, moving and continuously evolving piece of art and there is nowhere in the world quite like it (not that I have found in any case). Over the years I captured many pieces of street art on those cameras, from tags to full blown commissioned murals and anything in between. I moved to Bushwick in early 2008 and found layers and layers of amazing art during my walks, blocks of murals and tags; stencils and wheatpastes. Some work was obviously commissioned and legal, other just appeared overnight on an old wall, and left to stay. Some of the art that I photographed is long gone, other work remains in the same place today, but you never know how long anything will last in the city… Street art remains ephemeral. I have only two regrets, one being that I left shooting Five Points for too long and was too late, and the other being not capturing all of the artists names. If you recognize any please leave a comment and I will add the artist’s name.
This collection of photos spans over 6 years and three boroughs (Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens). I used the following cameras: Canon Rebel Ti1, Canon AE-1 (1978 and 1979), Holga and there are a couple that were taken with an iPhone. Artists include: Blaze, Dasic Fernandez, AWR/MSK Crew, TFP Crew, Jesus Saves, Russell King, Bushwick Collective, Goya, Dave-Foto, DYM Crew, YMI Crew.
The (large) collection of photos is up on Flickr HERE. The photos featured below are only a small example of all of the images that I have collected over the years!
It doesn’t take much to take me back there, a couple of years ago in the late summer, together on the beach. The Rockaways were still under a lot of construction post-Sandy, and there were no crowds on that Wednesday in September, just us and a few others, enjoying the sun and the warmer ocean. 11 or 12 weeks pregnant, thinking that it was so obvious, that I was huge, so many new dawns opening up ahead. A lot of unexpected dreams and hope and changes and a lot of wondering about what everything would look like the following September. Snapping photos on the beach, just a few of us knowing our secret, a happy in-between time in the sun, eating sandwiches and jumping over waves.
A few years later and out comes the Holga again, this time in Queens, walking around the park, visiting the zoo. Pregnant again, happy, in love with our family. Luna riding along on your shoulders, screaming in delight at the sight of colourful parrots and large, dangerous cats. More sunshine, one Spring child and now a Summer child on her way. Sisters, hopefully best friends. Edifices from past world fairs, an empty carousel taking Luna for her first gleeful ride and ice cream from the grumpy vendor. Soft serve with a twist and maybe some sprinkles. The Unisphere looming over us, beautiful in its starkness. Look there’s Mexico and there’s England and there is the US, all part of your heritage, Luna. And yours too little summer baby.
I took two rolls of film to a photo place on Roosevelt and Main, the nearest place I could find. I used to just drop film off at Walgreens and never had an issue, ever. I use black and white film that has been made to be processed in a color processing machine. It’s really, really hard to actually mess up the development of 35mm film. REALLY hard. Well these people actually managed to expose part of the colour film before development and develop the black and white BACKWARDS. I’m talking backwards like in a mirror. Luckily due to some mistake on their end I only paid $7 and I also only looked at the photos when I got home, otherwise I would have lost it. Now I am just telling myself that it just makes them a little unique and different. And I will never be going there again. I also know this camera very well and it wasn’t a case of me doing anything wrong, it’s a simple camera and pretty foolproof. Anyway, the pictures still make for good memories!
Luna is napping peacefully next to me, and while I know I should take advantage of it and nap too, I can't seem to switch my brain off today. I have a lot of work to do and could also be doing that while the house is peaceful, but instead I am just browsing through photos and thinking of friends and realizing that we only have 10 more weeks left of Luna being an only child. I want to make sure we do something special with her every week, something that we all enjoy as a family of three, before the insanity of being a family of four takes place. A few weeks ago we went to Queens Zoo in Flushing-Meadows Corona Park, which happens to only be a 30-45 minute walk from our house. The weather was perfect and the timing wonderful as we missed the school kids parties and had the entire zoo practically to ourselves. I finally got to see the Unisphere in person and we ended up taking a lot of pictures on the Holga, something I'm really excited about right now! (Although the place I took the photos to be developed at managed to completely botch the development. At least we got a few nice pictures, and found some old ones from Cesar, Henna and me on the beach in Sept 2013, when I was just a few months pregnant with Luna).
Luna seemed to enjoy everything, from the big cats to the beautiful tropical birds, and Cesar even took her on her first carousel ride, where she bravely sat on a horse and even ended up enjoying herself, squealing at the horses in front of her. We were all exhausted after a long day walking in the sun, but it was so worth it, just to be together, happy, watching Luna discover new things and adventures. I really wanted to brave the Bronx Zoo before it got too hot, but I think it will have to wait until later this year when Luna is a little older and I can walk around for hours without trying to jump into the water with the rest of the happy hippos. Yes, I feel huge. Belly-wise I‘m not really any bigger than I was with Luna, but all-over-wise I am definitely. I guess that comes with the territory of having back to back pregnancies, and if this is what my body needs to do to carry a healthy baby then so be it. And kickboxing lessons will be happening in the autumn ha!
Everything is actually going very, very well. I continue to have sonograms every 4 weeks to check up on the cyst and its growth, and for now it has remained exactly the same. Little baby weighs approximately 3.5 lbs, so right on target for 30 weeks, and has now turned into the vertex position, head down, which is one less thing to worry about. She is a big mover and loves to kick and pummel me all night! I however actually sleep better than I did when I was pregnant with Luna, maybe just because my body is so bone-tired anyway that it just doesn’t care if I have a body pillow or not, it just wants to sleep for 2 hours straight! I know this isn’t going to last much longer, as the days when I will need to roll myself out of bed are looming, so I am just making the most of it. Luna is having quite a few issues napping lately, so I’ve taken to napping with her in the afternoon, which really does seem to help both of our moods in general. And it’s so hot outside that our park visits have been relegated to the morning or the late afternoon, or on the days when I know I will have enough energy to run after her every time she tries to join a group of teenagers hanging out at the edge of the playground.
Anyway, I passed all the mid pregnancy tests again fine this time, no gestational diabetes, normal iron levels, still breastfeeding Luna, although to be honest it’s not as easy as it sounds when pregnant. It’s painful and can be slightly annoying, especially when she wants to nurse for ages at night due to teething. In the end it’s easier than forcing her to wean now when I will only be starting again in 10 weeks, so we might as well continue. At least I hope it will be a lot easier this time around with the new baby. We have finally started getting the little bits and pieces prepared for her. I have some of her own Aden & Anais blankets arriving this week (the best baby swaddles and blankets and can literally be used a million different ways), her little Rock n Play arrived today (we have no idea where she will want to sleep and I am not stressing about it like I did with Luna… Our bed is big enough to accommodate all of us and the cat if need be), and we chose her first outfit out too. Her name has as much meaning to us as Luna’s does, which will be obvious when we tell everyone. I love keeping that part a surprise. Now I just need to finish spring cleaning all of the closets and start packing away the little one’s first few months of clothes in the dresser, schedule a Salvation Army box pick-up for the amount of things we have to get rid of, and stock up on everything for those first few weeks post-partum.
Trying to find the time is a little difficult though! I haven’t posted much recently as I have been completely swamped with work (a good thing), but as I work from home around Luna it can often be a little tough making sure I get everything done. And Cesar has recently taken on a second job, so we have both been juggling busy times with making time to just relax and all be together. You know, all of the general life things that most people go through! I hope we are able to have at least a week together when the baby arrives, but we may have to do some juggling there too. As long as we can make sure that Luna feels extra special during that time to make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible. I think that’s my main worry!
It’s funny how I am less worried about making sure we have “all the stuff” this time around. As long as I have my sling to carry the baby around when I’m playing with Luna and somewhere for her to nap consistently then we are all set. Oh and a couple of big play mats for the floor so they can both hang out together (and hopefully Luna won’t try to feed her sister, or pull her head off or something along those lines!). In any case we have pretty much everything for another little girl, including a year’s worth of clothes! I don’t think either of us have been kidding ourselves that it’s going to be easy, but I refuse to worry about it too. We both come from long lines of highly adaptable families, so I doubt we will have too much trouble adapting!
In any case, I should probably finish up and post this so that I can focus on my workload and making Luna and myself some kind of lunch that will most likely involve honeydew and cantaloupe melons (both of our favourite summer fruit). I will try to post a photo update within the next few days too! In the meantime, here is little baby munchkin number 2 at 30 weeks, punching me in the side. <3
I was recently looking through some photo albums on my computer for pictures I could use on my blog, and ended up going through all of the film photography I had done between 2010 and 2013. Between using a Holga and a Canon AE-1 from 1978 I had managed to collect quite a nice collection of images from NYC, California, Jamaica and Long Island, lots of memories of places and people and moments in time. I've not been very good at making the time for photography this past year, apart from taking many, many photos of my growing daughter and her many antics, but looking through the photos made me really miss using film. The element of surprise, the colours, the imperfections, the starkness of overexposure, the disappointment, the excitement and the fact that you only have one chance. I'm sure I actually still have half-used rolls of film in my cameras... I should use that as incentive to finish them off and start anew. It shouldn't be that difficult to through the Holga in the stroller or backpack! Stay tuned... In the meantime here are a few I picked out from the multiple albums I have on my hard drive. There are links to some albums below.