Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve 2011

I hope everyone is safe tonight (as fireworks keep banging off and whistling outside our house in Dove Springs, whut whut) and carries whatever the best nuggets of happiness you have from this past year into the next.

New Year's resolutions are great but they often fade so I think it's better to just keep the positive things with you from each year instead of carrying the same pressures in the guise of healthy resolutions into the next. If you got it, you got it; if you don't, you don't.

Survival of the fittest.

So I hope whatever positivity and goodness it is you've dug up and kept with you multiplies and glows through 2012. Happy New Year, friends! xo

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Visions in NYC

New York always blows me away. Here's a list of why: brief interactions on the street with strangers, overheard conversations, amazing food, boutiques, classical architecture, graffiti, modern architecture, and finally, the difference between the east coast and south that reminds me how much I love home - Tejas.

That being said, I love visiting NYC and running around to cool boutiques, popping into caf├ęs, discovering new restaurants.

I had dinner at CraftBar, Tom Colicchio's, of Top Chef, restaurant. The menu changes daily but I had a bone-in veal rib to die for after having marrow for the first time as our appetizer. Fatty Crab is also a fave - it's that perfect mix of sweet, spicy, salty, and spicey. Endless eats.

As far as boutiques, I looove Love Adorned, a lifestyle concept store specializing in one-of-a-kind jewelry as well as home, body, and travel. I also went to 143 Ludlow (a collaboration by Sophomore & Lindsey Thornburg) but it happened to be closed. :(

This trip, I visited my dear friend Leah in Tom's River New Jersey. I've known and loved her since working together at Popular Photography/American PHOTO. I heard her infectious laugh from cubes away and had to go meet her! Leah gave me a tour of the infamous Jersey shore; yes, THAT one. At about 11 p.m. we walked along the boardwalk, which was like a trip back in time. Reminiscent of old black and white photos of Coney Island in it's prime, there were vendor stalls atop the wooden planks, shut down for the winter season, however. I could imagine the colorful scene during the high season and envisioned Snookie face planting in the sand, just like we saw advertised over & over while flipping through channels on TV.

From there, we walked down to the beach. Slightly chilly but very moderate for this time of year, there was no wind. The water was "warm." there were hundreds of seagulls floating atop the waves, bobbing up and down like little toy boats each time the tide rolled in. As the water built up, we could see an misty indigo mass roll into large waves that would then break and scatter to the shore, chasing our feet. Every now and again a seagull would swoop in close to the shore, maybe grab something to eat, then disappear into the mystical space where the water meets the sky. Then they'd all bob again in unison.

I didn't have my camera with me but I was actually relieved because sometimes it's just good to be fully in the moment without any technology or gadgets.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sonoran Desert, Arizona

The desert is a serene place. And it's serenity, magic, and beauty are tricky. The desert fools you into thinking it can do no harm but, like the ocean, it has power.

I am always amazed at the landscape of the Sonoran desert of Arizona. With each visit, upon our first hike across orange-red dirt and rocks, my eyes rise slightly to focus on the fierce plants: spiny leaves, sharp stems, protected barrels. They are all in defense mode, rough and scaly, to survive the arid land and heat. They are stiff and sharp and have a 360• shield of defense from the hostile climate.

Fierce but completely beautiful. And there are glimmers of more traditional beauty in the desert - yellow, bright pink, and orange cactus flowers.

Jumping cholla, saguaro, prickly pear, beavertail, desert sunflower, coyote, owl, javelina, mountain lion.

There are tons of small holes, snake holes. There are so many that it seems normal to cohabitate and that's what makes it hard to imagine snakes really could have the advantage. My sense of adventure sort of renders me ignorant in that I still consider myself untouchable in certain instances where I am enthralled.

I require at least double the water in Arizona but there is still an endless energy that puts me in the most perfect yet crystal clear daze. It's pure. The desert is a mystical place and the natural intensity of that makes it pure.