New Orleans Proper

Posted on April 24, 2015

You can come to an understanding with the manufactured microcosm that is tour guide New Orleans, but there’s so much more to it than alcohol and fried food. The best parts are found in its people, its children, its potholed road system, its local businesses.

Saint Charles

Posted on April 13, 2015

Radio silence as I’ve been going through some major life changes. I’m currently in New Orleans, wrapping up a beautiful educational workshop feeding the fire that I’ve had always: Photojournalism. As I think about everything that happened and all the crazy thoughts tangled together, one surefire way to challenge myself now was to start working on crafting better photo stories.

Here’s this morning’s rainy, 1-hour ride on car #953.


Posted on February 15, 2015

I walk though the park sweating on warm weekends, tramping through mud with heavy backpacks, lured by the possibility of meeting people different from myself. Why does being different make it so wrong?

Tea Fairy prefers to live under the sky with her dog, Emma, creating and selling art aimed to bring down the borders of selective favoritism. Equal love and equal support for all. She sticks to her own territories in both Berkeley and San Francisco, equally evading eviction and the troublemakers that regular folk assume she is.

The Sweepers of Haight-Ashbury

Posted on February 12, 2015

I had the opportunity to meet and follow the members of the Haight Ashbury Street Sweepers program. An offshoot of Taking it to the Streets, the Sweepers allow at-risk youth to participate in community service to clean and beautify the neighborhood as a path to achieving a more permanent job. These kids work four days a week and in return are offered a place to live, a job reference, and mentorship.

In San Francisco – particularly the Haight Ashbury neighborhood – there’s a dichotomy of what people consider the “right” way to live but it’s difficult to cross those boundaries once you’ve committed to a side. I love that this grassroots organization enables these individuals to make that change.

I’ve spoken with three of the six Sweepers and was humbled by the type of conversations they had while they worked: physics, theology, chemistry, art, and business administration. Not the things that I would expect homeless youth to discuss while they picked up old newspapers, bottles, and cigarette butts from the sidewalk. I was moved by their past, their ambition, and their dreams. Although I walked into the situation knowing I’d be surprised, I wasn’t prepared for this.


People as Projects

Posted on February 11, 2015

I’m addicted to people. A strange thing for an introvert to say, but this is the breakthrough I’ve been waiting for my entire life. We all have miles of secrecy and share the same fears, have stories bursting to be told, and anxieties about what will happen tonight, later, and tomorrow. We have compassion for each other (however deep it’s buried), and reservations and mistrust. We’ve had moments we’re not proud of, parts of us that we’re ashamed for others to see, and for this we’re all artists curating just the best.

In 2014 I discovered that I love talking with people, discovering things about the world that only other eyes and experiences can bring, and having a brand-new shared companionship. I love preserving those moments in pictures so that the moment isn’t lost to delicate memory.

I promise to share more of this.

Naked & Strange

Posted on December 23, 2014

With the drought hard-hitting the American West, rivers and lakes slowly die before our eyes. The southwest has always been a conundrum, full of deserts and heat, dotted with oases of opulent civilization and rich, famous farmlands.

As the waters fall, the bones of the earth rise into view, exposed and naked and strange.


City of the Dead

Posted on December 6, 2014

In the U.S., you book your cemetery when you’re still alive. When you’re done, your guests wear black, throw a wake, throw flowers, and the cemetery workers to take care of the rest. Someone pays for a stone and comes back later if they’re so inclined. Or, you cremate.

It’s different in Korea.

Walking through these pristine parklands is otherworldly and strange. More than the embodiment of a post-apocalyptic silo civilization, it’s a conundrum. It’s a vast green, smooth, velvety landscape empty of people in a country so crowded with life. Under these hills are stones and tombs so old, so sacredly undisturbed, that we often don’t know who sleeps inside.

There’s some connection here, I’m sure, between the burial practices that are so oddly similar across the vast corners of the Earth.

The Rainbow Hikers

Posted on November 21, 2014

There’s a movement happening in Korea right now, one that’s been blooming beneath the surface of society for years. It slips beneath our notice, and while the epidemic has taken tight hold of its people, the rest of the world doesn’t bat an eye.

Rainbow Hikers: Korean adults aged 40 and up who don the quintessential Korean outerwear in every explosive shade of the autumn landscape. Perfectly color-coordinated, perfectly prepared, these stalwart warriors proudly sport their pants with articulated knees, all-weather boots, gloves, backpacks, hydration packs, sun hats, windbreakers, vests, and walking poles with the greatest pride. Although they’ll never come close to anything resembling a survival situation, they’re ready.

As much as I enjoy poking fun at this Korean trend, I long to join them. There’s something appealing about being ready for anything, and looking good while you do it. Black Yak, Mountia, Nepa… these are all the tenets of this beautifully bright faith.

One day I’ll be perfectly matched, perfectly waterproof, and perfectly ready to walk the 1 kilometer paved trail alongside them and maybe once (just for once!) they won’t look twice at me.

Korea: The Lay of the Landscape

Posted on November 19, 2014

My mother said that she hated the mountains growing up because they always hid how far one could see. She never saw the horizon until she was 16.

Korea is full of mountains, although it doesn’t have much of a reputation for being wrinkly. From above it’s all peaks and folds, gentle ancient hills, softened by dense trees and valleys lined in golden rice fields.

The mountains cradle skyscrapers and clouds, then feel the tickle of the sea and farms at their feet. Although the country has an immensely diverse landscape of its own, the mountains are the threads that keep it all together.


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