A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to visit the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. and I must say, I’ve never been so overwhelmed in the most beautiful way possible. The sheer amount of information, history, culture and energy in the museum is astonishing. I managed to get a few iPhone photos (apologies if they are sideways, still can’t figure that out) and video to share but they do it no justice. If you can, stalk the museum’s website for timed passes and experience this gem in person.
I decided to squeeze an end of summer getaway into my extended weekend and I’m so glad that I did! Having never been to Niagara Falls or Watkins Glen State Park, I was taken aback by the magnitude and beauty of both destinations. Here are a few pics from the trip and some video of my journey on the famous “Maid of the Mist” boat ride which takes you as close as you can get to the falls, with the added bonus of a refreshing shower along the way…
And for the sake of experimentation, I decided to add some HDR effects to this picture. What do you think?
If there’s one thing that I love, it’s photographing out of the ordinary, off limit or once restricted (or currently restricted) locations. For this photo excursion, I had the opportunity to take a guided tour of the recently partially restored immigrant hospital located in an area of Ellis Island that until a few years ago was off limits to the public. The Ellis Island Hard Hat Tour features a look at several pieces of oversized artwork by artist JR for his Unframed Ellis Island project. The over 90 minute tour covers sections of the once fully operational immigrant hospital on Ellis Island that cared for sick immigrants before they entered NYC. The history behind the hospital is fascinating and JR’s larger than life images of immigrants entering Ellis Island provided a realistic and often eerie portrayal of the hospital. Eerie because the areas that we were allowed to walk through, although were deemed safe, were definitely creepy as all hell. I kept preparing myself for a ghost of some sort to walk past me as I clicked away at the decrepit rooms throughout the hospital. I LOVED IT! Every minute was filled with history, intrigue and of course the most creepy atmosphere that I’ve been allowed to photograph. Apparently, JR hosts his own tours in which he has unrestricted access to the entire hospital to view all of his pieces. If you’re looking for a new photography adventure that’s close to home (home being NYC or close to it) check out this tour before it gets too cold!
I don’t remember our tour guide’s name but he was GREAT. Super knowledgeable about the hospital and enthusiastic about the tour.
The hospital had several mortuary refrigerators in a lecture style room in which doctors and surgeons examined bodies of the deceased.
If you do take the tour, prepare to WALK. This is just one of the hallways that we examined.
JR’s work is hidden away in various rooms and areas of the hospital. We only saw half of them because JR has many pieces located in places that are still off limits to the public.
While on the tour, we ran into one of the workers shuttling a newly restored piece of equipment that was used to help soldiers coming from war with hand injuries regain use of their hands.
You almost forget that this was once a beautiful and vibrant hospital caring for thousands of people. Most of the rooms were left exactly the way they were left years ago.
As you may or may not know, I’m back in school finishing up my bachelor’s degree. I’m attending Southern New Hampshire University and have been selected as one of the finalists in their first ever Art Exhibition. 1st and 2nd place winners will receive scholarships to be used towards our education so… HELP A SISTA OUT AND VOTE FOR ME! You can go here to cast your vote: http://www.snhu.edu/online-degrees/bachelors/ba-in-graphic-design-and-media-arts/art-showcase. I’m in the photography section with a photograph of a graffiti artist from Spain tagging the legendary 5 Pointz space. The photo is called “Defiance”. It’s SUPER easy to vote, will only take a few seconds of your time and could help me win one of these much needed scholarships. Thanks in advance and as always I appreciate your support!
As we continue on, here’s part 2 of my poetry series entitled “Seasons”. You can read all about it and catch up by reading part 1 (Summer) here.
For many, there’s something unsettling about the fall season. The chill in the air makes some of us want to stay in doors and prepare to hibernate like bears while others seem to bask in the brisk breeze. While writing this I thought of the trees dying and it reminded me of death and how the feeling is similar to those chilly autumn mornings. Dark, cold and lonely. Unlike the trees that are sure to reappear in the spring, when human lives are lost they are gone in the physical forever. But, I don’t think I truly believe in death. I don’t think anyone ever really dies, just becomes reincarnated into a different form of energy. My great grandmother passed away a few years ago and I can still feel her presence. It can be a scent, a number or even a person who will appear to me as her be in another form. Fall can represent many things. The theme for this series incorporates growth with the changing seasons and with growth in life, comes death. However, I believe that one can grow through the process of death and like the tree’s life cycle, one will take a minute to rest, recuperate and blossom again into a magnificent tree…of life.
Seasons (Fall) Part II
Don’t ever die again
Don’t allow the restriction of time to determine your end
Don’t allow your skin to thin and melt away
Your hands, dry and brittle and brown and once they have left the trees they are now dead
So children play and run and jump in their demise as I cry surrounded by these unpleasant reminders of your demise
Don’t ever do that again
I can’t take it
The beauty in the passing of the failing of the falling tree’s last effort to remain intact is unbearable
I can’t stand here naked without you
They can’t make it without them
I don’t want to be brave without you
But they will always come back
The children will play and never stay and winter’s force will blow death away and spring’s warmth will entice growth and summer’s heat will promote hope and the trees will rise
again and again and again but you will not
So please don’t ever die again.
Better late than never!
I’ve been SUPER busy with school, the biz (this place) and my 9-5 BUT I’m still going strong and the cool weather has motivated me to really buckle down and study instead of run the streets (HA). I hope the new month and season are serving as an inspiration to you to do whatever it is you have been putting off. Happy fall!