When February rounds the corner and the calendar creeps into March, that’s usually when my spirits begin to lift. The tiniest hint of warmer weather – like today’s very-tolerable sunshine – kicks me in the pants and helps me remember that I might start seeing little green bulb shoots in the garden soon. And to start checking the cherry blossom bloom watch map. (NO SIGN YET!) This time of year, the winter fog lifts off our collective shoulders and people start to smile a little more easily… at least until the spring rains start. I won’t lie: this winter has been a bit of a bear. I haven’t been traveling much for work, so my escapism has been limited to some serious Netflix binge-watching. I finally watched the entirety of Twin Peaks (WHY?! WHY DID I WAIT THIS LONG?!), and got totally hooked on Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown.”
[PHOTO: Kenmare and Cleveland Place. Hasselblad 501CM + Ilford Delta 3200]
I’ve had to dig deep to find inspiration this winter. Despite the last couple of months of snow storms and oppressive cold, I did try and keep up with my yoga practice. Emotionally, it’s been a huge stabilizing force and one for which I’ve been so thankful. Each moment I spend to reflect and calm my mind has helped me get un-stuck from a lot of the thinking that otherwise dampens my creativity. I’m not quite sure how to explain it, but taking the time to meditate and focus has resulted in greater clarity about the goals I need to set for myself – creatively, professionally, spiritually. It also helps that I’ve found a yoga teacher who’s great at reminding me to be gentle and kind to myself – and embrace my sense of humor. I can’t wait for her upcoming web series about the cult of yoga in NYC, which should be hilarious.
Beyond yoga, I’ve also been trying to see as much live music as I can muster the past couple of months. There have been a bunch of gems: Steve Gunn for the Rough Trade one-year anniversary party, Ryley Walker at Baby’s All Right, an old school six-hour set from Paul van Dyk at a ‘secret’ warehouse show on Atlantic Avenue on the coldest night of the year. One of my favorite local bands, NYC’s own Heaven, with OKC’s BRONCHO at Rough Trade. A massively noisy and fun night seeing Disappears and Suuns with impressive local opener Christines. Over the last few years, I’ve come to realize that live music is basically medicine for me, especially in the winter. It puts so much in perspective and helps drown out negativity. It amplifies my own inspiration and creative process. It completely enables my addiction to vinyl.
Though I can’t fully credit yoga or music or whatever else I’ve been doing to get ‘unstuck’, I am happy I’ve been making some progress on the photography front as well. It’s been a couple of months since I launched my new website, so this weekend I gave myself an assignment to write and edit a new photo essay. Excited to share some photos from a quick trip to Madrid later this week! While I was at it, I wanted to overhaul some existing content. So I added new maps and started researching ways I can share my favorite spots to eat, what I loved to see, and recommended photo walks. I’ve considered sharing my itineraries in full, but I’m not exactly sure what’s the most helpful. Foursquare? Google Maps? TripAdvisor? That new Pinterest Maps thing – is it any good? So many options, must investigate further.
I’m really looking forward to the warmer weather this week. Little lamb, welcome. Please stay awhile.