It’s been pretty hard to get much done at home this summer because of all the airplanes. HOWEVER — I’ve been doing some planning for months now and finally got a chance over the last couple of weekends to finally get all my books and cameras under control. YAY!

I’m totally in love with these shelves from CB2 and how much storage they provide. I’m sure I’ll completely rearrange all of the shelves a bunch more times (The Art of Doing Stuff has such good tips and I hope to achieve Karen’s shelf zen one day), but am feeling so inspired at the moment.

I reorganized two closets, too! I’m going to buy myself a trophy.

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new shelves-4new shelves

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When I woke up on Saturday morning, I knew it was going to be a great day. Honestly, I’m not sure the weather could have been any better to celebrate the first day of summer and one of my favorite days of the year in Brooklyn – the Mermaid Parade! On the subway trip out to Coney Island, I think I figured out that this weekend marked the ninth consecutive year I’ve made the trip out, and I definitely have never seen better weather. It was a GORGEOUS day for mermaids!

It was super fun to meet up with Barry and Gisele pre-parade for the parade line-up festivities. I’m still in the process of developing my film, but in the meantime – check out these awesome shots from this weekend!

Untitled, by mkc609:
Mermaid Parade 10

Untitled, by Scott Dolan:
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Mermaid Beauties, by Joe Alfano:
Mermaid Parade 2014Mermaid Parade 2014

Uncle Sam, by Dr Pavloff:
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Mermaid Parade 2014, by Joe Alfano:
Mermaid Parade 2014

Were you there? What was your favorite float or costume?? Mine was TOTALLY the ‘I’m no enemy of no sea anemone’ pun. Total sucker for a good wordplay. Okay, and the Dick Zigun group. That was hilarious.

Yay! Brooklyn Summer Weekends!

June 20th, 2014 | Posted by Jill in coney island | events - (0 Comments)

Tomorrow marks the first day of summertime, and BOY am I ready — I’m a summer baby through and through. After a heavy travel schedule the last few weeks, I’m looking forward to playing in Brooklyn this weekend and there are some very cool things happening around town. First up, if you haven’t heard, they’re in the process of tearing down the iconic KENTILE FLOORS sign in Gowanus. Sad.

As one last hurrah, the folks from Vanderbilt Republic are hosting an after-dark light show tonight at 9th Street/2nd Avenue. My Hasselblad is already packed and I’m gonna try to hold it together tonight. Actually, they did a similar light show a little over a month ago and Barry Yanowitz was there to document it. Check out this beautiful video he made:

And then TOMORROW, the annual Mermaid Parade is back! The parade officially starts at 1pm, but the line-up (and ensuing photographer frenzy) will start at 10:30am on West 21st Street. They’ve increased the entrance fee to the staging area this year to a semi-outrageous $20 – wasn’t it just $5/camera last year?!

Anyway, I am hoping to make it out there in the morning because I love all the heart that goes into the parade. It wouldn’t be summer in Brooklyn without it! For photos from past years, check out this tag or over on the Flickr group. Hope to see you there!

A month or so ago, the lovely Ed Brydon reached out to organize an old-school photo walk. He and his growing family are moving out of the borough and he wanted to get together for one last hurrah to get out and explore the streets. Of course I was game – I love photo walks!! Such a good excuse for drinks and fun times geeking out over cameras. Destination: Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.

Of course when the time came, I agonized a bit over which camera to bring. Part of the problem with a growing camera collection is that it’s just so hard to choose sometimes – especially when most of your options weigh a ton of bricks. It’s like picking your favorite child to go on a walk with, knowing that you’re probably going to end up carrying her the whole way and need to go through traction when it’s over. There’s a reason I shoot so much with my stupid iPhone.

I ended up selecting my first true love: my Mamiya C330f TLR. She was the first medium format camera I ever had the fortune to play with, and it’s been so long since I took her out for a spin. She’s getting a little rough around the edges – the Mamiya faceplate at the bottom has fallen off, the metal crank catch is nowhere to be found, and she looks a bit worse for the wear. But oh, it felt right.

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Ed, Barry and I met up in Fort Greene at the Habana Outpost with Ed’s beautiful wife and son — all TLRs in tow for the walk. It was so good to catch up and talk about what everyone’s been working on lately (or not working on, in my case). Of course the moment we finished up our Sixpoints and decided to head out on our walk, the skies let loose and it started raining like crazy. We quickly decided to duck into a coffee shop and chat some more while it let up. Photo walks are unpredictable! Side note: I’ve never noticed the “Brooklyn Love Building” sign across from the Outpost. :D

One of the things that was great to hear about was Ed’s experience in an artist mentorship relationship. He’s been meeting regularly for what sounds like really gratifying photography therapy as a way to keep himself focused and accountable for the work he’s been creating about a friend of his with Multiple Sclerosis. (Please: do yourself a favor and check it out.)

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This kind of a relationship really resonated with me because I really haven’t been taking much time to be productive or focused with my creative work lately. My consulting work has been so all-consuming that the personal creative void it’s caused is evident. I do make time for creativity at work within the context of my career, but it’s not quite the same. I feel like this type of a relationship focused on personal creative growth would be a big addition to my life — it would likely be a more positive force when it’s easy to fall back on cynicism or negativity when I’m not productive. And we could all benefit from an editor, right?

Anyway, I’m going to try and take this one step at a time to get back into the swing of things. I really need to get back into the habit of organizing photo walks. And shoot with this beautiful Mamiya more.