Author Archives: Jill

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!

Spread Love: It’s the Brooklyn Way!

June 8th, 2014 | Posted by Jill in photo walk - (4 Comments)

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.

The January Cure

January 5th, 2014 | Posted by Jill in getting organized - (0 Comments)

Yay! Happy 2014! I am so glad 2013 is done with and the new year is here. Zach and I both spent the holidays down and out with good ol’ H1N1, and to celebrate being back on our feet, I’m excited to share a few plans I have for January. I’ve never done anything like this before, but the other day I saw a link to a post on Apartment Therapy encouraging people to sign up for their January Cure. I guess the site has been doing an annual get-organized program in January to kickstart the new year, and I decided I seriously need a kick in the pants. Sign me up!

The general idea of the Cure is to make a realistic project wish list, and then follow through with it every day in small, manageable chunks of work. I do this every day at work for clients – I should be able to do it at home for myself, right?! It *SOUNDS* so reasonable. They’ve even published a calendar of assignments and send a daily email to encourage you about the task of the day. No Excuses! The first day’s assignment was to create a project list, and I’m sharing mine below. I’m excited to knock out a lot of the projects this month — the hardest part is not trying to do everything all at once and getting burned out!!

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There are a few themes that emerged from the list-making exercise: 1) I have a TON of stuff to donate and get out of my house. 2) I have accumulated a lot of art and it’s sad that it’s not up on the walls yet. 3) All my closets upstairs need a ton of planning and TLC. Even though we re-plastered the closets and did a lot of repair work when we did our main renovation, none of them have any interior hardware. Annual Elfa sale, here I come.

This weekend, the assignment is Flowers & Floors, and I’m excited to go check out Park Delicatessen tomorrow to pick out an arrangement. Maybe after breakfast tacos. Mmmm, breakfast tacos.

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If you’re interested in joining the Cure, you can still sign up to participate here. I’d love to know if you’re doing it and what you have planned. Good luck! Can’t wait to share my progress as the month continues.

On Garden Time

July 7th, 2013 | Posted by Jill in garden - (4 Comments)

Exactly one year ago, I posted about how well my front garden was filling out after all our meticulous planning. Last summer we put a lot of effort into growing tomatoes and nurturing flowers and diligently picking tiny strawberries to enjoy for months and months. Year three? Not so much. Between the barely-winter winter and the fact that zero of my plants died back during the winter, I have the craziest garden ever this year. My travel schedule for work has prevented me from doing much maintenance so far this year – and thanks to the amount of rain we’ve had this year, I’m really disinclined to do much regular weeding in fear of my mosquito pals. I haven’t even bothered with tomatoes or an herb garden yet this year because I know that I don’t really have the time and attention required to give them a fighting chance. Pathetic, I know.

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To my original design’s credit, parts of the garden are looking great this year despite my every attempt to completely neglect it. The sunny woodland patch look I was going for on one side of the garden? Well, that vision has been realized… and then some. Yarrow flowers bend down to the sidewalk, their hot pink flowers full of bees. Salvia spikes have reseeded in several colors, scenting the sidewalk in their sage-y smell. The left side of the garden has grown big and unruly – and as my neighbor kindly put it – it’s got that cagey wild vibe going.

So, basically it’s exactly like my hair these days. Thanks, July heat and humidity.

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The right side of the garden – the side nearest the stoop – is equally as wild and out of control. The acid green creeping jenny has started to drip down the bricks. All the various sedum I planted have exploded in crazy textures – and they’re threatening to take over the entire garden. The sweet baby lavender plants have grown into massive overbearing clumps with purple fronds covering half the steps. And don’t even get me started on the oregano. I’ve already cut it back twice this year. The only thing not doing well on this side of the garden is the thyme. All the other plants are so humongous, the poor thyme can’t catch a break and get enough sunlight to survive. Tough luck, thyme. Natural selection is real.

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The other day, I came home after work and realized I was locked out of the house. I had a set of keys, but I couldn’t unlock the deadbolt. So to make good use of the time I spent waiting for Zach to get home, I decided to do a little work weeding, which gave me some excess time to spend thinking about the garden. See, while the garden has just happened to (unintentionally) grow to look (intentionally) wild on either side and is kind of beautiful, the whole middle section is balding. Once I got done weeding, the whole middle section was down to the bare dirt.

My garden has male pattern baldness.

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A little story on how the baldness came to be: over the last couple of years, I became irritated with the random giant chrysanthemums that used to be in center of the garden. Planted by the previous owner of the house, I gather that their original purpose was to cover up the stump of a big weed-tree that used to sit square in the center of the garden. From what I hear in talking with the neighbors, the thing was massive and reached the second floor of the house. ANYWAY. I know that gardening is supposed to be meditative and a demonstration of patience and all that shiz, but I just ripped those chrysanthemums out in cold blood.

As a result, the garden looks a bit silly and I cringe just a little every time I step out the front door. The empty space makes no visual sense, and it’s yet another friendly reminder of my inability to fully complete projects. We’re finally having someone come take a look at the stump this week, so my hope is that we’ll be able to get it removed and get on with our lives.

I just want to get it planted and looking halfway decent again, so I can concentrate on other ongoing house projects these days. Really trying to stay positive and use it as motivation. Time to shop for new plants!

P.S. All images in the post were shot on iPhone and edited with the new VSCO CAM app! I’m in love! Have you downloaded it yet?