Tag Archives: memories

{memories in manhattan – volume 4}

3 Apr

a good friend of mine just reminded me of an annual event that takes place in union square park, lower manhattan. it apparently just happened last weekend in new york, and i was reminded of the time that i was fortunate to be in the mix, camera in hand.

i’m talking about the ‘annual pillow fight’ 🙂

i’ll never forget the hilarity of this day. it was a sunny afternoon, but there was a spring chill in the air. 14th street was lined with people dressed in pajamas and costumes and carrying their favourite pillows under their arms. police staff stood closely by, and the occasional ambulance could be found parked around the corner, should anyone get hit a little too hard or fall off someone’s shoulders.

i meandered my way into the crowd, holding my camera close to my chest. i spotted several fotographers hiding out in the ‘pit’ and remember being nervous for them – like, what if someone or someone’s pillow knocked their camera to the ground? even though i came unprepared anyway {no pillow and all}, i was certain i would never be caught in the moshpit, let alone with my camera. i’m a self-admitted wuss like that. i prefer to have a nice long lense and stand nice and far back.

anyway, i people-watched for a good 20 minutes or so, snapping fotos like this :

i laughed at several costumes and appreciated how much thought some of the attendees took into preparing for this event. i wondered to myself if i knew anyone in the crowd.

hundreds of people people gathered in the shop windows nearby to get an aerial view… Continue reading

{memories in manhattan – volume 3}

27 Mar

after my experience with the cute stranger on the subway, i quickly started to realize that my fondness of portraiture was beginning to grow rapidly. when i was in college, i never really wanted to fotograph people… my ambition was to work for a place like j.crew and fotograph flat lays on white seamless. i think i would still enjoy something like that, but my point is, i was totally intimidated at the thought of putting people in front of my camera. 

the ironic thing is, part of the reason i was able to save up some money to even move to new york, was due to fotographing some portraits for clients during the summer months while i was living in delaware with a friend. i took the train up to manhattan twice and was able to squeeze in a few sessions on long weekends and put that money toward my moving fund. i think it was during that summer that i really started to fall in love with portraiture. 

the following fotos were taking during one of my first portrait/headshot sessions upon moving to new york. the only person i really knew in the city at the time just happened to be a film-maker, and he knew lots of aspiring actors and actresses that were in need of good headshots. 

i met this lovely young lady in central park for our session. she is of french descent, and i just love her unique features. she was a natural in front of the camera, and it was during this session that i started to really fine-tune my creative portrait eye. 

Continue reading

{memories in manhattan : volume one}

13 Mar

a little preface here :

i have been thinking about my experiences living in manhattan… i’ve been thinking about it a lot, in fact. i hope to make a trip up to the city in june, and so i have been mentally reflecting back on my time there.

i thought i would start writing about some of my experiences. i enjoy writing so much, and yet i don’t do it enough. i try to keep a journal, but my fingers just can’t keep up with my mind most of the time. i’m a much faster and better typer than i am a writer, which kind of makes me sad but also makes me thankful that i can take time to sit down and type out my thoughts when i need to. having said all that, i really wanted to start a series here on my blog which will highlight some of my favourite experiences living in the big apple. some of the stories may include fotos, some of them may not. i don’t have any expectations regarding this, but i do know it’s something i want to do.  and so to honour this desire of mine, i plan to update this collection of memories on mondays.

i thank you in advance for taking this journey with me, and enjoying these memories with me…

and without further ado, i present to you –


memories in manhattan : volume one

i’ll never forget pulling up to 20th street with the half-empty u-haul and seeing my new roommate standing on the curb with her friend and his dog. i can’t remember the dog’s name, but i’m sure ms. judy will refresh my memory if i ask her. i was so eager to meet her, as we had been exchanging emails back and forth for about a month. my boyfriend at the time was living in manhattan and had helped me land this living situation by visiting it prior to me moving there. i met my roommate, miss J, online when she responded to an ad i had placed looking for a roommate/apartment. it was so serendipitous to have her reach out to me, because i had struggled finding a place to live that was reasonably priced and met some of the requirements i had set for myself. of course, i wanted a safe living situation and preferred a female roommate. i also wanted something on manhattan island and i had a certain budget i didn’t want to bend on. ms. judy met all my requirements and she even shared her name with my mother, which i found to be a fantastically sweet nod from the universe. 

i opened the truck door and stepped my foot onto the concrete jungle for the first time, looking up in awe at the trees all around me. it was the 1st of october, and the trees were ripe with a rainbow of colours and the air had a crispness to it that i wish i could bottle up. i took a deep breath and immediately reached out my arms to greet ms. judy. she gave me a warm embrace and proceeded to kiss me on one cheek, then the other. she pulled back a little and said, “in new york, we kiss.” my soul felt a warmth i was unfamiliar with and to this day has not been duplicated. her friend and neighbour then introduced himself and his sweet pooch, both of which i hugged {and ‘new york kissed’}. 

i fell in love with my neighbourhood immediately. the tree-lined street just off the east river had been built shortly after WW2 and was one of the only “complexes” in manhattan. it was tucked away just far enough off the bustling streets to feel like its own personal city full of park benches, fountains, and lots of greenery! right below our apartment was the most perfect little bodega that ms. judy and i strolled into shortly after unloading my things to grab some pizza for dinner. everyone working there knew her by name. the place was packed with just about every kind of goodie one could imagine. it became quickly apparent that this was going to be a place i would frequent – all hours of the day. 

although i remember those very first moments of arriving in new york city, i do not remember much else about that day. my room was already furnished, so it didn’t take me too long to unpack. i had been downsizing my things prior to moving to NYC, and so by the time i arrived, i had packed and unpacked so much it was like a science. 

i do remember the following few days… i pulled out my brand new camera that i had recently bought with money i received from selling my car. it was 2008 and digital cameras were much more expensive at the time than they are now. it was my ambition to make that happen, and sure enough, i did. 

ms. judy had given me lots of information about the neighbourhood, and in true audrey form, i had done a lot of research on the area as to {somewhat} know what to expect. i stepped out into the cobblestone-lined walkway just outside of our building and i began snapping fotos.

i think this was one of the first pictures i ever took in new york : 

my first foto in nyc

i was still a somewhat budding photographer at the time, and looking back at some of the first images i took in new york makes me kind of giggle – as i can now see how much i’ve grown as a photographer and artist.  Continue reading

{things that remind me of new york…}

4 Mar

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pizza… and me in this hat!

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geese everywhere for days… and creepy, unexplainable masks…

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culturally cool bikes… !

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large groups of ninjas practicing with swords… and this…

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stickers on electrical posts… and graffiti in hidden spots…

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broken glass that looks like art… and bright colours…

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stickers everywhere for days… especially funny ones…

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this cool lamppost… !

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tweety bird driving {what appears to be} a pimped-out dunebuggy… and awesome murals…

{things that make me go, “mmm”…}

5 Jun

i have some sad news…

my camera broke recently… and so i haven’t been able to really take any new fotos of anything… it’s been a real bummer… because i’m not sure i can fix it… and i’m just trying to stay positive and really focus on the things in life that make me truly feel GOOD…  and i’m thankful to have a phone with a camera so i can capture moments in my life that are memorable… i mean, even if one doesn’t have a camera, i feel it’s important to stop and make a conscious memory of the things that make us feel good…

yanno, the things that make ya go “mmm” …

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… like perfectly-priced happy hour 4-oz samplers of four amazing local brews… {can you guess which one was my favourite?!}

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… and a sampler snack platter to compliment including savory tomato jam, perfect stone-ground mustard, multi-grain crackers, goat cheese, hard salami…

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… and catching a rainbow…

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… and seeing artists repurpose all kinds of amazing stuff… like bikes! …

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… and other artists being silly and engaging through chalk…

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… and doughnuts. mmm, DONUTS!!!!!!  *homer simpson drool sound*

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… and relaxation time in {mostly} solitude…

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… and  visiting a friend’s house… who happens to have a great sense of humour…

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…and sunbathing under blue skies…. SO BLUE!…

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… and random stickers/graffiti that remind me of new york…

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…and this.  i mean, i do  live in colorado 😉

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… and GMO-awareness-obsessed-car-owners…

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… and lions mane mushrooms…

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… and, as always, mount sopris…

 

 

{“stray cats” – a special sunday post}

23 Mar

so – pretty much everyone knows that i used to live in new york city for about 3 years… part of me is {no doubt} still there, and always was and will be.  i miss it every day, but i have to trust my heart that i left when i was supposed to leave. the memories i made there were so special, so irreplaceable, and so life-changing that i reflect on my experiences often.  in fact, i know that i need to start writing more about them.

aside from being an old soul, i’ve always enjoyed the company of older people… even when i was young, most of my friends were older than me. when i was in manhattan, i lived with a spry, lively, hilarious sagittarius who was more than twice my age, and we were the best of friends.  don’t misunderstand – she could keep up with any 30-something i knew! i often don’t speak of her directly, nor do i of many of my friends, out of respect for their privacy.  however, this week i just had to post something in honour of the news i received from my former roommate in NYC.

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this foto was taken in 2010 at our favourite spot, quigley’s, which is now closed. we frequented “quig’s” at least once a week, sometimes more – depending on fun events like mardis gras.  it was like our own personal “cheers” – everyone knew our name. the lady across from me in the foto is my lovely former roommate and still very close friend… we’ll call her “JG”.  the gentleman next to her is the quintessential new-yorker with the best sense of humour.  the gentleman behind me just lost his battle with cancer this week. his wife, behind him, recently had the same fate last year. i like to refer to them as the “IRISH” – because they are.

these people had a HOUSE in my heart.  not just a room, a house.  the couple that lost their lives to cancer were like family to me. quite literally – they invited JG and i over for every holiday dinner. most of JG’s family didn’t live in NYC, and obviously none of mine did either.  after a while, it became a running joke to call us “the stray cats” because we would just wander over for dinners, as they always invited us and made us feel like family.  the IRISH had a home business and they even hired me to take some fotos for their marketing.  these people were just so special to me.  when i found out about MISTER IRISH’s death, a part of my heart died, too.  that may sound morbid, but that’s how special these people were to me.  i never got sick of hearing stories about how they fell in love, or how much they remembered about the city changing, or how they knew about the “best little bakery in town” — or just their warm, kind, open, and loving spirits. it chokes me up to think about how special the IRISH’s are/were and just how blessed i am to have met them and been so immersed in their lives {and vice versa}.

things i miss most : morning paddle tennis games with a cup of coffee from the bodega downstairs, long chats in the living room with evening light drenching all the furniture, my endlessly-full wine glass, their amazing taste in art – particularly that italian painting above the kitchen table – i was obsessed with it!!!… what i’ll miss most is the way i felt whenever i left their presence… just so enriched!

so, in honour of the IRISH family, and my lovely former roommate JG – i bought these simple and gorgeous magenta carnations… they are JG’s favourite flowers.  i’d often buy them for her, since there are flower shops on every corner in new york. yesterday i bought them in honour of her, as well.  she stayed by IRISH’s side in his last days, and told him “the stray cats love you” — that meant a lot to me, since i couldn’t be there to say goodbye.  i also love carnations because they may be the ‘bottom of the totem pole” when it comes to flowers, but they last so long and they smell incredible and they will remind me of all the amazing memories i had in NYC with IRISH and JG.

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heaven has another angel… and i know he’s being greeted with endless amounts of love.

thank you for reading.  have a beautiful sunday – and just please go out and share a little love… with the ones you love, and even with the ones you don’t.  the world just needs more of it.

xxoo

{travel tuesday} — a trip up first avenue and down memory lane…

2 Oct

i moved to New York exactly 4 years ago almost to date.  i pulled up to the corner of 20th and 1st on a sunny and brisk October 1st afternoon.

in honor of those first memories – which i will never forget – i decided to share these first ever fotos i took in new york.

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i’m pretty sure this was literally the first foto i took when i moved into my new apartment… i was so excited to see flowers and a guy with a dog!  it was as if i had some idea that my apartment would be in a weird part of town or something… and it was quite the contrary. see, i actually never saw my apartment until i moved there.  a friend visited it for me and sent fotos, but that was it.  i was so grateful to have lived in stuyvesant town when i lived in new york.  BLESSED, really… xxoo Continue reading

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