A cold lemon icey on a hot muggy day. A smell or song that transports you through time and place to a memory tucked far away. Or the soft embrace radiating pure love from a squishy bundle of joy. Happiness is Vivianna Jo.
Moving to a new place, in a new city, in a new state, has heightened my awareness of many things, in particular the people whom I’ve been fortunate to have in my life. My friends, my community, my family and even the random everyday encounters, all add ingredients to my world, giving me a richer and more delectable recipe for this life. As I explore the crevices within myself, vis-à-vis the exploration of a new place, my gratitude shifts to the interconnectedness within the world, the generosity and kindness shared by new friends, and really realize how small the world is, and continues to become.
My faux neighbors Dre & Dede invited me to Rockaway beach for a ‘bit of a Barbie’ (BBQ) recently. Indulgent and delightful. Afterwards the group strolled along the beach, played in the water and sipped some smooth Cuban Rum.
Not that I would, but in theory, you can’t swing a dead cat in this town without bumping into someone who is either from or has lived in San Francisco. I stopped by The Palms to check it out before it closed for the season. I ran into Jeff Stark, an instigator, an organizer, a connector and in this instance, a bartender. Like he told me, just google his name and you’ll find a multitude of pages linking to his adventures.
He had me at Connoisseur of Whiskey and being a Nikon shooter. I was lucky to bump into this distinguished gentleman, Werner Cohn, in Brooklyn Heights during tropical storm Irene. Werner shared that he first began taking photographs at 5 years old, in 1930, in Berlin. He went on to tell about photographing Berlin in 1936. “Do you know what was going on in Berlin in 1936?”, he asked in mid-sentence, “Yes”, feeling confident I knew what he was about to say, “The Olympics”. Oh yes, Jesse Owens, Hitler’s walk out, and the infamous Leni Riefenstahl. He was 10 at the time, and still has the original film that he shot then.
I set out the other day to check on a site in Brooklyn Heights I had photographed during Irene, and found myself halfway up Manhattan instead. On the ride back to Brooklyn, down the West Side Promenade, I realized where I had unintentionally ended up.