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Living in New York, writing about California

April 20, 2010

I’ve been putting a book together for on demand printing.  It’s mostly pictures from the past year, though there are a few landscapes from my first couple years in New York.  I ended up including a few pictures from California too as I was able to write about my last years of living there and my process as a photographer in a really satisfying way.  I am still working hard at putting it together, so haven’t much time for “blogging.” (btw way, the term “blogging” kind of freaks me out).  I’m going to post some of the words for that book in pieces instead. It’s been nice to take the time to really work a piece of writing over in terms of editing and content.  I’m lucky to have my friend Peter who has really helped me to write better, along with some of my fellow students and Nayland Blake’s graduate seminar and his simple, genious observations and suggestions.  The image I posted is from my back yard when  I lived on 19th street and Market in San Diego.

I’m going to post a couple paragraphs from the essay I wrote everyday…maybe with a picture..should only take a few days..it’s not too long…I’ll probably keep posting my black and whites too….

Streettaco: The things I didn’t photograph. Part 1:

By the time I started taking pictures I was in my late twenties and had lived in San Diego for 16 years. The last 6 were spent in a neighborhood called Sherman Heights in a Sear’s craftsman house on 19th Street that was built in 1888. The house sits on a hill above downtown. Since it’s owned by a friend and currently occupied by another, I go see it and spend time there without feeling like a lurker or like I’m being too nostalgic though I am wistful about the time I spent  in that home. Not only did I live there for 6 years but I consorted with all of its occupants for the 7 years prior. It began in the mid-90’s, with a group of crazy British illegal immigrants, party promoters and drug dealers with whom I associated via my boyfriend at the time. I remember being 20 years old, standing on the front porch at about 8 AM, being fired from my job at
Victoria’s Secret over the phone. After staying up all night, I called in sick at short notice one too many times.

My friend Richard ended up buying the house a few years later. Some aspects of his life including our shared and individual experiences with the house both echo and foreshadow mine. We both spent extended time in the house and surrounding neighborhood and also experienced dramatic overhauls of perspective and ways of living. Over the subsequent years, various groups of friends lived there, in varied states and lifestyles until eventually I moved in. By then the woes of irresponsible drug use had been alleviated and instead I would sit on the front porch, smoking cigarettes and staring at the over grown yard and giant hibiscus Richard had planted, pondering my life and the city below in completely oblique terms. My roommate Peter became a great friend and profound influence, and the three of us were something like
a family. Richard rented a loft space a few blocks away, while Peter and I rented his house, but it was like we all lived there.

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