dancing and day trips

this morning it is quite foggy in alamosa, colorado. my bike ride to work felt like something out of a halloween movie, ominous and slightly dangerous. the train tracks here don't have stop lights or any such precaution. so if you can't see it you better hope you can hear it. oh, alamosa, how i love you and your small town ways. this place is seriously awesome. there are so many adventures to be had and scenery to enjoy. or you can just check out oklahoma from the public library and eat pizza with your housemates (last night's activity). never a dull moment. always a good time.
hanging out with my housemates and the other volunteers is my number one favorite activity. everyone is so laid back and fun to be around. not too long ago kate, will and i topped off a (big) bottle of wine and dove into an impromptu bluegrass dance party. below is one of my favorite shots. i believe i was attempting a jazz step. will is just cutting it up.

my schedule gives me a friday/saturday weekend which i share with my housemate katie. this past friday we took a daytrip to taos, new mexico, an enchanting town just an hour and a half southeast of alamosa. the sun was shining and the air was crisp. we had a great time walking downtown and exploring.
below are some shots from our adventure.

a wild tree outside the taos pueblo.

two beautiful and friendly horses we met along the way.

on the way back to alamosa we stopped to check out the rio
grande gorge, a giant chasm of the earth. this is the bridge above
it where many folks stop to soak in awe.

el rio at the bottom of the gorge.

the gorge with mountains in the background. how can something
so massive and so beautiful exist? and it's right here in our
amazing country. i love america. i love the west. so fucking rad.

p.s. all digital shots this time around because my polaroid camera, the whale, has passed away. just as i went to take a shot of that crazy tree the whale failed to deliver leaving me desperate and disappointed. im in the process of acquiring a new one as i cannot live without my 'roid fix.

the whale. r.i.p. 199somethin - 2007


the san luis valley

i've been in colorado for about two and a half weeks now but it feels like i've been here forever. i am very settled into my new home and my new jobs. i spend half my time making sandwiches, coffee and doing dishes at milagros coffee house which is owned and operated by la puente home. all the proceeds go to la puente's shelter and such. the other half of the time i work in the volunteer coordination office assisting with the various groups that come to la puente to volunteer for a week, a couple days or just an evening. last night a church youth group came and helped weed and harvest one of our community gardens. it was a lot of fun, getting dirty and seeing the final product: a weed free garden. i also got to bring home some onions, cucumbers and lettuce. ive also had a chance to work at some of the other programs of la puente. last week i assisted cooking lunch at the shelter and tuesday i helped out at the food bank. the work here is always good, always hard and always gratifying.
so far everything in alamosa is great. i've got a new bike i've been riding around (although i just got a flat tire. working on that) and have been spending a lot of time just hanging out with the other volunteers. we spend a good bit of our weensy stipend on good beer and tofu fixings. i've gotten real good at stir fry to the point that it's practically all i cook. im slowly working on my spanish and my banjo skills and am always making the time to draw, collage and write letters. if i dont have your address hit me and i'll send you something lovely.
below are some more polaroids from the past couple of weeks in the valley. they aren't too different, content wise, from the digital fotoz i posted before. but you know im partial to the 'roids.
more to come as i continue to explore this beautiful place.

annie and kate amongst the massive sand dunes.

will adjusts his shoes before jumping back in the van
stopped right in front of the sangre de cristo mountains.

the old chapel at the top of a short mountain in san luis.


road trip polaroids

below are a few polaroids from my journey across the country.
some more recent alamosa 'roids are on their way.

an abandoned motel in mclean, texas.

an old house with a car faced tree.

a couple abandoned trucks off the old route 66.


at an oklahoma rest stop


more colorado

some fotoz of the retreat and a journey in the valley:

katie, lori and will hang by the gate of the camp.

mist rises over the mountains surrounding the camp.

a beautiful colorado mountain sky.

the whole volunteer crowd on the last day of our retreat.
from top left clockwise: lori, amy, annie, me, kate, katie,
will & michael.

the town of san luis, the oldest town in colorado.

the chapel at the top of the station of the cross shrine in san luis.


well folks, i have arrived in sunny alamosa, colorado. my first week here was a whirlwind, meeting everyone involved in la puente home, learning about the town and the valley and swiftly settling into my new home. then myself and the other seven la puente volunteers went on a retreat in a small canyon snuggled amongst the san juan mountains. we mostly lounged and participated in team bonding-like activities. i also got to practice my harmonica a lot and played spades by the fire. the day after returning from the retreat was my first day at work at milagros, the la puente owned coffee shop. i have also started my work in the volunteer coordination office with allison, jenna and keirsa. all hard work but way fun and life enhancing. this valley is amazing, the people are friendly and welcoming and the scenery blows my mind every day. come visit. you will not be disappointed.
below are some fotoz from the last week or so. enjoy.
(more to come in a new post)

my housemates and two other volunteers enjoy some down
time in the kitchen at monterey house where we live.
from the left: will, kate, amy, annie, katie

one side of my room. check out the sweet bookshelf and bad ass brick wall.

my housemate, will enjoys a sampling of beers at the local brewery.

allison, katie and lori in front of the sangre de cristo mountains.

the great sand dunes north of alamosa.


the big trail

for the past two days i've been on the road heading towards alamosa, colorado where i'll begin my work for la puente home as an americorps volunteer. saturday i drove from atlanta, georgia to shawnee, oklahoma. the 14 hour drive was mostly uneventful with not a lot of visual stimuli through alabama, mississippi, tennessee and arkansas. but sunday morning i woke with the sun allowing me to see beautiful oklahoma, bad ass texas and 'enchanting' new mexico. i feel like john wayne in the big trail; the west is unfolding before me and it's fucking awesome.
right now i sit in my hotel room in albuquerque, new mexico looking at maps and planning my last leg tomorrow. i will be driving through santa fe and then a little detour through taos.
i took lots of sweet polaroids today, including many of the mostly deserted town of mclean, texas which lies on the former route 66. unfortunately, i do not have a scanner for the polaroids. i hope to have some access when i get to colorado. below are some digital fotos. not as awesome as the roids but they'll do for now.

there were many many such stores in oklahoma: native america.

in the panhandle: at a texas roadstop not far from amarillo.

mclean, texas was home to many abandoned buildings
and homes. this gas station is just one example.

p.s. this is my new tattoo. i kinda love it.

stay tuned for more road trip fotos, digital and polaroid. also, stories of my new life in alamosa will unfold shortly. wish me luck and call me often!



one of the most glorious things about northampton, massachusetts is the old school photobooth in thornes, a downtown shopping center. below are two sets. one of me being fucking fierce and one of myself and my love, camila danger. enjoy.

in the second to last solo you can
see my lame attempt at a sexy wink.


more polaroids of my dearest friends. above mandi, ruby, ilyssa, rachel and chloe enjoy a may afternoon with some cold beers and hot jams. sonic youth practices in the house across the street. the grass is cool. the sun is warm. school is over.
(click the image to enlarge)

jax & jonah

while wrapping up my last semester at smith college i made a valiant attempt to document as much of my life there as i could.
below is a little collage i made with a photo of my dear friends jackie and jonah who also lived in the friedman complex hood.

jax & jonah. always sharp. always fierce.
(click on the image to enlarge it)


more canada

below are more shots from canada.
collages to come soon.

the lighthouse in kincardine, ontario.

colleen and andres fish with the sun in their eyes.

my cousin colleen casts off to catch some big ones.
however, the timing of this photo makes it look more
like she's shooting a gun than trying to fish.

my uncle j.j. captain of the fishing expedition.

view of the tip of michigan from the blue water bridge
which connects sarnia, ontario to the great u.s.a.


oh canada

i just returned from an adventurous journey to the great land of canada. my family and i stayed in a rustic, fifty year old cottage. i was there with my mother, brother, four cousins and aunt and uncle. nine people in one little cottage. it was way fun.
the cottage is located in tobermory, ontario on the very tip of the bruce peninsula which lays between lake huron and the georgian bay.
(see heart on map)

it's a beautiful place with all sorts of wildlife and awesome vistas. the cottage is right on lake huron where we bathed, swam and fished.
i was able to snap a few polaroids during the visit. check them out below:

my brother and i in front of an old lighthouse in kincardine, ontario.

the back of the family cottage.

entrance to the dunks bay cemetery where my grandparents, 2 uncles and aunt are buried.

the grotto on the georgia bay. below the rocky cliffs lays a deep cavern full of tourists and rocks.

more canada polaroids to come . . .