Posted by Ted on Nov 16, 2009 in Memories

I was in Boston a year ago, having just voted in the most important election of my 36 year lifetime and being excited for the future. I’d just had a small birthday/election celebration party, and had no idea that in a year I would be living on the other side of the country.

Yesterday I watched a dirigible land and take off again as I passed the Oakland airport just before sunset. This was after going to the Fruitvale farmers market (every Thursday and Sunday, year round), and an East Bay Bicycle Coalition appreciation BBQ, where I may have volunteered to help promote the building of a bike/pedestrian path across the western span of the Bay Bridge. Saturday, we drove down to Glen Park for brunch, and then made our way up to the Sutro Baths to walk around and through the cliffs overlooking the Pacific, watching a huge cargo ship come out of the horizon, probably from China, and most likely bound for the Port of Oakland, the fourth busiest container port in the United States. Then we met some of Liz’ school friends for Burmese dinner in the Richmond district, before heading back across the bay to Fruitvale, where we enjoy being a minority in a latino neighborhood with at least a dozen taco trucks within a mile radius.

Everywhere we go, we discover new nooks of the Bay Area that make us fall in love again and again. There is so much good food to be had, both in the groceries and farmers markets, and at thousands of restaurants of every nationality. I’m sure we could never eat in the same place twice for years if we wanted to. The geography continues to take our breaths away, from the majestic redwoods to the expansive Pacific and the sometimes rolling, sometimes leaping hills that permeate the bay area. There are 7 regional parks in Oakland alone, 51 in the bay area, and 280 in the state of California. We love it here.

We miss our friends and family in Boston and New York more than any of them probably realize. We left a vibrant community, closely-knit and deep-rooted, to pursue our dreams to head west. The ache we feel in being so far away is often palpable, and yet this has very quickly become our home. It’s been reminding me lately of my first burn. After the culture shock wore off, I felt completely at home in less than a day. There is a very good reason that Burning Man evolved out of San Francisco; we have everything here, it seems. Great local food, stunning scenery, and more going on than you’ll ever be able to go to. We have schools like the Crucible and Trapeze Arts, festivals like the Fire Arts Festival, Fleet Week, and Folsom Street Fair. We have blooming flowers in November, and a palm tree in our back yard.

I wonder when the honeymoon will wear off?

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morning comes early in Maine..

Posted by Ted on Jun 12, 2006 in Photography

after a beautiful drive yesterday, I finally ended up in Rockport, ME for a week-long intensive photography workshop.

last night I sat across from Arno Minkkinen at dinner, and he’s giving a slide show and lecture on Wednesday.

classes this week will be intense; up at 7a or before to take pictures before breakfast at 8, and then class begins at 9a. then onsite through lunch, then offsite for the afternoon, and back for dinner and lectures, and then homework before trying to go to bed before midnight.

got to show my portfolio to the class today, and it felt good to have the instructor say, “what you’ve got is really good.” in reference to my work thusfar. this week however, I need to push myself in unfamiliar or uncomfortable directions; namely playing up close with narrow depths of field (which I’ve been branching into lately, being inspired by Liz’s developing eye), and the most fearful of all, people. if I don’t have a willing victim that I know, I find the idea of approaching random strangers intimidating. this week will be the time to push that envelope of comfort.

one of the interesting things about The Workshops is their philosophy, and in particular that of the founder, David Lyman, who speaks about the catalytic experience of being here with the same fervor and rhetoric that Larry Harvey might about Burning Man.

for now though, back to class..

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