Wednesday, May 26, 2010

list 13 - things that are rocking my world this week

1. the blue skies that come with summer (we can call it summer since it's 90° out, right?)

2. the awesome, awesome, awesome concert that Brad Paisley put on last Saturday evening. Literally two hours of me standing there, dancing and singing my head off (apologies to those sitting around us!). Added bonus? Opening act Darius Rucker (aka Hootie from Hootie and the Blowfish) who sang all the songs from junior high!
3. the great discussion with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert that Brad took me to see last Friday night. Added bonus? We went to a meet-and-greet afterward and got them to sign books (I won't share the incredibly dorky thing I said to Mr. Bourdain... I was trying to be so cool, but ended up much more star-struck than anticipated!)
4. the new Sex and the City movie that opens tomorrow (even though it just got a horrible review in the Post)

5. the three photos below will be appearing in a display at the City of Alexandria Historical Museum this summer

6. the Pandora Radio station created by searching the song "Roll to Me" - a great mix of 90's music (a thanks to my colleague Lauren for this idea!)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Five for Friday

1. So, as planned, my brother David arrived this morning (unfortunately one of his bags did not, thanks United. It was not very comforting when the guy at the baggage office said "Are you sure it's not out there [on the belt]?" Um, yes.). But anyway, it's great to have him back on U.S. soil and I'm sure he's sound asleep and exhausted from traveling for, literally, over 24 hours.

Oh, and his reaction to my sign: "Wow... um, did you make that?" Clearly, my artistic ability won him over.

2. Tonight, Brad and I are going to hear a talk by Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert. I AM SO EXCITED!! (sorry about the caps... I get a little excited talking about this) I just finished Bourdain's book and, well, I love to eat, so it just seems like the perfect thing to do. Too bad it means ditching my brother his first night back in the U.S. :)

3. Tomorrow night, we are ditching him again and heading to see Brad Paisley in concert. This is actually our fifth year in a row seeing him, as he seems to tour pretty much all the time (I'm sure his wife (who was the daughter from the "Father of the Bride" series!) is loving that, since they have two little ones). It's always a fun time and maybe we'll get lucky this year and it won't 1. rain and 2. have nightmare-ish traffic (but I'm not holding my breath). Check out this photo I dug up from the 2006 concert - scary!
4. So, as you saw, last Saturday's trek up to NYC and back was indeed successful. It was such a great day, spent leisurely strolling through the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit at MoMA, having a nice leisurely lunch at La Bonne Soupe on W. 55th Street and enjoying a leisurely few hours in relaxing in Central Park, reading and journaling. The overall theme for the visit: leisure.

5. Dunno much else, my brain is fried from being up all night checking the status of my brother's flights (yes, the neuroses about flying extends beyond just when I'm the one traveling).

Bon le weekend!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Christina Saull Photography featured on The Travel Photographer's blog!

A big, big shout out to New York City based photographer Tewfic El-Sawy, author of The Travel Photographer blog, for the shout out today!

His blog is one of my favorites. His travels are amazing, his photos even more so. He is an inspiration to broaden my travel horizons.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

in a New York minute

last glimpse before turning onto the highway in New Jersey...

list 12 - blogs I read every day

I actually have a pretty extensive list on my blog reader, many of which I just skim through on a daily basis. But I really look forward to reading updates from these 12 blogs...

(in no particular order)

1. Mary Kate McKenna (my wedding photographer) and 2. Jamie Windon (aka the Blonde Photographer) - two extraordinary D.C.-based wedding/event/awesome-ness photographers

3. Erin Conrad - a former colleague and one heck of a talented photographer who has a love for her state of Oklahoma like nothing I've ever seen

4. The Pioneer Woman - duh. Because she is awesome.

5. Rockstar Diaries - D.C. residents with the best writing style and the cutest little bulldog

6. Young House Love - a great DIY interior design blog. They're also brand new parents!

7. Bakerella - because if I could bake like her, I would never work again. An AMAZING blog full of yummy things

8. The Big Picture - most photographers will tell you that what they're doing with photography over at the Boston Globe is pretty amazing.

9. Ciao, Chessa - another great photography and art blog. A mom-to-be and New Yorker who always has unique pictures of the Big Apple.

10. The Travel Photographer - interesting commentary on photography and world travel. He have gone to some amazing places to shoot and I admire his style of street shooting/photojournalism.

11. Fresh Brownies - a great style blog. Because if I was young, tall and thin, this is how I would dress ;)

12. Stuck at the Airport - travel columnist Harriet Baskas's fascinating blog about all things travel (she also writes a weekly blog on called The Well-Mannered Traveler, which I adore).

Monday, May 17, 2010

Henri Cartier-Bresson

I'll start this post by saying this: if you're a photographer and you live on the east coast (or have the opportunity to get to New York City), you absolutely must get thee self to MoMA to see the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit before it closes at the end of June.

Holy. Moly.

To say it blew my mind was an understatement.

300 of Cartier-Bresson's photographs in simple white frames with white matting on gray walls in room after room.

I spent 2.5 hours wandering around the exhibit on Saturday and it was worth every penny I spent getting up there and back (and every penny I spent at the gift shop afterward!). Also, if you go, pick up the free audio guide at the entrance to the exhibit. It offers some really interesting commentary on his photos and world travels.

I went with the goal of being inspired to improve my street photography and portraiture - I came away with more inspiration than I thought possible.

I fell in love with several of Cartier-Bresson's photographs during my visit, including one that I cannot find anywhere online (must mean that I have unique taste). I'll have to take a photo of it out of the coffee-table book I purchased that has a copy of all 300 photos at the exhibit.

Some of the others I found most inspiring:
Cartier-Bresson didn't shoot many landscapes and never shot a landscape without a touch of something "man-made" in it. I love the simplicity of this shot. I bought a 16x20 version to hang in our office, where I do a lot of my photography work.

Simple. Perfect lines. Perfect blurred motion. Perfectly contrast-y.

Taken when cameras first became portable enough to do street photography and fast enough to capture stop-action. Look at the poster in the background, with the dancer in almost the same pose. Genius.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Five for Friday

1. Remember the old adage "be careful what you wish for"???

Remember back in January when I posted how I was missing my brother, but that was okay because he was done with his military service in July and there would be a happy homecoming?

Well, July turned into next week and the "happy homecoming" part has turned into him coming to live with Brad and I for a few weeks. It's a little scary and nerve-wracking and exciting all at the same time. The scary part: how are three adults going to share one tiny bathroom? The nerve-wracking part: what is he going to do while I'm at work all day that doesn't result in our condo being burned down? The exciting part: I get to spoil him/re-do his entire wardrobe!

If anyone has any fantastic ideas for a big glittery sign I can meet him at the airport with, I'm all ears. I'm going for maximum embarrassment here - and yes, I'm already considering a small battery-operated tape player which will be playing patriotic music!

2. Tomorrow, I am embarking on a crazy, one day journey up to the Big Apple and back. Why so much travel crammed into one day? Well, because our life is a little insane right now (see #1), but a certain Mr. Henri Cartier-Bresson has an exhibit at MoMA which I have no choice but to go see.

Who has the best husband? Clearly, I do. Since he's:

1. getting up at 5:45am to take me to the bus stop (which is a random street corner in Rosslyn where apparently a reputable bus company is going to pick me and my fellow intrepid/cheap travelers up),

2. coming to pick me up at said bus stop/corner when I get back at 10:00pm,

and, most importantly, 3. going to clean like a mad man and reorganize the house for our unexpected guest.

Wohoo for Brad!

Wohoo for awesome-world-traveler-and-photographic-genius Henri Cartier-Bresson!

Wohoo New York City!

3. I dunno... what else? How could there possibly be more because, lets face it, #1 and #2 are, well, HUGE.

4. Oh! I will give a shout out to some recent new parents. My cousin-in-law Mindy, after being pregnant forever, gave birth to the cutest little boy last week. A friend and coworker of mine, after being on total bed rest in the hospital since February gave birth a few weeks ago to the two cutest twin girls ever and both girls got to come home this week. Added bonus? She already sent us a thank you note for our baby gift - you go girl! My friend's Mike and Kerri are expecting their second any day now (and are in the middle of changing jobs and moving to Wisconsin). So many babies! Such good birth control - sorry Dad ;)

5. I would be remiss not to mention the continued pain of Cleveland sports fans everywhere. In what was arguably the most important game ever for the franchise, the Cavs lost last night to eliminate themselves from the NBC playoffs. Just depressing that the best time in basketball falls to the Cleveland sports curse. Additionally, the 13-19 Indians should be pretty much paying me to attend their games by July. And we won't even discuss the Browns... ahhh, the joys of being a Cleveland sports fan, or as one of my friend's said "A 'there's always next year' sports fan."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

list 11 - if I...

If I were a season, I’d be autumn.

If I were a piece of furniture, I’d be a rocking chair like the awesome ones in the Charlotte airport. Not that I would want to live in an airport. Even though sometimes it feels like I do.

If I were a country, I’d be Italy. Or Spain. Or Barbados. Or Argentina. Or Australia.

If I were a food, I’d be a brownie sundae.

If I were a day, I’d be Saturday.

If I were a color, I’d be purple.

If I were a letter I’d be W.

If I were a book, I’d be The Great Gatsby. Jordan. Definitely Jordan.

If I were a political leader, I’d be Margaret Thatcher. Or Nelson Mandela. Or George Voinovich. Or Olympia Snowe.

If I were a drink, I’d be red wine.

If I were a man, I’d be Cary Grant.

If I could know the future, I’d want a glimpse into my unborn children's lives.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ft. Lauderdale fun

We are back from a fun, relaxing weekend trip to Ft. Lauderdale.

Biggest highlight: seeing my bestest friend.

Other highlights:
- locating imported Banks beer for Brad

- the beautiful beach

- the view from our hotel room balcony:

- staying out past 9:00pm. Friday evening, after a great dinner, we went to this lovely, quiet, intimate wine bar called The Naked Grape. After two glasses of a fantastic Malbec, I managed to get almost the entire place sucked into a raging conversation about the genius of Stephen Sondheim (this statement was/is not open to debate). I think I made my Daddy proud :)

Saturday night we went to this INSANE place called America's Backyard.
- hanging at the brunch place with the coolest vibe ever, Rosie's
- did I mention staying out past 9:00pm (this is really a big thing for us)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

list 10 - things I don't like

(yes, yes, I know I missed last week... bad blogger, bad blogger...)

1. When People Create Problems That They Can't Fix - like, oh I dunno, giant gushing oil pipelines that threaten to ruin my pretty Gulf of Mexico.

I readily admit to being one of those "Drill, Baby Drill" types, totally supportive of off-shore drilling and realize the huge economic benefit to the entire country. I even got excited last year on our cruise when, off the coast of North Carolina, we saw an actual oil platform (see below).

I believe this is my 2+ years of working with Oklahomans rubbing off, BTW.

Anyway, what shocks me about this situation is that for all the smarts out there, people just stand idly by as 40,000 gallons of oil a day gushes into that beautiful thing called the Gulf of Mexico. I know, I know, they're not sitting idly by, they're building some giant, never attempted at this depth before contraption to trap the oil - totally amused by that - but it seems like BP should be doing something, ANYTHING.

Because if my Gulf-coast beaches get messed up, I am going to be super pissed.

Because I have spent a lot of time convincing people that they are superior to the Florida east coast beaches. Which they are. Even though I'm headed to an east coast beach this weekend. Sssshhh... don't tell the Gulf.

2. Lima Beans.
I am an equally opportunity veggie lover. Brussel sprouts? Love em. Asparagus? Obsession. Green beans? Mega yum. Sweet corn? Well, more of a starch than a vegetable, but the highlight of the summer regardless. Lima beans? Can't stand them. It's something about the texture... just can't deal with the slimy interior.

3. Flying.
I know what you're thinking 'You're a travel photographer. You travel like 11 out of 12 months of the year. Air travel seems critical to your success in life.'

And it is, which is why I continue to get on airplanes. But that doesn't mean I can't hate every minute of it. I am so envious of those who can leisurely sit there, reading their Wall Street Journal as we barrel down the runway at 9 million miles per hour and I say 40 "Hail Mary's" and "Our Father's" while pulling a death grip on the seat/Brad. Maybe I'll be one of those people one day. But I doubt it. For now, I'll just continue to spend the 45 minute/2 hour/4 hour/8 hour flight staring out the window, worried the wing is going to fall off (irrational much?).

4. The Kindle/E-Reader/Nook/Sony Reader/etc.
I love reading. I read like no one's business, often with three books going at once. But part of the reason that I love reading is that it's so low-tech. Pick up book. Read. Flip page. Repeat. There's no screen to look at, no button to turn on, no battery to charge. Now I know the die-hard e-readers are saying "But it's great! I don't have to lug three books and 40 magazines on vacation with me any more! No more carrying a book on the Metro! All just right there on a computer screen." But really, how many more hours a day do I have to stare at a screen? Computer, BlackBerry, cell phone, television. Too. Many. Screens. Now just let me read my book in peace (we won't even talk about the feeling of holding a good ol' fashioned newspaper in your hands).

5. Shoes that appear comfortable, but by the end of the day, they're awful.
This actually applies to about 90% of my shoes (fortunately, not the ones I'm wearing today). Remember this post a while back about how much in love I was with my new shoes?

I cannot vouch for the first pair, since I haven't worn them yet, so I hold out high hopes.

The second pair - the cute croc flats? HORRIBLE. Huge blisters no matter how many times I wear them.

The third pair? Appear to be great. Wore them to work yesterday actually. I was crying by the time I got home. Appearances are deceiving, evil toe pinchers!

The fourth pair? Can't even walk through the house in them.

What's the deal? Why were these shoes all comfortable when I tried them on in the store? It's a secret plan put together by the shoe industry... grrr....

There are many other things I don't like - loud talkers on the Metro, people who chew gum (or food) loudly, aggressive driving, chronic tardiness - but one of the biggest thing I don't like are people who complain, so I shall stop here :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Things I'm Loving This Week....

1. These awesome door photos
(I've been known to photograph a few doors in my day...)

(Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia)

2. This add-it-to-my-extensive-must-travel-list of the best ferry rides in the nation. I cannot say enough times, loudly enough, how awesome the ferry ride from Seattle to Bainbridge Island and back is. Staten Island Ferry is on my "must do" list for my next bumming around NYC trip.

3. The fact that Henri Cartier-Bresson was a world traveler before world travel was fashionable.

4. That get to see this Friday night:

(taken in the parking lot of a Starbucks with my p&s
in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)