Showing posts with label Juliana Beasley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Juliana Beasley. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

My New Love of Natural Light

Last week, I had the honor of presenting my long term book project, "Last Stop. Rockaway Park." in the south of France in the small fishing town of Sete at the photo festival, Images Singulieres. I was not only really happy with the presentation of the work, but also thrilled to be in the company of other international and great photographers... and as always it's a rare opportunity to share some brief moments with other documentary and/or fine art photographers since much of the time our existence and work can be very solitary. I highly recommend attending the next year because what I like most about this festival is it's lack of pretension and down-to-earth-ness.

In 2009, I was asked to come and live in the small town for 5 weeks as part of an artist residency with the organization Ce Ta Voir under the direction of Gilles Favier. In 2010, I returned with a new published book (my second) called "Sete #10: Juliana Beasley" and a wonderful show at the festival. I am only one of two women who have been chosen to do the residency in 8 years and I feel fortunate to be also in the company of Bieke Depoorter from Belgium who has created a very emotional and loving monograph of the village of Sete. Her work was presented in this year's festival, along with her new published book "Sete #15: Bieke Depoorter". It was wonderful to meet many of the other great photographers who had shows at the festival such as Marie Baronnet, Jacob Aue Sobol, Jens Olof Lasthein, Emeric Lhuisset, Carlotta Cardana and many others who I did not have the opportunity to speak with. I want to thank Carlotta for getting up on the stage at the Zanzibar on our last night in Sete and singing karaoke to ABBA's "Dancing Queen"... it can really only be done with at least two people!!

I want to lastly thank all the people involved in making Images Singulieres a great event for photographers and for anyone who has a passion for great photography. Many of the people who I want to thank are volunteers who made time in their own lives to make this event a big success. Thank you!

I was very fortunate to have the chance to take a portrait of Josephine Domino Douek who is a young aspiring photographer and singer. I met her while she was working as a volunteer for the Images Singulieres Photo Festival in the gallery where my work had been hung. Lately, I feel very inspired to to take portraits in natural light and since this is something relatively new for me, it is actually really exciting for me to switch gears. The light in Sete is incredible and it only took 3 visits to finally realize this!!! Here is the portrait of Josephine in her apartment.

"Josephine Domino", Sete, France, May 2015. ©Juliana Beasley

Monday, December 23, 2013

All Aboard on The Old NYC Subway Car

Well, I must admit... I am a big fan when it comes to riding the old subway cars in NYC. Yesterday, I took a ride down memory lane along with other choo-choo train enthusiasts and had a blast with my Fuji X100. It was a snap happy way to spend an unusually warm day in December and a great way to begin the holiday.

I'm on a roll right now and you can join the commitment. Pick up your camera and not your iPhone and take 3-5 images a day. Make it a daily commitment and see how your creativity begins to burst alive. I recently made the commitment with one of my tutoring students... and then I got my friend Joe Medina involved and my friend and intern Maddy Budd. There is not doubt that the iPhone is incredibly convenient and a great way to keep that trigger finger snapping away, but isn't it a terrible waste when you have taken the most amazing shot with Instagram and then realize that you will never be able to blow up the photo to anything bigger than 6X6".  So, now is the time to pull out your Graflex and keep shooting images that can be blown up really big.

Have fun and happy holidays. Give yourself the gift of photography this holiday season!!

"Holiday Old Subway Car", NYC, 12/13. ©Juliana Beasley

"Holiday Old Subway Car", NYC, 12/13. ©Juliana Beasley      

"Holiday Old Subway Car", NYC, 12/13. ©Juliana Beasley  

"Holiday Old Subway Car", NYC, 12/13. ©Juliana Beasley

"Holiday Old Subway Car", NYC, 12/13. ©Juliana Beasley

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Abbie/Abby the Day After Thankgiving

I took this picture of Abbie/Abby the day after Thanksgiving. She was outside with her family putting up Christmas ornaments in their front yard. And I don't know how to spell her name.. so, this time, I decided to give the reader to possible versions of the spelling of her name since I misspelled her sister's name in the previous post. Happy Holidays to all!!

"Abbie/Abby, The Day After Thanksgiving", Bethesda, Maryland, 11/30/13. ©Juliana Beasley

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Yvette Several Weeks After Hurricane Sandy

I met Yvette in her one room bungalow several weeks after Hurricane Sandy hit the Rockaways. She invited me into her sparce dwelling. She sat on a chair with a small table with an urn upon it beside her. Her boyfriend had just taken her frightening pitbull for a walk so, we could have a moment to talk and I began to photograph her. As she began to tell the story of how she, her boyfriend and dog managed to survive the high flood tides of Hurricane Sandy, she began to cry and so did my intern, Maddy. She was completely traumatized weeks after the event.

They had lived through the storm.

When the flood waters became dangerously high, she and her boyfriend climbed with their pit bull to the safety of a loft space in their small room, bringing along her mother’s ashes in an urn. Most of her possessions were washed away and when I spoke to her she continued to live in the bungalow contaminated by moldy walls.

I wonder if her bungalow is still standing as there was word about that the landlord was intent on selling the property and bulldozing the properties down. I hope to return this month.

I'm sending my blessings out today to Yvette and all of those this week who survived Hurricane Sandy last year.

"Yvette Crying", Rockaways, NYC, 2012. ©Juliana Beasley

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bob and His Cat After Hurricane Sandy

A couple of weeks after Hurricane Sandy hit the NYC metro area, I went out to the Rockaway Park to look for some of the friends I still knew out there. I walked down 115th St., preparing myself for the worst. I was thinking of my friend, Bob, who I had known for about 4 years and who lived in a camper in the parking lot next to one of the several SRO's on that block. I was amazed in 2011 when he and his camper had survived pretty much unscathed after Hurricane Irene, but I could only imagine the worst after Hurricane Sandy had hit the peninsula.

How could a fragile old camper filled stuffed with personal collections of Bob's eclectic ephemera possibly survive the floods and torrential tides of Hurricane Sandy. I imagined him and his large brown mastiff dog, Zeus floating down the Boulevard, holding on for dear life and onto the cramped camper, he had called home for so many years. As I passed one boarding house after the next, I feared that I would find simply an empty lot with remnants of his personal belongings interwoven between the chain link fence that surrounded the piece of land where he had settled his portable home.

And there he was!!

He was standing in the sunshine and wrapped up well, his glasses broken and taped together and propped up on his nose.

"Bob and His Cat After Hurricane Sandy", Rockaways, NYC, 2013. ©Juliana Beasley

 "Bob!", I yelled. "I didn't think I would find you. I was worried about you. I've been trying to call your number. But, there's been no service. I really didn't think I would find you here."

"Eh! This was nothing!," he said, as he threw up his arm and waved his hand in the air as if he was about to swat away a pesty fly. "Now, Vietnam.. that was bad. Next to Vietnam this was nothing!! Of course, I'm OK!!"

Monday, October 21, 2013

Janet After Hurricane Sandy

I took this photograph of Janet in Ma's boarding house apartment on 115th St. I have known and been visiting "Ma" as she is known by most of her friends and neighbors but her real name is Patty. Janet and her husband lived in a basement apartment across the street on 115th St. During Hurricane Sandy there apartment was completely flooded and everything they owned was completely destroyed. In the aftermath, they were left completely empty handed and moved into a "temporary" apartment in the same SRO building where they lived before the storm.

Janet is wearing a coat and in fact, all the clothes that her and her husband, Matthew wore during the weeks after the storm had been donated to them through various relief organizations.

"Janet in Bear Coat in Ma's Kitchen After Hurricane Sandy", Rockaways, NYC. 10/12. ©Juliana Beasley

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Anniversary of Hurricane Sandy and My Work in the News

I am simply going to copy and paste what my agent Jeffrey Smith at Contact Press Images wrote yesterday when he posted the good news on Facebook that my long term photo book project was given some media attention on both Slate and Creative Time Reports. He says it so well and is such an articulate writer that I felt that it would be best to just leave this announcement in his own words.

I am terribly grateful that after years of hard work on this project that I am surrounded with such wonderful, thoughtful and caring and super intuitive and bright photo friends and a great photo agency to boot. I also must thank the wonderful Zoe Strauss who referred Marisa Mazria Katz--the editor at Creative Time Report--to me last year when the hurricane hit the peninsula.

I plan to post an image a day on my blog from the Rockaways that I shot either before or after Hurricane Sandy hit the peninsula and forever changed the hearts and lives of those who lived out there.

Here is an excerpt from my piece on Creative Time Reports:

"Hurricane Sandy marked the abrupt and unplanned end of my 10-year project photographing the once-forgotten neighborhood of Rockaway Park, known to the locals as Rockaway Beach. I first came out to the boardwalk at Beach 116th Street in the summer of 2002. I stood outside the Sand Bar and was instantly mesmerized when I witnessed a bartender jump over a bar with a baseball bat in his hands, chasing a disruptive and unruly customer off the premises. As I looked around the bar at the patrons—a mix of disheveled, raucous regulars and sunburnt beachgoers guzzling down cheap beer from plastic cups—I immediately became enamored with a scene that appeared to be a hundred miles away from the gentrified and homogenized streets of Manhattan. The neighborhood felt untouched by time. There wasn’t one Starbucks to be found on the entire peninsula. I decided to return the next week with my camera."

And here is a photo that I previously published, but recently found in my collection. This was taken in 2008 in front of Gloria Manor adult home where two of the residents, a married couple who share the same room had just bought some soft serve ice cream from the Mr. Softee truck that arrived like clock work in the afternoon, parked outside and served ice cream to the residents.

"Ester and David at the Mr. Softee Truck", Summer 2008, Rockaways, NYC. ©Juliana Beasley

Friday, September 20, 2013

Lovely Celeste

Last week I posted a photograph of Bethany with two of her three children in front of their house in Etna, Maine. Today I am posting a portrait that I took of her daughter, Celeste standing in front of one of the houses at Camp Etna. The sunlight that was filtered through the leaves and a touch of fill flash made for a surreal quality to the image. Celeste was a great model and allowed me to take the time to get the right lighting and expression. Of course, Celeste loves to smile and I did have the opportunity to capture some of her smiling but I believe this is the most provocative of the images I took of her that day. I completely miss the calm and peace and the wonderful and enchanting people I met while I was photographing up in Maine with my assistant/intern Madeleine Budd. Back in the city to cramped living quarters and hustle of trying to make a living as a photographer.

"Celeste Portrait #1", Etna, Maine, Summer 2013. ©Juliana Beasley

This was the first time when I depended completely on my digital camera. I have scoffed my DSLR for years and now, with no money to pay the costs of film development (despite having a refrigerator full of 120 film and Polaroid too!!) and scanning negatives on a higher end scanner, I had to give into the technology and warm up to the world of digital. I am somewhat of an anachronism at this point.. I still believe that film is where it really is at but under my circumstances I had to the use the tools that were the most economic. I wouldn't say I would choose my Rollei over my DSLR if someone handed me a wad of money to work solely on my artwork but I discovered that I am capable of working with this medium which still feels so elusive and intangible. I don't trust it and I think it comes down to the fact that I can't cut the developed negative strips and put them away in a case and store them on my shelf. Yes, I do not trust it.

I also find that I am not as focused when I shoot digital. Given the fact, that when I shoot with my Rollei, I only have 12 frames to shoot very wisely and with great concentration before I have to unhinge my flash bracket, roll the shot film and reload it again with another roll of 120 and then close the back and reattach the flash bracket. I am a different photographer perhaps when I shoot digital because I can take many many more images and so much is just disposable. Maybe this gives me the room to experiment and screw up more which is always a wonderful way to learn how to take stronger images.. sometimes, those mistakes are great teachers and they sometimes are the keepers.

I can't set back the clock to before the digital photo revolution. I often wish I could.. there would be less amateur photographers who believe they are photographers and less would still be more. I am still incapable of the inevitable: analog really is dying and I want to get up on a soap box and educate the average consumer and tell them that analog is still superior in my mind. I'm a slow learner and I catch onto trends often very late and sometimes this has worked to my advantage.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Bethany, Celeste and Baby Guy

I took the following portrait of Bethany with her daughter Celeste and her baby Guy while I was up at Camp Etna in Maine working on a new project. They are sitting in front of their home where they live and which is still in the process of renovation. Bethany and her husband and her three children are the youngest residents at Camp Etna. This was my favorite of many portraits I took of them.

"Bethany, Celeste, and Baby Guy", Etna, Maine, August 2013. ©Juliana Beasley

Friday, August 30, 2013

Meditation of Interiors and Environmentals

Finally, after years of purchasing a beautiful titanium Gitzo tripod at B&H, I finally hunker down and get to work and put my digital camera on it. Amazing! I never had the patience to open up the tripod, find the right height, the right angle and take long exposures. Perhaps, the last year of sitting in lotus position on my pillows and chanting for a half hour for consecutive days on end has spawned this new found passion to be alone with my camera and my tripod and wait for my shutter to open and close for more than a split second.  Much more than a split second!

Here are some of the images I took with and without my tripod during my trip to Camp Etna this summer while working on a new project. And if things weren't getting crazy enough... no, flash!! I'm taking photographs without a flash and I am finding new challenges and learning new skills. And I love it!!

"Medium Steve Hermann", Camp Etna, Maine, Summer 2013. ©Juliana Beasley  

"Inside Cafe", Camp Etna, Maine, Summer 2013. ©Juliana Beasley

"Inside Cafe 2", Camp Etna, Maine, Summer 2013. ©Juliana Beasley

"Inside Lodge #1", Camp Etna, Maine, Summer 2013. ©Juliana Beasley

"Historic Spiritualists", Camp Etna, Maine, Summer 2013, ©Juliana Beasley.

"Vacant House in Woods", Camp Etna, Maine, Summer 2013, ©Juliana Beasley.

"Sunset Ave", Camp Etna, Maine, Summer 2013, ©Juliana Beasley.

"Spiritualist Church", Camp Etna, Maine, Summer 2013, ©Juliana Beasley.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Maine Photo Trip and the Process of Editing

I was sitting in the passenger seat of my intern's Mini Cooper, when I spotted sister's Maggie and Ashley standing at a gas station either in or near Bangor, Maine. I was on a week long photo trip adventure. My intern Maddy sitting in the driver's seat joined to help assist me with my personal project.

I said, "Pull over. Yes, pull over now!", when I saw them side by side, one smaller than the other, both so striking lit up in the light of the setting sun. They complimented one another. When I asked to take their photo, they willingly agreed and I took a series of portraits. Between Maggie's beautiful glowing blue eyes and Ashley's red hair all lit on fire in the sun, they were a winning duo... how could I possibly screw this up?

So, the following image I selected from the 10 minutes I spent with them. They are not part of the larger new project but I think they could be a project unto themselves. Thank you ladies for taking the time to let me photograph you! Maybe they are the project. Hmm....

"Ashley and Maggie #1", Bangor, Maine, Summer 2013. ©Juliana Beasley


Sunday, August 4, 2013

An Evening at Easton Volunteer Fire Carnival in Connecticut.. Hurray!!!

I took the following photographs the other evening at the Easton Volunteer Fire Carnival in Connecticut. My summer holiday out of the city has almost come to an end and soon I will be traveling to Maine to begin my work on a new project. This was one of my favorite memories of this summer.

"Man with Baby", Easton Firefighter's Fair, Easton, CT. Sumner 2013. ©Juliana Beasley

"Bingo Tents Family", Easton Firefighter's Fair, Easton, CT. Sumner 2013. ©Juliana Beasley

"Girl at Game Booth", Easton Firefighter's Fair, Easton, CT. Sumner 2013. ©Juliana Beasley

"Woman Playing Bingo", Easton Firefighter's Fair, Easton, CT. Sumner 2013. ©Juliana Beasley

"Adolescent Girls at Fair", Easton Firefighter's Fair, Easton, CT. Sumner 2013. ©Juliana Beasley

"Family Waiting to Enter Fun House", Easton Firefighter's Fair, Easton, CT. Sumner 2013. ©Juliana Beasley

"Teen Girls in Cut Offs", Easton Firefighter's Fair, Easton, CT. Sumner 2013. ©Juliana Beasley

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Demons in the Closet

I need to call my Aunt Jeanie. This morning I received a correspondence with a young woman who had worked with her, helping her organize her belongings in her beautiful home in Hyde Park in Chicago. She knew about me and I knew little about her. She said she knew about my mother. I felt like a worm that had been uncovered from underneath a heavy stone.

My Mom at Med School Graduation, Philadelphia, PA, 196?. Beasley Archive

And then I wrote a separate e-mail to my friend, Jason. The two correspondences connected in my fleeting mind.

"My demons take pills, read to many books, have to many degrees and accolades framed and hung on walls. They have no social grace or morality or integrity. They live in depravation and destitution.  They are fun and like to dance in circles and are always the center of attention. They leave their children sitting on the curb after school waiting for 2 hours after all the other children have been picked up by their parents. Then they show up in a fierce red TR6, classical music blasting,high on Ritalin and throw you in the jumper seat in the back because the dog is sitting in the passenger seat. They don't take you home. They take you on a 2 hour joy ride through Brooklyn and deposit you at the nursing station in the emergency room of some hospital where you wait another couple of hours.

Yes, you are right. at least, I know my demon. She is dead in body but still alive in spirit and occupying my being. I either
kill her off once and for all or i learn to love her because she is me.

My demons are cute as a button but selfish as all hell. They will will trick you with charm and murder you with
false hopes of tender love and friendship." 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

End of the Season

"Skateboarders Under Elevated Subway Track", Rockaways, Queens, NYC, 8/11. Juliana Beasley

I photographed these two young skateboarders under the elevated tracks in the Rockaways one late afternoon. They weren't from the neighborhood and lived--I believe-- out in the Far Rockaways.

I owe them a photo. So, Chris and friend... just to let you know, I will be back out there in about a week and I will leave a photograph with your friend, Jose. Thanks for taking the time to pose for me. And I hope you did get flooded out and you are safe.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pictures Without Stories?

"Father and Son at Bar Mitzvah", Paris, France, 2008. Juliana Beasley

Here are a couple of mixed random shots that I took in 2008 with my beloved Contax T2.  Each photo has a story. If I don't know the story, I can make it up. I have no other choice. Give me a picture, any picture and I will tell you there is a story to be told.

May 18th, 2011

Today, when I left my apartment, I shoved the my Contax T-2 into my knapsack and headed towards the Path train, making my way from Jersey City to the WTC stop in Manhattan. I'm not the sort of photographer that carries a camera with me at all times. I have special days when I plan to photograph something somewhere and then I have the other days. Sometimes on those other days, perfectly absurd and ironic and beautiful moments have appeared and happened before my eyes. There I am, empty handed and thrust into a storm of regrets, a world of ghostly photographs that never would be and never were.

"Flowers and Purse", Paris, France, 2008. Juliana Beasley

The excuses:

My make-up case and gel already weighed me down.

Did I have to choose between my personal journal, my agenda, my "project idea" notebook, my i-pod?

Oh, yes, my umbrella. It might rain later.

A hoodie. It might get chilly later if I stay out past sunset.

And I couldn't leave out my bottle of Diet Coke or Poland Springs or that extra large bottle of Ibuprofen. God only knows, I could get a headache at any given moment.

The camera was too bulky. I couldn't do it. I could easily convince myself that the chances of the lost photo op were much too slim. So, why bother? I could always take the camera with me tomorrow when I wasn't rushing out the door late on my way to an important appointment.

Out in the streets of Manhattan, I had already forgotten the small titanium bodied beauty at the bottom of my bag strapped over my shoulders. I went uptown to the upper east side to the podiatrist's office and then downtown to Chelsea to do some errands: the copy shop for laser prints, Staples to buy a stapler, Adorama to order some 4X6" prints for some of my subjects. I turned up the volume on my i-Pod and the Pet Shop Boys carried me effortlessly from one task to the next.

"New Jersey Businessman in Subway Station", NYC, NY, 2008. Juliana Beasley

By the time, I returned to my neighborhood in Jersey City and exited the Path Station, the sky was a surly gray. I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and pulled out my umbrella, prepared for what looked like a downpour.

I walked up Mercer towards Jersey and half way down the block, I noticed an older man with dyed black hair and very high cheek bones eyeballing me. He was sitting in car in the driver's seat like a taxi driver waiting for a customer to come out of a building. His slender figure was accentuated under a loose blue satin jacket that matched the color of the interior of the car. I stared back, smiled and kept walking until several stoops later I set down my knapsack on one of the steps. I unzipped my bag and for a moment, I hoped my camera was in my bag. I worried that perhaps, I had only dreamt packing it away with me that morning before leaving the apartment.

I reached inside and felt the compact case and pulled it out. I got it!

"Abandoned Bungalow in the Rockaways", Queens, NYC, 2008. Juliana Beasley

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Big Heart

As I begin to write this piece, I lack a desire to labor over words and sentences that might not only look precise and meaningful, but that tell the entire story behind the photograph. My mind can not hold steady or remain focused long enough to create the kind of colorful descriptions and anecdotes, I often try to tell when I present a photograph. I am unsettled. My dear Moishe, my lovely dog is very sick.

"Frontal X-Ray of Moishe's Heart", Jersey City, NJ. April, 2011. Juliana Beasley

For those of you who have read my blog or have in the past, you are familiar with my dear companion, Moishe, a little white Bichon Frise/ Terrier mix that I adopted from the NYC ASPCA back in 1998. He was 3 years old and needed a home and I was 30, had just lost my mother without warning. I needed unconditional love and some laughter and I needed to take care of myself by taking care of another.

Moishe was diagnosed years ago with heart disease, as well as lung disease. Now, his condition has progressed. Days are spent monitoring his behavior, his demeanor, his eating, his sleeping, and now the short walks that end midway down the block. The last days, he has not had the enthusiasm he normally has when I pull out his harness and shake the dogs tags to his typical delight, a signal which he knows means that he is going outside. I am only giving you a rough sketch. The sort of sketch a clinician might write in a patient's records and yet, I see it also includes the pain that is watching a loved one die when you foolishly believed they were going to live forever.

Moishe's has a big heart. It is growing larger and larger. Literally and figuratively. This muscle is expanding so much that now, it presses up against his trachea and makes his breathing labored and renders him exhausted after little activity.

He still has bushes and grasses to sniff and treats to be devoured. And he has the warmth of our mutual love and the abundance of years of our coexistence in three different apartments in two different states.

I have lovely stories to tell about Moishe. And heroic ones too. We lived a whole life that we shared exclusively with one another.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Louise in the Courtyard of Her Pousada

"Louise in Pousada Courtyard #1", Brazil, Summer 2010.

Dear Louise,

I am still looking for you.

I was foolish not to take your e-mail or your home address the morning before you got on the bus with the other Swedish tourists leaving for the airport. I searched all over the internet for you and cannot find any information. I found you on Facebook, but I see that you rarely visit your page and you do not accept requests for friends.

Your beauty and quiet soulfulness are imprinted in my memory. I can see no other way besides us meeting once again. Strange and as deceptive as a photograph can be, I feel that you are still somewhere close to me and that we have not lost one another for good. Maybe the next time we meet you will be walking without your crutches as you have always wanted and I will be free from generations and past lives of karmic suffering.

However, brief our encounter, I feel a strong connection to your desire to heal, your strength beyond your 18 years, and your deep conviction to hold onto faith. When I look at this photograph, I am reminded of all the possibilities that lay ahead of you. I imagine your reserved, timid yet courageous aura and all the inspiration of a full peaceful life that radiates from you. You inspire me just like the cool tranquil blue tiles and the painting of a flower in bloom that  paint the background behind you.

I hope someone will see this photograph who knows Louise and let her know that I am looking for her.

We met on a ship in the middle of the ocean, two strangers but bonded through our sisterhood in our desire to heal and to make the impossible become possible.

I hope you have found peace and healing.

Love, Juliana

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Day After Osama Bin Laden's Death

Here is two of the many photographs that I took yesterday at the World Trade Center the day after Osama Bin Landen's Death was announced. Many tourists and New Yorkers  overtook the streets and pathway around the WTC site to catch of moment in time with cameras and mobile phone cameras in hand. To look at others go to Contact Press Images website.

 " Photographer at WTC Site on 05/02/11 #1", NYC, Juliana Beasley

"Photographing Flower Left In Memory at WTC", NYC, 05/02/11. Juliana Beasley

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Photo for Sunday May 1st, 2011

"Genevieve In White", Brazil, 2010. Juliana Beasley.

As I look, at this photograph that I took of Genevieve, the daughter of my newfound friend, Madeleine with whom I share an e-mail correspondence, I am reminded of the simplicity of what life might be for me without so many "things" to clutch onto. Maybe it is a childish fantasy but I do believe somehow that it exists, if not for me, for others who perhaps have found and accepted the truth that life does not have to be so complicated.

I can only hope for more calm, more time in this next year to allow me to step away momentarily and remove this costume called "Juliana". I will return to Brazil, in body or mind, wearing a white dress brilliant and pure in the hot afternoon sun. I will search out the rough touch of tall grass upon my legs and the cool breeze that dries the sweat collecting in between the hairs of my brow. I hope to find the quiet and the inexplicable which was always here. 

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Photo for Saturday in April 2011

"Two Yemenite Brothers", Rockaways, NYC, April 2011.

I love meeting new people out in the Rockaways. Sometimes, it feels like a second home or a vacation getaway if I'm in the right mood. On a day's visit, I typically run into at least four or five people who have let me photograph them over the years. Last Sunday afternoon, I was introduced to the two brothers in the above photograph. They live across the street from Lulu, the woman who runs the boarding house behind the chain link fence. On a warm day, she spends enough time sitting outside in a sun chair with her husband and the friendly visitor drinking and idling on the cement steps to her front door. I suspect she knows most of what is going on or going down in the neighborhood.

"Come here, "she motions at two boys as they were walking up the street towards the boardwalk.

"They are brothers", she informs me. "Their country is at war. Yemen, right? Isn't that right?" she questions them. 

They nod.

"Take their photograph."

I do.