Filed under: Ohio | Tags: east liverpool, impossible project, instant film diary, ohio river
One of the very first drives that Jeff and I took together was to East Liverpool, Ohio: not exactly the romantic trip of every couple’s dreams, but one that means a lot to us because it’s the first route we navigated together. This was pre-GPS. We still used a beat-up, crumpled atlas, coffee-stained, dog-eared and missing pages, but a few states left intact. I had vague ideas of where to go – follow the Ohio River along 65, until you get to 68 and across the border. And then what? I wasn’t sure, but had to figure it out quickly before Jeff had a panic moment at the wheel because he likes to know where he’s going. We’ve come to know the journey so well that we don’t even need a GPS, the atlas long since trashed. He’s the driver, I’m the navigator. Sometimes I don’t know where I’m going, and we end up in unexpected places. We try to make the most of getting lost. I take notes and photos, Jeff scouts landmarks since he remembers places by sight, not names. Sometimes we still forget, and find ourselves braving sticky heat, me fussing with a tripod and camera, trying to get a shot with Jeff as lookout. Sometimes I take too long, we are both hungry and tired from driving aimlessly. Then the shutter clicks. We breathe easy, laugh, and leave, squeezing each other’s hands. We talk about chili dogs from Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe, maybe chocolate milkshakes for dessert, a sunset to guide us home.
Filed under: Art Gallery | Tags: impossible project, self portrait, spectra
It’s been an eventful few weeks: preparation for a job interview (which happened today), publication in Optiko and Pryme Magazine (excited. proud!) and I finally have a website, which I promised to have finished before summer’s end. This blog though is my baby and my writing home, so I’ll be back in a few days to post more. In the meantime, check out my instant photo site. I’ve wanted to have one for so long, and I’m finally glad I got around to it. Now I’m off to curl up with The Lives and Loves of Daisy and Violet Hilton and a bowl of pork dumplings: gifts of nourishment and solitude.
Filed under: Art Gallery | Tags: impossible project, instant film diary, polaroid, road trip
It’s funny how, for years, I lived with that “summer promise” feeling in the back of my mind: the one where, once school is over, adventure and change awaits – but it’s only another season. I worked lots of overtime, watched Veronica Mars, buried myself in books. Struggling lately to get through A Tale for the Time Being, but I’m having trouble with fiction these days. My mind wanders. I’d rather be out in the world, photographing my ordinary neighborhood, and others’ ordinary neighborhoods. I reconnected with old friends from home. Seeing them in person for the first time in almost 20 years made my heart swell with love: do they know how much their friendship helped make me the woman I am today? It’s something I feel as if I don’t have to say out loud: coming from the same place, we have an understanding. This summer has been about comforts like car trips and faded photos; accepting middle age with humor and something like grace; finding ways to regroup after years of grief. It’s nostalgia for places so tiny they have disappeared from maps.
Filed under: Art Gallery | Tags: analog travelog, impossible project, polaroid, Western New York
I’m excited to have been asked by the Impossible Project to write a blog post featuring our July road trip in Western New York. You can read more about our adventure over here. (It’s been a great summer!)
Filed under: Pennsylvania | Tags: b&w, garfield pittsburgh, polaroid, spectra, walk
When Jeff and I aren’t on the road, we travel our neighborhood, making ordinary trips to the grocery store an adventure. Last week, I took my Spectra with me on our walk to Bottom Dollar (Klondike craving), figuring I’d finally get to capture some things that caught my attention on earlier car rides to work – times where I’m thinking, I’ll go back to that later – and it’s changed. We pass two houses on Gem Way that I filmed this past winter, now a lush, urban garden of tall grass and Queen Anne’s Lace. The row houses across the street, looming brick structures on broken Penn Avenue, a door still covered in old newspapers from, I swear, as long as we’ve lived here – seven years. All the moving around I did as a child, then a college student, then as a young adult trying to find my way, and now I’ve arrived: middle-aged, Spectra in hand, with my best friend beside me peeling silver wrapping from a frozen treat: this is home.
Filed under: New York | Tags: b&w, cyanograph, haunted house, impossible project, polaroid, spectra
Actually the house is not made of limestone, but in Limestone, New York, a hamlet just over the PA border of nearby Bradford. It was once, I’m guessing, part of a family farm, and is now filled with abandoned antiques. Each time we’ve gone up to Olean, we pass by this place, and each time we stop I peek through the windows to see if anything has changed; two years later and the living room is still filled with coat racks heavy with military jackets, an art deco metal glider, peeling rose wallpaper in the hallway. The kitchen is unrecognizable, the stove replaced with broken chairs, debris littering the floor where the fridge once stood. The porch is dangerously close to caving. There is a heaviness I feel as I tread the tall grass in the backyard. The windows are eyes, the door always open, daring us to enter and discover its secrets.