The Long Way Home


Notes From a Pittsburgh Winter
February 3, 2013, 9:59 AM
Filed under: Pennsylvania | Tags: , , ,
l. the ghost of my nagyi. r. snowbilly

l. the ghost of my nagyi. r. snowbilly

A lot happens in eight years’ time. Grad school and travel, a marriage and a death. All the ordinary moments in between that you track through the seasons, all the people who have come and gone  – the people who matter most. This is what really stays with me, and how grateful I am that they are still in my life. And photography, – which existed before in my mind, but I was afraid to pick up a camera because the technical aspect of it scared me. Some of it still scares me, but I take photos anyhow because I have too many images in my mind waiting to climb out. Winter is difficult in this city: it’s bitter cold, and we don’t get many sunny days to begin with; toughing it out makes me feel stronger. If I survived an Osijek winter pretty much alone, I can take on my city. Some people love a rural winter landscape but give me a city snowscape any day. The snow softens a building’s hard edges, hides the street scars – the intense overcast sky makes all colors that much brighter.

l. found while running errands. r. found while walking home from work.

l. found while running errands. r. found while walking home from work.

looking up

looking up

through the car window

through the car window

l. allequippa st. r. a stranger's backyard

l. allequippa st. r. a stranger’s backyard

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I <3 Buffalo
November 8, 2012, 8:16 PM
Filed under: New York | Tags: , , , , ,

cold, windy sunday

Curious about our northern sister-city, we drove to Buffalo: sprawling, flat land running east-west like a city should (unlike Pittsburgh, land of winding hills and one-way mazes – I still love you). We stayed at the Lord Amherst Motor Hotel in a tiny room that smelled like smoke and Charlie perfume, and Jeff and I got into a little tiff because I forgot the toothpaste and deodorant. What happens when you haphazardly throw the first things you see into a suitcase and bolt out the door after a long work week? Inevitably you forget things and end up at a local Wal-Mart around 1 A.M. in unfamiliar territory, getting a taste of local culture while shopping for Crest. We never got to eat ‘real’ Buffalo-wings, but we did eat sponge candy which Buffalonians claim as theirs: a chocolate confection with an airy middle like Cadbury Crunchies, but fancier and beef on weck: salty roll flecked with caraway seeds, stuffed with tender, rare roast beef and horseradish. I still dream about that sandwich. Like most rust belt towns, it felt like time stopped in the 70s; it rained most of the weekend, the sky so intensely overcast it turned the world around us blue.

prudential guaranty building, 1894

central terminal

church and pearl streets

allentown neighborhood



I <3 Cleveland
December 4, 2011, 9:21 AM
Filed under: Ohio | Tags: , , ,

a view from a bridge

euclid avenue

garfield monument at lake view cemetery

waiting for an early dinner at melt, cleveland heights

an empty storefront on the west side

getting lost, you never know what you may find.



Hotel Stories
May 15, 2011, 7:34 AM
Filed under: Pennsylvania | Tags: , , , , ,

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My friend Kris, whom I’ve known for almost 15 years, got married on May 7. It was a lovely wedding – simple and elegant, a grown-up affair that gave me the chance to wear one of my vintage lbd’s, drinking glass after glass of Chardonnay. Yet my inner trashiness surfaced as I hogged through plates of dumplings, invaded empty lounge areas for photos and cursed my awesome-looking heels as they tortured my feet. Events like weddings give me access to places I normally wouldn’t have the courage to just walk into for photo opportunities. In between the cocktail reception and dinner we ran around the lobby, then the tea room, rode the elevators to check out different floors. It was like stepping into the plot of the mystery novels I love so much when I need an escape.

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