A Sneak Peak of the World through my Lens



As much as I am enjoying not carrying around my small BBQ sized camera on a daily basis, I do still love making photographs.

I’ve started a new blog where I will post photographs and my rambling thoughts from time to time….

Enjoy!  Oh, I suppose you want to know how to find it….click HERE!

Day 366: Departure.

So, this is it.  The end of Project 365…which turned out to be 366 but I didn’t take a photograph on one day so it all balances out.  A year ago I started this project in Mumbai, India and today it concludes in New York City.  When I began, I had no idea where it would lead me.  Would I have enough interesting photographs and stories to write about each day?  Sometimes, no I didn’t but I shared them anyway and the past 366 days of recording my life in words and pictures has been both challenging and rewarding.

I suppose I should share some of my lessons?  If any…

I have come to realise just how much a single day matters.  A single day can change the course of everything. On Day 26, I was eating sushi with my sister.  The next day was my first day assisting Ian Golding on fashion shoots.  On Day 50 I was on a high, doing lighting tests for fashion week.  Day 51, my grandmother broke her hip and was having surgery.  On Day 288 my grandmother was alive.  On Day 289 she was gone.  On Day 347 I was walking the streets of New York City, the following day I was surrounded by the lush greenery and volcanoes of El Salvador.  Day 325 I was eating Chilli Crab in Singapore with my mum and a couple of days ago I was watching The Jacksons perform live at the Apollo Theatre.

So yes, a single day is important.  There is no sense worrying about the next day, it is already taking care of itself.  It really is only now that matters.  Having the opportunity to document the year has made me understand my destiny (an overused term but the other way I can describe it) a little better, isn’t hindsight wonderful? The year happened as it was meant to.  Nothing was not meant to happen nor was anything missed.  All the pieces fell in exactly the right place.

I just wanted to take a photograph a day for a year.  And that’s what I did.

Oh, I should tell you about my day and follow protocol after all.  We are leaving New York City today.  We’re going home.

Day 365: Self-Portrait #12 & Melting

It’s hot.  Really hot.  100 degrees.  And that’s not a figure of speech but the actual temperature.  However, it was our last full day in New York and we weren’t going to waste it sitting in glorious comfortable much appreciated refreshing air conditioning.  No, we decided to walk down to 34th Street, make our way back up 5th Avenue, take a detour past the Lincoln Centre (where we ate the best guacamole ever!) and then proceed to walk home.

I was hoping to sneak in a visit to Carnegie Hall as well until my husband gave me a ‘you have got to be fricken kidding, I’m melting’ look.  We did stop in a store along 8th Avenue just to enjoy some AC for a few minutes.  I’m glad we did as that’s where we came across Skye.  He was working in said store and as we left,  was taking a break outside leaning against the pay phones.  It looked more like torture in the blistering sun and I thought he might tell me to ‘piss off, it’s too hot to take pictures’.  But as I said, New Yorkers are more approachable than people may think and he kindly obliged.

We headed to a comedy club on the Upper East Side later that night.  It was hilarious.  The only part that wasn’t funny was their malfunctioning AC.  We have some friends from Australia that are also in NYC at the moment and they joined us for some laughs.  After the show we all headed to the West Village for dinner.  Three words.  Chocolate Lava Cake.  That is a great way to end a great meal in New York.  Our friends are making their way to Miami tomorrow and we will be heading home.  How quickly the week has flown.

Oh, and I managed to squeeze in my last self-portrait.  You probably expected a big production seeing at it’s the big finale.  But that’s the bigger surprise.  It’s not.

Day 364: Siblings

It’s hot.  92 degrees hot.  And we walked all day.  No subways.  We walked the scenic high line along 10th Avenue and reached the Meatpacking District in time for lunch.  There was a light breeze around that kept us from melting.  Fashion around New York is incredible in itself but as we sat and ate, every second person that passed us looked as if they’d walked straight out of magazine.  New Yorkers are not only fashionable but they carry it with style.  You can still wear the most expensive couture item and look like you’re wearing a paper bag, but New Yorkers can put on that paper bag and make it look like  runway.  They ooze confidence and aren’t afraid to be themselves, not tied down to the latest trend but creating them.  Bright fluro colours, boots, red jeans, edgy sunglasses and mixed prints are among the styles walking around Manhattan this summer.

We walked off lunch and sweated out every ounce of water we drank.  As we made our way toward the river, hopeful to find a cool refreshing breeze, we ran right into her.  Breezy and her twin sister Coco were chaining up their bikes as we rounded the corner.  Before I knew it, I was in front of them asking if I could take their picture.  Not only are they identical twins but also sport matching tattoos,  wicked hair styles and matching shades.  I learn they are accessory designers from Minnesota, making their mark on the fashion industry with celebrities like Kelly Osbourne and Nicki Minaj wearing their shades.  You can check out their online store here.  They were so approachable and friendly as have been most of the people I’ve met in the concrete jungle.

Later in the evening we caught the number 2 train to Harlem.  As we made our way down 125th Street, it started to hit me.  I was just about to see The Jackson perform live at the Apollo.  The excitement was palpable as we entered the theatre.  Along the walls were pictures of other stars that caught a break at The Apollo.  James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald and Gladys Knight all had some wall space.  I touched the lucky log that everyone (including MJ 40 years ago) rubs for luck before hitting the stage for amateur night.  We were sitting just 5 rows from the stage and The Apollo is not a large theatre…if I spat, I reckon it would have reached it.  We were so close, even The Jacksons’ agent was sitting behind us (I don’t endorse eavesdropping but it did come in handy in this instance).

Then the curtains raised, the beat started, the smoked cleared and there stood Tito, Jackie, Marlon and Jermaine.  Instantly the crowd jumped to their feet and went crazy.  They opened with Can You Feel It and even the high class ladies with large jewels adorning their necks started clapping and singing along madly.  The Jacksons did not disappoint.  The played the classics and some of my favourites, like Lovely One, Heartbreak Hotel and Looking Through The Window.  They danced and sang only a couple of meters away from me.  I couldn’t believe we scored these seats….and yesterday for that matter.

After the concert, the MJ stalls that popped up outside the theatre the day after his death and still remain were pushing their merchandise a little bit harder.  Hopeful they could capatalise on the emotions of the concert goers.  Well, it worked. Among other items, I bought a J5 tote bag for $12 that I could have made myself.  But hey, I was supporting local industry.

My oh my what an awesome day.

(Again, I haven’t proof read…I stand by my grammatical and spelling mistakes.)

Day 363: Harlem & Heights

In a week we have already discovered so much of New York City yet not even scratched the surface.  I find myself wanting to walk down every block, zig zag through every lane, stop at every street vendor, look through every shop window and pat every passing dog (which more often than not has been a French Bulldog).  Ten days are almost like a summary of New York.  A small introduction to the intricacies of this amazing city.

After a morning wandering east past 5th Avenue and toward Grand Central Station, we caught the subway up to Harlem to meet our guide for the free walking tour we booked.  Meeting on 116th street we began by retracing the steps of Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali.  We stopped for some collard greens (yum!), fried chicken and corn bread for a quick afternoon snack.  Our tour ended at the famous Apollo Theatre.  My friends already know that I am a big MJ fan.  As a kid, I watched videos and documentaries about the Jackson 5 and Michael every morning before school.  Every morning.  This morning my husband had seen the Jacksons on the Today Show talking about their upcoming performance at the Apollo tomorrow night.  The show was naturally sold out but as we were right there, we thought we’d ask if there were any tickets.  Hey, we could even sit in the aisle…I didn’t care.  Turned out the promoter had released 15 more tickets to the public.  Not only did we get tickets but we were sitting in the fifth row.

I had to pinch myself. I knew about the history of the Apollo and how The Jackson 5’s performance at amateur night kicked off their whirlwind fame with the help of Bobby Taylor.  Now, I was going to see The Jacksons perform together at this very theatre.  From a kid in Brisbane, Australia watching videos (yes, VHS people!) about The Jacksons to sitting meters away from the Jacksons at the Apollo Theatre in New York City.  Who would have thought.

Leaving Harlem on a high, we decided to tackle some other heights and make our way to the top of the Empire State Building. Again, we managed to miss lots of the crowds and reached the top to watch the gorgeous sunset.  A perfect end to an amazing day.


Day 362: Biking the Big Apple

We cycled.  All day. For 6 hours.  My knees, thighs and calves are paying for it.  It is costing them quite a bit of mulla.  They can’t afford it.  Maybe I should take out a loan.  We had booked a day long cycling tour and the weather was perfect for it, sunny but breezy.  I fell off my bike within the first five minutes.  I wasn’t even riding it, I was just standing there attempting to walk and turn it while I was straddling over it.  Then I planted myself and my bike in the middle of the road.  I had to ride the rest of the day with a scrapped left knee.

It was a great way to experience the city, in amidst the traffic chaos, able to hear the street noises, smell the aroma of the sidewalk vendors and completely become part of the flow of New York.  Our bike tour took us downtown, through the gorgeous Greenwich village, along the Hudson River and into Wall Street and Chinatown.  We stopped for some dim sum (which we call Yum Cha in Australia) for some much needed fuel and bellies full we made the climb up the Brooklyn Bridge.  The incline doesn’t look so steep on foot but when you have already been cycling for half a day and have a stomach full of prawn noodle and dumplings, it’s a challenge.  I nearly ran into another cyclist coming in the opposite direction, had to slam on my brakes to avoid crashing into a kid and lost my water bottle in the upward climb.

It was worth the effort to get across to Brooklyn, we rode around the gorgeous streets of Brooklyn Heights before making our way back to the island over the Manhattan Bridge.  In the evening we had some delicious Brazilian food and took a walk around Midtown until we realised that we could no longer support our on body weight or bend our knees.

Day 361: Strolling SoHo and Stadiums

Strolling SoHo and Stadiums

We woke up to clouds and drizzle which motivated us to do a little less walking and a little more subway.  We haven’t yet needed to catch the subway in New York but with a Yankees game in the evening we thought we’d get in some practice before venturing out to the Bronx.

It was easier than expected, once you figure out which train you need to be on (A,C,E or 2, 3) then you have to make sure you hop on the one going in the right direction (Uptown, The Bronx or Downtown, Brooklyn)…then it gets a little tricky if your train doesn’t run all the time or the stop you want to get off is a part time stop that only operates in peak hours or nighttime only.  A quick look on the Subway website will tell you this, although sometimes it can be a little confusing and you could jump on an express train heading in the wrong direction.

We started the day in the financial district for some discount shopping.  I’m not a big shopper myself so sorting through racks and racks of clothing whilst other women fight over a scarf wasn’t the highlight of my trip, but I did pick up a nice bag and jumper while the others had piles and piles of jackets and jeans like they were stocking up for a clothing famine.

We decided to escape the mayhem of Century 21 and take a stroll through SoHo.  It’s just lovely there.  There’s no other way to describe it.  It’s trendy and quirky and just a great way to spend an afternoon.  I did notice every second person playing on their ipod or mobile phone, oblivious to my camera in their face.

After mastering the subway system throughout the day we felt confident enough to widen our travel out to The Bronx.  It was peak hour and their was a Yankees game on which made for a very packed train.  We made it to the stadium, found our seats and buckled in for a long baseball game.  I didn’t realise it would go for 3.5 hours but amazingly I did have fun all whilst watching sports and even joined in on the ‘Derek Jeter’ chants, and jumped up in excitement when Swisher caught his third person out in a row, not to mention joining in when everyone started singing ‘take me out to the ball park…’

I haven’t had much time to get onto the internet this week so I apologise for any spelling or grammatical errors, I just don’t feel like proofreading.  Enjoy.

Day 360: Return to the Empire

We hopped on our shortest flight ever.  A 40 minute trip back to New York City.  It was pretty well a take off and landing exercise, it takes me longer to drive from Brisbane to the Gold Coast.  We arrived way before check-in time so thought we’d take advantage of our early start and head to Top of the Rock before the crowds grew…when we arrived there were no lines and no one pushing for a position to get that perfect shot.

By 9.30 am we had already stopped for a cupcake at Magnolia Bakery, visited Top of the Rock and watched Ben Stiller film scenes for his new movie on 6th Avenue.  I’d say we started the day pretty well!

Our 3 hours worth of sleep was starting to hit us, so we took a quick catnap in Central Park.  When the ground grew too uncomfortable we decided to make our way to a local hotdog stand for lunch.  We picked up a Chilli Dog outside John Lennon’s old apartment where Yoko Ono still resides and lunch in hand we sat in Strawberry Fields, Lennon’s memorial at Central Park.

As we made our way out of the park, reaching Columbus Circle, we received a call advising that our room was ready.  This time we are staying in quaint little apartments just off 9th avenue.  I feel like Carrie Bradshaw typing on my mac, looking out the window and hearing the bustle of the street and restaurants below.

Day 359: Washing Done

Got our washing done in Washington this morning.  Who says shampoo can’t be used as detergent?  Okay, probably most washing machines but anything goes when you are hand washing in a hotel and hanging dripping clothes all over the room.  We left the clothes to drip dry and headed out for the day.  It was another hot day so museums seemed the most sensible option.  We visited the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum…both really worth a look and for a great price…free.

After a day of seeing the sights and walking around the downtown streets we made our way to Dupont Circle for dinner.  There was a much welcomed fresh breeze as the evening approached.  I can’t believe our time in Washington will be over in the morning, it went extremely quickly.  But then again, I am looking forward to heading back to New York.  I heart it.

Day 358: Link

We left the beaches of Miami early and headed to the Capital….Washington DC.  From the moment we reached there I fell in love with the wide streets, the European feel, the marble and sandstone buildings.  It is a gorgeous city.  We made our way to the White House after checking in and had lunch at a small coffee shop, completely not a tourist hotspot…it was filled with office workers grabbing salads and snacks to go.

In the early afternoon we had a segway tour around the city.  One of the best ideas we have had this whole trip!  There has been a heatwave on the East Coast and today was particularly hot, so what better way to see the city by foot without really having to use them.  It ticked all the boxes and was a really fun way to see the sights.  Did I mention the wide streets?  The equally wide footpaths made maneuvering between people simple.

Later in the evening we went back to the Lincoln Memorial for sunset.  It is truly impressive and becomes even more beautiful as the lights go out.  There was a storm about and it did start to rain but I couldn’t resist waiting just that little bit longer to see what the sky would do.  I’m glad I did.  It made lugging the tripod down 15 blocks well worth it.

When it really started to pour we hopped in a pedicab (which I call a jazzed up cycle rickshaw…with equally jazzed up prices).  As we passed the white house we noticed the secret service out in force, security vehicles and snipers on rooftops.  The president was arriving.  Within a few minutes his helicopter passed overhead and the president was safely delivered home.


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