I started my adventure in Seattle.  After spending 3 days in the city and taking countless pictures, here is the city summarized in ten photos.


How to Dress Like an Ecologist

I spent a week at a conference, and I come back with a collection of photos fit to substitute for Bill Cunningham’s section in the New York Times.  These looks are in right now in the ecology research and education world!

Remember, the higher the socks, the better!


Portland is a city of passion.  It seems like people do what they love -whether it involves food, art, bicycles, music, beer, or cars.  Everyone takes time to enjoy and do things consciously.  No one is in a rush to catch the Max rail.  Even more amazing, drivers will even spare a few seconds to simultaneously stop on a four-lane road and wave pedestrians across the street the instant they reach a crosswalk.  Although there seemed to be a record amount of smokers, the city is a place with which I felt a connection.

The little time I was able to spend exploring the city outside of working a conference has inspired me to snap out of the end-focused DC mindset and start living every day with happiness in mind.  Thank you, Portland!  You are a gorgeous city with wonderful people!  I hope DC adopts a thing or two from you!

National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Photography and travel – two of my greatest passions.
And they are combined in this photography gallery of the 24th Annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.  There are four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place, and Spontaneous Moments. Check it out!

Photo by Alessandro Cancian.

Time to Make It Work Again!


Yes, yes. I used that cliche catchphrase that has lost it’s cuteness, but I say it to properly announce that Project Runway Season 10 starts today!  My favorite show! Not so much for the designer drama but the weekly assignments and the end products.

If you’ve been following me for a while, then you know that I am a bit of an art nerd.  I love making things, and I have always been fascinated by sewing. When I was little, I would use my toy sewing machine to make little purses for my stuffed animals. AKA a piece of cloth folded in half with the sides sewn together. Big woop.

In more ways than one, my mom has been my idol, but one of the skills I admire in her is her ability to mend clothes and make household items like curtains and sofa covers with a fabric, sewing machine, needles, pins, and thread.  She even made my senior year prom dress.  And she would make it look so easy!

In college, there was a fashion design club where a couple of my friends in art classes were members and showed off their designs in a fashion show each semester.  Their talent is amazing.  One of my friends actually went to FIT and is now living in New York designing.  It made me even more eager to learn!

Another friend who is now taking classes at the Art Institute shared me this video recently that captures all the steps in the design and construction of a garment….which happens to be a jacket by Chanel…Oh, I’m sorry. THE Jacket.  I get so excited watching the video.  I hope to one day own a sewing machine and a dress form to start playing around with clothing design.

Until then, I’ll just keep watching Project Runway…

The Beauty of Beasts

Don’t worry! I won’t spoil anything!!

Last night, my friend and I went to see The Beasts of the Southern Wild at E Street.

It is an incredibly beautiful film about the world and life in The Bathtub as seen from the perspective of a little girl named Hushpuppy.  Through mesmerizing shots and narratives of wisdom beyond her years, she challenges us to think about the ethics of our own society and way of life as well as the role and responsibilities of humans as determined within the order of nature.  Capturing the adherence to the self-sustainable lifestyle of the community, observations of the world from Hushpuppy’s eyes force the audience to develop understanding, admiration, and respect for their world very different from what people living in the modern societies know.  Benh Zeitlin makes his directoral debut in this film shot over 56 days in the bayou of southern Louisiana, starting ironically the day Deepwater Horizon exploded.  In addition to Zeitlin’s status as a newcomer, all of the characters in the film are played by first-time actors, including Quvenzhané Wallis who plays Hushpuppy. You will be blown away by her talent and poise!

Go see this film and all the other amazing ones playing at the Landmark Theater locations!!!

After the film ended, my friend and I discovered that while we watched the film we had both thought of a little boy named Michael.  Michael was a student at McDonough 42 Middle School in the 6th Ward of  New Orleans.  We had spent our spring break at the school to do community service work and help rebuild the community post-Katrina. Michael had wandered away from the kids playing during recess to help us prepare a plot for the school vegetable garden.  In the hour we worked with him, we talked a bit and realized that Michael was not an ordinary child.  He said that he did not care about school because protecting his family was his priority.  With an intermittent adult figure in his life and their small house full of his various family members, he told us of how he sleeps on the floor by the back door with a baseball bat to fight off anyone who tries to break in.  While Hushpuppy was mature, she also lived in her fantastical world of imagination.  In stark contrast, he lived in reality of now.  He had no choice but to act as an adult figure for his siblings and his own security.  At six-years-old, he was well aware of the struggles that would surround his life.  Unfortunately, there are kids like Michael everywhere who are deprived of a childhood and live in an unstable environment.  We just hope that Michael is okay and is still in school to allow him a haven to escape from the responsibilities that burden him in his home life.

My friend and I had visited New Orleans three years after Katrina hit, and the city was then still recovering to restore its original affluence of vitality.  Then, after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the progress the city had made was again challenged.  Through all the hardship, the resilience of the community and their attachment to the place they call home is incredible.  With Michael in mind, we truly hope that New Orleans and the people who comprise the community have received and are receiving support and services to flourish once again and antiquate the nickname “the city that care forgot.”


Yesterday, I kind of skipped out of work early to cross the river into Virginia and visit Artomatic.

An eleven story building whose entire floors are dedicated to art!?!?!

I have gone to plenty of pop up art galleries and artist studio buildings, and Artomatic is pretty much the equivalent of a Smithsonian housing over 1,000 local artists. When you are there, you cannot describe it as any less than astounding or every synonym for the word.  Each floor has so many nooks that you literally get lost in art.  At all times, they also have a bar on each floor serving refreshments like Izze soda! Fancy. They also have special events on stages found on almost each floor.

The entire experience was incredible!!  I spent almost 3 hours there, but I sped through the last few floors.  Too many artists to even take pictures of each, but here are some of the highlights from the museum.

Check it out! The month-long festival is only open for a few more days until June 23!!

Everyone bikes!

If you’ve been following me for a while, I suppose you already know my love for bicycles.  I was fascinated when I found Pedal Power, a visual article with an amazing collection of 49 photographs depicting bicycles from around the world.

Three wheels.  Baskets.  Immobile.  Carts.  Multiple seating.

You will see it all in the gallery.  Take a look.

from Pedal Power on

Cinemagram- When photographs come to life

Calling all photographers, film buffs, and Instagram fans!!

I introduce you Cinemagram, a free app that creates motion within your photographs.


Cinemagram is a combination of a video and a photograph.  Essentially, you would select the portion of the photograph that you would like to set in motion.  Read about it in the Untitled Magazine.

from Cinemagram blog

Something to look forward to for when I join the smartphone boat.  (Yes, I am one of those people, and I do not qualify for Medicare).

See more animated photos on the Cinemagram blog and at