As someone who lives and walks this city daily…my blog is all about delving a little deeper, seeing what it has to offer, and capturing the true essence of New York City. Whether you live in Gotham, or just visiting…feel free to look around my blog. Bet you might find something new to do!
P.S. As of the end of April 2013 my more personal postings will now be at The Next Few Years.
CopyrightAll images and content on this site are copyright ©GothamGirl 2009 - 2013, unless stated otherwise. If you'd like to use one of my photos, please give proper credit and link back to this blog.
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Monthly Archives: February 2012
Welcome to the Taubman Museum of Art in downtown Roanoke, Virginia where the building itself is its own exhibit. Photographing architectural design is a favorite of mine, so after spending an hour walking around the outside of the museum and studying the various angles, I was eager to learn what influenced Randall Stout’s design. Pure and simple. Nature. His design was meant to showcase the natural beauty of Roanoke, including the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Roanoke River and Natural Bridge. In my opinion, Stout nailed it.
The sight of the museum has not been without controversy though. I hear that locals either love it or hate it. But isn’t that what art is all about? I personally LOVE it! The museum jumps out amongst buildings constructed in the late 1800′s, creating the perfect contrast as if to say…Look at Me! The opportunity to sit and have a coffee with the museum’s executive director, David Mickenberg, was a wonderful opportunity. Learning about the museum’s challenges since their opening a few years ago, their successes and his creative plans for upcoming exhibits and future projects made my visit even more special. Thanks David for taking the time!
BTW, it’s only a short walk from the historic City Market and Hotel Roanoke. All are a must see as you make your way through southwestern Virginia!
Seeing Our Way Clear
(This is the beginning of a series of posts on Jan Phillips’ book, God is at Eye Level, Photography as a Healing Art. For an intro check out the first post here.)
I did not come to photography looking for magic. I came looking for a way to speak my pain. Words from the author, Jan Phillips and her intro to chapter two. Someone asked me…Why do you need healing? The answer is simple. After leaving my job in corporate America, I lost my identity.
I hear this quite often from retirees as well as from mothers who have left their jobs to be a stay-at-home mom. But it never occurred to me that my retirement around the age of fifty would have such a huge impact on me and one that I wasn’t even remotely prepared for.
Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed my thirty years in corporate even with all the stress and living in an environment equal to the urgency of an emergency room of a hospital. But the craziness of travel, being removed from the daily office routine of being with people, and family concerns provided the impetus to retire. After that I started my own business, co-authored a book and still couldn’t find it. I still didn’t feel I had an identity and I was miserable. I needed a big shake up in my life. It wasn’t until I moved to NYC (just for a year – ha ha!) and started chronicling my daily activities for my family and friends…did I find it. Photography.
I fell in love with photography. My lifesaver, my soul mate, the mending of the broken wing as described by Phillips. She’s so eloquent in her description…There’s something holy about this work, something healing about this search for light. Like the pilgrim’s journey; it’s heaven all the way. Oh, how true. Not only was I living the dream of actual day-to-day living in the city, but photographing almost daily as well. I started out with my trusty Lumix point and shoot and then graduated to an introductory SLR. Like Phillips says, it isn’t about the sophistication of your camera, what matters is that something intimate and precious and sacred is being brought to life and shared with others. That is what healing is all about. I found that to be so true.
It took me a while, but what I have found about my photography is the importance of an emotional component. The lighting, the time of day, colors, textures, composition…all components to representing my emotions.
I have found my identity in photography and I couldn’t be happier.
Every creative person has a second date of birth, and one which is more important than the first:
that on which he discovers what his true vocation is.
Next week: Chapter Three – Shifting the Focus
Here in my little city of Roanoke, Virginia where I grew up, a star has watched over the valley since 1949. Not just any star, but one that holds the claim to the world’s largest illuminated man-made free-standing star. Made of steel and concrete, the star has been considered a beacon of the city and on a clear night, the glow can be seen some fifty miles away.
So how did this come about? Back in the 1940′s, someone with a great sense of marketing proposed erecting the star to serve as a seasonal, Christmas decoration to shine over the city during the brisk holiday season. One assumes that people must’ve liked it as it still stands today, brightly lit every night since.
As a child I can remember always looking for the bright white star as nighttime approached. I can also remember the feeling of sadness when it went from white to red indicating a traffic fatality within the city. Since those days there’s been many changes to when it would be just white, or just red or red, white and blue. But regardless of the color, the star stands for a symbol of friendliness, industrial and civic progress as well as giving my little city the adopted nickname, Star City of the South.
My wabi-sabi find of the week!
This weeks wabi-sabi find of the week is an old game hunting stand that I came across on the farm that my dad built back in the day. The plyboard ceiling even makes for a great example of pareidolia!
Is it the face of a wild boar? an anteater? an aardvark?
What do you see?
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
Through the Eyes of a Child
Were you fascinated by photographs as a child? I can remember looking at photo albums time and time again growing up. There was a certain comfort, a feeling of being safe, the warmth of family.
I’m so thrilled that my mother and grandmother loved to take family photos. What would I do now without them? The one above provides so many memories for me now. My twin sisters with their identical clothing, my mom’s sense of fashion, the dinnerware on the bar that I now have today, the violets my mom grew prolifically on the window sill, the bar stools that we sat on for every meal together as a family. It takes me right back to that time…a time I’ll never forget.
During my corporate years I rarely took photos. But I did have one picture that went with me to every office I occupied throughout my career. One of a small sail boat on a body of calm water. It had a Monet feel to it. Whenever I had stressful days (and boy there were lots of them!) I would go into my office, close the door and just gaze at that picture.
Now I find myself capturing moments like that with my camera. Whether it’s a scene in Central Park, dried grasses on the farm, or cacti in the desert, it’s looking through the lens and having similar feelings like I did when I looked at those photographs as a child. There’s a wave of comfort and warmth that comes over me as I try my best to capture those feelings to share with you.
Next week: Chapter Two – Seeing Our Way Clear
(This is the beginning of a series of posts on Jan Phillips’ book, God is at Eye Level, Photography as a Healing Art. You can visit the first post here.)
Someone whipped up a whole bunch of white icing and frosted the farm!
I woke up to this outside my window…
I put on my dad’s size 10 snow boots, headed out and followed the footprints of a deer…
I came across some daffodils that couldn’t raise their adorable little heads…
I busted my ass quite a few times climbing up a ridge…
I sat on a log and soaked it all in…including the smallest of details…
I played and played with my camera…
I spent an incredible day in winter wonderland…