The day after my Halong Bay trip, I boarded another bus, this time to Ninh Binh Province. I spent the day touring Trang An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site consisting of the Bai Dinh Buddhist temple complex (the largest in Vietnam) and a system of waterways and grottoes in which other temples are hidden.
The landscape was just as beautiful as Halong Bay (in fact it is sometimes described as Halong Bay on land), and the temples were stunning, too. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Continue reading
Halong Bay was as amazing as I thought it would be. Continue reading
I was in Vietnam last month to document a non-profit organization’s programs in a few northern provinces. Here are some photos I took during the trip to the field. Continue reading
In March I spent a few days in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi on either side of a shoot in northern Vietnam for an NGO that works throughout the region. It was my first time in the country and I was so lucky to see it from many different angles: urban, rural, natural wonders, hyper-local color.
I’ll share more photos over the next few weeks, but for now here are highlights from Hanoi: Continue reading
Apparently the unexplainable feeling of wellbeing I found in Paris last fall was not city-specific. I am very grateful that it has stuck with me in New York, despite the fact that I am cold and penniless. The other day I sat down on a bench at the intersection above, spread my arms out like a preacher, and started smiling maniacally about how gloriously bright it was. For perhaps the first time in my adult life, I seem to be carrying this good feeling around inside of me like Baby Brute in the little Brute family.
It is surely chemically enhanced but it is authentic nonetheless.
The sun helps, of course. There is so much more of it here than in Paris. Knowing when to quit does, too.
My usual tendency is to behave like I’m living in an environment of scarcity. I hold on to every good person, place, or plan as though it’s the last of its kind. When they run their course and come to an end, it kills me. I expected to feel awful about leaving Europe before I was ready to. But I think I have finally internalized that there are opportunities for me around every corner, so I can more gracefully let go of things that just didn’t work out despite my best efforts.
It helps that the universe is now smiling upon me after months of shit storms. The luckiest break is that I’m off to Vietnam this Friday for a shoot. I’ll be M.I.A. here for two weeks, but then I’ll have lots of photos to share from foreign lands. (I also have a one-day stopover in Hong Kong, which I am super psyched about.)
See you in a few…
On Valentine’s Day two years ago, I flew to Dakar. So much has happened since then that it feels more like a decade.
It also feels like I left Dakar ages ago, but it’s actually only been eleven months, which is so unbelievable to me that I redid the math twice. Still, eleven months is long enough to lose touch with a place, and the list I’m about to post may be a little outdated. But I’ve been promising it to myself and others for too long to let it evaporate. And things change far more slowly in Dakar than in New York, so even though there are surely new places to discover, almost all of these old places could still be going strong. (I’ll edit the post accordingly if I learn differently.)
Without further ado, and in no particular order, my favorite places in Dakar… Continue reading
It won’t take me long to fill you in on what I’ve been doing in 2018. I got sick within hours of stepping off the plane on New Year’s Eve and spent the following week on my parents’ couch in the suburbs. I find it ironic that after months of saying I could not wait to close the door on 2017, I started the year in the least fresh way possible, dragging all of last year’s germs into 2018 with me.
I’m feeling better now, though my brain turns to mush in New Jersey and it seems like I have to wade through life force quicksand to get anything done.
Case in point, this post took me like six hours to write, over the course of two days. And it doesn’t even have a point, except to say hello after a few weeks of silence.
So… Hello! I hope your new years are off to wonderful starts.
I’ll be back when I remember how to string words together into sentences.
I cannot tell you how many times over the past nine months I was about to quit Paris. I was only originally supposed to stay for a month, and then one month morphed into two after I was given an amazing Montmartre house-sitting offer I couldn’t refuse. And then two months turned into four when I had no better plans and found a cool place to stay in Belleville. And then four turned into five when the house-sitting opportunity came up again… And so on and so forth, and now here I am on month nine. It feels like an eternity since I arrived.
Back in the day, i.e. around month three, I would joke about the probability that in 30 years I would find myself still living in a country I never really liked and never really chose, through stasis alone. As it turns out, the universe had a different ironic twist in store: I fell in love with the city I hated just as I realized I would soon be forced to leave. Continue reading
Paris during the holiday season is stunning. Some photographic evidence, after the jump. Continue reading
The title of this post was going to be “Chez [name redacted]: A perfect neighborhood place.” Then tragedy struck. Continue reading