Pray for Those
At different stages in our lives magical places appear that we need more than ever before. Your mother’s lap as a small child, your first bedroom filled with imagination, a friend’s basement during troubling teen years, a corner of your college campus to hide away, a new city as you get close to being an adult, or a getaway place once adult life becomes something you need rest from. Through life’s years, the magical places shift and mold into something new and fresh, into whatever makes you feel safe, into whatever gives your mind, body, and soul what it needs most.
Puerto Rico has been my place the last few years. It has been my getaway, it has been my writer’s retreat, it has been the safe space I love next to someone I love.
Like many other places—of which are other people’s magical place—Puerto Rico was thrashed by this terrible storm. The storm wrecked many islands, many homes, and is aiming for more. The storm, followed by a second, is hurting land and people that I care about. An earthquake shook a city that holds people I worry about. Tropical Storm Harvey battered the Texan lands and the people are still struggling to clean up. I don’t have the means to help these magical places with money or supplies, but I have my heart and my prayers that go out to them.
I have been trying to be more open and public with my writing lately. I’ve been writing for a long time, with very few eyes seeing what I do. It might be a confidence thing, it might be a privacy thing, it might be whatever—but it is what it is. Right now, I’m actively attempting to break the cycle, and with that came about this Writers’ Salon that a friend invited me to, which involves getting up in front of a group of people once a month and reading a short, creative piece inspired by a prompt. Unfortunately, I got sick this week and couldn’t make the meeting, so, instead, I thought I’d share the piece here. Enjoy.
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Prompt • Eclipse
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Write a short piece inspired by the prompt (about 600 words). Anything and everything is welcome—poems! fiction! non-fiction! lists! soliloquies! Do what you feel. If you feel that you would rather play more of a supporting role, listeners are always, always welcome.
To her, New York City still didn’t feel like home.
She had moved into a cramped apartment in Brooklyn only two months ago, taking up the spare in a three-bedroom, four-story, walk-up that was occupied now by five humans and had only just been emptied the day before she would settled her mattress and suitcases in the space. Her knowledge of the subway system was limited to the L train and the NQR line—the only trains she had taken up to this point—the only trains that shuttled her to-and-from her two part-time jobs and her bare room. The moments she felt some semblance of joy came from the slight glances towards the tips of the skyscrapers, and she was reminded why. Read More
Never Not Learning
I recently took a course at the International Center of Photography (ICP) to more deeply explore exposure, light, and composition. This was my first time taking a class at ICP, and really my first classroom experience for photography in general. I would strongly endorse all learning opportunities—always will—and this is no exception. Even if photography is still somewhat of a hobby, learning best practices and new techniques was a remarkable experience.
“Your first ten thousand photographs are your worst.”
Exploring NY with LomoChrome Purple
Colors can soothe or excite, can be subtle or pop, can hide or define. On the other hand, the altering of colors can help you see a new world, even if you’ve already been staring right at it for years. Even when you think you know your surroundings, change a green to a purple and all of the sudden you’re in the unknown, in the surreal, starting an adventure.
The absence of colors can make you wish for more beauty and life, while the abundance of colors can make you want to shield your eyes and find refuge. While shooting my 35mm cameras in New York City I started searching for how I could change the city, how I could find an exciting way to tell a story through my images, how I could take a city that has been photographed over-and-over again and make it seem like a new place—like my place. I’m not a fan of excessively Photoshopping photos to alter the image, so when I saw Lomography’s LomoChrome Purple, I thought it might be an exciting ways to show how I see my world.
Exploring Puerto Rico
It’s no surprise I’ve taken a liking to Puerto Rico. I mean, I have always been attracted to beaches, palm trees, and tropical weather. I had two-out-of-three while living out in Los Angeles, and again two-out-of-three while living back home in Argentina. But, in heavenly Puerto Rico, I have three-of-three, plus a boricua girlfriend by my side to explore The Island with.
Don’t get me wrong, New York is my city, and Brooklyn is my home, that won’t change anytime soon, but my seasonal get-aways to La Isla del Encanto have been my sanctuary. This trip to Puerto Rico in particular has been the most reflective and restorative. In just a few days I have been able to restore my mind to write more, learn more, explore more, live more, and just plain work harder. I always knew the bright sun and this type of setting were my energizers, but these past few days in Puerto Rico have further proved it.
“This trip to Puerto Rico in particular has been the most reflective and restorative. In just a few days I have been able to restore my mind to write more, learn more, explore more, live more, and just plain work harder.”
Nerd Heaven: Year Two
[insert three nerd-glasses emoji here]
Moving to the greatest city in the world has its perks. Not only do I get to live in the capital of the world, but I get to enjoy all this bustling city has to offer. I attended some amazing events at Madison Square Garden, I took part in the NY PRIDE March two years in a row, I have front row seats to the coolest fireworks on the 31st and the 4th, and so much more. But, most importantly for this post, I am going to one of the biggest comic conventions—or “pop culture conventions” as they call them now—for the second year in a row. If I’m lucky, I can keep these traditions alive for years to come, and who knows, even add new ones.
PRIDE and Comic Con go hand-in-hand in my book. They are proof of acceptance, a large community of individuals who don’t worry about race, creed, sexuality, etc., they care about the humans that are behind the shared interests or shared movements towards world-wide acceptance and love.
After my second year attending the New York PRIDE March, I consider where I might have last witnessed a more open and joyful environment. Proud.
Maybe it was watching legions at the 2017 Women’s March after our so-called “President” took office, maybe it was a nerd-filled theater antsy for the newest Marvel cinematic release to begin, or it could have been at last year’s New York Comic Con. But with all honesty, in my journeyed life, such unabashed celebration and joy is hard to find—unfortunately, the world is still filled with too much hate—so, I urge you all to make these festivals of life and acceptance more abundant and more approachable. Read More
with Alex Dvorak
For over two years I’ve had the privilege of watching Alex Dvorak work her ass off, make goals and surpass them, hit road bumps and keep pushing. Most importantly, I’ve had the benefit of watching Alex enjoy the struggle while making something of herself. She makes me proud, and she deserves to be recognized not only when she hits new milestones in her career, but also in her life.
Alex has kept this part of her life quite private, but she now began to open up as a cancer survivor, and share her experience to the world. She is giving her time to work with organizations and to spread love and light. Read More
Remembering The Words For Love
While working on my newest story, I found myself having issues putting into words my love for the most beautiful sport in the world: el fútbol. I was mostly having issues expressing what football means to me—the feeling of being on the pitch, of having the ball at my feet, or of cheering on the greatest team in the world. As Boca Juniors’ anniversary approached, the words for love started to reappear, and I found accurate ways to describe how much the azul y oro truly means to me, and I remembered the faithful ways to convey to the world what this sport means, how it makes my heart pump. Read More
From the Hundreds Read, Here Are Some Highlights
(in no particular order)
A young, smart, girl of color who is single-handedly stealing the hearts of Marvel fans and edging her way into great-importance in the Marvel Universe. Add in some social commentary on the education system and an endearing Devil Dinosaur, and you have my attention (for good). Luella Lafayette (Moon Girl) being the newest addition to the Inhuman lot is the least of her buzz, she was quick to be ranked as the smartest being in this Earth-616. Move over Stark, Banner, and Cho, here comes Moon Girl to make some waves!
Miles Morales. Period. I can’t find a more fresh, multi-dimensional, and growing character in the Marvel line-up right now. Sure, there has been buzz about the new multi-racial Spider-Man for some years now, but his reverence keeps growing. His role in the Civil War II event not only placed him in the middle of some confusing judgment, but it also showed a new side—one that could lead him to some trouble (which is so exciting).
Dedication and true love for ones work is unmistakeable. That’s what I see in Rick Remender’s Seven to Eternity. Read More
Finding New & Exciting Ways to Share
If you follow my Instagram, you can see my photos in series of three—where I try to convey an emotion, a setting, an event with three look-points. Now, through Priime, I have a way of sharing collections, which gives me a way of sharing a whole shoot or event in a bigger way.
And to add reasoning, since my recent purchase of a new FujiFilm X100T, I needed a way to share my digital photography—this way I keep my Insta solely focused on my 35mm film photography. I love the way Priime allows me to share my higher-quiality work in a beautiful, pleasing lay-out, that actually satisfies my overly critical design needs.
LA based photographer Christine Bartolucci asked some questions to our iPhone obsessed generation: Do you remember film? Do you remember dropping your film at a lab and waiting for the images to be developed? Do you remember a time without instant gratification?
Yes, might seem like millennial, hipster speak, but it’s actually a lot more than that. It’s seeking a process. It’s seeking a split-second to stop and think about the art behind a shutter click, and it’s actually asking for photo-takers to wait for the right moment and capturing what you see through your lens. With these questions and this progression of realizations, Christine grabbed an Olympus 150 35mm film camera, and sent it away on vacation with a bunch of strangers to see what they could capture as they travel the world with this “new” technology in their hands, and with the hope of capturing their moments and memories in one shot, one moment. Read More
“…you have to develop a conscience and if on top of that you have talent so much the better. But if you have talent without conscience, you are just one of many thousand journalists.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald
“If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
– Toni Morrison
A Student Showcases from R Culture: Mixtape Blue
Photographers in New York City are a-plenty—from tourists aiming at the tall buildings to the inspired-semi-pro who just enjoy shooting up the city. And, of course, there are the true professionals who chose the most beautiful city in the world as their home.
Sometimes, within the 35mm and DSLRs, you find some green gems. It is truly incredible how these gems can be so young in age and in experience, yet blow your mind with their composition and passion. This is the story of four high school students and their journey growing up photographers in their city:
Sydnie L. Hyams, 16 years old, 10th Grade
Canon Rebel T4I & Vivitar 35mm.
“I have been doing photography for fun for about six years, but I’ve been doing it seriously for three. Photography is a way to capture moments. A box of film is full of potential memories, and I like to capture those. Certain songs can bring back memories, and I would like my photos to do the same. Some photographers I like include Petra Collins, Annie Leibovitz circa 1970 and Lauren Greenfield. My favorite thing to photograph is people.”
“I do photography for myself.” – Sydnie