Monthly Archives: January 2004

mexican bus

Mexican Bus, The Mission SF, Polaroid SX-70

Today I walked and walked and walked and walked until I hit the Farmer’s Market. The bright oranges and yellows of citrus, the smell of lavender and basil, the bustle of people scooting past you holding bunches of flowers… It all soothes me.

I took one photo today with my SX-70. It is of the Mexican Bus. By day, it offers tours of the many murals in the Mission District, and by night it transports tequila imbued partygoers with a tour of Latino nightlife. Maybe that’s what I need tonight.

blessed are the cracks

cracked tile, Chinatown, Canon EOS

Whenever I go to my friend Susan’s house, I see a quote that says, “Blessed are the cracked, for they let the light in.”

I think it’s true. The most vulnerable parts of ourselves, the places where we are the most tender, afraid, cracked, broken and messy, are the parts that make us the most human and endear us to one another.


A friend and I were chatting about aging today, how in our thirties we are seeing subtle signs, not recognizing ourself in pictures anymore, feeling puffy and lacking symmetry, chipping teeth and considering makeup for the first time since junior high school.

We know this is wrong, completely unevolved and downright vain. We both believe wholeheartedly in loving ourselves every step of the way. In theory. We love the cracks in others but have a hard time extending the same kindness to ourselves.

And yet, when I’m out taking photos, I effortlessly find beauty in those hidden, messy, discarded places.

keri smith

Keri Smith, Toronto, Canon EOS

Keri Smith is the bomb.
But you knew that.

Land Camera

Paul, on the side of the road in Salinas, CA, Polaroid Land Camera

This is one of my favorite photos I have ever taken. If you come across a Polaroid Land Camera at a flea market, buy it! They usually still work and take 3000 speed film (which you can still find easily) Instant vintage charm!


In keeping with the childhood beliefs theme, I want to share my dear friend Jen’s new blog. This entry is especially beautiful, on the subject of childhood beliefs and fear. Her photography will delight you. Her spirit will move you. Visit her often and you will fall in love.

I used to Believe

Hazel’s Cafe, Portrero Hill, Olympus Epic

My new favorite find is called I Used to Believe, the childhood beliefs website. You will find stories like this:

“When I was about six I was in a wedding. The other flower girl said she was from Pennsylvania, which scared me because I thought she was a Vampire. I kept trying to get a good look at her teeth to see if they really were long. I tried to be polite about it all, because I knew it wasn’t her fault she was born a vampire!”


There is also one about vomit that is really really good, but you’ll have to find it for yourself.

Personally, I never understood the expression “the straw that broke the camel’s back” because I would imagine a drinking straw and it just made no sense at all. It took until college for me to realize they were referring to straw, not a straw.

Any of you got any?

Photo Friday – Man

Gene and Matt, Nikon Coolpix 4500

Photo Friday

Matt’s dear childhood friend Gene left yesterday to ordain as a Buddhist monk in Thailand. We don’t know how long he’ll be gone, maybe months, maybe years, but we know he will return transformed.

Gene has spent the last year cleaning up shop. He sold and gave away all of his posessions, traveled the world visiting family and friends, and just generally prepared himself for this enormous committment. In his last week here, he walked around town with a wad of 20′s in his pocket, giving away money on the street and tipping waiters so much that their eyes bulged.

At his going away party, Matt ceremoniously shaved his head while Gene held a mango in his hand. He told us that the Buddha said, “The only way to know what a mango tastes like is to take a bite.”

And so he will. And we wish him the biggest blessings.


puffy clouds, purple haze, Olympus Stylus

When I picked up my most recent roll of film, the envelope was returned to me with the words “X-ray Damage!” written in Sharpie on the outside. I held my breath as I opened the envelope, already slightly heartbroken that the photos were ruined and kicking myself for having them in my bag at the airport.

To my surprise, all of the photos are laced with a hazy purple streak across the top. In several of the photos (like the one above), it created a magical quality I could never have predicted. “That is a charmed roll!” a friend exclaimed.

These are the happy accidents. The things that don’t turn out how we expect, but have a magical element to them, a shimmer of beauty we could never have planned for.


A dear friend of mine has been preparing to leave San Francisco for a 3-month dream job in NYC. She subleased her apartment here, put a deposit down on an apartment in Brooklyn, cleaned the shite out of her house, bought new curtains, and most importantly, didn’t seek out any work in anticipation of this job. The night before she was to leave, the job fell through.

She left this morning anyway, with the hope that things are divinely as they should be… and yet, going to a big city with no job and no particular reason anymore is a daunting prospect. Nevertheless, the wheels are in motion and she is brave, continuing to move forward and look for the beauty and the adventure in it.

I hope she finds the gorgeous purple haze…

winter hill

winter day, San Francisco, Olympus Stylus

Today was one of the most gorgeous days I have ever seen.

below zero

Lounge 88, Toronto, Nikon Coolpix 4500
Gifts from the weekend:
1. Meeting my brand new baby cousin Olivia in Toronto.
2. Meeting the adorable and talented Keri Smith in a cafe on Queen Street for tea and smoothies.
3. Understanding (finally) what my mother meant when she said that it was cold where she grew up in Canada. Oh my goodness. It’s cold there.

Trim trim

tulips, Nikon Coolpix 4500

I went to a spiritual service at a place called Glide on Sunday. The gospel choir is one of the best in the world, and even though I’m Jewish, I go because I can’t get enough of that music. (My parents still shake their heads and wonder why I go to church.) But the music moves me and makes me want to shout “Yes!” at the top of my lungs. That is, if I’m not tearing up from the beauty of it all.

As I sat there, I thought a lot about the comment that was left on my site. One of the speakers on the stage said, “If you run for the door every time someone says something you disagree with or you don’t like, then you’re part of the problem, not the solution.”

I realized that I didn’t want to run for the door. I didn’t want to ignore it (which was tempting) and I spent the day trying to figure out what exploring this looked like. I asked for advice from several friends, thought about what it means to be “professional” in business, and what is appropriate to share in this medium. I needed to know if others felt the same and just weren’t speaking up.

In the end, I am only capable of being me, and you’re right, I need not censor myself. It’s easy to say, “I’ll never do that again!” and trim the edges. Trim, trim, trim until there’s nothing left of you.

I’ve learned a lot in the last 24 hours. I’m grateful to the person who wrote the unsettling comment for this. She sparked a great discussion and gave me the gift of hearing from you. Your fierce and generous words went straight to my heart.