I have always loved to take photos. I like to document experiences, places, and the faces of loved ones. On any given day, I will take aim at sunsets, seascapes, flowers, and the cat looking cute, but I especially love when a photo can tell a story or express a sentiment. These days, when my eyes linger on an image, I love that I can reach for my smartphone and capture a moment with ease.
I did not take any photos on September 11, 2001, or during the immediate days that followed. This was the pre-iPhone era and I used a camera with film to take photos during that time. After standing on the roof of my building and seeing that the towers had fallen, I packed a bag to temporarily flee my downtown apartment. I did not pack my camera. Even if I had, I’m not sure if I would have taken images of those first few days. Then, like so many others living in New York, I walked around feeling shocked, saddened, fearful, and uncertain.
But after several days, when I was back in my apartment, I started noticing signs of solidarity and patriotism everywhere I looked. I started to see American flags hanging where they had not been before. There were stars and stripes in shop windows, too—along with red, white, and blue fashions on mannequins. Walking the streets, I saw windows filled with patriotic displays that were thoughtfully and artfully arranged. My favorite is a miniature brass sculpture of a woman sewing (or repairing?) the American flag. With a smartphone, I certainly would have photographed more, but I’m glad I captured the images I did. They remind me of the hopeful days that followed.
MORE: Photos of NY Windows After September 11
Sometimes it’s good to find a reminder to slow down. Barefoot it and go real slow. No wi-fi? What a blessing. Walk to the beach, walk to town for ice cream, walk without a destination. Not fast, but slow.
Photos of clover: around the pink flamingo in the yard, in the Santa Monica Mountains, and in the house.
The Irish Claddagh ring is a recent thrift store find. I love the design to represent love, loyalty, and friendship. Tradition holds that it should be given as a gift, but I didn’t want to pass up the bargain—only $6 and sterling silver—so I brought it home and told Mr. MVP he could give it to me (and he happily obliged). It is shown here on a vintage handkerchief embroidered with shamrocks, given to me by my mom.
The rosary beads—another thrift store find—are wood with shamrocks all around the beads. I’m a collector of rosaries and often find them rusty and broken; repairs are easily made with a pair of small pliers, and I like to use some of the beads to make upcycled earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.
Drive up the coast to Ojai, CA.
To paraphrase the great Dr. Seuss, Christmas means more than what you spend in a store — it’s about how you spend your time (on this day and all days).
Photo taken in Santa Monica.
Mannequin scarecrow from the local community garden in her latest ensemble.
Photo taken in Encinitas, CA.
Photos taken in Los Angeles of Jacaranda trees in bloom.
Photo taken in Santa Monica, CA.
Trees left for recycling in Santa Monica. Wish I had my camera handy when I saw a guy wheeling his over using a skateboard.
Photo taken in San Francisco.
Heart stones encountered on a hike in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Just one shoe print on the sidewalk. Photo taken in Santa Monica.
Change of attire for the mannequin at the community garden. (Previous one here.) Photo taken in Santa Monica.
Photo taken in Venice Beach, CA.
Photo taken in Santa Monica.
Photo taken in Westhampton Beach, NY.
The scarecrow in the local community garden got a makeover. Photo taken in Santa Monica.
Looks like it’s time to rethink “all about me.” Photo taken in Los Angeles.