Ahh California. I didn’t want to become one of THOSE people. You know, people who refer to themselves as a California girl/guy even though they never lived there. “Where do you want to live?” “Oh, you know I’m a Cali Girl.” But I have to say, I ended up leaving pretty smitten with that state.
I just got back from a workcation shooting videos for a company based in the San Francisco. The project was really fun and we shot at various locations around the Bay area so shooting ended up half being a tour of the region which was just serene.
After a week of dim sum and cute houses I flew to Long Beach to reunite with old friends and check out LA. I hadn’t been back there in almost 10 years and I guess I had come to the conclusion that I didn’t like LA just based off years of being told the city sucks. Surprise surprise, I actually loved it. Some of the neighborhoods reminded me of Spain and I just love the energy in that city. I can definitely see myself spending more time in the west coast. Alright, time to stop gushing, here are a few photos from my trip.
Once upon a time, in a far away land, I took a journey to utopia. It took an overnight train, another train, a bus, and a gondola lift up the Swiss alps to get there. This heavenly land was called Gimmelwald, Switzerland. There, I had my darling friend Taylor, a camera, a dress, and a bag of balloons and we embarked on a photoshoot/frolic-in-the-fields adventure. Years later, this is still one of my favorite travel memories. These prints are now available on my etsy shop. Large format prints will be available soon.
Whenever I’m in Manhattan, I often imagine the perfectly grid lined flat streets filled with thousands of bicycles instead of trucks and yellow cabs. Now that would be my ideal city. My intense infatuation with Amsterdam began first with the bike culture, then everything else. Having spent the last decade of my life cruising the highways of Texas, I couldn’t imagine a city where the bike ruled first. Where bike paths and bike traffic lights were ubiquitous, and the size and urban layout of the city seemed to be perfectly structured to cater the cyclists.
Of course after three years of biking through rain and snow, I now fantasize about getting in my car with a heater and and all my awesome podcasts and just drive (like a normal Texan would) to a restaurant. Also my trips to IKEA would not involve me balancing chairs and bonsai trees in a subway. But really when it comes down to it, I wish I can just transplant this culture to America. If Austin would just build canals and get bikes, or Amsterdam would just be sunny all the time with endless tacos…ok I won’t get into this conversation.
On the upside, I have been seeing more bikers back home in Texas and New York seems to be aware of my fantasy and is slowly getting more and more bike friendly. A nice project called Downtown From Behind is documenting back shots of various New Yorkers biking through the streets of the city. I love the juxtaposition of the lone biker(s) in the middle of the big city. Could my dream slowly be turning into a reality?
I started writing this list a month ago when I was still in Texas. I never finished because a call for taco brunch distracted me. A lot happened in those two weeks so I found it easier to capture it in this list.
I know, Texas has probably the most fatties in America. But wouldn’t you just become blissfully fat if you could consume brisket with tamale potato salad, and avocado margaritas on a daily basis? I already wrote an entire post on eating in Texas so I’ll won’t elaborate any more.
Need I say more?
3. Good Ol’ Two Steppin
The image above (and the 1st image) was taken by my dear friend Callie when we to The Broken Spoke last year. It’s the well known country dance hall in Austin. But this year I went to Donn’s Depot which is the place to go if you want to party during the week. These folks have retired decades ago so you can find them dancing and downing tequila shots any night of the week.
Free Whiskey, with Free Jay Z, with Free corporate sponsored dorito taco bells (above), with free swag, with free friends. FREE FREE FREEEEEEE.
That’s my cat. She’s fat with a little head and meows all the time.
6. Friends with Babies
I don’t have babies, nor do I have siblings so I’m patiently waiting for friends to get knocked up so I can pretend to be auntie and get all the perks of being around kids and none of the fuss. Here’s my awesome friend Shayla and her ridiculously beautiful family. We played dress up.
7. Friends without babies and family with or without babies
Gotta love em!
8. Green belt
Duh, central Texas nature is amazing. Its not the most beautiful but the weather is good enough to actually enjoy it 8 months out the year.
9. Red Neckness
It wouldn’t be any fun if we all believed the same thing. I’ve come to realize that widely varying political views is a charm of Texas. It gives it flavor and there’s always something to argue about.
I know I wouldn’t feel this way if I visited burning Texas in June but 90% of the reason why I miss Texas is the heat and sun (sorry family). It was so nice to just wear skirts and bikinis and enjoy the the weather without having to bundle up in a million layers.
How do you meet your neighbors when you live in a houseboat?
Step One: Two friendly guys come drifting by your window.
Step Two: Grab your camera and capture the moment, this city is so freaking cute.
Step Three: Photo shoot turns into drinks on the deck/water
Step Four: Join the (wine) picnic on the water!
Image by Keri Bevan
- Everyone you meet will ask you “so how do you like London,” so prepare an answer or avoid all gatherings for approx nine months after arriving.
- No matter how excited you are, don’t move any earlier in the year than March. Surviving a new city is hard enough without battling the arctic tundra.
-You will, on and off, be horribly homesick. Moving somewhere is not the same as travelling; you do not feel “free.” You have to learn the basics all over again: customs, supermarket brands, navigating, where to buy affordable opaque tights. Be prepared.
This is not a post about the food blog (though I love her recipes), this is a dramatic post about my aching heart as it is forced to say goodbye to my friends, family, and Tex-Mex. My annual visit back home has come to an end and I’m about to board the plane back to good ol’ Amsterdam. Texas, I love you. Amsterdam, I hear you have good weather waiting for me. The plus side of spring.
I’m currently too busy eating in Texas to be bothered with hanging out on the world wide web. It’s just too darn delicious in this state.
I want to throw up I’m so excited! Not only do I get to go back home in a week and see all my friends and family after another year long hiatus in Europe, I’m going during SXSW, aka Austin’s most charming week of the year. Free booze, sunshine, and insane parties, all while enjoying the 1,000 plus music acts from around the world. In preparation for this trip, I’ve been listening to this SXSW Mixtape by Arun almost everyday. I can’t wait!
P.S. I had a dream that I was at SXSW and I saw a guy performing who looked/sounded exactly like Bruce Springsteen. I started freaking out and slowly I realized that it was some random dude called Wolf Eyes. This will probably happen in real life.
Lower Dens – Brains
Childish Gambino – Freaks & Geeks (Star Slinger remix)
Django Django – Default
Tashaki Miyaki – If Not For You
Alabama Shakes – Hold On
Wild Child- Pillow Talk
Beach Fossils – Youth
You can’t win, Charlie Brown – Over the sun/Under the water
Circuit Des Yeux – 3311