I recently dragged myself out of NYC to meet up with my baby blue, car that is, who waited stilly and patiently in New Jersey until my return. She and I took a trip north to Rhode Island and the general Boston area, where we would weave in and out of traffic, one way streets, pedestrians with their right of way that they were intent on using and general crowdedness. I am a parking wimp and do not like to hunt for the few tiny parking spaces which exist in Manhattan, fingers crossed about correctly reading parking signs, and paranoia alerted about my decision on placement, so I do not venture into the city with my car. Perhaps if I stayed in Brooklyn, I would feel a bit more confident about the parking situation, but for now I continue to add the extra hours to my day when arriving and leaving NYC in order to eliminate a few hours of my dreaded affliction of “fear of being parked illegally.”
I proclaimed to a few friends about my “falling into pieces,” and have since rectified this, gluing myself back together with a little bit of relaxation, a lot of family, and by wearing much more clothing for a handful of days. You can hide an awful lot of duct tape under a long shirt, thus keeping your arms attached to your body and your left nipple glued on. On Tuesday I visited one grandmother who lives in an old folk’s home, where she would like a bit more space, but enjoys weekly art classes and the company of others. I apparently arrived on a special breakfast day where they made omlettes to order, and managed to charm the man doing the cooking by opening my mouth and speaking. I do not hear any sort of accent, but in the land of New Jersey, where I hear strong accents in the residents, I clearly have my own way of speaking. That evening I returned to the city, medicated with chocolate ice cream and confined myself to the couch to finish a book and listen to my friend play video games. The next day was when I departed and drove law abidingly to Rhode Island. I visited a photographer friend and his wife for dinner, and did some outdoors shooting on a rock and log in perfect weather the next morning before heading to indulge in Italian food and desserts with my other grandmother and great aunt. I had one of the most enjoyable visits with them, reaching into strange conversation topics with these incredibly conservative women, one of which proclaimed she would need to be compensated $50 an hour to view breasts, as a response to the fashion of today’s youth with too much cleavage. The nude nature of my job is not a detail they are currently aware of, and after hiding this from them for so many years, I now fear the day when they do figure out that my shoots in studios and stream are lacking something they have always seen as a crucial aspect of any photography - clothing. By evening I was in Boston, the town where zipcar was created - another disastrous place to drive and have a car. I visited my photographer friend Kris Rodammer for a shoot which we had planned for a while by setting aside a date, and only a week before the shoot, sending masses of emails of photo and wardrobe ideas back and forth. I had set aside a full day to hang out in his home with down time to be in my own head space before we joined together in the ultimate creative collaboration.. The clock passed noon before we had put together the first look, with the styling always a major part of our shoots, but soon we were famish, fed then put to sleep by food coma. Late afternoon was when the collaborations began to include dark makeup, chest harnesses, fabric attached to walls and my head, Nine-Inch-Nails and Portishead channeled energy. The amount of makeup I had on during the shoot would not have stood up on the street, but the depth of the photos is quite exciting.
Photographed by Kris Rodammer
The next day I started early with graceful but energetic poses held for 8 seconds, while balanced on a rounded bar and holding onto a beam and dressed in glorious kimonos. This was with a photographer I last saw three years ago, and his handheld methods with bright backlight which create focused but blurry photos with a painterly look are as beautiful as ever. Afterwards I had traffic to get though for a short shoot in another part of the city. I originally had one more shoot on my agenda, but the photographer had to cancel to care for his wife, and by honoring my cancellation policy I know we will be scheduling together again later. This meant by 3 pm I was visiting my aunt and cousin, catching up on some details from the past two years and recent weeks in their lives, while visiting my cousin’s school and enjoying a community favorite diner. I did a slideshow from my South American Journey, and realized how much I need to organize my photos to include photos from the jungle and period after I no longer had my iphone and remove my occasional nude photos from an awesome tree I was on.
The past 3 days have felt like Sunday, and today officially is this day. Today, Sunday, I will do a workshop at almost the border of New Hampshire, head back to the city for an evening shoot and begin my drive back to NYC. I have not decided where I will sleep for the night but somewhere on the route to NYC I will be closing my eyes and taking a rest while the sky is black. My spirit is ready for another string of adventures and photo-shoots.