Life Musings + Mount Davidson

This weekend, I met up with a few people I knew of on Instagram, and climbed to the top of Mount Davidson. It sounds incredibly daring and difficult, but you park at almost the top anyway, so it's nothing more than a short trek. I will add that it was foggy and rainy, so my "cute" boots were just vehicles that caused me to slip and slide around, but I digress.

I really love the concept of Instagram. I won't blather about it forever, but let's just say it's incredible that you can meet people interested in the same things as you and build a community outside your natural ones (school, work, neighbors, etc.), but it doesn't feel weird. Can we just talk about how awesome that is?! It seems like these days, everything is about fake people you meet on the internet (hello Catfish) so it's nice to know that there is a place where online community building is legit.

ANYWAY. To do a complete 180: I've been thinking a lot about myself as a person. Am I a photographer? Am I a writer? What is it that I want to do? What am I even good at? When I stopped to remind myself that I couldn't answer all these questions at once, I focused on one of them to start with.

Am I a photographer?

And if I am, what kind? And HOW?

It's nearly too much to think about, but what I settled on for now is that I am a photographer, because I love to make photographs. I think that's all there really is to it, truthfully. And as for what kind, well, whatever's in front of me! But the how, the how is what threw me for a loop. 

You see, I love film photography. I've talked about it before, and I can talk about it some more if you want me to (probably not) but the gist of it is that it's a dying art. And I don't just mean that very little of our generation understands how to use it, but also that it's getting incredibly hard to participate in it, even if you have the knowledge. The price of film is up, negative scanners are unreliable, and professional jobs take weeks at a time. In the era of instant gratification, film just doesn't cut it.

While I will allow myself to ignore these simple facts for the foreseeable future and shoot rolls and rolls of film for as long as I can, I also need to find ways to sustain my love for film in a world where it's disappearing. Part of that is using digital photography in a way that is as personally satisfying as film. So today, I give you these photographs from Mount Davidson, digital, but altered to look like film. They were even shot the way I do with film, all manual!

It's a compromise, but then, I find life is full of those. Happy Monday!

John Hancock

Perhaps most interesting to me in museums are the little discoveries. A tiny signature in the middle of a painting, or the most beautifully hand carved bead, or sometimes the most delicate of brushstrokes that come together to form something you've only ever seen in pictures. It never ceases to amaze me how humans in every era and every generation have found a way to express themselves and create little pieces left behind to let us know they were around.

Though we only saw approximately half of the de Young in 2 hours, I'm tentative to go back. There's so much variance in the galleries that my mind, feeble as it must be, is unable to deal with. I know of course that I will be back, because sometimes a quiet museum is something I need.

I may have hinted to it earlier but my favorite thing to photograph in museums is the artist signature. Often, there aren't any at all (this was the case in one of my favorite pieces) but when there are you can learn a lot about the artist. Some signatures are lightly scrawled, and others are done in opulent brushstroke. Anyone's personality is evident in their signature, I've found. So, here are three of my favorites, and a little peek at a my personal love without a Hancock. 

In order they are, Mother and Child, John Henry Twachtman, 1893 // Tulip Culture, George Hitchcock, 1889 // The Blue Veil, Edmund C. Tarbell, 1898 // The Sonata, Irving Ramsey Wiles, 1889.

P.S. Check out those ornate frames. Almost more grandiose than the paintings?

Under the Bridge

Part of the hazard of becoming so obsessed with Instagram is the plethora of pictures of cool places people visit (that sentence was brought to you by the letter p). There are some pretty "famous" instagrammers from the bay area, and they post some seriously awesome captures. A lot of the places on my summer to do list, in fact, come from their pictures. One of them is Fort Point.

Finished just before the American Civil War, Fort Point was built to fortify the San Francisco bay from hostile ships. It housed 13 cannons, and some of the weaponry is still available to view today. Perhaps most spectacular, though, is the view of the Golden Gate bridge. From afar, it's hard to tell how beautiful the architecture of the bridge really is. But when viewed from up close, the metalwork and design is astounding (nerd alert).

It was really really windy, and we got there just 10 minutes before closing, but it was still beautiful. And I find, I say that about most places we've been going recently. The bay area has so much to offer.

Link Love

It's not even hump day and yet I feel the pull of the weekend calling me like a siren. Must be one of those weeks. Last weekend we trekked Land's End, and though it was terribly cold and foggy in the morning, by the end of our walk, the sun was shining and we could see International Orange ahead. San Francisco really is a sight to behold. All this is to say, I can't WAIT until this weekend. I'm not even sure why, because we have nothing planned, but something exciting is sure to happen nonetheless.

As is always the case when I'm feeling a dragging week, I spend copious amounts of time on the internet, perusing my heart out. Perhaps I should do less perusing and more working...

Here's a sample of what I've been up to recently! (Oh, and I completely seemed to have glossed over the fact, but my family sold our house in the suburbs and we've moved to San Francisco. It was whirlwind and a ton of work, but things are starting to come together! Back to general programming.)

This song will not leave my head. Quite honestly, I'm not even sure where I heard it, but John Legend is like an old friend and his songs are like jingles you had etched on your brain at birth. You're never sure where they came from, but you're not going to question it because they're beautiful. 

Talk about a beautiful way to eat radishes! I'm on this, stat.

I've been eyeing this bag for months, but my birthday is a long long way down the line. Guess I'll have to start saving now!

Speaking of fun things to do on the weekend... this tour sounds like so much fun. Not only do we live across the street from the ballpark, (commute time to tour, not a problem ;), but it's my favorite place in the world. It'd be fun to see all the nooks and crannies!

Though we've moved from our big house in the suburbs into the city already two months ago now, we've yet to throw a housewarming party. Invites, anyone?

The world cup is all that's on anyone's mind right now, and even though it's in Spanish, this website has flawless streaming. Plus it's fun to hear people say GOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLL en Español.

It's been so long since I've used my fitbit, and I'm wondering if it's because I'm not as serious (and funny) about it as David Sedaris is.

This is such a great summer time recipe. Mangoes are absolutely the tastiest treat for the warmer months, and coupled with some tasty rum, sound delicious. Plus there's an amazing Indian restaurant in Berkeley that sells authentic Indian mangoes by the case for exorbitant prices. Worth every penny too.

This little sketch was too cute not to share. Hopefully those are the kinds of drones in our future?

That's all for this today, enjoy!