craving minimal in winter

It's winter now, and I'm craving things in my life to be neutral and calm and minimal. 

I'm liking my house clean and folded and stacked. The counter is mirror-clean and the dishes are always washed before bed these days. 

I make things and I work for myself, so my days march out ahead to the beat of the freelance metronome, without kids to yet interrupt my pace.

Busy, yes. But. If there is no time, I can make time. 

These winter days feel decadent yet earned. It feels like there is probably some really rad stuff right around the corner. It feels GOOD.

I shot these birds outside the NYC courthouse in January, while shooting a beautiful couple's wedding.

Truckee

Checked out in the mind, tucked in by the fire... The cabin days in Truckee were the best blend of relaxation and... sleeping? Those two things are different, right?

Truckee, CA 2013

Truckee, CA 2013

Being chased by a killer remote-control helicopter while trying to cook a five-star Christmas meal...

Being chased by a killer remote-control helicopter while trying to cook a five-star Christmas meal...

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Truckee Jax Diner

Truckee Jax Diner

The food at the Jax on the Tracks Diner is absolutely divine, and with service that is unbelievably fast and friendly considering how busy they are.

And the vintage snowshoes on Linda's wall make me yearn to try snowshoe-ing! Look, Kaufmann Mercantile has these swanky versions available... would I dare?

I'm sure my mom would document that train wreck, (I mean, totally competent adventure!)

the longest day

It's the longest day of the year today! 

Where did the 8:45pm sunset find you? I decided to lay on my back in the grass on the Great Lawn in Central Park, watching the big orange ball fall lower and lower in the sky. 

"Summer afternoon--summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. -Henry James

Central Park, 2013

Home

A nice amount (a perfect amount, in fact!) of time has passed while I was gone.

It's been long enough that American currency is weird-looking. Long enough that the street traffic seems out of place without the roar of a thousand motos. Long enough that I still have the bright-eyed half smile on my face.

My smile threatens to erupt, at the slightest prompt. I'm still looking at everything with a traveler's eager, observant affinity, where every corner storefront merits a second look, where every interesting face passed is noted and memorized with excited inner appreciation.

I'm still in the habit of being rather disconnected. I'm only checking my phone every couple of hours. I expect that bit of loveliness will be the first habit to evaporate, but I hope it doesn't happen today.

I awoke at 3 am today, full of thoughts and done with sleep, despite my valiant efforts at avoiding jet lag. I awoke and I watched this video, of kayaking on Halong Bay, Vietnam, and was tickled at the memory. Reliving this trip is going to be a riot, without a trace of the sad longing that remembering can sometimes bring.

One more watch, and then I'll get back to sleep. Really.

An open letter: Saigon

Dear Mama,

I parked my pillow in Saigon last night. I woke up feeling alive.

It is such a thrill to disappear. To vanish off of the map of my daily routine, to vanish into the crowded lanes of a new city.

Saigon breathes impatiently for me to get to know her. She emits the rumble of a thousand motos and the smell of almost-ready French bread. Tree-lined avenues and grins on faces.

Endless ways to spend the sticky-hot afternoons, searching out a breeze or a game of Chinese checkers. You lay in a hammock. you gossip in a park.

Endless ways of using coconut and condensed milk. I love a city that loves their desserts.

I'm out of doors and out on my own and out in search of today's adventure.

I'll report back again soon.

Love,
Ana

Transient

The color of sunset

Okay, granted this is an Instagram photo, but the truth remains that the color the sun splashes as it sets over Angkor Wat, is, undeniably... Epic.

Mystically tangerine-orange-pink.

This is a day I won't soon be willing to leave. I won't stop wanting to replay it on loop, in my daydreams. And in the moments before sleep comes.

Transient