“It is there if you just close your eyes and breathe softly through your nose; you will hear the whispered message, for all landscapes ask the same question in the same whisper. ‘I am watching you — are you watching yourself in me?'”
June 15, 2012, Washington, DC: The first entry on this blog is dated June 16, 2011. 365 days ago. In reality, the launch of this year-long project is a little softer than that — the idea had been stewing for months, but was birthed in its current structure just as we kicked off our wedding weekend. The first several entries were scribbled down in a blue plastic notebook bought in a Santorini drugstore on our honeymoon before they went live in the blogosphere.
This weekend, in other words, is a first anniversary celebration in more ways than one.
To mark the milestone, the next few posts will reflect on what’s happened here during the course of the year – beginning with a roundup of ten of my favorite photos that emerged from Neighborhood Nomad: One Year of Travel Through My Many Hometowns. I’ve loved having an excuse this year to lug around my fancy camera, test out new photography apps on the iPhone, and document my surroundings through various lenses. Read more to see a handful of the photos that have made an impression…
- The green door, pictured above, was taken during the honeymoon from our room in the town of Oia on the island of Santorini. I can feel the cool air in that cavernous room and the intense wind blowing off the sea. There are other photos from that trip that portray more all-encompassing images of the landscape, the cliffs, the architecture, the sunsets and the sea, but this one evokes a clear feeling of what it felt like to be there.
- Overlee, Over All: The spirit in this photograph makes it stand out among thousands. Growing up, I’d heard legends of the spirit of this place I’d learned to swim, and returned to the pool early on in this project to find out if that spirit still existed. It did, and it was contagious. I was there for the final relays of the final meet of the season against the same arch rival Overlee had back in the day. Overlee won.
- Testing the waters: This was the week I discovered the Hipstamatic photography application on my iPhone, and the coast of New Jersey was a great place to play with the new toy. Great photos were only happy accidents, and I lucked out with this one. I love how it captures the water mid-drip that was captivating my friend’s young son.
- Puddles: I do love shots of people’s feet, but this one also reminds me how many days of this project I’ve spent just wandering the neighborhood. Capitol Hill is a wonderful place to call home, and the project enabled me to appreciate parts of it I’d previously never noticed — like several gorgeous red brick sidewalks.
- Old man dozing A morning walk around New York’s Union Square in November yielded this photo of an old man dozing off when he was meant to be selling his produce. The women in the picture lingered there for quite awhile, but they were so intent on their vegetables they never even noticed him. I love 1) that he could rest there in the middle of it all, and 2) that so many details can go unnoticed in New York City.
- Return to Southport: This walk on the beach just after Thanksgiving near my parent’s house in Southport looks simple and happy, and it was. I like how it’s the foreground that’s blurry and the background that’s focused, illustrating our location on Long Island Sound. The pink nails are so unusual for me that it almost seems like a portrait I took of other people rather than one we took of ourselves.
- Winter in Montreal: We had very little in the way of winter this year, but we got our fair share in Montreal. I took this photo at the ice rink by the old port during an afternoon outing with my mom and dad. The music playing as they skated around the rink in seemingly slow motion was so very mellow and wintery and French… It would have been cheating to return to my birthplace in summertime.
- Dusk on Anza: San Francisco is disgustingly photogenic, and yet this image of a fairly non-descript street corner stands out as one of my favorites from the February trip. I took it from the passenger seat at a stoplight with my husband, my brother-in-law and his fiancé. She pointed out that the building near the corner was her first apartment in the city, so I turned on my camera and took this shot before the light turned green and we rolled away.
- Fashionista: I starting exploring Instagram photos on my iPhone the day we attended a wedding in East Hampton, New York. This is my favorite photo from the batch. The shoes make the outfit, but so does the Lynchburg lemonade, the fresh strawberry and the blue and white striped straw.
- Homecoming: Airports were a recurrent theme of this year’s many travels. I took this photo a few ago, sitting on top of my luggage, waiting for the Metro home from a trip to Toronto. The low clouds made for a terribly turbulent landing but they sure looked great from the ground.
Related Posts on Neighborhood Nomad:
- Day One: The Plan (June 16, 2011)