One Year, Ten Photos

“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?'”
-Lawrence Durrell

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…

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Finding Balance in San Francisco

“The sea and pine scented air fills me with hope and the belief that all men and women are made better by a visit to this place. The dream of San Francisco is that humanity might live in harmony with nature but at the same time enjoy the benefits of civilization.

Call yourself down through the centuries and see if it is not here that you will return. San Francisco isn’t just a city, it is a jumping off point to eternity. In an ocean of light, this is the place.

-Sean O’Reilly, “Lady of the Avenues” 

February 22, 2012, Washington, DC: I’ve held onto this passage by Sean O’Reilly for awhile now, ever since moving from San Francisco to Chicago. O’Reilly’s confidence in the belief that we all come back made me feel better about leaving, and I admired the way he succinctly explained the balance afforded to those who experience life here. “In harmony with nature,” we retain a quite physical, active and tangible relationship with the environment while “the benefits of civilization” provide us with opportunities for cerebral, intellectual and artistic expression.

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Neighborhood Nomad: Charlotte of Charleston

Photo credit: Charlotte Elizabeth Photographer

This is one in a series featuring the neighborhoods and living spaces that readers call home. Would you like to participate? Click here for more information about contributing to Neighborhood Nomad.

December 12, 2011: Washington, DC: Charlotte and I first became friends at Hampton Pool in Maryland in 1984. We were summertime friends first, classmates second, and have remained lifelong friends ever since. Charlotte is now a photographer living in Charleston, SC. In addition to photographing weddings, (including ours!), she is a true neighborhood nomad. Photography is her literal lens through which to explore her city and continuously view her surroundings with a fresh eye. I thought it would be interesting to see Charleston through the eyes of a photographer, so I asked Charlotte if she’d like to participate. She was more than happy to oblige.

Read more about Charlotte’s perspective on Charleston (her fab photos included!).

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A Washington Reflection

October 22, 2011, Washington, DC: I set out early this morning on a big red beach cruiser ready to document one of my former Washington neighborhoods. It was the first morning in months my bike brakes were cold to the touch, and a stark line of clouds dramatically divided our city, slicing it precisely down its east and west sides. To be honest, the day grew grayer and more bland as time went by, and I’m still considering how to inject some punch into my photo essay of Dupont Circle. For now, I share the highlight of the morning — a photo snapped from the east side of the Capitol Building, five minutes into my long morning ride.