writing with light…

i’m excited to report that the photography hobby that was born a few years ago has taken on a new form!
i’ve always played with cameras, thought i had ‘an eye’ for capturing interesting images, and always wanted to learn more about the full process. it helped that a boyfriend (in the past) was/is a professional sports photographer, and i would go on kids sporting shoots with him, run through the business end of ordering prints, go with him to meet clients to deliver prints, and had the hard work/glamorous experience of shooting in Madison Square Garden and Qwest Field. the bug was solidly in place, but my time in Seattle was fully occupied with board seats, volunteering for an amazing international non-profit, work, kids, tennis and life.

now there is time. pause and listen to the quietness… ūüôā

time for me to explore this hobby to it’s fullest. to learn from pro’s, to take classes and to shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot! that is what i’m learning. to improve my photography, i need to keep shooting, and keep asking questions, and keep shooting and editing and shooting.

watch for the images that make me the happiest to be posted to my website at http://tallieimages.zenfolio.com. get it – natalie (tallie) ūüôā

hope all is well with every one, and i hope you follow me on my journey to writing the best stories with light.

-nat

the first year, or at least the first half

a little over six months into the adventure and what have i learned…

sunshine is good for your soul, there is worse traffic than N/S I5 Seattle, and expanding your boundaries outside the US broadens your way of thinking.

at the 6 month mark things are starting to come together. the ‘fruit’ is ripening in the super sunny Cupertino sun, i’m finding my way, sharing my knowledge and I think I’m beginning to add some value which feels good.
living in the city has been a lot of fun, and I am adjusting! I am in a much better place with the neighborhood than I had been in the beginning. I’ve learned that my environment is more important to me than I thought. concrete jungles are great to visit, and even live in if there is GREEN available somewhere. birds, grass, trees are a must have. and coming from the cascade foothills where we had bear watch signs everywhere, I now understand why nothing but cold grey pavement has been tough to accept as my new hood. the next 6 months will consist of looking for places that are more green and hopefully still in the city.
the commute remains a killer, but the private wifi enabled buses that the fruit provides continue to make it bearable. even if the move at the end of this year takes me to berkley (which is a possibility), there are still buses – so no need to deal with the insane traffic from a driving perspective.
speaking of travel, i’ve had 2 amazing opportunities to travel in the first half of the year. both of which have pushed my mind to think beyond my bubble. it was enlightening to meet people from more than half way around the world who think about us in the states. To work with colleagues who have to consider customer engagement, translation, phrasing, relevance for 10+ countries at a time. what a fun challenge, but it made me stop and think that as Americans we rarely think beyond our circle of friends and family. how often do we think about the impact of what we do on the rest of the world? my two little trips have definitely impacted my thought process.
I am looking forward to the summer, or winter in the city and scorching dessert heat in the south bay. The temperature changes are easily 30-40 degrees between home and work – in the same day and within 30 mins of leaving either location. the climates (yes, multiple) just here in the city are pretty spectacular and ever changing! you really never know what you’re going to get.

I am really looking forward to what the next six months have in store!!

Drive safe, stay warm and think BIGGER than yourself.

the bronx – not just a city in NY

he’s 7.6kg (do the math), smashed face, hoover vacuum cleaner when it comes to eating, and snores like an old man. yep that’s bronx. almost a year old, and looking for employment to cover his latest expenses!
he is the happiest puppy, so friendly (people and other dogs), and has the best temperament. bad thing – he’s not a good listener. once he’s focused on something and has “locked on target” he’s gone. we are “those” doggy parents at the park who are yelling at the top of their lungs BRONX COME! and he’s the one so happy to see a new dog, a little kid (whose deathly afraid of his rambunctious energy), or people who will pet and laugh at his lilo and stitch ears as he runs through their legs.
he is loved. he is funny looking which makes him cute, and he is not cheap! 2 emergency trips to the vet this week…I’m done, until the next time. binx – we love your snorty big head, and you can stay as long as your cute.

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cape town – being here pt 3, and being home

sunday march 27 san francisco ca, – 2:00 pm

so I am delinquent in recapping my last few days in south africa. we were busy, I was tired (still am), but it continued to be amazing.
monday involved a 3+ hour drive to the inverdoorn game reserve where we saw all of the big 5 except elephants which happen to be my favorite animal. Eugene was our guide and he was not only full of animal knowledge, but he had a dark safari tan and a yummy british accent. so easy to look at and listen to I think I may have learned something.
after lunch with the cheetahs we drove to a town called Ceres and did some canyon zip-lining. FUN FUN FUN! Ivan and Mandy were our guides and they taught us a new word: lekker (rolled R) is what you say when something is really cool. The longest zip line run in Africa was at the park we went to and it was lekker!!
tuesday the girls wanted, needed and were gonna die if they didn’t get some shopping in. the boys stayed home and we took victoria and albert waterfront by storm. they were very particular with what they were shopping for, they had lists of who wanted what and the mall was not going to cut it. we walked through a few shops on the waterfront, they picked up, put back, couldn’t decide, wanted to keep looking until we made it to the craft pavilion where there were booth after booth of local craftsmen and their goods. a puzzle, craved wood bowls, earrings, wax on cloth paintings, the big 5 game animals – oh boy they had hit the mother load!!
wednesday was a total relaxation day for all of us. we woke late, had breakfast waiting (cheries and lynnette were always ready with food, coffee, taxis, ironing, laundry whatever we needed they were there and I could surely get used to that kind of personal service!). we watched some armed forces tv – it was interesting to see what our troops get to watch, and how the commercials were all messages on manners, coping with separation and stress, and making good choices (seat belts, drinking, money mgmt). the pool had been cleaned that morning, so it was perfect timing for us all to take some time to enjoy it. it was great except for the shark. you know the auto cleaner thing that snakes around the bottom and sides of a pool – this thing follows people I swear. none of us could get away from it, but we didn’t let it get the best of us. a trip to Long street to see a little cape town night life was in store – and Luigi made it possible. he was all of 5 feet tall – if that – but full of personality. he took 2 calls in our 10 minute ride to the city and in between wanted to make sure we were getting out of bishops court. “get out and see the Cape, it has so many good things” he said repeatedly. his character is one I will never forget…Luigi on the line, talk to me is how he answered the phone. Hilarious!
Thursday was my last day in the paradise, and we we spent it visiting the political prison, the insane asylum, the leppers last residence, and where the worst of the worst prisoners were housed. Robins Island was a rocky boat ride away, but so educational. we met the political prisoners who worked on the island with my auntie. she had held a luncheon for them at her home, and the praises they gave her was once again confirmation that my aunt rocks on an international level! we had a wonderful dinner with the god family who have adopted my aunt and them it was time for me to begin my journey home.
being back for a week has given me time to readjust to pacific standard time, and to reflect on all I saw, experienced and learned in cape town. the world is small. our struggles and stresses the same. what is important in life to me, is what was important to those I met on the beach, in the shops, and at the diplomatic events I attended. love yourself, love your friends and family, and be proud of where you come from while accepting others for their similarities and differences.
South Africa is so beautiful, but conflicted at the same time. there is so much white wealth in a breathtakingly beautiful land that was once solely owned and populated by black Africans, that it makes me wonder how it must have been when those mountains and beaches were ours. there are many of us here that match the beauty of the land, and who are just as wealthy in spirit and heart in spite of the political struggle that still goes on. 

I will always treasure my 2 weeks in the Cape – I love you Auntie G, and I look forward to seeing more of my mother continent….what country will be next?

capetown – being here pt 2

sunday march 20 cape town, sa ‚Äď 10:00 pm

since the last entry we’ve been on the move, doing, seeing and relaxing. 3/18 started out as a pretty lazy day. the denzel excitement was a lot to take so my brother and i didn’t really get going until noon. we decided lunch at the beach, and a run through the Victoria & Albert Mall on the waterfront would be all we’d get into. we made our way to a beautiful spanish styled restaurant called The Grand on Camps Bay beach, it was perfect. the beach was across the street and we sat at a long communal table on the open patio so we could take in all the sights and sounds. food was good, drinks were great and service was “cosmopolitan” – lol. after lunch we made our way to the beach. finely crushed seashells made a gravely path to the water where the sand turned soft and white like powder. i approached a man as he was about to collect 2 empty beach loungers, and asked him how much they’d be to rent. he looked back at me and immediately said he would give me a good price since there was only an hour of rental time left.  he explained the regular rental price so that I’d understand the price he was offering was a deal. I said it was okay, I wanted to be fair and appreciated the offer for a lower price. I paid 40 rand ($6 usd) for the chairs for the hour and we were good. we set up “camp”, watched kids play in the waves, beach vendors walk up and down selling everything from sand buckets and shovels (in case you forgot yours at hime), sunglasses, ice cream, water, and sodas. if you wanted a beer they’d run and get as many as you liked – for a price. as we sat and watched the sun make its way to the ocean for what appeared to be an upcoming phenomenal sunset the man walked toward us and we thought our time was up. instead, he handed the money back – i was completely confused. we learned that his name was koyaba and that he khoisan, the oldest/original people of south africa. nelson mandela is khoisan and i continue meet people who think they’ve met or seen me before, or who speak to me in kohsi because they believe I am khoisan (who knows…). okay, back to koyaba (got sidetracked), he said that he had made a deal with me that he didn’t feel good about in his heart. that it had been bothering him the whole time we’d been there. because our rental time was so short he felt wrong charging us as all. he said that we were his brother and sister from across the great river (his words exactly), and that his struggle through apartheid gave him an understanding of our struggle in the states. he said south africans were invaded and persecuted in their homeland, much like we (american africans) were sold and taken from our home. he said he loves all of his african brothers and sisters but there was a difference in his mind in being colonized (which was not good), and being stolen from your land or having your land stolen from you while being made to live through what he and his family lived through. he felt that what we as american africans had endured and made it through was even worse so he should do what his heart was telling him and show us love. our time in our motherland should be filled with love. he gave the money back and promised that if we came back to the beach and found him our seats/umbrellas would be no charge for our entire family. the reason this moment will probably be one of the most remembered and deeply felt is that as an african american or american african, there is a sense of not being sure how our brothers and sisters will accept or relate to us coming back – even for a visit. its a conflict i don’t expect many to fully understand but its real. koyaba’s words, his emotion, his sincerity moved me. he embraced us as family, long lost family. 30 minutes later the sun sunk into the ocean, koyaba collected the loungers and we made our way home.

the next morning was the arrival of the kids! I was so excited to see them, to share this with them and to experience the rest of what Africa has to offer. but first there was a stop at ‘neighbour goods market’. a very local market full of fresh food, baked goods, fish, meat and deliciously prepared quiche, sandwiches, paella, juices and wine. the best part for me was ceramics and local clothing designers who were there selling their original designs made from local cotton. yes I indulged, again, and again, and again. on to the airport. kids made it safely, and were so excited to share they’re London experience. very proud of them utilizing their 10 hr layover, learning the tube routes and seeing all the major attractions in the city.
we came back to the house for lunch, a quick dip in the pool and then got ready for the evening. we were invited guests of the mayor to share his box at the capetown street carnival parade. this was the second year of the celebration, over 25k people attended, and it was said to be the closest party thats been thrown since world cup.

sunday was all about the penguins! woke the crew up early and got on the road. we made our way to the cape of good hope, southern most western point of the continent. it was breathtaking! boulder beach was another hour away, and when we arrived the tide was in. the penguins were wild,but un afraid of all the people swimming in the bay with them. they sat on the boulders, groomed each other, swam and splashed in the water, and waddled down the paved park path we used to get to the beach like they had just paid their entry fee as well. it was a long day all in all but so much fun!

monday, it’s all about the game park….

cape town – being here

friday march 18 bishop court cape town, sa – 5:00 am

I have met the most interesting people and seen some of the most beautiful beaches, gardens and mountains in the world. I am in paradise, there is no question – but there is also still a struggle and tension here that is palpable. the questioning look (who are you, what do have, why are you here) comes equally from the blacks and whites. the coloreds have been the most open and friendly which is probably because they’ve been the most persecuted, and the most like us – mixed blood (African and other).

it wasn’t until yesterday (3/17) that I felt like I was finally on south african time – about 3 days to totally adjust, and I’ve heard that’s about what it takes. i’m 9 hrs different and chatting with ‘m’ has been pretty easy. I catch him as he’s winding down and I’m waking up. he’s so sick while I’m here and I feel really bad that I’m not there to take care of him, but I know he wants this experience for me as much as I’ve wanted it.

the kids arrive on saturday, they will be in London with a 10 hr layover in a few hours. I am so excited for them to get here, for us to start our real adventure.

we’ve attended three official events with auntie g (she is now known as auntie ‘the bomb’ gc – general consulate). I’ve always had a unspeakable bond to my auntie g. she bought me my first set of make up brushes, my first leather career briefcase, and she’s always encouraged me to go after what i want. she is my mentor, she is the beacon for me that says women can do anything they want. I only hope I be that for someone else.
the first event was an honoring of the Japanese diplomat due to the horrific earthquake in his home country. there I met women from here in SA – and of all things we talked about relationships and men. It’s the same all over the world ladies! smart talented women are single by choice, or have been told how intimidating they are…
we met dips (that’s how my aunt refers to the diplomats), from Botswana, France, Columbia, and of course Japan. There are over 15 countries represented here in SA, everyone is so nice but the accents are extraordinary. my brother says he’s never listened so hard before in his life. lol

the next event was a potluck luncheon for my aunts staff at the consulate. green cupcakes, green punch, Irish stew and soda bread with green butter. St Patty’s day didn’t go uncelebrated! I think this is when we realized just how important she really is. If the house (3 doors down from N. Mandela’s, and the arch bishop’s home is around the corner) with gates and guards, if the vehicles with armor plated doors, the trained drivers and bullet proof glass didn’t clue us in – visiting the US consulate solidified it. I probably can’t even type what it was like due to security – so I wont, but know that the United States is very well represented, and very well loved because of my aunt where ever she is stationed in the world.

party number three was last night – private gathering at the former ambassadors home on the waterfront, modern, classy condo that I could just put my things in the closet and be right at home. The party was to bring together great friends – 14 Americans and 14 South Africans. we met a lot of people from the Carolina’s (Duke and UNC alums), they were a ton of fun, and we met the most charming woman named Di. she is the former mayoris of Cape Town. she really was the most amazing woman, who told us about her 4 careers, her move to SA at 6 yrs old after her grand parents were killed by Germans, and her work to help people (black, white and colored) to cross their own personal divide and see each other not for the wrongs of the past but as individuals. at 92 yrs old she was so insightful and bright and the perfect energy for us to take with us for the rest of our stay. I met a young lady from Pittsburg who had almost the same “new job” experience as me – except her move wasn’t Sea to SF – it was US to CPT. she landed a graduate professor position at university of capetown 6 months ago. so smart, so beautiful, and so down to earth. I also met Ester who has put 980 young people into university here. she was an urban planning engineer who saw kids who wanted to go to school but didn’t know how to navigate the system, so she made some connections and is now working to make sure kids who desire college have a way to get there. now if you know me, and my passion for education you probably know where this is headed. there will be a trip to visit her kids before we leave!
there was a Lady and Duke present, a woman who grew up in Everett (yes Everett WA – where I grew up – the world is very small), a fabulous woman from Chicago who is almost 70 (looks 40) and retired. she spends 3-6 months a year in Cape Town, plays tennis and throws her own birthday parties – sound familiar?

and then there is the Denzel Washington part of these first 5 days. the night we arrived, (after the Japanese party) we drove around the city to get our bearings. We saw the stadium – so pretty at night, the waterfront, and passed the One and Only hotel where my aunt casually mentioned – Denzel is in town filming a movie and staying there. okay, no big deal, Denzel is in town (wrong-totally a big deal!!!). we’ve passed this hotel a few times, on our tour bus ride (which was amazing), and coming and going to the various events so I did some research on it. a six star hotel that is located obviously here in CT, the Bahamas, Dubai (2), Mexico, Maldives, and Mauritius. places I dream of visiting, but since I’m here I’m thinking we should check it out, right, and the little tiny fact that Denzel is staying there doesn’t hurt. so after the green punch lunch we have a few hours until the ambassador party and my aunt drops us off so we can do the other half of the bus tour from the day before. we were again only a block from the hotel so I think it was calling us to come see it! the other thing I haven’t mentioned is how great this has been to be here with my brother. these are experiences and memories with him that I will cherish forever! we make our way to the bar in the lobby which opens up to breathtaking view of table mountain. Its only been a few days and the mountain is everywhere and I already feel like I’m becoming accustomed to just seeing it (not quite taking it for granted, but just seeing it). We had wine and cheese, talked a lot with the staff – people are so smart, and when you make that “individual” connection everyone is very nice. I really wanted a pedicure (full spa day is coming hopefully) but pedi was needed ASAP. I got an appt, had to wait about an hour and that’s when our new friends working in the bar told us that when Mr Washington returns from filming he has tea and chills in the bar area with his assistant for a few hours – everyday! cool to know, but we have another event to attend, and my pedi should be finished by 5:45 so we would most likely be gone before he returned. the good thins is we can say we hung out in the One and Only for a few hours. the pedicure was the BEST of my life – not being dramatic, it honestly was an experience I would HIGHLY recommend if you’re ever find yourself in or near a One and Only hotel or in London/Paris and can get an appt. there are only 7 places in the world providing this pedicure and only 4 people in all of SA trained to give it. it was a dry treatment designed by dr basiten gonzalez (google him!). It was spendy, but 100% worth it! now this is where things get good, but first they went sideways. the pedi was suppose to be an hour, but i bonded with celeste – the woman doing my treatment. we talked and laughed about men, tattoos, kids, travel, and shopping while she educated me about the treatment and assigned homework. durning all of this I missed 2 calls from my auntie. we were supposed to get picked up to go to a short engagement before the ambassadors party but I didn’t hear the phone. and man, my brother was pissed, but what was done was done and it wasn’t intentional. when I reached my aunt back by phone it was 6:20, she said not to worry, she’d pick us up around 7PM. the evening weather was perfect so we hung outside around the sea water lagoon – watched this guy do kayak laps. we talked about the classes of people and segregation in south africa (whites, then blacks, then coloreds). right before 7 we decided to go back inside and make our way to the front of the hotel for an easy pick up and as we walked in I saw two men sitting in the corner. one of them caught my eye and smiled – I smiled back, he looked American and out of the corner of my eye I thought the man he was with looked Denzel-ish. we kept walking and I turned and quickly looked to confirm then whispered to my brother, that Denzel was sitting to our right-he had totally missed him. my brother glanced over and couldn’t believe I had spotted him. we didn’t freak out, we calmly walked to the front of the lobby and freaked out (quietly and out of their view!). now to decide what to do….I’ve seen and been introduced to a handful of famous people, but I’ve never approached someone on my own. I just don’t do it – I feel like they get hounded enough, and I may smile and acknowledge them but I’ve never interrupted what they’re doing and asked for a photo. I did ask Phil Jackson for his autograph once but that’s really the only person I can think of that I’ve approached. back to Denzel…my brother decides he can’t pass this up, that we should just say hello, so he walks back into the bar area and approaches them, while I am frozen in place watching from the top of the stairs. Denzel looks like he wasn’t bothered at all by my brother approaching him and I see them all look my way (sh!t)! now the voice in my head is saying (dork walk over there, you look like to fool standing way over here when they know you’re together!). I get my feet to move, I don’t trip and fall down the stairs and I make my way to this beautiful man sitting drinking his tea. he stands, extends his amazingly soft hand and asks my name and where I’m from. I speak (I think) and he continues to just hold on to my hand and look me dead in my eyes. I think there was more small talk – it’s all a blur. when he finally let my hand go, I introduced myself to his assistant (the man who originally caught my eye and smiled) Bobby. It all took about 5 minutes if that, but it was incredible. I think the best part was as we were leaving, my brother again told Denzel how much he appreciated him and started to say the line from American Gangster “my man” but he stopped. Denzel smiled his amazing smile, and said his famous line twice while giving my brother the black man handshake. Priceless.

cape town – getting here

getting there: sunday 13 san francisco 8:50 am

this trip has been 4 years in the making. it’s been planned, postponed, passport obtained in jan 2008 but surgeries, job changes, promotions, graduations and life continued to stand in the way of me and my journey across the world.

visiting my aunt, watching her work has been something I’ve wanted to do. from the time she was working in paris until now. she is my personal role model, the closest thing I have had to seeing a woman go after her goals, achieve them and raise her children along the way to be strong productive adults.

this trip was planned before the world wind apple transition, before the move to san francisco, and I’m happy these 2 weeks have been able to be accommodated by the new team. what wasn’t planned was the sudden influenza that attacked our home. scheduled to leave early saturday morning, I was trying to get last-minute things taken care of on Friday night manicure, brows waxed…stuff like that. I knew he had stayed home from work Thursday and Friday due to cough, but by the time I got home there was major illness going on. fever, chills, cough, delirium (it was bad). how do you pack and plan to take a 29 hour trip with your SO is crazed with flu?? needless to say, I didn’t. took the over the counter cold/flu remedies, took the temp through the night, called the nurse line even when things were at their worse and in the morning I called the airline to change my ticket. I needed to get him to a doctor, see exactly what we were dealing with and then take my trip from there.
dr. “see ya on saturday-membership healthcare” saw us, and was actually great. my mister definitely had the full blow version of the flu, and to be quite honest, I don’t think I had ever met the flu before. he got some codeine cough meds, and tamiflu to kill the virus in 5 days. knowing that I had been exposed to this ugly ugly sickness and wasn’t trying to make friends with it I asked if there was a chance this was contagious and if so what I needed to do. I learned that influenza is a social virus and it loves to meet as many new people as possible – sign me up for that tamiflu as well.

doc gave me a note to get my flight change fees waived, good karma pays back good karma! the initial change was done at 4 am on saturday prior to my 7:50 am flight. the agent wasn’t so helpful, and I ended up with a ticket 7 days away leaving my 2 week planned trip cut in half. once we had the diagnosis, and the medication I called delta and ended up with the what I had originally requested – a flight the next day.

sunday 13 atlanta ga, – 6:30 pm

airports, flights, people and their attitudes – wow! crossing the pond at the smallest point – didn’t know this is how it happened. fly north to nova scotia and cross over.
the cutest baby was in front of me traveling from Atlanta to mumbi via Amsterdam. With her was her mom and her grandmother who was more of a handful than the baby. She appeared to be very old – in her 90’s maybe and she was being taken back to India to live. the mom was very brave, but she said when there is no choice to travel with your baby and elder mom, you’re not brave, you’re just doing what has to be done.

so only an hour left on this flight and then it’s the big daddy of my legs – 11hrs from Amsterdam to Cape Town. we just flew over Ireland and we’re headed over the body of water between Ireland and England. It’s crazy that I’ve come all this way.

monday 14 amsterdam nl, – 10:30 am

met a few nice people traveling to CPT from NC and ATL. we hung out in the airport, trying to get connected to wifi with barely any luck, went through the full body imaging security scanners and talked about our strategy to make it through the 11 plus hour flight. I was going to try to sleep during the first half and stay awake at the end. No such luck. window seats are not kind, economy is not kind. cream cheese sandwich is bizarre and water in a little jello cup is interesting. I am definitely not in kansas anymore. we are flying almost straight down Africa’s northern half and hitting the western coast at the horn (port harcourt). everything is in Dutch, first languages spoken for announcements are not mine, and I wonder how the ‘amazing racers’ do this….
can’t get past the cigarette smell on this plane, it’s like it’s a a part of the walls, and seats. crazy – it’s night outside, we’ve flown from morning to night. it will be close to 12 hours, seen sun up and sun down. slept a few hours, mind over matter with the claustrophobic feeling of my legs being in this tight space, and finally settled in with two movies, a few meals and some small talk. man I need a shower!!

change…

it has easily been 45 days of unrelenting change.

change of environment (nw to bay), change in job (beans to fruit), change living conditions (quiet neighborhood close to work to dt tiny condo w/an hour plus commute), change in that secure feeling you have when you know your stuff (being a newbie sucks!), change in personalities (or maybe just an amplification of what’s always been). they say change is good – who are the “they” that say this? change has been disruptive, expensive, unsettling, filled with anxiety and uncertainty. not to sound like a ‘debbie downer’ on this day of hearts and flowers, but it’s been a weekend of continued back breaking work to get out of boxes – doing most of the work isolated and alone with attitudes and unnecessary negative energy in the midst. why? it has to get done, and im sure as hell not doing it all by myself! imo, this is not the environment i want to create a new home in, nor the way a weekend should be spent. im exhausted, period. my conclusion to the weekend is we continue to evolve, stay the same, or stop living. im taking door number 1, and hoping for the best outcome for all involved.

as I recount the last 45 days and most recent 48 hours, I also wonder where we would be if nothing changed? I am a firm believer that change is necessary. it is the catalyst for new things, the producer of growth, of new connections and innovation. maybe “they” are me – change is good….it’s just hard, and sometimes illuminates the inevitable.
change > experience > growth > change

new home…

Polk Street, San Francisco
Image by fred.andres via Flickr

finally, we are setting up our new place in san francisco. ¬†its small, cute, modern and we think it will fit us perfectly. ¬†it’s going to be a bit of a work in progress – but we want to get it together as soon as possible so that we’re able to enjoy it and the city. ¬†it’s only a 12 month lease so we don’t want to spend 6 months figuring it out, and then have 6 months to relax in it if that makes sense.

so we are in the Lower Nob/Lower Pac Heights neighborhood called “Polk Gulch“. ¬†it really is a little gulch or valley at the bottom of two amazing

neighborhoods filled with beautiful old mansions. ¬†there is some construction on the California Streetcar line right in front of our building – but it appears to be finished in our neighborhood,¬†and the tracks are blocked off while the rest of the line is being upgraded. once it’s complete, we’ll have the streetcar as an easy way to get to Union¬†Square/Ferry Building and downtown steps from our front door.

i’d definitely say we have a modern building¬†(built in 2005), and not one of the¬†traditional SF flats we had been hoping for. no worries though, there will be time to get into a flat, and i’m not disappointed with the amenities this condo has for us. ¬†the roof-top deck will be well used!!

we spent a good part of saturday receiving our household items from the movers. ¬†the truck looked half full and we really anticipated a few hours and we’d be done. ¬†LOL – funny us! ¬†it took about 4 hours, with 2 great guys
unloading, and bringing up boxes

asking me where to place them. ‘mr’ took the taxing job of checking off the box numbers as they came off the truck – he did this while meeting and greeting almost everyone on the sidewalk as they passed. ¬†i think he and the movers entertained each other and our new neighborhood – and made the whole process a lot fun. ¬†i took the “super easy” job of unpacking the kitchen boxes, and figuring out where everything would go. [i should have chosen the moving box bingo job!] the number of kitchen boxes that were stacked up seemed never ending – i think i opened 8-4ft boxes (some with smaller box surprises inside), and 8-10 small boxes before the kitchen was complete. ¬†all i keep saying is – “we have a lot of stuff!!” ¬†our issaquah kitchen was 3-4 times larger than this one, but i managed to get everything creatively put away.

 

the rest of the place is still filled with boxes – everyday¬†we do a little more, but with sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 70’s its hard to stay in and unpack.

a goal always helps – and with our first guests coming in a few weeks we’ll buckle down and get it done.

next post – our new neighborhood…

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black history month insert for this post…

i found this timeline on the biography.com website.  take the test and see how well you know your history! leave a comment on how you did.

hello february…

only 38 days until africa! i think i should be looking into vaccines, and start really planning some “to see/do” lists for once we arrive.

it’s february, one of my favorite months. my father’s birthday is this month, the v-day is officially this month -but in my world “everyday’s the 14th” [outkast], and its black history month. ¬†while i am no longer at beans where bhm was a long-planned month of events – i will be posting little factoids on every one of my february posts related to a historical or current african american figure.

born today: James Mercer Langston Hughes better known as Langston Hughes

my personal connection to the great writer and poet comes through owners of one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle РKingfish Cafe.  the sisters are not so distant direct relatives of Mr. Hughes, and they were also classmates of mine at University of Washington.

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BIO for Langston Hughes: (courtesy of bio.com)

Poet, writer, playwright. Born February 1, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. After publishing his first poem, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” (1921), he attended Columbia University (1921), but left after one year to work on a freighter, traveling to Africa, living in Paris and Rome, and supporting himself with odd jobs. After his poetry was promoted by Vachel Linday, he attended Lincoln University (1925‚Äď9), and while there his first book of poems,¬†The Weary Blues (1926), launched his career as a writer.

As one of the founders of the cultural movement known as the Harlem Renaissance, which he practically defined in his essay, “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain” (1926), he was innovative in his use of jazz rhythms and dialect to depict the life of urban blacks in his poetry, stories, and plays. Having provided the lyrics for the musical¬†Street Scene (1947) and the play that inspired the opera¬†Troubled Island (1949), in the 1960s he returned to the stage with works that drew on black gospel music, such as¬†Black Nativity (1961).

A prolific writer for four decades, he abandoned the Marxism of his youth, but never gave up protesting the injustices committed against his fellow African Americans. Among his most popular creations was Jesse B Semple, better known as “Simple,” a black Everyman featured in the syndicated column he began in 1942 for the¬†Chicago Defender.

In his later years, Hughes completed a two-volume autobiography and edited anthologies and pictorial volumes. Because he often employed humor and seldom portrayed or endorsed violent confrontations, he was for some years disregarded as a model by black writers, but by the 1980s he was being reappraised and was newly appreciated as a significant voice of African-Americans.