Black and White, College, Food, Montana, Photography, Small Town Things

Nova Cafe, Bozeman, Montana

I finally got two rolls of film developed! YES! Seriously, film is like a present. You don’t always know what you’re going to get. I love not knowing if things are happening or if I angled or focused something correctly.

Some cool light leaks made their way into my film- I was clumsy and didn’t wind up the roll all the way, but I am only human!

Last weekend Emily, Rae and I found ourselves inevitably back at the Nova Cafe- I feel like at least twice a month we meander over there. The food is too good NOT to!

With these photographs I’m using a wide-angle lens that is not as wide-angle-y as the Tamron. I really like the focus on it, much easier to use. I also am getting back into the swing of black and white again!

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Adventures, Americana, College, Exploring, Food, Montana, Photography, Small Town Things

The wide angles. And cheese.

 

A few months ago my friend Julia’s parents approached me, asking me if I wanted a few old Olympus OM series lenses, as a photographer relative of theirs left them a number of them. They had old Canon SLRs and bodies, but no Olympus body, and kindly gave me five beautiful lenses!

Two wide angle lenses, a shift lens, an enormous zoom lens, and a basic zoom lens later, I was stuck trying to figure out which was my favorite!

I find myself using the Tamron 17mm wide-angle lens a lot, because:

a) It looks awesome on the Olympus body- a lot more legitimate than my usual 50mm f/1.8

b) It is supremely wide-angle and warps everything.

However, the focusing is rather tricky, and I find myself taking quite a while until I finish a roll of film with that lens.

I really like photographing orderly thinks like grocery store aisles, and with the wide-angle lens I have a lot of fun doing that. As you can tell by my photograph of the cheese section of a local convenience store.

Mmmm, cheese.

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College, Food, Montana, Small Town Things

The Nova Cafe, Bozeman

I love going out to breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so it should automatically be the most delicious and the most satisfying!

Last weekend at the Nova Cafe, Harlan and Kristin and I went and gorged ourselves on delicious food. Here is visual proof. It was as good as it looks!

Naturally, I wore a new dress, and I got syrup on said dress. Tis my lot in life to always be slightly clumsy and spill food.

Cheers to the weekend!

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Americana, College, Food, Montana, Small Town Things

My life is a shade of vanilla.

Alright, so I’ll admit: I was once a world traveler, a photographer of things interesting, a glorious globe trotter hell bent on making the most of every new place, relishing adventures and returning with stories and photographs galore.

Alas, that part of me has been lassoed and put into a cage: I live in a land-locked state, 12 hours away from any metropolis, and I can’t fly/train/drive anywhere cheaply! So, while my travel days are sort of behind me (read: not for long, if I have anything to say about it), I do sometimes hope to post interesting things, even if I am stuck in a small Montana town going to a large university.

I want to note that my life is not terribly fascinating in any way. Studying, class, and walks around town take up a lot of my time. People here are mostly middle-class, drive sports vehicles with ski racks, and love North Face, Patagonia, and good food, beer, and coffee. We do have bears that live in town, and sometimes this town surprises me, but for the most part I cannot claim to be living an interesting life in a place that is compelling in any way.

I will continue to photograph my life, even if it is quite dull. However, I myself am not a dull person. I want to make that clear. I am merely biding my time until I can whip out my passport once again and begin charting more of the world. I apologize if this blog ever gets into a rut: I really do try to prevent it from feeling stuck or dull. If you ever feel my energy lagging in a post, I want to apologize beforehand!

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Adventures, College, Food, Montana, Small Town Things

Sticking out like a sore thumb.

My last week was spent battling 60 mph winds, driving through cemeteries, eating breakfast in local diners and cafes, and spending time working- a lot. Much more than my photographs reflect, of course! Alas, I am back in Bozeman, but college isn’t so terrible. Most people would call it the best time of their lives!

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Food, Photography, Small Town Things

FOOOOOD

This is a post devoted to my favorite thing in the entire world. It is something I have always loved and will always love. It unites and reunites people, both family and friends, and it has changed my life.

I didn’t know pizza until I went to Palermo. I hadn’t tried goat intestine until I ate it in Istanbul. I wouldn’t know the joys of eating a Nutella crepe unless I had one at a gelateria in Lugano. Food, and the pursuit of food, has made my life different. Grocery shopping becomes a communal event, and my life has always been gravitating towards good food.

I don’t eat to live: I live to eat!

Viva la appetite!

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Favorite things, Food, Montana

Early Bird Breakfast- food post ahoy!

This morning we went to cut down our Christmas tree in Montana. It was an adventure, and to prepare for any adventure one must be well nourished, am I right?

To nourish ourselves, my family chose the finest establishment possible: The Early Bird II Cafe. It’s in a building that shares a casino, and it’s full of old men on any given day. The waitresses serve you ridiculous amounts of coffee, the pancakes are humongous and should be approched with caution, and the hashbrowns are delicious!

Why listen to me ramble on, however, when you can see the glory of this wonderful place through my wide-angle lens, which I’m having so much fun with?

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Adventures, Art History, College, Favorite things, Food

17th century Dutch “still even” (still-life) re-creation

One of the many challenges that an Art History major must face is the idea of reality. How realistic is a painting? What is the perspective? How do the objects relate to one another?

For a class project I recreated a Dutch 17th century still-life, complete with symbolism, shadowing, and computer manipulation. What I found is that it is impossible to recreate an actual still-life: they are both unrealistic and very very imaginative, and although they look do-able, actually making one is quite the task!

I spent about $50 making the project- the tulips and the pomengranate cost me an arm and a leg. To actually balance everything, I pinned some tulips together and stuck some of the grapes together so they would look just so. It took me about an hour to assemble, and all those still-lifes where there is a peeled lemon- well, I beg your pardon, but I found it an insurmountable challenge to peel a lemon. Instead, I just cut mine in half.

Luckily, my professor called my recreation “glorious”. Phew!

Still Life with Fruit, Flowers, Glasses and Lobster, Jan Davidsz de Heem

Still Life with a Mouse, Abraham van Beyeren

Still Life Recration, Me!

In color!

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Americana, College, Food

The reflective Thanksgiving post

We all have them. I spent mine road tripping with my parents and our lovely (read: dim witted and silly) black Labrador, Cooper down to Colorado to spend the holiday with my grandparents, uncle, and cousins. The actual day was pretty uneventful: we ate until the expected food coma washed over us and then went our seperate ways to go nap/collapse/watch television with the tryptophan running through our bodies.

All in all, it was a good Thanksgiving! Hope yours was wonderful!

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Adventures, Architecture, College, Europe, Exploring, Food, Italian, Photography

Palermo: The Past Posts

It’s rather rainy and cold today, which means a blog post! WOO! I haven’t done one in a while…er, less than week, but in a young person’s life that can feel like forever!

Anyway…

Palermo is largest city in Sicily- the island off the coast of Italy, essentially being kicked by the boot. Sicily has a long history of being taken over as a vital trading/geographic place on the Mediterranean, and so the Arabs, Spanish, Greeks, English and Sicilians (and many other cultures) have been dominating the island for thousands of years.

Palermo is amazing in that it reflects all of those things in once place! On one corner of a street will be a Fascist style building, and down three blocks will be a Baroque church, cornered by a Greek-temple like building. Arab influence in the patterns on the windows and the language are still very much there. Sicilian itself is a mix of Arabic, Greek and Italian- a weird, hybrid language baby that nobody can understand except the 5 million Sicilians that speak it (A fair few, eh?)

Exa and I were in her dorm room one cold January evening messing around on the internet, when we decided to see what the cheapest place to go was on EasyJet. For less than 50 euros, we got round trip tickets to Palermo! Naturally, without thinking about it, we bought them. We knew Palermo was in Sicily, but we didn’t even think about the fact that we were going to Sicily, or how to prepare for such a random adventure.

The day comes when we get on the plane. Sicily is not known for it’s safety, so Exa boldly attempted to bring a Swiss army knife onto the EasyJet flight. Unsuccessful, it was taken from her- yet, somehow, I got pepper spray onto the flight. (It was in the bottom of my bag accidentally, I swear!) We had our hostel name, address, and we had the information we needed- I had scribbled it all down on a couple of useful notecards.

It wasn’t until we landed in Palermo (which is a very interesting landing situation), that we realized I had left the notecards on my desk. Noooooo! Shit happens when you travel, and so we merely embraced this small hurdle, determined to not let it interfere with our adventure.

Unfortunately, the directions to our hostel were on the notecards. We boarded a dark, smelly shuttlebus which went past deserted, decaying buildings in the pitch black for about 30 minutes…Exa and I were both nervous, clutching our bags and wondering how the hell to get to our hostel at night in Palermo. Italian cities are not know for their orderly and easy to find streets. Luckily, I had programmed our hostel’s phone number into my cheap pay-as-you-go Swiss cell. I called a number, and a heavily accented voice answered, “Pronto! A Casa di Amici!” (The name of our hostel). I got vague, fuzzy directions, and decided it was alright- we could get there!

We hopped off at a random shuttle bus stop…and realized we had no clue where we were. We were in a big, fancy square, and it was lit up. Some nice fellow on the street gave us directions on GoogleMaps on his iPhone, and we set off- surely the taste of victory was sweet in our mouths! Alas, we set off in the opposite direction- meandering senselessly into the labyrinth of Palermo at night- dimly lit streets, no sidewalks, and general chaos. We finally gave in and found a hotel and got a map, where a very sympathetic hotel employee highlighted our way.

We arrived at the Casa di Amici 2 hours later. The hostess, who I had spoken to on the phone, was livid in the way an Italian mother would be- mostly with worry.

“You girls! I thought you would never show up! You were supposed to be here hours ago!”

Regardless of the fact that we had never met, she treated us like her daughters, and ushered us in, relieved that we had survived and gotten to the hostel.

“It’s not safe at night, especially for you American girls, all pale and with your packs.” We agreed with her, got our keys, dropped our packs, and walked to the restaurant around the corner to celebrate our victory. We ordered pizza and wine, and then collapsed into a food coma.

The rest of Palermo was a blur- a delicious, complex, confusing, and scary blur. We wandered around to the ocean, got confused as German girls for most of the trip (our Italian has a German accent to it, apparently) and ate like kings- arincini, hot chocolate, pizza, lots of red wine (we would split a liter each night before bed) and tiramisu galore! We walked through Communist rallies after shopping at H&M (Palermo was having a mad sale on something), we went and saw The King’s Speech in Sicilian at a local theater, and mostly just took in the sights while trying not to be conspicuous (pick pockets are rampant in Palermo).

The Vucciria truly was the highlight of the trip, though. If you are ever in Sicily, you must go to the Vucciria- a mile long street bordered with food stalls and shops on either side. Sicilians hawk their goods and food loudly, shouting at you, and the streets are wet with sea water. The air smells like fruit, meat, cheese, and the freshest seafood I’ve ever seen. Octopus jostled for space with a stall of fragole (strawberries), and a cheese shop was entirely layered in giant wheels of cheese, shelf upon shelf of it. The Vucciria is one of the oldest food markets in the world. Vespas laden with new produce beep past customers and patrons through the cobblestone walkways, and the senses are delighted in everyway- it looks amazing, smells even better, and the spaces are so packed with food you image you taste it!

We bought fragole and ciliegi (strawberries and cherries) from an enthusiastic vendor- we bought so much he winked at us and give us each a DVD of him playing guitar and singing traditional Sicilian folk songs.

The next day we got on our plane home to clean, safe, and almost lifeless Lugano- at least compared to Palermo. It’s dirty streets, extreme noise level, beautiful architecture, and constantly busy atmosphere was amazing to spend three days in. I have days where I’m craving something really delicious and I think back to Palermo…a gourmance if there ever was one!

A dopo, ciao!

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Favorite things, Food, History

Vintage Toblerone Ads: Das ist gut, ja?

Toblerone ad, 1904

1957 ad

1974 ad

There is nothing better than opening up the oddly triangular shaped, yellow cardboard boxes that contain Toblerone chocolate. I myself have been in a long term relationship with Toblerone chocolate for over a decade now, with no end in sight.

This post comes during a particularly rough patch of Toblerone craving. Bear with me, readers; my food cravings may more than once make cameos on the blog.

Images courtesy of the Toblerone Facebook page. 

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Food, Small Town Things

You chose fruit. You live with fruit.

Last weekend, before university officially began, Julia and I decided to indulge in acting like hard core middle aged garage sale fiends. We took the paper, got bagels and coffee, and wrote about five or six garage sales going on around town.

We stumbled upon a massive, two generation estate sale. I bought a green floppy felt hat, Julia a magenta beret, and then we ended up playing on a playground before school began and homework swamps us both. There is nothing better than swinging with a view of the entire town after perusing through amazing art, artifacts and kitschy things in a moldy warehouse.

 

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Black and White, Food, Photography

I could fall and pierce an organ: II (The Food Post)

If one was ever to go to a restaurant or even cook a meal with me, it is highly likely that I will take several pictures of the food we are about to consume. Sometimes it requires a flash. Thusly, most of the people I eat meals with have either gotten over the embarrassment of eating with such a weirdo or still slightly cringe but allow me to go on photographing the food. You have been warned.

We ate quite a few good things. Grilled cheese with spicy tomato soup and a salad; pizza that was a little over cooked but still aesthetically pleasing; crab cakes, steak, shrimp and linguini; blackberries found as we hiked down to a beach in Trinidad; Vietnamese food, etc.- quite the feast! However, do not be fooled; a 40 hour road trip  also resulted in us scraping the bottom of the food barrel: Taco Bell stops were made at least once (couldn’t manage to stay classy) and more often than not we were eating not real meals but snacks: free hotel cookies, a cup of coffee here, a bowl of cereal there.

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