Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Meet Me in Nicaragua

"Our phones won't work, so let's meet at the airport in Managua. My flight gets in at 3:30. We'll catch a cab there and bounce around on dirt roads for three hours on the ride to the coast," I told my younger brother, Tim, rocking in the comfort of my ergonomic office chair in Midtown Manhattan. "Where are you, anyway?"

"Waiting for my flight in Houston. This place is a zoo," Tim said under his breath. "I am going to stay at a hostel in Managua tonight, but you should probably give me directions to the place we are staying just in case something goes wrong and I need to get out there by myself."

"Sounds good, I'll text you it right now. Let me know if any plans change. I have to run, see you tomorrow afternoon. I'm pumped. See you on the other side," I said in one breath as I glanced down at my watch and realized I had a meeting in five minutes.

"Don't forget to bring the sunscreen," Tim joked in a motherly voice.

Little did he know, but in a fit of excitement and procrastination from my daily obligations, I had ordered sunscreen on Amazon, Bull Frog SPF 36, weeks in advance.

Flying the cheapest option through Central America to a remote country and meeting someone with no means of communication turned out as dubious as it sounds.

Five hours after leaving JFK, my empty flight landed to the elated clapping of the native Salvadorians and news of the cancellation of all the day's connecting flights to Managua. Envisioning Tim moping around the Managua airport for hours waiting for me arrive, I quickly found wifi and sent out a slew of emails telling him to make his way to the beach without me. After an hour of feeling like a derelict older brother, my iPhone vibrated, alerting me that Tim had skipped town soon after arriving in Managua the evening before and gone directly to the coast.

"That fucker! what if I would have showed up on time? " I smiled in relief.
A free night's stay, three complimentary meals and a 200 dollar flight voucher later I landed in Managua at 9am the next morning. Eager to dump my backpack, I converted the kilometers to miles in my head as the cab sped through dusty roads towards Popoyo.


The ocean's spray and my brother's sheepish grin quickly made me forget about my travel hiccups. For a week, my brother and I enjoyed the carefree attitude of the handful of other surfers, drawn to this remote beach in Nicaragua. When the tide was right, we surfed. When it was cool, we skated the mini ramp. When it was hot, we read.

Mangos, freshly knocked down from a tree.

A horse under the full moon on Saturday the 19th. Aperture F1.4, shutter speed .4s, and iso 4000.

The miniramp, a stone's throw from the beach.

Time slowed.

Blue and Yellow.


Starched with Salt.

Meet me in Nicaragua.

Here are some more links,
Nicaragua Dos (Picasa),

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring Forward

Break out the Vans and lose the socks. With the Ides of March passed, Spring looms in the not so distant future. After a winter of snowstorms and cold rain, I am looking forward to the season change like an eight-year-old to the ball pit at McDonalds.

I am swamped with work and preparing for a week long trip back to Nicaragua.

When work and responsibilities pile up, I turn to these blogs for an escape;
The Blue Hour,
Grass Doe,
Whole Lard Lover.

Be back soon.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


"Why do you like farmer's markets?" Alex asked.

Surprised by questioning such an apparent truth, I stumbled for a few moments as we navigated the dense crowds at the Union Square Farmer's Marker.

"It reminds me of places outside of New York. I grew up going to them with my parents," I continued. "Now that I live in New York, its grounding." Although our conversation stopped shortly thereafter that Saturday, I continued to contemplate my attraction to farmer's markets.

The next morning, I awoke early to a gray spring morning. Walking through the rain, I grabbed some coffee and then headed towards the farmer's market on 77th and Columbus. The rain fended off the strollers and golden retrievers and gave everything a green hue. Moving slowly down the row of vendors, I took my time hunting for the week's groceries.

Grass fed, yuppie bought.

All of these photos were taken with Sigma's 50mm f1.4 lens. It beats Canon hands down.

Greens and purples.

Browns and Tans.

Wet, gray and orange.

Oyster Mushrooms.

Eggs and Spuds.

Everything got wet.


Lugging my groceries in an assortment of plastic and paper bags, I listened to the sound of loose change sloshing around in my pocket. As I counted the blocks down in my head, I regretted shopping on an empty stomach. With a snap, one of the plastic bags broke, spilling apples on Columbus Ave. Right there, I succeeded in answering Alex's question to Stuff White People Like, Article 5. I will be back next week.

Here are some more links,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Speed Bandage

"The forecast looked good," I reminded my grandfather as we marched through the accumulating snow.

"Welcome, to Wisconsin."

"Well put." I chuckled. Deer prints from early that day guided us along the trail into the 80 acre woods behind my grandfather's farm. I followed my grandfather's size 15 Eddie Bauer foot prints.

Two days before, a high of 50 had melted the midwinter snow, exposing raw fields and the stench of manure for the first time since mid November. Arriving in Milwaukee on Thursday night, I spent a long weekend in Sheboygan County poking around for antiques, enjoying fish fries and most importantly, the rustic serenity of my grandfather's farm.

Waking early and falling asleep before eleven, my daily schedule mimicked the sun's. My cell phone barely worked and the internet was reminiscent of dial up. I didn't complain.


I love these colors.

Country road, take me home. John Denver got it.

Sound the bell.


Sunday I awoke to light flurries as a storm moved in across the plains from the west. Taking the opportunity to explore the recently white landscape, my grandfather and I set out into the woods behind his house.

The heavy falling snow muffled the woods. Occasionally, a branch gave way, shaking the snow resting on top of it. Sparsely breaking the silence, we followed the deer's tracks in the woods.

After an hour walk, we headed back, bushwacking a trail through the dense ceder swamp. Arriving at the house, I packed up my things, bid farewell and headed to the Airport to catch my flight back LaGuardia. Five hours later, I was in New York. I had caught the last flight out before the storm shut the area down.

Call it a speed bandage for alleviating some of the frustrations of living in New York.

Here are some more links,
Wisconsin (Picasa),
Farmville (ART).