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Boyce Thompson Institute: Yonkers, NY

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This past Saturday, I took the ladies up north for a little trespassing. The Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research was built in 1924 and was dedicated to the study of plants and associated organisms for the “betterment of society.” It’s been in ruin since the late 70s in Yonkers, smack-dab in the middle of an office park, complete with an Applebees. DSC_3550DSC_3537DSC_3533We thought over the plan to break into this main building when we saw the dog-sized raccoons eating breakfast. DSC_3502Instead, we moved on to the greenhouses. I cannot imagine going to this place any time after dark. It was scary in broad daylight.  DSC_3549 DSC_3572 DSC_3575Applebees wasn’t even open for lunch and I already had that erie feeling in the pit of my stomach just walking around this place.  DSC_3586 DSC_3587It is pretty amazing how fast nature starts to take over.
DSC_3588 DSC_3590 DSC_3594If we were gonna get chopped up into bits in the middle of the day, I wonder who was going to save us.
DSC_3596 DSC_3613Since my mother reads this, I must let you all know that we left the Institute unscathed. Lisa and I tried venturing into the basement of the greenhouses, got halfway down the stairs and chickened out. No raccoons were harmed in the making this post, we’ve all had our tetanus shots, and when we were done, we proceeded to the nearest shopping mall for lunch and mindless shopping. But at least for a little bit, we saw something cool.

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Storm King Art Center: New Windsor, NY

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A few weeks ago, Nicole over at Sketch42blog posted about her day trip to the Storm King Art Center. Totally inspired, I got in the car with my friend Jaime and we headed upstate to get the last glimpses of Fall.

The Storm King Art Center has over 500 acres of rolling hills and fields, located only 50 miles north of the city. This museum is a true celebration of art and nature. The art is not pretentious nor precious here, even with more than 100 post-World War II sculptures from internationally renowned artists. Nature has a way of leveling the playing field, even bringing the most formidable pieces back down to earth for you to enjoy. DSC_2738

Ancient History Video Shoot, Bushwick – Part 2

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Still in Bushwick…Lots of little ghosts waiting on deck during the shoot. Sami takes a load off. P1240233 P1240241P1240252The lineup. I’m shooting this while in ghost costume. It took me forever to get my hands free from the endless layers of fabric in that getup. P1240265In between takes, I got restless and bossed Sami around to pose for me on ridiculous objects. She’s such a sport and an absolute glammapus. P1240270Donald dukes it out for the camera. P1240313Rachael’s still fighting with the leading man and leaving him in a huff of glamor. I tell you, heartbreak sells records, people!!!P1240305Down in the brickyard….utter gorgeousness. P1240295“Hey, Sami, go sit over there on top of that pile of rusty fencing and lean back for me, will ya?” I cannot express how much of a good sport this girl is…total Little Sister Syndrome…I guarantee this has been the scene her entire life- getting dressed up and propped up in places, being the guinnea pig. We love ya for it, Sami! P1240328I had a great day with the ladies and the crew shooting for Ancient History. In case you’re wondering, the video has a bit of a love/conflict story juxtaposed with some imagery involving ghosts (yours truly) and a construction yard. I honestly had no idea what the concept and I left halfway through shooting so it will be very interesting to see the finished product. A big thanks to Donald and Ancient History for letting me tag along. Good luck!

Ancient History Video Shoot, Bushwick-Part 1

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This is Donald and today he’s shooting a music video for his band, Ancient History. P1240136Rachael is the female lead in the video and her sister Sami and I are there for moral support. P1240152Andddd, maybe for a little extra security for her because they’re shooting here today. P1240156No hair and makeup on set, but Rachael’s an old pro at this.
P1240173Meanwhile, Sami and I get the call. “Hey girls, come and get your costumes”…..say what?P1240175 P1240197Sami and Donnie in ghost mode. P1240208 P1240213The camera dudes were the best. What a genius use of the Gorillapod.
P1240238Shooting take number 1000 of the jilted lovers quarrel.

Ghosts Sami and Court are on standby…see what happens next tomorrow. Little ghosts should not be left unattended in a construction depot.

A Sister Act, Bushwick

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My two favorite sisters, Sami and Rachael. Just a few pics I snapped prior to our field trip to watch Rachael star in a music video for a local band. P1240120 P1240146 P1240149Brooklyn, namely Bushwick, has a ton of amazing graffiti and interesting industrial back drops.

I always thought it’d be cool to have a sister growing up. Get used to seeing these two, they’re utterly gorgeous and a dream to photograph!

Joshua Tree Day Two

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On Day 2, we checked out of the motel and headed back into the park one last time. Luckily, that Monday was the start of National Parks Week and admission was free!
P1240007Much thanks for the Dogg family for letting us borrow the whip for the drive out. That thing corners like it’s on rails!
P1240015We found a little valley where ranchers used to hide cattle. All the trees were petrified by the wind and sun.
P1240016Logan led us through the winding paths of the valley.
P1240019And then, the winding paths of the park’s roads. After over 10 years away from 4 wheels, he did a stellar job getting us to our next stop.
P1240024Which happened to be the site were Gram Parsons’  (remember? the one from the motel we stayed?) stolen body was cremated.
P1240028Gram Parsons died of a morphine and alcohol overdose at the Joshua Tree Inn. His body was to be shipped back to Louisiana  for burial, however, it was stolen by friends to comply with his last wishes. Parsons wanted to be cremated and have his ashes spread in Joshua Tree. His friends stole the body, drove it in a “borrowed” hearse to Joshua Tree, and lit it on fire at this very site. And they pretty much got away with it. (Read here)P1240031Can you imagine the sight? A blazing fireball in the middle of this.
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Moving on…I’ve never taken so many pictures of trees. These Joshua Trees are just so unique. 
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Here comes the part where I did some exploring of my own. I was looking for a little shelter from the sun and found this awesome cave formed by three huge boulders leaning up against each other. It must have been about 10 feet in diameter and with a 10 foot ceiling. I squeezed through the little entrance and cajoled Logan to join me, not noticing the huge amounts of coyote poop in the cave. Yup, I led us straight into a coyote den….I have zero wilderness instincts. Thank goodness nobody was home!
P1240035 P1240041Taunting lizards. Overall, an amazing trip. Completely mind blowing. Thank you to Logan for bringing me there and making my birthday so special!

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Joshua Tree Park at Sunset

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At the end of Day 1 in Joshua Tree National Park, our main goal was to chase the sunset. We were determined to nail the perfect shot that encompassed this place in all of it’s beauty and glory.
P1220935 P1220936 P1220940Logan was super focused on the horizon knowing that our time was limited and sunset would be coming fast.
P1220942 P1220945He traversed the valley looking for the perfect vantage point, while my tired legs found a nice ledge to rest and snap him in the pursuit.
P1220950 P1220957All there was left was the stillness of the desert, the sinking sun, and the steady trot of his desert boots zig zagging the landscape.
P1220958The sun sank like a stone past the horizon, casting long shadows on the desert floor and turning the sky into a warm array of pastels. It was perfect. P1220982We left the desert tired, happy, and content. P1220981