photography

Dinner in NY: Intimate Portraits of New Yorkers Eating

When you’re eating dinner, what’s your usual set-up? Do you eat alone or with your partner? Are there kids in the picture? Do you sit at a kitchen table or a couch? Do you watch TV or check your phone or surf the web while you eat?

Your dinner habits, in a way, reflect who you are. Photographer Miho Aikawa explores that in her Dinner in NYВ project.В According to Aikawa:

Having dinner isn’t just about eating food, or even about nutrition. It reveals so many aspects of our lives, much more than lunch or even breakfast would. And because dinnertime is usually private, it uniquely reveals a part of a person’s lifestyle.

Aikawa’s intimate photos also demonstrate how much technology has changed the ways people people enjoy supper. Many diners are eating in front of a TV or laptop.

A few of my favorite shots:

Garro Heedae, a musician, has dinner late at night after intensive drum rehearsal sessions. Age: 28. Time: 1:20 a.m. Location: Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn.

Garro Heedae, a musician, has dinner late at night after intensive drum rehearsal sessions. Age: 28. Time: 1:20 a.m. Location: Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn.

Zheng Yun lives with her daughter and son, but usually eats dinner alone while watching TV. Age: 52. Time: 8:54 p.m.  Location: Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn.

Zheng Yun lives with her daughter and son, but usually eats dinner alone while watching TV. Age: 52. Time: 8:54 p.m. Location: Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn.

Jessie Zinke, a designer, has leftover for dinner on her bed while watching her favorite TV show. Age: 27. Time: 6:54 p.m. Location: Chelsea, New York.

Jessie Zinke, a designer, has leftover for dinner on her bed while watching her favorite TV show. Age: 27. Time: 6:54 p.m. Location: Chelsea, New York.

U Pa Mok Kha is a monk from Myanmar who cannot eat after noon. Local people bring him food and after he is done, he shares the rest of the food with them. Age: 55. Time: 11:17 a.m. Location: Jackson Heights, Queens.

U Pa Mok Kha is a monk from Myanmar who cannot eat after noon. Local people bring him food and after he is done, he shares the rest of the food with them. Age: 55. Time: 11:17 a.m. Location: Jackson Heights, Queens.

Chelsea Olson, a model, concentrates on her food while reviewing her busy day. Age: 20. Time: 8:13 p.m. Location: Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn.

Chelsea Olson, a model, concentrates on her food while reviewing her busy day. Age: 20. Time: 8:13 p.m. Location: Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn.

See even more photos—and stories—on Aikawa’s site.

I’m such a creature of habit, that I know exactly how my dinner photo would look: Each night, around 10-10:30, after ballet, I sit on my living room floor, on a big cushion, and eat at my coffee table. My meal usually involves veggies and eggs (poached eggs in a spinach soup, huevos rancheros, scrambled eggs with a side of sauteed greens). The room is dark, with one dim lamp on, and I’m watching Top Chef or So You Think You Can Dance? on DVR. My hair is pulled back in a bun, and I’m wearing a tank top and shorts.

How would your dinner photo look?

(Images by Miho Aikawa; found via Fast Co. Design)

Photos of a Border Town, Taken by Kids

There has been a ton of press, recently, about the number of children trying to cross the US/Mexico border. Most of the kids are from Central America, especially Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador—three countries with exceptionally high poverty and crime rates.

While this is a very politically charged topic, there’s no denying that many of these kids are desperate to escape awful situations in their home countries. Reading news stories on the subject makes me think back to the two weeks I spent in Guatemala, two years ago. Some teachers at my Spanish school knew people who smuggled their way into the U.S.—including their own family members.

One of my teachers, Flor, told me how her cousin made such a journey. His life was being threatened by a gang—every day, members told him his choice was to join the gang or else his family would be in danger. So with the help of a coyote, he left his family. He went from Guatemala to Mexico, then spent days walking trough the dessert with barley any food or water. He was just 16. And while he made it safely, he may never be able to see his family again.

Hearing that story, and others like it, humbled me. I sometimes feel overwhelmed by things going on in my life. But as trying as my problems can be, they’re often pretty first-world. I didn’t have to smuggle my way into a country as a kid, to escape poverty or violence.

Last week, I came upon some fascinating (and gorgeous) photos that touched upon the issue. Jason De Leon, an assistant professor of anthropology and director of the Undocumented Migration Project, and National Geographic teamed up for a photo camp in Arivaca, Arizona, a town on the US/Mexico border. Twenty-five kids, ranging in age from 13 to 18, spent five days shooting photos that depict life in border towns affected by this migration:

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National Geographic Photo Camp Arizona, 2014

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National Geographic Photo Camp Arizona, 2014

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See all theВ photos here.

(Images from the Undocumented Migration Project, via Quartz)

NYC by Night, On a Scarf

Last year, I posted a stunning photo of NYC by night:

NYC by night

It was taken by NASA in March 2013. The picture astounded me. I was amazed at how clearly you can see the gridded streets that make up the city, along with the bridges that connect the boroughs.

Today I stumbled upon an NYC-based design company who was just as inspired by that image:В Slow FactoryВ creates silk scarves from NASA’s aerial city photos—including the one above:

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They also have scarves printed with images ofВ Paris, the USA and London (below) by night.

london by night

Just stunning.

(Top image by NASA, bottom by Slow Factory; found via SwissMiss)

Amazing Aerial Beach Photos

On any given day, there’s nowhere I’d rather be than on a beach.

That’s why Gray Malin‘s A La Plage photo series makes me so happy.В Malin shot each photo while cruising over beaches in doorless helicopters.

The result: Incredible aerial photos of happy people in gorgeous, sunny settings. LikeВ Australia’s Manly Beach

Manly Beach, by Gray Malin

to Brazil

Brazil's Blue Beach, by Gray Malin

…to St. Tropez

St. Tropez Tahiti Club, by Gray Malin

…and even Coney Island!

Coney Island, by Gray Malin

Just stunning.

I’ll be keeping up with Malin’s photos—and his cool blog—long after summer ends.

(Images by Gray Malin; found via weather.com)

So Ready for a Beach Weekend!

Large Wall Art Large Scale Photography Coney Island Beach II Archival Art Print 30x30"

Happy Friday! For the first time in ages, it’s the weekend and I have absolutely nothing planned. But since the weather forecast is looking pretty good, Evan and I are thinking maybe two beach days in a row—or sneaking away for a night at a nearby beach town. Ahh, summer weekends…

Hope you have a relaxing few days planned, as well. Until next week, a few of my favorite travel-themed links from around the web:

Gorgeous beach photos, including the one above, of Coney Island, by NYC-based photographer Mina Teslaru.

Books that feature flying. Have you read any of them? I’ve been wanting to check out The Skies Belong to Us.

Photo #28. Talk about the coolest World Cup-viewing party!

Amazing photos of floating markets.

A few of NYC’s coolest park benches.

How powerful is your passport?

A bike pizza slicer!

Where’s my jetpack rental?!

(Image via Minagraphy)

World Cup Fans in NYC

While I haven’t been watching much of the World Cup, I do appreciate the effect it has on the city. I love walking by fansВ clad in their nationalВ colors, spilling out of bars or huddling around TVs in shop windows.

It makes me feel like I’m in another country—pretty much any other country than here, where this kind of communal viewing is common.

Today I stumbled upon an amazing site, Global Soccer, Global NYC, that wonderfully illustrates this phenomenon. Its founders,В Braden Ruddy, Owen Dodd and Rob Navarro, depict NYC soccer fans watching matches in gathering places (usually bars and restaurants) relevant to their home countries. The photos and accompanying text give a nice snapshot of the countries, their teams and NYC’s immigrant communities:

Ghana vs. Germany, Papaye Restaurant, The Bronx

Ghana vs. Germany at Papaye Restaurant, The Bronx

Argentina vs. Iran at Boca Juniors Steakhouse, Elmhurst

Argentina vs. Iran at Boca Juniors Steakhouse, Elmhurst

Croatia vs. Cameroon at Veslo in Astoria

Croatia vs. Cameroon at Veslo, Astoria

Uruguay vs. Costa Rica at La Gran Uruguaya Bakery, Jackson Heights

Uruguay vs. Costa Rica at La Gran Uruguaya Bakery, Jackson Heights

I’m definitely going to be keeping up withВ Global Soccer, Global NYC.В (And checking out some of those bars and restaurants!)

(Images viaВ Global Soccer, Global NYC)

So Ready for a Summer Weekend!

marcelo gomes

Happy Friday!

Even though I mark the start of summer on Memorial Day, the season officially starts tomorrow—and I’m thrilled to be in the midst of my favorite time of year. I have a few very NYC summer plans for the weekend: seeing ABT’s Giselle, going to a friend’s birthday at this rooftop bar. I may also hit the beach and catch some of the World Cup.

Speaking of ABT and the World Cup, how awesome is the photo above? It’s of ABT principal Marcelo Gomes—he’s originally from Brazil, and had a chance to have some fun at one of the new World Cup stadiums.

Until next week, some links from around the web:

Seven (non-beach) swimming spots near NYC.

I’ve made a few trips to South America, but those little countries in the north still eludeВ me—so I enjoyed reading the Frugal Traveler’s foray into Suriname and Guyana en route to the World Cup.

I could not stop laughing at this. (Try it—it really works!)

An ice cream truck for cats.

Here’s to the start of summer!

(Photo via ABT)