Here are some moments from the last few weeks via the Mamiya. Yes, for several weeks I lugged two huge, heavy analog cameras with me in my purse. Fortunately I have a great masseuse.
I didn’t give much of an explanation in the polaroid post because I think the images are better left to their own stories, so here’s a bit of context.
I think of Southern New Jersey as a mini mall near a beach covered in water bottles and deflated balloons. I’m allowed to say this because I spent the end of my angsty teen years here, and I hated just about every second of it. I hear great places are tucked around every corner I didn’t explore, but for me, it was a place of nothing. It is the keeper of all I wanted to escape, which in reflection was a blessing in disguise that catapulted me to an opposite coast, and then far away continents.
All of this aside, my grandmother often calls me while she’s driving to the farms to get produce, and I’ve always been bewildered. How can there be room for farms amongst all of the malls and Applebees and Barnes and Nobles and highways? So when I was back to celebrate her birthday with her in post-Sandy chaos, I asked her to take me here. In less than an hour, we were surrounded by calm and rural prettiness.
We ended the afternoon at a German restaurant we stumbled on, literally covered wall to wall in dolls and trinkets and ornaments. Yes, that’s a doll in a highchair in a bathroom stall. Always take the camera to the bathroom, just in case.
A few days later I was back up north in the part of the State that means something completely different for me. These places are the places of nostalgia and happy memories, of young friendships and mischief written about in Stephen King novels, still immortalized for me. I had to be dragged away from here kicking and screaming and begging to be left behind. The friends who were my family have remained so, and visiting now is the closest thing to home I’ve ever felt.
So on an afternoon after lunch with Cia, I took a tour alone of the streets we grew up on. I went to the places that hold pieces of me- the places we’d pass when we’d walk home from school (something that was never allowed, but we did on occasion anyway)- the parking lot that held the carnival and the cemetery Christina and I had lunch in (the same cemetery the twins and I found sacrificed chickens in).
I passed the library I won a poetry contest at and the store we’d steal candy from, the playground where I told Stephen I had a crush on him on his birthday when I was 11. I went to our school and the street I lived on, peered down the hill we’d sleigh ride down on cold pink snowy nights, up the street to Christina’s where I’m sure an old witch lady threw apples at us when we tried to steal them from her trees. I gazed at her house where we tried smoking banana peels and where I hid in the closet from her mother when I ran away from home. I passed Christine’s house and the rec center that seemed a million miles away but is actually just down the street, where Chris kissed me and told me about the stars while we layed on the field. Moments of life preserved forever in a box in my heart.
And then finally the light part of visiting the east coast, where Q and I can just walk and talk and eat great food, drink great coffee, stay up all night with conversation and S and a bottle of vodka shaped like a skull… This time with beautiful autumn everywhere around us (when I visited him this time last year, we sloshed around in the snow while I tried out my brand new Mamiya.)
And these are totally out of order, but a few from Portland from a few weeks ago which were on a roll of film.
My Freya, the definition of beauty to me, and my little brother, eyes closed but still adorable.
Next, film from a week in Europe with Kristen.