Almost two years ago, I started spending a lot of time in Cincinnati, Ohio. I was spending so much time here that I decided to move to the area. While it is different than my hometown, it shares a lot of the same qualities that I love in Buffalo, NY. It has a lot of history, a lot of old buildings, passionate sports fans, and many great places to wander around and take photos.
Previous to moving to Cincinnati, my only experience with attending baseball games had been Buffalo’s minor league team, the Buffalo Bisons. After attending my first Cincinnati Reds game at Great American Ballpark, I fell in love with the sport all over again. Even when the team isn’t playing their best, the sights and sounds in the stands and on the field are overwhelming. I used to only look forward to autumn due to the beginning of hockey season, but now I look forward to the spring every year so I can see the Reds take the field again.
While wandering the streets of Cincinnati, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of murals and street art I came across. Two of my favorite pieces thus far are the Shepard Fairey wheatpaste on the side of Arnold’s, and the giant Charles Harper mural of two birds on Walnut.
Cincinnati might not be the biggest city or have the best restaurants or have the best sports teams, but it feels like home to me. I don’t know if I’ll live here forever, but for now I am loving every minute of it. Whether it’s eating a delicious pretzel from Servatii, cheering on the Cincinnati Cyclones, or watching fireworks over the Ohio River, I am happy to be here.
Growing up in Buffalo, NY, I’m used to snow storms. What i’m not used to is ice storms. Whenever I come across the aftermath of an ice storm, I am fascinated by it’s beauty.
The way the ice covers each branch is incredible. It’s like it’s trying to preserve it until spring hits. Or the way it wraps itself around berries on a tree, almost taunting birds and squirrels wanting to eat it.
But it’s not all beautiful things encapsulated in ice. Downed power lines, frozen water pipes, and car accidents are also results of the ice storm.
But I think there’s still room to enjoy the beauty of the ice covered objects. While most might look at ice storms as annoying and devastating, I know i’m not the only one out there taking photos of it’s beauty.
I have traveled to 40 out of 50 states and Chicago is easily one of my favorite cities in the US. There’s something about the energy and infrastructure that always makes me happy when i’m there. I also feel so inspired every time I am in Chicago. I haven’t been there in over 6 months, but I have taken many photos during my last few trips there. This will most likely be my first of many posts about Chicago.
For whatever reason, I am incredibly drawn to calm and quiet places. Perhaps it is within my nature to seek those sorts of places because of where I live or how I function. When those places are cold, especially below freezing temperatures, they become even more cold and quiet. These places are not necessarily lonely in the emotional sense, they just are. Your bones soak in the wind that blows across and somehow inside of your coat and your gloves and the one source of light nearest to you could illuminate a room. That is the kind of cold and the kind of empty to which I am referring.
As someone who doesn’t drive, I tend to walk a lot. While I’m walking, I am almost always looking down. It may be because i’m afraid of tripping on things, but I also take the opportunity to look for interesting things to take photos of. More often than not, we walk past things everyday that we don’t realize.
April 24th, 1993. It may not have been my first hockey game, but it’s the first one I remember. While I didn’t realize it was made famous by Rick Jeanneret’s “May Day” call until years later, I do remember being in love with the excitement after the Buffalo Sabres beat the Boston Bruins in overtime to advance in the playoffs.
That energy and excitement is what has kept my love for hockey and the Buffalo Sabres alive for the last 20 years. While that love hasn’t consistently strong year to year, I have never missed a chance to go to see my hometown team play live. This year I even did something I had never done before, I went to a game by myself. It was a really great experience and it allowed me to soak in all the history and all the memories I have with the team.
The Sabres may not be known for being consistently good (they are last in the league as I write this), but anyone who has ever been to a home game will tell you that the fans are some of the best there is. That is the Buffalo spirit, no matter how bad it is you still support those who you love. Whether that means driving in a blizzard to make sure your family who lost power has food, or rooting for your hometown team despite never winning the Stanley Cup. I still get “No Goal” phantom pains when I watch them play the Dallas Stars.
As long as they keep playing with all their heart, I will keep rooting for the Buffalo Sabres. Maybe they will bring the cup to Buffalo, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Sometime last year, I became more interested in photographing the ordinary and the familiar. But, being who I am, I wanted to make those things unfamiliar and extraordinary. Photographing strangers in public places is nothing new, many others have done it and will continue to do it much better than I. The following is the scratching at the surface of a theme I want to continue to explore with time.
I have a very large extended family so all my life I have been around children of all ages. While I don’t want kids of my own, it’s always interesting observing children and seeing how they learn and process the world.
This is my cousin Kylie Addison Best. She is 2 years old and is so much fun. I want to capture her playfulness and wonderment of the world around her.
I always try to put myself in their shoes. I know it must be hard to be a kid, not having the freedom to do whatever you want to do.
I also always talk to children like they are adults. While I don’t try to discuss politics with them, I also don’t talk down to them or use some weird baby talk/voice. I’m not an expert on child development but I assume that if you talk to them in a normal voice they are more likely to develop vocal skills faster and better.
Family and food have been ever present in my life. It is difficult to forget where you come from and what gave you sustenance as a child when an image like this is etched on your mind.
However, you can forget those things and when you are reminded, your heart is filled and your mind floods with years filled with Sunday dinners comprised of dishes many other people you end up meeting in your life have never heard of (soup beans and corn bread, for example). It may be a single, solitary moment and that vessel may be worn and decades old, but it still holds a piece of who you are.