After months of drowning you in all things-Sri Lanka, here is the very final addition: a rundown of all the Sri Lankan blog posts.
While I peruse the endless confines of the internet through this 15-inch titanium crack pipe, I often find photographs that I admire dearly. The problem is, I have a hard time figuring out where many of them were taken. A part of me appreciates the anonymity of an image—the unrestrained nature of not knowing, while another part disagrees entirely and searches for clues of where this moment—seized and breathless—took place.
While I don’t presume my images to be admired, I do wish to at least connect some of them with their provenance. This 3-part finale of sorts is my attempt at such a connection. I’ve included our mapped trip, a rough itinerary, links to images, and more photographs from our time in Sri Lanka. Please enjoy and send to others. Happy travels!
Through paved roadways and chopped up back roads, we pass shack after shanty and witness the scattered remains of a Tsunami’s battered footprint. Regardless of the time passed since its initial devastation, its impression is still evident and real. But … Continue reading
Whenever I’m asked where I went to college, I say that I went to Emerson in Boston. It’s true, that’s where I graduated from and spent my last three years of school, but what I usually neglect – only because … Continue reading
This weekend we celebrated Sammy’s birthday. Not unlike birthdays in the past, she wanted to relax (something she seldom gets with the rigors of a fashion-based job in NYC). But up until last year, we called California home and weren’t … Continue reading
Recently, I’ve been biking around New York and I have to say, I’m hooked. But while I pedal the city in running shoes and a hoody, I’m ousted by a sea of skin-wrapped spandex riders zipping by me – most of them casting dirty looks. I want to believe that I’ll understand the attire one day or even the mindset that gets them to wear it. Maybe I’ll progress to the point where it makes sense. But to tell you the truth, I highly doubt it.
I’m not racing nor am I preparing for a long distance haul. I’m riding, because it feels good – because I need to shed some weight and because this city is drastically being shaped for and by cyclists (Read more on that here.) and I want to be a part of that. For now, it’s my new way to explore the city. Here are some photographs from the frame.
With over 4 million visitors each year and a bounty of 747,956 picturesque acres, Yosemite is one of the most visited National Parks in the country. Stories of John Muir sleeping under the stars (great book about him here.) and images of Ken Burns’ “National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” resonate with every visitor – further whetting their desire to step foot on this landscape. The allure of this place is in your face at all times. It reminds you why the National Park System was created in the first place. But for those of us who prefer to beat the crowds and hit the trail, April is a perfect time to visit, especially after a year of such record warmth.
Heading out of Southern Cali, it’s a relatively quick drive at 4:30am on a Monday. Relatively quick meaning about 6 hours. We took the 405 to the 5 to the 99 and finally the 41, which brings you directly into the park. If you don’t have an annual pass, a vehicle entry is $20. We stayed in a wall tent in Curry Village. Some are heated some are not, but most are outfitted with a double bed and 2-3 twin beds. If you’re there to hike, it’s more than you need. Figuring out what hike to embark on is a whole other story.
Before we left, we checked out this great website, Yosemitehikes.com. It lays out Yosemite hiking trails by difficulty, time, distance, scenic value and also shows pictures of each. When we got there, we spoke to the people at the Mountaineering school to get a current perspective and then took our pick. We went with Vernal and Nevada Falls and we’re glad we did. The switchbacks were approachable with views the entire way. The crowds start to dissipate the further you move along. We took a quick breather at the base of Vernal falls before trekking on through the shaded switchback. As you approach the section where you can take either Vernal or Nevada, you’ll have a clear view of each. Vernal is quicker and has a bittersweet decline to the top of the falls. It’s bittersweet, because you’re going back up it on the way out. Nevada is another good mile and a half from that point if you choose to go there. We left around 2pm and got back just before dark. More experienced hikers could probably cut that in half, but when you’re in awe around every corner, you tend to take your time. Here are some images from the trip…
It’s not cheap. But it is worth it. The Ahwahnee Hotel.
It was a period in my life filled with great promise and incredible insight. Rob, Caroline and I were building an eco-retreat in Bajos del Toro, Costa Rica. It was a recipe for something good – something fresh, but it was also a recipe for a break in the partnership due to conflicting schedules, ideas, language barriers and geographic complications. But sometimes, that’s life. Things happen for a reason. This happened for a reason. But our friendships remain and Costa Rica… well Costa Rica is one of those places that never leaves your soul.
While I was there, I saw what it was that Caroline loved so much about this place. She welcomed us into her home as if we were her own children and shared her vision with us. Every morning in Escazu, the dogs would compete with the parrots for decibel rights while the white-faced monkeys eluded our sight as they swung from tree to tree around the finca plantations. The scenic, dirt roads, the dense canopy, even the humid discomfort of the Osa Peninsula and all its mosquito glory, ignited the possibilities within.
Caroline introduced Rob and I to Alvaro Ugalde, the man widely considered the father of Costa Rica’s National Park System. Guided by his soft and thoughtful conversation, we walked with him through a lush preserve and returned to his lab where we saw samples of new flora species otherwise undiscovered to the outside world. I met an inventive genius expat named Michael, whose rail bike idea for an abandoned rail system borders on American ingenuity and the environmentally savvy thinking common to Costa Rica. We drove through the switchbacks of the highlands, briefed Chirripo National Park, stayed in the cloud forest near Arenal, ate at the sodas of San Jose and eventually landed in Bajos del Toro where we trekked our 25 acre plot beautifully sprawled along a natural spring untouched by the oncoming wave of Western development.
I have many memories of this incredible place and I will be back. In the meantime though, I have the images to remind me of my experiences and that will have to suffice. Here are a few of those images from the property in Bajos del Toro and the country that we explored. Enjoy.