(The Return of) Photography Friday! Murder Mystery Dinner Edition

It’s been awhile since my last installment of Photography Friday! – sorry about the delay. Since moving to my new neighborhood, I’ve been getting back into taking snapshots of my day, so I’m planning to get back into the habit of sharing my week in photos again on a regular basis.

First up, though, here are some fun snapshots from last night. As I’ve been mentioning here and there (OK, you’ve got me – everywhere) on the blog lately, I’ve gone through some pretty major life shifts in the past few months. One of those shifts involves making new friends. After a few years back in NOLA, feeling generally lonely and rather bored with most of my best girls scattered around the globe, I’m finally starting to get out and live a little. Weirdly enough, it turns out that once you leave your house, you tend to meet new people. Crazy, right? Of course, it doesn’t hurt when the new person in your life happens to have a ton of lovely friends who’re willing to adopt you as part of their pack. :-)

Last night, accompanied by boyfriend and friends, I got to mark a longstanding goal off of my bucket list: attending a murder mystery dinner! The event was tons of fun, made even more so by the fact that our team ended up schooling everyone, solving two murders, and winning the Detective of the Night award. Not too shabby!

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One of our party, Glenn, was chosen to be a character in the murder mystery game – Sleezy McQueen, talent scout and all-around bad boy from the Bronx.

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Happier than I’ve been in a long time. <3

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Alex and Fish make a great team when it comes to crime solving…as well as extortion.

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Looks like old Sleezy finally met his match in Angie…

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Brains and beauty…the guys really lucked out.

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Champions! That’s what happens when you get a group of geeks together on a Thursday night :-)

A big thank you to Angie for letting me use all of her photos for this post, since I was too busy having fun to remember to take snapshots at dinner.

Living Alone

Female Rage, New Orleans Graffiti (photo by Anna Harris)

Female Rage – New Orleans Graffiti (photo by Anna Harris)

Lately I dwell
On who I will become.
How will I live
When I am old and gray?

I am scared -
So much on my shoulders.
Where will I settle
To wait until I die?

Once I thought
Things had been mapped.
I wasn’t happy
But at least I’d be taken care of.

Then I gambled;
Still gambling, I guess.
My life is now my own -
The path a mystery.

Where will I go?
Who am I alone?
Will this struggle consume me?
Is mine the sidewalk, the unmarked grave?

 

(NB: Today’s post is a response to today’s Daily Post prompt, Rare Medium.)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Objects & Oddities

Vintage Chinese Bobble Head Doll

I collect a strange mixture of objects and ephemera: vintage and antique tea tins (especially WWII era, preferably Meinl & some Russian brands), watercolor paintings of circus freaks, vintage and antique illustrated copies of Arabian Nights Entertainments and related books, porcelain from West Germany and Czechoslovakia, vintage and antique Asian jewelry boxes, black & white photographs of servicemen from any army, and odd cultural bits and pieces that I feel particularly drawn to, like a painted brass camel from the 1930s, a Polish mid-century mod wooden St. Francis figure, and now my latest addition, this 1940′s-era Chinese papier-mache bobble head Budai figure.

He was on Etsy, priced at a very appealing $8. He looked so cheery and fetching online, and I happen to love papier-mache items. I just knew he needed to come home to live at my house…or really, to live on my desk at work. He definitely livens the place up a bit, and as his character represents contentment and a mindful understanding of plenitude, I’m very happy to share my space with him.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Community (or the lack of)

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I walk to work each morning. It’s only four blocks, but I never fail to see something that makes me think, laugh, or wonder. Today, just a half block from my house, I found tears instead. This cardboard sign once belonged to one of the many homeless people who live under the overpass by my house. They beg at almost every corner, but most people just keep walking/driving/ignoring. It’s mind-blowing. What happened to the concept of community?

The sign was laying in the gutter. I didn’t move a thing, just took a snapshot and kept walking. A few hours later, I conducted my long-awaited interview with a local organization that fights homelessness, and come the new year I’m proud to say I should be working as a volunteer housing specialist. Maybe with some luck and hard work, we’ll have less need for signs like this one.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light (On My Favorite Cat)

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Yeah, I know I’ve already posted one entry for this week’s challenge, but yesterday I caught an interesting glimpse of my cat Isabel through the camera lens, and thought it was worth sharing. We’re technically supposed to be sharing a light source, but you’ll have to take this at the more metaphysical level – she’s the light of my life, and also has a way of shining brighter when there’s a camera trained in her direction. I caught her yesterday basking in the brightest spot of sunlight in my apartment, and loved the crazy contrast of this shot.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light

Third Eye Blind, 12/1/13 New Orleans

Though all of my friends started going to concerts when they were pretty young – 12 or 13 years old – I wasn’t allowed out of the house without adult supervision until I reached 16. It was a little longer before I finally managed to convince my mom that live music would not get me pregnant or make me a drug addict, so when the day came that I was allowed out to see my very first concert, you can only imagine how ecstatic I was! On June 6, 1999, I had just finished my senior year of high school, and since I guess my parents realized they couldn’t lock me up forever, I had my day in the sun at the Walnut Creek Amphitheater in Raleigh, NC, to the tunes of Third Eye Blind, Collective Soul & (my favorite of the three) Eve 6.

Luckily, I’ve built up my street cred with much cooler concerts in the years since. But when a friend of mine offered me a free ticket a couple of weeks ago to Third Eye Blind’s 20 Year Anniversary show at the House of Blues in New Orleans, I couldn’t say no. Sure, I felt like I was too old to go gaga over a pop rock band from the 90′s, but you’ve got to enjoy the nostalgia when you can. The concert was last night, and it was AMAZING. I know it’s probably hard to believe, but it was seriously good time, complete with a great light show, surprisingly coherent and tuneful live vocals, and plenty of feeling. By the end of the night, the crowd was seriously worked up – and I was making a mental note to buy their new album. This shot was taken last night during their rendition of “Never Let You Go.”

Behind The Scenes At A Photo Shoot

So it’s that time of year again – time for the Fall Fashion Bazaar. This is the one time of year that I get to do EXACTLY what it is that I love – coordinate an event, make connections (for myself and other people), and help the New Orleans arts community grow and thrive.

The event is a one-day pop up shop, and this year we’ve expanded to fourteen local fashion and accessory designers. It’s a great sale that features a pretty diverse range of items for men, women, kids, and even pets. The best part is that it’s all my baby – I came up with the idea last year, and from finding the vendors to running the social media, it’s all mine (other than the graphic design and the PR copy). I LOVE this. It’s really what I want to do for a living, if only I could figure out how.

But that’s not what I was thinking about today. Today was all about a fashion shoot. In a little under a week, my team and I put together an entire photo shoot, from finding the models (human & four-legged), fashion stylist, and hair & makeup stylist, to arranging for the items to be dropped off, to helping create the looks that would eventually be photographed. It was a crazy, exhausting day, but it worked out amazingly. Everything went off without a hitch, and there are going to be some gorgeous photographs (and video, thanks to awesome NOLA videographer Crista Rock).

Here are a few behind-the-scenes snapshots I grabbed today – so much fun!

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A big thank you to models Manon Pages and Jeremy Kennan of Impact Modeling and Talent Agency, Angee Estavez, Trea and Dottie, plus doggie models Ansel & Stevie Pagani, along with our fabulous hair & makeup stylist Cat Vo of Aristocat Beauty, and fashion stylist Laura Keith of Showroom South. Thanks also to Miette for loaning sunglasses (and much-appreciated advice) to the shoot.

Find out more about the Fall Fashion Bazaar at www.facebook.com/fallfashionbazaar.

Another New Orleans Halloween

Getting decked out in costume is a favorite New Orleans pastime, and The Man and I are both particularly keen on Halloween. I was hoping that we’d get to spend our favorite holiday somewhere a bit spookier, like a couple of years ago when we went to Salem, MA for the big day. But that was not to be this year; our budgets and schedules were both reluctant to comply with our wishes.

That’s OK, though. In true NOLA fashion, we still get to have two Halloween nights – a weekend party, and what I assume will be a slightly tamer Halloween Thursday. Here are some photos from this weekend’s adventures.

My last minute costume - a pink haired witch in a top hat.

My last minute costume – a pink haired witch in a top hat.

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The Man spent a few weeks creating his costume - a very realistic voodoo doll, complete with pins.

The Man spent a few weeks creating his costume – a very realistic voodoo doll, complete with pins.

Under the mask was this spooky face.

Under the mask was this spooky face.

We wandered down to Frenchmen Street, where The Man was the toast of the town. Everybody wanted to snap a picture with him, including Alf!

We wandered down to Frenchmen Street, where The Man was the toast of the town. Everybody wanted to snap a picture with him, including Alf!

A friend invited us to this amazing and completely unexpected house party in a genuine haunted mansion on Esplanade Avenue. Great music, too - compliments of DJ Kirk & DJ Khan.

A friend invited us to this amazing and completely unexpected house party in a genuine haunted mansion on Esplanade Avenue. Great music, too – compliments of DJ Kirk & DJ Khan.

The bathtub in the haunted mansion. Gruesome, but well-played.

The bathtub in the haunted mansion. Gruesome, but well-played.

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinite

As I walk around the city, I often find myself stopping to stare, jaw dropped, at the play of shadow and light on architectural fabric. There’s something about sunlight stretching across brick, or living out its last moments, splayed across a graffiti tag. In New Orleans, where many buildings are a century or two old, it’s easy to wonder how many times this precise combination of light and shadow has happened, and who was the last to notice. In a city like this, sometimes the brick and plaster seem timeless, infinite, even in their decrepitude.

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