Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year, People!

Happy New Year, Peeps! I wish you all health and happiness in 2009 and beyond!

Thank you for the inspiration...

A Year of Photos - Happy New Year!!

1. Lego Land, 2. When East Meets West, 3. the dawn, 4. My Heartbreak, 5. I Have Chocolate Fingers, 6. you pick the place and I'll choose the time, 7. Blowing Bubbles, 8. Happy Earth Day, 9. New Rain City, 10. The Laughing Elephants, 11. The Woman Under the Bridge, 12. walking from the past, 13. Untitled, 14. some days., 15. A Place of Worship, 16. Le Woof Woof., 17. Indian Summer, 18. Welcome to Hollywood - What's your dream?, 19. Untitled, 20. The New Yorkers, 21. Untitled, 22. Suburbia, 23. Untitled, 24. Untitled, 25. The Lotus Position, 26. The Worshipers, 27. CSI: DUMBO, 28. passing each other, 29. Urban Wash, 30. Lost in Thought, 31. .Camuflaje Eficaz., 32. your wild horses, 33. Mama Bear, 34. urban wetness, 35. Life on a River, 36. hay milonga de amor

Today's Soundtrack:

Auld Lang Syne

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

End of Year Meme

The end of the year is always about reflection. Sorry for the late post's been kind of a crazy one...

I saw this on City Girl the other day and loved it so much I decided to try it. How about you?

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

Started Monica L. Shulman Photography LLC (wowsa!), started this blog, took photos every day, pushed myself beyond limits I never even knew existed.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don't like to make resolutions because then I feel like I have somehow failed if I don't keep them (extreme, I know). But, really, I think it's better to just make a list of things "To Do" and try to accomplish them as the year progresses. At the beginning of last year I just wanted to push myself to explore this "photography thing" beyond my comfort level. By the end of the year I have participated in four international shows, have been hired for private commissions, have been featured in a magazine, have received honorable mention in a major international photography contest, started this blog, launched a, to write it out astonishes even me! All the while, I've also worked as a real estate professional and sold several properties even in this awful market (I have to finance this "photography thing" after all!) and I've traveled to Thailand, Cambodia, Los Angeles, Paris, Montreal and Buenos Aires.

How can I follow up this year? Well, true to form, while I haven't made any official "resolutions" (other than promising to get my ass to the gym more), I'm just hoping that my "To Do" gets shorter as the year goes on. For one, I want to open my Etsy store and for two I want to start my greeting card business and for three, four, five, etc. I want to continue to travel, participate in shows and complete some other "personal goals" to be discussed later on this blog;-) stay tuned!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes! My sister and my sister-in-law..two beautiful nieces.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Thankfully, no. I got a break this year from the sadness that losing a loved one causes.

5. What countries did you visit? Cambodia,
Argentina, France, Canada.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

More time with family and friends. More courage.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

May 14th - Paloma Aurora graced us with her presence.

July 6th - The one year anniversary of the day I started my new life.

November 4th - The world changed.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

So many...The website, all the accomplishments in photography, having the courage to leave my career as an attorney for something new, this blog...

9. What was your biggest failure?

I just want to work on being more secure and confident and having more courage.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I'm hypothyroid. The good news is that I lost weight (or, just went back to my normal weight) because of the medication...

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My Mac, some photography goodies, Paloma's stroller, my new lizard skin bag from Argentina, our new couch...A lot of random things and I love them all!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My wonderfully supportive husband. He deserves celebration every day and night for just being awesome, in general.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Let's just say I CANNOT wait until the current Administration leaves office.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Bills, photography-related expenses, travel, I can't even bear to think of it.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Aside from photography? ;-) All the babies and friends!

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Foo Fighters - The Pretender. Amazing - Seal.
In reality there are so many...

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
Happier, thinner, richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?


19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

Yes, over and over again with my husband. And, a new kind of love...Palomita.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Thank GOD for DVR...Project Runway, Gossip Girl, Inside the Actors Studio, Ugly Betty, How I Met Your Mother, Lipstick Jungle (please don't cancel this), Lost, The Daily Show, Dexter, AC360.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Anyone? No. Anything(s)? Come on...yes.

24. What was the best book you read?

This year? The House of Spirits. The first half of "The God Delusion" - I have to finish the second half.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I have to think about this one but...this year...Nouvelle Vague, Carla Bruni, Mark Ronson...I love music so I'm always finding new stuff I like.

26. What did you want and get?

So much...

27. What did you want and not get?


28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I'm a Netflix gal and rarely go to the theater but good movies that I saw this year but aren't necessarily from this year...Babel, Juno. Lately we just rent shows on new favorite is "Freaks and Geeks" - why on earth did they cancel it? It's so great.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned thirty-one-derful and went to the Hampton for my birthday, had dinner with D and my family and then had a party at home with friends.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

This answer is just for me.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Fashion forward, glamorous, city comfy chic. This must be a joke. I'm laughing out loud at this. I never think about these things.

32. What kept you sane?
The elliptical machine, photography, Flickr, Ciao, Chessa!, yoga, Paloma.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
President-Elect Brack Obama. Hillary Clinton. Angelina Jolie.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Sarah Palin, the war in Iraq, the Bailout plan, the economy, in general, the Madoff scandal. Honestly, this list is endless.

35. Who did you miss?

Family and close friends who I don't get to see nearly enough.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

So many blogging friends!
Amy, Elizabeth, Melisa...

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Things have a way of working themselves out. I suppose I always knew this but...

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

"I'm not like the girls that you've known
but I believe I'm worth coming home to"

Today's soundtrack:
The Pretender - Foo Fighters

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Summer Day Dreaming

Making the Right Choice

I've decided to take a bit of a break from processing and posting images of my latest trip to Paris because I have so much going on at this time of year.

Yesterday it was 65 degrees in New York City. I didn't enjoy the weather because clearly there is something frightening (and odd) about that temperature in the middle of the winter in northeast America, but, today it is 30 degrees and I find myself missing that unseasonal warmth.

I'm processing wedding photos all day and I'm day dreaming about summer at the beach.


What do you daydream about?

Today's soundtrack:

Don't Stop - Brazilian Girls

Me ire con estas olas

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Grey Days

grey tops

It's a darkish, grey day in New York. It's the perfect day to stay in and be lazy before the (short) work week, the last week of 2008, begins tomorrow.

The rooftops in Manhattan are unique ranging from tons of skyskraper steel, innovative shapes and ancient-looking water tanks towering above the activity of the streets and the people below, but, I've still got France on my mind.

This photo takes me back to those quiet mornings in Paris. The rooftops are not as eclectic as the ones in my hometown but they are certainly no less captivating or beautiful. I am overwhelmed with nostalgia when I look out at them.

Today's Soundtrack - And, these days I'm getting a lot of inspiration from this music and this film, hence the recent soundtrack choices...

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Story Board

Alone in the Afternoon

When I was twenty years old and living in Paris I spent many afternoons roaming the streets, going no where in particular, jumping from cafe to cafe to watch people, write in my journal, or, many times, just sit there by myself and enjoy the afternoon and the scene in front of me. I love the cafe culture. I was always one of those people who enjoyed "alone time" but I didn't truly learn how to appreciate it until I was in France. I had wonderful friends there but I lived alone and I really grew to love those afternoons to myself. I grew to like eating alone, visiting a museum alone, reading in a park or sitting in cafe by myself.

Rarely were there so many open seats, as in this photo, but when it's raining in Paris you can have your open pick. I love this scene. To me it seems like something is about to happen at any moment. Someone will have a seat and order a cafe au lait, a waiter will come in and wipe the water droplets from the table top, a woman with a dog will sit and light up a cigarette...any number of things can happen. I love that element of surprise in all cities, but in Paris, even the most mundane is a story that you know will evolve into something touching. And, even if the seats remain unoccupied, the image is poetic.

It can really go anywhere if you use your imagination...

Today's soundtrack:
The Album Leaf

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Reflect

Where has the year gone? It seems like it was just yesterday that we were celebrating the holiday with family and here we are again. I find myself thinking about time, how quickly it seems to be going. I have these thoughts of D and me getting older and looking back on this year and the ones before it, the ones to come. I have such a long memory so I know that I'll remember all of these wonderful times that we have together but I find myself, more recently, taking a "time-out" so to speak, to record things in my mind. Having the blog helps but I don't talk about everything here. So, these days, really over the course of the last few months, as I am increasingly aware of the passage of time, I take random moments that I know I never want to forget, and sort of record them.

Usually they are little things, stolen moments, like the mornings we wake up before the alarm and we both know it's early and we can communicate without ever even saying a word. On those mornings it's completely quiet but we can hear the bus stopping to pick up or drop off passengers or the delivery trucks zooming down the avenue. You rarely hear any actual people - you just hear all of their activity before the rest of the city gets up. Or, when we sit in the living room on a Sunday listening to music, drinking coffee and reading the paper. Or, when we have a date night with lots of wine and good food...our date nights, after seven years, usually involve a lot of red wine and delicious, thin crust pizza at our local place. Or, in the summer when we go for walks on Sunday afternoons. Or, when we actually have uninterrupted time in the car. Or, or, or...So many...

I'm reflecting a lot - it happens to me, like I am sure it happens to many people - at birthdays, anniversaries, and, of course, the holidays.

I'm looking forward to this Christmas/Channukah/New Year season. Now it's nearly over and, I'm looking forward to the many, many, many, many more to come. In the meantime, I'm closing my eyes for a little minute so that I can be sure to never forget this one.

It's Christmas Time in the City

A merry and a happy to you!

Check out these tips for taking great holiday photos...

Today's soundtrack from another one of my all-time favorite films...

All I Want For Christmas - Love Actually Style

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Clearly I am behind on my postings because tomorrow is Christmas Eve for everyone who celebrates. I have been meaning to do a post about this for a few days but sadly I have not gotten around to loading some of these photos. So...better late than never!

One of my favorite things about the holidays in New York, other than the lights all around, the tree at Rock Center (that I try to avoid every year until the end of the season for fear of getting trampled by tourists) and the delish egg nog latte at Starbucks (with whip, of course), are the holiday markets that are held in various squares and parks around Manhattan.

Ho, Ho & Ho

The one geographically closest to me is in Union Square. Lucky for me (unlucky for my wallet) I have to pass by the market when I go to my gym (which these days, I'm sad to say, is not very often) - usually I end up skipping the gym because my packages will not fit in my locker! Tomorrow is the last day of the market and I'm sorry that I haven't posted sooner because if you're in the city, and you haven't checked it out already (hello?! why not?!), then you definitely should! Even if you do not buy something while you are there, the majority of the vendors have websites where you can snoop around at a later date.

(Don't you think I have a sweet face? I do! People love to yell at me when I'm taking photos in public places. If I try to take their photo they ham it up and ask me for a copy for their MySpace or Facebook page (I kid you not) - but if I stand in the window at Filene's on 14th Street to take this photo, they bite me head off? What gives?!)

Union Square Holiday Market

Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil

(Btw, the guy at this stand yelled at me because he didn't like that I photographed their lights. I said, "Why? They are so beautiful. People should see them." He just gave me a dirty look. I walked away without telling him I'd blog about them. He was such a grinch I forgot to ask him for a card so I could provide a link. bah humbug, Scrooge.)


Flying Tushies

Gramercy Park Tree

So, this season passed us by entirely too quickly. I miss it already and it's not even over yet. Other than the holiday market, what I will sincerely miss are the Christmas trees on sale right outside my building. The whole block smells like evergreen. Until next year...

Tree Shopping New York City Style

Tree Shopping NY steeeeze

Happy! Happy!

Just Ask Christmas Tree Delivery

Today's Soundtrack:
Harry Connick, Jr. - It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

How hot is he? He looks better and better every year.

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All I Want For Christmas.... to hug this girl.

I can't take it! She hugs back...tight!

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Monday, December 22, 2008

These Kind Bloggers

"This blog invests and believes in PROXIMITY—nearness in space, time and relationships. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. "

Last week the beautiful Maegan over at ...Love Maegan bestowed this lovely award on me. Thank you, dear! If you haven't met this insanely inventive blogger, you must pay her a visit!

I'm paying it forward to the thoughtful and lovely Nadia. If you haven't visited
La Porte Rouge you must. Thank you, dear Nadia!

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hearing the silence.

New York City was covered in a blanket of white over the weekend.

That serene scene doesn't last very long in this city but I was able to enjoy it for a few hours on Friday afternoon.

I was working from home in the morning and I could hear the kids on the playground eight floors down screaming and laughing. Hearing children laughing is one of my favorite sounds. It's easy to enjoy it from way up high because usually when I am outside during their lunch break or right after school I just want to pass them as quickly as possible. They usually knock you over with their huge backpacks and yell in your face, they don't let you walk and they sit on your car. I love kids though. Let's be honest - hundreds of kids at the same time will drive anyone a bit batty. But, from the comfort of my own apartment it sounds like an explosion of fun and happiness.

I went downtown for a commission in the late afternoon. I'm glad I had a job because otherwise I would have spent the entire day indoors working on photographs. The day was something to be experienced. Battery Park was quiet with hardly any footprints on the fresh snow. This is what I love about New York (one of the many things I love about my city) - a place like Battery Park, usually over-run with tourists and t-shirt salesmen and class trips and harried New Yorkers can look like a scene from a fairy tale on a random, snowy Friday afternoon. It was magical.

If you live outside of a city, or ever travel to the suburbs or the country you will know what I'm talking about - you know that sound you hear in the winter - that sound of nothingness. That silence that seems to penetrate you and almost touch your soul? You know that sound. And, you know that freshness that touches your face - the only skin that is exposed because it is too cold to be without coat, hat, scarf, gloves. I love that sound and that crisp air on my cheek. It's the sound of peace and calm. I rarely hear that sound and not only because I live in the busiest, loudest and most fascinating city in the world. I rarely hear that sound because I usually have so many thoughts swirling around in my head, vying for attention, that it is nearly impossible to hear that silence. On Friday, in Battery Park, I heard it. It has been a long while since I heard it. But, I did. It was too frigid to stand there for very long but I enjoyed it while I could. I'm hoping I hear it again soon. Hoping.

Can you hear it?

Today's soundtrack:

Nouvelle Vague - In a Manner of Speaking

Unfortunately I got sick after being out there all day but it was worth it.

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