Thursday, April 30, 2009

Country Living

If this was my view every day, I'd never complain about the neighbors.

Patagonia Fall

I feel like I need some fresh air. Not the kind that you get at the beach but the kind that you can only get in a place that is truly untouched and in the middle of nowhere...I've only been to one such place and that is the Patagonia in Argentina.


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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Contest and a Giveaway with Energizer Batteries and National Geographic!

I'm teaming up to give away a one-year subscription to National Geographic magazine and a sample of Energizer Lithium Batteries!

Energizer Ultimate Lithium and National Geographic have created their second annual Ultimate Photo contest which invites the photographer enthusiast to share photos for a chance to be judged by world-renowned photojournalist, Jim Richardson, and win a trip to the Galapagos Islands along with a spread in National Geographic Magazine.

As you might already know if you follow this blog, I regularly submit my work to contests and I love this one! First off, I use Energizer batteries for my hot shoe flash and for my battery pack and I love National Geographic. Plus, who wouldn't want the chance to have their work reviewed by Jim Richardson (wow) or possibly win a trip to the Galapagos!

So, it was a no-brainer for me when I was approached to enter the contest and do a giveaway!

Please leave me a comment or send me an email at ciaochessa@gmail.com or info@monicalshulman.com
for a chance to win a one year subscription to National Geographic and a sample of Energizer Batteries...good luck!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER.

Winners will be announced one week from today on Wednesday, May 6th.

These are two of the four images that I entered...

Life on a River

Siem Reap, Cambodia

what my eyes have seen...
Iguazu, Argentina






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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mexico, Te Quiero

The CDC is advising against non-essential travel to Mexico. Swine disease? Really? Today's news sounded more like a scene out of a Kafka novel.

I was thinking about Mexico today. I love the people, the food, the history. I visited it twice in college (yes, for that very cliched rite of passage called Spring Break) and then about three years ago Mr. S and I decided that we needed a beach vacation. We're not exactly the kind of people who can go and lie on a beach for days on end but we were both working so hard and we were so tired that we needed to just go and lie on the sand somewhere. We were going away for 10 days and we decided that we would visit Mexico because it was close, we could lie on the beach and we could explore. We flew there and rented a car and just drove. We ended up driving around the Yucatan Peninsula for a few days and then ended up just north of Tulum to vegetate on the beach.

I don't really want to talk about Swine Flu here but I figured I could share some of my images of this beautiful place with you...

Encanto

Taxi

Hammocks for Sale

Plates for Sale





Mayan Clouds and Shadows



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Monday, April 27, 2009

Prelude to Summer

Prelude to Summer

This weekend was amazing. The weather is New York was marvelous and we spent our days and nights out on Long Island. Since Mr. S surprised me with a Friday off we were out there on Thursday night and woke up early on Friday to go for a drive and a trip to the beach and to enjoy the day in general. On Saturday we rented bikes and rodes to the beach in East Hampton and then we went home and hung out in the backyard...I actually got sunburned! Usually I would complain about that but I was just so excited that it was nice out that I barely noticed that I forgot to put on sunblock.

We bought some blood oranges. I carried them in the basket of my bicycle and we ate them on the beach. The weekend before we ate them with our friends after drinking way too much wine. They were delicious but eating them after 4 glasses of wine is not like eating them on a spring afternoon after a nice long bike ride or like eating them in Italy. We bought them at the super and I have been craving them since we returned from our trip last month.

While there I ate them every chance I got. I drank blood orange juice every morning and I would be sure to take a few and we ate them in the car while driving through Tuscany. We drove with the windows open listening to random local radio stations. We pulled over just to smell the fresh air and admire the landscape. And we ate lots of oranges. Now I can enjoy them at home...it's not quite the same as Italy but I still love it.

Happy Monday:)

Today's Soundtrack:
laura pausini - entre tĂș y mil mares

Okay, she's actually singing this song in Spanish rather than in Italian but I love it. Laura Pausini is a very well known Italian singer and I think you'll agree that she has an incredible and soulful voice. I've loved her music since I was a teenager and we heard her on the radio A LOT in Italy which only reconfirmed my love for her. Even if you don't understand what she's saying - which is quite moving - you can't deny her voice is...beautiful.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

You Are What You Love



Yesterday Mr. S came home from work and casually announced that we were taking a three-day weekend. How can I argue with that? We're out in the Hamptons and enjoying what is shaping up to be a wonderful weekend away with great weather.

I'm taking this puppy out for a spin courtesy of my dad who is away with my mom for a few days and trusted me with his newest acquisition...it weighs about 10 pounds around my neck so I'm thinking of skipping my usual workout since I'll be toning all day while I'm out taking photos...who am I kidding - I'm skipping the workout today anyway!

Also, I have some very exciting posts planned for next week so check back...one of them is a special giveaway and a gallery show sponsored by Yahoo!

In the meantime, sit back and relax and enjoy what I am sure will be a fabulous spring weekend...

Happy Friday!

Today's Soundtrack:
Jenny Lewis - You Are What You Love




the space in between

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

My City|My Viewfinder

I have to get out there and start shooting on the street again. It's been a couple of weeks since I've really been out there in New York. I always carry my camera but recently it hasn't made it out of my bag. I've been in such a rush and on a mission to get to where I need to go. I need to bust it out more because when I see these photos from my archives I feel inspired to get myself out there again and look at my city through my viewfinder not just from behind my sunglasses as I rush to the post office, gym, subway, deli, bus, Starbucks, nail place, etc.

walking west

Today's Soundtrack:
Jem - They

City Girl

Urban Smoker

Street Stories

Urban Wash



it's an abstract world



Naughty

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!



Now more than ever it's so important that we take care of our planet. Earth Day 2009, April 22nd, will mark the beginning of The Green Generation CampaignTM which will also be the focus of the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day in 2010. With negotiations for a new global climate agreement coming up in December, Earth Day 2009 must be a day of action and civic participation, to defend The Green GenerationTM’s core principles: Family with windmills: Renewable energy for future generations.

* A carbon-free future based on renewable energy that will end our common dependency on fossil fuels, including coal.

* An individual’s commitment to responsible, sustainable consumption.

* Creation of a new green economy that lifts people out of poverty by creating millions of quality green jobs and transforms the global education system into a green one.

I live in a city so I don't really have space for a windmill in my living room but I make sure that we are doing our part by doing small things like buying those special lightbulbs, shutting off the lights when we don't need them (I hear my dad's voice telling my sister and me to shut the lights off in the house when we all lived under the same roof), I bring my reusable bag when I go to the super, I walk everywhere or take public transportation (the buses in NYC are hybrids!), because I have to use the dry cleaner (I know, not great for my clothes or the planet) I always bring him those wire hangers back so he can reuse them, we recycle all of our milk cartons and newspapers and magazines and cans, I buy locally grown food, I only run the dishwasher (again, not great but this is a necessity in our house) when it's about to bust open from being so stuffed and I buy green cleaning products.

What do you do to help take better care of Mother Earth
?





Happy Hump Day and Happy Earth Day!

Some of these images and others are available at my Etsy shop. Check it out!

Today's soundtrack:
Madeleine Peyroux - Between The Bars



_DSC7925c





Happy Earth Day!

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Good-Bye Homer.

Homer was my sister and her boyfriend's bulldog. He lived with his daddy for over 14 years and with my sister for the last four.



Homer was very sweet and he had a very strong personality. When he was younger he walked that sidewalk like he owned it - like a true New Yorker. When he was really young his dad took him everywhere - even to Bergdorf's one time where to claim his turf he went to the bathroom in the middle of the men's department. When he got older and couldn't really walk too far his mom and dad wheeled him out of his apartment and into the elevator in his red RadioFlyer - the Rolls Royce of wagons. When my sister was pregnant with Paloma he would lie next to her belly and he even grew to love his baby sister even though he was really jealous when she first came into the picture. He would sit at his mom's feet in the nursery while she fed the baby and he would would lie by the baby's crib while she napped.

We will all miss him. He was a very good and loyal friend who lived a long and beautiful life.

Homer is survived by his dad, mom, little sister Paloma, his life partner, Lulu and many friends and family.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Love Is...

"Love is so short, forgetting is so long."
Pablo Neruda


Today's soundtrack:
Le Grand Tango - Astor Piazzolla and Gidon Kremer

On a slightly different note...

This morning as I was about to walk into the gym I saw this elderly couple kiss in the rain. They walked out of the gym holding hands and then they gave each other a long kiss and said "see you tomorrow" and then walked away in opposite directions. I wondered if they are lovers, friends with benefits, widows who found new love. I invented all of these stories in my mind for these two people. All I know for sure is that when the man walked away from his lady-friend, he had the most genuine smile on his wrinkled little face.



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