• how the united states looks before the epa

    how the united states looks before the epa

    At Fortune.com: How the Unites States Looked Before the EPA

    Via friend and photog @lizlig:The Nixon administration commissioned 100 photographers to capture the U.S. environment before the Environmental Protection Agency. As the current administration is systematically dismantling the EPA and rolling back environmental safeguards, view this selection of photographs from the EPA's "Project Documerica" collection and consider the impact this agency and its safeguards have had on America in the last five decades. This article was published last year, and the amount of changes in just one year will have an impact for years to come.

  • why mariachi music maters in our current political climate

    why mariachi music maters in our current political climate

    The photo above is from my wedding reception. What you don't see is the scene in front of it. Family and friends of all colors and demonitations dancing, laughing, hugging, jumping (yes, jumping), and an impromptu hora to the strings of mariachi, celebrating a cross cultural union. It was one of the most memorable moments of that wonderful day.

    When my husband and I were planning our wedding, I knew right away that no matter what kind of reception we held, there had to be a mariachi. With its Mexican roots, the mariachi tradition reaches through Central and South American culture. Growing up in a Colombian family, mariachis showed up a birthdays and other life milestones. When I saw the Washington Post's article yesterday, it really struck me. Mariachi music in itself is not political. It is uncaged emotion. Joy and pain. With its traditional wear, those who play it are a proud display of Latinx heritage. In today's climate, its existence is resistence. I encourage you to take a read: 

    Why mariachi music matters in the age of Trump.

    “When you die, they bring you mariachis. When you are born, they bring you mariachis. When you fall in love, they bring you mariachis.” In between, in times of change and uncertainty, the mariachis will be there, too.

    If this national nightmare ever ends, I hope to celebrate with mariachis. 

  • black is beautiful / ser negro es hermoso

    black is beautiful / ser negro es hermoso

    Did you know the Black is Beautiful movement began in NYC? Photographer Kwame Brathwaite and his brother Elombe launched it to an eager crowd on a January night in 1962. Read more about that evening and what led up to it here. Black is Beautiful is an enduring statement from the Civil Rights movement and continues to empower, even beyond our shores.

    While visiting Colombia two summers I was struck to see posters around the city of Cartagena with the phrase "Ser Negro Es Hermoso" aka Black is Beautiful. It wouldn't have struck me here in the US, but in the country of my ancestors I was majorly, pleasantly surprised. There are so many things I adore about being Latinx, about my South American roots, and about Colombia, but I have always lamented the colorism that remains so prevalent in our culture. That said, my face lit up every time I saw another image for the campaign. More about the campaign and reactions to it here.

  • hitting reset

    hitting reset

    We said goodbye a sometimes difficult / sometimes wonderful 2017 and hello to the uknown of 2018 with a road trip up the New England coast. Frigid temperatures, warm hearts, and massive amounts of seafood was exactly what our trio (soon to be foursome!) needed. 

    Orient, LI -> Mystic, CT -> Gloucester, MA -> Portsmouth, NH -> Portland, MN -> Boston, MA 

  • all the queens houses

    all the queens houses

    Rafael Herrin-Ferri has been photographing houses in Queens since 2012. Through December 15, 273 of his 5,000 images are on view at the Architectural League of New York

    "Queens is among the most diverse places on the planet–if not the most diverse–and how this is manifested in the housing stock is utterly fascinating." Read more about his project started, why he loves Queens so much, and what else he has in store at 6sqft.com

  • me too

    me too

    Me too. 

    The phrase has been unavoidable the past few days. There is so much to unpack. While the weight of sexual harassment and assault again falls on women, it is also empowering to witness so many speaking out. It is a testament to how strong, how resilient, how incredible we are. 
    In discussing #MeToo with my husband one evening, I realized I had been groped so many times in my life so far, it was impossible to count. The next morning, he had to pick me up from the subway (another MAT debacle), and in the few seconds it took me to get into the car, a man on the street walked up to me to say something about my ass. It was so common place, I barely noticed. In the car my husband said, "Did that guy just say something about your ass?! I'm getting out." I casually replied, "Maybe. It's the first of many times that will that happen today. I don't notice anymore." 
    When I do notice is when I am out with my three year old son - just because I am hyper aware of my surroundings when with him. For a period of time, I began to sternly say "NO!" when men catcalled. I don't want my son to think it's ok, and I also don't want him to feel unsafe walking in our city alone with me. It felt great for a while, then it became exhausting. I just couldn't keep up - and I also had to judge situations based on our safety. 
    I don't know where this is going, but I see you, wonderful women - surviving, thriving.
    Men - stop asking why we didn't do anything, stop asking why we didn't tell anyone, stop saying we should do something about it, stop doubting us, stop telling us we're emotional, stop talking over us, stop diminishing our experience. Start listening. 
    Recommended recent reads:
  • la isla bonita

    la isla bonita

    If you have a few minutes, take a listen to NPR's story this morning on 2 schools reopening after Hurricane Maria. For some children, this was their first full meal since the storm (THREE weeks ago).

    Our fellow citizens are going to need help for a long time. There are numerous ways to continue donating, below are three. 

    Casa Taller is feeding and providing shelter. 

    *Donate as many times as you've listened to Despacito 

  • art that made me cry. we wanted a revolution.

    art that made me cry. we wanted a revolution.

    We finally made it to the Brooklyn Museum to see We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85, albeit on closing weekend. While we were happy to experience the exhibition, I regret not being able to see it more than one time.

    Organized by Catherine Morris and Rujeko Hockley (Curator of my other favorite recent show), We Wanted a Revolution is a game changer, but I'm really here to describe our experience viewing it as a family. For a professional take, Jared Quinton wrote a wonderful piece in artmargins

    Santi has been to his fair share of galleries and museums, and as he gets older his "taste" becomes more obvious. By taste, I mostly mean he lets us know what he likes and does not like. His threenager attention span is also a challenge. However, the bold entry made an immediate impact and he was intrigued. Because there were so many different types of work, something new was constantly grabbing (and keeping) his attention. The questions we ask him as we observe work - and his answers - have changed so much in the last year. "What colors do you see?" and "What do you think this looks like?" have become "What do you think this person is thinking?" and "How does this make you feel?" 

    When we made our way into one of the galleries, Santi exclaimed "Wow, so many photos!" and ran over to look. But what really stole his heart were all of the videos. I was in disbelief about how long he watched each of them, and even waiting his turn if someone else was watching.

    There was a moment when he was standing near Lorna Simpson's “Gestures/Reenactments” beneath the  sequence that read "Sometimes Sam stands like his mother" and I don't what happened, but I felt my eyes well up. It was a moment of both heaviness and heart. 

    It's wonderful the show will travel and more people in the country will see it, but part of me wishes it had a permanent home here.

    While we remind ourselves that certain things currently happening are Not Normal, I hope exhibitions like this are the New Normal. 

  • ruby


    Happy Birthday, Ruby Bridges.

    I used to see this image and think it was so long ago, now I think, wow, that wasn't too long ago. 

    "I remember turning onto the street. I saw barricades and police officers and just people everywhere. When I saw all of that, I immediately thought it was Mardi Gras. I had no idea they were here to keep me out of the school." 

    A worth while three minutes of your time is at PBS: Ruby Bridges Desegregates a School.

    May we all be as brave as six-year-old Ruby. May we all continue this never ending fight for equality.