Sunday, October 11, 2009


Welcome to my home. I have invited you here many times before, but I don't know if I've clearly introduced you.

"clinging to the earth" taken on the usually forbidden hill at the back of the Tibetan Museum-- but today was special: The Tibetan Festival. Through torrential rain we celebrated life here.

I am a native Staten Islander. If you are a New Yorker you already have a dozen notions about what that means. For everyone else, that statement probably lures a big: "sure and...?" Well, it's not so simple. This is a place that is so much more than where I have grown up. There is a quality to Staten Island that is ultimately unique, at times controversial, at others mysterious and rife with misconceptions and inside jokes that are often self-deprecating.

from my window...

When I was much more focused as a writing major in college, a few professors urged me to write the Staten Island story...they understood the complicated nuances from the position of outsiders stepping in for a few hours a week. The closest I have gotten has been a few mediocre poems, satirical short stories, and 'blink-and-you'll-miss-it' backdrops to stories of long ago. Yet, the need to share the island still creeps up. I notice how it has started to drive me in photography, in blog entries, and in the way I have learned to see myself through all of it. I left, and came back--albeit kicking and screaming and plotting my next escape. But I am here, and I believe in being happy wherever you are. And lately, the urge to leave has quieted, and instead I hear whispers of "Stay", this is home...what I know of it anyway.

from the window of the special nook/office in my apartment
Maybe I am inclined to find beauty in everything for as many moments as I can-- but perhaps there is a certain charm unique to the energy of this place. Something that keeps me here.

Moments like this:

and this:

and this:

At Alice Austen House for Bridge the Gap II JP surprised me with this amazing birthday cake! Lots of love and sharing of his beautiful gift.

Places like this:

Richmondtown. The day we gate-crashed at the Richmond County Fair. Where little cub and I ran around holding hands and pretending we were back in a time before the rest of this place grew.

and this:

The Jacques Marchais Tibetan Museum. One of my favorite places to be. On this day we  got to go up on the hill and look down on this baby shambhala. Despite the rain we embraced our little magical home for the sake of the Tibetan Festival...and although a barely recognizable percentage of this island came to an event like still exists...and that's beautiful to me.

and of course this:

my sanctuary...

Even this coming Thursday there will be a FREE lecture by THE Robert Thurman at Wagner College (walking distance!), here on the brigadoon of Staten Island.

So perhaps I am forging a daunting path...but I hope, over time, through photos, through art, through writing, through it all-- to exude the beauty that is my home and my life here....because all of New York already knows the ugly of Staten Island...and that's okay with me...because I like having our little secrets.

Much love all!


  1. That was so beautiful! It is so wonderful to hear someone be so happy about their home in the outer boroughs of NYC. If from the Bronx myself and have to also deal with stereotypes and assumptions about my hometown. Like you, I find beauty in everyday things and lately I have been finding so much beauty in the things my home has to offer. Thank you for sharing your feelings!!

  2. aw thank you! If it weren't for the collective of boroughs, new york would be just another metropolis! we give it soul! xoxo

  3. I think we give it perspective.

  4. Oh, my dear one! You brought me to slow tears with J's photo and then full-on sobbing with the others. I am honored to be part of those things that touch you and make you feel that you are truly at home here. Yes, there is so much goodness here. Thanks a million times over fcr the beautiful writing, the photos, the memories and all the love you exude. I love you, Dear Friend! xoxo



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