San Clemente California

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Some moments from the holiday break in San Clemente, California i.e. a place full of magic where the December sun projects warmth onto your skin. San Clemente feels timeless – as if the passing of time has not quickened its pace of life and as if it looks the same as it did three decades ago. It is retro, nostalgic and a bit magical, evidenced by its cotton candy sunsets and glacial low tide. Here is to hoping that 2017 is full of more magical moments than those in 2016.  

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^^ This photo feels reminiscient of my time, nearly two years ago, in Istanbul when an older man, recognizing my affinity for photography and some seagulls, threw bread off the side of our boat in order to attract the birds to fly alongside us. It is one of those moments that continues to remind me of our essential humanity, and propensity for connectivity. (Again,) here’s to hoping that 2017 is more full of that.

See you later San Clemente (and California)!

Winter in Lincoln Park

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Some moments from life lately of winter in Lincoln Park. My camera rarely sits in my hands these days with weekdays spent in an office and weekends spent absorbing some 9-mile, long distance friendships. If my excitement to lounge and edit these pictures communicates anything, it says that I miss it and will make a greater effort to do this very thing more often.

In 2016, Chicago was kind with its fall as it was in 2015. It was warm, lengthy and beautiful. Yet, it certainly didn’t ease us into winter. Winter has come blisteringly quick, with negative degrees approaching in the coming days. I’ll admit that I’m a Lorelai Gilmore-type when it comes to snowfall. However, with sub-zero temperatures, I’m already dreaming up about days in May when the sun stays out just a little longer.

I won’t make this a long but here are some of my “to do’s” for Winter 2017, written to hold myself accountable to do more than simplyread in my apartment:

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South Haven Wedding

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South Haven, Michigan holds a special spot for my family. My Dad is one of eight siblings. After the loss of one of my Uncles, the Hickey clan made a pact to reunite every other summer in South Haven, Michigan. It’s one of my favorite places – and family traditions.

This year was a different sort of celebration. When my Uncle passed, he left behind a widow, once an only child and presently a member of our “nation.” It’s our family tradition to welcome – and with his passing, we failed to let her escape the introduction into our big, incredibly tall family. So this summer, we celebrated her wedding to yet another Irish Catholic in our family’s favorite spot, South Haven.

I thought these photos couldn’t stand alone. They needed their story because it’s quite a unique one. It’s a story that provokes “feel good” vibes. And my own sibling’s willingness to be photographed. All in all, it was the kind of wedding where we all slipped on our swimsuits and completely undid all the pretty that we had put on by the time the cake had been cut and vows had been said.

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Humboldt Boat Park

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Humboldt Boat Park screams summer, during this season also known as – wait for it – summer. It’s blossoming and bright and boasts life in the form of people picnicking and ducks doing their water-borne thing. I’ll admit – I’m not the biggest fan of summer. I could arguably write a really persuasive essay about why it is not my favorite season. But photographs like these will surely bring back waves of nostalgia come February.

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For some place so far removed from the lakefront, there was this wonderful breeze at the Park.

Fun Fact! You can actually fish here. Crazy, crazy cool things happening at a city park that feels like it isn’t. 

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Tokyo, Japan Photo Diary

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Looking back, it is unbelievable remembering that I was in Tokyo back in March. It’s August. And somehow, time escaped me in the Spring. When I look back, it was a flurry of applying for jobs, studying for grad school and working like crazy at my favorite coffee shop. I felt short of many things – relationships, hobbies (i.e. this here blog) – and as I transition into “adult” life, I’m doing my best to preserve the parts of me that exist outside of an office setting, that continue to push me to grow and learn.

I find that each time I edit a picture, I get this indescribable excitement. Or when I put pen to paper to write copy, I get this motivation to choose words or stories that are uniquely my own.

Coupled with my love for this space, I question putting parts of myself out into its black hole. It’s a common human condition to wonder what people think of you. In this day and age, my name – and this URL – are easily discoverable with a simple, inquiring Google search. I find it a little unnerving to think that all that this is – developed some place and time in the quiet of my bedroom – can impart some notion about me or my capabilities.

Needless to say, I am intending to return to this blog with more frequency and more content. If you follow along (whoever you are), let’s do this thing – again. And for now, enjoy the beauty that is Tokyo, Japan.

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Kyoto, Japan

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Kyoto, Japan was our favorite city that we visited. Situated in the South of Japan, it was warmer in Kyoto than Tokyo and Hakone, which made for some beautiful cherry blossom watching. There is something so simple about cherry blossoms. Yet, something remarkably compelling that draws you to each tree, bloom by bloom. We missed the full blooms by less than 5 days but finding a blossoming tree amongst those that had yet blossomed brought so much joy. The sheer amount of photos that I collected is evidence enough.

Kyoto is characterized by its old city charm, in great contrast to the modernization of Tokyo. While buses are the main method of public transportation, walking is another great way to see the city and travel to the path of shrines that are located on one side of the city. Other important spots like Arashiyama and the Golden Pavilion are easily accessible by bus. Biking was also an important method of transportation as well. During cherry blossom season, tourism is huge and I definitely preferred quieter scenes to the hustle and bustle of the shrines. We went to Arabica Coffee right when it opened one morning and in the afternoon on another day. As a fan of coffee culture, I enjoyed sitting alone in the shop, no line or chatter first thing in the morning. Thank you jetlag!

And now, I’ll let the photos do the talking.

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Japan Trip

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Hi blog! It’s me, an old friend who seems to have lost your number for a few months. Life is busy around here. As I tell my Dad, I need to “figure out my life.” And he promptly replies, you can never “figure out your life.” In my head, I know he is right. This was a general theme of our conversations whilst traveling in Japan. I would talk, Dad would listen and I would realize that Dad is generally a wise guy. It’s a pattern.

Cherry blossoms! And spring in Japan! These are just the beginnings of the massive amount of photos that I accumulated from my Japan trip. I promise (pinky promise, really) to update and curate little guides in the next week or so. See you soon! Aren’t these cherry blossoms magnificent?

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