Alaska – The Sea

    In Homer, Alaska there are T-shirts and hats with these words printed in block letters:          “A Small Drinking Village with a Big Fishing Problem”. Much of the town exists on a spit five miles from the mainland. Old fisherman saloons and new, generic box houses line the scape of snowcapped mountains rising out of the ocean. It is truly an unusual place. We spent a brief amount of time in Homer then jumped on the Gizmo and made the trip to Halibut Cove. In our nine days in Alaska my friends and I spent a much of our time on the water fishing, kayaking, and paddle-boarding. These photographs are my homage to our time on the Alaskan sea. Alaska_post_01 Alaska_post_02 Alaska_post_03 Alaska_post_04 Alaska_post_05 Alaska_post_06 Alaska_post_07 Alaska_post_08 Alaska_post_09 Alaska_post_10 Alaska_post_11 Alaska_post_12 Alaska_post_13 Alaska_post_14

The Oregon Country Fair

OFC_Select_01   A few weeks ago I jumped on the Starlight train down to Eugene to attend the rather other-worldly Oregon Country Fair. I met up with my friend Matthew Rowe who was writing and reciting poetry all weekend, and threw my things in his tawny Volkswagon van, our small sanctuary throughout the festival.          People dawned outrageous costumes, or often hardly any clothing at all. Music streamed from each of the many stages, and performance art filled the empty spaces along the figure eight path that lined the fair. When I wasn’t photographing I had the pleasure of spending my time with two lovely ladies who called themselves Peep and Tom. As a Fair virgin, they made sure I was aware of and involved in the best parts of the weekend, from the sunrise baseball game to the wedding in the Labyrinth that I couldn’t quite stay awake for. OFC_Select_02 OFC_Select_03 OFC_Select_04OFC_Select_05 OFC_Select_06 OFC_Select_07 OFC_Select_08OFC_Select_09 OFC_Select_10OFC_Select_11 OFC_Select_12 OFC_Select_13OFC_Select_14 OFC_Select_15 OFC_Select_16 OFC_Select_17 OFC_Select_18OFC_Select_19 OFC_Select_20OFC_Select_21 OFC_Select_22OFC_Select_23 OFC_Select_24

March 15

National_01      March 15th celebrates the Hungarian revolution of 1848. Despite widespread discontent with the recent actions of the government, Budapest was filled with Hungarian flags held high and the voices of the exuberant masses. At one point during the march I was informed that the crowd was yelling “Fuck the Government!” If not for my friend’s translation I never would have known this, people appeared to be in high spirits and their voices did not sound aggressive at all. Some of the older revelers were dressed in the garb of the mid 19th century, when the revolution took place, while others of my generation sang American rock songs such as “We will Rock You!” It was a very amicable, and somewhat eclectic gathering of thousands of proud Budapest citizens.National_02 National_03 National_04 National_05 National_06 National_07 National_08 National_09 National_10 National_11 National_12 National_13 National_14  National_16 National_17  National_19

Buda & Pest

Buda&pest_Post01  I didn’t know there were 2 sides. Buda came thousands of years before Pest. Buda has History, Pest is Fashionable. While Buda was Roman, with Prestige and violence abound, Pest was Agrarian, still growing up.                                                                                                            It is a separation of Young and Old, assigned existence on their respective sides of the Danube. I was told the older, more refined part of town was superior.   I disagreed. The Young, wild side captured my heart by a mile.                                                                                                That wasn’t the first time. I doubt it’s the last.

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What Makes You Feel Beautiful.

I recently did a freelance job that I enjoyed immensely. The project was about diverse visions of beauty, so I went to the streets in Seattle, mainly downtown and Capitol Hill, and took portraits of passers by and asked them the question, “What makes you feel beautiful?”

Here are a few of my favorites. 

(Photo by Viola J. Gaskell)Jesse Duvall – Whatever is going on in my head makes me feel beautiful. (Photo by Viola J. Gaskell)Kenneth Loiseau – Acceptance of weirdness makes me feel beautiful.                            Annabelle Petry – Brushing my teeth makes me feel beautiful.

(Photo by Viola J. Gaskell)Lady Krishna – Externally accessories make me feel beautiful, like this hat and my glasses. Really, my internal self makes me feel beautiful, my inner life.

(Photo by Viola J. Gaskell)James Smith – What makes me feel beautiful is my personality.          Calen Osara – What makes me feel beautiful is when I’m complemented.

(Photo by Viola J. Gaskell)Elsa Bloedon – Being in the sun makes me feel beautiful.

(Photo by Viola J. Gaskell)Stella Constellation – The thing that makes me feel beautiful is my contour. And my heels, a girl always feels pretty with a contour and some heels.

(Photo by Viola J. Gaskell)Amanda Sloan – My outfits make me feel beautiful. I design my own stuff, so I like to design things to fit my body, and it makes me feel comfortable.

(Photo by Viola J. Gaskell)Dennis Saxman – The absence of a mirror makes me feel beautiful.

(Photo by Viola J. Gaskell)Julius Haywood- What makes me feel beautiful is my nice teeth and my hair.

(Photo by Viola J. Gaskell)Antoinette O’neill -What makes me feel beautiful is my accomplishments, big and small.

(Photo by Viola J. Gaskell)Dean Stepanek – My wife makes me feel beautiful. My beautiful wife, every day.

(Photo by Viola J. Gaskell)Kasey Atabniki – Feeling strong and comfortable makes me feel beautiful.

(Photo by Viola J. Gaskell)Vanitti Fair – My friends make me feel beautiful. I think the attitude of the people you surround yourself with can either make or break a person.

(Photo by Viola J. Gaskell)Yuya Izumi – I am a Buddhist, I think feeling empty makes me actually feel beautiful.

(Photo by Viola J. Gaskell)Rebecca – My shoes.                                              Somaya – My surroundings make me feel beautiful. I try to find something beautiful wherever I am.                                 Shelby  – My shiny earrings make me feel beautiful.

(Photo by Viola J. Gaskell)Breckenridge Lanning – A theme to an outfit makes me feel beautiful, like dressing to go to school and wearing glasses, superfluous glasses, but wonderful none the less.

(Photo by Viola J. Gaskell)Reiko –  I feel beautiful when I’ve had a few beers with my friends.                                                                  Mio Sei – Music, I feel beautiful at concerts

(Photo by Viola J. Gaskell)Tracy Healy – My red hair makes me feel beautiful.

17James_GrattonJames (Jimbo) Gratton – Being acknowledged makes me feel beautiful.

(Photo by Viola J. Gaskell)Chase Roselli – What makes me feel beautiful? Her.                        Sam Buchanan – Clean teeth make me feel beautiful. I have a thing about teeth.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         (Chase, “Oh yeah, that’s her to a T.”)

(Photo by Viola J. Gaskell)Nate B. – Button up shirts make me feel beautiful because I feel clean and ready for the day, like I can get things done.

Seattle Lately

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I’ve been living in Seattle for six months now, and it’s high time I posted pictures of a few of my favorite visuals around the city. Easter Sunday, Pike place, the Convention Center, and of course the bus. It’s a lovely place to be so far, especially now that Summer is here! Happy Solstice!

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Darjeeling my Darling

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Darjeeling My Darling is the name of a poem Katie, Darjeeling’s biggest fan, wrote about her favorite place.

     When we arrived in Darjeeling it felt like someone had taken a weight off our shoulders. It was relief in a place akin to a ski town in our jostled minds. People were nice, and unobtrusive, we bundled up in wool scarves and socks and drank hot tea with views of snow capped K3 out the window. While we were there we went trekking and unknowingly embarked for Nepal, we paraglided off  the side of a mountain, we saw the town from a new perspective on a cable ride with Caroline and the Aussies boys. We spent Thanksgiving there, and I didn’t expect to do anything in honor of the strange holiday, but I ended up enjoying it more than many years previous. An American, three Canadians, two Australians, and one Brit, we had a delicious Indian dinner and a hot toddy or two and went around the table saying what we were thankful for. Some said the beer, I said I was thankful to be traveling in India and to have met such amazing people to share my travels with.

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Kurseong

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     These images were taken at the Kurseong Macaiberry Organic Tea factory. It was an off season, so the place was a bit desolate. The quiet machines made for a semi-poetic stillness as we walked through the dusty rooms. There were a few men and women still at work, but the place was settling into the winter months when the Pekoe blooms are left untouched. The later pictures are of the family I stayed with in Kurseong. The young girl’s name is Shinju, which her father told me means Lotus in Nepali. She was quite a little character, always running into out room looking for the “makeup,” that we never wore.

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Laki’s Grandfather

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       In Khajuraho we met a few boys around our age who, when they witnessed our love of Indian food, decided it was their responsibility to give us an authentic  experience making chapati. On our last day Laki brought us to his grandfather’s house in a village a few kilometers outside of town. The house had the exceptionally clean feel that I have noticed in smooth mud and clay based structures in North India. A modest home with a simple, mostly outdoor kitchen, Laki’s grandfather’s home was the perfect place to spend the afternoon beneath the shady branches of Neem trees, peeling and chopping aubergine, peppers, potatoes, garlic, onion, and tomato and roasting them over the fire as the chapatis heated on the embers underneath. This simple fare tasted as fresh and delicious as the most elaborate spreads I’ve had in India.

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