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I love coffee. Sometimes people try to switch my coffee to decaf when I’m not looking. I can always tell the difference. I also like Pringles, but only the reduced fat kind because they crunch better when you bite into them and they don’t leave grease on your fingers. I’m…

About Me
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As part of our quest to support women’s issues, Katana Photography is excited to announce our first ever Celebrating Survival contest!
Having any kind of cancer is frightening and confusing. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Katana Photography is welcoming all survivors from all forms of cancer to participate…

Weekly Photo
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When I was looking to buy my wedding invitations (back in April), I found a lot of designers on Etsy. After narrowing it down to a couple different designs/companies, I contacted both for their pricing list. One was pretty significantly more expensive–almost $2 per invitation more. Which I think all…

Weekly Style
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When talking to people about photography, I hear one phrase over and over again: Kids and dogs are the hardest subjects to photograph.
I, personally, don’t have this problem with my clients…kids and dogs are among my favorite things to photograph. Maybe it’s because I like to have any excuse…

Weekly Puppies
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Last week, Sean and I had our morning coffee on the balcony and watched as the Enterprise shuttle was pulled down the Hudson on a tug boat. It’s on its way to the Intrepid and I can’t wait to see it up close at the museum!

Weekly Coffee

Georgio’s

Georgios

This here is Georgio’s Coffee in Jericho, NY.  It is the most charming little coffee shop and I’ve never met an owner more passionate about coffee.

Georgio is Italian and his wife is Columbian. Together they have traveled to the five main countries where they buy their beans from, and if I’m not mistaken, I believe they own a couple of the coffee farms. They collect antique coffee equipment and this one pictured at the top here is the only (Pulp grinder I think it’s called?) of its kind in the United States.

The space itself is a little cluttered and chaotic, but in my opinion it adds to the charm and reflects the enthusiasm that Georgio himself exudes. Though not known for their individual cups of coffee, they still sell them, though the owner will most certainly push you to buy a bag of beans as well.

“What kind of coffee you like?” He asked in a gruff tone.

“Well, I like dark roasts typically. I usually buy an Italian roast.”

“Wow, so you like coffee that puts hair on your chest!”

“Er–I guess. Though not litera–”

“Do you prefer Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks?” He cut me off mid sentence.

“Dunkin’….but only because Starbucks coffee always tastes burnt to me.”

“Interesting. Because Dunkin’ is a light roast. Starbucks is very dark. That’s the burnt flavor you taste.”

“Oh, wow…so I like dark roasts, but not extra dark roasts.”

“Exactly. What kind of coffee maker you got?”

“Flat bottom filter, drip machine.”

“Well, well, well…you know your coffee more than most people.”

I shrugged and smiled. “I’m a connoisseur.”

Seriously…he was such a kind, friendly man. And his wife, though much softer spoken, was equally kind. If you ever find yourself in Long Island, you should go out of your way to find this place!

Georgios

Nature Dog

Nature Dog

On Sunday we took the dogs out to West Hills, Long Island…the birthplace of Walt Whitman.  There’s apparently a hiking trail somewhere within the park, but we can never find it, so we end up taking a “nature walk” along the only trail we can find.

And just in case we ran into another dog, we made Luna wear her muzzle at all times. She just can’t be trusted around other dogs. Or horses. Or squirrels. Or spiders. She’ll try to attack just about anything moving…including leaves.

And on our nature walk, we came to a clearing and there was this enormous space where the trees were spread apart. We walked far off the trail so that you couldn’t see it anymore and let Red off the leash to play. And Luna? Well, we took her muzzle off so that she could grab sticks and run away with them, dragging me, clutching her leash, behind her. I wouldn’t dare unclip that leash of hers. If I were to ever let her off leash in a situation like this, there is no doubt in my mind I’d never see her again.

So, here she is in this photo chewing a stick to shreds. And I’ll tell you what—we don’t get to go on these hikes very often (maybe once a month), but those afternoons after we get home are the most peaceful nights in our house. I’ve never seen my dog so tired. And it’s glorious.

What is Going On?

Every two days or so, my RSS Feed will go up by about 2 subscribers…and then 2 days later, it goes back down to its original number. What in the world is going on? Are people subscribing and then two days later, canceling? Are they doing this every couple of days over and over? Is it the same people? It’s a very strange pattern.

It messes with my head, too. I get very excited with every new subscriber and then to see them rescind on that is equally disheartening.

::sigh:: Oh well. If the people who do that are reading…STOP IT. You’re screwing with my emotions. And it’s not nice.

Looking For A Mug…And By Mug, I Don’t Mean Your Face.

I have been searching eBay for the past year looking for a very specific type of coffee mug for Sean. He had this retro 70s or 80s coffee mug that his mom accidentally threw out. It’s those “It’s Better in the Bahamas” mugs and usually has a silhouette cartoon of a couple standing next to a palm tree or something. I’ve attached a picture of the kind of mug I’m searching for below…It’s actually held by Chris Meloni (mmm…) on a Law & Order SVU episode.

Does ANYONE have this mug…or do your parents have a mug similar to this? Seriously, I’ve been searching for so long and yielding no results at all. I am willing to pay for the mug…probably way more than it’s worth! It’s the kind of thing that’s probably collecting dust in your grandmother’s cupboard! Anyway, I figured it was worth at least asking the wonderful internet for help.

Looking For A Mug...And By Mug, I Dont Mean Your Face.

Back To Kindergarten

As a comic book artist, Sean needs a lot of photo references. And because he prefers to not steal exact poses from other photographs that aren’t his (It’s a fine line, but he considers it stealing art. I pretty much agree), he asks me to photograph him in various poses for the male characters, and he poses me for the female characters.

So, here I am, on my hands and knees with my body curved in the shape of a “C” but looking straight up, pretending to be one of the hippies begging for money in his next issue. As you can imagine, it’s not the most comfortable pose, but I endure for art’s sake. And Sean is SOOO picky about these things, he’s all: Good, tilt your chin up…good, now move your pinky finger down. Uh-huh and lower your shoulders. Good…”

By this point, my arms are starting to cramp and my back is bursting into spasms.

Me: Take the damn picture, Sean!

Him: Hold on…just move your hand to the right.

I do as I’m told.

Him: Move it to the right.

I move it more to the right.

Him: To the right…

I move even more to the right. By this point my arms is now completely outstretched.

Him: I said your RIGHT!

Me: This IS my right!

Him: Oh, oops. I mean your left.

Seriously? Someone in this apartment needs to go back to grade school. And believe it or not, it’s not the girl crawling around on all fours, who considers chocolate cake to be a good choice for breakfast.

Young Designer’s Market

Young Designers Market

I was taking my normal weekend stroll around the West Village with my boyfriend a few weeks ago, when I noticed a brightly colored and aesthetically pleasing sign on Hudson St (between Christopher St and Grove St).

The sign read: Young Designers Market. Two things popped into my mind at that moment; one – “Oh my god, what an amazing place to buy something else that I can’t afford and have no room for,” and two – the episode of Sex and the City where Carrie meets Aiden at the furniture showroom.
It’s unfortunate that I already have a boyfriend…what a wonderful introductory relationship story that would make! “Our eyes met from across the room, me holding a vintage pair of strappy sandals. He strolls over to me, runs his hand along the buckle and in a sexy Italian accent states, ‘I bought the leather for zese shooze using ze money I made from my vineyard een Sardinia.’ I sighed, grabbing my boyfriend’s hand and dragged him into the cool air conditioning of the marketplace. I made a mental note to mention that I was a writer in the case that they may give me a discount. (Yes, just like Carrie claimed to be a designer to get the furniture discount from Aiden. Only, I wasn’t lying.)
This market was absolutely wonderful! It was filled mostly with jewelry designers and artists specializing in silkscreen. I was thoroughly impressed with the talent there. Among the many jewelry stands, there was also a vintage clothing designer, a shoe collector (as pictured), and a hat maker.
This image of one of the shoe racks was pretty much like walking into my own version of heaven. Only, these types of flats KILL my feet way more than any heels I own. Something about my high arch…I don’t know.

I highly recommend checking the Young Designers Market out if you are in the downtown neighborhood. It is free to the public every Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 7pm on 268 Mulberry Street (Between Prince and Houston) and also every Saturday from 12pm – 7pm at 490 Hudson St. For more information, please visit: http://www.themarketnyc.com/

Bread Stuy

Bread Stuy

This is Bread Stuy…the only coffee shop in the part of Bed Stuy where we live. Bread Stuy…in Bed Stuy…haha. Get it? Ahhh, clever.

Anyway, it’s not the most perfect place…the coffee can sometimes taste like the sludge you see on kitchen equipment that hasn’t been cleaned in a while. And it’s usually cramped with tons of people and uncomfortable seating. But they have free wifi and a really nice outdoor patio area and some of the best red velvet cake I’ve ever had. Seriously? The cream cheese icing? It almost makes living in this awful neighborhood worth it. Almost–but not really.

Snow Dogs

Snow Dogs

This is one of Luna’s first experiences with snow. And let me tell you…it is by far one of her favorite things. Plus, running in the deep snow slows her whippet legs down a little and tires her out way more than a normal jog.

Pictured here is Luna and Red just as we were about to go snow shoeing with them. About 15 minutes later, Sean fell through the ice into the lake. No, I am not kidding. It was near the bank, so Sean managed to pull himself out of the icy water and onto land. Only, Red, being the loyal best friend he is, tried to run over to see if Sean was ok. The ice started to crack beneath his feet too. I grabbed his leash quickly and pulled him and my oblivious Luna to the middle of the lake where the ice was more solid.

Seriously, Luna…she had no idea what just happened. She just kept running and prancing around, biting Red’s neck.

Bridges of Derry County

Bridges of Derry County

I first saw the Movie The Bridges of Madison County with Sean. It’s one of his favorite “chick flicks.” I enjoyed it, though didn’t enjoy the fact that it was celebrating adultery.

While we were visiting NH and Vermont, we drove around finding interesting covered bridges for me to photograph…they’re pretty much the only interesting things in these states. The moment captured here was taken within the two hours of the entire trip when it wasn’t cold and rainy. I wore my rain boots so that standing in muddy puddles wouldn’t be so terrible. And just as I was focusing my lens for this image, Sean pulled me to the side of the rode and kissed me. With our lips intertwined, a car came speeding by and splashed a big muddy puddle all over us.

Not quite as romantic as Clint Eastwood…

Christmas, Carolina Style (Dec, 2006)

I turned into the small suburban strip mall.  I had one day left to find the perfect gifts for my family.  Why didn’t I shop sooner? I live in New York City for Christ’s sake!  I pushed the thought from my mind.  That wasn’t going to help anything now.

My tires squealed in pain as I skidded into a parking space. Talbots.  I’m sure I can find something for my mom and sister here.  I got out of the car, slinging my purse over my shoulder and slammed the door.  To my left was Talbots. To my right was Starbucks.  It couldn’t hurt to grab a coffee first.  I picked up my pace, excited to get my usual Christmas coffee: a grande gingerbread white mocha latte.  It was pure, creamy heaven and my mouth watered at the thought of it.

I placed my order with the barrista and waited while they brewed the espresso. On the shelf in front of me were travel coffee mugs…a perfect gift for my brother, another caffeine addict.  I grabbed two, one that was brown with a matte silver thermos and one that was pink leather with brown trim…for myself of course.  I tucked one under my arm as I grabbed the turquoise mug for a closer look.  Hm, blue or pink?  Blue…or…pink.  Good question. As I stood thinking, my phone vibrated in my purse. “Oh, shit,” I said aloud.  “Um…” I set the turquoise much back on the shelf and the pink one slipped from under my arm, landing on the floor with a loud clatter.  “Shit!” I whispered to myself.  The phone continued buzzing as I bent down to retrieve the fallen mug. “Um, hold on a sec!” I knew the caller couldn’t hear me.  Stuffing my slender hand deep into my purse, I grabbed my phone, accidentally hitting the speaker button.                                                                                                                                                                       “Ms. Katana? This is Dr. Sanji’s office calling from East Side Gynecology…”

“Oh God. Hold on a moment!” I yelled into the speakerphone as I dropped the second travel mug.  The Starbucks employees looked my direction obviously annoyed and a couple of the customers sipping coffee also looked up, staring.

“I’m calling with the results of your pap smear…”  Her voice was surprisingly clear for talking over speakerphone.

“Wait!” I shrieked, my face growing hot.

“…everything looks clear. No chlamydia, no HPV, no syphilis. We’ll see you in about a year for your next appointment.”

I sighed.  “Ok,” I gave in, “see you in a year.” I added then hung up.  The fallen mug still rested at my feet and when I bent down to retrieve it, I heard my name from an excited voice I immediately recognized.  I glanced up and saw the face I knew would be standing there.

“Ian!  Hi.” I was frazzled.  Brushing my hair from my face, I stuck out my hand to shake Ian’s as he leaned in for a hug.  I felt the cotton of his pants and flesh below the material. I didn’t want to know what part of his anatomy I just grabbed.  “Sorry,” I said quickly then leaned in for a quick, awkward hug.

“How are you?” He smiled wide, not noticing the uncomfortable moment.  Or not acknowledging it.  I’m not sure which.

“Hey, Colleen,” Jenna stood right beside him.  Coach Cunt.  And she was fat.  Ok, ok she was pregnant.  But still.  It was oddly satisfying to see her with a huge belly.  She continued talking despite my tight smile, “You look exactly the same!  I would recognize you anywhere!”  It was one of those compliments that you knew wasn’t really a compliment.  It was condescending and said in such a way that all you could respond with was ‘thank you.’  But I refused.  I knew I didn’t look the same.  Similar? Yes.  The same? No.                                                                                                                                                                          “Really?” I smiled, giving it back to her, “I was about to say the opposite to you!  Especially, you know.” I drew a circle with my hands around my abdomen, being sure to draw the circle much larger than she actually was.

She returned my smile.  But behind it, irritation surfaced. I wasn’t lying; not saying anything meaner than she said to me.  She didn’t look the same.  Her hair was graying and wrinkles framed her eyes and mouth. That’s what you get for marrying a woman 16 years older than you.

“You look great,” I added.  And actually, I had to admit that for being pregnant, she did look pretty good.  It was the type of pregnancy that looked like she had stuffed a basketball under her shirt.  But nothing else looked any different.  Her legs were fit, her arms were toned, and she didn’t have any swelling in her face or ankles.

I looked back over at Ian. He, however, looked different in a good way.  More filled out, now with a goatee, but his cheeks, those chipmunk cheeks of his, never thinned out.  Oddly, I felt nothing for him.  A bit of nostalgia, but that was the extent of it.  “Congratulations, you two,” And I actually meant this. My hatred was entirely gone and I felt a tug at my guts.  I only wished I could have told the man I had been dating how much I actually cared for him. But I also knew how scared he was of commitment and pressuring a relationship on someone who wasn’t ready was a surefire way to lose that person.

I hugged both Ian and Jenna one last time. “Have a great Christmas.”  I left Starbucks, grabbing my gingerbread white mocha latte and sadly headed toward Talbots, cursing myself for having even stopped into Starbucks in the first place. This whole scenario could have been avoided if I could just kick this coffee habit.