Orange Empire

Day 329_53

Day 329 (November 25, 2014) – New York, NY

I don’t have much to say today. I should be heading downtown to another protest, but I know that won’t lead to anything. I’m still torn by the decision and I’m still upset about what the future potentially has in store for me…for my unborn children..for my race. I’m glad it’s going to snow. Maybe that will cool things down a bit. And I’m glad I have some time off…to think…to laugh…to tell stories about good times….we all need something good to think about.


Day 328_84Day 328 (November 24, 2014) – New York, NY

I don’t know what to think anymore. Part of me is just angry. Angry that young black men seem to die at the hands of the police on a regular basis. I can’t talk about the facts in the case because I wasn’t there. I don’t know what the grand jury saw or heard. I’ve always been on the fence with this case based on what I read and the news coverage. But I’m angry because we always die. And it’s just too much. No one will ever fess up to the fact that African Americans are treated different by the justice system. All of the criminal justice facts tell you this, but as a country we ignore it. The jails filled with young black men tell you that something isn’t right with our justice system, but we refuse to question it. I knew the grand jury wouldn’t hand out any indictments for officer Darren Wilson, because the police always get the benefit of the doubt. I’m angry at myself that I can’t think clearly about these things at times. I wouldn’t never want to see an innocent man go on trial or imprisoned. It’s just hard to see all that is wrong with this country and the communities that I care most about. And sometimes it’s hard to walk these streets with the burden of my race not knowing if today you are friend or foe to those who were trained to serve and protect. Tonight I watched the streets of Manhattan swell with rage as the verdict was announced. I watched protesters march and scream obscenities at cops who stood stoic. I heard the pain in some voices as the screamed not just for Mike Brown but for the countless other “victims” of circumstance.  Then I came home and watched another community burn and the stupidity of a mob “protesters” with blood on their hands. I don’t know if they realize that those businesses won’t come back. At least not for now. I don’t know if they realize that they are only making matters worse. I don’t even know what we do this. Why do we destroy our own community. Michael Brown’s father publicly asked for people to remain calm and not to dishonor his son’s life by destroying the community he loved. They didn’t listen. They never listen. I’m angry at the protesters who turn peace into another act of violence. I’m angry that when the smoke clears and the last embers extinguished that we will be right back where we started….a community and people marginalized, and I won’t know who to blame. I’m tired of just blaming “the system” but I know it’s power. I wish these moments were truly teaching moments. I wish people would just listen….learn….do different…want more…demand more…fight for more…. just fight. I’m tired of always seeing these images. I know black lives matter, but at the same time I’m not sure everyone else does…..even us.

I’m still waiting for change to come. I’m still waiting and wanting change to come.

F-stop blues

Day 327_25Day 327 (November 23, 2014) – Chicago, IL

This song kinda sums up the day for me.

“F-Stop Blues” by Jack Johnson

Hermit crabs and cowry shells
Crush beneath his feet as he comes towards you
He’s waving at you

Lift him up to see what you can see
He begins his focusing
He’s aiming at you

And now he has cutaways from memories
And close-ups of anything that
He has seen or even dreamed
And now he’s finished focusing

He’s imagining lightning
Striking sea sickness
Away from here

Look who’s laughing now that you’ve wasted
How many years and you’ve barely even tasted
Anything remotely close to
Everything you’ve boasted about
Look who’s crying now

Driftwood floats, after years of erosion
Incoming tide touches roots to expose them,
Quicksand steals my shoe,
Clouds bring the f-stop blues

Look who’s laughing now that you’ve wasted
How many years and you’ve barely even tasted
Anything remotely close to
Everything you’ve boasted about
Look who’s crying now




Day 325Day 325 (November 22, 2014) – Chicago, IL

For the record, I’m not really feeling the new name of the Sears Tower. The Willis Tower? Come on now! It just seams weird to me. The Sears tower was the tallest building in the US for a minute! I’m sure it was the answer to one or two Jeopardy questions or Trivia Pursuit. I for one refuse to call it the “W…. Tower”!

Which Way to Go

Day 324Day 324 (November 21, 2014) – Chicago, IL

That’s me in the photo…trying to navigate space and time. I’m here and there and nowhere. I am a voyeur.  The camera shields me from the world. I freeze moments with each press of the shutter release, but I’m not there….I’m not in the moment. I don’t experience the world in the same way. My mind is constantly racing…triggered by what I see and sometimes what I don’t. Sometimes I feel lost. I don’t know where I’m going and I’m not sure that I’m looking for direction.

A Train Runs Through It

Day 323 BW webDay 323 (November 20, 2014) – Chicago, IL

The train rumbled across old worn tracks breaking the not so silent sounds of cold city streets. A thunderous roar and screeching metal echoed off the walls of endless skyscrapers.  I wanted to shield my frozen ears from the sound. I don’t know how people do it. To think every 15 or 25 minutes these trains crisscross through the city on elevated tracks brutally announcing their arrival only the way a speeding box of steel can. People on the streets walk briskly trying to get to their next destination…and trying to escape the cold.  They don’t pay attention to  the train overhead. This is just one of the sounds of the busy city to them. And it’s Chicago. People here are a little bit harder.  They deal with extremes.  100 plus degree summers and subzero snowy winters. It’s about 18 degrees right now and it’s business as usual.

One image a day. Documenting life and growing as a photographer in the process.


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