Faces I love
As a SoCal girl and all around proud Californian, I'm slightly embarrassed that I didn't actually step foot in Northan California till my late 20s. I must say my introduction set the bar.
Home of the Black Panthers, Golden State Warriors, and Oscar Grant.
I joke that NorCal-and more specifically Oakland- has this conscious spirit that "Hollywood" lacks. I still love LA...I just love Oakland too!
These pictures are a combination of events:
1. Life is Living, an event put on to celebrate the legacy of the Black Panthers.
2.Bottoms Up Community Garden: A grass-roots community-run garden in the "food desert of Oakland California.
3. Heiro Day: An Oakland Hip-Hop festival put on by renown rap group Hieroglyphics.
4. Oscar Grant III: A 22-year-old African-American man who was fatally shot and murdered in the early morning hours of New Year's Day 2009 by BART Police officer Johannes Mehserle in Oakland, California. There is celebration of life and remembrance for this father, son, friend, lover, cousin.
Another day in K town. Krista working on her project (Foreigners Wanted), finding wildflowers in the middle of Los Angeles, trespassing (again), and watching the sky combine into cotton candy on fire.
Sunday's are my favorite day.
Krist incites me to trespass
Outdoor-Sour-Sherbert-Guriella-OG-Blue Planet-Jon Snow
A garden in the middle of the city.
God is good.
I'm humbled & fortunate to receive invitations into homes with open arms to eat delicious food, drink strong coffee, and grow interpersonal relationships. My dear friend Thu described her city & country in such a way that I had to see it for myself.
I looooooovvvvvveeeeeed Vietnam. And Danang will always hold a special place in my heart. I arrived in Danang about a week before Tet and spent the New Year in Saigon. The scooter is the mode of transportation in Vietnam, and Danang was no exception (#ScooterGameRidiculous). It's a dreamy little beach town known for its bridges that clears out the closer it gets to Tet. Scooters are packed with gifts to bring home to family in city's hours away through curvy terrain and overcast conditions I almost ruined my camera trying to capture.
I was in Vietnam during a sacred time, Vietnam's own celebration of Lunar New Year. A time to cleanse. Venerate the ancestors and other familial relations. I can't describe it, and wouldn't do it justice. Enjoy this 3 part visual series.
Nothing more calming and reflective then practicing walking meditation. Manicured hedges and colorful flowers outline beautifully carved statues, some are of the Buddah some deidcated to dieties and spirits. Some are ancient and some are the product of modernity. Visiting these sites ended up being the highlight of my trip. It elevated a physical and visual trip to a spiritual trip.
**For clarification: Pagoda's are a place you go to worship the Buddha & a Temple is where you go to worship or show respect to past/living beings (ex. King/National hero). You can find out more info from the below link for more specifics on the difference between the two.
After Danang, we headed to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) to celebrate Lunar New Year/Tet. Tet is the Vietnamese New Year!! I also went to visit my dear childhood friend Hillary. She basically moved to Vietnam because she (a) had to pay off her student loans & (b) they didn't tax...she got to keep her money honey.
Hillary is international. She's spent the bulk of her adulthood abroad and has been living in Viet for over a year when I stopped in. She has COUNTLESS stories of being Black in non-Black spaces. Maybe one day I'll share those with you (; Anyhoooo...she organized all the Black people in her city and created "Black in Saigon". Throwing a special happy hour just for us!
It was glorious. I was starved for Melanin after feeling a bit lonely & sometimes uncomfortable in Thailand (still ruminating on how to visually share that feeling...will add a link soon).
Through Hillary's Black in Saigon, I met Black girls who spoke Vietnamese and worked at the Embassy, Soccer players, Nike employee's(whaaattt up LOLA!!!), & Black Diaspora from Belgium to the London town. We flagged down Elliot from the UK after walking home from the Museum, added him on Fb, and had him meet us for rum with some of the US kids. Got him roasted and toasted...it was a good ass night.
HCM definitely has a sense of "westernization" that was familiar and comforting. I watched Voldermort get sworn into office & the Women's march in response to it. It was nice to "escape" from the madness of the world and just be present during the Lunar New Year. #SelfCare
The Details....I liked the way the gates looked from an angle.
I enjoyed touching the wet stairs and tree branches with my fingertips,
Shades of green soothe me.
Just present to the details.