New Me + New[york] City

NYC + Self-discovery. September has been fun.

Advertisements

When I was a kid I used to want to be a lot of things. But, I think at the crux of it all I wanted to have one foot in the realm of creativity. I was yearning for it, and didn’t feel like there was a way for me to achieve it. Better yet, I didn’t feel like I was creative.  If you ask any of my friends that endured those adolescent years with me, they will tell you not only of my trend to be a romantic, but also about my infatuation with different mediums of creativity. I tried being a writer, had short stint of thinking I could be an actor, and so much more. I think that’s why I gravitated to food so much. It was finally a medium that I excelled in.  It can transform perspective, it’s multi-faceted, and it literally takes people’s breathe away. More than that, there’s something in it for everyone. From the science of baking to the absurdity that modernism has brought to the contemporary food scene and everything in between. Food has been the be all end all for me over the last ten years or so. It’s been an amazing ride (and this isn’t my break up with food, btw if you were worried I was writing a breakup text). In turn, it’s about what food has led me to discover. Thank you, food. (I wish ‘food’ could talk to me, haha. I wonder what it’s personality would be like?)

Well, if you haven’t figured it out already, this post is not about food. This post is designated to voice excitement on a new medium. I’ve been dabbling in photography since moving to the bay (almost three years, now). However, up until about four or five months ago I wasn’t interested in the technical side of photography. I’ve grown to expand my knowledge and I can’t help but experience a similar feeling I’ve felt for cooking all of these years. Being a self-pioneer into a new creative space is so fun. It’s exhilarating.

I ventured to Manhattan last week for work, and while I was there I had some time to really flex my new skills. Not only did NYC offer me a new perspective, but a fresh landscape. In my week there I felt validation for my work, a true culmination that this newer form of creative expression was worthwhile, and that maybe I might be good at this, too!

The quality of my work has increased significantly. As I continue to learn about photography my eyes widen, my heart opens, and my love for capturing moments expands.

I thought I’d keep this post short and sweet and showcase my favorite pieces of work from my trip.

Also, on a side note, a few of these photos were taken by Ryan, but all the editing is my own. This is also the first time I’ve made an effort to capture more of an urban landscape. I usually photograph humans, so this is something pretty new. 🙂 Hope you enjoy.

Oculus
Oculus.
Stable House
The Village.
Processed with VSCO with e1 preset
Stonewall.
Washington
Best park ever.
Pattern Boy
Oakland, CA.

I wonder how my perspective will shift in the next six to twelve months? Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading. I love all of you.

Mendocino

Day trips, dogs, and dallying along the coast. Warning: Beautiful photos ahead.

 

Hi Everyone,

Another week has gone by, and it’s time for another post. This week’s post is extra special, as I’m writing about one of my favorite places in the world, Mendocino, California.  Ryan and I discovered Mendocino about two years ago, pretty soon after we moved to the Bay Area. Located right above Sonoma County, Mendocino County is known for incredible wineries such as Saracina & Bonterra (recently awarded best North American Winery), mountains, and valleys. The county is full of wildlife, rare flowers and plant life, and one of the most stunning views of the ocean on the west coast. The town of Mendocino is perched on the bluffs of the coast within the county and is home to around one thousand people. Most of the local economy is fueled by artisans, B&Bs, art galleries, and restaurants. From Berkeley the drive is a little over three hours, so getting up here does not happen often, sadly. However, each opportunity to make it up for the day or the weekend is truly special. Rather than writing a lot today, I’m going to leave the rest of this post to mostly pictures, as the landscape is absolutely stunning.

Jack and I drove up to Mendocino last Thursday. We woke up early, grabbed a Philz coffee, and made our way up the coast, stopping in Hopland, CA for some photos (not pictured here), and also spent time meandering through the riverscape on US-101N. I highly recommend stopping to see the wildlife. As we arrived at Mendocino, the first stop along the way was at Big River. An inlet situated right below the Pacific Coast Highway protected as National Seashore, that is home to hundreds of species of birds, plants, and other wildlife, as well as, a local spot for a nice beach day. Check it out.

BIG RIVER

DSC04700Jack Bridge EditDSC04832DSC04815

After spending some time at Big River, Jack & I decided to hike a new trail that runs east from the seashore, inland. Recently the town of Mendocino and surrounding unincorporated towns put their funds together and purchased Big River Estuary to be protected indefinitely. To read more about the project, click here.  Below you’ll find photos from our hike through the protected lands.

HIKING

DSC04916DSC04943DSC04948DSC04952

As the hike came to a close, Jack & I were both ready for some grub & shopping. As mentioned earlier, the downtown area of Mendocino is full of local shops and purveyors/artisans. We hopped into Oliver (our Subaru) and headed downtown. Throughout you’ll find links to a couple of my favorite spots to be bookmarked, if you make it up this way!

DOWNTOWN

DSC04982DSC04987DSC04988

Yes, there is a whole section about jam. This jam store truly has the best jam in the entire world. To admit a secret, it’s one of the reasons I drove up here in the first place. Ryan, my best friend Kara, and myself, stumbled upon this place on our last trip up north. Located on the very last corner of one of the main roads in town and a giant cliff, this local jam spot creates small batches of blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, and boysenberry jams. If you do not take anything else from this blog, make a mental note of this place. You can find them here. There is nothing better than contributing to a local economy. Do yourself a favor and buy some damn jam :).  Also, they have the cutest building ever.

Other Links: 

Garden Bakery of Mendocino

MacCallum House Inn, Mendocino – B&B

JAM (Yes, there’s a whole section about jam.)

DSC05003DSC05012

DSC05014
Checkout these wildflowers, absolutely stunning.

As our trip came to a close, the pup and I meandered a bit more, making our way through the small streets of town. Some random photos to follow capture the essence of this magical place. From the tiny well kept homes to the native bees, Mendocino has made a special impact on the way I see the world. California, you’re beautiful.

MEANDER

IMG_3749DSC05020Mendo House EditedDSC05027

With one last stop for a coffee at the Goodlife Cafe & Bakery, we were off and headed home. Until next time Mendocino, keep being beautiful. Also, yes, that red building is a grocery store. How?! So beautiful. What a good day to be alive. Thanks Jack for being my sidekick.

DSC05030

For more information, any other recommendations, or to collaborate on any photos/projects/day trips please DM on instagram or find me at joecalasci@gmail.com

As always, thanks for reading.

Travel on.

Summer Updates

New blog post, finally. Check out what Ry and I have been up to since our last update!

Oh hello again!

It’s been a LONG while since I’ve blogged anything. (Sorry.) I’ve decided to use this medium today as an update on our lives, a reason as to why I’ve been absent, and what’s planned for the future.

Over the past month and a half or so, we have been SO busy. We’ve travelled to Blue Ridge, GA to scope out wedding venues with some of our best friends, we’ve partied for LA Pride with some individuals we befriended in SF over the last two years, we’ve road tripped to Bend, OR over Memorial Day Weekend, driven to Joshua Tree for the Fourth of July and much much more. It seems like we are always on the move, and you know what? I kind of love it. If there is one thing I’ve learned about Ryan and I, it’s that we need, new and exciting adventures. This time of year is full of opportunities to adventure as the Pacific Northwest opens it’s beauty up to the world, LA offers it’s summer take on food and sunny activities, and the East Coast is in full bloom. There is nothing like vacation in the summertime.

With that being said, all of this travel needs to be documented! We’ve been doing a good job (I’d give it a B+) of documenting our experiences with friends and family, but it’s time to step it up!

I originally started this blog as a medium to showcase my love for food, and I will continue to do so, but in the meantime, check out some of our best travel moments from the past ninety days or so.

IMG_1829.JPG

The US101N.

IMG_1828.JPG

Great Bloody’s + Brunch from @grandlakekitchen in Oakland, CA

IMG_1818.JPG

Follow @cru.cait and @sweden95 for the best photos you’ve ever seen 😉

IMG_1827.JPG

In the upcoming months I hope the dedicate more time to this blog, at least one post a week.

 

Some posts to watch out for:

  • Israeli Cardamom Coffee – I’ve been loving middle-eastern cuisine recently
  • More Cast-iron!
  • Hopefully a new Le Creuset + Camera (yasss)
  • Pictures of Ryan (Isn’t he so pretty…?)

And, lots more!

Also, make sure you’re following along at @jay.cal on instagram!