The Faster They Go

The more busy I get, the faster the months go by. I started taking photos to capture moments around me. Here are some of my favorites from the last month.

David Coggin's most treasured possessions for The Burning House.

Tim walking back from the beach in Nicaragua.

Financial District sunrise with John Tinseth.

Dirt roads on BLM land in northern New Mexico.

A photo from Coggins' and my visit to Miller's Oath for a piece for A Continuous Lean.

Cris in Nicaragua.

Lunch in Rivas, Nicaragua.

Bass escaping the rain.

Sunset in Nicaragua.

Durango, Colorado.

Not much happens in Alexandria, Minnesota.

A rainy Saturday in the West Village.

Mud outside Durango.

A lot can happen in a month.


Five years old again, 18 years later

Inspired by the snowboarding scene in "A View to a Kill," and some neon infused Warren Miller films, Tim (my brother) and I vetoed skis and started snowboarding in 1993. I was five and Tim was three. We obsessed, and thanks to our parents' support, rode the slopes on nearby Mt. Hood from December to April. We pushed each other, we chased each other down the runs and helped each other up from our frequent crashes.

When enough snow accumulated in our backyard, we made jumps and rode homemade rails. During the summer and fall, we strapped on our snowboards and bounced on our trampoline, hoping to perfect new tricks for the coming season.

Eventually, our appetite to play on boards drove us to skateboard. Familiar with grinds and pumping transition, we emulated early skateboarders, riding bowls at skateparks and the miniramp we built in our backyard. With the same attitude and excitement as our first day snowboarding, we rode for hours.

When I went to college in Maine, we continued skateboarding together on my breaks. Regardless of our location or the time of year, our sessions took us back to our early days riding together on Mt. Hood.

100 miles from the nearest paved road, we skated a miniramp on the beach in Nicaragua. A stone's throw from the thundering beach break, we skated when the waves closed out and the tides were wrong. Each sunrise and sunset, we took turns riding Tim's pool board.

Yours truly, five years old again, 18 years later.

Tim, catching his breath.



It was beautiful.


Meet Me in Nicaragua

"Our phones won't work, so let's meet at the airport in Managua. My flight gets in at 3:30. We'll catch a cab there and bounce around on dirt roads for three hours on the ride to the coast," I told my younger brother, Tim, rocking in the comfort of my ergonomic office chair in Midtown Manhattan. "Where are you, anyway?"

"Waiting for my flight in Houston. This place is a zoo," Tim said under his breath. "I am going to stay at a hostel in Managua tonight, but you should probably give me directions to the place we are staying just in case something goes wrong and I need to get out there by myself."

"Sounds good, I'll text you it right now. Let me know if any plans change. I have to run, see you tomorrow afternoon. I'm pumped. See you on the other side," I said in one breath as I glanced down at my watch and realized I had a meeting in five minutes.

"Don't forget to bring the sunscreen," Tim joked in a motherly voice.

Little did he know, but in a fit of excitement and procrastination from my daily obligations, I had ordered sunscreen on Amazon, Bull Frog SPF 36, weeks in advance.

Flying the cheapest option through Central America to a remote country and meeting someone with no means of communication turned out as dubious as it sounds.
Five hours after leaving JFK, my empty flight landed to the elated clapping of the native Salvadorians and news of the cancellation of all the day's connecting flights to Managua. Envisioning Tim moping around the Managua airport for hours waiting for me arrive, I quickly found wifi and sent out a slew of emails telling him to make his way to the beach without me. After an hour of feeling like a derelict older brother, my iPhone vibrated, alerting me that Tim had skipped town soon after arriving in Managua the evening before and gone directly to the coast.
"That fucker! what if I would have showed up on time? " I smiled in relief.
A free night's stay, three complimentary meals and a 200 dollar flight voucher later I landed in Managua at 9am the next morning. Eager to dump my backpack, I converted the kilometers to miles in my head as the cab sped through dusty roads towards Popoyo.

The ocean's spray and my brother's sheepish grin quickly made me forget about my travel hiccups. For a week, my brother and I enjoyed the carefree attitude of the handful of other surfers, drawn to this remote beach in Nicaragua. When the tide was right, we surfed. When it was cool, we skated the mini ramp. When it was hot, we read.

Mangos, freshly knocked down from a tree.

A horse under the full moon on Saturday the 19th. Aperture F1.4, shutter speed .4s, and iso 4000.

The miniramp, a stone's throw from the beach.

Time slowed.

Blue and Yellow.


Starched with Salt.

Meet me in Nicaragua.

Here are some more links,
Nicaragua Dos (Picasa),


Colors of Granada

Spanish colonialists first settled on the northern shore of Lake Nicaragua in 1524. Over the last 500 years, the town of Granada has changed little, with many of the area's early buildings still defining the skyline. Despite catering to a new economy, Chaco-wearing tourists with zip-off cargo pants and Teva bucket hats, some buildings are still made of adobe, and horse drawn carriages still carry food and produce around the rough streets. A few weeks back, I visited Granada not as an early colonialist or missionary but as a sunburned and gluttonous gringo fresh off a week of surfing.

Windows boarded up during the heat of the day.

Lacking apparent rhyme or reason, each house has its own color combination and the sidewalks change like in the Billie Jean music video. As I walked around the streets of Granada, the juxtaposition between humble materials and construction and cheerful colors caught my eye like drunk hippies at a music festival.
Brick, dirt, adobe, cement, rock, wood, and some turquoise paint.

Sidewalk meeting the wall of a house.

Out of necessity and abiding to no apparent codes, power lines and regulators dotted the walls like a single scar on an old, weathered face, marking each individual homestead.

An old Nicaraguan woman talking with her neighbors.

One eye open.

Hardwood, handmade doors.

Without looking cartoonish or belonging in a soon to be bankrupt suburb of Las Vegas, the vibrant colors made me smile. It looked like a group of mischievous boys had bashed a wall here and there with a sledge hammer and painted a square patch on a white wall just to prove they could. It didn't feel contrived or thought-out because it wasn't, that's why it's beautiful.

Here are some more links,
Granada (Picasa),
Nicaragua (ART),
Doors (ART).