Happy 4th of July

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All about Venice

Last night I had a dream that I woke up in Istanbul for some reason…my travel bug is setting in again, so I thought I might put together a blog about Venice and all it’s tiny intricacies, mazes and spectacular views. Not to mention the personal connection we all now have with it. Fond memories!

This was the street where our charming AirBNB was located. Amazing place, felt like home.

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Caught the sunset on our first night there on our way to get lost until we found an amazing seafood joint. Venice_002 Venice_003 Venice_004 Venice_005

This was the facade of the apartmet-it has very middle eastern style to the windows, which were found all over Venice. Loved it!Venice_006 Venice_007

A more than typical mask artisan’s shop. He said he’d been there for over 25 years, but the shop itself was much much older. He is in the next photo:Venice_008 Venice_009

St. Mark’s Square was a great place to hang out and people watch. We haggled for those cheap glow in the dark air flyers, only for it to break 30 seconds later. Venice_010 Venice_011

More wanderings.

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What Gena was actually unaware of was that building across the water would serve as the perfect spot for his surprise proposal.

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New Year’s Eve

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He proposed, at midnight, amidst the fireworks. She had no idea and of course, said yes :)Venice_015 Venice_016 Venice_017

What I love is you can literally get lost in this place, without actually getting lost. All roads in the end just lead to the water or center of town. Venice_018 Venice_019 Venice_020

Her wish had come true!

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After resting off the NY eve shinanigans, we woke up super early the next day for some engagement portraits. They are really spectacular and worth every minute of our complete exhaustion if not just for the light and the views. Venice_022 Venice_023 Venice_024

This image was taken by Aeran, but I have to end with it. After wandering around all night, hopping in and out of New Year’s Eve gatherings, we ended up back on our street just in time for the sun to rise. It was a magical moment that I won’t soon forget :)Venice_025

All about Florence

This is so late, but I’ve been busy since I returned from my trip to Italy and The Netherlands! I tell stories with photos, so I will share some of my favorites with some stories attached. Back up to October: I get a call from my friend Bryan, thinking it’s just some regular prank of his. He said “Italy, Christmas and New Years. You in?” I couldn’t help but to say no at first, I was already planning an entirely different trip to India. But when he said “I have an incentive for you to come, but you can’t tell anyone.” I already knew! He had plans to propose; about time! So I scrapped my plans and bought a ticket the next week. We decided to hit Florence first, AirBNB housed us the entire way in great little flats all over the country. Then Venice for New Years (where he would pop the question) and back to Florence and the surrounding areas to relax before going back to the states. Aeran was going to stop in Amsterdam on his way back, so I thought since my layover was there as well I would just extend it for a little while and enjoy that city too before heading back to New York.

So, we get to Florence on Christmas day. Once we set our bags in the apartment, we took a stroll around to get a feel for the city and get a nice Christmas dinner somewhere.

Florence_001This was the view from our apartment:

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Fountains in front of the Piazza della Signoria:

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Firenze is amazing during the holidays, we couldn’t get over the lights:

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We finally found a little hole in the wall to enjoy a nice dinner. Here is some carpaccio and fresh shaved parmesan

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The Duomo (meaning cathedral) in the heart of the city, our view for a nice night. We found this little wine tasting bar where you could get 1-3 oz samples for around a euro, then if you like it you could get a glass for less than 10 euro. They had at least 36 different types, I loved them all!Florence_009 Florence_010 Florence_011

We found the south part of Florence to be where the locals and young people hang out, next time I’ll stay there. Not touristy at all!Florence_012 Florence_013 Florence_014

View from the Ponte Vecchio:

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And the Ponte Vecchio itself:

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More nighttime strolls on the south end:Florence_017 Florence_018 Florence_019

So Florence is known for its leather. There is a HUGE market just north of the center of town where you can go and haggle for pretty much any leather good you could think of, in any color. The building on the left houses the largest indoor food market I’ve ever seen full of fresh produce, endless oils and balsamic vinegars, CHEESES, candies, spices, fish, espresso bars and bustling people everywhere haggling for the best price. We went there several times to stock up the pantry. Florence_020 Florence_021 Florence_022

One day we tried to go to the Boboli Gardens. This involved a very steep climb through some neighborhoods-however when we got there it was closed. So we walked on towards the Piazza Michelangelo for the most spectacular view of Florence that I found.
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Hills leading up to the Piazza:

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And then we saw this:

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Someone was nice enough to take our picture: (Bryan off galavanting on his own)Florence_026 Florence_027 Florence_028

Due to our mistake the day before, we got up and made it to the gardens with plenty of time. We brought a picnic too to enjoy in the gardens. I spent most of the day here and would do it again, simply stunning!

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Stumbled across Bryan wearing his assassino outfit: (see Assassin’s Creed video game)Florence_030

Breathtaking view of Tuscany hills:
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We found a secluded little spot to enjoy some olives, cheese, wine and salamis with fresh bread. Delicious!Florence_033

You can wander for hours, getting lost in all the mazes of brush and stumbling across sculptures of every kind. Florence_034 Florence_035

This was a favorite find: a zen place. Florence_036 Florence_037

There are SO many fountains in Florence, here are a few select:Florence_038 Florence_039

At the end of the day, we wandered some more and found an entire street lit with umbrella lamps!Florence_040

This is the ceiling of the Duomo:Florence_041

Then we climbed through some extremely narrow staircases (with no rails mind you) to the tower right beside the Duomo for a pretty spectacular view:Florence_042 Florence_043 Florence_044

I would love to visit Florence again and enjoy the food and more museums. We packed up the house and our stuff and hopped on a train to Venice! Part 2 coming soon.

Strawberry Fields and Snow

Today I found myself in the midst of a soft snowfall in Central Park, at Strawberry Fields. Not realizing what today was, the crowds huddled around the memorial caught me by surprise. It was such a happy moment seeing at least a hundred people dancing and singing all the Beatles tunes together, so I stayed a little while with some friends and sang along before heading back on our night walk through the park.

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Fall in the city

It’s safe to say fall is my favorite time of the year; warm colors attract me. Today I took a long walk through Central Park:

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Sunrise

 

Excerpt from Walt Whitman’s Give Me The Splendid, Silent Sun:

“Give me the splendid, silent sun, with all his beams full dazzling…..Manhattan crowds, with their turbulent musical chorus-with varied chorus, and light of the sparking eyes; Manhattan faces and eyes forever for me. “

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Upstate New York in the Spring

I spent the weekend upstate shooting a wedding with Craig Paulson Photography in Woodstock. Was lucky to spend a few days relaxing at his property nearby :) Ultimate peace and relaxation.

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