Coming Out of Hibernation

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I feel like I’m just starting to peek out from the winter slash pain cave that has been my life since the fall…nothing serious, just distracting and inconvenient enough to make normal activities seem like Too Much Effort. I’ve not edited personal shoots going back all the way to last summer (gah) and have a lot to catch up on and share here! So I’m starting non-chronologically so I can just START!!!

This past weekend (Mother’s Day to be exact, which is not so fun when my baby is a million miles away), a friend and I made the trek to Staten Island. Normally, SI is just a route to *other* places, not a final destination, and all I ever see is the “along the roadside” view, so I was a little apprehensive…but I was *so* pleasantly surprised by our whole day.

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We started out heading for the Alice Austen House, which turned out to be such a hidden treasure. Alice Austen (1866 – 1952) was one of America’s earliest and most prolific female photographers, known best for documentary work. She was also a landscape designer, cyclist, master tennis player, and the first woman on Staten Island to own a car.  She never married but spent fifty years with Gertrude Tate.  She was a rebel who created a charming home for herself at “Clear Comfort,” a Gothic Victorian cottage, atop a hill looking over the water towards downtown Manhattan.

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The house was recently restored and is decorated with intimate garden areas and refreshing breezes off the water on a warm day. It was such a nice way to spend the morning, sitting on the rustic twig bench enjoying the views, meandering around the gardens, touring the house and looking at Austen’s work and words. She made such detailed notes of how she photographed things!

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Hope you enjoy the little glimpse of Alice Austen House and maybe it will inspire you to visit someday. Our afternoon was just as delightful…but that’s for another post!

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