Wednesday, February 22, 2012


After Austin I backtracked through Texas and visited my aunt and cousins in Spring, Texas, a suburb of Houston. It was awesome to see my cousins for the first time in 8 years or so, they're so grown up and just fantastic kids.

My aunt and I have a great mutual love for thrifting, so we spent a whole bunch of time hitting Salvay's and random thrift stores in Spring. I ended up with some pretty great swag, including a Texas tee shirt, some southwesty-type jewelry and a dope leather purse.

Cupcakes were definitely in order, so my cousins Alex and Adam and I went to the cupcake place and ordered some, and when I tried to take some photos (as is my standard M.O. when it comes to cupcake places) the guy behind the counter admonished me not to photograph them... leading to the joke of the visit "please don't photograph the cupcakes."

My cousins also have a ton of awesome animals, including 3 awesome Chihuahua pups, a rat and loads of fishies. My aunt is super proud (and rightly so!) of her garden, pond and hydroponic green house, and it was great to see how crafty and creative she is.

I used Aunt Sue's fisheye to take these slow-shutter shots of the backyard, the greenhouse, and a sleepy Alex and 2 of 3 puppies.

On my last night in Spring my aunt busted out a box full of family photos and we had a pow-wow about the Mahoney family history. It was a nice way to end the stay with my family.

The next morning I had to part (sadly) with my family and my snuggle bug Banjo when my aunt drove me to Houston, where I got the chance to explore some art gallery's in the area around St. Thomas University, including Mark Rothko's chapel. The Rothko Chapel is a non-denominational space for meditation, silence and prayer, a pentagonal building with massive Rothko paintings on each wall and benches to sit in front of the works. Rothko's paintings are a celebration of the vibrancy of color, and these immense seemingly black canvases beg the viewer to get close and really soak in the subtle shifts in deep, deep indigo and violets that actually comprise the pigments.

Outside of the awe-inspiring Rothko Chapel is a beautiful reflecting pool with a hard edged geometric bronze sculpture that dominates the tree-lined space.

After the Rothko I stumbled upon the Byzantine Fresco Chapel, where I learned of the existence of the Cy Twombly gallery, the Dan Flavin Gallery and the Menil Collection. Heaven. It was in the Cy Twombly gallery that I met Jill, a super cool freelance photographer who asked me to stand in front of some of the artworks to give them scale for a flight-magazine shoot she was doing. We ended up chatting for a bit and visiting the Dan Flavin gallery together, where she shot a couple more photos with me in the Flavin's signature florescent lights.

I decided to put the kaibosh on plans to check out the Zoo with the family I used to nanny for, who had since moved to Houston and whom I wanted to visit with. Instead, the family came to me and we explored the area around the museums, climbed trees, visited the Menil Collection, and "baby" Paul even admonished a group of 20-somethings about smoking... which was hilarious if slightly awkward. It was a great treat to meet the newest member of the family, as well, who is a perfect combination of her older brother and sister.

It was hard parting with the family again, especially with Paul telling me I should stay and be his nanny again. I miss him like crazy! I can't believe how big he is, and so smart! Just like his big sister (and mom and dad!) But alas, it was time to move on to Tucson.

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