Strawberry cake, a birthday party with family, red roses, gifts from Charleston, a visit from TJ, coffee with a lifelong friend, Chez Fon Fon for dinner, and a brand new Addison Story dress: all of those things were part of the day that rang in my 21st year!
PLAY // Heaven by Bitter:Sweet
Last week at Billy Reid we had the privilege of shooting Quinta Witzel (pictured here in front of the historic Shoals Theatre) for the web! She is an incredibly talented model, and she made styling super easy. After the shoot we had some down time and got to explore a little bit of Florence. We drank Italian creme sodas from Rivertown (they were so amazing that I promise you we must have discussed them for a good ten minutes), tried on $5.00 jeans at the general store, and purchased blouses at salvation army! Southern hospitality, I’d say.
I know I am about to have a good time if it involves a night out with this fine lady at Chez Fon Fon, and last week was no exception! Our hour long wait paled in comparison to the decadent meal of fresh ingredients and one of my favorite desserts in town: chocolate caramel-nut tart. Frank Stitt is a genius. Oh yeah, and the conversation wasn’t too bad either… We stayed at our table for hours and I’m sure that the waiter (and the people waiting) wanted to kick us out long before we said our final adieus.
I also love how they often play James Brown remixes at Chez…
I heart Birmingham. And summer. Which I think I’ve made pretty obvious by now. Well, I’m off to Nashville for the weekend to celebrate TJ’s birthday and attend a wedding!
I present to you the charming Hilary Borden in the Neil House at Casey Jones Village…so many more images to come and a behind the scenes video of the shoot!
PLAY // “Lover Man” by Billie Holiday
Wednesday night I sat in my little room looking at cotton candy pink roses (that my loved one, TJ, gave me) as if they were TV. Lately, not too many things can make me happier than roses (I’m sure you’ve picked up on that…way too much flower talk). I looked over at them so many times as I was reading Four Spirits, waiting to go downstairs for shelter. The rain and the storms have come and gone though, and sunshine thankfully followed…giving us just enough time to have a dinner of arugula and tomato pizza outdoors…which was followed by 31 cent ice cream scoops at Baskin-Robbins.
Last night I might have just loved Jackson, Tennessee.
Weekends are never long enough, are they?
Once again, I encountered a beautiful vase of flowers waiting for me on my counter when I arrived home. This time they were orange sherbet colored roses that my mom bought for fifty cents. At home, we ate well (Primavera, Continental Bakery, Surin, Chez Lu Lu, Flip Burger, and as my mom says: “Chez Ott”), celebrated much (Easter!), walked (on scenic Red Mountain, winding around English Village, passing the glass house), read often (a novel, “Four Spirits” for class… about Birmingham), shopped a bit, and traveled to Oneonta. My dad gave my car a makeover and we went to the “Library in the Forest.”
Prepare thyself for the cutest child in the world playing jazz… my my my.
Until the end of this semester, I will fantasize about my upcoming trip to High Hamptons, one of my favorite places ever. And to make this Monday a decent one, I’m sipping a Chai latte and listening to Ray Charles! Thank you, TJ Hester for treatin’ me so nice and buying me drinks.
I absolutely adore this grocery store/market/cafe…in part because they play the greatest jazz music. It is one of my favorite places in Birmingham. When I think of home I think of V. Richards. So many happy memories there mix themselves into one great ideal: cherry bon bons, spring days, Magic City Blend coffee, time with dear friends, breakfasts, and extra long conversations.
I miss Birmingham!
TUNES: “Rome” by Phoenix. I love this band so muchhhhh.
Everything is sand colored. The streets are teeming with cars and buses. Male only cafes are the norm. There are men delivering tea and smoking sheesha on almost every corner.
I MISS CAIRO. Can you tell? I miss its craziness…how my head hurt after riding around in the smoggy traffic for too long…how sometimes I couldn’t sleep because it was too loud…how I saw photographs everywhere…how I didn’t understand anything anyone was saying around me besides thank you (“shokran”)…
I am sure some of those Cairo quirks are things that would totally overwhelm me after a certain amount of time, but for now, they will always remind me of an absolutely delightful couple of weeks. After leaving a place, you can dream about it, and your adoration for the location can only grow from there. At least that is how it almost always works for me.
Only one more post after this packed full of Cairo/Rollei 35s/Dispobable love!
P.S. Now you can look AND LISTEN! Hopefully the tunes well help to you get in the mood…of course each post has a mood. First try: Wide Eyes by Local Natives… TJ put it on my “Abby goes to Cairo” playlist!
Every semester the photojournalism students take a trip to meet with various photographers, and I have to say this was definitely one of our best day trips! We met with Brett Warren at CMT and he gave us the grand tour.
When we finally sat down for a little Q&A, he further explained about his internship with ANNIE LEIBOVITZ. Yes, you heard me, ANNIE LEIBOVITZ. He has shared a cookie with her. He has assisted her multiple times. I. CANNOT. IMAGINE.
Brett is an incredible photographer, (look at his personal work here and on flickr) and I would not doubt it if he were the next Annie. He makes props…designs costumes and sets…and creates absolutely rich photos. He said he likes to layer it on as much as possible! Believe it or not, Brett uses Photoshop very little…mainly to adjust color, “to tell more about the people in the photos.”
[Here are some of his sketches for an upcoming shoot!!]
[rocketown is where we went to view some of his work]
What an amazing an inspiring trip!
… I had breakfast at Waffle House (yumm) before leaving Tennessee, and our waitress was the sweetest. She always brings warmth and kindness to the place. And she is so beautiful! She did not mind me taking her photo one bit, which is always a joy.