If I Can Make It There…

When I was thinking about leaving Oakland in 2004, the only places I could see myself living were Taos and New York City.

When I told this to people they always responded with some version of, How interesting, because those two places are nothing alike! Also, have you quit taking your medication?

At the time I wasn’t ready for another big city, so Taos it was. But where others see difference, I see similarity, and the main one is that both Taos and New York embrace the iconoclast. I don’t know that I qualify for iconoclast status, but I’ve definitely never followed the conventional path and am only comfortable living somewhere that values that.

I lived in New York for two years after I moved to Taos, and I have regrets about leaving in 2010. Nothing feeds me like NYC and though I truly love Taos, and will probably always live here at least part-time, Taos is starting to feel a little small to me. We’ll see how it unfolds.

Meanwhile, I get back to see friends and soak up that awesome New York energy as often as I can. I was there twice this summer, because flights are cheap out of Albuquerque, and I have friends to stay with so it’s not expensive to visit. (As we know, I’m someone who regularly stays overnight in Walmart parking lots when I’m on the road, so not expensive makes me happy.)

The city didn’t disappoint. There was the requisite celebrity sighting (Leo DiCaprio in a ball cap and shorts, on his phone downtown. “Hey, buddy, are you getting on a plane?”). Walking everywhere, including up and down the High Line. Fabulous photography exhibits at the new Whitney, the Met Breuer, the MOMA, and Chelsea galleries. Seeing The Total Bent at the Public and being totally bowled over by the amount of talent onstage. Real bagels, not the rolls-masquerading-as-bagels kind. Jazz in the Village. Vegan food everywhere.

And, National Parks! The African Burial Ground, Tenement Museum, Federal Hall, and the Fire Island National Seashore. None of which I managed to get photos of (the first three aren’t terribly photogenic), but I did get some.

If I Can Make It There...

My favorite time of day is dusk, and there’s something wonderful about walking the streets just as the lights are coming on.

If I Can Make It There...

And I’m always interested in capturing line and color.

If I Can Make It There...

Architecture is always a favorite to photograph. This is the One World Trade Center building, on the site of the 9/11 attacks. 104 stories tall.

If I Can Make It There...

A different take on city architecture.

If I Can Make It There...

It wouldn’t be a proper New York visit without some impromptu banner twirling.

If I Can Make It There...

Or performance art. These folks stood in one position for awhile – 10 minutes? – then shifted positions and held that one for another 10 minutes or so. I was there for almost an hour, and they were still at it when I left.

If I Can Make It There...

And a glass carousel! Because, of course.

If I Can Make It There...

Every town should have one, don’t you think?

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  1. kevin allison September 27, 2016 at 4:21 pm #


    Love the city photographs. They explode well for my brain. Like the parking lot saver too. I do the same thing!
    Could never live in NYC but a visit is nice!

    • deonne September 27, 2016 at 4:36 pm #

      Kevin – Glad I could blow your mind today, ha. When I move back you’ll have a couch to crash on. πŸ™‚

  2. Susan Embry September 27, 2016 at 5:14 pm #

    Ditto what Kevin said about living there, but you sure know how to bring out the best in this city through your work Deonne!

    • deonne September 27, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

      Susan – Thanks so much!

  3. Stephanie September 27, 2016 at 9:48 pm #

    Stunning photos–you have such a good eye. I’ve been a New Yorker and a Taosena too! Could you explain the Walmart camping thing to me? I’ve wondered about that for a while…

    • deonne September 28, 2016 at 7:41 am #

      Stephanie – Thanks for the kind words! I forgot that NY/Taos connection with you – there are a bunch of us, I think. It’s not really Walmart camping, it’s just that many of the stores allow you to park overnight for free. So if I’m on my way somewhere and only need to stop and sleep for the night, I’ll tuck in (usually by the auto center, where it’s quieter) and then hit the road again in the morning. Does that make sense?

  4. Manisha September 28, 2016 at 7:51 am #

    I was plotting with a friend to get ourselves to new mexico and hopefully a chance to meet up with you, but now I’ll just have to do that in NYC. What will you do with the scamp? With your eye for images, NYC seems the perfect place for you, but then I could probably say that for anywhere when it comes to you!
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    • deonne September 28, 2016 at 8:01 am #

      Manisha – Come to New Mexico! My plan to get back to New York will take some time, and I do plan to still live in Taos at least part-time, so my vehicles can live here, ha. And thanks for the kind words about my photography. They mean a lot.

      • John Dwyer October 1, 2016 at 12:08 pm #


        Great photos! They capture the majesty and the energy of New York.

        Know the feeling- Taos vs NYC. Live in a town similar to Taos except near the water. Heading to Manhattan in mid-December to attend to some work and energization (Is that a word?)

        • deonne October 1, 2016 at 3:37 pm #

          John – Thank you! It sounds like we’re kindred spirits. Work and energization (let’s make it a word right now, ha) in NYC sounds perfect. Enjoy. I’m hoping to get back early next year, and it’s never soon enough. πŸ™‚

  5. Donna October 3, 2016 at 10:43 am #

    Just bring a tent to camp out in the mountains and on the beaches — even in a sunken forest! All in NY! Beautiful pics of the city . . .but sounds like many more to come.

    • deonne October 3, 2016 at 11:00 am #

      Donna – Good reminder that NY isn’t just about the metropolis! Thanks for the kind words, and yes, I need to spend more time there starting next year. πŸ™‚

  6. Sherry in MT October 5, 2016 at 8:36 am #

    I am so glad I have a friend who loves NY and sends pictures, since it is not my bag but I so enjoy the diversity!
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    • deonne October 5, 2016 at 9:22 am #

      Sherry – Nice! I know the readers expect nature images from me, but I’m a Gemini, so it’s practically expected that I’d love two different kinds of landscape. πŸ™‚

  7. Jeff October 5, 2016 at 10:08 pm #

    I lived in Taos for 9 yrs, and just outside NYC for the last three. I often went in to the city for work, to explore, or for events. I would have lived in the city if I could have. It has such an energy and diversity in its people and places. Always something new to be discovered. I miss it sometimes, but I couldn’t stay. I enjoyed your piece, and the great photos.

    • deonne October 6, 2016 at 8:23 am #

      Jeff – Glad the post resonated with you. We feel the same about the city, and though I had to leave at the time, too, I’m going to figure out a way to spend more time there, starting next year. It seems vital somehow. I’ll keep you posted. πŸ™‚

  8. Catherine October 6, 2016 at 1:04 pm #

    Sounds like you will be moving soon to me if I read between the lines. I lived in NYC for a while, as well as Long Island and hike commuting. At that juncture in my life, my time there was, ‘ the best of times and the worst of times’ , so I have mixed feelings. I loved bed the intensity, hated the filth and how dirty I felt all the time. I loved the visual stimulation, longed for quiet and space. Loved being surrounded by creativity everywhere, hated the rat race to be constantly hipper than hip. And so it was with New York and me. Nature and small town living with easy going people won out… but oh how I love to visit!!
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    • deonne October 6, 2016 at 8:26 pm #

      Catherine – I don’t know that I’ll be moving, since I really do love my home in Taos and my friends here. But I am hoping to spend more time in New York, so I need to work out how. And then you’ll have another friend to visit there. πŸ™‚

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