Alexis Narratives
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Alexis Narratives

Name:Alexis

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Maping

This week's assignment was to find a place, map that place, and leave something there. This week, I did not do much exploring out there in the world (philadelphia) but I did do some exploring internally. This class has posed a lot of challenges for me and has lead me to ask questions. As far as challenges go, I have never owned a camera before, nor have I ever thought to document anything visually. I find I am forcing myself to take a picture as opposed to it coming naturally. I have done a lot of travelling in past years and I have very few or even in some cases no pictures to show of it. This is definately a challenge that I am up for. I hope that this experiance will lead me closer to becoming a natural photgrapher.

With that said, my exploring began with the idea of the assignment, to document a journey and leave something behind. I got to thinking about how so many people do leave something behind on this earth. When talking about mobility and mobile devices, today, we as a culture do not know how to tred lightly upon the earth. Instead we are mobile in ways that affect the environment, affect the way we live, and affect others without a sence of knowing. This is my distopia of mobility. If we all carry cellphones, PDAs, Ipods, laptops, text messenging systems, where does this all go when Cingular comes out with the new "must-have" cell phone and Apple introduces, yet again, a newer (and smaller) Ipod. How do our mobile device garbage affect our world in terms of environment, and in terms of being able to move from the extreme idea of consumption that we are in now to a more progressive idea of a better world, a better environment, i.e. biodiesel, alternative ways of transportation, organic food. In a way, these ideas are being very popular as we begin to realise such things as dependence on oil, but what about mobility?
In the latest issue of Utne magazine, this idea is highlighted with such articles as Moving Without Madness, which lists magazines that focus on alternative ways of mobility, ie: www.newmobility.com, Sustainable Transport, and Momentum. Another article which caught my eye was an article entitled, Freedom To Ride, which talks about bicyclist getting arrested in New York city for participating in Critical Mass, "an anarchic bike ride that takes place in some 400 cities worldwide on the last Friday of every month."
I would like to begin thinking of inventions for alternative mobile devises, instead of cell phones, two cups and a strings. Well, maybe not go that far, but how can we be mobile using technology, but still keep an eye out for the environment and move away from the idea of always having to leave our mark and instead be as though we were never there, at least, don't leave an old cell phone behind.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Wild West of West Philly

Before I begin my journey to a public space in Philadelphia, I will try to include pictures to tell my story. I have just begun my digital journey using a camera and photoprinters and I am still learning, I managed to print out photographs, the next step is getting them on my blog.

I started my journey at West Philly's Green Line Cafe with a cup of chai tea. I then wandered over to Clark Park, one of West Philly's most popular parks. It was my first time there and my first observation was that the park was a lot smaller than what I had imagined it to be. Being in an urban park, I was very aware of the time and place. There were only two others relaxing in the park other than me on a beutiful sunny day. There are tall fenses, trollies and trucks rush by, horns blow. It is hard to escape from the city in a 4 block radius. It was 1 pm on a Tuesday afternoon, all 9-5ers are at work unaware what a gorgeous day they were missing. People keep to themselves in the park. A man is sitting at a picnic table working on his lap top, he does not look at his surroundings. I looked around my surroundings and focused in on the trees and plants around me. I took pictures of the texture and patterns of the tree trucks and how the branches formed a canopy over the park. I also took pictures of 2 plants that seemed unusual for a small urban park. One plant was ful green plant with bunches of red berries growing on it. The other plant looked like a palm, quite strange for Philly in January.
I was trying to take a picture of a red belllied small bird when I heard a horse trotting by. I look behind me and two cowboys ride by on horsback bringing the wild west to West Philadelphia.
Two men, one dressed in a fringed sweade jacket and the other in a long black robe, and yes they were wearing cowboy hats. The horses made there marks in the mud and the cowboys got up to a gallop down 42nd street riding off in the sunlight into....downtown??? I don't know where they were going or even where they were coming from, but as they trotted down Baltimore avenue, no one seemed to notice.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

I usually carry more in my bag

I haven't been in school for the last two years so when I started school this week, I needed a new bag to carry all my things in. I usually just throw receipts and papers into my bag, but this bag is more organized, compartmental, which is keeping me very organized. I have an organizer that I mean to use more than I actually do. I usually write everything down twice a month, rather than every day reminders. The wallet I have in my bag I bought in Boise , Idaho last summer. I was there with my boyfriend while he was a wildland firefighter. I had always carried my id, credit cards, and money in a japanese change purse (a ripped Japanese change purse). Most of the time I couldn't even fit everything in. If I had more than five bills, money would be bulging out of the change purse, I couldn't even zip it up. I hate big wallets because I usually never bring a bag with me if I'm going out to a bar or to dinner, and I needed something that was organized, but that was small enough I could fit in a jacket pocket. So this wallet has really been working out, I love the burnt red color of the leather, my bills stay flat, instead of crumpled up in a change purse (which always drives cashiers crazy when you hand them a fist full of crumpled bills). In my wallet there is a check card for First Hawaiian Bank. My boyfriend and I moved to Maui last year. I had never been there before and always wanted to and now I never want to go back. This card reminds me of my time there, some good and some bad. We had a very different experience than most people in Hawaii do, because for half the time I was injured and could not surf, scuba, or go on hikes. I was hit by a car while riding my bike home and I fractured my collar bone and my shoulder and elbow were injured as well. We spent a lot of time watching movies and hanging out at home while I was on pain killers. We left Maui so that I could get better medical help in Philly. But aside from that we were both ready to leave, we lived in a very touristy town where 2-3 cruise ships would come in at one time and we wanted to live in a place that was more stimulating than Lahaina. So we moved to Philly. I am originally from here but I haven't lived here in 5 years. I have two train schedules in my bag. One is for the R5 which is the train that takes me home and the other is for the trolly to west philly which takes me to my boyfriend's house. Eventually I will be moving into West Philly with him. I really like west philly a lot, there are great parks there, a good mix of people and lots of trees. I was nervous about moving back into a city after living out of a city for so long. I defiantely need some sort of vegitation around me to survive. West philly has huge old trees and at the same time is very urban.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

first time blogger

this is a test