April is always one of my favorite months: it’s when spring finally kicks into gear, the tulips blooms, and I have plenty of excuses to celebrate. This month was no exception.
Best Of The Month
My birthday was this month! It was a big one, and I wanted it to be special. So I planned a return to the Lycian Way during wildflower season, and then spent my actual birthday surrounded by so many people I love. It made me grateful for all the joys in my life– what an affirming, delightful day.
Worst Of The Month
I love hiking and I love the Lycian, but I do not love my shoes. They caused me problems when I hiked in October– which seemed sort of metaphorically in line with where my head was at– and I assumed it’s because they weren’t fully broken in; now they’re broken in and still causing me blisters upon blisters. I walked nearly 115km in those shoes and my feet were in agony by the end.
It didn’t help that the second-to-last day of the hike ended up being an unexpectedly difficult trek that lasted four hours longer than we’d anticipated, culminating in a scary two hours of hiking through the woods in the dark. We made it, but I felt pretty wrecked afterwards.
What I’m Loving
Music: Of course I’m all about Kendrick Lamar’s new album DAMN. this month. To Pimp A Butterfly was so deliriously dense that I took months to sink deep into it; this album is immediately likeable. My favorite tracks are “DNA,” “Pride,” “Love,” and “Duckworth.”
I also love this song “Cumbia Sobre El Mar” by Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno. I heard it in a bar and it sounded so familiar, but I couldn’t figure out where I knew it from. I still can’t.
Reads: When I visited India in November, my friend Kabir and I spent a lot of time in the Blossoms Bookstore in the center of Bangalore. I came home with more than half a dozen books, including the beautiful novel Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje. Kabir gave it to me as a gift, and what a gift it is– everything about the book, from the prose to the physical delight of the book itself, is a poem.
Movies/TV: I don’t watch very much TV, but I have been a devotee of Girls. I started watching just before the second season aired, the month before I moved to Istanbul– it was one of the things that carried me across the transition from my Boston life to my Istanbul one. I’m sad the show ended this month, but grateful that season six was terrific.
Two movies I’ve been eager to see finally came out in Istanbul. I Am Not Your Negro breezed through as part of a film festival and I caught the one showing in my Kadikoy neighborhood with a group of friends. James Baldwin is incredible and his writing is scarily prescient. The movie makes deliberate parallels between James Baldwin’s time and our own, but the parallel is so natural (and terrifying) that it didn’t feel heavy-handed.
I also saw Get Out, which I’ve had marked in my calendar since it came out in the US. I know I’m about two months behind the cultural moment, but man this movie is SO GOOD. I can’t imagine it will be popular in Turkey, but I’m glad it was such a smash in the states. (Also: FROOT LOOPS OMG)
Podcasts: The Dead Blondes series on You Must Remember This just wrapped up. I was particularly taken with the episode about Barbara Loden, an actress/director I had never heard of but who was so innovative and so COOL.
The Film Files
I got another roll back from my double exposure project with my friend Alison. These images are such a messy thrill; I’m hoping to shoot another roll to hand off to her this summer. I also made a return to shooting with slide film, and the skewed bright results make me want to continue.
My orchid is reblooming! I bought the beauty during a tumultuous September and it’s the first time I’ve ever had an orchid return. It’s so luscious and lovely, I’m a bit obsessed with it. (If you follow my Instagram stories, you probably already know this– I have a bit of an orchid watch that I update there.)
In a few days, I’m flying to Tunisia! I’ll be there for nearly two weeks and I’m looking forward to collecting many stories and exploring a country I’ve wanted to visit for a long time.