natalie kucken

september smoke

i thought the most beautiful thing in the world must
be the shadow, the million moving shapes and cul-de-sacs of shadow.
there was a shadow in bureau drawers and closets and suitcases, 
and shadow under houses and trees and stones, 
and shadow at the back of people's eyes and smile, and shadow,
miles and miles and miles of it, 
on the night side of the earth.
        ..sylvia plath

away (two)

you can see my first post about this here. i want to put these things up for mostly myself, because all of the days turned seamless after a while, because i was experiencing more than i could remember or filter or sort, becasue i need to find a small way to keep some parts remembered, through words and photographs. i stayed in a balloon and airmattress filled apartment halfway between the hudson river and central park. i ate mostly strawberries and spent my mornings and days and nights in the streets, i would get on a train and get off on a whim, walk for hours and then do it all over again. i watched and followed and fell in love with so many strangers. i went to a bon iver concert for the second time, so close to the stage that i could see all of the faces on stage in detail and it was even harder to keep my crying silent. i snuck in after the show through the back to the empty theatre and got kicked out. i stayed in east village, where you could hear people shouting from the street outside all through the night and the blocks were filled with exciting things. what seemed like dozens of poeple lived in the one apartment,  the ceilings were twelve feet tall and there were things everywhere in piles because young people have a habit of never putting anything neatly in a certain place. i slept curled up in a little messy cave and had photo parties every night. i fell in love with williamsburg draped in gloomy light and spent time with new people and shot agency models every day. i stayed in an apartment with a neon fish tank in the lobby and where you could see ellis island from the 11th floor blacony, where my dreams were sunny because the windows let in so much watery light in the morning. i stayed across from van cortland park, where i had my own room that overlooked the endless trees and bronx skyline side by side.  i would take long walks on the nature trails and also in the city to new and unlonely events. i visited my friends going to art colleges, even though i'm not going to go to college i pretended that i was a student in my mind, especially on the pratt campus that was just like a film. the hurricane irene frenzy happened, i was so excited about the havok and thought of empty flooded streets when everyone else was scared. the night leading up to it everyone was walking around with plastic grocery bags and with a bit more speed in their step. the evening it was supposed to hit we had a refugee sort of party, a cooked meal and boardgames by candlelight, i can't remember a night where i laughed harder. a chelsea photostudio party with models everywhere and a perfect dj mix of music. the west village at sunset when everyone is traveling around on their bikes and the upper west side in the early morning when people are opening the blinds to uncover their plant-filled windowsills overlooking central park or tree-lined streets. drinking cafe coffee and cooking cheap noodles every day. all of the lives i interupted and took pieces of i've collected, i'm addicted to experiencing other lives, i want to live every life there is but i'm only with one. so i need to see as much as i can and never grow up in a way, to make up for it i suppose.

rachel thalia and a blue-suited stranger we met running through the washington square park fountain
from a free korean food festival in central park sandy and i fantastically stumbled upon one day
dale rothenberg wandering through the beautiful library at pratt, the ceiling and floors are glass and the whole place smells of old books
sandy honig photographing a stranger girl in central park, i became so close to her when i lived with her
metin fejzula in a magic store of interesting things we found in soho
tara violet photographing nika de carlo in prospect park
a little girl and a punk rock maybe mother woman walking through the upper west side at 9am, both of them were crying
fairytale central park
tara violet looking through a crystal in a cafe with jordan tiberio and i, she tells the most inspiring stories
tara and i in a vintage shop in williamsburg
anna szczekutowicz cutting her ice cream cake, her, sandy and i had a birthday slumber party 
photographers emma lauren and rachel thalia, model alecta and makeup artist gayle  in an in-between moment on our beautiful shoot
orthodox children in a park in brooklyn
half of the view from my bronx window
on my last morning heading into the city this family dressed in half safari half preschool clothing sat across from me, they all had instrument cases, the mother was reading travel booklets outloud to the boy and the father and wide-eyed girl played twenty questions during the entire hour-long train ride
jordan tiberio looking through photos in a trippy food market thing we found while wandering
an angry kitty behind a west village flowery window
sisters in washington square park
hurricane party dinner with emma, chad, ivanna, and ines
a stranger boy outside the window of a cafe who i sort of  fell in love with while drinking fairytale tea with tara
running dusk children
a sleepy valley village on the bus ride back