December, January & February’s MPA

Dear Friends,

I hope you are sitting down in a cozy comfortable place because, if this installment of the MPA was a film, it could well be The Lord of the Rings trilogy!

During these last three months I went back to London and Spain to see my family, I came back to the US, visited New York, worked on projects for other people, worked on projects for myself, met lots of animals and spent time with people I love. And even though everything felt a bit like a whirlwind at times, there were also moments of much needed quiet reflection.

So, without further ado, here are December, January & February’s Mobile Phone Adventures.

IMG_1432I was leaving the gym when I saw these people practicing Chinese dragon dances. It was really funny how they moved around pretending to be a cartoon-like animal.

IMG_1489I was working at my desk on Sunday morning, when I turned my head around and saw Zoobie looking at me from the window.

IMG_1506Little panther in the neighbourhood.

IMG_1541It had been 2 years and a half since I last saw my family, so I was excited to go back to Europe. I temporarily said goodbye to Austin.

IMG_1553Sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean, my first stop was London.

IMG_1560I was really happy to see the girls, even though I was a little surprised when I saw Maisie. It was strange because her voice, personality and mannerisms were exactly the same as before, but she looked completely different.

IMG_3247They had a new member in the family and her name was Bambi. Bambi is a rabbit that behaves like a dog, she follows you everywhere and wants to be petted all the time. Of course, I fell in love with her.

IMG_2438Brennan & Bambi.

IMG_1572British Airways lost my suitcase so I was wearing my cousin’s PJs for almost two days. It was actually great in a way because I got to stay home with Esther and we drew comics together for hours.

IMG_1601My suitcase finally arrived and the girls and I decided to spend the day at the West End. We found a secret quiet world behind Oxford St.

IMG_1600Our first stop was the Photographer’s Gallery.

IMG_3246We then went to Ed’s diner to have lunch while the girls explained how to use Snapchat.

IMG_1606Afterwards, we walked for a while and ended up in Chinatown.

IMG_1610I also played a lot of video games with Brennan and we watched cool films together. I will post some photos I took with my ‘real’ camera another time.

IMG_1648And just after three days, it was time to hop on another plane. I looked at the edge of the world while heading towards my hometown.

IMG_3248I would be lying if I didn’t admit that going back to Marbella was tinged by a certain degree of reverse culture shock.

IMG_1681 At first, everything seem very old and everyone looked tired. As I walked through the old part of town I saw this old man walking his old dog and felt very old myself.

IMG_3250I kept on walking to go and meet my dad. I took the same route I used to take as a teenager, but with distance and time, everything had become surprising instead of familiar.

IMG_3251 IMG_3252 IMG_3253 IMG_3254 IMG_3256After seeing my dad and buying some Xmas presents, I walked back home. As I was taking this ‘selfie’ the guys walking down the street started yelling “paparazzi, paparazzi!” at me. I responded with words never meant to be written down!

IMG_3257When I moved to the US it was strange to me that people didn’t just hang out in public spaces to pass time. Americans even have a negative name for it: loitering. So, after all this time, it was comforting to see men bonding over just having time to spare. At the same time, it made me realize that life in the South is a small stage.

IMG_3258Dog waiting for his owner outside a produce store.

IMG_3259Xmas day arrived and so did my nieces!

IMG_1718Lots of food and fun were had.

IMG_3261Andalusian decor & house naming techniques defy conventions.

IMG_3262Andalusian decor, exhibit II (this was the store-front of a shop called “touche”)

IMG_3263I met up with Laura and we walked down the promenade. The sea was so beautiful and calm.

IMG_3265You could see the fish swimming below the pier we were standing on.

IMG_1759bI thought about that Smog song that says “Tonight I’m swimming to my favorite island and I don’t want to see you swimming behind”.

IMG_1778b

IMG_3269My mom’s car. She has had the cat air-freshener for years, I think she keeps it because she knows I love it.

IMG_3270My sister moved to the countryside and we went to visit her. We were greeted by Poppy.

IMG_1902Iris & Poppy showed me around their new domains.

IMG_3271Iris had adopted a rabbit named Lucy. She was more skittish than Bambi.

IMG_3272I love this photo because Iris is so happy with Lucy while Coco (the dog) is just sitting there thinking “possible dinner?”.

IMG_3275I decided to organize all the things I had left in my mom’s house. It took me almost two weeks to go through everything. I found a lot of half-forgotten treasures.

IMG_3268For example, I had forgotten that there was a time when I could use these.

I had also forgotten I had this super 8 camera…

IMG_1780b…and this old polaroid camera. Time travel services were provided by the chemical smell from the incredibly expired film it had inside.

IMG_1864bTeenage kicks.

IMG_3276Laura and I spent a lot of time together. I had seen a dog that I thought was lost/abandoned in my neighbourhood and we unsuccessfully looked for him.

IMG_3277I was so happy to be able to walk everywhere, it seemed like such a luxury. So I walked and walked and walked and visited all my favorite corners.

IMG_1921NYE came. I loved this little shop window because in Spain people believe that it is good luck to wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve.

IMG_1929Broken-foot dalmatian.

IMG_1939On the last day of the year I stayed with my dad. In the afternoon I went for a walk around his neighbourhood. I found a secret park and a giant patch of land that seemed to belong to nobody. I was very happy because I had discovered a place that was completely unknown to me in a town I know so well.

IMG_1965The unknown patch of land.

IMG_1973There were two dogs in the unknown patch of land. One big and one small. The little one was really happy to see me and ran towards me. I like how it looks like he is flying in this photo.

IMG_1975Little dog. The big one tried to bite me after I took this photo. It was a little bit scary but everything was OK in the end.

IMG_1976Moonrise over the unknown patch of land.

IMG_2005I found the perfect patch of dappled light and couldn’t resist posing next to it.

IMG_2006Bougainvillea always reminds me of Andalucia.

IMG_2011NYE came and went. I usually like to go exploring on New Year’s Day, so I decided to go and see if I could find more unknown patches of land around my dad’s house. I saw the pattern that this tree’s roots made under the road and was fascinated by it.

IMG_2013I crossed the highway. And walked for a while…

IMG_2020I ended up here. Sometimes I am walking and I’ll think “what is at the end of this path?” and if the answer is “bodies” (like it was in this case) I know it is time to turn around.

IMG_2022So I chose a different path.

IMG_2033I was trying to find the sea and bumped into this mosque. It was built by a king.

IMG_2075Getting closer…

IMG_2046Ta-da!

IMG_2062I sat on some rocks and watched the waves and my hometown sprawl along the coastline. The sea was completely different than when I had seen it with Laura: it was temperamental and the clouds passing over it made its colors shift constantly. The breeze was cool and I suddenly saw my hometown just for what it was. It was funny to me that I had to go so far away and come back to see that and accept it.

IMG_2079And then I walked back.

IMG_2109Remember that I said that me and Laura were looking for a dog that I thought was lost? Well, this is him. After conducting some investigations, my mom’s neighbour told me his name was “El Turco” (The Turk). She also told me that he walked himself everyday while his owner was at work.

IMG_2114Iris came to stay with me for the weekend. When she got home she just unpacked her bag, got her book and started reading.

IMG_2118We then went for a walk with my mother and we all decided it was a good idea to investigate this abandoned sugar factory…

IMG_2119Mom & Iris.

IMG_2144The place was a little bit spooky and there were signs that people lived there from time to time.

IMG_2134My mom wasn’t scared.

IMG_2090We kept walking and we saw these three puppies in a little country house. Their parents barked while I took this photo.

IMG_2155IMG_2157Our final destination! My mom used to swim here with her friends when she was a teenager.

IMG_2168On our way back we met this cat. Iris told me that she wasn’t allowed to pet unknown cats or dogs. I told her that I would acquaint myself with him first and then introduce him to her so she could pet him.

IMG_2190The next day my mom, Iris and I decided to go and climb a mountain.

IMG_2223 IMG_2224When we arrived at the peak, we met this puppy. We fed her Spanish omelette and then she followed us everywhere.

IMG_2225The view from the top of the mountain. My hometown below, Africa on the other side of the sea.

IMG_2261I went to see my cousin. She gave me some cool Spanish cowboy boots that didn’t fit and I decided that her cat would make a great Puss in Boots. He hates me.

IMG_2264Spanish Baroque.

IMG_2311After working really hard at organizing all my things, this is all that is left of me in my hometown: a pile of boxes as tall as me. It contains all my diaries, drawings, photo prints, mementoes, letters anyone has ever written to me, etc from when I was about 5 until 27.

IMG_2313It was a pain in the neck to get everything in order but I was kind of thankful that I have alway been an emotional pack rat. Because who knew a fake eyelash covered in glitter make up could hold memories?

IMG_2315On the last day in my hometown my mom asked me what I wanted to do and, surprise surprise, I said that I wanted to go for a walk.

IMG_2323Since I miss the seeing the sea so much when I am not here, we decided to walk by the beach. I liked this lone reading man.

IMG_2333Marbella style!

IMG_2331 IMG_2351In the afternoon I had to say goodbye to my dad. We went to take pictures of the sunset together.

IMG_2369 IMG_2390I was pretty sad to leave my family…

IMG_2389Looking at the edge of the world pt II.

IMG_3241I suffered from EXTREME jet-lag the first few days.

IMG_2492But then I felt better and saw this couple on the way to the gym.

IMG_2497Juan and I saw these pizza-stealing raccoons when we came back from seeing Inherent Vice.

IMG_2571I drove from here and there. As I sat at a traffic light, I saw this and thought about how different Austin is from everything else I knew before.

IMG_3240And I was thankful for a quiet Sunday spent in my reading nook.

IMG_2587At the end of the month I decided to got to NYC for a weekend. I had never been there and wanted to spend a few days taking photos and walking everywhere.

IMG_2783After taking the train from Newark to NYC, I came out of the subway station and saw all these incredibly tall buildings surrounding me. There were people walking everywhere, yellow cabs and cars swished by and I was I was completely overwhelmed by the fact that a place like this could exist in real life and I was in the middle of it.

IMG_2622New York baroque.

IMG_2844At the end of my first day there I met up with Jen and she took me to an Alec Soth gallery opening.

IMG_2623Jen teaching me how to be a New Yorker.

IMG_2665When I woke up the next day it was snowing. However, it wasn’t cold enough to stop me taking pictures in my PJs on the rooftop of my Airbnb,

IMG_2846I got ready to go out. I always construct looks based on characters I make up in my head. Here I was going for a 70s NYC art curator.

IMG_2769I took the subway to the Upper West Side. I watched this man thoughtfully writing on his notebook for a while and I was really curious to see what he was noting down. He then got up to get off the train and I saw he had been drawing a cartoon of a smiling girl with giant breasts.

IMG_2770I went to see the Dakota because I love Rosemary’s baby. However, it seemed less foreboding in real life, perhaps because John Lennon fans were taking selfies at the door of the building. I glanced at it quickly and then walked off to Central Park.

IMG_2786I saw a Falcon scoop down from a tree and try to catch a squirrel but it got away.

IMG_2807My favourite part of the park was how all the tall buildings seem to be creeping on the park itself, as if they were trying to conquer it.

IMG_2767Fine-feathered friend.

IMG_2777I walked down 5th Avenue and saw this dog. I was planning to take an epic photo with the buildings towering above him, but as soon I crouched down to get to his level, he ran towards me to say hi.

IMG_2768Super cool mom, with one side of her head shaved.

IMG_27755th ave pooch.

IMG_2776Ribbons for dead men.

IMG_2778IMG_2780IMG_2779My feelings about NYC.

IMG_2781I was incredibly fascinated by the steam situation.

IMG_2782I never thought that I would be interested in photographing buildings but that’s because I had never seen any like the ones in NYC. They were all blocky but each one of them had decorations that made them different from each other. When I saw this one, I immediately wanted to use it as my coat of arms.

IMG_2765Couple taking a selfie in front of the Flatiron.

IMG_2840Couple on 34th St.

IMG_2841A dapper man looking at some trousers he found in a trash can on 3rd Ave.

IMG_2847IMG_2837And then it was time to go back to Austin.

IMG_2924I went straight to work. I sometimes get to art direct commercials and I love it because my car is always filled with the most unusual things.

IMG_2935We shot at a Chinese supermarket and they had live fish to sell on the spot. The fish kept on turning in their tank order to keep an eye on me as I worked. It was a little bit uncanny.

IMG_2949Meanwhile in Austin…

IMG_2948IMG_2973 IMG_3022Valentine’s day.

IMG_3037Valentine’s day haircut.

IMG_3053Working with Chelsea.

IMG_3101I went for a run and everything was frosty.

IMG_3114Queen of the hill at 7am.

4 Comments

  1. te sigo desde que subiste fotos de SXSW y ahora me entero que eres española o medio española!! qué bueno! mira que es una tontería pero me ha hecho gracia.
    ala, feliz lunes.

    • Me imagino la sorpresa! Claro, es que no habia estado en Espana desde antes de ese SXSW. Al menos me alegra descubrir que estas ahi, muchas gracias por seguirme todo este tiempo. :)

  2. TamaraSlavin

    Ay, estos son mis post preferidos, cuanto más largos mejor! ♥

  3. María

    Me uno a Tamara! me flipan estos posts, es como viajar contigo desde aquí.

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