Strangers Holding Hands (or What to Do When Happy Hour Isn’t Enough)

If you have a friend who you know loves meeting new people, a ‘yes’ person, a friend who will disregard decorum for a good story, and if this friend is meeting you for a Thursday afternoon happy hour, then I suggest you scrap your bar chatting plans for something else entirely. My friend, Kady Hexum, is easily one of the most outgoing people on the planet. And earlier this summer I suggested that we change our happy hour plans and meet near a park. There we would introduce ourselves to strangers so that I could take pictures of her holding…

A Portrait of a Woman Having Tea

I wrote this in the spring of 2009 while I was living and working in Kolkata, India, a few months before leaving for Peace Corps. I reread it recently and wanted to share it here. ______________________________ On a muggy, still, Tuesday morning, Mangal and I walked through a Kolkata slum called Boro Ghati. We met a woman; her image is still with me. She sat in a chai stall off the side of the road. The little hut was all woven and collected. Its structure was a tight bunch of crude tethers and brittle strips of bamboo. The dinted tin…