I fell in love with photography as a kid, watching my father take pictures with his pintex camera. Trying to capture a memory with one still image is an art I’ve enjoyed to pursue. During the last two years I’ve been fortunate to travel the country, visiting over 30 states and taking countless adventures with an amazing partner. As I look back at these capsuled memories, I want to celebrate my favorite photographic “subject,” my boyfriend Jarrod Agen. Today is his birthday.

We’ve experience countless journeys, incredible adventures, and even some “hopeless quests” and yet, have always enjoyed the ride. We met while working in politics, a lifestyle that can, and will, take over your life. Still, with two feet firmly placed on the ground, we’ve learned to appreciate each an every free moment. In the words of Ferris Bueller : “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” (Jarrod is a big movie buff!) Happy Birthday Jarrod! Thank you TQM!

Here are some of my favorite pictures from our adventures…

New York’s Brooklyn Bridge (above)

Yosemite National Park, California (above)

Zion National Park, UT (above)

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Starting a new chapter in my life, which means I am temporally leaving New York City. I had drinks with friends at a beautiful roof top bar in the Upper West Side as we toasted to life in NYC.

Lincoln Center

On a side note, talking about New York, what is up with Rep. Anthony Wiener?

The New York Congressman says his twitter got “hacked” and sent out a picture of his hooha to a 21- year old co-ed. Here is a full report form Bryan Preston at PJ Media.

Today is Memorial Day… while most of America is shopping, getting ready for BBQ and celebrating the start of the summer to take a moment to remember the true reason for this day – our fallen soldiers.

We decided to spend most of the day on the U.S.S. Intrepid in NYC. Remember, if you have a chance, thank members of our military and veterans for all they have done! It is because of their sacrifices, and those of their fallen soldiers, that we have our freedom.

Thanking a WWII Veteran

If you have never heard of Fleet Week in New York City, you don’t know what you are missing!! Fleet Week, which coincides with Memorial Day, is a tradition of the United States Navy, United States Marine Corps and United States Coast Guard to allow recently deployed military service members some needed R&R in the Big Apple. Right next to the USS Intrepid several military ships dock and anyone can tour the ships for free. SEE EVENTS

As a current New Yorker I have enjoyed meeting and taking my picture with our brave solders. Here are some pictures from Fleet Week.

Fleet Week in the Upper West Side

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Walking through New York City on Tuesday you could hear people talking about the death of Osama Bin Laden. Many had first heard the news that morning, waking up to learn of the U.S. military operation that finally captured and killed the man who orchestrated the 9/11 attacks.

The covers of the local New York papers captured the mood of many in the city. The New York Post read “Got Him! Vengeance At Last! U.S. Nails the Bastard.” The front page of The Daily News’  boldly stated “Rot In Hell.”

Many who visited Ground Zero on Tuesday posted the front pages of these papers on the fence around the construction zone now housing the new World Trade Centers. Flowers, notes, and pictures could be found all around the site once occupied by the Twin Towers. Media outlets covered the entire area reporting live and interviewing some of the thousands of people who walked through honoring the victims of September 11th.

Below are some pictures from New York on Tuesday, May 2, 2011, the day after the death of Osama Bin Laden :

A newly placed flag on fence at St. Paul’s Chapel across the street from Ground Zero list all the names of the people who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.


Several members of the military could be seen around Ground Zero showing their respects to the 9/11 victims and recognizing the sacrifices of their fellow members of the armed forces.

Flowers, candles, notes, flags and pictures began to fill the fence around Ground Zero on Tuesday as New Yorkers honored the thousands who lost their lives almost 10 years ago. Below, the Ground Zero cross, the large steel cross now on display outside St. Peter’s Catholic Church, was found in the rubble of the World Trade Center by a construction workers following the September 11, 2001 attacks. The cross will eventually be relocated to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.


For many the news of the death of Osama Bin Laden came through social media and text messages through their mobile devices. People then turned on their televisions, or logged on to a news media site for more detailed information. This latest event solidified that American have changed how they get their news, and twitter is key.

CNN reported “Bin Laden’s death sets Twitter record” stating that “During President Barack Obama’s address, Twitter users posted messages at an average rate of 3,440 tweets per second.” According to Twitter, at the peak of the online conversation users posted 5,106 tweets per second.

Wall Street Journal highlighted some of the internet conversation – “Reaction To Bin Laden Death Rolls Across the Web.” The messages posted via Twitter, Facebook and various social media outlets were celebratory in nature as Internet users welcomed the news of the death of the mastermind behind the September 11th attacks and al Qaeda.

Social media allows ordinary individuals to become citizen journalists, reporting on events as they happen, many times ahead of the traditional news outlets. As one of the first groups of people at Ground Zero I started sharing the events via social media.

The Wall Street Journal mentioned my foursquare check-in and tweet from Ground Zero as well as the internet use of  hundreds of others occurring that night:

“Using the location-based social network Foursquare, people checked in at Ground Zero in Manhattan and posted photos of the celebration taking place early Monday morning. “At #groundzero large crowd singing “God bless America” and chatting USA. Candles being lit,” wrote one Foursquare user, Republican consultant Bettina Inclan.

At the New York site, where the World Trade Center stood before the attacks, two people standing above the crowd held a large American flag as onlookers snapped photos and uploaded them to Twitter.”

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Like many, I was shocked to hear the news of the death of Osama Bin Laden, the man behind the September 11th attacks on the U.S. Being in New York City made the news even more touching.

Within minutes, my boyfriend and I where making our way downtown to Ground Zero.

On social media, as people shared pieces of news, some wanted to know reactions from NYC. @TeriChristoph asked “How’s NYC reacting? Craziness in Times Square?” I tweeted what I could see as I walked through the streets of NYC on my way to my destination. The city was quite as New Yorkers were still learning the news late on Sunday night. I continued tweeting and Facebooking the images I saw throughout the night. (http://Twitter.com/BettinaInclan)

On the subway platform in route to Ground Zero I could hear a few people calling friends asking for updates as news was still breaking out. They couldn’t believe Osama Bin Laden was dead. It didn’t become real until President Obama gave his speech moments later.

A few hundred people had gathered at Ground Zero (PICTURE). Some came waiving American flags, some were lighting candles, most where cheering “USA” as fire trucks drove by honking in support. Shortly after the crowd erupted in song, singing the American National Anthem.  (MORE: WSJ: Reaction To Bin Laden Death Rolls Across the Web)

Standing by the emptiness, once occupied by two massive twin towers, was a bittersweet feeling. You could tell that everyone sharing in the moment felt the same way, filled with mixed emotions, knowing we were celebrating the end of a saga in American history in the same place it sadly started.

Throughout the night the crowds sang patriotic songs like “God Bless America,” and tributes to the city with “New York, New York.” Many chanted “USA, USA,” “Na na na na, Good Bye,” and “We Got Him.” A young man wearing a shirt saying “I’m Muslim” climbed on some materials and for a while lead the crowd in cheers as he waved a large American flag. It was a joyous eruption of celebration in a place marked by so much sadness. The people came from all walks of life, of all ages, of all faiths, and from all parts of the world, all united to celebrate the news. They came to celebrate being American.

Later in the night, some came with signs “Obama Got Osama”  and “Obama 1, Osama 0.” Two guys climbed up a light post with the home-made sign, leading the growing crowd, now a few thousand, with the chant “Obama Got Osama,” which later led in to “Yes we did.”

The most touching moment of the night came when the crowd observed a minute of silence, Thousands of people became silent as they honored the victims of September 11th. As we stood next to their final resting place, many raised their hands, some making the #1 sign with their fingers. (Twitpic as it happened from @JarrodAgen)

The moments after continued with songs, cheers, chants and with some people opening bottles of champagne and spraying the crowd.

It was a powerful experience being at Ground Zero. Once again, we were all Americans, we were all New Yorkers … Here are a few more picture in hopes you can share in what we saw and felt last night.

All in all, today is a good day for America!



MORE PICTURES AND VIDEOS AFTER THE JUMP 

Today, I will be attending the 3rd Annual iConomy Expo. The event is presented by LatinTrends Magazine, a bilingual/bicultural Hispanic magazine. The conference includes a series of panel discussions on such topics like entrepreneurship, social media, technology, effective networking, education, and politics and policy impacting the Latino community.

Learn more here: http://www.iconomyny.com/

If you are in New York and attending the conference let me know…