Tickets please 
Thursday, December 14, 2006, 18:24 - Travel, Project News
New York City

Well, itís official, Iím outta here. I finally bought my ticket to Stuttgart and will be leaving on January 7th. I know itís hard but donít cry, Iíll most likely be back in September. But in the meantime I am encouraging everyone I know to get a headset or a webcam with mic so we can chat online using Skype or one of the dozens of other messaging like AIM or Yahoo! My spanking new laptop has a built-in webcam so I am all set, but how about you?

The closer I get to leaving, the more anxious I get. Iíve done this before, for even longer so it is not simply the fear of the unknown, though that is part of it. I will miss my friends and family that I will leave behind since I will be spending the vast majority of the next few years in Europe. But I am someone who thrives on familiarity, as much as I enjoy exploring. For me itís the little things, trying to find the right bus, figuring out a menu in a foreign language that make me edgy.

At the same time I know that I will be meeting lots of new and interesting people and making the kinds of images that I dream about. For at least six months I would have to worry about rent, or chasing down a check, a dream in and of itself. And because of that I am just as anxious to leave and finally get started. I imagine that the next six months will fly by so I will try to enjoy it as much as I can.

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The Road Home... 
Wednesday, October 4, 2006, 18:30 - Travel, Shooting, Personal
Aboard SwissAir flt 14 to JFK

I'm finally headed back to New York! Often short trips where you try to pack everything into a few days are more draining than a long one when you can take your time. While I did not manage to get to see nearly all of Berlin, I did get to do some shooting and I have some story ideas I do want to follow up on when I return to Germany next year.

As much as I would like to do one more trip to Europe before January I think my time, not to mention resources, would be better spent learning some German and otherwise preparing for next year, after all I don't know when I will be getting back to New York.

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Another Brick in the Wall 
Sunday, October 1, 2006, 21:36 - Travel, Shooting, Personal, Commentary
Berlin



The Wall via camera phone

Here I am sitting on part of what's left of the Berlin wall thinking that's it's hard to imagine a more historic change than that one. But in many ways the slow transformation that Germany and the rest of Europe is going through is just as profound. Sitting here just gives me a little perspective on the history that I have been witness to in my short life and how much more I have to look forward to.


A mural of American Mumia Abu Jamal

Don't worry, I haven't spent the whole day thinking so hard. Earlier I went to three of Berlin's flea markets and picked up some gift as well as some great old postcards which you might be receiving if you're lucky! Tomorrow I think I will tour more of scenic Berlin and maybe some museums if they aren't all closed on Monday....

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Walking Around Berlin 
Sunday, October 1, 2006, 00:15 - Travel
Berlin

I finally had a chance to catch up on my sleep and nearly spent the whole day in bed! When I finally did get my act together I decided to walk downtown instead of taking the train and had a nice stroll along Karl Marx Allee, which was a real kick! The huge Soviet era building now all have lovely clean facades and the wide avenues made for good strolling. I managed to buy a sim card for my phone and a small map, something I should have done back home but for some reason I didn't.

Right now I am going to meet a friend of a friend who lives here and get oriented and maybe some tips for a good night out...

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The Party's Over... 
Friday, September 29, 2006, 21:23 - Travel, Personal
Cologne airport en route to Berlin

Well Photokina is over, at least for me. I had a great time though the Kodak folks and the other photogs kept me up pretty late. Saturday is Audrey's birthday so we all went out for dinner and then sang karaoke! She works hard all year at Kodak fighting the good fight so we can still use film so it was nice for us get to have a chance to show our appreciation.



I am looking forward to the next few days in Berlin. I don't have anything planned so I think I will just wander the streets and take some pictures. Maybe I will go out this weekend, who knows?

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Photokina Day 1 
Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 19:22 - Travel, Personal, Project News
Cologne




Well here I am at Photokina and I have to say that I am amazed. The Kodak booth. If you can call 30,000 sq. Feet a booth. It was something else to see my photos up on the walls here at the show. Who would have though that a young boy from Brooklyn could do so well?


My photos!

The show here is spread out over ten buildings so I am looking forward to doing some more exploring today and tomorrow. But just seeing my work on display in the company of so many other great photographers has made this trip a success for me already.


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En Route... 
Tuesday, September 26, 2006, 18:40 - Travel, Personal
En route to Cologne from Berlin

I haven't sleep in 20 hours and I have been on three different planes today. Good thing I am luckily enough to be staying at a nice chain hotel that Kodak is putting me up at. I am ready for a shower but no sleep since tonight is the Kodak press reception. I get to see what happens when you mix schmoozing with sleep depravation. Stay tuned!

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At the Airport.. 
Tuesday, September 26, 2006, 13:19 - Travel
Zurich

Just hanging out waiting for my flight to Berlin where I hop on another flight to Cologne. Don't let anyone tell you that being a globetrotting photog isn't fun!

This is my first time to this airport and it is pretty nice. I spent a fair amount of time browsing through the whiskey at the duty free, maybe I will pick something up when I head back, assuming I have any money left.

Are we there yet?


Airports are for lovers...
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Passport 
Tuesday, September 26, 2006, 00:03 - Travel, Personal
Well we finally got in the air if you can believe it, I know I can't. I was just flipping through my passport, something that I always do when flying. This very well may be the last trip I take with it since it expires next March and that means I will have to get a new one before the end of the year.

While I am not sentimental about most things, this passport has seen me through some pretty dramatic changes. I got it nearly ten years ago during my first year in college. Now I am a globe trotting photojournalist working on a long term project.

I look at my visa pages, especially the ones from my time in Indonesia with fondness, I do regret I never got back to Jordan to use the 5 year visa I had. Rwanda, Haiti, Singapore, Tanzania are all in that little book along with many more. Part of me will fell naked with a new book with no stamps but then I think about all the fun I will have filling it up over the next ten years and I smile. Who knows where my life will be at that point?

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Fifteen Minutes Later.... 
Monday, September 25, 2006, 22:48 - Travel, Commentary
Who knew just how long it would be! Here we are still waiting to take off. Why is it that I never get upgraded or seated next to some beautiful young woman just out of reform school? I suppose I should be thankful that I am not living 100 years ago and sailing across the Atlantic but still this economy travel gets a little tedious. What does it take for a brother to get an upgrade!!!
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Off to Germany! 
Monday, September 25, 2006, 22:31 - Travel, Project News
Aboard Swissair 17

Well here I am hunting and pecking away on a tiny screen and keyboard. A few days ago I discovered that my laptop died, maybe it knew that I was planning on replacing it. In any event here I am working on this nice little PDA/Phone complete with a version of Microsoft word. Sure it's slow but until I get a new laptop or someone checks out my wish list it will have to do.

Wow, that took about 7 minutes to write. This is going to be a long trip...

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Back in action! 
Sunday, August 27, 2006, 00:00 - Travel, Personal, Project News
New York City

Well since I last wrote I have been to New Orleans for the first Mardi Gras since Hurricane Katrina; to the Marine training base at Parris Island, SC; and to Tanzania on a United Nations fellowship. I spent much of the summer building this fine website you have here and taking a breather.


A young girl in Tanzania. ©Damaso Reyes

What I havenít been doing is shooting in Europe, something I plan on correcting next month as I travel to Germany first for Photokina, the huge trade show where Kodak is using some of my images in their booth, and then to shoot in Berlin for the month of October. It will be a great chance to get a taste of Germany before I head there in January for my six month fellowship at Academie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart.

I am really looking forward to getting back out on the road and to working on this little project of mine.

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Home again, home again... 
Tuesday, November 15, 2005, 01:33 - Travel, Shooting, Project News
Barcelona, Spain

Well today was my last full day in town and I decided to spend it once again wandering about. I took the tram across the harbor and had lunch near the beach. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and I am hoping that I can make it back soon.


Barcelona from the air. ©Damaso Reyes

Now it is time to focus on heading back to New York. I will be working on processing this film and printing for a upcoming group show at E3 Gallery. I got a sponsored artist fellowship and get to use the darkroom which will be invaluable to dealing with the dozens and dozens of rolls of film that I have shot over the past weeks.

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Bright lights, big city 
Tuesday, November 8, 2005, 22:10 - Travel, Shooting
Barcelona, Spain

It took me some time to get it together enough to catch the bus into town but it was certainly worth the wait. Before finally heading into Barcelona, I managed to take a trip up Montserrat and visit the famous monastery and shrine to the Black Madonna, which was very impressive.


The enrance to the church of our Lady of Montserrat. ©Damaso Reyes

I have spent the day wandering around Barcelona, tourist map in hand. I visited one of the larger food markets, which provided a number of interesting images . I also ďfoundĒ one of the cityís many Irish pubs and had a nice, thick Guinness. The vibe here is a good one, in many ways Barcelona reminds me of New York. Perhaps this will become my base of operations once I am here in Europe full time?


A nice, thick Guinness. ©Damaso Reyes


A vendor at a food market. ©Damaso Reyes


Fancy some fresh mushrooms? ©Damaso Reyes
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Back to Bondsteel 
Tuesday, October 11, 2005, 00:16 - Travel
New York City

Well it has been an slow but productive summer. Youíll be glad to know that I processed my film and got some pretty good results which you can see in the photos section of the website here. I am on my way back to Kosovo for another three weeks of fun with KFOR, if that isnít an oxymoron. I am looking forward to my time there and to follow up on some stories that I began working on the last time I was there. After that I will be doing a two week artist in residency stint at Can Serrat, just outside of Barcelona which should be nice and relaxing!

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