The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

I’ve been a bit MIA from Tumblr lately. I’ve found myself not checking it as often as I used to. A big part of that can be the fact that my computer broke and mobile Tumblr just isn’t as fun. However, I’m trying to get back into my Tumblr groove. 

So how have you all been? Lots of things have been happening here. Mostly that it’s summer and I’ve been exploring my new neighborhood, the East Village. I’m no longer a resident of the UES. But before I share with you all my East Village findings, I’d like to share some more photos of my trip to Abu Dhabi back in May. Here are some of the shots of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque that we visited on our tour bus of the region. It was amazing. I’d never seen anything so beautiful. Oh, and in case you aren’t up on your pop culture (I sure wasn’t at the time), this is where Rihanna got into a bit of trouble.


The tips of the domes are all solid gold and the floor is white marble so that if you were to walk barefoot on it, it would always be cool to the touch. Seriously, it was nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit out and the marble was not even warm. 


These columns are only gold-plated, but the the flowers on them are all made from semi-precious stones, like amethyst and turquoise. 


The Mosque’s prayer clock made from Swarovski crystals that tell you when the sun is in the right position to pray.


Inside the Mosque’s prayer room where it is completely air-conditioned and can fit 40,000 worshippers. The chandeliers are also made entirely of Swarovski crystals and the carpet was made by hand in Iran. It is considered the largest carpet in the world at over 60,000 sq. ft.


Look at that amazing detail! 


And lastly, here I am with our tour guide covered head-to-toe, as is required for women entering the Mosque. Our tour guide was one of the best I’ve ever had. He said some really beautiful things about his personal beliefs in Islam, as well as explained to us the differences in style for kanduras (the white robe you seem him in) between the Arabic regions. He had lived in New York for seven years previously and loved telling us about his time there. He was also very patient with us and our somewhat ignorant questions. If you look behind me to the right, you can see the Minbar, the pulpit used by the imam to deliver the Friday message. It is made of carved cedar wood that is adorned with inlays of mother of pearl, glass, mosaic and while gold. So beautiful.


Overall, the Mosque, and Abu Dhabi in general, was a very eye-opening experience for me. I feel like I have a deeper understanding of Islam and of Arabic culture. I had never visited an Arabic country before and even though the UAE is one of the more liberal areas of the region, it is very traditional and proud of its culture. I would go back in a heart beat to explore more of the area.

Views from the Park Hyatt Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

If you guys recall, at the beginning of the month I went to Abu Dhabi for work. The experience was once in a million. The Institute I was working with graciously put us up at a 5-star hotel with amazing views. The weather was beautiful (albeit very hot at 100 F most days), the pools immaculate, the ocean crystal clear and the city itself was much more progressive than I would have thought. It was a lot of work, but I’m glad I ended going on this trip. I’d love to go back. Abu Dhabi is very modern and new city that reminded me a lot of my hometown Miami. Any you guys ever been?



So this is pretty much not the way to work with anyone.

I have taken photos of people performing, and you know what they do when they want to use the image? They ask me for it. Being on stage doesn’t somehow put you above asking.

I photographed Melanie Martinez back in February, and when she wanted to use a shot for her instagram, you know what she did? She asked me if I could email her the shots from that night, and when she posted it here, she made sure I was properly credited. It’s not hard, guys.

As someone who frequently photographs public events, this is disgusting and a gross infringement. It’s annoying when it happens on Tumblr, but absolutely unacceptable when a band treats a photographer this way. At least we can all rest assured that justice has been served. But also that their Wikipedia page has been completely trashed. 

Little Havana is probably one of the most interesting places to photograph in Miami. It was so cool to see the art, the kitsch and the old men playing dominos in the park. I think it’s pretty great that a group of people came to the US and built this little community around them to feel more at home. 

As some of you may know, NYC got hit with a snow storm last week named Hercules. While I think the name was a bit of a misnomer, it was still fun to go photograph Central Park. I love how it looks all covered in snow and to see the little kids playing on their sleighs and tobagons, something I never got to do growing up in Florida! But, wow, was it cold!!