The Sweet Smell of St.Louis

Posted in Road Trip by Jacqueline Iannacone on June 6, 2010

How does a free jazz and blues concert in the Botanical Gardens where you can bring your own booze and dance the night away under the stars sound?  I’m thinking perfection.  And perfection it was.

The first night we arrived in St.Louis; Steve the person we were staying with, invited Clare and I to the Whitaker Music Festival right up the road from where he lived.  What we were in for was a lot more exciting and phenomenal then one could imagine.  Denise Thimes, “St. Louis’ celebrated jazz diva” as Rob Thurman from the Missouri Botanical Gardens described, was breath taking.  I didn’t know what was better, the little six year olds dancing on the stage to her sounds, the cross dressing flamenco dancer behind us or the fact that at one point everyone attending the concert got on there feet and began dancing and singing “… Aint gonna do for love, what I would not do…”.  For someone coming off an eight hour stretch of road, this night was beyond believe.  At one point, I stood up looked around took a deep breath and realized where I was, who I was with and how incredible this has been so far.  I came to the revelation that, this concert, these people and this night could not happen any where else but here… and I was so thankful that I had the opportunity to see such a fun loving group of people dancing, singing, drinking and laughing as if there wasn’t a care in the world.

The next day as we planned our next stop I had a feeling that nothing could top that night, and though I turned out being right, the City Museum did it’s best to prove me wrong.  Judging by the name… City Museum sounded like something I would steer clear of but I was soon corrected as Steve told me not to “…judge a book by its cover, this place is awesome.”  Turns out, Steve was wrong… this place wasn’t awesome, it was beyond and I have bruises to prove it.  It’s a place where you test your limitations, and test them I did as I scaled a cage that lined the curvature of the ceiling in the highest tower.  Needless to say, I made it to the top and I didn’t die or have a nervous breakdown, instead I had an amazing time and felt very proud once I realized what exactly I had done.

Next up was the St.Louis Gateway Arch which was a sight to see… a bit over rated but definitely something worth seeing once.  The grandeur of this structure is something to be recognized but I more so enjoyed laying on the grass talking about photography with Clare and Julia (Julia is a German photographer who was also surfing with Steve.)

Gateway Arch

Our final stop in St.Louis was Pappy’s Smokehouse.

Manager at Pappy's

Now remember… I’m a vegetarian… but for the night I crossed over to the dark side, broke down and ate some delicious southern barbeque the way locals would.  It was great and the people there were friendly as ever.  When I brought my camera in to document this southern hospitality the manager approached me wondering where I was from, how I enjoyed the food and the sights, then offered to photograph me and my friends.  He also told me about how Pappy’s Smokehouse had been featured on Food Network and TLC.  I was as impressed as I was full.

Julia, Clare and I at Pappy'sJulia, Clare and I at Pappy’s with our sweet tea and root beer.

St.Louis so far has been my favorite location… let’s see what Tulsa has to say about that.

For more on the meaning behind this journey click here.
Detroit . Chicago . St.Louis . Tulsa . New Mexico . Grand Canyon . Las Vegas . Los Angeles . San Francisco . Yosemite . Memphis

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“The Windy City”… or Mini Empire State?

Posted in Road Trip by Jacqueline Iannacone on June 3, 2010

Ah Chicago, with it’s man made beaches and it’s beautiful architecture… you make me feel like I never left the big city (minus the lingering smells here and there and the bustling crowds of people charging the streets) Chicago was not too far from the culture in New York.  I like to pin The Windy City as The Big Apple’s offspring, a bit cleaner, a bit smaller, more modern and fresh.

Chicago Architecture

Chicago seems like the place people go when they don’t like the constant activity the NYC lifestyle generates. What’s interesting is that I found bits and pieces of Detroit here also, the image below is the view of a dead cross street from Lake Shore Drive (one of the busiest streets in Chicago). If you don’t understand why this relates to Detroit, read this.

Didn't I leave Detroit?

My favorite part of the day was laying on the grass in Millennium Park. Two birds were chasing after each other in the tree above me and while this was adorable to witness, it was also a little nerve wracking as I thought, “Gee I hope they don’t poo on my face….”

Millennium Park II

Another wonderful part about Chicago is it’s people. I had an amazing time with Thurl, the gentlemen Clare and I stayed with for a couple of nights. He was inspirational to say the least. We sat around his kitchen table talking about life, photography, legacy, going against the crowd and why that’s okay, family, friends, good wine, music… you name it, we touched on it. Thurl taught me that it’s natural to have these desires to test your limitations, that doing what you want to do right now in this instance is why we are here, we make life interesting, we question that which others do not, and that as artists it is our duty to go where others have only dreamed of. Thurl knows who he is and he isn’t afraid to show it off… just one of the reasons why I fell in love with this kind hearted, kilt wearing, matridi from Maryland.


… next stop St.Louis.

For more on the meaning behind this journey click here.
Detroit . Chicago . St.Louis . Tulsa . New Mexico . Grand Canyon . Las Vegas . Los Angeles . San Francisco . Yosemite . Memphis

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“Hell on Wheels” you say?

Posted in Road Trip by Jacqueline Iannacone on May 29, 2010

… Motor city, Motown, D list, Big D… Whatever you wish to call it, i went and i came and i sure would like to go again. The culture, the people, the music and the danger all mix together to create an environment like none other.

Road Trip

We have nothing to our name but the truths we tell about the experiences we’ve faced so here goes…

Detroit scared the living day light out of me; granted we did arrive at 11pm on the first night of Memorial Day weekend, so like every American, people were scattered about drinking and smoking and listening to music. But with that environment adjacent to run down buildings on every street corner, burnt up cabs and a shell-shocked foreigner next to me (Clare, my friend from Britain who is joining me on this trip) I was; to say the least, worried.

The great part about traveling cross country as Clare and I are doing is that we get to meet locals who can show us around and make us feel more comfortable in an unfamiliar, exciting and some times terrifying city. I can say with ease that this is what our host Nathan did for us. Upon our arrival we were greeted by other Couch Surfers visiting from Chicago, Maggie and her boyfriend were amazing. They helped us with out luggage and shared upcoming events. Not too long after we got settled, Nathan arrived to scoop us up and bring us to DCC (Detroit Couch Crash) party at Izzy’s Pub. There we met a ton of interesting people, all of which shared a love of adventure and the freedom you acquire while road tripping… We heard some fantastic stories and got some useful advice to remember along the way for the next 6 weeks… This was the best way to kick off our trip, in a city where the culture means more to its locals than possibly anything else… well, anything else left in Detroit.

… And not much has been left besides the remains of a city which at one point was the epicenter for music, fashion and the culture that follows. Driving around the city was possibly the most eery experience of my life; ghost town is an under statement in some parts of Detroit. What most intrigued me was the juxtaposition of the dwindling population with its larger than life reputation for being such a “hopping” city. The Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art sums up this contrast the best way possible. A museum of contemporary art, a tourist spot which is in place to represent new waves in the art world; run down, broken into and vandalized. This begs the question; How does a city transition from its glory days to its denunciation? … Or rather, How does a city transition back from its metaphoric death?

Road Trip

This brings me to downtown Detroit, where the remaining culture thrives. Here is where I saw kids running through water sculptures, tourists such as myself mesmerized by the architecture and locals heading out for their afternoon jog. Downtown is; to say the least, where it’s at. The little life left in Detroit is for the most part based in Downtown. Here is where you see the possibility of a recovered city.

Road Trip

… Today I also had the pleasure of visiting the Motown Museum, (Hitsville, U.S.A.) where the likes of Martha and the Vandellas, The Temptations, Stevie wonder and Jackson 5 derived.

Road Trip

“This is our legacy an African American legacy of what can happen when people get together without regard to race, creed and color and make it work.” -Berry Gordy, Founder of Motown Record Corporation

… next stop Chicago.

For more on the meaning behind this journey click here.
Detroit . Chicago . St.Louis . Tulsa . New Mexico . Grand Canyon . Las Vegas . Los Angeles . San Francisco . Yosemite . Memphis

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day sixty nine

fact number fifty one: i need to be more in tune. more involved with things, every-things.

for two: photography. i need to take the time to do my thing. to be me in my photos. this journey i have been on, taking an active role in visualizing my actions. by noting my flaws and my attributes i have grown and am more self conscious. it’s time for that sense of self to pull through my images and slap the viewer across the face without hesitation they know it’s a Jacqueline Iannacone Photography photograph. that capability is what photography is about. being noticed. causing a scene. getting known. all any of us ever want to do is get known. for something. anything. and maybe if they see me for one thing they’ll glance at my art. is that what this industry will be about? a series of people just trying to get seen above the other artist. is it a game of who can out do the other, who can offend the most people. who can cause the most chatter. for some i guess that’s what it’s about and since art is art is art is art, who am i to say it isn’t. i am not arguing that photographs featuring such graphic subjects as what i’ve outlined isn’t art, i just do not agree with the method. is it art or is it amateur art overly complicated mess? that’s for you to decide.  i for one am not going on that path.  i do not wish to make a scene over disgusting the public.  i’d rather have people talking about my art and my concept and my vision, the execution and love that went into my work. the guts. the goods. the glue.

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day sixty eight

Posted in finding myself: the journey every person must complete by Jacqueline Iannacone on February 28, 2010
Tags: , ,

fact number fifty: i need to be more in tune. more involved with things, every-things.

for one: this blog. i have not posted anything for two weeks. two weeks is a long time. too long. thing is, just because i haven’t been blogging doesnt mean i havent been thinking about blogging. i missed it so much. my fingers just can’t stop typing because it feels so good just to be here again. in this seat. doing this. it is permanent. i will always be able to sit here, wherever here will be, i will be in the same place. my … my mind is in its own home, where the world surrounding me is mindless; senseless. all that matters is myself living in this moment, taking this time to myself to write about -to vent and express without complaining about- my life and my journey. it is mine. it is a growing, changing, timeless thing that i need to focus more on. i have to be involved in this thing -blogging- so i can use each day to my advantage. without waiting for tomorrow, or for when im going to sleep or for when i go home or for when i remind myself that i want to write today or for when i think of a brilliant blog and decide to not write something down, then is when i need to change my habits. then is when i need to decide. because all this life is is a list of decisions you choose to make each day. every little minute decision to not write something down, or to complain about that which you do not have or to blame others for your short comings directly reflects the life you want to life. with this in thought we need to realize that who you are lies in the decisions we make… every single day.

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day fifty four

fact number forty nine: giving back leaves me happier than i have ever felt.

i won’t get into the details, but recently i had the opportunity to photograph a charity event which celebrated loving yourself and making sure you choose yourself first. when i heard the story behind this project i couldn’t think of turn it down. to give you a taste of my joy… half way through i found myself wanting to text all of my friends and tell them about how amazing this experience had been.

the people i got to know, each individual… all so different, so unique, all had one thing in common… they had hope in the future. they believed in a better life. and when they saw everything the volunteers had put into this event… well the thankfulness was undeniable. it gives me chills just thinking about all the smiles i saw that day. not one person was in a bad mood, not one person was bitter, angry or resentful… they were simply beyond inspiring (both the volunteers and the participants).

going through the photos tonight brought me right back to the event. every photograph i took was a story, every subject had something important to say and i couldn’t help but be tuned in. one situation in particular stuck with me. this person in particular was eager to get away from the mirror, they wanted to move quickly through the stations as if they were a burden to the volunteer they were working with… until the volunteer said, “wait… slow down. look at yourself. this is your day… take your time and take it all in.” it reminded me that every day we must take the time to see ourselves. not only to see ourselves but to see the beauty in our imperfections (both men and women) and have the confidence to show ourselves off in a positive manner.

i have never really looked at myself and reflected back on what has happened in my past and how it has shaped the person i am today… this event revealed that to me. this event opened my eyes to a new point of view.

i have learned to be thankful for that which i have, embrace that which is to come and take life as it is, step by step.

transformations don’t happen over night they happen when you stop looking in the mirror seeing a stranger staring back and start seeing the inspiring, strong and confident person you can and will be.

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day fifty

fact number forty eight: i try to be there when i have to be there for people but i’m the worst at keeping touch in between

i am quite possibly they worst person at keeping in touch with old friends. maybe it’s just that i occupy my time so vastly into what is happening now to prepare for the future that i completely forget about the past. forgetting about the past has played a significant role in my life… from childhood i was continuously forgetting about that which has happened and focus on what is to come. i was always planning. all the time. maybe it was a defense mechanism. maybe it was my way of keeping people close… because if we had plans for tomorrow or the next day we continued to be a part of each others lives.

either way, planning was (and in a big way still is) a part of my day to day life. i wrote things down. mindless things. lists and lists of things to do, places to go. not interesting ones. nothing life changing. just a list of what i was doing for the day… productive? yes. freeing? no.

no wonder why i have found myself at 21 with little knowledge of what has brought me to the place i stand today. i was so focused on planning today that when today turned into tomorrow i had forgotten what had got me to yesterday’s today.

yesterday in a sense never existed. that’s what happens when you are blinded by the possibilities of today and of tomorrow. so where does that leave me? because i don’t want it to continue. i don’t want to walk around with countless forgotten yesterdays.

… wow that’s a nice little message, i don’t want to walk around with countless forgotten yesterdays…

that sounds like a good way to close things up

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day fortytwo

fact number fortyseven: i’m one of those people who believe in horoscopes and whimsical thoughts, card readings, psychics… all that shit. does that make me naive? i don’t think so. i believe there is something to be said for having faith in higher powers, not Godly.. though that’s not a bad thing to have faith in… what i’m concerned with is the predictions about the future, what other people have studied and have generated, through their research… ideas and advice regarding the future the past and most importantly… the now, the present… these horoscopes, these general predictions help to guide the path to success.

and they’re pretty accurate.

you may think they’re too general to not be accurate… that all these people are doing is reading body language, vocal inflictions… but i think there’s something there.

today i read my horoscope, as i do from time to time when i’m looking for guidance and curious about what lies ahead… at this time, if you haven’t read yesterdays blog, please do because the connection between what your about to read today and what i posted yesterday is undeniable…

yesterdays horoscope was about love… “Are you falling for someone you know on the job, Virgo? If so, you might find out that your feelings are reciprocated. Your friend could telephone or e-mail and invite you out, away from work. Some other people might be present, but this won’t stop you from getting better acquainted and realizing that this relationship shows promise. The only problem is that you may have to keep it under your hat for a while, at least at work.”

“are you serious!” i thought…

it’s just funny how things fall into place, when i blogged yesterday i hadn’t read this horoscope. no clue. nothing. both were written on separate days, by separate people, yet both had a significant amount to do with the other. if i have learned nothing other than that there is truth in that which we are fastest to doubt, im satisfied.

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day forty one

fact number fortysix: i have not control over who my heart decides to fall for.

today has brought about a lot of questions… all of which have yet to be answered but will be in time. all it takes it time, for something to fall into, out of, into and back out of place… the key here is having the patience to wait for the right moment, when there is an undeniable, irresistable connection, when things fall back into place. and stay in place. when you have no reservation about who you are, when you are completely perfect in the eyes of someone else, when they build you up during your journey instead of doubting your destination… that is when things will get in place and stay in place. when life just seems to work. without much effort, with such grace and ease, life will be perceived as perfection. something worth waiting for.

love is on that list of things i am waiting for, but chiefly on that list lies the patience of waiting for when life simply and purely… works.

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day forty

fact number forty five: having fun should be the most important thing in life.

not to say you shouldn’t make time for serious conversations and all that comes with doing something with your life… but what does it all mean if you’re not having fun getting there? if you ask me, it’s more important to have fun with life than to not. not having fun turns into self loathing… which can then turn into selfishness, jealousy and resentment. in such a competitive economy… rather than knocking down your competition build them up. support them. help them grow. because no matter who winds up being “more” successful at the end of the day, you both win. the collaboration has taught everyone something new (hopefully) about themselves or their peers. we need to remember that without each others support, we are no where and we are no one.

i have to always keep in mind the importance of loving what i do and surrounding yourself with those who are as passionate, eager and loyal as myself, while staying true to who i am as i continue my journey to better acquaint myself with…. myself.

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