out with the old

Today is the last day of 2010. It will also be the last day of the Speakeasy. I started this blog when I moved to St. Louis in 2006. I end this blog today, from my new home in Lima, Perú. I've redesigned my website and started a new blog that is more integrated with the site.

I took this photograph of my friend Lindsay's necklace while in the Galápagos Islands this past summer. I though, wow, that's simple wise advice. In the months following I thought about what I love, and I believe here in Lima working as a freelance multimedia journalist I will be able to make what I love what I do more than ever before.

With the click of this post I say out with the old, in with the new. I welcome 2011 and all it will bring. Let the beauty of what you love be what you do in 2011. Feliz año nuevo!


a piece of perú in toronto

As most of you know, I love chocolate and I love Perú. Sooo...you can imagine how I felt when I walked into a chocolate factory (Soma) in Toronto selling mostly Peruvian chocolate. Heaven. Cielo. Yum. I sat down with a cup of their specialty Mayan hot chocolate and even the shaft of light hitting my mug was supernatural.

i'll miss you, steve

I don't believe I officially announced my "big news" here on the blog (it's also why I've been so scarce!). I'm moving to Lima, Perú! That's why I'll miss Steve, as well as many other Tower Grove joys. One night I came home and Steve was sitting on his front porch (normal) rocking a sombrero (not so normal). We shared a good laugh and then he started pulling out other hats, including the one with the skunk tail. More on the move soon.

ward's island

Luisa Milan lives on a small island just across the water from Toronto. Luisa assembled beautiful panels of fabric, half of them stitched with words inspired by water, as part of an outdoor exhibition called Rogue Wave. Each in a different shade of blue, they blow in the wind and mimic the sea just beyond them.



Photo by Bridjes O'Neil

I love artistic photos. I love them even more when I'm surprised by them. Today I gave a student (not a photo student) my point-and-shoot camera, and she brought this back. She was working on a piece about being a mom. To me this photo has such nice, quiet symbolism. Go Bridjes!

frog legs

I dedicate this post to my favorite herpetologist, Patrick McLaughlin! Can you identify this one for me?

klondike park

So it's not exactly the most rugged camping experience, but Klondike Park is beautiful! It's also right on the Katy Trail and within minutes from several wineries. Wish I could have discovered this place sooner!


ode to the sea lions of san cristóbal

They waddle down the streets, sleep on park benches and howl and bark all night and day. I guess I'd do the same if someone invaded my territory.



Blogged about this amazing little fish market in Puerto Ayora, Galápagos Islands for the Post-Dispatch. Check it out. One day I'll go back and make an even better picture. Fish, sea lions, birds...don't you go anywhere!

free public art

The Eiffel Tower was stunning and the Louvre inspiring but equally as impressive to me was a beautifully edited and printed set of pictures on display at Luxembourg Garden, home of the French Senate. As a photographer, I love checking out galleries and art shows, but often they cost an arm and a leg to attend. Here in Paris was an outdoor gallery. Free of charge, and photos as stunning as those you pay to see. Big photos. Dozens of photos. Good photos.

My friend Sophie says the exhibit changes frequently. I think every city ought to have a place like this. Photos have such power. Sometimes they are just beautiful. Other times they stop us dead in our tracks, make us laugh, cry or even challenge our perceptions. Thank you Luxembourg Garden for dedicating space (and a cleaning crew!) to such a lovely form of art.


a nice pair

Delmar Loop

getting funky at fro yo

Grabbed some yogurt at Fro Yo with a friend on Sunday, and she was showing off her Hipstamatic fantasticness. Made me get a little artsy as I sat and ate my yogurt. Also made me miss someone who always gets a kamikaze mix of flavors and covers them in fruit. Me? I'm all about the Original Tart : )


the colors of ecuador

San Cristóbal, Galápagos Islands


On walls and in the skies, the colors of this country catch my eyes.


belly beauty

Festival of the Nations

Sometimes I don't have to walk very far to feel like I'm in an exotic place. When Tribe Ayaka took stage there was no need for a spotlight. The sun was busy working its magic, just like the ladies performing. Beautiful.


abandoned cats of lima

Iglesia de la Virgen Milagrosa | Lima, Perú

As I walked through Parque Kennedy my first night in Lima, I noticed cats - gatos - everywhere. There are a few different stories about how the cats got there, as well as a variety of opinions about the presence of the cats. The park itself is lovely. An ordinary park full of extraordinary stories.

andean warmth

It comes from the people, the burning fires and the sun.

where my heart lives

The first time I visited Cotopaxi, high in the Ecuadorian Andes, I was stunned. The magic lived on for me this summer. This is a place that calms me and energizes me a la vez. I wake up early and go to bed late. Days filled with hot tea, the smoky richness of wood burning fires, horseback rides through the páramo and majestic views in all directions. This is Cotopaxi. It gives me the feeling of home, and, when I think about my rural childhood, it's not that different. Take the flat canvas of my North Dakotan roots and give it peaks and valleys, throw in some Spanish and you might get Cotopaxi.


sibling love



Paris? Probably the last place I would expect to travel with my sister and brother, so of course, it's where we ended up! One of the best Paris memories I have is waking up under the Eiffel Tower. After walking through what seemed like the entire city, we crashed in the grass near the base of the Eiffel Tower. I actually fell asleep and woke to this site. Magical.

sun and fun

Menaggio, Italy

Tremezzo, Italy

After a day in the sun, my mom and sister play the part of Italians while we wait for dinner.


in between


We spend our lives in between, on platforms and planes, rails and roads. Always ready to get where we are going, never wanting to leave where we're at.

TGV Paris to Lausanne

memories of maine

Northeast Harbor


Southwest Harbor

Beal's Lobster Pier


Quito, Ecuador



the louvre

ancient love

Etched into the stone of moats from the 12th to 14th century, love lives on in Paris.