travelogue | a10 tournament + brooklyn

I wrote down somewhere, at some point, that I wanted my life to have an element of running-around- crazy, traveling-on-the-weekends, off-to-a-new-destination-constantly. And I think I still want to have that. But I have become the girl who skips classes--not intentionally, not because I'm lazy or that I don't want to get out of bed, but because there's a story to cover, or because there's other projects to do, that Bernie Sanders is coming to speak, or for family reasons. Life has become driving on highways, living out of duffle bags, coffee spilled on laptops and deadlines and days without washing my hair or wearing makeup because (and I never thought this would be the case), there is simply no time. And, to be frankly, brutally honest, that has been really stressful.

But sitting here, on spring break, I think that I've gotten past that, and that I've emerged from the whirlwind of--well, I'm not sure if busy-ness is even the right term or word or feeling. I have time to breathe, and that means it's time to write again, to catch up on everything that's rushed by in last two or so months.

I got the opportunity last week to leave school a few days before spring break actually began to photograph the A10 tournament, which is a basketball tournament for large university teams based in the Northeast. It was held in the Barclays Center (home of the Brooklyn Nets) and I got to sit on the court (and made a couple of lightning quick appearances on TV!) It was exhausting, long, but so, so cool, and there's a lot to be said there about photojournalism and media and the future (which I will save for another time.)

We drove to Central New Jersey on Wednesday night, on wide highways flanked by wider expanses of glittering lights, airports and cranes and industry, far as the eye can see. I drove into Brooklyn and got my second taste of city driving--people walking wherever, whenever they like, a cacophony of horns and fast turns and getting stuck in intersections on red lights. I was with two sports writers and another photographer, and we split up for a couple of hours--writers to watch games, Judith and I to wander around Brooklyn.

I want to write about Brooklyn, but I'm not sure I have the words to do it justice. It's unlike anywhere I've ever been.  The best I can say is that it was a bleeding, tilting mixture of things, blurring grungey storefronts with spotless brownstones and sad lots with manicured childrens' parks. It was undefined and strange and new and beautiful. And I'm not sure where I'm going to end up in May, but Brooklyn wouldn't be the worst place to be living.

For the rest of the trip--I drank too much coffee, almost killed us once or twice, accidentally drove into Manhattan, wandered around Brooklyn some more, sat in on a press conference, took 700 photos of basketball players, and drove from New Jersey to Southeastern Massachusetts almost straight through, where I proceeded to promptly cry, shower, and sleep. And now, I'm sitting on a couch in Phoenix, with six days until I'm back in Amherst, trying to see if there's a bus that will get me back to campus before my first class on Tuesday.

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