San Francisco: The Adventures of Businesslady Aliya and Hampshire Alum Aliya in the same city

welcome to san francisco!
i loved all the rail systems. i coulda ridden the air tram for days.

First stop: meeting up with Adrienne from Elsewhere! Terrible Documentation Faux Paux, I didn’t get any pictures of us together. but the important thing was that we got to “stare into each other’s eyes” over delicious vietnamese lunch specials at Sunflower Cafe. So much to say, and so much future to plan. Philly 2011, look out baby.
Some shoe shopping for her parent’s re-marriage back to each other coming up this week (the dress she is wearing “demands a simple black pump”) took us to various delightful thrift stores. I particularly enjoyed the combo of flannel next to short shorts:

BUT, then it was time to go. A combination of my conference schedule and her wedding and “Girls Together Only” time (bachelorette party? with your mom? sorta?) schedule meant this would probably be our last meeting for now. with lots of hope for the future we parted ways.

And more transit rail systems! I loved all the escalators.

AND then off to the most magical Team Management Leadership Weekend. I completed my first year of the program and oh my goodness it was so lovely. All my hard work was acknowledged and looking back on the year, I realized that I really am unrecognizable to myself from where I started. I was in a situation where I felt no power, no freedom, and no self expression. Now I am in a total open space, ready to take on what’s next and even powerfully create whatever it is that’s next — not just wait around for it to happen to me. I could even declare myself now as a Community Artist in the World, making a difference now — really, me . yikes this still scares me. Over the course of the weekend anyone I was frustrated with, mad at, incomplete with, or had felt like I had been banging my head against a wall with for the past 3 months (or more even) completed with me so that we were both freed up from whatever was there that made it so frustrating before. I saw that I had really really made a difference for everyone around me, even when I thought I had been doing nothing right. I just fell in love with everyone I saw. Everyone looked so beautiful. I don’t know how else to say it but I just feel so empowered and ready to take on the world.
On the last night of the weekend we all went to dinner at this moroccan restaurant. I was surrounded by about 20 of my favorite people, all seated on these low couches and eating delicious things. They told me amazing stories, created collaborative futures with me, shared what they were grateful for, and danced. I had the priviledge of dancing with some of the most talented salsa dancers I know (thank you miami), and then letting it rip, being totally free and myself.
Businesslady Aliya Rocks AND gets down, basically.

Over the weekend I also got to meet in the flesh a lot of people I’d been talking to on the phone every week for the past 3 months: Here are some of my favorite Team Leaders from across the eastern region — Ritajean from Philladelphia, Joshua from Baltimore, Morganlea from NJ, and Brad from Indianna.

On monday morning Ritajean and I took a walk up the crazy crazy hills in san fran. look! such a huge hill!

And here are some of my favorite people from my Florida Team: Debbie, Fernanda, Lynn, Brandy, my brilliant coach Gladys, and Henry

From one life to another: After the TMLP weekend, Businesslady Aliya turned into Hampshire Alum Aliya and met up with some favorites from college: Kate, Julia, and a new friend Maureen

(in the shade)

(in the light!)

Oakland living (you can tell we’re in Oakland because of all the bikes)!  Thrift stores, walking through adorable neighborhoods, coffee shops, cuties.

Beautiful bathingsuit:

way too adorable/involved chalk drawings. you crazy californian kids.

Really complicated hopscotching:

I’m not sure if you’re supposed to have 4 feet for this square…
The Salami and Ravioli Factory! ……

…… is protected by both a barbed wire fence AND a series of cacti!!

maybe there’s more than salami and ravioli in there.

beautiful car installation art. grade: B – (high marks for ambition in utilizing an outdoor installation and indoor/outdoor coordination, low marks for not fully utillizing the rest of the coat hanger wire diamond)

Guerrilla “MaRia R” Installation Art: grade C (high marks for effort but low for production quality)
Sculents I love you.

Further Research and Investigation into the Pregnancy Romance Novel Genre continues (domestic research) (note, there is a whole sub-series of these novels called “Texas Maternity” and “Texas Paternity”

While Kate’s at her super-important grown up GRAD SCHOOL orientation, A day with Julia!!
Self Portrait with Birds.

No Karate Parking.

Post-Grad School Orientation Reunion (and photoshoot): (note Kate’s very profesh yet Mad Cute outfit choice definitely not deliberated over for and hour plus)

Marriage: A tough financial decision either way

After an evening and morning of watching Ke$ha, Miley, Beyonce and other variations of their music videos, we had to close our visit with a diva-licious photoshoot (i.e. add awesome boots to current outfit — which for many was choice pajamas):

another ride on the rail transit system reminds me I am not in Florida:

me & my trusty luggage: like old married people we know how to travel together.

someday i’ll sew the “courage” onto “urge”

good bye west coast. you were fun.

still definitely not florida:

oh houston airport.

And, Home.

back to “normal” life. my intention is to move out of florida (or at least into a job I love that is a total self expression, which may involve florida) by the end of September. I’m not sure at all what that looks like. My upcoming weeks I am envisioining lots of catch-up sewing, working on my new website, packing crap that has sat around since I graduated, writing/photographing for my culminating “Bonar Family Residency” publication “Florida is a Feeling”, watching movies, making friends, calling back old friends I’ve missed.

OK south florida, show me what you got.

I love you all so much, near and far. You are so incredibly beautiful. Let me see your face soon.




  1. Jennifer Sandomir

    i am excited to explore working with you!

  2. ambop

    Can I be one of the old friends you call?

  3. Caroline

    I loved this photo-licious essay about your life with friends and after tmlp

    This would be A+

  4. nanci (mom)

    i just love reading about your escapades – and I especially love being your mom!!

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