Life Is A Road Trip

The Amazing Adventures of a Zoobroker and a Sentiographer

new york

Now in Beta: Life 3.0

art, i wonder, new yorkMatt HillComment

Just got off the phone with Zoo and the recounting of his latest galavants, my own struggles to keep the work gears meshing with my artistic pursuits and constant practice of living that happy life made me consider writing this whole thing as the exciting beginning of a movie script. It sure sounds fucking fun. (grin) Well, it is. How many times have you re-evaluated, improved and upgraded your life? Seriously. I think I'm in a damn rut again and it's my own fault. Good thing is that I'm on it and the next road trip is only days away.... droooool. Gimme a break, gimme a break make me take some time off off to live real good!


(above: punkout wussyface)

But then again, there is always moments like this:

Now that's what I call the pursuit of happiness. And this opening is two nights prior to our departure.

So taking a check on past promises to self (from memory) that I would follow my wants I have to put a fat "X" on this one. Check. I have one awesome group of friends, family and supporters, too. Check. Healthy. Check.

So I'm beta-testing Life 3.0 on this RT to see how much further I can this this. Alpha build is done, time for some realtime debugging. Lemme know about your experiences in the comments, if you are so inclined.

What's Under Your Skin?

musings, new yorkMatt HillComment

You are where you are - sentography
You are where you are - sentography

Last time around we posted separate pre-trip musings to set the emotional and cerebral stage for what could easily be seen as a vacation for two rowdy guys. Heck, we're not nearly as shallow as we may come off. We certainly like to have fun, but it's easy to say that both of us derive a lot of enjoyment from working out the bullshit from daily life and coming home a newer and better person each time. I expect this trip to be just as illuminating, if not more.

The only thing that is a real shame is that I wanted to shed some poundage prior to this, but I chose other priorities. My own damn fault. Whatevs, I am who I am, all the time.

So here I sit in my apartment, drinking some Peets Major Dickason's and waking up from a long week (seven weeks) of work and visiting friends and their art shows. All in all, I am very happy with how my life is going right now. I'm being social in the wake of an extended separation and rough divorce last year, I'm making new friends, making art, shooting more than ever, making great progress at work, meeting gals I like and some like me back, and growing up in big ways.

For instance, I've learned one of those really important life lessons - how to be friends with a woman I think is attractive. Seriously, it's hard! Well, it was. I think it's one part controlling primal instincts and one part choosing the more important benefit over satisfying said primal urge. For sure, the benefits of having meaningful friendships with members of the fairer sex outweigh a lack of it any day. But it's something I really didn't know how to do until this past year or two. I had a best friend, and she was a gal (and previously my wife), so it's a skill I didn't try to develop since attraction and friendship were wrapped together in one package. Being on my own, it's now part of  my healthy lifestyle. After all, attraction is one of those intangibles that can strike quickly, but when you ask yourself, "What's the benefit of not being myself because I am attracted to this gal?" it gets pretty easy to identify that there are none. So, on to being myself always. In the end, that is the goal paramount to staying happy all the time.

So what big things can I focus on for this road trip? Sentography, right? 

Sentography: dynamic forms of communication of emotion and qualities.

A portrait photographer worth their salt always looks to make a person or people a story out of a moment. A sentographer has to take this one step further - not just make someone look good and natural, but capture them in a natural state of emotion. And make it cathartic, damnit! (snicker).

So in addition to my regular path of always reaching for more self-improvement and having maximum fun, I will add to this my ability to help people delve into themselves and then capture those moments. Perhaps we'll post interviews, too. Not sure how this is going to work, but I do know that somehow, it will.

I guess that last sentence is something I say to myself often and that's a big part of who I am today. I believe in me.

So, RT4 (Road Trip 4 for the uninitiated), I'm coming for you. Be ready to bare your soul.

RT4: Phauxtog weighs in on waiting it out

musings, new york, Phauxtog, photographyMatt HillComment

I'm thinking about the road trip that's only one month away... these things come to mind: Vistas. Panoramas. Breathtaking views. Open road. Skiing. Canada! Seattle! The Canadian Rockies! Portland! The Pacific Ocean. 

Potential. Progress. Presence. Authenticity. Expansion. Refinement.

One thing I've realized being a passionate night (photo)sentiographer for so long is that is easily perceived as darkness, over time, becomes something much closer to day.

Red Hook, Brooklyn

Continues after the break...

Four minutes exposed, and night becomes day. Thoughts, over time, expose deeper meaning much the same way.

I've been on an expansive path for a few years now, and the more I learn about myself, the more I know I can be more, do more, achieve more of my dreams. Coffee and cigarettes may fuel my body in the morning, but passion and dreams fuel my choices. I choose to pursue an open-ended road trips because it enables possibilities. Thinking in terms on long exposure, I wish that the 10 day road trip were two months. 

Why? It's certainly not vacation greed; I enjoy my day job very much. No, I know that I would get much deeper insights over a longer stay away from my daily existence. Much like a 15 minute exposure

69th street transfer station

reveals a bright city bustling even in moonlight behind a darkened and forgotten rail transfer station and glassy water that is the visual sum of all its movement, I am thinking about what the total experience would equal over a period six times longer.

My best guesses:

  • I would discover that I have larger goals that are dismissed out of practicality  
  • I would meet other people experiencing a similar freedom from "normal" life
  • I would relax more than I have in ten years
  • I would come up with previously unfound and potentially amazing creative ideas
  • I would find twenty more places I would consider living

Why am I even doing this mental exercise? Am I ungrateful for this 10-day window? Not at all - I live for this. And I ask myself because I want to push a boundary. That being that I have a fairly standard schedule to my life. I am grateful for its consistency, but I wonder if I am using my time the best I can... I am certainly growing in many facets: career, knowledge, skill, etc. but something feels like it wants to explode out of the gate - my creativity. and nine'ish hours a day allow only restricted access to that.

All that out of the way, Rt4 is one month away and it's gonna be one hell of a ride. We have a surprise or two for you, and I'm sure we'll be served some of our own ;)

So, start counting the days. Seattle, here we come!

We're Spam-free now, and feel much better.

new york, PhauxtogMatt HillComment

I once enjoyed the life of a spammer. But the overall effect was net negative, and once that realization descended upon me and slapped me around for a bit, I left the spam business. I am now a sentographer, and I record feelings/consciousness with a specially-modified camera system and a host of techniques. These were taught to me by my guru, who lives under the Brooklyn bridge in a floating darkroom. Or maybe I just love being a photographer. Or maybe I am fronting as a photographer while practicing the act of sentography. You can decide for yourself when you meet me in some bar, at a pool table, on a city street or on a back country road between here and there... And perhaps I will get to know you a little better, too. That's what I look forward to, after all.

As of this post, I leave the names "SpamZalot" and "spammer" behind me without a second thought. You may now address me (should you wish to) by:



Road Trip Worthy: Brooklyn's Spuyten Duyvil and Fette Sau

food, good eats, new yorkMatt Hill1 Comment

No joke folks. This is as close to a perfect evening as you can get. Click on for luscious photos and succulent descriptions. First stop: Spuyten Duyvil

Self-described as "serving Cheese, Meat and a wide selection of Beer." It shouldn't take much more to get me in the door, but when I sat at the bar and asked for "something dark and beery" I got the most delicious Imperial Stout I've had since Portland, Oregon - and served in a wine glass to boot. These people got it down. It was my first stop, so I only had drinks, but the food I saw being served look d-lish. 


And I must add that Spuyten Duyvil is my FAVORITE town name from the train ride down from Westchester into NYC. Always makes me feel naughty.

After the wonderful, swirly, dark beer, I walked across the street to Fette Sau to meet up with friends:

This is almost what it looked like, the beer was so good. It's off the street, so walk under the sign and back to the most amazing barbecue this side of Nashville. And you buy your meat by the pound. Bring your appetite, or don't come.


And the bar is something to be seen and... tasted. Boasting an amazing whiskey selection, they also have premier beers. I sampled the High and Mighty Fette Sau and the Chocolate Lager, served so delicately in mason jars.

And while you're at it, be sure to do this on a Monday night so you can go see some Burlesque later on!

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