By Caitlin Kelly
It’s been a long time — 23 years — since the death of my dog Petra, a small black and white terrier mix I inherited from my mother as she went off to travel. I loved seeing the world through Petra’s eyes and wondered what it was like to experience it all from a height of a foot, not my five feet, five inches.
We take so for granted the way we see the world, that everyone else does, too, which of course they don’t. Read any news source today and our political divisions are obvious.
It’s one of the reasons I love to travel, whether a few hours upstate in New York or abroad. People think differently. People see, literally, differently.
One of my favorite assignments of 2017 was meeting a Quebec farmer who took me into one of his fields and explained the function (!) of cornsilk. I’ll never see corn the same way again.
On a current project for The New York Times, I visited a Brooklyn classroom and watched tween girls in hijab confidently wielding power tools. Not at all what I’d expected!
A joy of journalism, for decades, for me, is how often it pushes us into wholly unfamiliar situations — physically, emotionally, spiritually. If you want to work in journalism and can’t imagine a thousand other ways of being in this world — run. It’s not the job for you!
In my work, I’ve met Queen Elizabeth, convicted felons, FBI firearms trainers, crime victims, Billy Joel, a female Admiral. I’ve witnessed the aftermath of a horrific head-on car crash and reviewed ballet.
A new book by Hallie Rubenhold is reframing the classic narrative around Jack the Ripper’s victims; here’s a Guardian story about it.
Using my cellphone camera is helping me see the world anew.
I love to sit at the bar and to eat alone there, two activities I know some women find intimidating and won’t do. This is from one of Manhattan’s best restaurants, Via Carota, and I loved the image in black and white better than in color. When you work in photography you stop seeing beauty per se and look for information — sometimes color is overwhelming and distracting.
As you look at the image, notice what you notice first and why: the drinks and their prices? The quality of the the light? I was most interested in the very rear, the people sitting at the table in bright sunlight. You can even see through the window across the street — to the hair salon where I get my hair done.
Jose and I had just been to the ballet and were leaving the Koch Theater when I noticed this pattern of beaded metal curtains with the lights of a building behind. I liked the juxtaposition.
This was interesting; just as I noticed it, so did Jose. It’s easy to ignore something as basic as the curtains because they’re often functional as well as decorative. I liked the warm tones here as well.
On our recent trip to Montreal, this amazing tiled serpent, coiled around a column, advertises a Mexican tourist agency. I just liked the color and detail without needing the entire image. Sometimes a fraction is much more compelling than the entirety.
Trying to capture the whole serpent would have been more difficult because of too much distracting stuff around it. I like how the shadow bisects the image, and had never seen tile of this shape before.
I love shopping to see what sort of environments a decent designer can create — these were two enormous pillows in Brown’s, a Montreal shoe store. Loved the color, texture and wit.
Chartreuese is one of my favorite colors, anywhere. That graphic black and white, and its scale, are fantastic. I found the pillows more interesting than the shoes!
Nothing special — the doors to the dining room of our Montreal hotel. But I love the texture and light and shadow.
There’s beauty everywhere. You just have to notice it.
I’ve walked past this red wooden bench in our town hundreds of times, and have sat on it it a few times. But I loved it with some snowflakes.
The weathered cracks make this more interesting to me.
Literally, out the bedroom window, looking straight down. This is one of my recent favorites.
This feels mysterious to me. When do we ever look down into or onto a tree?
Look at something you find ugly — why?
Look at something you’ve seen 1,000 times before and notice something new.
Listen to a podcast or radio show or TV show you’ve never heard.
Read an author or genre you’d normally avoid.