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Traveling the World with Allison Somers

The sound of the breaks against the rubber tires of my bike feels so good. Alas! It’s the first beautiful day in Bushwick in about million years. I just stopped in front of Allison Somers'  house at Wilson Avenue. Allison is sitting on the stairs holding the leash of her long-haired dog Lucy. She’s pleasurably inhaling the fresh spring air and Lucy is wishfully gazing in the direction of Maria Hernandez Park.

Allison shakes my hand and smiles. Lucy licks the handle of my bike and sniffs my knee. I understand that the three of us are buddies from now on.

I’m curiously checking out the vintage cameras neatly placed on the shelves in Allison’s living room. She’s explaining from the kitchen, while preparing aromatic Russian tea that she loves to collect them, although as it turns out many times, most of them don’t work.

In the corner under the living room table sits Lucy pretending that she’s a little dog. On the table lies a stack of freshly made Black & Blue prints ready to be hung in Microscope Gallery before Allison’s first solo show opens on Saturday.

Allison is a passionate traveler. She saw remote villages, hiked to active volcanoes, tall mountains and seas of different shades of blue. She has traveled to Middle East, Southeast Asia and Central America, many times only by herself.

She smiles shyly, explaining she doesn’t like to be on the other side of the camera too much. Her blue eyes sparkle when she’s telling me about her upcoming travel plans to Iceland and India. She carefully uncovers her photographs with white gloves. She took those when traveled equipped only by analogue cameras. Allison says she prefers the discrete profile of her film cameras, in addition to the aesthetic and processes they lend. Actually, she always prefers the film cameras whether she's somewhere far and remote, or as near as South Jersey.

Many weeks later after Allison develops the photos in her kitchen, she likes to look at them again. Then she discovers that some of them are more than just her travel memories.


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