Category Archives: musings

The Burg, The General, & Frank McManus

Did you see this month’s The Burg?! So excited to see my portrait of Harrisburg Receiver, Bill Lynch on the cover!

The General was definitely the most personable political figurehead I’ve ever met. He’s a pretty fascinating person. Good images and great chats. Or, let’s put it this way, I haven’t been lacking interesting subjects!

The Burg also revisited one of my photos of Frank McManus this month. But of course, I love seeing Frank get local support! I’m biased! He’s my friend! But he’s also an incredible artist. If you haven’t seen his work, you should probably check it out.

Cheers, Harrisburg!

Katie & Ryan

As most of you well know, I don’t blog about weddings. I have to make an exception for these guys though.

About a year ago, Katie emailed, Facebook messaged, tweeted, and ultimately tracked me down. Her messages were pretty blunt: through Hell or high water, I was going to be her wedding photographer. Honestly, I was super flattered when she told me that she was “borderline obsessed” with my photography and of course, I agreed to shoot her wedding.

This past Saturday, Katie and Ryan tied the knot on an island in the Susquehanna River with Three Mile Island a stone’s throw away in the background. Goes without saying, they’re a lovely and unique pair…

Congrats, hot dogs!

Stephen Michael Haas

Do you know what I like to see in Harrisburg? Some damn art… 

Maybe you’ve seen the mural that Stephen Michael Haas recently finished behind the Little Amps in Olde Uptown or if you haven’t witnessed it in person, maybe you caught a glimpse of it on the cover of this month’s The Burg. Stephen is an active young man with a hand in city happenings. He’s painted murals, walls and canvases, displayed art at a number of the area galleries including Studio A, the MakeSpace, and Little Amps. Played music and encouraged people to dance the night away at HMAC, Second City Church, Fraiche, and other local venues. And he’s part of a music co-operative called Tree Cover Records. Frankly, I can barely keep up with the guy…

Stephen is one of the numerous people in Harrisburg that I had dubbed “unapologetically” himself. Of course, my previous sentiments were confirmed when I shot portraits of him. Sometimes it’s really hard to get people to forget that there’s a camera between us… Stephen is just Stephen. He reacts to me, not the camera. Perhaps you might think that someone doesn’t just walk on their hands, fit into window sills, or scale walls every day… You would be mistaken though. The only thing I failed to capture here was how much he loves to climb trees.

Yep, he LOVES to climb trees.

Aaron’s Mug & Little Amps Downtown

(Heh.  See what I did there?  I’m so punny.)

I’m going to go ahead and say that Aaron Carlson is the Coffee Champion of Harrisburg.  For crying out loud, he’s the only one in the area who roasts his own coffee and it’s freakin’ delicious.  For over a year, his one location in Olde Uptown has been tucked away on the corner of Green and Muench for me to roll out of bed, mosey across the street, and get my daily fix.  Maybe I’m just a lucky little lady, but I couldn’t ask for a better neighborhood coffee shop/record store/music venue.  I’m totally pickin’ up what Aaron’s puttin’ down.

Bright and early this past Monday morning, Little Amps new location opened downtown on State and Second.  I’m pretty jazzed for the rest of Harrisburg to try a good cup of joe.  Cat’s out of the bag, party people, go check out the new shop!

http://littleampscoffee.com

 

 

 

 

 

STASH

It’s that time again… Happy 3rd in the Burg, ladies and gents!  Dani Fresh is on the loose tonight!

I’m excited to tell all of you art-lovin’, city-struttin’, party people that tonight is the grand opening of Stash, a vintage collective boutique at 234 North Street!  Stop by to welcome Jess, Anela, Jen, and Haley to the neighborhood and check out their carefully selected collection of men’s and women’s vintage pieces, as well as housewares and jewelry.

And can I just say, I’m really proud of them.  The shop looks beautiful.  Congrats, my loves!

Peek into the Stash!

 

Jersey Mike. Stay Positive. Hold Steady.

 

Where do I even begin?  Words pale in comparison to what I feel is owed to you.

 

When I heard that you passed away my heart hit the floor.  But when it hit the floor, it was the size of a drum.  It was swollen with all the love.

 

When we met, I told you my goals and dreams for being a photographer that did more than just take a solid image.  I wanted to document people, REALLY document them.  Use my photos to empower other people to do good things.  I wanted to photograph musicians, artists, activists, etc. who were passionate and positive.  You literally said to me, “Well, let’s fucking do it!”  You put your hand out for me and gave me the opportunity to achieve those goals and sparked an awesome friendship.  I’ll never forget when you and I were joking around and you said to me, “Fresh, you and I are boys… You’re my boy.”  Dude, you’re my boy too.  Thank you.  I love you.

 

The best part of all of this is that when I talk to other people, they tell the same story.  You put your hand out to them too and helped them and changed them and loved them. Jersey, you nurtured all of us.  You are leaving behind an impeccable legacy.  The City of Harrisburg is, hands down, a better place because of you.

 

To Jersey Mike’s family and kids:  I am so sorry for your loss.  I hope that you can find peace in the love that was inspired by him.

 

STAY POSITIVE.  HOLD STEADY.

Cheers.

Liz Laribee

“Love community and you will kill it. Love your brother and you will build it.”
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Last Monday, I was much obliged to spend time with and interview the lovely and wonderful, Liz Laribee! Among many things, you may know her as a local artist, the Events Director of the Midtown Scholar, or the jovial and infectious young woman who’s laughter can be recognized almost anywhere. She is also an avid and experienced hug-giver. Here are some snippets from our interview!

DF: What all does your job entail here at the Scholar?

Liz: This is where I operate out of and its very important to me to be involved in helping creative people have an outlet for exhibiting their talents, whether that’s musicians, community organizers, artists, writers, etc. One of the things I love about this place is that its completely poly-culture. There are so many different things happening in and around this space that it brings every socioeconomic demographic through the door. That’s very important to me. It’s a complete representation of the city around me. There are a lot of places everywhere that attract a very specific lens and specific population of people and there’s a place for that, but that’s not my jam. My jam is being involved in the lives of people who are living on the same street as I am and across town and providing a place for them to come mingle because strange and wonderful things happen when disparate people get together.

DF: I agree! There are a lot of places that only cater to one demographic or select demographics but its apparent that isn’t what you want to see here.

Liz: It doesn’t mean necessarily that we’re doing anything better than anyone else but its a matter of understanding who we are, who will be coming here, and what product we are giving them. The product here being hospitality and education in this wonderful mixture. I mean, I work in a bookstore! Which means essentially anybody who wanted to could get a complete education about anything they wanted to by coming through these doors and ingesting whatever is around them culturally, from the books, and the people they’re seeing. I love that! I work in a setting where everybody has the capacity to deepen their experience as a person. And its not just a social gathering either… its based upon just being within the dregs of culture.

After our meeting, it was my hope to capture Liz: a ball of pure love and joy, and a strong and determined woman.

Liz has also founded the Midtown Poets which meets at Midtown Scholar as well as being on the board for 3rd In The Burg. Upcoming events can be found at http://www.midtownscholar.com/ and at http://www.facebook.com/3rdInTheBurg.

In other exciting news, Liz has also committed to doing photography for a new magazine coming soon called “Local” which will be created by Dan Webster and Andrew Bargh. (Stay tuned for more on that, folks!)

Please take the time to support her and visit her website! http://www.lizlaribee.com/

Rock Paper Records Presents:

In Wilderness, The Aviation Orange, and LBG Project at the Abbey Bar

Just a few images from the RPR show on the 28th for your eye hunger!

I have to say, I’m very happy to be a part of the things happening at Rock Paper Records and pumped to start working more closely with Jersey Mike and Greenbelt Events.  This spring brought good things to me and I am grateful.

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I QUIT!

That’s right, folks!  This Friday, May 4th is my last day bartending at Chili’s in Harrisburg.  After 5+ years of margarita making, kids drinks blending, fajita smelling, sanity slipping, corporate bullshit… I’M OUT!

I love tending bar.  I’ve met so many wonderful people over the last 8 years… but I prefer to work with and for people who really believe in what they’re doing at a restaurant.  Meaning, I want to serve craft beer and a well thought out menu.  And I’d like to be able to tell a few dirty jokes.  Fortunately, I’m going to have the opportunity to do that!

Opening Soon!  The Sturges’ Speakeasy! 

And I promise to keep you all updated.

Love, Fresh

 

 

Meg, Dennis Hopper, and Olive Juice

This is my dear friend, Megan. When she little, she was VERY good at catching frogs and when it was time to go home, she’d stick them in her pockets. Once she was safely in her bedroom, she’d place them in shoeboxes and hide them under her bed… where she would usually forget about them, they’d die, and start to stink up her room. As a result of the smell, it wasn’t long before her mom caught on… When Meg went home, her mom started to check her hands and if they were dirty she knew Megan had frogs in her pockets. To Megan’s dismay, they would be confiscated and set free. But Megan, she was a pretty smart kid. She wised up and knew that if she didn’t want to get caught with those frogs in her pockets she’d have to clean her hands off before she went home to be able to fool her inspector.

This is my dear friend, Megan. She’s still very good at catching frogs.

Okay, she really is. But she didn’t catch this one. We had a few drinks at Underdog and decided it was a good idea to go to the pet store and buy her a new pet. Ha! She named him Dennis Hopper. He’s a tomato frog who eats crickets and sings at night.

“When people ask me what I like most about myself I tell them, one, I’m short so I don’t bump my head on things and two, I’m very good at keeping secrets.”

Its moments like these when I’m elated that I’m a photographer. I love documenting people like her.

Cheers to Megan who is one of the most endearing people I know. Olive juice, Meg. xo