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Kirsten Alana • Photographer


photographer sometimes found at home in NYC, usually abroad • co-creator of #ThoseCubaStreets w/ @dante.vincent • inquiries: kirsten@godandbeauty.com

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I've got Paris on the brain on this #traveltuesday since I'm coordinating a big giveaway [for you!] during Bastille Day week plus I'm trying to come up with a summer trip for @dante.vincent & I - but all I can think of is how I'd rather just go back here, to my favorite city...... Speaking of Danté, he took this photo and I just love it!! I think it so perfectly captures Paris. He took it during our October 2016 trip and it doesn't seem like it was that long ago when I look back at our photos. But it was! Too long ago! When I'm having days like this, I get my French fix from books by @lostncheeseland, @georgiannalane et @nicholerobertson. I also browse the feeds of @thefrancophiles, @annstreetstudio et @sliceofparis or I re-read back issues of the English version of the @mylittleparis newsletter. What do you do when you can't travel to France but you want to? 🇫🇷 #meetparis #seeparis #parisjetaime #vscoparis #streetsofparis #topeuropephotos #thenewparis
The other night during a @furla party and later a @humanityunified event, the @highlinenyc was visible below. I saw it from two sides within the span of a few hours and it brought back such fond memories of my early days living in the City. I used to lead tours there for a local company. In that role I told the story of how in 1847, street-level railroad tracks were installed down Manhattan's West Side to ship freight between all the docks on the Hudson River and the warehouses in what became known as The Meatpacking District. It was so dangerous to have trains, pedestrians, horse-drawn carriages and other traffic all together that the railroads hired men to ride in front of the trains on horses, waving flags. Eventually known as the "West Side Cowboys" they were not successful enough to keep Tenth Avenue from being known as "Death Avenue" and the city created the elevated rail line in 1929 as a way to separate industry from every day. But by the 1980s due to the growth of interstate trucking and air freight, the elevated rail line was no longer being used. We owe the current park system to Joshua David & Robert Hammond who organized the Friends of the High Line in 1999, proposing the abandoned structure be converted in a manner similar to the Promenade Plantée in Paris. Perhaps it is that connection to my favorite French city, or perhaps it is my own bent toward preservation over new construction -- that makes me feel a particular affection for this landmark. I've watched it change so much since I first arrived, when only the first portion of the High Line was open and half the apartment buildings here were just plans on paper. As I gazed down on it the other night, it was like reacquainting myself with an old friend! • #kanyguide #thehighline #boomerangvideo #newyorkbynewyorkers #takewalksny #happybirthdayhighline
Yesterday in the City was CRAZY busy but so fun as one of my stops allowed me to stretch the photographic muscles I hadn't used in a long time doing one of the things I love best: capturing other people in front of the camera! So much of my career has evolved into brands wanting me to be in front of the camera and the truth is that's not where I'm most happy. So THANK YOU @thejamescollective for inviting me. And thank you @prettyinpistachio ladies + @kramer_alli @girlswhoeat for being the best models ever as we bonded over how much we love this @freepeople kimono (which we allll need in our closets!!). Thank you for keeping us hydrated and fed  @cannonballwines @aida_eats 😝😍 #ootd #brunchinbedtjc #postmoreportraits #fpsummeroflove #fashiongram #sonyrx1rii #aboutalook
GUIDE TO NYC series • Ok you don't neeeed me to tell you to visit Central Park, right?! But I also couldn't share a guide with you and not include it. It wouldn't be summer in the city without moments like this. Or it wouldn't be summer done right! For the best experience, if you're a tourist, go during the day during the week when less locals will be there and you'll have more space to yourself. That being said, the park is larger than the country of Monaco 😳 and the Vatican City. So it's not exactly small on size, you should be able to find a place of serenity at really any time if you head deep enough into the park. Download the app by the @centralparknyc Conservancy to help you navigate into areas farther north or deeper in than you're familiar with. Central Park is the most-filmed park in the world but there are still areas you might not recognize. Despite being completely landscaped as the result of an 1858 competition won by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux, and therefore not as natural as it seems, the park does feature remnants of ancient history. The largest boulders are actually evidence of Wisconsin Glacier which melted away 12,000 years ago! See more tips at #kanyguide • #iloveny #centralparkmoments #centralparknyc #sheepsmeadow #nybynewyorkers
Father's Day has never been easy for me. In a bad year it's a date I just wish I could erase from the calendar all together. • Anyone else struggle with the holiday too? • But yesterday I put on a vintage dress that my mother once owned, tried to be thankful for the parent I do have and I tried to stay busy. Tried to outrun the emotional pain even as my physical pain was ramping up. In the morning I visited @cestchristine in Brooklyn and then later in the afternoon @dante.vincent and I met @lozula and his wife Jess in one of my favorite spaces in the City where, by the time we walked in, I'd managed to rise above some of the sorrow of the day. I was still in a lot of physical pain but I was thinking of all there is to be thankful for in a world where there's so much hurt and where I have a heck of a lot more than most to be thankful for, even if I don't have someone to celebrate on Father's Day. There was a moment where I did a little spin, in the middle of the crowded Oculus, like a girl who has no cares or worries. I was trying to be a person who rises above the pain for a moment. Who embraces life. And it worked. I spent a few hours completely enjoying the architecture, our friends, good food and the wonderful man I do have in my life. I might never be as good as @ruthielindsey at choosing joy above pain, at not letting it rule me. (Please visit her profile and read her story! It's so inspiring!) But I'm trying to be better. One day, and sometimes one twirly dress, at a time.
Montauk didn't turn out to the quite what we'd thought it would be but there were two sunsets that @dante.vincent & I really enjoyed. I wish I could share a scratch & sniff of the smell from this spot because it was divine. It must be the bush with the white flowers because it seemed like everywhere we went where that bush could be found, the air smelled sweet! Between that, the gorgeous color in the sky, the company of my love and just for the fun of it a picnic dinner with a bottle of @taittingerusa - it was another reminder that the simple things in life are usually the best. That's not always easy to remember in the City where it's all about what you're dressed in, how much money you make, what neighborhood you live in or who you know. Even when I'm traveling there's sometimes an undercurrent of that search for the next big moment that will outdo the others which have come before it. #montauk might not have been what I thought it would be but it was just what I needed! #sunset_love #newyorkstate #simplemoments #natureisamazing
On the advice of our friend @runwaychef, we borrowed bikes from our hotel and rode out to the Montauket for dinner and sunset. Along the way there were gorgeous views out to the ocean and the sweeping bluffs that we saw from afar ended up being the hills we had to ride to the top of, so we could coast down the other side and eventually get to our destination. Unlike most of the other relatively flat places we'd been on our rides before, this short route was characterized by a huge hill that seemed to never end, so I needed a rest at one point and then I saw this spot just about at the point where I couldn't ride anymore. @dante.vincent kindly captured the moment where I was catching my breath and enjoying the view. Later we found out Montauket wasn't serving dinner on the day we visited, so we made the best of it and settled in with a few local beers and a sunset that wanted to be brilliant but could never quite make it through the haze. It didn't matter! We had each other and we'd had a little adventure. There's always up and down to life but what matters most is being thankful for all the little things. #montauk #ihavethisthingwithbikes #jcrewalways #iloveny #bikingadventures #dametraveler #darlingweekend
Weekday beaches > Weekend Beaches • This workcation in #montauk hasn't had a whole lot of sun/sand/surf time because @dante.vincent has huge projects that he's had to be on conference calls all day for and I'm wrapping up projects and pitching new ones all day er day but just having an "office" for 3 nights that was near a beach instead of in the city lowered my stress rate significantly!! If you're visiting NYC, I definitely recommend coming out to #longisland during the week for at least a night. The difference in the pace of life out here is good for the soul and it's remarkable how different it is from the city during the week. On the weekend, it's non-stop parties and a scene that only differs from a weekend in the city by proximity to the ocean. Bottom line: yeah, weekday Montauk is my jam! #iloveny #beachplease #travelerinnewyork
GUIDE TO NYC series • Lots of great places to view the sun setting in New York City and there's no way I'll be able to cover them all with #kanyguide However I do want to include some of my favorites that might not be as documented as others. This is the view from Gantry Plaza State Park which is in Long Island City. In the summer, it allows you to see the sun silhouetting the skyline of Manhattan with the Empire State Building and the Chrysler (my favorite) included in the line up. You can also see the outline of the United Nations complex. There are usually other people here but there's nowhere near the crowds you get elsewhere. With the exception of any day that Manhattanhenge is occurring. Then, any spot like this, anywhere in the city, that the sun is perfectly aligned to set between buildings -- will be mobbed. What I love about this location is that you can make a whole evening of it. Great restaurants are all a close walk from where I stood to take this photo or you can bring a picnic and relax in the grass behind the piers that jut out into the East River. I stood on one to take this photo and to take the one I gave away as a screensaver in Stories this weekend. Did you catch that?? • Headed to Montauk this week with @dante.vincent to work from @thesurflodge so for those who asked about getaways from the city, that's coming right up. And I just published a new blog post, link in profile! • #sunsetcity #newyorkornowhere #newyorkbynewyorkers #sunsetsforbreakfast #sunsethunters
GUIDE TO NYC series • Hands down my favorite neighborhood to just explore in NYC is the West Village. Since I'm home for much of June and July, I'm hoping to have lots of time to stroll around streets like this appreciating the details and trying to imagine the stories that have taken place here, a part of the City that goes back to the earliest days of people settling the area. As I work on my personal project of a "Guide to NYC," I'm hoping to have more specific tips for you than just, 'hey you should wander around here' 😉 but in the past, that's all I've really done: wander. Keep your eye out for my tips with the hashtag 👉🏼 #kanyguide and I'll eventually have the info on my site. • In the meantime you can see the NYC places I recommend and save them to your own lists via @sherpa.guide It's an app which fills in the hole that was left when Instagram got rid of maps. To download it for iOS, visit their profile at @travelsherpa.
Yesterday @dante.vincent set a new bar for date night when he presented me with VIP tickets for @thechainsmokers at Forest Hills Stadium allowing us to meet Alex & Drew, experience their live warm up and more importantly -- be so close to the stage during the concert that we could feel the tremendous heat of the pyrotechnics warm our faces even as we struggled for fresh air because of the press of the endless crowd behind us. I have an embarrassing phobia of crowds like that and I really struggle with that kind of a lack of personal space which comes with the territory so to speak. Yet when I was able to relax into the experience enough to enjoy the music, which was AMAZING, it was a really fun night! Made even more special by the fact that my @sony RX1 RII, gifted to me by @focuscamera, was all Danté needed to take tremendous photos like this one that will help us forever remember the concert. Pro cameras aren't allowed into the stadium but the guards didn't seem to know that that Sony is in fact a very "pro camera" and one I'm now extra grateful that I own. When these words went up behind the band during the last set I wanted to scream, "NO THANK YOU CHAINSMOKERS," for helping me face my fears and reminding me again, that it's always worth it. 🎤🎼
Did anyone else celebrate #flw150 yesterday by going to any buildings or landmarks designed by Frank Lloyd Wright? Since he is my favorite architect I had to acknowledge his 150th birthday and was so grateful to start the day by experiencing an #emptyguggenheim, marveling at how special it was to see my favorite building in NYC very nearly empty. I was able to really study the architecture I love so much, the lines and curves of the @guggenheim - in a way I've never been able to when the museum is open to the public. It included a visit to the roof which is so rare many employees of the museum haven't even experienced it [which you can see for a few more hours in Stories]! And I learned that Wright intended all the skylights in the museum to flood the building with natural light, even taking the time to plan how and where the light would fall, how the shadows would enhance or highlight the architecture. Unfortunately since it is an art museum, those skylights have been covered as long as the museum has been open in order to protect priceless works by the likes of Pollack, Chagall and Calder. He never saw that change occur since he died before the museum opened to the public. As our tour concluded and the museum began to fill with people excited for the special $1.50 admission, normally $20, I realized no matter what changes have come -- Wright's work now has a life far beyond his own. What an incredible legacy that is! #kanyguide
GUIDE TO NYC series • I really like the South Street Seaport area and the esplanade along the East River. Post-Sandy reconstruction and redevelopment has brought more dining options, a greater number of ferries that run to more of the other parts of the city as well as new landscaping and parks that make it an area of Manhattan which you can enjoy all day in multiple ways. @dante.vincent and I checked it out this weekend and I was pleased to see this older boat that I've always loved still docked and at the moment we walked by, framed by the most wonderful blue sky, a passing plane and a visible moon. (Use the zoom in feature of @instagram to see those last two!) This same area is often home to pop up events as well. If you're visiting the City, @southstreetseaport's feed will let you know what might be happening while you're here. #seaportdistrictnyc • This is not a sponsored post, just the first in many tips I'll share about my home as I explore more of the five boroughs this summer and travel a little less. #kanyguide
Spending most of the summer at home! What would you like to see from #newyorkcity? I think I'm going to start with a search for the best 🍩🍩🍩 because today is #nationaldonutday 😜 #newyorkbynewyorkers
I wanted to travel to The Outer Banks last week so I could share a part of my country often overlooked by foreign tourists, at a time when my home country isn't being portrayed in the most positive light. I couldn't say this in a sponsored post and I couldn't even articulate all my reasons at the time but it hit me as I was about to land in NYC, as I looked out the window on approach to LGA, over the millions of people and homes and cars and all the diversity below me. • Now, don't get me wrong, I get why perceptions about the USA have changed. If I was on the outside looking in, it's likely I'd think we were all losing our minds here too. I'd probably think it's unsafe to travel here and that there aren't many good Americans left. I sometimes think all these things and I am a US citizen. It's easy to despair. Especially if you watch too much news and stop meeting people face to face to see where their heart is at. AND YET -- what I found in the Outer Banks is true for everywhere I've traveled in my country & for the city I call home: there are some good and some bad people. It's like it is anywhere else in the world, you can't believe only what you see on the news. You have to talk to people on the ground! I know some truly amazing people here in the USA doing some incredible things to help change this country and to make the world a better place. When I'm out on the streets and not working from home in NYC, I encounter moments of profound kindness with regularity. We might be led as a country by people who aren't good and they may be doing horrible things but we aren't ALL defined by who leads us. And we are not all like those leaders. If you're from another country and reading this, I hope you already know that and my saying it is just a bit redundant. But I'm saying it just in case you're someone who is not so sure. If you're from the USA & reading this, I hope you are trying to love EVERYONE regardless of race/sex/religion or any other factors
6/6 from my #sponsored creative series in @theouterbanksnc with @borderfreetravels who took this photo with my camera while we were out on the water with Sail Outer Banks AND five years to the day that I was on another sailboat in Costa Brava • This was a sort of "saved the best for last" kind of deal since this is how we spent our last evening in the #obx. There is a short list of things that bring out a smile this big on my face and sailing is one of them! When we were making our list of activities we wanted to try out during our visit to The Outer Banks, sailing was at the top for me. Then, when @jcrew gifted me the 'Hello, Sailor!' top that I'm wearing in this photo, which is still for sale FYI, I saw it all come together. Thankfully, Kristen felt the same way and we both loved our experience with Katherine and Dan who own the 41 ft teak-trimmed boat we sailed on and who were a joy to learn from as we navigated the waters of first Roanoke Sound and then up into Albemarle Sound. Kristen and I both were able to take a turn at the helm and I had flashbacks to learning how to sail at summer camp when I was a kid on little sailboats with not much more than a heavy keel and a mast!! As with almost everything, the company truly made the experience and I found myself grateful to have been able to work all week with such a wonderful person @borderfreetravels, constantly meeting people as friendly and open as Katherine and Dan were. The people are what make The Outer Banks special so if you are visiting, please check out www dot Sail Outer Banks dot com to book a few hours on this Gulfstar with this wonderful couple who have decades of experience on the water. They've inspired a desire in me to take sailing lessons back home this summer! #obxnow #jcrewalways #jcrewstyle #sailing⛵️ #visitnc #getolympus
5/6 from my #sponsored creative series in @theouterbanksnc with @borderfreetravels from our stay at @sanderlingresort • I saw it as being exactly what I'd hoped to find in terms of accommodation in The Outer Banks. I'm sure this dining room in their restaurant: The Lifesaving Station, which wasn't full when we ate a late breakfast there the other day, is now full to overflowing because it's Memorial Day as I type this!! However, I appreciated the smaller crowd because it gave me the opportunity during our stay to really notice all the details. And there are many to find! A designer was hired to source antiques all over the Eastern Seaboard so remnants from our seafaring, whaling and exploratory past abound but they're all so beautifully presented. There's also a nice amount of @audubonsociety prints & books which I appreciated as well as vintage photos, @hermes scarves in nautical prints and touches of orange which contrast so beautifully against the green of the sea grasses on the beach and the blue of the sky on a sunny day! • Top Tips: eat dinner at Kimball's Kitchen and ask the sommelier to recommend your wine, he's very talented! Don't miss the s'mores kit in your room which you can take out to one of the fire pits to truly complete the beach experience while in #obx. There's just not much Sanderling hasn't thought of. I'd love to return some day. #obxnow
4/6 from my #sponsored creative series in @theouterbanksnc with @borderfreetravels who took this photo of me • We both really loved @capehatterasnps, which takes up more than 70 of the 130 total miles of coastline that comprise The Outer Banks. But our favorite part of exploring Cape Hatteras was our visit with Jeff and his horse named Willem who is an Arabian/Percheron mix. [pictured here] I've been horseback riding all over the world and I've met a lot of horses in other circumstances but I've never met a horse as loving, sweet and dependable as Willem. He LOVES to be on the beach too, and like me didn't want to leave when the time came for our us to have to part ways. Kristen and I gave him lots of kisses, or he gave them to us...I'm not really sure. But either way I parted feeling sad we couldn't extend our time together and yet happy as well as profoundly grateful that Jeff trusted me to ride his favorite horse. While I'm experienced at riding, it was only the second time I'd done so without a saddle and it gave me the gift of being able to be much closer to Willem and to read his body language with much more ease than when you have a saddle in the way. To book some time with Willem for yourself, visit www dot Hatteras Island Horseback Riding dot com and inquire about Jeff's availability and if you're on Cape Hatteras this Memorial Day weekend and you see a tall white horse, make sure you say hello. Willem and his owner Jeff, are very friendly! 🐴 #obxnow #obx
3/6 from my #sponsored creative series in @theouterbanksnc with @borderfreetravels • We both really loved the Cape Hatteras area and in particular our afternoon at Bodie Island Lighthouse with our local guide Aaron. It is one of the two black & white lighthouses that are quite iconic to islands that make up The Outer Banks. The other is much further down into the National Seashore but Bodie is a reasonable drive from Manteo where we started our trip. Fun facts: the word Bodie is pronounced the same way you'd say 'body' not 'boatie' which is what I first assumed. The current lighthouse is actually the third version after the first two were victims of natural disaster and faulty engineering. Also, you can climb the lighthouse to enjoy stunning views of both the bay and the ocean sides of the area. 200+ steps of gorgeously detailed Victorian-era ironwork make up the interior space that you climb and at the top there is still a stunning Fresnel Lens which is rare as so many have been taken by the Coast Guard or National Park Service to be put into museums and replaced by more modern, and less expensive, mechanisms. Make sure you check out @borderfreetravels feed for a view from the top looking down! #obxnow #obx
2/6 from our #sponsored creative series in @theouterbanksnc • I captured this image around 5:30 AM in the town of Manteo on Roanoke Island, on one of the piers which is part of the town's marina, leading to their lighthouse. It's a strange perk of having been gone for more than a month in different time zones, that now I wake between 4 and 5 AM every day, allowing me to experience The Outer Banks in a way I wouldn't if I was still sleeping. I was able to savor & record sunrise with no one else around but the birds chirping in the nearby trees and frogs in the long grasses near shore. A few runners were the only other people I saw as I wandered town, craving coffee. After I took this photo, I continued walking till I found a tiny movie theater with architecture that reminded me of Strasbourg in France. And it had a tiny red truck out front that looked like something you'd see in Italy. In fact it was advertising a nearby Italian restaurant! I could hardly believe such a small town could have so many surprises waiting to be found but I realllllly needed coffee. So when I rounded a corner and saw the lights on at Island Perk, I thought I was going to cry tears of joy. Instead I talked with owner Chris and found out he just opened 10 months ago and the coffee shop is his retirement project after coming to The Outer Banks for vacation for most of his life! He made @borderfreetravels and I the best caramel lattes and as I carried them back to The Tranquil Inn where we were staying, I felt grateful for the inability to sleep in a town that's so easy plus safe to explore so early in the morning but which isn't too small to have at least one great coffee shop!! 😂😍☕️ #obxnow #obx
1/6 from The Outer Banks • So grateful to be working on a #sponsored creative series with my uber talented friend @borderfreetravels this week in @theouterbanksnc. We both feel grateful to have been chosen to help tell the story of this special part of the USA! We're starting in the town of Manteo on historic Roanoke Island where the English first created a settlement in the 1580's. It's a place where you'll find an abundance of old inns, long piers, pretty boats, tall trees, vibrant gardens, eclectic stores and no shortage of stories from locals if you have the time to sit and hear them. Stay tuned for more as we discover #obxnow and of course Kristen and I will both be sharing tidbits from our day to day in Stories...