My fabulous friend Morgan Stetler is celebrating the opening of his first photography exhibit this Friday, March 25 at Sweeties in North Beach. If you can, check out his photo exhibit ~ I'll be there, playing the role of Morgan's groupie.
I met Morgan a little over 10 years ago, during a pre-Iron-Chef cook-off between him and another friend. Morgan's rooftop setting under a romantic San Francisco sky blew away the competition and captured my heart. When I lived above Dolores Park in the City, Morgan was living with Ian on 20th Street, just two short blocks from my flat. For a while Morgan and I wowed our friends with our own cook-offs and I remember once winning points for serving the cream in a pyrex measuring cup for the dessert course. Those were the good ole days ~ when I was dirt poor but rich in friendships; I couldn't afford a cream-and-sugar set but still I could whip up a big meal for all my friends, even if we did have to sit cross-legged on the floor.
Morgan and Ian lived in a huge pre-Mission-gentrification, rent-control apartment that was the scene of many, many of those infamous "dinner parties" the boys would throw ~ where the guest list consisted of only a bevy of beauties ~ Kristina, Laura, Katie, Maria, lil ole me, and any one of the numerous women who had fallen in love with Ian and/or Morgan that week; there were rarely other men at those dinner parties, but there was always an abundance of salsa music, plantains, and wine ~ and somehow a back rub was always part of the dessert course. ~ ;-)
Yeah, the boys were always there for me. I remember late one night, I was home alone in my little flat on Cumberland Street, sad and pining over some inconsequential boy who had broken my heart. I called Ian and Morgan and sniffed into the phone, "I'm wearing boxers and nibbling on oreos in bed!" Oh I was a sad sight, and I tell ya, the boys were right there ready to cheer me up ~ :) But that was the wonderful nature of our close friendship, and the friendship Ian and Morgan had with all of their girl-friends....they were the only boys lucky enough to get calls from the girls every time we had our hearts broken by yet another cad, another lothario who had treated us with less-than-the-undying-adoration we deserved ~ and so Ian and Morgan adored us all. Damn I love those guys.
I remember when Morgan's photography started taking shape and I fell in love with a batch of his photos from Cuba in 2001. He'd always had a photographer's eye and was already a creative genius, but still I was stunned by his photographs ~ stunned because he took the photos on a digital camera, which he then printed on his fancy printer at home, using fancy photo paper ~ they were museum-quality prints. Somehow, I sweet-talked Morgan into giving me prints of about 10 of his Cuba photos ~ I had each one custom framed and they make my humble apartment look like a hip art Gallery. Really. Morgan would not even let me pay him for the ink or paper or anything. He is one of the most generous souls I know (and hey that was because I was a poor law student at the time, too; for you, you should go to the exhibit and buy a print, ok?). Ai, Morgan makes me want to pick up a camera and convey onto film my visions of the sensory overload filtering through my life these days ~ the ones I haven't been able to blog about lately.
For now, here are two of the photographs he gave me ~ now you have a peek into my apartment as well, and that's more than I have put out all month.