My Life, Photography, and COVID-19

My name is Esther Anaya, I am 67 years of age, a native-born Puerto Rican, raised in the Bronx. While growing up on the poor side of the town wasn't easy, I was a fairly happy child. Our household consisted of seven girls, one boy, mom, and dad. Mom was a great cook; everyone loved her cooking. My experience with cooking came from her. I love cooking and photographing pictures of my food. Puerto Rican food is awesome and delicious, it also looks good in pictures. It makes your mouth water. Delicacies like that you cannot keep to yourself. People today like to take pictures of their food while dining at restaurants. It may be because of the great plated presentation or for future memories of that special occasion. Whatever the reason, it's become a trend.

In 1971, I graduated from Walton High School in the Bronx. While attending, they placed me in the Co-op Program where I worked for one week and went to school for one week. That gave me an edge when I headed into the corporate world. Thereafter, I went on to Monroe College and achieved my Associate's Degree in Business Administration. With the help of the college, I was hired for a job right away. I worked for several different corporations until I landed the job I wanted with the American International Group; an insurance company known worldwide. After two years, I took a fall whereas I could no longer work. Even after several surgeries to my knees and feet, I never recuperated completely. I've gone through a lot in the past years, but I pick myself up and wipe myself off. There is too much to do in life, rather than lay around feeling sorry for myself. One of the reasons why I enjoy photography is that It takes my mind off less important things and takes me places I have never been to. 

As a person who loves to travel, I especially enjoy the sights of my homeland, Puerto Rico. The beautiful beaches and spectacular views are a sight for sore eyes. Capturing the beauty, its nature, and colorful views makes it difficult to take just a few pictures. The love of nature and its essence is pure joy. How unfortunate that there is no room for travel at present due to the pandemic of 2020.

Besides losing family members, this has been my worst year ever due to COVID-19. I am a person who likes to keep active regardless of my imperfections. Therefore, it has been difficult for me to be housebound. I miss my family, friends, the gym, the senior citizen center, and traveling. To think that a simple sneeze or cough can cause a pandemic just by traveling through the air is not only scary but life-threatening. I am not used to living out of the norm, but our way of living now has become the new norm. For how long, who knows.

I look forward to when this finally ends so we can look to the future. Hopefully, we can continue with the photography classes offered to us by the Bronx Documentary Center. We are very fortunate to have them and I hope they will continue to be available to us in the near future.

This picture was taken in E.J. Korvetts photography studio on Bruckner Boulevard in White Plains Road, styling my afro look, the 1970s.

Two of my favorite things are color and makeup. I have not been wearing any lately due to the quarantine, 5/14/2020.

"Alexandria and the Cheetah," I couldn't resist purchasing it through Home Interiors. It's been with me many, many years, 5/2020.

I love this photo of us taken at a birthday party a couple of years back. At present, we are sticking it out through these trying times, 5/27/2020.

Here we are watching the news of protest in Minneapolis after the death of George Floyd. I am so lucky to have my honey here during this crisis, 5//27/2020.

My neighborhood, applauding and cheering health care workers and first responders, outside of my window where I reside in the Bronx, 4/13/2020.

Soup for the soul, healthy and nutritious with a touch of love in every spoonful, 5/3/2020. 

Good things start with Bustelo coffee. Drink some in the morning and stay alert during the day, 5/27/2020. 

This banana walnut bread came out delicious. Baking has become my joy during this COVID-19, 4/28/2020.

Here I am out and about, but focusing on staying safe on 5/20/2020.

A beautiful landscape mountain sunrise, it is so calming, 5/27/2020.

Waffles, our new addition to our family. Perfect timing and a bundle of joy. Three weeks old, 2020.

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