In the middle of Jones Street
The Tenderloin
Friday afternoon


My adulthood so far has been…eventful.

I joined the Virginia Army National Guard right out of high school in 2000.

I was deployed on September 11 for homeland security.

At 21, I was in Iraq as a prison guard (No. Not there.)

At 23, I was engaged and living in Washington, DC. By then, I had worked in the Pentagon and was working at an anti-tobacco non-profit.

Right before my 25th birthday, I broke up with my fiance and had no clue what to do next in my life.  So I did the best thing ever:  go on a much needed vacation.

I went to San Francisco for a week to relax and unwind.  I left knowing that this is where I needed to be. The people were fantastic, the food was wonderful, and there was always something interesting going on.  I even hiked.  Dottie doesn’t hike.  But I loved it.  I kept telling myself towards the end of my visit, “This could be my everyday”.

I called my dad from baggage claim when I arrived back at DCA and let him know that I was thinking about moving to California.  He took it a lot better than expected…he just said that as long as I thought it out and as I long as I was happy, he would be happy.

Two months later, I packed up all of my clothes in two large cases and a duffle bag, and headed West.  This was the definition of a fresh start…moving away from my family, my friends and a job I loved.  But I was happy.

I’ve been in San Francisco for 2 1/2 years now.  I don’t think there is another city that is more perfect for me.


You can see the rest of Dottie’s photo shoot here.

Dottie’s website:
Her Etsy store:
Her Twitter:  @ohdottie



  1. Posted December 11, 2009 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    OK, I ADORE this photo of Dots. ADORE it.

    • Posted December 11, 2009 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Isn’t it wonderful? I had a hard time deciding what photo to use. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Posted December 11, 2009 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Cheers to fresh starts, Dottie! Julie, I love this shoot and location. Excellent.

  3. Posted December 11, 2009 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I love this addition to the ilivehereSF family! Lovely shoot and lovely person!

    Dottie for Mayor!

  4. Posted December 11, 2009 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I felt just the same way when I had a few hours layover, at 18, on my way to Hawaii. I visited here
    at least ten times and even honeymooned here before I made my move, at 30, after my divorce. Now,
    at 65, I am still happy with my decision. I’ve traveled the world and it’s still my favorite city!

  5. Posted December 11, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Dottie’s photography is wonderful! Thank you so much for making us all hip to her work and some of her story.

  6. Patti Calkosz
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Awesome picture, awesome story… so inspirational. Gives me fresh hope for living life. I’ve been enjoying all the i live here stories but just couldn’t not comment on this one. Thank you for sharing it with us all!

  7. Posted December 12, 2009 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    awesome!! go Dottie! on permanent happy vacation. coolness 😀

    btw Julie awesome new re-site. super ❤

  8. Posted December 12, 2009 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    one of my fav I Live Here’s to date.

    Dottie is one of my favorite ppl i met in 2009. and so are you 🙂

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] fellow CALIBER photog Julie Michelle posted this great photo of local Sweet Cart sweetheart Dottie, also a photographer (we’re everywhere!), on her site i […]

  2. […] tanto, la fotógrafa-colega de CALIBER Julie Michele publicó en su sitio web I live here: SF esta excelente foto de la dulce Dottie del carrito Sweet Cart, quien también es fotógrafa (¡estamos por todos […]

  3. […] we found this gem by the always fabulous Tangobaby for her project I live here: SF. Her name is Dottie. Most of the photoshoot appears to have been made on our street, almost at the corner of our now […]

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