Seeking Color In The US

West Virginia

Blackwater Falls

Color 26, Color 54, Color 51Maggie Owens1 Comment

What we learned at Blackwater Falls in West Virginia: 

1) "Moss can be a lot brighter of a green than you'd expect!"

2) ^^^ that's a really dorky thing to be shouting to your friends right before you trip on the moss and fall ass-first into the water. 

3) Rachel has to try a lot less hard to look indie than Maggie and Ceil do. 

Ceil giving it her all. 

Maggie trying really, really hard. What is this? A senior portrait? 

Rachel giving minimal effort, achieving maximum indieness.

She even looks indie when almost falling into the water.

But, for the record, it wasn't Rachel who 100% fell into the water. 

... It was Maggie. You all already know it was Maggie so what's the point. 

New Vrindaban Gopa

Maggie OwensComment

As we explored the grounds of the Hare Krishna golden palace, New Vrindiban, in West Virginia, we met Gopa gardening in the back. Here's what we learned about Gopa, Hare Krishna and New Vrindiban:

Name: Gopa

Favorite Color: “Blue,” Gopa says. “I’ve just always liked it. My eyes are blue. I like to wear blue. When I was a child, I got to choose the color to paint my room and I chose blue."

Originally from: The Detroit area 

How she came to New Vrindaban: “I came here when I was 20 — that was 40 years ago,” she says. “Some friends and I had been a part of the Hare Krishna temple in Ann Arbor but wanted to work on a farm, so we came here. It was a lot different than it is now. One car, one phone. There was none of this ‘palace’ stuff you see now. It was just a philosophy.” 

What she’s working on at New Vrindaban: Converting the whole garden to be completely organic.

Favorite flower at New Vrindaban: It’s a toss-up between the Love and Peace rose and the Europeanas. 

One of Gopa's two favorite flowers, the Europeana 

One of Gopa's two favorite flowers, the Europeana 

Gossip from New Vrindaban

Color 1, Color 20, Color 60, Color 36, Color 21Maggie OwensComment

Tucked away in the hills of West Virginia, we found New Vrindaban — a spiritual site for the Hare Krishna community. Nearly reaching Willy-Wonkian proportions, the grounds included a man-made body of water, gargantuan statues, an award-winning rose garden and a golden palace that would make even Kanye West blush. It was stunning (and honestly unexpected for something neighboring a town called Moundsville). 

Perhaps the most surprising discovery we found at New Vrindaban came at Prasadam, or the lunch-time food offering. We shared picnic tables with guests and New Vrindaban residents alike and, over a free, vegetarian meal, heard something we truly hadn't expected: gossip.

As three recipients of an all-girls education, we know gossip when we hear it. And the women we shared the picnic table with, who all lived and worked on the New Vrindaban grounds, were most definitely gossiping. They gabbed over sweet potatoes (maybe?) and pea shoots (honestly, the vegetables were mushed to oblivion, but still delicious) about the who's who of New Vrindaban.

We felt restored and in the know. But, much like mushed vegetables, we felt immediately hungry again — hungry for more gossip. Here's what we came up with — our Burn Book (Hare Krishna Edition). 

Rumor has it that the blonde streak in Rachel's hair isn't natural. *Cough Cough* Dye Job *Cough Cough.*

Cool floral crown, Swan. Let me guess — you got the inspiration at Coachella while taking pictures of yourself? Do you even listen to Edward Sharpe — like really listen, I mean? I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and show some real creativity. Why not turn the tables and wear a dress shaped like Bjork? Do something original!

These two claim to be a dynamic duo, but look at the way they're competing for attention —waving their hands in the air like it's the early 90's. BFFL doesn't stand for Bathing in your Friend's Fucking Limelight. Okay, ladies? 

"I'm the real star!"

"I'm the real star!"

"No, I'm the real star!"

"No, I'm the real star!"

"On Wednesdays, we hold torches!"

"On Wednesdays, we hold torches!"

Actually, these girls were pretty legit.