Los Angeles has a lot to offer when it comes to creative inspiration. With endless amounts of sunshine, access to the Pacific Ocean, and a more relaxed feel than New York, it’s easy to see why there is an abundance of transplants here. I find the way people dress and how they hold themselves to be inspiring, and it has recently altered my own behavior. But I still find that Los Angeles can be a creative suck.
This past weekend, our incredible friend from Syracuse, Anne Marie, came to visit Los Angeles along with her good friend Catie. As with everyone else who has visited, we asked what exactly they would like to experience. Anne Marie made it clear that she really only wanted to experience Griffith Park.
Our good friends Chelsea and Chris visited recently. It was awesome to show them around LA and to talk about the differences between here and New York, where they both live. Hopefully they had a good time.
Thanks again guys. Hopefully we see you soon on the other coast.
Yesterday was a difficult day for our neighbor, Mercedes. Her husband has been in and out of the hospital battling cancer since we moved into our apartment in July. One of her dogs, Mini, has also been sick for a few months.
In the months since we’ve lived there, we’ve become close friends with Mercedes and her husband. Mercedes only speaks Spanish, but we do our best to understand and rely on the translators on our iPhones to communicate. Regardless, she watches our dog when needed and we return the favor in any way possible, including driving her and Mini to the vet earlier this week.
Mini had to stay overnight at the vet for tests, and I drove Mercedes to the vet to pick Mini up on Tuesday. Mercedes discovered that Mini had diabetes. The vet sent her and the dog home with insulin shots and a $400 bill.
Throughout the night, Mini threw up every time she drank water. Mercedes asked if I would take her and Mini back to the vet the next day to put her to sleep. She asked with strength, but I know she was distraught inside.
So, yesterday around 11 a.m., with Mini bundled up in a red towel, we drove back to the vet. Before getting out of the car, Mercedes looked down at Mini, and in Spanish, said goodbye. By this point, my heart was breaking and the tears were almost coming.
As the vet proceeded to take Mercedes into the room where Mini would be put to sleep, I asked Mercedes if she would like me to come with her, and she said yes. As I waited for them to bring Mini into the room, I thought to myself how I reached this point in my life. Here I am in a room with a woman who I would do anything for, trying to be strong for her, yet we don't even speak the same language and our communication isn't always together, yet the bond is stronger than that.
Once Mini was in the room, laying on her side, I couldn't hold it in anymore. The tears started to flow as they injected the fluid that would end Mini's suffering. It wasn't I who was the strong one, but Mercedes. Yes the tears flowed from her eyes, but she was there to comfort me, when it should have been the other way around.
When we left, Mercedes talked about the good times with Mini, but in Spanish of course. All the meantime, I just kept thinking about how important it is to support and help each other. Life is too short not to.
Emily got me an A-1 for Christmas in 2011. I hadn't actually used it until we went to Philly for Thanksgiving in 2012. I just got this film processed last week. It is 2014, talk about taking your sweet time.
Photo projects are hard. They can be full of constraints, similar images, time demands, etc. But I used to love that about these projects. Once I finished one, I would also look for the next one to start. In many cases, these constraints allowed me to fall into the trap of shooting similar photos over and over. I should say that I haven't done many, maybe five or six at most, but that includes one successful 365 project, a set of images centered around smoking in London, and until this point, another 365 I got 300 plus images in.
I started this current 365 during my final year at Syracuse and thought it would be an awesome way to look back at this part of my life. For the most part, the images do that. You can see the progression from school to graduation to a trip of a lifetime across the United States to a new home in Los Angeles. However, toward the end it was getting difficult. I would find myself not having time during work to shoot and then I would get home and take a photo at the end of my day. The images became monopolized by our dog, Kevin. Yes, he has become an incredibly important part of my life, but I didn't feel inspired to shoot anymore. If that's the case, what's the point of such a project?
So with that, I am unfortunately ending another project unsuccessfully, but I have learned a lot about myself through this one. Inspiration, creative relaxation, and learning what makes a good image are just a few lessons I've learned.
My family doesn't have many traditions, but there is one that has existed before me and before my father. As long as I can remember, we have celebrated Thanksgiving at my grandparent's home in Moosic, PA. The weekend after Thanksgiving has always belonged to making Polish sausage, also known as kielbasa. The process is often long and can sometimes be very painful. Spread out over three days, there is plenty of work to be done in all stages from mixing the meat, packing the casings, and smoking the kielbasa.
About a week ago, I got a tweet from an account called Dear Syracuse With Love (DSyrWL). The account is part of a project that a friend of mine, Quinton Fletchall, started earlier this year to allow people to talk about what they love most about Syracuse, NY. He has created physical postcards so that people can write messages about their love for Syracuse and send them back into the DSyrWL group.
Since the start of the campaign, he has gotten almost 50 postcards back with some incredible messages. You can check them out here.
The project has a larger goal of connecting Syracuse University with the city of Syracuse. So far Quinton has done some pretty incredible things. I am very excited to go back and visit Syracuse in late December. Thank you so much Quinton for all of your hard work. You have allowed others to see why Syracuse holds such a special place in our heart.
Emily and I both had off today so we decided to do something very LA for the afternoon. We've been wanting to go to the Hollywood Sign since we got here. After doing a little bit of research I found a way to hike there and that is how we spent a good part of our day.
I don't know if there is a better sunset view of LA as a whole than from above the Sign.
I have decided to make the switch from a Wordpress site to a Koken one. The backend is much easier to use and it feels like it is truly designed for artists. While I have a technical background and I usually enjoy troubleshooting in Wordpress and digging through lines and lines of code to fix something or alter something else, Koken has made things pretty simple, which is always great.