This is the house where I once lived. I used to turn the corner after a long weekend of traveling, see those bright lights out front, and experience that wonderful feeling of being home.
Living here was one of the most formative chapters of my life because I learned how to be independent, it was the first time I experienced Europe, and it would set the tone for a lifetime of travel and photojournalistic exploration.
Florence still feels like home and I feel nostalgic being back here.
My first Coachella experience was magical and very special. I know that sounds so cliché, but it’s also very honest. Here’s the back story:
Two weeks ago I was having lunch with my friend Lauren in the West Village, and I ran into a client that I haven’t seen in a year. That client emailed me the next day and asked if I was available to film something for Coachella. I gladly accepted the job, secured a pass, and I was well on my way. My friend Cheree (pictured here in this double photo) and I went to college and studied abroad in Florence together. She was so gracious and invited me to crash with her and some friends at a cottage in Indio. Phil, a really nice guy dressed up as Cupid, took this Polaroid picture of us, and handed it to us like it was no big deal (thanks for the memorable souvenir, Phil!). The first day I rode a bike into the festival and got 2 flat tires. Thankfully, a stranger was kind enough to give me and my bike a ride home at the end of the night. I actually ran into him the next day, which is pretty crazy given that 90,000 people attend the festival each weekend. I offered to buy him a drink and he politely declined. Tim, another friend that flew out from NY, was so generous and patient with helping me navigate my first Coachella by answering all of my questions including what to wear and where to park. What I’m getting at is that the Coachella community is incredibly kind, gracious, generous, happy, and giving. I experienced so many random acts of kindness, meaningful human interactions, and genuine smiles this weekend that I could have sworn I was in some kind of utopia. And it’s not just any smile, but it’s a smile that you exchange and immediately you know there’s a connection that you share that’s much bigger and significant than ourselves. I almost forgot to mention that there’s also incredible music and non-stop dancing for 3 days straight. Two and a half weeks ago I had no idea I would be attending Coachella this year. It’s funny how I’ve lived in So Cal for most of my life but never made it out to Coachella until relocating to NYC. I now fully understand why people love Coachella so much and I definitely hope to be back! And let’s be honest - where else in the world would you be photo bombed by Yoda in a Polaroid picture? The experience is pure magic.
#shakeitlikeapolaroidpicture #coachellove #coachella #coachella2014 #polaroid #lomography #filmisnotdead #yodaphotobomb (at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival)