Tag Archives: los angeles

Moving to NYC: What I’ll Miss Most About LA

the girl that never sleeps is finally moving to the city that never sleeps. certainly reminds me of one of my favorite songs by the wombats.

farewellLA

how do i sum up 6 years of my life in los angeles? understandably, i’ve been putting off writing this blog by sheer intimidation but it’s probably time. in less than 3 weeks, i’ll be packing up my life in the land of palm trees and saying hello to new york city. if there’s anything i should add to my LA bucket list before i leave, let me know!

i moved to LA initially to study at UCLA and lingered afterwards for career reasons. since then, i’ve had many adventures — from interning at universal pictures and focus features, to working at UCLA’s film/tv rental office checking out equipment, to shooting hundreds of editorial projects and concerts. for some time i even gave the acting thing a shot with a commercial agent i was referred to by the makeup artist on a music video shoot. i eventually became involved with a wonderful non-profit photo organization and loved connecting with others on events and exhibits to bring photography to life. i liked working behind the scenes so much that i found myself on the project management side of a digital media agency– producing apps/games/websites for brands like l’oreal, bravo and several movie studios.

though it’s been an amazing adventure, i know this city just doesn’t suit me. the sprawled geography, the incessant traffic, lack of public transportation and seasons. it was just a ball of stress.

it’s a bit strange now because i’ve established a pretty good life here. i have a wonderful network of friends, a stable job as a producer, regular photo clients, etc. i absolutely adore my apartment and echo park– the neighborhood i live in.

echo park at sunset

however, i know that i won’t ever truly be happy with this city. i mean, you better have a pretty good reason to stay somewhere you don’t like and i’ve been fortunate enough to have accomplished most of my reasons within the past few years.

i’m a firm believer in taking action if you’re unhappy. you can come up with a slew of excuses or even legitimate barriers between going after what you want but in the end, you’re only cheating yourself. don’t stand in your own way because there will sure as hell be plenty of other obstacles to deal with. i try to tell myself that if you want something, it’s not that hard. just take actionable steps and make a plan. honestly, life is precious and you shouldn’t waste time delaying pursuit of the things that make you happy. take the time to stop and ask yourself if you’re doing what you want in life. if you’re not and don’t have a good reason why, you better get it together. one thing i’ve learned through loss is to never take anything for granted– to charge forward with purpose before it’s too late. regret never does down easy.

so with that said, i’m going after one of my life goals of living in new york. as a high school freshman, i visited new york on an orchestra trip (shh…don’t judge). even though i was only there for a week, i completely fell in love with the city and promised myself that when i “grew up,” i would live there. this is a pretty scary leap considering i’m leaving everything behind and i don’t have a job or place lined up. that’s fine though. i like a good challenge and sometimes you just have to shake things up a bit. plus, i believe i’ve outgrown LA now that i’ve accomplished my initial goals for moving here in the first place. thankfully, i do have a roommate to look for apartments with in brooklyn. my old co-worker from lucie foundation, dylan, recently moved there so we’ll hopefully find a quaint apartment together– preferably with good lighting. :]

after leaving LA, i’m driving up to the bay area where my family lives and going on a two week vacation to europe before flying out of san francisco to new york. plane tickets have been purchased and it’s a done deal. i haven’t been back in the uk since i lived in london so i’m pretty ecstatic. i’ve got a bit of wanderlust. so far, london, paris, venice, and amsterdam are on the list but perhaps i’ll squeeze in more. i’m looking at this vacation and move as an opportunity for new adventures and re-evaluation.

now that my moving plans are concrete and the countdown has commenced, i’m starting to realize there are a lot of things i’ll miss about LA. shooting FYF will probably be my last hurrah in LA and it’s strange to think that this will be my 4th year in a row shooting it. i gave notice to work and almost got a bit choked up because i really do like the company i work for and i’m so grateful for the opportunities i’ve had to learn and grow. i gave my roommates notice to find a replacement and realized how much i loved my apartment — which is why i’ve lived in the same one for the past 4 years. i mean, look at dat lightttttttt!

IMG_1828

i’ll miss the walks around the neighborhood, the gorgeous lake that just reopened, and weekends spent in my favorite cafes making idiot faces.

the faint @ music box, los angeles 11/18/12

i’ll miss the music venues and the many music photographers that have become like a second family to me these past years while shooting countless shows. they’ve touched me with their kindness, fervor for life and incredible creativity.

really what i’ll miss the most about LA are the friends i’ve met. i can’t fully explain how grateful and lucky i feel to share laughs and struggles with you fucking amazing people. GAWD DAMN, ALL THE FEELZ RUSHING AT ME. having you in my life at all is a sort of love and gratitude that i can’t fully articulate.

so thank you. you’ve made LA home for me these past 6 years and knowing you is truly the best thing that’s happened to me here.

as for new york, here’s to hoping it’s every bit as rowdy and full of life.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Weekend Daydream: Angeles National Forest

weekends are for unplugging and working on real tans instead of catching fluorescent office rays and the glow of computer monitors. that’s why last weekend, i went on a hike to a waterfall.

 

it was friday night– my friend, karin, and i just got turned away from the wait list for a musical improv show at upright citizens brigade so we sped down sunset boulevard blasting the “guilt mix” on my ipod. basically we were screaming a bit of this and a lot of this at midnight. we stopped at brite spot and each ordered an irresponsible amount of dessert. maybe it was the sugar rush or the disappointment of the sold out show but the urge to go on a spontaneous adventure took over. we started researching our options and it turns out, hey– there are a lot around LA.

fields, waterfalls, and forests were on the top of the list. after karin left, i passed out fully clothed googling waterfalls and wildflower fields at 2am.

first choice was antelope valley’s poppy reserve because holy crap those photos are gorgeous. however, we let out a whimper when we saw a current photo of the field. basically, it looks like a barren desert when not in season.

all good though. we ended up hiking to sturtevant falls at angeles national forest on sunday. knowing that there was water and climbing involved, i knew better than to challenge my…uh…sub-par motor skills by carrying an SLR. thus, hello average iphone photos.

IMG_6363

the drive only took about 20 minutes from east LA. you’d think you escaped the infuriating traffic once you’re up in the mountains but we circled the parking lot for half an hour before giving up and parking perilously on the side of the road further down on the mountain. guess it’s crowded on weekends. the park only charged $5 for a parking pass and there was no entry fee. make sure you still grab a pass though even if you park on the side of the road– we saw a lot of people with parking tickets.

IMG_6397

there were these cute antique cabins tucked away on the hike. apparently they were built between 1907 and 1936. interestingly, they’re now private property and available for residential sale.

IMG_6394

IMG_6361

in retrospect, going on a hike mid-afternoon in the sweltering heat probably wasn’t the brightest idea but we were pleasantly surprised. with very minimal exceptions, ample trees surrounded the trail which provided much appreciated shade. once we got to the waterfall, there was even a very cooling breeze.

IMG_6366

the good thing about going on a hike with another photographer is that you feel less guilty when you pause to take a bunch of photos since you’re both doing it. i caught karin taking photos of the waterfall. i also tried making a video on instagram but hooray it crashed once i got back with network signal and it deleted the video.

IMG_6390 IMG_6389

by the end of the hike, the trail was nearly straight uphill. i transitioned into full whine mode but i just thought about the cake i was going to reward myself with and kept going. my legs and glutes are still sore from the hike!

anyway, if you’re in southern california, you should definitely venture over to angeles national forest. i know there’s no wifi or cell phone signal in nature but the beauty of an occasional getaway is worth prying ourselves away from our social media addictions.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Raucous Fun with Born Ruffians

if ever there was a doubt about the joys music brings people, just attend a born ruffians show. fans packed my favorite LA venue, the troubadour, at maximum capacity on monday as they sang along. i couldn’t stop smiling as i moved through the crowd.

born ruffians @ troubadour, LA 5/6/13

i was really looking forward to hearing some classics since i’ve never seen them live before but their latest album, birthmarks, is pretty damn good.

born ruffians @ troubadour, LA 5/6/13

luke’s voice in particular sounded even better live– it just rang with such clarity and an unique, soothing twang. you could tell the band enjoyed themselves that night. there’s something inherently whimsical about their music that makes me daydream for days.

after the show, i stepped out on santa monica blvd and walked to my car under the light rain and twinkling streetlights. i live for these magical moments.

born ruffians @ troubadour, LA 5/6/13

check out more photos i shot of the show up on prefix. supporting bands include moon king and avid dancer.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Thermals: LA Gig, New Album, Vinyl Reissues

shooting a band that you last saw while in high school* can really make a person feel old. while i did experience a tinge of age induced panic at their recent LA show at the echoplex, the thermals quickly pushed that aside with an euphoric, nostalgic high. something about those frenzied guitar hooks, steady baselines and crashing cymbals dissolves the bullshit around you. these are the songs that you shout out while driving, in the shower, while cooking, whenthefuckever.

the thermals @ echoplex, LA 3/18/13

last month, the thermals reissued limited edition, colored vinyl of their classic discography on sub pop recordsmore parts per millionfuckin’ a, and the body, the blood, the machine —  all three albums still hold up and are definitely worth their replay value. they also have a new record, desperate ground, out april 16th but you can actually buy the album now on saddle creek records and you’ll be able to download it instantly before the release date. they’ll also ship it from their online store right when you buy it.

when i heard my old favorites at the echoplex show last month, i couldn’t help but close my eyes and just smile even after all these years. whenever i had a bad day or felt like someone tried to crush my spirit, the thermals’ video for “a pillar of salt” cheered me up. it picked me right up and i felt ready to conquer the world and just wreck havoc. we’re young only once, after all. we shouldn’t be afraid to take risks even if it means potential failure. their songs charge you up to be different and take action for what you believe in. this is not meek music. this is music that makes you want to speak up, do something, and live.

i covered their los angeles show for prefix. you can see more photos here. so much crowd surfing madness. :]

the thermals @ echoplex, LA 3/18/13

the thermals @ echoplex, LA 3/18/13

the thermals @ echoplex, LA 3/18/13

*one of my favorites was probably when they played with cursive and chin up chin up. such a good lineup. i caught the san francisco show at the fillmore, i believe.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

darwin deez @ the echo

FACT: it’s impossible to attend a darwin deez show without cracking a smile.

could be those mid-set dance routines and those quirky but sweet lyrics– they’re just what you need on a friday night after a looooonnng week.

usually i walk to the echo since it’s in my neighborhood but *le gasp* it was raining in los angeles that night. when i got there, it was clear that the show was definitely sold out. the entry line at the echo stretched out to the bridge.

darwin deez @ the echo, LA 3/8/13

thankfully, i was the first person in the guest list line so i got a proper spot near the stage. check out the full gallery up on prefix.

darwin deez @ the echo, LA 3/8/13

darwin deez @ the echo, LA 3/8/13

darwin deez @ the echo, LA 3/8/13

darwin deez @ the echo, LA 3/8/13

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bar*Food: Whiskey Lovers, Rejoice!

So Valentine’s Day is coming up. If your lover likes drinking, this would probably be a great place to go. Hell, if you’re single, you could probably Bukowski it up with their 24 handcrafted specialty beers and um…200 whiskey selections they have in stock.

Bar-Food-08

I shot this cool gastropub called Bar*Food in west LA for a feature running on Gilt City.  Their wall of decorative taps was particularly memorable and I always love shooting food/drinks. It’s times like these that I wish my body could properly process alcohol without throwing a hissy fit.

Bar-Food-02

Bar-Food-11

Tagged , , , , , , ,