Sometimes this is what life in New York feels like, especially when it rains.
In 2002 At 17 years old, Mike Brodie gathered a few of his belongings and left home announced. He hopped a train thinking he was heading to visit a friend in Alabama, but the train went to Jacksonville, Florida instead. He rode the same train home, but within days he was back on the road. From 2004-2009 Brodie hopped trains, traveled through 46 states and logged 50,000 miles. Traveling, wandering, walking, train hopping, and documenting with a Polaroid Camera he found behind a carseat. He began posting his photos online as a way keep in touch with his widespread vagabond friends, and was soon being called The Polaroid Kidd. He eventually switched to 35 mm film, and 1980s era camera. In 2008 Brodie’s work was submitted for the Baum Award for An Emerging American Photographer. He won. Over the years he has amassed one of the most impressive collections of American travel photography, despite the fact that he has no formal training and doesn’t even self-identify as a photographer. In fact, he has stopped making photos and is working as a mechanic. His book, A Period of Juvienille Prosperity was just released in March. “I know almost everyone I shoot,” Brodie says, “Three of the women in the book are ex-girlfriends and a couple of the guys … are best friends.”
I find the photos captivating, stunning, sad, happy, exciting, quiet and American all at the same time. I love the painterly quality to them, the energy, the light. They look like they belong to another era. And they do.
In a land far away, and a long time ago, there lived a girl named CeCe Sutton in the city called Gotham. She awoke one day heavy with ennui, “God I wish I could be free!” She thought as she closed her computer for the day.
CeCe slumped low in her seat, on the way home from Corporate. “How I need to shake this last case! A highball might do it. But then again, maybe not.”
She hopped out of her seat at the 42nd street stop – “The Witch! The Witch of the Garment District will know what to do!”
She walked up the stairs, four stories to the top, to a sky lit room filled with paints, strewn all over the floor. Canvas rolls lined the walls, and the windows agape, blew away stale air.
“Shed your business casual at the door!” The witch called from the back. “And I will make magic of your body, mind and soul. Empower you. I’ll wash the dust of the city off your face. My brush will transform you, dear CeCe.”
CeCe stepped out of shadows, and the witch held her hand. “Dont be scared. My paint will release your secret-self. The self you think you are when you are alone in your thoughts. You might not even know who that is yet, but you’ll see!”
BAM!!WHAM! KAPOW! As the paint hit Cece’s skin, smoke filled the air, there was blinding white light, and then darkness.
And out of the darkness, a Phoenix arose.
“How do you feel CeCe?”the Witch of The District asked. ”I am GOTHAM GIRL. Priestess of Passion. Empowerer of Empires. Muse to the mighty. The creative fire burns inside of me. Taxis will flock to my feet as I approach curbs. Restaurants will hold tables in my honor. Subway crowds will split as I rescue one Gothamite at a time from the doldrums of their life, one blog post at a time.”
“Hahaha, little one! Getting ahead of your self now aren’t we? My dear, the war paint wears off, the transcendence will fade. But you can always come back for more paint, and hey, maybe I would like a partner! Together we will bring art and inspiration to all!”
To be continued…
The inspiration behind this post: If you’ve been reading, you can trace my line of thought and see how I put together this idea. Post A + Post B + Post C = Post D. Courtney is beautiful, plus she’s a pretty awesome photographer in her own right, so she was an ideal buddy for this project! As we were editing down the photos last night, we came up with the idea of Gotham Girl. I really do believe in the transformative power of fashion, and now I totally understand the concept of war paint. Not to mention that there are studies that show that certain postures- a double fist pumped YEA! Hands on the hips, chin in the air- just assuming these postures of dominance for 2 minutes will literally boost testosterone levels and build confidence. These poses will make you FEEL more powerful, even if you are just faking it. (Read about that HERE) It’s no wonder then that by the end of the photo shoot Courtney was giving me full on Helmut Newton meets Spiderman. We loved working together, and had a blast! I hope you like the post, it was ridiculously fun and empowering for both of us! Head to Gotham Girl (AKA Courtney’s) blog for her side of the story HERE! Gotham Girl is wearing Alexander Wang Shoes HERE, and a Lenny Niemeyer Suit HERE.
A perfect NYC weekend at Central Park. From the gorgeous American Elms lining the mall, to the way the grass and leaves glow almost yellow, to the funky street performers, brides, tourists, people, children…
I hope you all had a great one!
Also of note: GIVEAWAY ALERT!
My cousin Melanie started a blog called RollherStroller where she reviews baby products. She asked me to share it with you, and I said of course! When she and I were discussing it, I told her that the worst thing about having children is the stuff. She said, OH NO! That’s my favorite part! So I guess she is very well suited to be discussing this stuff, I’m the type of mom that just throws a single diaper in my purse and hopes it will be ok. (So far so good, except for that one time in 2010. I realized today that I actually used to be a pretty good mom and housewife. You know, dedicated, loving, responsible…. I think the real turning point/drop off came when I had JoJo. That’s when things started to fall apart and the just trying to get by mentality started to set in. I can only imagine what the scene here would be like if I had ANOTHER one.) Anyway, she’s been sent many strollers to review, and she is giving away a Baby Roues LeTour on her blog today. Its worth $600 bucks, yo. I personally want to hold a stroller burning bonfire on my front lawn when my kids grow up, but for those of you in need, this could be your lucky day! Head over to Roll Her Stroller HERE to enter.