It’s been an entertaining and fast-paced autumn…while I know it is already December 8th, I feel like it should just only now be Thanksgiving. Because I am mentally on some kind of time delay, I thought I’d relay my adventures of the past 8 weeks. Since my last post I have gotten some good travel under my belt. In mid-October I ventured to Honolulu for the 31st Annual Hawaii International Film Festival; it was a quick jaunt of just 4 days and I saw some agreeable films, but the highlights had nothing to do with movies. The good times included a sunrise run to Diamond Head, two unforgettable breakfasts at Eggs ‘n Things and Rainbow Drive-thru, an outrageously fun all-day convertible dune buggy excursion to the North Shore and partying late into the night with my NC kin-folk Kenneth Price and 9th Wonder at Nextdoor in Honolulu’s Chinatown.
On the heels of my return, I had to actualize RiverRun’s Fall Film Premiere event – Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, which was held on November 9th in downtown Winston-Salem to great success. There were over 650 attendees and all were enormously inspired by this poignant documentary. If you have the opportunity to see it, please do, it really is one of the most moving, feel-good films out there right now.
In mid-November I headed to the 17th Annual Cucalorus Film Festival. It is undoubtedly one of the more eccentric and whimsical film festivals in the US that takes place in downtown Wilmington, NC. I saw an eclectic mix of feature length and short films, including We Need to Talk About Kevin (gut-wrenching to say the least), I’m Coming Over (a charming short produced by Lauren Ambrose) and Stuck in the Groove (an exceedingly mesmerizing music-oriented short film). There was a midnight breakfast at the Soap Box, tours of Blue Velvet locations and raucous late-night outdoor parties behind Jengo’s. One of the highlights was meeting some of the Freakers posse, they’re a delightfully rambunctious group of entrepreneurs based inWilmington that craft cool beer and wine bottle cozies.
December started off with a wallop when I headed to NYC for a quick visit. It was gorgeous weather and Christmas was in the air with window décor and people shopping up a storm. I had a wonderful time hanging out with my old gang and ended up spending a substantial amount of time in Gramercy, which was so pleasing and is now one of my favourite parts of the city.
As I catch my breath and the year winds down, I want to extend holiday cheer and warm wishes to you all…happy holidays! I sense that 2012 is going to be an extraordinary year and I look forward to sharing it with you.
I am besotted by film…it has almost become a problem because so many other things I love fall by the wayside in its wake. While ensconced in RiverRun, I recently had the opportunity to be a part of the Hunger Games, which has been filming in North Carolina all summer. I went to a casting call at the mall as a sort of prank and was then was actually selected for the film. My role as an extra was as a “Game Tech” and honestly I was so intrigued by the entire “behind the scenes” experience from wardrobe, makeup, hair, catering, camera operators and best boys…it was insane. There was endless waiting around, but when the 20 of us finally had the opportunity to be onset for the 25+ scenes that were shot, we were working with the likes of Wes Bentley and Donald Sutherland; the whole thing was mesmerizing. The camaraderie onset was the most inspiring – dozens of overworked people in convivial spirits all striving towards the final goal. Gary Ross, the director, was a delight and it was pretty spectacular to see the artist who made Sea Biscuit and Pleasantville in action. I made some nice friends being on the set for three days, including Dan this cool gent who was the assistant wardrobe director for E.T. All this being said, it remains to be seen if I will actually make it into the final cut of the movie, but I have to say, I don’t really mind – the whole experience was rad regardless.
All the while there is an inspiring RiverRun autumn event in the making that I am thrilled about and have worked hard over the last month to make happen. However, I will be leaving WS, NC on Wednesday for a few days to attend the Hawaii International Film Festival, so life will go on hiatus again for a short time, as I explore a new film festival island-style. Good times ahead – a new post to come very soon on these topics….
Nashville, TN – Also known as Nashvegas – Highlights included a quaint area called 12 South and R. Kelly’s Love Letters concert at Bridgestone Arena
On our way to New Mexico we discovered Route 66 parallels Hwy 40! We made many tourist stops including the Route 66 Museum that had a lot of random artifacts, one of which I tried to make Asian
Nini and I traveled exceedingly well together and were easily excitable (and amused) – here we are jumping for joy after visiting El Santuario de Chimayo and the Ojo Caliente Hot Springs in the middle of the New Mexico desert
Monument Valley, UT blew us away. We stayed at the View Hotel and were the only Americans
Las Vegas, NV – Nini and I met up with a bunch of girls from RiverRun and had a blast at Moon at the Palms
Las Vegas night two at Lavo where we saw Biz Markie perform…we were laughing it up while we could, we knew our time to together was dwindling
Death Valley, CA – we made it to our home state and the desert was 114 degrees that day
Our last “point of interest” – Bodie, CA – dreams come true, I had been wanting to visit this Ghost town for more than 5 years
I reluctantly left Nini in Sacramento, CA and traveled to SF to see my dad. Highlights included Japan town (photobooth mania) and a Giants game at AT&T Park
Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading Kerouac’s On the Road or because the Universe is smiling so kindly down upon me. For as long as I can remember I have yearned to take a cross-country road trip and have wanted to so with one special person. It has been discussed at length for some years, but the timing has always been wrong – until now. On July 14th (that this journey commences on France’s day of independence is not lost on me) I will embark on an epic expedition with one of my dearest friends’ Nini. Words can’t express how excited I am for this trip and don’t think terms and characters from Greek Mythology haven’t been thrown around…Our itinerary:
Nashville, TN – Oklahoma City, OK – Santa Fe, NM – Taos, NM – Monument Valley, UT – Las Vegas, NV (for Nini’s b-day no less) – Death Valley, CA – Sacramento, CA – San Francisco, CA
Dispatch from the road to follow, stay tuned. And please do send me kitschy touristy tips on restaurants, sites and festivities!
I love days when you just cannot possibly predict the outcome and at days’ end you lie in bed and drift off to sleep thinking “wow.“ Life has been unfolding this way for some weeks now and it has led to unusual pursuits, festive activities and high-times. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of accompanying my friend, Chantelle (loyale graphic designer extraordinaire) to Charleston, SC. Two words express my love for this little city: historic splendor…cobble stone streets, a perfectly charming water front, stupendous restaurants and intriguing sites around every corner. I had the opportunity to meet with Garden & Gun magazine which is based downtown and had a delightful meeting regarding RiverRun 2012 followed by a jaunt to Sullivan’s Island where we dined at Poe’s Tavern and had a late night swim in the balmy ocean. Prior to this I had a rambunctious weekend in Durham/Raleigh with my dearest high school pal Nini, who is finishing up a fellowship at Duke in the coming weeks; that weekend was replete with vintage shopping, an insanely fun dance party at Five Star dj’d by 9th Wonder and the best brunch of our lives at Milltown in Carrboro. Other leisure activities have included hanging in the race pit at Bowman Gray, tubing down the Dan River, sipping my way through the Salute Wine Festival, Dash baseball games and unearthing epic new music, like Frank Ocean, Blood Orange and Jonsi (one needs a summer sound track after all). The last special treat that came my way was discovering this clip of Natalie Portman on Between Two Ferns wearing loyale’s Valencia Mini today…it’s been an exceedingly sensational couple of weeks and the way things are looking, it is only going to get better…