I hit this time of year when I start thinking about change. Every time I spend time away from NYC, I wonder upon my return why I insist on living here. Of course the exhilarating culture, variety in people and open-mindness, the sense of freedom in being a creative and the opportunities to meet the ones that could possibly lead to what you define success. All that plays a big role in my decision to be and stay here. But it is tainted by lots of "could" and "one day" and "maybe" and for all I know, that gold rush is starting to wear off of me as I head further into the years. I wake up and fall asleep way too often with the fear of not being able to keep sustaining a living here. Maybe it's just me? I do not know how to manoeuvre this hell of a city to my advantage anymore. So I retreat, in my mind and my unproductive daydreaming. Things have got to change or this is not going to make me happy anymore.
But of course changing your life around is not an overnight affair, it takes courage, determination, sacrifices and fearlessness which I can't grant myself in the state of things right now. I dream -as we all do- about making a life that will put to rest once and for all what I hate most about NYC.
As I write this post, a couple of people are arguing down the street words that I can't not even comprehend. Insults, shouting and spitting are involved, until someone finally intervenes. It's 11 in the morning. Really? Could it be that I find balance in all of this chaos? If you have found it, please share your experience with me. I think of myself as someone pretty strong and grounded, but lately, I am at loss.
The other day, I took the camera and walked around a bit. I could still see beauty around me, concealing the unapologetic filth and poverty that New York throws at you on a daily basis.
I heart you, I hate you. I want to give you a chance but I don't know if I still can.
You might remember the wonderful home of Veronica and Pablo featured on Petits Papiers few years ago. Back then, they were already running a successful environmentally conscious company called Dr Cow providing artfully crafted innovative artisan foods.
Their success has now grown into the cutest storefront that opened last month in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn and I couldn't resist introducing it on the blog. Everything in the store is a welcoming piece of healthy living. I am personally completely sold on their cheeses made from 100% raw, organic nuts. Yes, even me, the hardcore cheese-loving french bred, I am a convert! Their products are incredible; Cashew milk drinks and deserts, vegan cookies and granola, jams and spreads etc... all crafted to delight your taste buds and give you energy at the same time as no processed ingredients or animal by-products are used. Sort of a super-food mini revolution in the neighborhood! I highly recommend you try them if you happen to be in Williamsburg.
When I was shooting, Veronica was swamped with inquiring customers with whom she patiently shares her process and recommendations while Pablo was handling production in the back Atelier. To me, they are the perfect example of what a sustainable lifestyle in a city like New York and a society like ours today can be, it is tangible. It takes passion and discipline but it is not as difficult as we think. I have so much respect for their craft.
Some extras from my personal series "The Order of Chaos" that studies the scale of humans in the urban scape.
These photographs didn't make the cut but were equally relevant to the series in my mind. They were shot on the same day in Redhook area of Brooklyn along side the East River undergoing transformations.
A little campaign I shot last month at iCi restaurant. I highly recommend this location for photogaphers here in Brooklyn, just ask to book the parlor floor. Really versatile natural light space. As always, I am so grateful for the team of talents that put so much efforts into this unpredictable project and poured faith into my vision.
I rarely shoot Men. Not by choice, but because I just don't get contacted to work with men that much. So when Shawn contacted me for a portrait session I was thrilled. Shawn is a jazz drummer and I immediately had in mind to use a dark, dramatic style for him. Something classic that he will be able to use years down the road.
His new album with his band Shawn Baltazor Quarted is soon to be released.
I am quite happy to be wrapping up the last month of the year. The quicker I get through the winter, the better. This year has been quite reflective. And I want the next to be active, more dynamic. I'll have to break old habits, work harder and find new ways to reinvent paths toward my goals. Oh and I want a lot of laughter this year. Just because humour is just a bare necessity.
Thank you all for all for coming by and sometimes spare a comment, give a word of support or just read anonymously the blog. I wish you all a happy time, in parties or alone, staring at the clock or staring at the stars, in family or with friends. Best of love and prosperity for 2014!
Here is one of my favorite quote;
“I hate reality but it's still the best place to get a good steak.”