A bumpy highway winds through the eastern countryside in Colombia, spiraling up lush green hills and cutting across smooth yellow fields. Somewhere along this road from BogotÃ¡ to the Venezuelan border, sits a small village called BerlÃn. Most of BerlÃn’s thousand residents survive on growing and selling green onions. Given enough wind, the pungent aroma floods all corners of the village. Hours from any city of considerable size, BerlÃn maintains tradition through distance. For some folks, their entire existence lies in the blip along Highway 66.
Matt: “Yo, do you have a nice suit?”
Me: “Yeah, hand-tailored in Vietnam.”
Matt: “That’ll do. You’re going to the Robin Hood Ball tonight. It’s like the prom of Wall Street where New York’s wealthiest get together for a fancy dinner and give millions to charity. We want to know what it looks like given the current economic climate.”
Me: “Cool. I’m there.”
It was a fascinating experience, running with my camera between tables of folks that could buy and sell me. Many of whom are partially responsible for the financial collapse. Then watching those same folks sing along to Fergie performing “My Humps.” All and all they raised $73 million (half of which came from George Soros) to fight poverty in New York City. Can’t fuck with that.
I spent last weekend in Charlottesville, VA for the annual LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph. It’s always inspiring to hear your heroes speak and see some of the best documentary photos from the last year. Martin Parr was a big highlight. Especially his Autoportraits. This has nothing to do with that except we were there.
Lots of work piling up, pushing me down. Assignments, personal, obligatory, you name it. It’s the in-between moments that make all the difference.
Walking down the dark alley to the Autumn Bowl is kinda like finding the Foot Clan hideout. There are no arcade games and less martial arts but the skating is gnarlier, the music is heavier, the smoke is thicker and the babes are more bodacious. This was a party for Damo’s graduation and Natur played their first show.