st. louis loop

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So I don’t know how much you guys have heard about the protests going on in St. Louis, but they’re happening because yet another white cop got let off for murdering a Black man and planting a gun in his car. The protests have been largely peaceful, but a small group of protesters broke the windows of local businesses right outside my apartment building on Saturday night. SWAT teams responded following the violence and it has been questioned whether police added to the extent of the damage, breaking windows that were previously intact.

However, to focus on the violence that occurred would take away from the message being spread by the rest of the protesters. The media is over-covering the violence done by a few outliers and ignoring the voices of the thousands of peaceful protesters fighting for justice.

In the days following the vandalism, the windows of damaged businesses were boarded up and local artists and community members began to paint the plywood covering the broken glass. I want to share some pictures that I took today on my walk home that showcase a community coming together to promote healing in a community torn apart by violence and racism.

Adventure

Oh hey guys! I’ve received a few emails over the last year asking where I’ve been. And that’s been hard to answer, because sometimes I don’t even know where I am. Where did I leave off? I suppose it was sounded something like: I just broke up with boyfriend, quit my job, and was trying to focus on being happy. A year later, I can tell you, 2014 has been a whirlwind of adventure, probably best told in pictures.  So where have I been? I started out the year working on Cry Wolfe for Discovery ID and quickly jumped onto Catfish: Untold Stories, which was just as crazy as you might imagine. 

Right after Catfish, I went on to produce The Great Food Truck Race, which took me across America. I started with the Military Moms truck in California…

We went to the Wild Wild West in Tucson, Arizona…

Finished the week at Pima Air Space where I was totally in awe of JFK’s Air Force One…

We took a bus ride to Austin, Texas… 

I was again with the Military Moms and Lone Star Chuck Wagon, parked on South Congress for the weekend. In our free time, we had a blast on 6th Street and Rainey. Austin was amazing, but HOT. Holy humidity.

After Austin, we went to Oklahoma City and met some cowboys and hung out by the lake…

And finished the shoot at the capitol:

My producing gig on Food Truck was over in Oklahoma, but i hitched a ride on the crew bus to St. Louis because, why not? So we of course, had the most epic St. Louis day possible. The Loop, Budweiser Brewery, the Arch, and a Cardinals game–had to be done. 

By Memorial Day weekend, I flew to the Hamptons for one of my best friend’s Tupac-themed Bachelorette party. We started with wine and cheese and appropriate behavior at a vineyard.

And like any good weekend in the Hamptons, it ended with a hungover train ride back to the city:I then hopped on another train to Newport, Rhode Island for an amazing weekend with some friends, but unfortunately, my phone took a swim, and I’m missing most of the pictures from that weekend, except for this one:

Also included in the lost photos was a trip to Boston to see my friend, Becca. Total bummer. By early summer, I was back home, celebrating to 4th of July in Manhattan Beach:

But before I knew it, I was back on a plane to Cabo San Lucas for the summer. I booked a job on Preachers’ Daughters which airs in January. I spent 7 weeks in Cabo on night crew, which meant most days I got to watch the sunrise:

To say Cabo was magical and life changing is an understatement. I fell completely in love. The days looked like this…

And the nights looked like this… (If you happened to have gone to Squid Roe, Mandala, Pink Kitty, or Knotty this summer and saw a television crew, I pray you weren’t one of the drunk assholes who jumped in front our cameras….aside from being on permanent Spring Break, I had the best time ever.) 

With the best two night crews making it the best summer ever..

It took me awhile to get used to producing barefoot and body-guarded, but I would do it again, in a heartbeat.

Just pure magic.

From Cabo, I flew back to New York for back to back weddings of two of my best friends’. It was an NYU reunion, and it’s good to know, we all still got it. 

After some pizza and meatballs in Brooklyn..

…I hopped in a cab, in my dress, at 4am, and got on a plane to Sonoma. I never went to bed, but by 4pm the next day, I was drinking a watermelon beer in Northern California. 

It was a weekend of wine, train rides, and general debauchery with Troop Sonoma’s finest..

In late September, it was time to celebrate Christmas. I took a job, producing The Great Christmas Light Fight for ABC, which took me to Louisiana…

Mobile, Alabama…

Somewhere in the middle of Georgia…

And Jacksonville, Ft. Lauderdale, and Tampa, Florida…

I actually spent my 30th birthday in Jacksonville, which all things considering was a great day filled with beach, wine, champagne, oysters, and new friends on the road. Couldn’t have asked for more if I had to be on the job!

It was odd celebrating Christmas for 3 months, and most of the time I was tucked away out of the shot, hanging with some penguins in 85 degree Florida heat. 

I made it back from that gig just in time for the American Music Awards with my old ABC crew, where somehow we had better seats than Taylor Swift? 

And I accidentally look a selfie with Kate Beckinsale’s boob…

A few weekends later, my friend, JMad and I hopped in the car and drove to Vegas for her 30th birthday when our friends from New York missed their flight out. Shit got weird, as things normally do in Vegas. ;)

I started work on a new show, which is crazier and darker and scarier than anything I’ve ever done, and I damn well froze my ass off on our first shoot in Georgia. 

Thankfully, I made it back in time for a sweet Christmas with friends and family, which we now refer to as Squidmas. 

 

And now here I am, reflecting back on this last year of adventure. It was amazing and filled with incredible laughter. It was also terrifying and lonely sometimes. Planes, trains, automobiles, nice hotels, shitty hotels, not remembering where you are or where you came from, not knowing what you’re signing up for when you say “sure?” to 7 weeks in Mexico with a crew you don’t know….there were moments of overwhelming anxiety and overwhelming excitement. My life doesn’t look like what I thought it would at 30, but dare I say, it’s better in so many ways? The people I have met along the way and the lifelong friendships I made make everything worth it.  If you’re wondering, yes, there were boys. But none of them are worth mentioning here. Maybe one day one of them will get a post, but for now, 2014 was about me, and of course the most important guy in my whole life:

I don’t know how much I’ll be back around these parts, but I wanted to check in. For those who followed me for years, I still think about this place. I hope you are all well. Spread the high fives and good vibes and enjoy some mai tais alibis. xo

Michelle  

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I’m going to attempt to start updating this blog!

I went to the Loop today to photograph for a school project and here are some of my favorites.  I got some shots of girls waiting for Ed Sheeran (jealous!!), random people mingling around shops, interesting window displays, and an awesome street musician.  The last photo is from later in the night after it had apparently snowed!