1. a growing empire. words inspired by photos.

    girl 13

    Meet Sheyna Imm. Shenya is fucking wild card. When I first met her I didn’t know what i thought at all, it was late, drunk, and during NYFW, a jumbled moment in time ever season it hits us. The more time I spent with her thereafter, the more cool shit I learned about her, like the time she was 10 and beat up 3 girls that had been bullying her all year, and how her mom was a professional bodybuilder at one point, and how she grew up in Alaska. Her stories are all pretty surprising because Sheyna, at first glance, is this super sweet blond bombshell that looks like she’s never broken a nail.

    Recently she surprised us all when she decided to get a dog the size of a panther, the vet says Maude needs a tiger cage. I’m not mad when they stop by on Maude’s nightly walks.

    - 02.02.12


    dude 11

    Meet Patrick Rockwell. When I first moved to NY I often went places by myself being more excited about checking things out rather than going with anyone. I ran into some old friends at an art show and we stood outside talking. One asked me what my (former) blog was about (mashroob & moustaches), unable to answer the question this random dude standing near us on the street answered and said “everything.” Pretty great feeling to have a complete stranger give you kudos without any reservations to do so while you’re standing with a group of people. We chatted, me very stoked by his awesomeness. I came to find out he knew of the blog through dude 9. Naturally, Patrick ended up being from Minnesota, therefore instantly meshing with our midwest friends and became locked in thereafter.

    He decided to check out of NY and move to LA but i think he will be back soon. We are patiently waiting.

    - 05.24.11


    girl 12

    Meet Hally Erickson. Not to undermine Hally’s incredible personality or undeniable sparkle, but she is one of the most beautiful girls I’ve ever met, it’s insane. 

    Hally showed up to a joint bday dinner a friend and I were having a little over a year ago now, I wasn’t sitting close enough to her to realize the magnitude of her mind but after many nights of spontaneous hang outs and watching the sun come up we formed a bond that I’d like to think will remain beyond this lifetime. She has a magical way to make anything a great time and that might be the most important skill in life.

    - 03.13.11


    girl 11

    Meet Manjari Doxey. Where to start? Manjari and I never knew each other before being thrown into a tiny beach flat together in Santa Cruz, CA. Intense introduction. I slept in a room the size of my body, and some nights we’d sit in our small living room swapping life stories and every time learning that everything we’d done and experienced thus far couldn’t be more different. She thought I was a prude and I thought she was a nutbag. Turns out, we were kinda perfect for each other, kinda like a yin and yang. 

    These days we enjoy the finer things in life, even though we remain scummy at heart (not douchey just grungey). It’s been a long road and I can tell, there’s a whole lot more ahead.

    - 08.13.10


    dude 10

    Meet Andy Mcgrath. Andy has a real strong vibe the first time you meet him, it’s a toss up between tough dude and not interested. But the more time you spend time with him, the more his beaming heart tears through his hairy chest and you can be pretty sure that you have made an epic friend for life. Then you can reap the benefits of possibly learning to surf one day, hanging out with his cool family in Cape Cod and reaching next level worlds on a living room floor somewhere. He’s a total go.

    - 07.02.10


    girl 10

    Meet Emi Kaneko. Bros since the Fall of 2004, I’ve been watching her crush hearts and cities for a good part of our twenties. Everything in the course of our friendship has sort of just flowed, real natural and easy, living together in LA, moving to NY, subtle and significant growth, keeping us afloat.  I can always count on Emi to be the most coordinated faller and the most lovable drinker. One word for her - Unfuckwithable.

    - 06.21.10


    dude 9 

    Meet Justin Thomas Kay. As a teenager I’d go to hardcore shows in Orange County. One night my friend Chrissy forced me to go to an Eighteen Visions show with her, as bad as this may sound it turned out to be a life changing move. I met Justin along with a crew of other bros from Milwaukee, WI. It was their first time ever playing in California & they were in a band called Since By Man. I lied and told them I was 17 and the next day I took them all to the mall.

    Fast forward to now (a decade later)- Justin has his own office at a sweet magazine in New York City and I’m a photographer in the same city. I don’t mind that he dad patrols me most times, I can feel the love from it. We continue to be awesome friends for life and it feels fantastic. 

    - 04.06.10


    girl 9

    Meet Erin Green. Because she shares the same birthday as my father, there was no question in my mind that she was gonna be locked into our cosmic crew for life. February 4th babies just have that kind of swagger about them, absolutely wild but incredibly put together. If you ask me, I think her resilience fuels her. I’ve watched her knit a whole wardrobe/apt, cook vagina cakes & shepherd’s pies, I’ve shared wine & dance moves with her mother, seen her pee in public and observed her as the best dog lover & life live-er on the planet. It’s a good general vibe to spread around, take note.

    - 02.05.10


    dude 8

    Meet Matthew Schnipper. I don’t see him as often as I used to since he left the neighborhood to live a better life in Fort Greene a couple months ago, but, man, do I love this dude. This is him on Orthrelem:

    I have in the past said that I wish that music did not exist. I don’t wish that. I wish talking didn’t exist. Barring that, I wish that I could make it so that when people said things I didn’t like, I could laser beam Orthrelm into their mouths and they would jar their jaws to say things and only their songs would come out and they’d stand there agape like silly fish not knowing if they were catching or emitting such basic precision, but either way too awed to clam up and make it stop.

    Four years ago while I was visiting NY I slept on his couch in the apartment he shared with Justin Kay, I remember waking up to the smell of his scent as he was getting ready to go on a job interview and I turned over to tell him he smelled great and turned right back around to sleep. I’m very pleased we became better friends once I moved here two years ago. He is a complicated human, equally thoughtful and salty. Read more things from him here.

    - 03.05.10


    girl 8

    Meet Saltanat Naseri.After work, one night a week, around 6:30pm/7, I visit my grandmother, Saltanat (her name means monarchy). She is a proud woman, with such a descriptive vernacular, it’s hard not to fall in love with her. She prepares me a plate of food consisting of the most perfect balance - homemade sour yogurt, tadiq (crispy basmati rice that forms at the bottom of the pot), khoresht (stew) & herbs. Then we drink tea and cover many topics of interest.

    Sometimes she talks about how she spoke with so-and-so on the phone and offered that I marry so-and-so’s son, and how they gladly accepted but if I didn’t prefer their son, I should introduce other boys to my father that I may like because she’s already talked to him about it and all she wants is to attend my wedding before she lays her eyes to rest for good. I just smile, nod my head and tell her she knows best and, “sure, sure, that sounds good.” The subject changes, we gossip about the family, I make her laugh and we sip some more tea.

    The entire time, Jeopardy is on t.v. directly in front of us and she tells me I should try out for it, even if I don’t think I could win (she speaks and understands zero english, mind you).

    It is my favorite and most anticipated night of the week.
    *originally posted july 2007. not much has changed

    - 12.30.09


    dude 7

    Meet Jeremiah Mandel. Being in love is a strange and wonderful thing. Jeremiah has an endless and unconditional capacity to love, like, full heartedly and selflessly. It’s one of his admirable qualities. This last year we taught each other a number of things, mostly as a result of our dueling perspectives. It’s nice to step out of your bubble once in a while.

    It’s also nice to remember that it’s only as complicated as you want it to be, most of the time it’s just about acceptance and understanding. In friendship, love remains.

    - 12.22.09


    girl 7

    Meet Ly Ngo. She has a true lovers heart and wears it on her sleeve. She isn’t afraid to show these things in a city of hard players and secret weepers.

    My little Ly baby brought me a cabbage flower for my birthday during dim sum brunch and I’m trying my hardest to dry that sucker so I can keep it forever. Like a lightening bug, she is in and out, unassuming and magical.

    - 11.02.09


    dude 6

    Meet Adam Loeb. He is a midwest born, college educated know-it-all that can always teach you something new about world politics and/or jews. Early on, during the elections, he was down with Hilary just for arguments sake.

    We shared a home in LA for about a year and every time we’d leave the house I’d have to ask Adam if he had his a) keys, b) wallet and c) phone - it took an extra 10 minutes to leave the house that year on every occasion. Recently he spent a lot a time traveling from Norway to Rwanda to whatever uncharted territory exists to track down war criminals and he still managed to call his girlfriend Annie often. Now I think thats pretty remarkable.

    - 10.10.09


    girl 6

    Meet Jen Snyder. Thank you again Santa Cruz circa 2001-2005 for yet another babe in our brigade. In this fine human’s skull lies a brilliant brain full of originality and hilarity. Her storytelling may be the funniest thing you’ll ever hear and since the most important thing in life is laughing I highly encourage you find this woman and befriend her for quality of life.

    Hoping one day we can live in the same city again so our minds can collide and make fantastical things. Fingers crossed.

    - 09.24.09


    dude 5

    Meet Luis Farfan. Luis and I are the same human except he’s a Mexican and I’m an Iranian (interchangeable at face value). We have similar sentiments toward similar things. Luis used to play in a band called the Fuse. I’m too young to have known them or gone to any of their shows back in the day, but from his stories it sounds like it was a wild time, and by wild I mean blood and semen and destruction. He’s settled down these days, acting like a proper grown ass man should.

    Although he loves to be miserable, I know deep down Luis is a little school girl who jump ropes and plays pogs. 

    - 07.24.09


    girl 5

    Meet Julie Brooke Williams. So 8 years ago I took my first real trip to NY with my boyfriend at the time, and we stayed with one of his friends who had just started dating Julie. I had no idea how close we would become in the next 8 years to come. Fast forward to the present and we are practically in love and ready for marriage (in the friendship sense). She is also a killer stylist owning this city which is constant inspiration and everything that comes out of her mouth in terms of girl advice is solid gold.  I’m looking forward to getting free at Lazy Meadow this summer, we are making plans. 

    - 05.19.09


    dude 4

    Meet Jeff Henrikson. Jeff doesn’t really care about anything else other than work, hanging out, and Minnesota. He keeps quiet about his talents as a photographer. Everyone always asks, “hey jeff, lets see your photos,” and he’s all, “eh” and shrugs. I think it’s because he’s coming out with something big one day and he just doesn’t wanna blow his load. He’s our little jeffy baby because he looks forever 19.

    - 06.25.09


    girl 4

    Meet Sadaf Azimi. She is the sister I never had. We share a lot of the same feelings because we are the black sheep of our traditional Iranian roots. We’re attempting to bring it full circle though, I think we might be on to something. Our special bond, however, surpasses that small detail. I just think the world of her and feel lucky to have met her. I can’t say that for everyone I meet.

    - 01.30.09


    dude 3

    Meet Jason Langdon. He does a great Boston accent but Emily refuses to be in the same room as him when he does. We’ve known eachother for a couple years now, taking it all the way from LA to NY.  You know it’s time to take Jason home when his glasses are on the tip of his nose and his eyebrows are questioning you without knowing they’re questioning you. 

    This is an outtake from a project in the works, he still manages to look so cool without even trying. He also put on his robe for me, which did just the trick. Thanks Jason.

    - 04.20.09


    girl 3

    Meet Rosanne Smith. We used to be roomates in LA, now we are neighbors in Brooklyn. This sort of thing is common here, transplants are all over NYC. When I first met Rosanne I thought she hated me, then I realized she was just shy.

    I took one of my favorite photos to date of Rosanne’s backside as her and Nick slept on a cot together in the middle of the woods, she wore yellow underwear. That trip she helped us all free ourselves by things I’ll decline to mention. She’s really just a lion in tiny body.

    - 12.19.08


    dude 2

    Meet James Jollif, we call him Jimmy but he likes formalities because he’s from North Carolina so you might wanna stick to James. He’s shown here eating a slice of guava cheese pie from Cafe Tropical in Los Angeles, my favorite dessert.

    When we first met he would refer to me as the governor of LA, it was flattering. He also always tells me I need to work on my manners and I try to argue we come from different cultures where different things are considered polite.

    I miss Jimmy a lot because he looked after me like a big brother and I was always in good hands, even when we would fight like siblings (I would always be right). He is getting married to Eleanor Hullihan next month, the big day is slowing approaching, I patiently await his transformation to awesome husband, and one day, dad. Big ups to the both of them.



    girl 2

    Meet Christelle de Castro - we both like to drink coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts and we are not afraid to admit it.

    We met in Los Angeles under weird circumstances although she was living in San Francisco at the time, and now she lives in Nolita in a tiny room that fits just her bed. Having Christelle around is a treat, she can put just about anyone in their place. We’re putting a photo book out in the future, it’s going to be magic.

    One time she passed up a really great art piece at the flea market on 25th street and 5th ave and I thought it was really impressive because she knows where to draw the line. We could all use a little self restraint here and there.

    - 11.24.08


    dude 1 

    Meet Samuel John Macon. He’s on his way to rubbing elbows with like minded creators like Martin Scorsese… who am i kidding, i dont know shit about directors. People generally like Sam because he’s got something different to offer. It also helps that he’s wildly charismatic. 

    We’ve known eachother for almost a decade now and we’ve never lived in the same geographic time zone, it’s complicated. One thing I’m sure of is that he needs to chill out when I shove my finger/tongue in his mouth everytime he yawns. It’s a sign of love.

    - 03.15.09


    girl 1

    Meet Laura Kim, she is a wild drummer and a totally wonderful photographer. We met at the University of California Santa Cruz and I remember thinking how rad her photo projects always were and how good her hair always looked. After Santa Cruz, I moved to LA and she moved to SF. Then, 3 years later, we moved to New York around the same time, perfect timing right? We click in our subtleties - snacking and talking a lot. We get things.

    - 11.07.08