Fleet Week & Playoff Hockey – 5.23.18

When I used to shoot dance parties every day of my life I would bounce around from club to club and I would occasionally do theses “Random Night Out” posts where I would combine all the shots I took in a night when I didn’t want to do a bunch of posts or didn’t shoot enough photos to really justify their own gallery. Wednesday night was a little bit different, but I felt like the galleries make sense together anyway even if they don’t really have anything to do with each other.

On Wednesday night the Washington Capitals played the biggest game in their history. The Caps went to the Stanley Cup in 1998 but no one really gave them a chance against the Red Wings and they got swept in four games. 20 years later the Caps were on the brink of their first trip to the finals since 1998, but they had to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in a terrifying game 7. The Caps were big underdogs in the series and no one expected them to take it to 7 games much less win.

I had made plans to watch the game with my NYC Caps Crew family so when I got a call from Harley-Davidson asking me at the very last minute to shoot the Fleet Week opening night party I almost had to turn them down, but they only needed me until 9 and the game started at 8. I asked them if I could go at 8:30pm and they were fine with that so I threw my Caps jersey and my camera in my bag and got my ass up to Times Square to shoot the Fleet Week kick off at the Hard Rock Cafe.

My second roommate in NYC worked at the Hard Rock Cafe but I haven’t actually been there before. I loved Hard Rock’s as a kid but as an adult the only Hard Rock’s I’ve been to are the casino in Vegas and the Dolphins stadium in Miami which is, as of last year, Hard Rock Stadium. I ended up getting there pretty early so I shot the Harley on stage and took some photos outside. I didn’t want to bug the sailors while they were eating the pretty serious buffet they had available for them, but I got some decent crowd shots before the USO entertainment began. 

The entertainment consisted of Broadway style versions of pop songs mostly, but you would be really surprised how well Katy Perry goes over in a room full of sailors and Marines. It was honestly pretty amazing. They were a few songs into the country music part of the set when I had to escape to go watch hockey, but the crowd was loving it. Personally I was loving the fact that Alex Ovechkin scored 1 minutes and 2 seconds into the game to put the Caps up 1-0 before I got to our bar Jojo’s Philosophy.

When I got to Jojo’s the bar was completely packed. The bouncer whispered to me to go around and sneak in the back because he couldn’t let me just walk in when there was a huge line. It was pretty funny cause that’s the exact type of shit I pulled in my nightlife days except this time it was a sports bar. I somehow made my way up to my friends near the front, threw my camera bag over one of the bar stools and put on my Caps jersey even though it was 100 degrees in the bar at this point.

When the Caps scored their second goal after the Lightning had been really dominating play I almost started crying. In so many past seasons the exact opposite would happen to us. We would be killing a team but they would get the lucky breaks and the Caps would somehow lose. This felt so different and after the Caps scored again I could see the expression in the Lightning’s faces that I had seen so many times before in the Caps faces. With twenty minutes still left in the game they knew it was over.

When the Caps scored their fourth and final goal with only a few minutes to go in the game Jojo’s completely exploded. Suddenly I realized I still had my camera on me and dove into the crowd to pull it out of my camera bag. I just started blindly shooting and as the bartenders sprayed us with wine and water I just kept shooting. As the clock ticked down we all began hugging and high fiving and just losing our minds knowing we were finally going back to the Stanley Cup Finals. If you don’t give a shit about sports you can probably never understand this moment, but 20 years of pain was wiped out in 60 minutes of hockey. 

Again, if you don’t care about sports, or hockey or the Caps you might not care about any of this, but the faces of jubilation are worth looking at if nothing else. Sports provides the highest highs and the lowest lows and even if you can’t understand that, you can still appreciate the emotions so I recommend you checking out these photos even if it’s not something you’d normally care about.

Anyway, I have broken this up into two different galleries but it’s all one night and all one post. 

Click here to see all the photos from the Harley-Davidson sponsored Fleet Week kick off party at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Click here to see all the photos from the NYC Caps Crew’s Eastern Conference Finals winning celebration at Jojo’s Philosophy.

Harley Davidson Fleet Week

NYC Caps Crew

Harley Davidson Fleet Week

NYC Caps Crew

Harley Davidson Fleet Week

NYC Caps Crew

Harley Davidson Fleet Week

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2018 Elm St. Tattoo Fest

It’s time to get to the tattoo part of the 2018 Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest in Dallas, TX. I covered all the music stuff yesterday, but I took way more photos of the tattooing since that was an all day thing and the bands were only at night. There were at ton of amazing tattoo artists who tattooed pretty much non stop all day for three days, and I say pretty much because I tried to get tattooed on Sunday and everyone I asked had this pause before they answered and I decided maybe it wasn’t the best idea to get tattooed by someone who has done nothing but tattoo and party for three days straight. 

The tattooing all took place at the club Trees. When I shot the Fest in 2013 they had the bands playing there, but this year they had two levels of tattooing. Of all the people tattooing the only one I’ve ever been tattooed by was Keith Underwood, but my buddy Phil LaRocca works at Elm St. and popped in a bunch throughout the weekend. I’ve also been tattooed by Oliver Peck a handful of times, but he was too busy throwing the festival to do any actual tattooing.

Speaking of Oliver, there were a bunch of Ink Master winners at the fest: Steve Tefft, Anthony Michaels, Ryan Ashley Malarkey and DJ Tambe tattooed downstairs with Dave Kruseman upstairs. Not really sure why Kruseman was upstairs but he’s probably the Ink Master I would most want a tattoo from. I actually love the show, mostly because I love listening to Oliver yell at people, but most of the people who go on Ink Master seem to be these art school tattooers that might look great on Instagram but maybe don’t have the training to make a tattoo last for decades. That being said, anyone who wins the thing is a pretty damn good tattooer, I just personally like tattoos that look like tattoos. And while I liked Anthony Michaels on the show, he was never someone who’s tattoos spoke to me, but he did one of my favorite tattoos of the convention

One of the big moments of the tattoo convention was the unveiling of the Sailor Jerry & Harley Davidson collaboration. They have six bikes designed by six different artists that you can win (enter here!) that were shown off for the first time on Saturday. They were driven into the parking lot of trees by Oliver, Lucero’s Ben Nichols, Luke Wessmen who designed one of the bikes, Sailor Jerry brand ambassador Anthony Bohlinger, motorcycle journalist Raine Devries and “fastest woman in the world” Leslie Porterfield. The bikes are pretty amazing and I took a million photos of them so you can click through the gallery and check out all the bikes.

Lastly, I uploaded a special gallery of the Sunday night dice game that was played at Heart in Hand art gallery. I was the only person allowed to watch that wasn’t in the actual game. I shot a similar game of cee-lo back in 2013 that raised money for True South, but let’s just say this game had a slightly less noble cause. In cee-lo the second highest roll is three sixes and one of the players rolled sixes pretty early on. No one was able to match him and it looked like he was going to win. Oliver was the second to last player to roll and made a big production out of his roll. Everyone was laughing about the whole thing until he rolled 4-5-6 the highest roll in the game. Everyone lost their minds and one roll later Oliver won the game

Okay, I think that’s about it, go check out the below gallery of over 200 photos, plus the bonus dice game gallery and I will be back soon with some new photos!

Click here to see all the tattoo photos from the 2018 Elm Street Music & Tattoo Fest in Dallas, TX.

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

 

 

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2018 Elm St. Music Fest

Back in 2013 I photographed the very first Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest  and had a blast covering it, so I was really excited to get invited back to the 6th annual festival in Deep Ellum, Dallas, TX. The festival is hosted by Elm St. Tattoo owner and by far the funniest judge on Ink Master, Oliver Peck and features a ton of tattoo artists and bands. Plus, it was once again sponsored by Sailor Jerry which means I got to go. 

Now I am going to tell you all about the tattooing part of the fest (and all about the Sailor Jerry meets Harley Davidson activation) tomorrow but for now I am gonna give you guys the music fest photos because it seems like it makes the most sense to break this stuff down like that, plus it’s almost midnight and I want to get something up while it’s still today!

The tattooing happened at the venue Trees, but the music all happened across the street. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday band played at Three Links and on Saturday there was a special show featuring Ben Nichols of Lucero, that was actually Lucero. Surprise! That show also featured Sadgirl and the Vandoliers. I actually missed the Vandoliers, but Sadgirl wasn’t sad or girls and they were a good time. Lucero I have seen a bunch of times and they killed it as always. Halfway through their set I jumped over to Three Links to catch former Rancid singer/guitarist Lars Frederiksen’s band Old Firm Casuals and I have been pretty much listening to nothing but Rancid’s first two albums ever since. Texas punk legends Lower Class Brats played after them and put on a hell of a show considering they’ve been around almost as long as those Rancid albums. Editors note: How the fuck did we get so old?

Jumping back to Friday night, the most unexpected band of the festival for me was Piñata Protest. I walked in to Three Links in the middle of their set and a ton of punk kids were moshing to a band fronted by a dude playing an accordion. Imagine if Weird Al was a Mexican American from a Texas border town and heard the Casualties instead of Dr. Demento. They were fucking amazing live. They opened for Riverboat Gamblers who put on a great show too, but I was expecting that. Days N’ Daze headlined and I made it about two songs into their folk punk set before bouncing. I liked some of their vocals but one of my best friends was in a pretty big folk punk band in the late 90’s/early 2000’s and I’ve just had enough of that in my life. The kids at the show were having a blast though and that’s all that matters.

The festival ended on Sunday with a couple tribute bands. The Thin White Dukes were a Bowie tribute and Whiskey Jar was doing Thin Lizzie. Olde Heavy Hands opened the show and played their own stuff. I ended up missing the Thin White Dukes because I hadn’t slept much all weekend and as has become increasingly clear in the last three paragraphs, I am old. I do love a good tribute show though (shit, I used to front a punk cover band) and I was really enjoying Whiskey Jar when I decided to go back to my hotel and edit all these photos.

Lastly, I should mention that on Saturday there was also live band punk rock karaoke at Three Links and while it was pretty fun I decided not to post any of the pictures because no one wants to look at random people reading lyrics off a music stand. 

Anyway, the music part of the Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest was a blast and it was really awesome to see that Dallas has a punk scene. I’ve been in a couple punk bands in my time living in NYC and I was always super disappointed by the scene. There’s a lot of people my age and older that like punk and would go to shows but it didn’t seem like there were people actively involved in the culture. That doesn’t seem to be the case in Dallas and that makes me really happy.

Now click here to see the photos from the music part of the 2018 Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest in Dallas, TX.

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

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Return To The Galápagos Islands

I returned from my trip to the Galápagos Islands a few days ago, but I’ve been recovering from sunburn and sleep deprivation and up until yesterday I still felt like I was on a boat. Didn’t think I would need a vacation from a vacation. I also have been putting off this update a little bit because I am afraid it’s going to be exhaustively long. This trip was so insane and amazing and I can’t even begin to describe it so I think I am just going to do some bullet points so that I don’t have to come up with any actual structure to this post. 

  • Just a quick back story if you didn’t read it in my last post, but I went to the Galapagos a year ago with my family. It was our first family vacation since the 90s and it was to celebrate my parents turning 70 and their retirement. Unfortunately my dad fell 24 hours into the trip, cut his head open on a rock and we had to go home. You can read all about that here. Luckily my parents bought travel insurance, we got all our money back and returned to the Galapagos a year later.
  • The trip took place on the boat the National Geographic Explorer II with a travel company called Lindblad Expeditions. It’s somewhere between a scientific expedition and a cruise. You are with naturalists the whole time, learning things and the accommodations are pretty Spartan compared to a cruise, but also they are feeding you constantly and there’s like 4 cappuccino makers on board. Linblad is all about conservation so the trip is done on a ship to minimize environmental footprint.
  • We flew into San Cristobal Island which is the Eastern most island in the archipelago. From there we traveled south to Espanola, then west to Florena before heading north to the most populated island Santa Cruz. This is where my dad spent a year in the hospital last year. Continuing north we went to Santiago and then all the way to Genevesa before heading south to Baltra the small island off the coast of Santa Cruz that was a US military base during WWII which gave the Galapagos it’s first airport and gave us a flight back to the mainland. Unfortunately the trip did not take us to Isabella, the largest island in the chain, or Fernandina the island where all those snakes didn’t kill that baby iguana. If you want to follow along here’s a map of the Galapagos
  • Okay, let’s talk about the animals because that’s clearly the most important part. In the Galapagos there are very few predators. Everything on the islands (that wasn’t introduced by humans relatively recently) came one of three ways. They flew, they swam or they floated. Pretty much only reptiles can float all that way without starving so there aren’t any large predators. So basically if you too big for a hawk to eat you, you don’t have to worry about predators. Millions of years without predators means the fear of predators is evolved right out of you, so pretty much any animal you run into looks at you like you are a rock. You could walk up to an iguana and slap it in the face and it wouldn’t even know what to do although that kind of thing is strongly discouraged.
  • Giant Tortoises: The Galapagos is famous for these monsters so clearly you want to hear about them if you are reading this. They are insane monsters and they are essentially dinosaurs, but the coolest thing about them might be how I saw them. We visited a cattle farm on Santa Cruz and they had tortoises everywhere. In the middle of the last century the Ecuadorian government offered free farm land to people who wanted to colonize the Galapagos. Many farmers took them up on this only to find that the soil was only a couple inches deep before you hit lava bedrock and packed up and went home. Some of the farmers realized they could raise cattle and Ecuador would send a boat over to pick all the cows up and pay the farmers for them. The problem is that the lowlands where all the farms were would be infested with tortoises during a certain season. The 200 year old tortoises, having a very different concept of time, would run into the barbed wire fences and just keep pushing for days until the fences would fall over and they could get to where they were going. Unfortunately the cows would escape so the farmers started killing them as pests. However, the farmer who owns the plot of land where we saw the tortoises didn’t want to kill them and he had an idea that’s so simple it’s brilliant. He just removed the lowest barbwire on the fence so the turtles could pass freely and the cows still couldn’t escape. Decades later he has 200 tortoises on his farm every year and he makes more money off tourism than he does raising cattle!
  • Sea lions: Galapagos sea lions are descendants of California sea lions who got lost in a current coming down the Americas millions of years ago. The main difference between CA sea lions and Galapagos sea lions? They don’t give a fuck. Sea lions are everywhere in the Galapagos and they are fucking amazing. I was taking a video of a sea lion playing with an iguana and I almost tripped over another sea lion just living his best life laying on the beach. They seem like dogs in almost every way except they smell like fish and seem to like the water a lot more than my parent’s dog who starts trying to bite the ocean water until he gets sick and pukes. The sea lion pups will play with you in the water and when we were snorkeling one day I got way ahead of everyone and found this little cover with 2 feet deep water and high volcanic rock walls covered in crabs and suddenly a sea lion spotted me and just spent like 10 minutes playing with me. He was like splashing me and swimming all around me. It was one of the most amazing things ever.
  • Fur Seals: The Galapagos also has some fur seals (who are apparently actually sea lions too) that came up from the Antarctic many many years ago. They were hunted for their fur and are more weary of humans but they do play with the sea lions and they all hang out and stuff. I somehow lucked out and had one who was very curious about me and jumped in the water and just hung out with my brother and I for a minute. They have cool mustaches like the Lorax or something and just hang upside down in the water like corks.
  • Penguins! The endangered Galapagos penguins only exist on the west side of the archipelago and we didn’t make it over to Isabella, but we did go to Santiago. We were told that we MIGHT see penguins because there aren’t many that live on the island. There was a 6am hike that I skipped where people saw penguins in the distance. My parent’s went on the hike and still didn’t see them. So when we were snorkeling and suddenly there were penguins everywhere swimming around us I was so fucking psyched. They are like tiny missiles of meat zipping around underwater. One of them just stopped in front of me and just seemed to be wondering what I was up to. It was pretty fucking magical. I took a picture with this disposable plastic camera so hopefully that will come out when I develop it but I am not counting on it.
  • Birds: Aside from penguins who are just fish with wings, there are a lot of damn birds on the Galapagos. The different mocking bird species on each island are how Darwin ended up coming up with the theory of evolution even though the finches are named after him. Whatever. There are three different types of boobies including the famous blue footed ones. There are frigate birds who live on a diet of fucking other birds up. They literally will attack birds until the regurgitate some fish for the frigates. They also have these giant red ball sack on their necks to attract females which is nuts. The Galapagos has the only seagulls who are nocturnal and have blood red eyes and the only owls that are awake during the day. Nothing makes sense! Oh, and they have albatrosses that are pretty fucking weird looking. On top of all of this, none of them are afraid of people and you can just walk up to them and they just look at you like you are a moving tree. It’s pretty wild.
  • Iguanas: Galapagos has the only marine iguanas in the world. They eat algae because when they got to the Galapagos all they could eat was the algae on the rocks when the tides would go out and after millions of years they got better and better at holding their breath and diving under the water and eventually they grew a god damn salt gland where they can shoot excess salt out of their nose which is fucking psychotic. There are also giant land iguanas which are the size of small dogs and just trot all over the place getting in everyone’s way. We had one walk right up to us and take a shit in front of us but because I am a good person I didn’t include that photo in this gallery. You’re welcome.

Okay, there is probably a million more things to say about the Galapagos but I have to go to Dallas in the morning for a tattoo convention and I got a hockey game to watch in an hour so I gotta get these photos up and move on with my life. At least you got to hear about all the animals. That being said, when I get the film developed next week I might do a second update with film stuff if I think it’s worth it, especially if the underwater stuff turns out at all, but again, not expecting much from a plastic camera. 

Now click here to see all my (digital) photos from my (second) trip to the Galápagos Islands!

Galápagos Islands

Galápagos Islands

Galápagos Islands

Galápagos Islands

Galápagos Islands

Galápagos Islands

Galápagos Islands

Galápagos Islands

Galápagos Islands

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Back To The Galápagos

So one year ago I went to the Galápagos Islands with my family to celebrate my parents’ retirement and their mutual 70th birthday. It was the first family vacation we had been on in 20 years. The islands were absolutely incredible. It was like something out of Jurassic Park. Unfortunately, had to leave early. After spending two days getting to the islands, my dad tripped on a rock cut his head open less than 24 hours after we boarded the boat that we were to be living on for the next week. It was a really magical and horrifying trip that I detailed in this 2000 Words post. Just a heads up, there is a lot of blood…

The good news is that my dad was okay. After spending a day in the only “hospital” in the Galápagos he was was allowed to fly and when he got back to the States his doctor told him they did a fantastic job stitching him up on the boat and he would barley have a scar if it weren’t for the fact that he ripped one of his stitches out and didn’t bother to get it fixed because of course he didn’t. The other good news was that my parents bought travel insurance and we got all our money back for the trip including the last minute tickets that we had to buy to get us home.

So one year later we are returning to the Galápagos and I am really excited about it. The place is so fucking insane and I can’t wait to show you guys the photos I take there. Assuming we all survive the trip in relative health it should be amazing. 

All that being said, I am going to have very little internet access so I won’t be updating the site again until after the 14th. I will be posting stuff to Instagram though, so make sure you are following me there and on Twitter if you want to hear about the trip in real time. 

Lastly here’s a link to some of my photos from last year that you can check out while you wait and see you guys in about 10 days!

The Galápagos Islands

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Kasey Warner & Snacks

So remember those Jillian Janson photos I just posted? These photos of Kasey Warner came out of that same pile of lost 2016 photos. I am trying to get all the lost stuff up and I think there’s only one more gallery from that trip so we are making a pretty good dent in the recently discovered galleries. I still have a couple things from 2013 too which is insane, but none of that matters right now. Let’s get to Kasey!

I met Kasey Warner at an AVN Nomination party and we pretty much became friends instantly. The next day I went over to her place and photographed her in her backyard with her puppy Snacks. Since then, I have actually stayed with her in LA twice, and she crashed with me when she came to NYC. I have done multiple photo shoots at her place and I even met my girlfriend when I was hanging out with Kasey. She’s quickly become one of my favorite people. (I cannot say the same thing about Snacks… he peed on my couch and then bit me when I tried to move him off my couch. There was a wild amount of blood for such a tiny animal.)

Anyway, I don’t have much more to say and I gotta pack cause I am leaving the country tomorrow, but just know that Kasey rules. You can also buy a copy of my book signed by her and a bunch of other porn stars and if you want to see slightly more R rated photos from this shoot you should probably sign up for Girls of Driven By Boredom. And now go look at photos…

Click here to see all the NSFW photos of Kasey Warner and Snacks!

Kasey Warner

Kasey Warner

Kasey Warner

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