• Growing Up In LA I Never Once Asked Where My Water Came From…

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  • McFarland, USA

    I ran cross country in high school and experienced the McFarland running legacy first hand.

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  • A DTLA Aerial Love Affair

    Because sometimes I need a reminder of how stunning downtown LA can be.

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Growing Up In LA I Never Once Asked Where My Water Came From…

Jun 4

I am an LA native born and raised. Growing up in LA in the 80’s & 90’s I never once asked where my water came from. I just knew it was readily available and plentiful. I also remember the winters being moderately rainy during several heavy El Niño years that resulted in infamous mudslides and even a day of light snow on random years. All that to say – there was no reason to think about water! Sadly that same general sentiment continues today even during a very serious draught.

As I started learning more about the global water crisis I couldn’t understand how I could be living in such abundance, while the rest of the world was struggling to sustain themselves on water that ultimately made them sick. As I started asking this question friends who work as water engineers referred me to the documentary based on the book Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner.

I found the documentary absolutely fascinating and I highly recommend it to all Californians and especially Angelenos! There are groups who are looking toward the future of LA’s relationship with water and this documentary can serve as an overview of the past 100+ years of LA’s water history.

Watch all 4 parts of the documentary »

Once you have caught up on the past 100 years consider what the future of LA might look like:

UCLA Grand Challenge Project to make Los Angeles water and energy independent by 2050 »

Mayor Launches L.A.’S First-Ever Sustainable City Plan

How Los Angeles Became an Unlikely Model of Urban Sustainability

The Los Angeles Water Conundrum: Adaptability by Design

John Forté “Spread Love”

May 16

From humble beginnings, musician, John Forté discusses where he is now.

With John Forté being an influence in my life in the 90’s through his work with the Fugees, coming from humble beginnings, and going through a life-altering event that took him on a 7 year life-detour I find a lot of parallels to my own life in his and it was such a privilege to hear him speak at a recent Creative Mornings NYC session.

McFarland, USA

Feb 26

During my high school years I attended a small private school in the high desert of LA county where I was a part of the cross country team. Why did I run? Two reasons. 1) It got me out having to take a PE class every day for the duration of the school year. 2) I tried out for all the other sports teams and never made the final cut. So I ran each season during my Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years and developed a love/hate relationship with running. There is nothing more formidable than running 14 miles after school, at a steady pace, on the outskirts of town, and in 100 degree heat. You find yourself questioning whether you have what it takes to make it to the end of the run, how easy it would be to give up, and if you got lost and stranded how long it would take for anyone to find you in the vast desert that was the Antelope Valley. You know – “meaning of life” type stuff.

Of course all of these long training runs where meant to prepare you for the weekly 3-mile races. We were considered a small school so we were grouped with similar schools within our region during our regular season. At several points throughout our season we would have the opportunity to race against schools outside of our region in CIF invitationals, with the most notable race being the Annual Bellarmine Griffith Park Cross Country Invitational (here is a taste for those of you who have never been to a cross country race). Every year there were certain schools that were the teams to beat and the team from McFarland, CA consistently proved to be a powerhouse team. Every year I would cheer for them, even if I was running against them, because they were 1) hard-core, amazingly talented runners, 2) we shared a Mexican heritage, and 3) they trained in worst conditions than I did. So when I saw that Disney Pictures had produced a movie about the original McFarland cross country team I had to share my story with you and give my respects. Although I never ran against the team portrayed in the movie, I did race against the legacy that this team founded, and hopefully I’ll one day have a son or daughter that gets a chance to compete against the future running greats from McFarland, CA.

While riding the Mexico City metro…

Oct 2

If you ever get the opportunity to ride the Mexico City metro you will most definitely encounter vendors known as vagoneros that sell music CD’s stuffed into plastic sleeves. They are all vying for the attention of busy riders as they hop on and off subway trains and each vendor is carrying some form of a portable speaker system on their back playing samples. This isn’t an easy gig and I have a lot of respect for these vendors as they find a way to innovate with what they have. And if it wasn’t for these vendors I would have never been introduced to a Mexican cartoon about eggs!

The Sound of Sports

Sep 18

When we think of the sound of sports on TV or radio, it’s generally commentary. But sports broadcasts would be nothing without all the sounds that are behind the commentary– the crowds, the kicks, the thwacks, and the grunts.

Although I have never been a big sports fan I have, however, always been an avid watcher of the Olympic games and I had never realized how much sound created the drama and atmosphere that made the games so enjoyable to watch. I found it fascinating that the average Olympic games employs 350 sound mixers, 600 sound technicians, and 4,000 microphones and “The Sound of Sports” tells a great story of how sound is used to design the sports viewer’s experience.

A DTLA Aerial Love Affair

Sep 16

Because sometimes I need a reminder of how stunning downtown LA can be. via @joshfassbind

Above the grit and noise of the street, downtown Los Angeles quietly provides some of the most amazing visual detail in its buildings and public art works. This is a selection of those buildings and public arts filmed across some 50 different locations in the immediate downtown area and the arts district. There are many many more locations that are not included and are equally if not more impressive.

Some of the buildings are in disrepair, some have been restored to their full glory while others have been transformed into artworks. In all of them, there is character, color and detail that makes the area a never-ending source of intrigue.

Kehinde Wiley

May 13

“Los Angeles native and New York based visual artist, Kehinde Wiley has firmly situated himself within art history’s portrait painting tradition. As a contemporary descendent of a long line of portraitists, including Reynolds, Gainsborough, Titian, Ingres, among others, Wiley, engages the signs and visual rhetoric of the heroic, powerful, majestic and the sublime in his representation of urban, black and brown men [and women] found throughout the world.”

Kehinde has a unique way of exploring the conventions of glorification, history, wealth and prestige by placing young black and brown men and women in poses historically reserved for the social elite, royalty, and Western ideals of beauty. Not one to shy away from the complicated soci-political histories conveyed in traditional Western paintings, Kehinde’s larger than life portrait paintings awaken complex issues that are striking and intriguing. What I find most compelling is how a simple pose can speak volumes and change the conversation around the subject matter.


Kehinde Wiley in his Bejing Studio (Photo: Matthew Niederhauser/Institute)

Here are some additional portraits that I found compelling:

Scenic: “Le Roi A La Chasse”

View inspiration »

An Economy of Grace: “The Two Sisters”

View inspiration »

Rumors of War: “Le Roi A La Chasse II”

View inspiration »

Abelardo Morell Camera Obscura

May 8
“Something strange and wonderful happens when light enters a dark space through a tiny opening.” – Tom O’Niell

I recently came across Abelardo Morell’s camera obscure work at the recent Annenberg Space For Photography exhibit “National Geographic: The Power of Photography”. I was familiar with the technique from my college photography classes, but found Morell’s work captivatingly charming and visually potent. Morell states that “I love the increased sense of reality that the outdoor has in these new works. The marriage of the outside and the inside is now made up of more equal partners.”

Below are a couple of my favorites that give a whole new meaning to “a room with a view”.

View of Central Park Looking North – Fall


Time Square in Hotel Room


Boston’s Old Custom’s House in Hotel Room


Brookline Room In Brady’s Room


Morell has also developed a “Tent Camera” which is “a light proof tent which can project views of the surrounding landscape, via periscope type optics, onto the surface of the ground inside the tent.” I feel that this approach adds a dynamic layer of texture and tension to the technique as the ground surface becomes the photo canvas. Below are a couple of my favorites from this series:

View of the Golden Gate Bridge from Kirby Cove


View of Cathedral Rocks From El Captain Meadow. Yosemite National Park


View of the Grand Canyon from Mohave Point


View more samples of Morell’s work »

Project Yosemite

May 1

I often tell people that I’m such a bad Angelino because I don’t have a first name reference for all the local celebrities or that I’m an even worse Californian since I have never been to some of the top state destinations like the Yosemite Valley. Although I hope to one day take a trip to take in the full beauty of Yosemite I am thankful for teams behind the Yosemite Project that give me year-round video footage in full HD! Watching the sunrise over the Yosemite valley has definitely been added to the bucket list.

#cleanwater for my #dirty30

Apr 29

150 people will get clean water thanks to your generosity!

Take a moment to celebrate this milestone with me! 😉 My wish for my 30th birthday was to give clean water to those in need and through your generous donations you made my wish come true! I cannot express enough how incredibly thankful I am for your generosity and friendship! With approximately 800 million people still in need of clean water I am excited to know that we reduced that number by 150! Your donations will get sent to the field on May 8th and charity: water will be sending updates in the coming months. Thank you again making my 30th birthday one to remember!

My Wish For My 30th Birthday Is To Bring 150 People Clean Water

On March 8th 150+ of my friends and family came together to celebrate my 30th birthday and raise money for clean water projects in developing countries. With 800 million people without access to clean water I wanted to do my part by pledging my birthday and asked for donations to my charity: water birthday campaign instead of gifts for my 30th birthday. The night started off with a taco cart serving up tacos and Jarritos generously donated 300 sodas in support of our cause! A big thank you to Jarritos for their generosity and support!


No party is complete (at least in my family) without piñatas so we had three piñatas made in the likeness of the three birthday boys. They were a great hit (pun intended) although it felt weird to watch some of my friends beat my cardboard likeness – some with more force than was necessary to get the job done! I’m looking at you Jake Shaffer!


We encouraged extra style points for people to dress up from their favorite dance era and gave them glow sticks to get the party started.


We took a break in the middle of the night to share a video from charity: water’s September campaign to help give a greater sense of the real world impact of our birthday campaign. After the video I was able to share my heart behind the event and got a chance to express my appreciation for everyone in attendance (Thank you again to everyone who came!) and thank them for their influence in my life. We followed this up with signing “Happy Birthday” to the 3 birthday boys and cake which was generously made by my aunt. (As you can see it got a bit jostled in transit)


We Reached Our Goal of $3,000!

It has been such an encouragement to watch the donations come in over the past couple months! Through generous donors we reached our goal of raising $3,000! That’s incredible! A big heart-felt thank you to the 34 donors who helped us reach our goal! On May 8th our funds get sent to the field and put to work to bring clean water to people in need. I’m looking forward to posting updates in the coming months!