Instagram of Paris


I’ve been here for a little over two months and have filled my friends newsfeeds with at least a hundred pictures. After getting plenty of complaints of sharing the plethora of photos i’ve taken i’ve decided to delete instagram for a little while, at least until they have some kind of update or a new photo app comes out with something new. I’m done with the faux film filters for a little while so here’s all of the shots I took from moments before my flight till now. Everything I’ll share from now on will be shot with my digital or scanned in from my film camera.

Enjoy! It’s been quite a ride!Wall of igrams

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A Trip to Versailles, the Swamp turned Desert


After deciding that I needed a day outside of the city, I made the decision to throw caution to the RER Line and head off to Versailles! I heard all about their beautiful gardens and the amazing chateau and that it was a must see while in Paris. I totally agree with them! After battling with a train line that should be a lot easier then it is, I actually wound up in the beautiful city of Versailles. A quaint town filled with beautiful architecture, shops, and restaurants … just because I left Paris, why should any of that disappear? Having to find my way to the Chateau, I decided to become one with the sea of tourists that poured out of the station with their flip flops, backpacks, and expensive camera… of course I had on converse, ditched the backpack, and brought an expensive camera of my own so, I guess I shouldn’t judge.

When I came up to the Chateau I was amazed at the side of it! I thought “chateau” was french for small house but turns out it means big fucking mansion with a 3 hour line to get into it. So, with wide eyes and already blistered feet, I set off for the gardens. So, if you guys expected a garden to be free it’s not, but at least it was only 8 euros. Pay it and go on in, what else do you have to do?

So the when you step out to the middle of the patio behind the Chateau you can see that this garden is a LOT bigger than you expected it to be and will begin wishing you had worn some socks with your shoes, and maybe brought a water, or a snack, or a flare to shoot up once you’ve realized that you’ve become quite lost in this world of dried flowers and really tall trees.

I’m joking (i’m not) the gardens are actually extremely beautiful and each little section has its own feel of historical france. Beautifully designed gardens with statues and fountains, seats, orange juice vendors and public bathrooms! Oh, it’s quite the wonder to explore!

Also, make sure you don’t spend your time at the gardens from noon till 3 and decide to head back home because as you’re leaving, you’ll begin to hear the voice of god bellow down from the heavens to let you know that they’re now turning the fountains on! Glorious! FUCK THAT. I saw the big one shoot up some water and got the hell out of dodge.

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed my day there! I had some gelato by a reflection lake, with people rowing boats, in love, and everything made sense again. I was to go home and watch movies in a dark apartment and remain alone, single, and raw handed for yet, another weekend.

When I come back to Paris, some day, I will come back here and spend the money to come in the evening, grab some dinner or some coffee at a cafe with the beautiful future Scarlett Johanson Costa (not kidding), and hold her hand as she pays for our tickets to watch the fireworks slash fountain show in the beautifully lit Gardens of Versailles.

Sorry for the sarcasm but this was the most fun I had writing a post on here in a while, I hope you enjoy the pictures! I enjoyed taking them!

01 The First Stop BW

05 Flowers & The Chateau12 Versailles Rooftops BW02 Symmetrical Gardens14 Orange Alley BW11 Palm trees & Spikes

16 Chateau Lawn BW

20 Pathway BW

21 Gate to the Garden

23 White flowers on the gate

24 Terracotta and Roses10 Statue with Wall of Leaves BW15 Clean Fun

25 FINISH HIM BW

26 Blood on the Leaves Faded BW

27 Horses of War22 Homes in the Trees

Michael Costa

Trois Jours de Ténèbres


Three days of darkness. Not literally of course, well – the electricity in my apartment is out. Gone. Nada. KapOOt. The electricity bill never got paid, not by me of course, by my landlady/airbnb hosts. Now, as my first time using airbnb I haven’t had any problems really. I was able to find an apartment for myself in a matter of days, I was able to find my host and get the key the second day and have been really enjoying my apartment and the area I’m in. Besides a few misunderstandings and adjusting to Paris living, I’m finally thinking I’ve got everything under control.

After spending a good part of the evening exploring Paris’ shopping and restauranting I retired home to get ready for a night of partying with some new friends for a birthday. The door opens to my apartment, I step in, and find myself in complete darkness. I’ve always had some extravagant imagination that a demon/ghoul dog is going to lunge at me and tear my face off when I enter a dark room.. this time they didn’t get me but I couldn’t turn on the light!!! I had this problem before, a few hours into moving in, so I did what fixed it last time. The power fuse/ box is right at the door way so I went go flip the switch back on and … shit … it was already flipped on. WTF!!! I was not happy! I tried to make sure there were other apartments having the same problem but there were lights on in my neighbors windows so I knew something was up! I grabbed all of my stuff and ran up to the local McDonalds. In the states I would’ve found a Starbucks but here in Paris, McDonalds are found on each corner. Besides the smell of the greasy french fries, they’re not too bad. Just a couple people come and go and I’ve been able to sit down upstairs where there’s the sole power outlet. Frantically emailing, messaging, and calling my airbnb host to find out what’s gone wrong. NOTHING. Couldn’t get in touch with her, terrified. I went to go check her airbnb page because she had told me that her parents had been airbnb hosts for many a year.

THANK GOD!

Her parents had written a recommendation on her wall! Cunningly and with the bravado of a 4 year old, I write to her parents PRAYING that they check their emails more often then mine. I hung around for about another hour hoping to get some sort of response but not much had been found in my inboxes. So I went home, with a feeling of defeat.. “maybe it’ll be alright tomorrow and there’s just a repair that knocked the power off”

NO! The next morning I woke up checked the power box … still nothing … ran to McDonalds … NOTHING! God, “Could I wait another week till my host comes back from her time volunteering in India?” I figured I’d keep trying but I was ready to live in a dark, hot apartment till then. So, there’s only a few ways I know how to cheermyself up.. eating and shopping. KNOWING that I’d be back at McDonalds at the end of the night to use the wifi and charge my laptop, I decided to go shopping. 200 euros poorer and a Comme des Garçon t-shirt richer (also with a pair of high quality denim Levis) I decided to see if the store had wifi.. IT DID!

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3 Messages from my hosts parents, 2 from my host – THEY DID CARE!! I was so excited to hear back from them, so the bill was unpaid – I was right – and there would be something to be done as soon as possible. After turning down a couple nights at a hotel (Stupid mike, stupid..) I knew things would be under control in just a couple of days. With a city to explore, they’d pass in no time! – Right.. we’ll see about that.

I spent the day exploring the nearby grave yard to find a spot to read, found a nice bench with the view of the city sat down, read a few pages, and then got kicked out. Deciding that I didn’t want to go back home yet, I kept walking and found another park. This was great, people just hanging out on the hill tanning, reading, and enjoying the warm weather. I’m planning on coming back here on weekends!

But once again, I have a day without power. Hopefully soon this will all be resolved and I’ll be able to sleep a night with out sweating. Back to work tomorrow will be a good way to get past it all, I’m praying that I have the magic of electricity waiting for me when I get home tomorrow but until then, I’m looking at another night here at McDonalds to catch up and see what else is going outside of my Arrondissement!

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Musée du Louvre


 

 

Bonjour mes amis! Everything is going quite well here in París! I’ve met a great bunch of people at Ogilvy and they’re all really awesome! Looking forward to getting to know them better in the next couple months!

The work so far has been great, a good way to get the quarter started once again! I’m really looking forward to getting more work for here as well as working with the people who are here, they’re one of the greatest agencies in the world right now and couldn’t be more thankful for getting to be here, even if it’s only for a little while!

This weekend I’ve finally found some confidence to step out and adventure. Getting lost in this city isn’t as terrifying because of how beautiful it is here! The most important thing I wanted to do here is get a chance to explore the Louvre, probably the most amazing art museum on the planet! I only got to explore one of its halls in the 4 or so hours I had spent there so, I’m looking forward to coming back and looking through the others!

Here are some shots from the day out, i #hashtagged my time here as #AmericanInParis so whenever I find anything worth mentioning I’ll post it either on here, Instagram, or Twitter! Look out for me and enjoy!

Mike

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Bienvenue à Paris!


“Welcome to France!” I told myself as I stepped off the plane, I’m sure the signs I was passing were saying the same but my Muzzy french is a little off! (nonexistent) Why on earth did I come here? I don’t understand ANY of this, I hear the people are god awful.. how am I supposed to order at a fast food restaurant here? Answer: Machines that are like iPads.

I’m glad I didn’t break down and buy the first ticket back to the states, just a couple hours later I’m well rested and ready to go scare myself a little bit more. Oh ya, I stayed at the Hotel Aviatic and it is a great place to stay, a couple hundred bucks a night but the rooms are classy, the bed is comfortable, the concierge is great (speaks english), and it’s in the 6th arr. of Paris which has a lot of restaurants, shops, cafes, and has a lot of Metro stops!

A couple of days later, a new apartment, a new neighborhood and I don’t know what to do next. I guess there’s some things I’ve gotta do, like battle through french stores to find a clothes steamer or hop on the Metro and see where I’ll be going for the next two and a half months. I guess I’ll do both, my camera will be more then willing to join me in the trip!

This is all exciting and intimidating but I’ve gotta just remember to take it all one step at a time.. now to find out when I should take the challenge of getting to Versailles!

Let me learn from where I’ve been.


Not to set off the post off on a sad level but the sun is beginning to set for my time here in San Francisco. It’s been one hell of a quarter so far, I can’t believe that it’s gone by so quickly. I remember walking into the apartment and getting the view of the city at night, speechless. I wanted to make something big of my time here; whether that was making a great book piece, meeting lots of new friends, learning something about myself or my friends – how many other people are given this opportunity?

The first couple of weeks, my roommates and I spent most of our time meeting new people at school and at parties after hours. People here really do enjoy life at another level then what I’m used to back on the east coast, I love it. The seriousness of life is taken at different levels, they know that they need to make something of themselves, but they’re taking it as a progressive trip instead of working for that moment. The people at school work hard, some of the ideas I’ve heard are so simple and so breaking at the same time – just a different mind set on approaching problems. I’m hoping it washes off on me a little bit. I really wish I could go through and write about the people I’ve met, because they’re all incredible but, I also want to pretend to believe that I’ll be getting to bed in the next hour or so.

This quarter’s classes have been a mix of wishy washy work and heavy idea/execution focus. One class, I’m still wondering if it’s even going to give me a line to carry on in my thought process, not probably.. but I still have to keep working in it. Another, I’m finally getting an opportunity to start producing more print ads and I’m excited and want to do them justice, but I also want to start fixing the lines. If you can’t tell, I’ve been a little obsessed with living the fun things out rather then school this quarter. I’m kicking myself for it, really, but It’s more of a love tap. It’s time to change it.

In other words, I guess you could say I’ve been being somewhat of a “free spirit” out here. Yes, I’ve been drinking more then I should be, eating more mexican food than I have my entire life, I may have played around with some substances my high school self would have a heart attack reading about, you guys probably laugh about them. I’m learning a lot about myself here, life really. Some things work, and some don’t – you’ve gotta try them out to see if they will, it’s the only way.

I wouldn’t have been able to take this initial step without my good friends I’ve got here. Danny, Eva, Bryan, Neil, Steve, and Josh.. you guys are the shit and what we’ve got will go down in history. Erica, Kim, Greg, Mag, Marissa, Jen and the rest of you back in New York miss you guys like mad and will see you all soon, I’ll be making my sweet time to get back to the city but I’ll be there in no time.

My family and friends from back home have also been helping get by each day, they’ve got some high hopes for me and keep me feeling like I’m blazing a new trail for them, it’s empowering, but I miss them.

I’m still waiting to hear back about where I’ll be heading next quarter. My friends just found out that they’ll be headed off to China, fucking Beijing! They couldn’t be more excited, and I’m proud of them for having the balls to take that leap, they’ve been helping me break out my “shell” if you want to call it that.

Being an older brother, I never really had people to look up to – my father of course but it’s always different. I looked up more to my younger brother and how he followed what he wanted to whether or not it was the smartest thing to do. Now that I’m the youngest I’m looking up to my friends here to see how they handle the situations they’re presented with. Most of the time I get to learn from their mistakes because they’re not afraid to take a chance, but they surprise me from time to time on their actions and the advice they give.

Anyways, my hopes are still on Paris. I have no idea, whatsoever, how it’s going to work but I want to make that my next challenge. I came to New York City alone, and although it was for school, I survived. Traveled across the country, in a car, with three other creatives.. ingredients for disaster but, we made it. Now it’s time to do it on my own, so I’ve got my fingers crossed, not letting the second option be that, an option.

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Be sure to know, you guys will be one of the first to find out.

Alright, maybe I’ll get some sleep tonight.. probably not.