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


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.


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.

From the Badlands to Bozeman!


These couple of days throughout the road trip were probably my favorite by far. Cold weather, mountains, the wild, and just my three friends and I hitting the road. Endless driving with good music and just being in awe of our surroundings. We landed in South Dakota late at night and pulled into a hotel on the side of the road to get some shut eye and a shower before heading back on the road in the morning. Nothing felt better then crawling into a bed at that moment.

When we woke up we headed for the Badlands, it’s a park with these most amazing rock formations that kind of look like the tops of caves, but growing up instead of down. We were one of the only cars in the park all morning and the animals were just waking up (i’m guessing) and getting out to eat some breakfast. We came across some deer and some  mountain goats just hanging out by the side of the road, you’d think we’ve never been to a zoo before. The basin of these hills went on for ever and the roads that curved through these peaks were amazing to drive through!

After we left there we were headed for Mt. Rushmore. I never thought that I would be going to see these sculptures because I never found any real interest in it. It’s American and all but it’s just some faces carved into rocks.. right? Yeah, I was right but it was something completely different in the experience of walking up to see them. Thinking of how long the artist must have taken to pick away at these mountain sides to create some smooth faces.

After that we grabbed some food and hit the road.. again! That day was a wicked busy day, we had cut a day off our schedule and were heading for the second one on our way to Bozeman. Wyoming was pretty, we saw the first group of snowcapped mountains on our trip, and lots of red rocks throughout the farmlands. I wish I could tell you more of what happened here but the next thing I remember is waking up in a strange house with a loss of pride and feeling of shame I wasn’t ready to accept.

But anyways, with my headache and upset stomach we headed into Bozeman after meeting Eva’s friend Matt. Matt was the one who let us crash in his home, really awesome guy! He knew everybody in the town and his house was pretty much designed with his hands. Earlier in the morning I wandered around while everybody was asleep and the room that I was in had at least 40 ski resort maps on the wall (awesome idea by the way) and in the living room he had little jars with soil from places he’s traveled all over the world (also, a really awesome idea!)

After grabbing some food (that I had to leave behind due to upsetting reasons) we went on to our next national park, Yellowstone! It was unbelievable! The hot springs we went to go see reeked of rancid ass, but I would kill to go back to see them! The buffalo just walked along the cars on the road and we even got to miss seeing wolves, but only by a few minutes apparently! – LAMESAUCE – Also, we got to go into some hot springs! Something I’ve always wanted to do! We drove down to the parking lot and briskly changed into our suits and made the half mile hike down to the river. As we came to the spot we could smell the sulfur again, exciting! The hot springs poured down the entire side of the mountain in an underground spring, and emptied out into the freezing river. So when both collided it created this wonderful bath of jetted hot water. I could’ve stayed in there forever, can’t wait to go back to one!

Suffice to say, those couple of days were something I’ll always remember! I would keep writing but I wanted you guys to stay long enough to check out the pictures I took! They’re a little scattered in order but that’s okay. I hope you enjoy looking at them at least half as much as I enjoyed taking them!

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Quarter Away … WTF!!!! Do I Do??

Ahhh!!!!! Is currently all that is being said in my mind right now. For those who don’t know about the school I’m in, during the second year of classes we enter a new step of the program that places us in agencies to work; both on our portfolios and help them out with what they need done. So the big thing is that, although there’s plenty of options here in the states… we get to go abroad to Western Europe, East Asia, the Middle East Latin & South America, as well as Australia (later on in the quarter though) and I’ve got a week to pick where I go! A couple of my friends want to head back to New York to catch up with our friends, reobtain their appartments, or just really want to be part of the agencies in the city. I can’t blame them, or the entire european student population, for wanting to go to because it is one of the great meccas of the trade. I’ve got a couple of places on my mind and really, any of them would be amazing but, I want to make the best decision possible. Take all the chances now so that I don’t double think it once the decisions already been made.

So my first option I’m pretty sure is a Greenhouse at Ogilvy in Paris, France. This is supposed to be the most wanted greenhouse (apart from new york’s) because the work you do there is amazing. You pitch your life away to clients with your partner and you compete with about 4 other teams. This would be AMAZING to be able to place in my resume, and the work that comes from this will shatter what I already have, but it’s tough competition to get in and unfortunately I’m beginning to doubt my work.

Aside from Paris, I’m blind on where else I want to go. We have three different places to put down and I can’t decide if I want to go off to Amsterdam, Hamburg, Rio… possibly off to Beijing or Shanghai (probably not the last two) this is one of the biggest reasons why I decided to come to MAS instead of other portfolio schools, like The Creative Circus or Brain Co. SO, with that I don’t know if I should settle for some other european places or stay here in the states. Chicago has an amazing greenhouse at Digitas and New York’s 360i greenhouse would be unbelievable as well, but do I want to miss out on this chance of travel? Such a tough decision to make! (I know, I know, I should be thankful for any of them, but if you’re given all these great opportunities – you don’t want to spoil it, right?)

Gah!! I have less then a week to spruce up my portfolio and make the decision.

Wish me luck!

Me Confused

Life & Times of Michael Costa 6 Month catch up!

Hey everybody! I guess it’s time for a little update, huh? Well where should I begin?

Let’s start off with a little bit about the last quarter, shall we? It’s over, that’s the best part of it! Going into the second quarter I was high anticipating learning some more programs and doing some more work to show off some of my talents. Meeting back up with my quarter was all I could think about for the coming days. I didn’t go far but a lot of my friends traveled home or to other locals to visit friends, so it was a little empty of a break, but I was more than okay with that! With my then roommate headed home for a week (which turned out to be more than that ( check a little further down )), I had the space I needed to prepare and empty out the reserve in my brain. The day had finally came and sitting and while waiting for the Industry Hero to start us off, we scouted the room for the new quarter and the new Account Planning Bootcamp students. It seemed to be.. a little empty, which was a theme that seemed to carry on throughout the quarter. After a riveting and exciting kick off with the head of the Art Director’s Club, we were ready to rule the advertising world. As we settled in for class to begin, our teacher had hobbled in, collapsed in his chair and looked at all of us with eager eyes and smiles, “Excuse me i’m a little hungover” is a statement i’ll never forget for a first judgment meeting. And that’s also a common theme that carried throughout the past couple of months.

Class after class, assignment after assignment, I started to become a little discouraged. I wasn’t learning anything in most classes, except that my teachers didn’t how to truly teach us. It’s sad to say, I really liked who they were and their personalities, but all but one had trouble teaching. It was mostly, here’s the assignment, do it by teaching yourself Gave us all a headache. What were we paying them for? …Never really found out in the end of it, but it’s over with. Good riddance. Bring on the next set of late nights and long days.

I learned more this quarter about myself then I have in a while. Mostly esteem issues, and most of it relies in having alcohol in my system. So, i’m proud to announce i’m done with it. No longer will I have days where I go out to drink, resorting to small things on holidays and while visiting good friends. Partying, late nights, and “slaying” is not in my system and it’s not who I am, so i’m not going to try and be that. There’s no use in forcing it either, nature takes over. I long for the early and long nights of sleeping and dreaming, and not worrying about trying to impress others, I got this far without it, why should I be trying to change all of that now? So i’m done, I’ve realized it and now it’s time to make it happen … erm, not happen?

Any who.. what else can chit chat about? Job problems? Nope, none.. need a job for that to happen! It’s not that I haven’t been looking, or even that I haven’t been applying, cause I have. It’s the lack of interest of others in me. I’m a white guy from Belchertown, Ma who spent his earlier jobs around food and helping out a pretty awesome law firm. So, automatically not even considered, not even wanted to be met. It’s really disheartening for me, I’ve never NOT worked while in school so being unemployed is strange for me. I don’t know what to do with the free time I have, so it’s gone to doing assignments early. Which is a good thing, trust me. The amount of other students that were scurrying work together an hour before the final 1 on 1’s was tremendous and surprising to me. And the thing is, I help them. They were slacking off while I was paying attention, and I help them. I’m gonna have to think of a different way to go about this.. i’m too nice of a guy to say no.

But, the summer is over! The fall is approaching and my favorite type of weather will be here before we know it. Sweatshirts, boots, and sweaters are gonna be on and I can’t wait for it. Romance, pumpkin spice, crunchy leaves, and crisp mornings, I can almost feel them now.

A few weeks ago I entered a little relationship with a girl I knew from my undergrad. We got to hang out a couple of times earlier this year but the past few weeks had been great. Started talking everyday, seeing each other, and making each other smile. It was a good feeling, but it wasn’t right. You know when you have that missing feeling in your stomach in a relationship, I didn’t want to waste her time any more. I’ve been in situations where it’s been there and I didn’t do anything, didn’t need to be on another hate mail list, that’s for sure. But it was a good moment in my life here.

At this moment, I want to let all of you out there know of a song that’s beginning to build speed, and that’s “Feel Again” by OneRepublic. These guys seem to release new music at the right time in my life, when I was feeling down a few years ago, they turned me around and sent me back to where I was through their album “Dreaming Out Loud.” I was Happy and care free. The following year they came out with the album “Marching On” and although I was happy, I felt there was something missing so I looked and I found another good friend out of it. So, with anticipation of their next album coming out in a couple of months, they’ve released this single and I know it’s that time to pick myself back up and realize the greatness that’s coming my way. I love the video, and the song was created using the heartbeats from a campaign known as, “Every Beat Matters” and it’s absolutely incredible what these guys are doing. Do yourself a favor and click their name to check out their website!

So, with all of that said. I’m going to hang out here for the next week or so. See some friends, and I have plans to check out a concert next week! I’ll be sure to review it here if you guys are still following me!

Now, at the end of it all I just wanted to tell you guys; I’m good. Life is good right now, and am very happy with the choice that I made to come down here. This is one experience that I’ll never forget and I can’t wait to finish it and start working in this amazing industry! When I come back from a short vacation on the 1st of October, my third quarter will be starting, and i’ll be getting myself into a gym. It’s time to pick back up and get to work. I’m quite determined, i’m going to get back in incredible physical shape, i’m going to get a job, i’m going to travel the world, and I am going to make this dream I have a reality.

So, until next time:

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”

-Harriet Beecher Stowe

Bryan takes Manhattan


Hey everybody, hope all has gone well this summer! We have been busy at MAS with our second quarter and I haven’t gotten much time to tend to this lovely little blog. Here are a couple of shots I wanted to share from my brother’s visit a couple weekends ago. First one is when we were just screwing around on a way to grab some pizza. Second one, is in some coffee shop on the upper west side of Manhattan after checking out the Museum of Natural History. Added a slight vintage filter over the shots to throw some more fun into. I have another post coming up here soon and probably another in the next week or so!

Brooklyn Heat

Well, it clearly is summer because the heat in this city is atrocious! I seriously have been troubled with going out or the simplest things! A little skateboarding here and there, grocery shopping, exercising… you name it, I don’t want to do it lately. I’m adjusting so all hope isn’t lost just yet! With classes starting back up Monday, i’m back to business. Until then, i’m trying to enjoy the rest of my free time and catching up on sleep!

Here are two images I got that I REALLY LIKE. First one was shot on the G train on the way to prospect park and the second is in a Q train station.

I hope all is going well for everybody!