August 23rd I left LA for a two week drive back home to NY through the south. I spent my first night in Tucson Arizona followed by Marfa & Austin Texas, Jackson Mississippi, Atlanta Georgia and finally back up to NY a few days earlier than planned because of work (sorry Nashville, another time). I met so many amazing people, spent hours driving by myself and never feeling alone while listening to music and local radio, which was one of the most revealing things about each state I drove through. In eight days I traveled through fifteen states and spent the night in six of them, sometimes with old friends, sometimes in hotels, and one night in a beautiful safari tent. I listened to NPR, country music, preachers and gospel, talk radio on every subject and my soundtrack of Royksopp and Lana Del Ray. The latter is not recommended for road trips by the way; not unless you want to drive yourself off a cliff. Who knew? Someone warned me and I didn’t listen. Highly recommended is sunscreen all day because the southern sun is fierce even through car windows. I used the HydraFacial MD UV Smart Daily SPF 40 the entire time (after getting my legs burned the first day). Keeping busy while driving was not as hard as you would think. I made short videos on my iphone, ate local food, stopped at used record stores and even got a blow out at a Dry Bar in Atlanta (it just felt right after living in shorts and a tank top for days). I loved every minute of it. Photos from the road below.
Valentine and Marfa local Boyd Elder, who told me amazing stories about the two towns and the Prada Marfa installation above. There is a video of him on my instagram telling the story.
This couple from Dallas drove up while Boyd and I were hanging out at Prada. My day is not complete without a good shot of hair flying through the air. Thank god this girl came along.
This is Mimi. She has worked at the El Cosmico (where I spent one night sleeping outside in a safari tent) since June, after moving from San Diego to be closer to her grandparents who are the pastors of the New Beginnings church in Marfa. Her Grandpas brother was the mayor there for a lot of years but was originally from Fort Worth Texas. She was so sweet and helpful while I was there and even let me share her office desk in the morning so I could get some writing done.
Marjorie and Rashid are from Austin and were in one of the other safari tents next to mine. I met them outside at a picnic table where we shared a bottle of wine with Brady (below) a musician, and also from Austin.
I loved the open road, Texas was gorgeous. You can drive literally for hours without seeing anything but this. And this was on the drive from Marfa to Austin. On the way I stopped at a really great used book store in Alpine called Front Street Books where I stocked up on hardcover first editions of Dorothy Parker and Jack Kerouac for $10 (I know, I know… total cliche).
I stopped for lunch in Ozona Texas at Moreno’s Mexican for a burrito. It was heaven above.
This is Anina, one of my friends from Bard. We lived in the same dorm freshman year and since graduation she has lived in Austin. I hadn’t seen her in years. I loved her house and her car, which she has kept since senior year at Bard.
That’s Dale with Anina, another one of my Bard film school friends who I have known since Freshman year. Dale went to Russia with me the winter after we graduated to shoot my first feature film and is one of my few friends who met my dad before he passed away. Dale is a brilliant writer and filmmaker, and one of the smartest most amazing people I know. Bix is in the background taking a bath.
Benji from Franklin BBQ. I mean, I was in Austin so where else was I going to eat besides the most famous BBQ joint where Obama bought everyone brisket and fist bumped this guy below, who helps organize the line outside, which lasts about four hours and allows you to drink beer with your neighbor who you inevitably become friends with (example A also below).
Daniel, the now infamous cashier taking orders for brisket while we wait in line.
The graffiti outside of Franklin BBQ in Austin
Chase (on the left), who was standing in front of us, drove from Dallas with his friend Brandon for some BBQ, while Vicky (on the right) was picking up BBQ for her sons 29th birthday. For his 30th she is planning on ordering ahead. Next month. We shared a beer and laughed our way through the humid heat and four hour wait. Best BBQ I have ever had. Bad vegetarian, very bad.
Vintage dresses at New Bohemia, which had such an incredible selection of real vintage at great prices. These were all around $40.
I spent a night in Jackson Mississippi. On the drive there I stopped at Sunshine Records in Tyler Texas. The most amazing old vintage record shop owned by Dan. I found a few things to add to my pile here.
Downtown Jackson Mississippi, a store front in flux.
Colton is the bartender and waiter at Parlor Market where I ate breakfast while driving from Mississippi to Atlanta. He is 23 and originally from Jackson so has lived here all his life. His sister went to live in New York for a little while but ended up coming home. Amazing food here. There seems to be a lot happening in Jackson, renovations and fun stuff ahead. I will be back.
The catfish tacos with homemade fried bread and butter dills and fresh sweet potato fries (and deviled eggs… not pictured) I had for breakfast at Parlor Market in Jackson Mississippi.
Great used record store in Atlanta Georgia, where I bought a few more relics from the past. I put my camera down for the day and two nights I spent there because I was too busy having fun with my friends John and Jen, who I didn’t even get a portrait of. Next time… John and Jen took me to dinner at a fantastic sushi place called Miso Izakaya and lunch the next day at Le Petit Marche, where I ate a spicy tuna salad sandwich and mango soup with feta and scallions. So good! Definitely fell in love with Atlanta, it’s a really great city.
I took one last shot while driving from Atlanta to New York. An abandoned drive thru next door to Sonny’s BBQ in South Carolina where I stopped for a pulled pork sandwich. For breakfast. Apparently I am a bad Jew AND a bad vegetarian. It was so good. They put theirs on garlic bread and make really good fresh cole slaw.
Thanks to all of the amazing people I met on the road. Old friends, new friends, strangers and future friends. It was a magical and inspirational week.