Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I'm baaaaaacccck. For those of you who don't know, I was in San Francisco this weekend for the Levi's "Stars and Stripes" exhibit at their Union Square store. My photograph, "No Worries" was selected to be 1 of 5 on display. They told us Monday that our photographs were selected out of over 3,000 submissions. I am actually still in shock my photograph was one of the five. As a part of the "New American" ad campaign, Levi's held a contest through their website, which asked for photographs and writings to help tell the story of "today's America."
The weekend was soooooo much fun. We got there on Saturday afternoon and returned late Monday night. I cannot begin to say enough good things about Levi's and how good they treated us. First off, they paid for the airfare and hotel for the weekend, at a very very nice hotel I might add. That right there would have been enough for me, but as I checked in at the hotel the concierge gave me an envelope with a letter from Levi's congratulating me on winning and $500 in spending money. I could not believe it. I am not a professional photographer and don't have much experience with these sorts of things so for them just to send me and a guest up there was an amazing thing to me. So the spending money was such an awesome surprise.
The next day I had a chance to walk around half of San Fran with my friend Sheena who lives up in Fairfield. She was such a great little tour guide with baby feet (she literally has like 4 inch feet). We ended up going to Fisherman's Wharf, rode a cable car, hit up Chinatown, Little Italy, and North Beach. As I came to find San Francisco isn't as big as I first thought. We came to find that out when we took the trolley back to the hotel and accidentally got off a couple of stops before we should have. As we walked up the street we thought would get us back to the hotel, we ended up at the beginning of Chinatown for the second time in a matter of 2 hours. When we figured it out, we realized that our hotel (The Clift) was actually only 4 blocks away.
Who are you, Seal?
Monday came around and it was time to go to the private unveiling of the exhibit at the store. It was such an honor to have my photograph displayed at the Levi's store. I got a chance to meet some of the higher-ups from Levi's and the 4 other photographers who won. They were a pleasure to meet, they came from Los Angeles, Dallas, New Jersey, and New York. They were all so nice and also great photographers. As if it were to end there, Levi's then gave us each a $500 gift certificate for the store and an hour to shop before the store opened. I really could not believe this was happening to me. I felt like a little kid at a candy store. I stocked up on a bunch of jeans and a jacket. Also, the entire staff at the Union Square were extremely helpful to all of us.
At the opening.
After we left the store we had to check out of the hotel and have them store our baggage so we could continue our trek around the city. We ended up walking around, down Market St, up Haight St, and somehow found ourselves right in front of the "Full House" house. Sitting in front of the "Full House" house was a dream come true. I was waiting for Kimmy Gibler to walk by so I could hit on her, but unfortunately she did not appear. Haight St. was amazing. So many cool spots up and down that street. I had a chance to stop by the "Upper Playground" store and was amazed at their selection. So many sick t-shirts and artwork going across the top of the store. They had a copy of Retna and El Mac's book "Alianza", which I still have on back-order from Borders. I also got to see a painting by El Mac right outside the store. Check out his work online by clicking the link on the right side of my blog ----> He is an amazing artist.
Full House. House.
Unfortunately, the rain caught up to us on Monday as we were walking around and we got soaked. We had to go back to the hotel and change, but it was not a big deal at all because NOTHING could ruin this weekend. I can honestly say that I will always remember this weekend for the rest of my life.
Blame it on the rain.
Thank you Levi's!