Spin premiered my new video for Mikal Cronin today. They also spotted my unplanned cameo and wrote about it… Amazing. Thanks, Spin!
Canyon Acres & Arroyo Drive, Laguna Beach, CA
I’ve lived on more streets than I can recall, but out of all of them this is the one I’d say “I grew up on.” It’s the one that spanned the longest period of my life and last street I lived on with my parents before I moved out. The house shown here has long since deteriorated and been demolished, but the lot where it sits remains open while houses now line the rest of the street. As a kid I would climb up the hill behind it and sit among aloe plants & coyote melons - chasing lizards and cutting my knees open. Though the street is 99% residential, there is a mechanic shop on it as well. My childhood friend and I would sneak in, steal large flattened cardboard boxes, drag them up the hill above the lot, and slide down the banks of ivy at breakneck speeds. We thought we’d most definitely be arrested should we be caught, but did this on a weekly basis regardless. In middle school, with the help of my stepmother, I once orchestrated a carnival that took place in the lot with prizes, homemade games and contests. On my 10th birthday I got my first skateboard. A fat deck I covered with stickers from local skate & surf shops in town. It now lives in my trunk where I break it out on shoots for my own/the musicians amusement. I would take it up the road leading to the right and ride it downhill, banking around the corner where the car sits in the photo and onto Arroyo Drive. One day, in my short shorts and abundance of confidence I came around the corner and slid out on the many small rocks that spilled over from the lot onto the road and consequently ate shit. I remember walking home crying with a big, pebble-filled wound on my butt - mostly because my new shorts had been ripped. In the 90s a fire swept through the canyon of Laguna, burning down many of the houses built here, leaving it all as it was until the insurance money kicked in and people built bigger, more extravagant homes. In college I shot my first music video for a band I didn’t know personally in this lot with my little sister. Later in college I wrote a history book of Laguna Beach as told through historic photos. This was an image I came across and fell in love with for obvious reasons.
Home is something that has never been singular or concrete for me, but this lot and this street holds much of what I imagine that sense of familiarity and stability feels like. To see it bare and sketched out here, with not only my triumphs and tragedies in its future, but so many more of others who have since lived here comforts me. I suppose that’s what home is about. The idea that no matter what happens, something familiar, full of memories, times of growth and change stays the same, untouched by everything that moves around it.
“If happiness always depends on something expected in the future, we are chasing a will-o’-the-wisp that ever eludes our grasp , until our future, and ourselves, vanish into the abyss of death.” - Alan Watts
Claire Marie Vogel
Director & Photographer
Shooter & Editor
All content created by me unless otherwise stated.