A Foot of snow in Charlotte NC! When I was 12 years old my friends and I ruled our neighborhood. We were invincible nothing could stop us from having a good time especially not a foot of snow. This picture brings back so many good times of my childhood. Little me(right) and my buddy Todd(right) spent all of our time outside weather it was building forts, playing basketball football roller hockey whatever it was we were having fun! I want to dedicate this picture to my friend/brother Todd Moore! Todd was a like a brother to me he passed away in Feb. 2009 from a fatal motorcycle accident. If you were to look up Kids in the street in the dictionary this picture would be next to it. We were the definition of kids in the street, everyday after school we were outside on our street coming up with some new way to get into trouble or something to keep us busy. WE WERE THE KIDS IN THE STREET
When I was 17, my friend Bee told me that the All American Rejects were playing at Cornell (she knew that you guys kind of are my world) and told me that she could score some free tickets because her mother was a professor there. Needless to say, I was STOKED. When we arrived on campus, we leaped out of the car to see a long line waiting at two double doors. Not exactly sure what to do (dumb I know, but being blonde has its perks), Bee and I walked up to the two doors to ask exactly what to do to get into the concert. At that moment, a concert worker yelled “DOORS OPEN!” and the next set of doors opened, showing the stage at the middle of the biggest gymnasium I’ve ever been in. Without even hesitating, we sprinted to the stage and got up against the fence- we were at the front, in the very middle. It was perfect.
Bee and I were jumping and screaming to the Whigs, who opened the show, when we found our friends Bass and Wendy. Then the four of us kept on rocking out as Ok Go came on the stage (Wendy was kind of hysterical at that point). I love Ok Go, but there’s one band I love above all.
When the All American Rejects came on, I almost had heartfailure. I’d seen you guys play before, but never so close. I probably could’ve touched the stage if this really short, kinda chubby girl hadn’t barged her way in front of me. She did protect me from the moshers though. I probably would’ve broken a rib on the fence or something if she hadn’t cushioned me. ANYWAY- you guys were amazing. I was in my own loving AAR world when I noticed Tyson doing something. He was looking right at me.
Of course I grinned my stupid grin when I saw him looking at me, but Tyson didn’t smile back- he stuck his tongue out at me. I didn’t hesitate and did it right back. He laughed and did it again. Pretty soon, we were in an all out epic face battle, him onstage and me in the crowd. He’d sing and play his guitar, then lean back and make another face at me. I’d jump up and laugh and look really stupid in return. We did this to each other all through a few songs, and at the end of another song (I think it was “Eyelash Wishes”…?) he pointed at me. I remember Bass screaming in my ear, “Oh my god, is he pointing at you?!” and me just laughing in return.
The rest of the concert was great. We still made faces at each other here and there, and Nick even got into it at one point. The concert ended with “Move Along”, and I remember feeling ecstatic. I’d made one of the best memories of my life with someone I’d always loved who never even knew my name. I chatted about it the whole way home from Cornell with my dad who just made fun of me, and Bee who also made fun of me. But I didn’t care- it was one of the best moments of my junior year in high school, and every time I think back on it, I just smile. I flirted with a rockstar, even if he didn’t know my name. And not just any rockstar- the rockstar I’ve crushed on since age 13. THAT was awesome.
And for the record, I still love you guys as much now as I did then.
My entry isn’t an awesome picture of yesteryear, we moved too fast to be captured by a lens. It isn’t an awesome painting; there is no sight to capture childhood innocence. My entry is words, which are my art. I hope it reminds you of when you were just a kid in the street.
Cracked blacktop where we learned to ride bikes
And how to crash
And get up smiling
The shortcuts home we weren’t supposed to take
That led through what seemed to us
The best wilderness in the world
That one taste
Of adulthood we shared
And spat out in rejection
We didn’t know
Our homes were small
We didn’t know
Our families were broken
We didn’t know
We were in the wrong side of town
All we knew was the reckless abandon
And kisses stolen behind bushes
And playing chicken with drunk drivers
When we were kids in the street
Five (5) years ago at the age of 23, I accomplished a goal I had set for myself since I was a kid. I wanted to make history somehow, always be remembered, set an example for others, and leave my mark in a big way. I use to watch the Miss USA pageant on television since I was born, literally. I thought they were beautiful, smart, successful women. I wanted to be just like them. But the difference I saw was none were Latinas, none were “my people”. They didn’t have my body type, my accent, my personality. I set out to make it onto that stage and with hard work, determination, positive attitude and the help and belief in others I did. And I did in a big way. On November 26, 2006 I made history by becoming the FIRST Puerto Rican woman to win the title of Miss New York USA! Giving me the opportunity to represent the great state of New York at the nationally televised Miss USA (2007) pageant. The moment they announced me as the winner I turned into a kid. I cried, I screamed, I jumped up and down in my 6 inch heels as I pumped my fists in the air, I kept repeating to myself “no way, no way” in complete shock that something I had always dreamt about was actually coming true. It was like the feeling I had as a kid waking up on Christmas morning running to see what Santa left me. Or walking into an amusement park for the first time and being in awe of the rides. The best part was, with this title I helped make a difference not only in adults lives, but kids as well. Wearing that crown and beautiful sash with the words “Miss New York USA” across my chest helped bring awareness to the non-profit organizations I worked with that helped children suffering from illnesses and diseases. Although I knew they were sick, knowing that just for short amount of time, I could help them forget and feel like “normal” kids again with games and stories made me feel like a kid myself. And let’s be honest, feeling like a kid is the best feeling in the world. No worries, no cares, just good times and laughter, friends, candy and the little things that make us smile and just forget about the bad and sometimes unfair things in life.
It was the 4th of July in 2007. A celebration was being held at the local pavilion in my hometown, where I was surrounded by the laughter of friends and relatives, and the sound of the stereo speakers booming throughout the park. At the time, I was leaning against this tree across the set-up where we held cookouts every year on July 4th. Behind me was a stretch of woods, where teenagers would set up ramps to ride their dirt bikes. While my parents have told me to never wonder in very far, I have always been curious. I suppose that is what happens when you’re on the brink of adulthood and went to delve into the very thresholds of life. In front of me, I could see my sister sitting at the picnic table with a paper plate, holding a half-eaten hot dog and some cheese on her face. She’s four years older than me, the one person in this world I am closest to and I could tell by the look on her eyes and the lack of concern for the condiment surrounding her mouth, she was bored. To the right of her sat our niece, who is a few months older than myself. While we’ve grown up together and were inseparable, we had built a certain distance between ourselves and didn’t know how to get back to where we used to be. Although things have changed, by the look etched in her features, I could tell that she, too, was bored.
That was when my uncle carried in a crate filled with fireworks and sparklers, among other things that children shouldn’t touch without adult supervision, but that all wouldn’t come until 9 o’clock at night. It was only 4 in the afternoon; I remember looking at my Marvel watch because it was my favorite one and I remember the time because the watch broke from the events that took place that day. Before anyone piling in could notice me for another rounds of pinching my cheeks, though, I stood upright and approached my sister. I had an idea! It wasn’t too often that I did things when they came to mind, but I needed to get out of there. The coils in my mind were starting to burn from the boredom and, as much as I love him, if I had to listen to my nephew sing another horrid rendition of Queen one more time, I would find a way to set the stereo on fire with a glare.
I presented the idea to my sister, who happened to be the “good one” out of five children, and she quickly agreed after I also pointed out the extra cheese left behind from her last bite of the hot dog. Our niece must’ve over heard, because that was when she asked to join us. The next thing I know, we’re sneaking over to the crate of fireworks and shoving as many items as we possibly can into a gym bag taken out of my mother’s car. In a separate bag, we stored Little Hugs drinks, maybe some alcoholic beverages. That’s when we set off on our new journey: we would walk through the woods until we reached the incline up a steep hill and hang out for awhile.
It didn’t take long, courtesy of the teenagers who made paths throughout the mud with their bikes and the general trailhead which soon disappeared. Our hearts were pounding, I was afraid and my bladder wanted to explode. My sister was wheezing, our niece was laughing. The walk turned into a sprint because we didn’t want anyone to catch us or see us through the bare trees until we reached further in. That sprint turned into a run because we heard a noise. “Are you sure they didn’t film Blair Witch Project here?” was asked sarcastically before we started to run because something, some random figure caught our attention — maybe a man taking a leak, maybe even a short tree. Either way, it was enough to send us kicking dirt and mud, and into tears of laughter as we fell into the ground of our destination.
That wasn’t enough for me. Before we could think twice about where we should set up camp for the next few hours, I told them I wanted to go further. The incline of the hill was steep, I’ve never seen the ground move so high above my head that I literally had to tilt it back. It took some convincing, but we did it. We tore through the moist ground with our heels and our fingers grabbing at branches, roots in the ground to hoist our way up the start of the hill. I swear, my feet and fingers buried so deep into the dirt that I was able to feel Mother Earth’s heart beating at the end of the tips, and it excited me to go further.
Two and a half hours later: we make it to the top of the hill, bringing us to this guard rail and a familiar paved road. We fucking did it! After crying because of our knees and feet being sore, a new collection of bruises and scars to come, laughing to the point we fell back down the hill once or twice. We did it. Once we collected ourselves and what we had left of the items we brought with us for the potentially hazardous hike, we moved forward to a construction site where they were building a house. Only the floor was finished and beams were up for the castle-like project. We sat down and took out the fireworks, the packages of sprinklers and a few matches, plus a lighter. The sun was setting and it was almost time. We scrambled to set everything up and when pitch black blanketed the sky, we fussed to light the fireworks and watch them flare above us, sounding. A few sang and screamed high notes, while others boomed and caused us to scatter in hopes of finding a place to hide in fear of getting hit by anything. Some rockets shot across the boards beneath our feet and we laughed, drank and tried to jump over them. I still wear those dirty Chuck Taylors with the melted bottoms.
That was when we became kids in the street. It is also the reason my niece and I became best friends again.
It started 4 years ago, when we first stepped foot in the area. They called it State park. Some many things were happening in that area; kid prostitution, fights, children roaming the streets. They all led to one thing: drugs. My parents, some people from my church, and i found our way there. We were ready to make a difference. We started a kids church, and the first service had 30 kids. 30 kids that were seeking the love from a parent. Some of the kids were so far behind in school, and they acted like little kids. All the children are street smart, but not book smart. It was our mission to let them know that they were loved by us and by God, to know that they had a future, that they were going to see the light in their lives, and knowing that they don’t have to be stuck in State Park for the rest of their lives. Every Wednesday we -the team- would go down and teach the kids about the love of God. We had some difficult times, and several parents coming to us and yelling at us, threatening us, and being flat out rude. On the bright side, some of the parents have made incredible changes since we’ve been down there. We have had 30-40 kids, ages 5-11, in the past 4 years. It’s so incredible to see the changes you can make in someone’s life. This ministry had made such a huge impact in my life. It made me thankful for the life i have and the parents who love me. Not all kids can experience love and i wanted to share this story in hopes that people will see that there are hurting children. Not only in 3rd world counties, but in America. Their are children running around dirty, not being fed, not being cared for, being told that they were accidents.. and it’s our job to let them have best future possible.
Wish school lasted like this forever. I love my friends, i love my school, i love attention!
I believe in hair. It may sound silly, but I believe that every head of hair has a story behind it. Whether we dye it, straighten it, cut it, or chew on it, every strand of hair on our heads symbolizes something in our lives. It is the first thing people notice when they look at us. With our hair we are able to define ourselves and show who we really are. Throughout my life, I’ve always been known as the tall girl with really curly hair. It has been this way since kindergarten, and I’ve learned to except that it is what makes me unique. I find that my curls define who I am: sassy, talkative, and different.
I have always looked at my life this way up until a year and a half ago when I was diagnosed with cancer. One of the first things that came to mind when they told me I was sick was, “oh my god, I’m going to lose my hair.” This may seem like not the biggest thing I should be worrying about, but as a girl, losing one of the only things I have had my whole life is a huge deal. After a month of chemotherapy, I was forced to shave my head. As my hair dresser was taking the buzzer to my head, it was almost as if pieces of myself were falling to the floor. I remember having a breakdown that night because out of habit when I went to put my hair in a ponytail before bed, and nothing was there. I was not myself anymore. I no longer had hair that showed off my personality. Even when others suggested I get a wig, I refused because I knew I was not going to feel like myself.
Having no hair for six months may have got rid of the old Meghan, but being bald showed off something I did not know I had: bravery. The little peach fuzz I had showed everyone that I was not afraid and that I was going to take on what the day had in store one moment at a time. With my hair now growing back in, I am able to tell others the story that lies behind it. I have learned that no matter what kind of hair you have, there is always something to share about it. I believe in hair, it is who I am inside and out.
last summer were my four best friends and I camp for 3 days. we camp in our village on a river. That 3 days were on of the best days, I’ve ever had! every day we’re goning to swim and every evening we made a big campfire, barbecue and listening some music. at most we heard move along and the all-american rejects. I think that was the taste of summer! Thank you rejects!
This picture is from a party about 2-and-a-half years ago. It was June, me and my friends were all 16 turning 17. Exams had just finished and we were all looking to have a good time. It was back in the day when house parties were few and far between, so we made them count. It makes me miss parties like this. There was always an air of excitement over what was going to happen during the night. People hooking up and people throwing up; the stupid arguments and the hilarious banter plus the excitement of Monday morning in school to discuss the antics again. So, at this party, we found a whee-less skateboard and naturally it led us to stair sledging (as seen in the picture). Everyone got involved, everyone was laughing, together. It makes me sad to think that there’s very few times like that when we’re all together anymore - but fuck it, there’ll always be memories of these epic times we did have.
I borrowed Simon and Garfunkel’s “I Am A Rock” to make a tribute to my friendship with a photographer, and the portfolio we created. This song also describes how I am having grown up with my developmental disorder called Asperger Syndrome.
A year and a half ago, I was pursuing modeling as a hobby, maybe even a career. I met a photographer who wanted to help me build my image portfolio. We became close and shared everything about ourselves. I told him about my lifelong social isolation, family problems, lack of independence, and recent bad experiences with “friends” on the internet. We talked about how my lifelong problems were finally explained by my recent diagnosis. I had been growing up with a developmental disorder called Asperger Syndrome. Unfortunately, the disorder was not acknowledged until 2010, not for me anyway. So I never got the support that I needed as a child, teenager, or young adult.
He understood me like no one else ever has, not even my family. He always seemed to be on my side, and really seemed to care about my success in the world.
One morning, as he was driving me to his studio after breakfast, the song “I Am A Rock” by Simon & Garfunkel came on. Having suffered a history of abusive relationships himself, he said “This song kind of describes you and me, doesn’t it?”. He was referring to my social isolation and his own, resulting from our collective negative experiences with the world. I was so moved by how this song and his casual comment kind of bonded us. ”I Am A Rock” always reminds me of him, because of everything we talked about, and because he’s a Simon & Garfunkel fan.
In Spring of 2006, I became inspired by Tyson Ritter of the The All American Rejects. It was because of Tyson that I started using the internet, collecting his photos, looking at other fans’ art, and became interested in modeling, photography, photo editing, and photo manipulation.
When celebrity photographer Ryan Michael Kelly published photos of Tyson, I got permission from the photographer to display his images in this tribute to Tyson’s modeling:
Recently, I was able to make a tribute to my own modeling. For our photo shoots, we listened to Peter Cincotti’s “On The Moon” CD. I borrowed “Some Kind of Wonderful” by Peter Cincotti to make my tribute to our collaboration.
I’ve taken the modeling as far as I can, but I’m really glad that Tyson inspired me to do this, and I’m proud of what I did.
I’m actually a triplet and when I was younger I would always do stuff to get my brothers really mad. Spraying a whole bottle of perfume on their pillows or messing up their room, it was all really fun. It’s still fun to do!
In my 15 years I have lived in six states in the U.S. and I have also lived in Germany for a short time. I’ve lived in nine different houses, none have really been like a home for me. Through out all these I have been homeschooled, because we travel so much. Now we are supposed to be living here in our new house for quite a few years. So my parents decided to send me to a real high school. I am a Sophmore this year. When I got to the school, I quickly realized one huge difference between me and all of the teenagers my age. I had left behind my childishness years ago. Most teens my age are still super immature. But I was nothing like them. My dad is a Squadron Commander in the Air Force. I am the only person in our school it seems who has ever been on a military base. I have always lived on the Bases. I have met a few high ranking Commanders, and Generals, so I’m used to talking to people. But it seemed I had nothing in common with any of the teens in my classes. I soon met Claire, now a really good friend, we both had one major thing in common. Music. We both love The All-American Rejects. After Claire and I got talking she introduced me to everyone else. Very quickly I started feeling like a kid again. I now have real friends to hang out with, that I can talk to and trust. I had completely forgotten fun it seemed. I just did my homework then sat in a corner and sketched in my sketch book. For years. Now I often go and do fun things with my friends. Life is so much more enjoyable when you have people who just want to make you laugh.
A video of a few of my 3 best friends dancing in my apartment in Destin, FL (wink wink)… We weren’t drunk or high or anything, just having a good time, laughing our asses off, being a bunch of kids during the Florida summer. I should also mention that these dudes are my best friends and I am in fact a GIRL. We we’re all just chill. I could watch this video over and over again and just reminisce of our skate sessions in the parking lot, plots to “pants” the security guard that suffered from MAJOR plumbers butt, and fishing for turtles in the nasty, brim-stocked lake. We have all since then either moved, gotten real jobs, or gone to college but its shit like this that keeps my heart in the good days. Love you guys and thanks for reminding us to reawaken the kid at heart that we all have.
This is a pastel portrait I did of my grandfather who passed away a month ago. He had suffered through Lung cancer the past 2 years and was doing much better the past 3 months. He then got a cold and it really messed him up. One morning, November 7th 2011 he quit breathing in his own home next to the love of his life (64 years together). He is the best man that I have ever met. I drew this portrait for my grandmother for Christmas. I haven’t drawn in 4 years, and thought I had lost my talent in the arts, period. Something told me I should do that since my grandmother taught me how to even use a crayon/paint brush/pencil. It was the best gift ever. I miss my grandpa, and hope I make him proud with my life, art, and music. There is nothing like it. When words or action fail, any form of art speaks.
I’ve known this girl for 3 years. I’ve flirted with her and she’s flirted with me for the past 5 months and I hoped that she would be my first girlfriend that I would ever need or want. About a month ago, around Thanksgiving, I asked her if she wanted to go out with me and she said yes. I was pretty happy might I add. The next week she turned her back on me saying she couldn’t go out with me because of a guy who she said “no” to who became suicidal because of her. The week after that she changed her relationship status on Facebook to “In a Relationship” and blocked me from her Facebook. Basically destroying the 3 years of friendship that we had for a guy she’s known for 6 months. I believe that Kids in the Street means to me always look at the bright side, at least she’s happy because that’s all I wanted for her.