Taking a trip with Daniel Arnold is always an adventure. Just look at his Instagram, the man is everywhere (always) — from the streets of New York to The RNC to The Met Gala, the photographer documents each day, event, or place from a perspective you might not recognize, even if you were actually there. The people and landmarks are all the same, but through Arnold’s lens you see the moments that should be frozen in time, rather than the ones manufactured. The instances you wish you could have seen … or at least been ready for. Like after a friend tells you a story about a sleepy alien on the W train (yeah the W train exists). The truth is out there and Arnold always has the proof. Below the photographer shoots his second Opening Ceremony editorial—or really, narrative about a long night out and stolen bikes—stuffing a (fashionable) sock in the always annoying “pics or it didn’t happen” moment.
There are alternate versions of New York City that still exist … they just aren’t in plain sight. Some are easier to spot than others, just one lift of a sewer lid away. Some are off the grid, no map, no app, left of center for sure. This reads like getting bad directions to Neverland, from someone who’s never been there, while drinking a stranger’s entire beer on the street, when you only said you wanted a sip.
In the end, it’s the same destination. We’re talking about a place not reachable by train, and through the grapevine you were told “you wouldn’t want to go there” anyway. Biking (with a posse) is the only option. Getting dressed up, plus the journey was supposed to be half the fun ... it wasn’t. Safety in numbers was the original idea, but at this time at night, it only drew more attention. Sure we can lock the bikes up on the fence outside, but there’s almost 100% certainty they’ll be stolen, fence included.
Could this place exist? In another decade perhaps? Appearing as the distorted tracking lines on your favorite VHS tape, from the constant rewinding to your favorite part—inevitably, it’s the club scene. Maybe if you tried squinting through heavy sleep deprived eyelids, you’d catch a glimpse, or if you closed them, could you remember? If you told anyone at work on Monday morning, would they believe you? With Friday night’s silver eye shadow, sasquatch blurred from the corner of the eye to cheek bone. Recollections of the night are caught in-between witness or spectator? Only one thing can be certain to all parties involved, it was worth the ride ... Even if we no longer have one.
Photography Daniel Arnold | Styling Kindall Almond | Production Shay Johnson | Hair James Burks | Makeup Yuui Vision | Talent Syd Victoria | Jovel Ramos | Jess Orellano | Nick Hadad | Sarah Brown | Styling Assistant Michaela Pearle