Ryan Dilmore’s Los Angeles

via Ryan Dilmore's Facebook

via Ryan Dilmore’s Facebook

When I caught up with Ryan Dilmore about his upcoming album, we also discussed Los Angeles. Ryan’s originally from Rochester – where he and I first met, but since, has moved out to California to pursue his budding music career. Check out Ryan’s favorite places in L.A., including the dreamy Griffith Observatory, a personal favorite of mine.

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Let’s Work With Elephants

When I was little, I loved the movie Dumbo.

I really liked that scene between Dumbo and Dumbo’s mother (it just occurred to me I have no idea what Dumbo’s gender is). Anyway, I watched it religiously as a child. When my family went to Disney World, all I wanted to do was ride the Dumbo ride. This tradition extended much longer than it should have, resulting in an uncomfortable 18 year old on a child’s ride.

But that’s not the point of this post.

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Wonder, Wyoming & Maia Albers

When I was 18 years old, I met a girl named Maia Albers. We were on the same cheerleading team. We had some of the same friends. We didn’t spend an extraordinary amount of time together, but to date, she’s probably one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. One night, I remember we were out at a college dance, and Maia and I decided to perform one of our choreographed dances. It was to Missy Elliot, we were out of sync, and it resulted in an amazing photo of me laughing, and Maia rolling around on the ground.

(I don’t know if she remembers that, though. And the photo seems lost forever.)

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There’s just something about Paris.


Via Moyan Brenn on Flickr Creative Commons

There are moments in life, where you can just feel a memory being made. One of the most poignant memories I’ve had to date, was a lazy afternoon in Paris. It was last year, while I was visiting my friend Marion, her husband Laurent, and their petit bébé, Lou.

It was my last day there. Marion and I were sitting on her balcony, and she was smoking a cigarette. Smoke bellowed out of her perfectly lipsticked mouth, as she said, with her immaculate French accent:

“Melissa, for you, I want a beautiful love story. A fairy tale.”

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Love, Music, Los Angeles & Ryan Dilmore


“I’m inspired by those who shine light on more than just themselves.”
Photo courtesy of Ryan Dilmore’s Kickstarter

In 8th grade, I met a boy named Ryan Dilmore. We were in the same Spanish class. We had some of the same friends. By high school, we were friendly acquaintances. We occasionally exchanged feedback about our work in Photography II, bonded over a mutual appreciation for creativity, and on one embarrassing occasion, he retrieved my angry prom date from the men’s bathroom.

(I don’t know if he remembers that, though.)

Since high school, we haven’t really been in touch. In passing, I heard that he had pursued a career in music. It was one of those “that person from high school stories” that seem to come and go the further you’re out of high school. I didn’t think of it again until a few months ago, when I decided to write some stories for Driftyland about creative, ambitious people.

Immediately, I thought – you should talk to Ryan Dilmore.

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Read This Before Going To Asheville, It’s Urgent(ish)

A lot of my readers are from North Carolina, however, many are not. When I told my co-workers I was headed to Asheville for Halloween weekend, I got the mandatory Carolinian response:

“Awww, Asheville? Have you ever been? YOU’LL LOVE IT THERE.”

With the exception of Smoopsie (Lane), no one from outside the state knew where I was referring to. To be fair, I only told my Mom, but she’s reason enough to write an informative blog post.

Love you, Joan!

We had a luxurious stay on some of Asheville’s most comfortable futons and in some of their most popular guest rooms (we Airbnbed it). I walked away with a lifetime of knowledge about Asheville I feel compelled to share. It’s basically everything you need to know about what Asheville has to offer prior to visiting for the first time.

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Please, please please get what you want

Last week, I was on a run when I encountered a genuine stranger. The man was about 80, with a frizzy, grey beard, thin as a rail. I was alone, it was getting dark outside, and I was coming off a really stressful day.

I opted to smile at him as I shuffled by. We were both crossing over Boylan bridge. It’s pretty tight sidewalk, and we both slightly shifted to let the other by.

As we crossed each other, he looked at me, with a warm and genuine expression. He said, without pause, “You’re doing a good job,” as I passed by.

It was unexpected and sweet. Some days, a comment like that might have meant less. On that day, it meant a lot.

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“You’re actually going to write and record hundreds of songs.”

A few weeks ago, I came across this quote.

“You’re actually going to write and record hundreds of songs.”

It was a part of an interview with Frank Ocean, made into an inspirational kind of image, from Pinterest. Or something.

Here’s the original picture.

Essentially, a fan asked Frank Ocean to explain his current situation to his five-years-ago self. Ocean recaps his last five years, complete with disappointments and failures, to get to his current self. Of course, his current self is hanging out with Jay Z.

I was intrigued by this, so I decided to follow the same exercise.

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