Taylor’s Steele’s travel epic gets unstuck in New York
By Nathan Myers
A bomb was planted in Times Square as we arrived. The terrorists keep attacking New York because it symbolizes the American dream. A feverish collage of human culture. Fast and ambitious. Stylish and confident. The perfect town for Taylor Steele to premier Castles in the Sky.
The bomb was diffused. The film blew up.
You know that New York surf story with cold waves, subways trips and a bold city skyline? This is not that story.
New York is a surf city when it wants to be. And a party city all the rest of always. We arrived as delegates of the first thing, and acted as participates of the second.
Taylor Steele arrived with no surfboards. No cameras. No Google Earth secret spots in his back pocket. Just a hard-drive containing his movie and a couple fancy hats. Three years of work, boiled down to forty fast-paced minutes of global surf culture and a ten-minute prologue about car crashes and excess baggage fees.
Dion Agius arrived with his couch. He won’t be going home. This is home now. His waves from the film’s Vietnam section prove he’s at home anywhere he goes, but for now, New York has him.
Dan Malloy arrived with his girlfriend to see a cow get butchered downtown. That was his first priority, and the premier was second one. He’s not a hippie — he’s a cowboy. His section in Iceland serves as a reminder: hippies can’t handle the cold. Dan can.
“I can’t believe there’s such an amazing document to one of the best trips of my life,” Dan said of his Iceland section.
He was also excited about seeing the cow get killed. He and his girlfriend Grace loved it.
Absolute Vodka. Skullcandy headphones. A trashcan full of jungle juice and $600 hotel rooms. New York is surreal. You start hemorrhaging money the moment you step off the plane, and it feels okay. Like warming yourself by a pile of burning cash. A sip of strange. A bath of smoke. If it doesn’t kill you, you’ll die later of of something else.
So, there was a premier. There was an after-party. No one slept. And some of us missed our flights home and just kept partying on into the next day and night. No need for a hotel rooms if you never sleep. And this ride was just too much fun to get off.
New York is paved in beautiful women of every shape and flavor. If only they would look at me the way they look at their phones, I would stay here forever. The concrete alive. The graffiti misspells my name. I want to roll in the trash. Or maybe just puke on the sidewalk.
Taylor Steele knows just how we feel. It’s important to go home: that’s the true destination of any good journey. But sometimes, the only way back is to keep going forward.
At 5 a.m in some underground mariachi bar, the other shoe hits the floor. It’s Cinco de Mayo and Taylor is wearing a sombrero. After three years of filming, Castles in the Sky is finally finished. He throws back a shot of tequila and drops the lime in the glass.
“Where should we go next?” he says.
[Thanks to Tyler Breuer, Morgan Rae Berk, Sandrine Lima, Skullcandy Headphones, Absolute Vodka, Barefoot, Pabst Blur Ribbon, VAS Entertainment, Tribeca Theaters and New York Surf Film Festival for hosting an amazing event. Apologies for the things we may have broken.]Determining their next filming location. Photo: Nathan Myers.
City Living. NYC. Photo: Scott Chenoweth. Theatre. Photo: Scott Chenoweth. Dan Malloy shares some thoughts. Photo: Scott Chenoweth.