Photo by @ceeciie a mexico city native, ceci castañeda (@ceeciie ) took a hot air balloon ride — and got engaged — in peña de bernal. “people in small towns are so nice and kind that they make you feel like you belong there,” she says. follow along as we share more of our favorites from last weekend’s hashtag project, #whplikealocal.
Photos by @rae_bk for the brooklyn, new york-based street artist (known only as) rae (@rae_bk ), the entire city is an exhibition space. “i search for discarded pieces of metal, plastic and other materials that have been left for dead,” he says. “i find beauty in their rust, their wear and tear and their crushed state. i resuscitate those found objects, turn them into sculptures and then reintroduce them to society.” beyond the streets, rae looks for unique indoor street-level spaces he can take over with his paintings, sculptures, installations and most recently, performance art. for almost a month, rae transformed a vacant downtown new york city storefront into a surreal living room. under the constant gaze of fellow city dwellers, the project was designed to spark moments of distraction and connection. “everyone is coexisting,” he says. “we are not always engaging with one another.” watch our story to see more of rae’s work.
Photo by @ryanlongnecker ryan longnecker (@ryanlongnecker ) takes in the twists and turns of the california highways. “there’s something amazing about these artistic overpasses,” he writes in his caption. “someday i want to just wander the freeway shoulders and listen.” #whplikealocal
Photo of @lamonluther by @indieefox lamon luther furniture’s (@lamonluther ) namesake is founder and chief-storyteller brian preston’s maternal grandfather. “he was not rich, yet he was incredibly generous,” says brian. “he gave his resources and his time to help others. he invested in relationships.” brian has closely followed in lamon’s footsteps. from his small georgia community, brian employs homeless carpenters, offering them a shot to get back on their feet. “i thought providing meaningful work would allow the chance to rebuild their life,” he explains. “the best part is seeing our guys transform their life. our employees are buying houses, and starting families.” on this #smallbusinesssaturday, head into the wood shop with the lamon luther team. it’s on our story right now.
Featured photo by @mihailonaca weekend hashtag project: #whplikealocal this weekend, the goal of #whplikealocal is to celebrate what you love about where you live. share hidden gems. what are the best and most beautiful spots in your city only a local would know? let us in on the best-kept secrets. celebrate everyday scenes. show us your daily activities that are unique to where you live — like rising early with animals on a farm or boarding a crowded city train at sunset. honor the legends. is there a local baker who mixes up your all-time favorite treat? a muralist who gave your downtown’s walls a makeover? make images of the people who love your town, and make it great a place to live. project rules: please add the #whplikealocal hashtag only to photos and videos taken over this weekend and only submit your own visuals to the project. if you include music in your video submissions, please only use music to which you own the rights. any tagged photo or video taken over the weekend is eligible to be featured next week.
Photo by @hailethomas sixteen-year-old vegan chef and health activist haile thomas (@hailethomas ) received the nickname “hurricane haile” as a baby — she was notorious for throwing pots and pans all over the place. “in some ways i still live up to that name. i always make a huge mess when i’m in my creative cooking zone!” she says. today, the 12th-grade student from new york city is constantly mixing up fresh recipes and offering new nutrition tips. “i really try to send messages that bring awareness to the many topics that are important to me, but also hopefully contribute to the health, happiness and overall positive growth of our global community.” this year, haile is celebrating #thanksgiving with her extended family. “my mom, dad, sister and i have been doing a plant-based dinner for the past three years,” she explains. “we are so glad to get a commitment from our aunts, uncles and cousins to go veg-based this year and celebrate together.” check out our story to see haile in action in the kitchen.
Photos by @malikesidibe “being from africa and moving to new york city, i feel like there’s so much inspiration everywhere. i spend half my time walking down the street just looking around,” says 20-year-old photography student malike sidibe (@malikesidibe ). “when i’m creating, i try to go out of my comfort zone. do something i’ve never done just to see where it takes me.” at 13, malike moved from a strict household in guinea to the us, without speaking a word of english. “when i first moved, i never knew that i was interested in becoming a photographer, but it was something i’ve always appreciated,” says malike. “my dad wants me to be a cab driver, but i’ve decided to follow my dream of becoming a fashion photographer instead. i feel like my whole goal is to show my little brothers: don’t be afraid to try anything you want. you have the freedom to do so.” #whereicomefrom watch our story to see more of malike’s portrait photography.
Photo by @minmohd photographer min mohd (@minmohd ) captured a rare occasion: all four of her children together. “it’s really easy to focus on the negative, but i want to train my heart and eyes to see and feel the good in everything,” she says. “#whpthankful inspired me to slowly look around and see what is really important in life.” follow along to see more of our favorites from last weekend’s hashtag project.
Video by @bosunthefrenchie eeek! no, no... hello, world! 😱 it’s time for #weeklyfluff. hailing from new york city, bosun (@bosunthefrenchie ) loves to hang with his humans, take in the sights and break in new toys. and as you can see from this video, it’s easy to relate to this 2-year-old frenchie. follow @bosunthefrenchie to make sure you never miss out on this pup’s adventures.
Photo by @laura_makeup whether it’s a hairstyle or a new palette, beauty vlogger laura sanchez (@laura_makeup ) isn’t afraid to experiment with color. “i love that you can express different emotions through different colors,” says the 25-year-old from colombia, who now lives in los angeles. “at the end of the day, makeup comes off. and it doesn’t hurt trying new things. you might just like it.” watch laura apply a new look. her tutorial is on our instagram story right now. 💕
On our story: yo-yo champion thawhir iqbal (@thawhir ) — and his friends ian (@iansorandom ) and marcus (@marcusk0h ) — show off their skills in singapore. 🌀 “apart from winning competitions, the best part of yo-yoing is to be able to make friends and connections with other people who share the same passion as me worldwide,” says 19-year-old thawhir, who is a six-time singapore national champion. “i do love to share my passion to non-yo-yo players whenever they ask about it. it makes me happy when i see the amazement on their faces when i showcase to them what modern yo-yoing looks like.”