Right before we moved from Chicago in late 2009 we met Nicole Marie Llewellyn (or Nikki Lu if you need something shorter). She was attending Columbia studying film and video. I wasn’t really expecting to connect with a new friend right before we moved away. After all it’s hard enough to remain in touch with people you are close to when you move away from a city. However of all of my Chicago friends, Nikki and I remained the closest and most up to date with what was going on in our lives. Our friendship actually grew. We managed to see her on nearly every trip back to Chicago we made for weddings, and I had this feeling that even though we’d have this great distance we’d know her always.
If I were going to describe Nikki I’d ask you to think about something that you experienced for the first time that you were really excited about. Now imagine you were excited like that about EVERYTHING. Personally I’ve never had that sort of energy, but that’s Nikki and that’s what I love about her. She is unique in a lot of ways, and her uniqueness requires no effort on her part. When Nikki first started talking to me about her plans to move to LA to pursue a career in film music Melissa and I were still in Portland. Even with us in Portland we were down in southern California enough for it to mean I was going to see her way more than the occasional wedding in Chicago. Then things changed and we moved to San Diego. And then Nikki moved to Nashville. Wait- Nashville? Yeah Nashville. Nashville wasn’t part of my plan. Then she moved back to Chicago after striking out in Nashville. That was better than Nashville since we still do the occasional Chicago wedding, but still not part of my plan. Then Nikki’s best friend Laurel moved to LA. Then we met Laurel who is rad. With Laurel in LA to support her move, the wheels finally started turning. All of a sudden after talking about this for a couple of years Nikki is in LA!
On our last trip road trip we drove through LA, and in addition to some of our great regular LA friends we were reunited with Nikki. I will never get over the surreal feeling of seeing friends you’ve met from cities across the country at home in a completely different region. When we were reunited on a grimy street in Koreatown I couldn’t help but think back to when I used to give her a hugs on a grimy streets in Chicago. Life is weird people. Anyways to wrap up this story I’ve always enjoyed taking a photo or two of Nikki when we got the chance to hang out, but I never really had an opportunity to photograph her for “reals.” So while we waited for our LA friends to meet us for dinner we walked around Union Station and Olvera street for about 30 minutes and this was the result. Welcome to California lady.
Oh yeah and one more thing… Nikki can sing. Check out her voice.