Dozens of people gathered at in Bronxville last night, although no photography class was being offered and no one was breaking into the store.
Instead, those present were there to welcome home and applaud one of the brightest young stars to ever come through the Village of Bronxville, 24-year-old Rafael Rodriguez, whose talents and gifts are as numerous and diverse as the places he's been and the incredible things he's already accomplished in his young life. Yesterday's event was in part organized by Bronxville resident Pat Simon, who was a mentor of Rodriguez's for many years and taught him music at Marymount Manhattan College.
The multi-talented photographer, singer, dancer, actor, cook, masseur and spiritual guru returned to New York to reunite with friends, coaches and mentors, recounting some of his adventures and inspiring those who have supported him throughout his many journeys. Rodriguez, who currently resides in Santa Fe, Mexico, shared many of his experiences through one of his numerous passions, photography, as those present at Wednesday's special event viewed portfolios and albums created while the Spring Valley native traveled to such places as Egypt, Mexico and Peru.
The talk at Wednesday's reunion wasn't reserved solely to photography, however, as Rodriguez, who has a culinary degree from the Natural Gourment Insitute in New York, also shared stories from his experiences as a chef, theater performer and licenced massage therapist.
Before the end of the evening, the deeply spiritual Rodriguez spoke of his belief in shamanism, universal energies and vibrations, and his latest focus of the art of healing the human body, and serenaded his audience to the tune of Desperado by the Eagles.