A self-proclaimed “dreamcatcher” who has been traveling around the Hamptons this summer listening to people’s dreams is embarking on a cross-country road trip Tuesday in the hopes of hearing the aspirations of the world’s population by 2022.
Stephan Cesarini, who was born in Mineola and lives in Brooklyn, has invited Hamptons residents and visitors onboard his “Grattitude Bus” — a 1988 Airstream 345 covered in a vinyl wrap with the word “Grattitude” in large block letters — since May to share their desires and goals. He said he has been mainly stationed on street corners in Sag Harbor, Montauk and Southampton Village when he is not parked in Brooklyn. He was in the area once last year and this year brought the Airstream to Jones Beach, Shelter Island and Orient Point.
Cesarini, 40, said more than 10,000 people have declared their dreams to him in the past five years. The wish list includes world peace, owning a pet pig, fighting against climate change and becoming a paleontologist. Cesarini said he keeps notecards people leave him in “dream boxes” that he stores between his apartment and the Airstream with plans to one day launch a digital platform to display them.
He said vocalizing dreams is one step toward reaching them, but he also offers people advice on how to move forward, asks them questions to make them think through their next steps and connects them to mentors.
“Most people are still not dreaming. Other humans are not giving each other the space to dream,” said Cesarini. “I bring people together and it’s powerful.”
Cesarini’s trailer smelled of incense and was decorated with bright throw pillows and funky-patterned furniture when it was parked on Sag Harbor’s Main Street in May. When a village traffic officer asked him to move it, Cesarini asked him to write down his dream first. The officer complied.
Joni Brosnan, owner of the Montauk restaurant Joni’s Kitchen, said that when Cesarini parked across the street from her restaurant on Saturday, “people started lining up.”
“His bus is so retro, shabby chic. It’s a very cool environment, and he’s very gentle and sweet,” said Brosnan, who wanted to keep her wish a secret. “You just feel like he’s really listening.”
Cesarini said he came back to the Hamptons to remind people that “99.9 percent of the world could never afford to spend any time” there and to “activate their hearts and minds” to a “mindset of service.”
“If I can inspire these more affluent areas around this conversation, then they can help others more in need outside of this bubble,” he said.
Cesarini said his cross-country trip — which will begin once he gets new tires in Port Jefferson — will likely mark the launch of the 8 Billion Dreams project, named after the estimated world population in five years. But where will he go?
“The universe will provide the answers to that question,” Cesarini said.