Saturday, August 29

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Ian Maclaren

This summer, Cafe Art, a UK group whose goal is to showcase the lives of the London homeless through art and photography, distributed 100 disposable cameras to the homeless and asked them to take photos using the theme, "My London,"  The results were over 2,500 striking photos of the city.  Cafe Art has been selecting some of these photos to be incorporated into a calendar, with the profits going toward individuals who have been impacted by homelessness.

“Past & Present, City of London” by Ioanna Zagkana

“Nature’s Tunnel or Light and the End, Stratford” by Ellen Rostant

“Tower Bridge PICNIC, Southwark” by Cecie

“Everything I Own or Bags of Life, Strand” by David Tovey

“Tyre Break, Hackney” by Desmond Henry

To support this project and get a 10% discount on the 2016 Cafe Art calendar, visit their Kickstarter campaign here.

Currently listening to: "Postcard" Jukebox the Ghost

Tuesday, August 11

"When You're Home"

This past Sunday, I had a major fangirl moment.  It's not a secret that my favorite musical is In the Heights and my favorite composer is the brilliant Lin-Manuel Miranda.  So when I found out that a production of Heights was playing at a local theatre, I just had to go.  The verdict?

Amazing.  Absolutely incredible, especially for a community production.  The cast really did a great job bringing the life and culture of the Washington Heights barrio to the stage.  It was an indescribable feeling, being able to see a show that I've essentially memorized back and forth.

Some of the standout performances, in my opinion, were:
- Andres Alejandro Ponce (Usnavi).  It's not easy to play a role that Lin-Manuel Miranda so carefully crafted and is very much a representation of him.
- Chelsea Crane (Vanessa).  A classical vocalist and music teacher, I would recommend her to anyone.  Her voice fit perfectly with Vanessa's songs and that couldn't have been an easy task.
- Janice Rivera (Camila). A somewhat minor character, I felt like I was watching and hearing Priscilla Lopez herself.  "Enough" was exceptional.
- Tahara Robinson, Jacqueline Salvador, Janice Rivera, Christy Fischer (Daniela, Carla, Vanessa, Nina).  I've never been the biggest fan of "No Me Diga", but their performance brought a life to the song that I've never heard before.

Currently listening to: "First Impressions" First Date OBC

Wednesday, August 5

Adventures Along the National Mall

On any list of "Vacations to Go On This Summer", "being a tourist in your own city" is bound to be on most of them.  Growing up just a stone's throw away from Washington, DC, one definitely does forget about all of the amazing things to do in the nation's capital.

As you get older, the idea of DC changes drastically.  As a child, it's going to the museums and the festivals on the Mall.  As a higher schooler, it's taking pictures with your friends at the monuments and memorials, especially at night.  And as an adult (or at least, after 21), it's checking out the nightlife and showing around out-of-towners and friends from college.

This past weekend, I made my best attempt at showing a friend the city.  We only had one day to see the sights, so we tried to hit the most popular destinations.  Museums, memorials, and restaurants in the Dupont Circle and U Street neighborhoods.

The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

The Washington Monument and Reflecting Pool.

The Lincoln Memorial.

View from the top of the Lincoln Memorial steps. 

National World War II Memorial.

Korean War Veterans Memorial.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

As the Fall semester quickly approaches, I've got a few more things lined up for the remaining weeks.  However, visiting family and catching up on some sleep is definitely high on my to-do list.

Currently listening to: "Sedona" Houndmouth

Wednesday, July 29

Magic Gardens, Philadelphia

Last month, I visited one of my friends in Philadelphia.  One of the city's treasures I've been interested in visiting for years is the Magic Gardens.  It's a gallery space created over a span of fourteen years by an artist named by Isaiah Zagar.  It's a beautifully unique space, with glass, tiles, toilet bowls, bike wheels, and anything else you can imagine.

It's an absolutely gorgeous place and my pictures definitely did not do it justice.  The day we went was overcast and rainy, but it was still amazing.

Currently listening to: "Ship to Wreck" Florence and the Machine

Monday, July 20

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness at The National

I've been a bit spoiled in the past few years, particularly this last year.  I've been able to go to so many amazing concerts/shows at incredibly accessible venues; The Norva, The National, Suffolk National Airport (festival at an airport?  best idea).  But unfortunately, my brother's never really had that chance to go a concert of his own the baby brother, he's been dragged along to many shows that haven't quite been his style.

So when I saw that Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness was coming around to Richmond, I just had to get tickets.  Jack's Mannequin, Something Corporate, AMITW...there was no possibility that it wouldn't be an amazing show.  Here are some blurry iPhone shots from the per my concert M.O., we were essentially front row and it was definitely a night to remember.

You know it'll be a good show when both opening acts are stellar.  Grizfolk below.  I've got to remember to check out some of their's been a while since the concert and I've forgotten what they sound like.

X Ambassadors. much love.  So. Good. Live.  There's nothing else to say, their set was like nothing I could've dreamt up.  Amazing.

And the man of the hour himself; Andrew McMahon.  There are definitely some gems on the AMITW album, but nothing gets to me quicker than "Holiday from Real".  It was an experience being able to hear him perform that song, particularly for it being the 10th anniversary of Everything in Transit.

21st century concertgoer.  XD

The cherry on top of an amazing night.  My brother essentially got handed a setlist after the show....for his first concert, I couldn't be happier.

After the show, there was a bit of a botched attempt to get an after-concert dinner at Strange Matter, but it didn't matter.  If I end up moving back homewards after graduation, I will definitely miss being so close to these two amazingg venues.  Haha, it's like I live my life from concert to concert...and I am completely okay with that.

EDIT: Setlist from the show.  Happy 10 year anniversary, "Everything in Transit."

Currently listening to: "Unsteady" X Ambassadors