My Lollapalooza Experience

If you’re unfamiliar, Lollapalooza is an annual music festival held in Grant Park, Chicago, IL. It’s usually held the first weekend of August and is known for huge crowds, delicious food (Chow Town), and above all, incredible headliners. This year’s included big names like Bruno Mars, Travis Scott, Post Malone, Vampire Weekend, Logic, and The Weeknd.

Although it’s a four-day music festival, my friends and I opted for the cheaper route of attending only one day: Friday – and we saw and experienced plenty.

Let’s get into it.

First of all, the weather forecast for Friday, August 3rd in Chicago, Illinois was 95 degrees. Pair the temperature with a million people, add alcohol, and you’re in store for a whole lot of porta-potty lines. Probably TMI, but I spent a lot of time in lines with sweaty people with full bladders.

Anyway, we took the red line from Molly’s apartment to Grant Park, our bodies varnished in glitter and iridescent fanny packs in tow, arrived around 1:30 and greeted by a deep pit of people: the line to enter. After 25-30 minutes of waiting and sneaking past unsuspecting Lolla-goers (well, sort of. One person yelled at Brittany. Whatever.), we finally reached bag checks and entry.

Once finally in the park, it was overwhelming. Buckingham Fountain greeted us, as did our friend Jesson (who went to ALL FOUR DAYS. God bless him.) There were thousands upon thousands of people going in every direction. You really had to be careful to not get lost or lose your people. And if you weren’t familiar with the park, finding the artist you wanted to see was a bit of a challenge. Lollapalooza is broken up into eight different stages in Grant Park – and they do supply you with plenty of information on when specific artists are playing and where, plus you can download the app. But I mean, who even remembers the app when the time comes? I don’t.

The hilarious tweet that is this post’s featured photo is absolutely true as well – I truly felt as though at least half of the Lolla-goers were under 18. I almost evaporated.

To be completely honest, the first few hours of Lolla were a blur. I was in complete sensory overload… and I’d had a few drinks. We saw a few songs from each of Bebe Rexha and Lizzo’s sets, then we headed for CHOW TOWN. Chow Town is offered by local food vendors and is actually fairly reasonable in price, but the real attraction for us was the lobster corn dog. Molly brought up that she’d heard about this delicacy and decided it was an essential addition to our Lollapalooza experience. And it was bomb.

After hydrating at one of the many hydration stations (we brought in our own empty water bottles. You’re only allowed an empty water bottle up to 36oz. upon entry), we headed to Post Malone’s hour set. He’s one of the grungiest artists in modern day hip-hop/pop/whatever, but he’s undeniably talented and despite the ‘Always Tired’ tattoos that cover his under-eye area, he brought his all during this performance. After one of his many hits, I Fall Apart, the crowd started chanting ‘F— That B—-“. You go, Austin Post. F That B.

Soon after Post’s set, we headed for Brockhampton and I was truly pumped. We caught all of BLEACH, but ended up leaving shortly after to secure a good spot at Bruno Mars. And we really did. Bruno was phenomenal and at certain points in his performance fireworks went off which made the whole experience really cool. Bruno sang his hits – and one of my favorite songs ever, Just The Way You Are, and when I say it’s one of my favorite songs ever, I mean it. When it came out in 2010, I was thirteen. The song came out during the genesis of my adolescence. I  will always know every word.

Walking the streets after Lollapalooza was officially over (for the day, at least) I felt my whole body collapsing limb by limb from exhaustion. Once I didn’t have the distraction of enormous crowds of tweens, teens, and others, I felt true fatigue. My head, shoulders, knees, and toes were dragging and all I wanted was a shower. But funneling into the streets of Chicago with thousands of other people was almost comforting – everyone was tired, but everyone seemed content and fulfilled. It was nice.

Sweaty, tired, and dirty, we took the train back to Molly’s. In each of our consecutive showers, we each blew our noses and dirt came out. It’s fine. We’re clean now.

The next day we woke up and were sore, but happy. I’m not sure if I’d ever go to another music festival again, but who knows. It was an incredible experience – and I’m doubly glad I got to experience it with the people that I did. See you later, Lolla.

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Playlist 3: Oldies

 

  1. Summer Breeze – Seals and Crofts
  2. Rhiannon – Fleetwood Mac
  3. Jolene – Dolly Parton
  4. Blue Bayou – Linda Ronstadt
  5. Happy Together – The Turtles
  6. Photographs and Memories – Jim Croce
  7. Eleanor Rigby – The Beatles
  8. Helplessly Hoping – Crosby, Stills, & Nash
  9. Dedicated To The One I Love – The Mamas & The Papas
  10. Everything I Own – Bread
  11. Immigrant Song – Led Zeppelin
  12. Hummingbird – Seals and Crofts
  13. Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver
  14. Ventura Highway – America
  15. White Room – Cream
  16. Tom Sawyer – Rush
  17. Under Pressure – David Bowie
  18. Black Dog – Led Zeppelin
  19. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
  20. Hotel California – Eagles
  21. Call On Me – Big Brother & The Holding Company
  22. Green-Eyed Lady – Sugarloaf
  23. Time In A Bottle – Jim Croce
  24. Aquarius / Let the Sunshine In – The 5th Dimension
  25. That’s What Friends Are For – Dionne Warwick
  26. Easy – Commodores
  27. Ben – Michael Jackson
  28. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Elton John, Kiki Dee
  29. You Make My Dreams – Daryl Hall & John Oates
  30. A Change Is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke
  31. September – Earth, Wind & Fire
  32. The House of the Rising Sun – The Animals
  33. Rescue Me – Fontella Bass
  34. For Once In My Life – Stevie Wonder
  35. (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding
  36. Raindrops Keep Fallin On My Head – BJ Thomas
  37. Manic Monday – The Bangles
  38. Kashmir – Led Zeppelin
  39. Enter Sandman – Metallica
  40. Dancing Queen – ABBA
  41. Kiss – Prince
  42. Day Tripper – The Beatles
  43. The Spirit of Radio – Rush
  44. Superstition – Stevie Wonder
  45. Call Me – Blondie
  46. Crazy On You – Heart
  47. What About Love – Heart
  48. People Are Strange – The Doors
  49. Sunshine Of Your Love – Cream
  50. In The City – Eagles

Listen on Spotify.

Playlist 2: L-O-V-E

This playlist is one I’ve had on my Spotify forever. I often delete old playlists or shuffle music around every month or so, but this playlist remains untouched. I LOVE every one of these love songs.

  1. L-O-V-E Nat King Cole
  2. You’re Still The One – Shania Twain
  3. Love On Top – Beyonce
  4. A Sunday Kind of Love – Etta James
  5. Stand By Me – Ben E. King
  6. Love On The Brain – Rihanna
  7. Make You Feel My Love – Adele
  8. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley
  9. All of Me – John Legend
  10. Your Song – Elton John
  11. At Last – Etta James
  12. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
  13. My Girl – The Temptations
  14. Killing Me Softly With His Song – Roberta Flack
  15. Eternal Flame – The Bangles
  16. Dream A Little Dream of Me – The Mamas & the Papas
  17. Just The Way You Are – Bruno Mars
  18. Be My Baby – The Ronettes
  19. Michelle – The Beatles
  20. I’ll Be There – The Jackson 5
  21. Put Your Head on my Shoulder – Paul Anka
  22. Love For Sale – Eartha Kitt
  23. Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart) – Diana Ross / Marvin Gaye
  24. The End of the World – Skeeter Davis
  25. Sh-Boom – The Chords
  26. That’s Amore – Dean Martin
  27. My Funny Valentine – Nina Simone
  28. Love Me Tender – Elvis Presley
  29. I’ll Have to Say I Love You In A Song – Jim Croce
  30. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross
  31. Who’s Lovin’ You – The Jackson 5
  32. Crazy – Patsy Cline
  33. When A Man Loves A Woman – Percy Sledge
  34. This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) – Natalie Cole

Listen on Spotify.

As Uncomfortable As It Is

I’ve been struggling with sharing my blog. The feeling is akin to revealing my diary containing my deepest, darkest secrets to the world. Scary, right?

I’ve been thinking a lot about improving my online presence but I’m a pretty private person. Not only that, but at times I feel I’m not interesting enough or as though I’d never suffered through or experienced any extreme, life-altering circumstances that would be captivating enough to write about. I grew up in a rural area, in a middle-class family, the daughter of a high-school English teacher. I live a pretty normal life and I’m just trying to live and learn as I go. This thought led to me asking myself in self-depreciating doubt – why would anyone even want to read my blog or take any advice from me?

Then, I thought of all the stupid blogs I see every single day. That people actually read.

I have plenty to share. And just because I haven’t gone through something extreme doesn’t mean that I don’t offer a unique perspective.

I’ve been reading different takes from first-time bloggers and at some point they had similar fears, too. From everything I’ve read, the light at the end of the tunnel seemed to be the connection they made with their followers. And, that sometimes the scariest pieces to write are the pieces that people genuinely connect with.

What I need to remember, though, is that the internet has a long-term memory. The internet’s memory is comparable to a bottlenose dolphin (they can remember their dolphin friends after 20 years apart. Beat that elephants.) That’s the scary part for me. Right now, I’m no one. But in 20 years, who will I be?

Playlist 1: SOUL SONGS

Here’s a peek into one of my personal playlists: Soul Songs. Every song on this playlist speaks to my soul; they’re soothing, passionate, and centered around love. If I’m taking a contemplative car ride, this is what I play.

  1. Butterfly – UMI
  2. Haiku – Nai Palm
  3. February 3rd – Jorja Smith
  4. Best Part (feat. H.E.R.) – Daniel Caesar
  5. Quite Like You – Andy Shauf
  6. Slipping – Eryn Allen Kane
  7. We Find Love – Daniel Caesar
  8. Mystery of Love – Sufjan Stevens
  9. Sweet Creature – Harry Styles
  10. Emotion – Destiny’s Child
  11. Sunrise – Norah Jones
  12. Song Cries and Amens – Grace
  13. Library Magic – The Head and the Heart
  14. Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
  15. Streetcar – Daniel Caesar
  16. Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand – Leon Bridges
  17. Village – Cam

Listen on Spotify.

Date Night: Sackets Harbor, NY

Since this summer I interned in Watertown, NY, I made it a mission of mine to explore the area. I’d previously been to Sackets Harbor, about a 10 minute drive from Watertown, when I was 13 or 14 (when nothing was cool) so it’d been a while since I was there.

My friend Meghan and I decided to take the day, or rather evening, to grab some dinner and walk around historic Sackets Harbor. Our first stop (after finally finding parking – this is the only bad thing about Sackets) was Goodfellos Brick Oven Pizza & Wine bar. Mostly all restaurants and little shops are located on Main Street. So is the harbor, Centennial Park, and the Battlefield path. We had dinner, sat by the lake, and took in the sunset. It was a perfect summer night – and I’m glad I had company but Meghan’s not really my type. Sorry Meg.

I’ve eaten at both The Boathouse and Goodfellos and each meal was deliciously prepared. They both offer outdoor seating, but if you want the view of the harbor, go with The Boathouse. The back of the restaurant gives me a modern Krusty Krab vibe, too.

On the 4th of July (the hottest day of this summer thus far), my friends and I decided to get dinner in Sackets at The Boathouse, soft-serve ice cream at Saturdays, Sundaes & More, and sit in the battlefield (along with a million other people) to enjoy the fireworks. It was brutally hot, but the environment (and food) made the day worth it. The sunset along the lake/river was incredible and we got some really great snaps, too. I don’t know which I enjoyed more – this sunset or the fireworks. Both were incredible. Both were worth the trip.

Sackets Harbor, NY is not only picturesque and lively, but also has a rich history. Founded in 1801 by Augustus Sackett, the land speculator from New York City had high hopes for trade. During the War of 1812, Sackets Harbor became the center of American naval and military activity for Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence Valley. Within a short period, military personnel numbers rose rapidly and the village’s population rivaled those of Albany and New York City.

Two battles were fought in Sackets Harbor, in 1812 and 1813, but luckily in 1814 the Treaty of Ghent was signed that ended the 3 year war.

After the war, much of the naval base was dissipated. Today, though, historic Sackets Harbor lives on. In 1913, Centennial Park, a portion of the battlefield was recognized and set aside to honor the military personnel that fought and died in the War of 1812. The battlefield, park, and historic buildings like the Sackets Harbor Visitor Center or Augustus Sacket’s mansion are available to tour. Find out more about the history and visiting Sackets Harbor here.

And by god, VISIT. Bring a friend, bring a date, bring the fam. Even just for the day, or a night, it’s worth it.

The Creativity of 3

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I’m not sure where I even found this – but I love it. 3 seems to play a significant role in humankind. It happens that three is the first number to which the meaning “all” was given.

3 signifies a beginning, a middle, and an end. Just like my brothers and I. Me, the first born – the beginning, and my brothers, the middle and the end.

Time, too. When describing time, we categorize it into past, present, and future.

3 seems to signify harmony, completion, or perfection. In the Bible, the number is repeated and used as such. God, the son, and the holy spirit. God’s attributes: omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. And let’s not forget: On the third day, he rose again. 

So was this number born out of creativity or necessity? And where does this creativity come from – are we born with it? Is it something we’re taught? Why are some people more creative than others?

In this article by David Cox in the Guardian explores the question: Are people born creative? He goes on to explain that researchers have discovered that the corpus callosum, or band of nerve fibers joining the two sides of the brain, is smaller in creatives like writers, musicians, and artists, “which may augment their creativity by allowing each side of their brain to develop its own specialization.” Cool, right?

He goes on to express that other studies have shown that people with certain mental disorders tend to be more creative. Example 1 was bipolar disorder. If experiencing bipolar mania, the individual is, “experiencing excessive fast and divergent thinking, increased self-esteem, and never ending energy and motivation often to create.”

A creative myself, I find things like this so interesting. I’m on that never-ending and never satisfying quest to find out why I am the way that I am – and why others are the way that they are. Maybe I should have picked up a psychology minor!

I’m always interested in the creative process of others, too. Myself, I carry around a journal that I fill with lists and ideas that drive my creation and inspires me to learn more in order to create more. But of course, there’s creative block. I’ve been pretty lucky with my journal – normally I can find something I find interesting enough to write about just from day-to-day inspo. However, if you’re really creatively gummed up, an article that helped me was this one by Canva’s blog. Sometimes I read stuff like this when I’m not struggling to create content, and it still helps. Check it out.

While we may never know why the number three was created, we can at least admit that it was born out of a necessity of the human mind to imagine. We’ve got science to back that one up. As for the magic-ness of certain triads, keep them in mind. They may just be your ticket to imaginative harmony.

Moodboard: Eartha Kitt

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I don’t have to be wealthy and rich. My spirit is a valuable commodity.”

Eartha Kitt poses in character as Catwoman for the television show "Batman" in 1967.PHOTO: The one and only Eartha Kitt ~ She and that recognizable voice and what a character ~ lived a LONG LONG LIFE!!! Women In Shorts (Maybe) Cause Car CrashEartha Kitt as Catwoman — Batman, Season 3 (1967-68, ABC)

I’m not black and I’m not white and I’m not I’m not pink and I’m not green. Eartha Kitt has no color and that is how barriers are broken.

Eartha Kitt - 1959 Photographic Print by Isaac Sutton at Art.comEartha and daughter Kitt playingEartha Kitt - 1959 Photographic Print by William Lanier at AllPosters.com

The Quintessential Chocolate Chip Cookie

These are a staple in my household. You really can’t go wrong with a chocolate chip cookie. My family bakes a batch on the reg – and eats them within 24 hours.

If you do attempt to make this quintessential chocolate chip cookie, here’s a tip – when storing, use a tightly sealed container and put in a slice of bread. The bread will dry out and the cookies will gather it’s moisture to make them soft and exceptionally yummy.

And as you could probably guess from looking at my beautiful recipe picture – the secret ingredient is the pudding mix. There. The secret’s out. Oh, and love. Duh.

Concertos on the G String by Baroque Malone

This past semester, I was in a class called Music Marketing. My professor, Dr. Barretta, taught us the ins-and-outs of the music industry and arranged for us to meet with ‘Rev. Moose‘, the Managing Partner/Co-Founder of Maurader Group, a music marketing firm based in NYC, over Skype. He explained his role within the company and how needs are constantly evolving with the rise of technology. We ended up doing some work for him and some of the bands he represented which ended up being really cool.

What I really liked about this class, though, was our major assignment/project – to re-brand an already existing artist. My group chose the grungy, ever-endearing Post Malone. The first half of our project was to better understand the typical Post Malone fan. First, we had to do a little research on his background and how he ended up a mega-star.

A Syracuse, NY native until he moved to Dallas, TX when he was 10 years old, Post Malone is a musical artist specializing in Hip-Hop, Contemporary R&B, and Rap Rock. He rose to fame on Soundcloud and was soon sought after following the release of White Iverson (2015). He released his first album Stoney in 2016. Now, he’s the 8th most-played artist on Spotify, on Soundcloud he has 63.7 million plays, and utilizes cross-promotion by being active on social media platforms like Facebook (1.7M likes), Twitter (3.09M followers), Instagram (7.4M followers), and Snapchat.

His most important platform, by far, is Twitter. While Twitter is his most used form of social media, it’s also his realest. His unapologetic and uncensored tweets are millennial and Gen-Z crack. People in these categories eat up transparency in the media. More than ever before, fans know more about and are more invested in artists’ lives. He also engages quite a bit with his audience.

Here’s our full analysis of the typical Post Malone fan:

Post Malone: Fan Profile

The second half of our project was a bit trickier. When the time came, Dr. Barretta announced what musical genre we would re-brand our artists as. Post Malone would be a classical Baroque artist. Perfect.

Luckily, my group and I are creative geniuses and made it work. Thus, Baroque Malone was born.

Take a look at our presentation and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Post Malone: Rebrand

My favorite part and my own personal touch that completes the project:

Concertos on the G String by Baroque Malone

baroque

Now that’s a work of art.