NYC In Photos

As you saw from my Kpop post, I promised a fancy-dancy post for all of the artsy pictures I took in New York. There are a lot, so please enjoy this portfolio. As always, please let me know what you think or if you have any advice about photography and travel 🙂

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Blonde in New York : MonstaX and Kpop Concert Advice

Hello, everyone!

It’s been a super long time, but I am still alive and figuring things out. This summer has been a blur of people and personal growth (bleh) and different places. I can’t believe it’s already the end of August!

For now, though, I want to tell you all, and share the pictures from, a concert I went to in New York this past July. So Kpop has been KILLING it world wide, and I have succumbed. Shit’s good. One of my favorite groups is called MonstaX. (My personal favorite its Wonho but that’s neither here nor there.) I’ll probably write more about Kpop and my views on it from an American who has really only been on the scene for, like, a year.

So, my friend and I had this super plan all set up and ready to roll. I drove up from Richmond, we caught up in Fredericksburg, rode up to Vienna, caught a ride to the Metro, took a train to the bus station at Union Station. Caught the bus to NYC.

Preface? I’ve never been to the Big City before. I’ve been to almost all 50 states but this just wasn’t a place I ever envisioned myself visiting. I just never understood the romanticism. But, I was about to be damned if I missed this group live. So, I’ll save the NYC pictures for another separate post and keep this one to all about this concert.

Bruh.

Okay, first think I learned was that if you are thinking that these sorts of concerts are small and that nobody is really going to show up so you can show up at 5pm before a 7pm concert and it’ll be fine, you are SO wrong. My friend and I were fortunate enough to score a hotel room 5 minutes from the venue- the Playstation theatre in Times Square. (Different story, different time.) Friend and I were on a leisurely late Friday morning stroll looking for food and the Disney store when we see this line.

“That’s so peculiar,” we thought, “are they still in line for tickets?”

When we arrived the night before at like 1:30 am, we went back out into the city and were wandering around till about 3:30 am. In the course of this wandering came across a line of people outside the Playstation Theatre. Turns out these peeps were waiting in line for tickets. The theatre doesn’t even open till, like, 6 am. So, these fans are hardcore and are willing to wait for God knows how long for tickets. That is some dedication if I have ever seen any.

So, back to our Friday morning walk. We see this line. It is quickly expanding. I go up to one of the girls and ask if they are in line for tickets, and she gives me this pitiful look and is like, “….no…. we are waiting in line for the concert.” It is 1:30 pm. The concert is at 7 pm. Friend and I look at each other, book it to the hotel, change, take a 20 minute power nap (I had a cold) and went back out to wait in line. We waited in line for this stitch for 4 hours.

We made friends, though! We made friends with some of the girls in line and the five of braved the rain and stayed under an umbrella fort to wait to get in to this damn concert.

IMG_6477IMG_6478The M & M one is mine! This line lasted for blocks. But the pictures were kinda great so I feel like I can’t complain TOO much, know what I mean?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The advice portion:

So, if any of you guys ever want to go to a Kpop concert, I have some general advice.

  1. Know the theatre. We paid for quasi-nice tickets but couldn’t see for the life of us, and if we had nosebleeds, we would’ve saved money AND have had somewhere to sit. If it’s possible, figure out the venue.
  2. Buy your tickets ASAP. Kpop is exploding, so the sooner you pounce the faster you’ll be able to get tickets and to get the tickets you want.
  3. Get your merchandise ahead of time. This includes your lightstick. We ended up getting our sweatshirts and hats from a scalper outside the venue. (Super nice couple of guys- one had green hair but it worked.)  A lot of the stuff they have on hand are pre-order items. We weren’t able to get lightsticks at the venue, but that’s okay. When MonstaX comes back to the East Coast we can get our stuff online like the super real deal veteran fans!
  4. For the love of god, get in line early. ESPECIALLY if you have standing room tickets. Trust me. Get a good spot you’ll be able to see from.
  5. Go fucking nuts. Seriously. These guys are crazy talented, you might as well go and have the time of your life. Spend the money on merchandise, too. You aren’t gonna regret a concert shirt in 6 months.

I’ll be updating a lot more frequently now! I’ve got tons of stories and pictures.

ALIVE

I wake with the story of my life ringing in my ears, a dream barely forgotten, and a pulsating of anxious energy. It is raining again this January morning. The sun weakly smiles through clouds of intermittent thunderstorms relieving me of the damp that has settled into the soles of my feet. The rain is not lead. Yet for me it is not peace. It is a call to stillness and silence that weighs my restless mind to soil. I am anxious about the future. this endless rain does not soothe but rather ignites the desires that have rooted in me and pulls me up and forward with the knowledge that my physical body can only move so fast. It is exhausting.

I woke this morning dreaming of whales. I looked at a website and it contained such pointers as, “emotion, creativity, breath of life, compassion and solitude.” I am an emotional creature dependent on the encouragement and touch of others. solitude frightens me. yet I will not pretend that a breath of creativity has swept through my body like spring. I feel as I once did. I am listening to the style of song and the style of art that is simplistic at its base and exudes a melancholy joy and appreciation for the least expensive pleasures available. I say melancholy, but perhaps that isn’t quite right. It is a joy that is not forced, it is a realness of experience and attitude that is not dripping in excitement and money. But is has waves of a reality burdened by price tag and desperation for interaction. Desperation that clings beautifully to people.

I woke this morning with a need for air.

I woke this morning with a need to feel alive.

PULSE

Alright. Building off of the ceramics bit, here is a look of the painting I’ve been doing! I Never really considered paint until I started taking art classes in college- I took an Intro to Design class, Drawing I, and Ceramics I, by the way. (Just to solve the riddle of exactly how many I took.)

These inspiration for this collection (I can’t believe I have a collection…) came from a couple of different sources.

  1. My absolute love for color
  2. Drawing 1
  3. Meditation

I’ve gone and discussed my love for color a bunch in a bunch of different posts so I won’t spend too much time on that topic here. Basically, color is vibrant, color is emotional, color feeds into my mantra, “life is fun!”

I ended up taking a drawing class during the latter portion of college. The professor began the course deconstructing all that I had previously considered, “drawing.” I learned about the concept of the, “mark” on a page and how that translates visually. The line is the fundamental element of “marking” a page and therefore is the basis for everything else. Within this collection I decided I wanted to explore the impact of line and it’s cleanliness or un-cleanliness in direct contrast to something more abstract.

So it so happened that after this drawing class I discovered that my campus had a meditation course. Which, as you would expect, was the fluffiest, happiest class I have ever taken in my life. I loved it. You sat in a quiet, nice smelling room for 3 hours a week and learned to meditate. Over the course of this class I learned a lot of junk about myself, including that I needed to stop my over analyzing of literally everything, and to invite spontaneity and fun into my life.The final project of the course was to create something that had to do with mindfulness. It didn’t matter what. Well, I decided that my project would be an impulsive piece of painting that I did not plan AT ALL. The time it took to complete didn’t matter so long as I was in a meditative state, or at least not thinking, and went with what felt right. This was the piece that I ended up with:

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I enjoyed the process so much I decided to do more. Over the course of about a year I would create these pieces when I felt like I wanted to- not because I had to. Doing something for the simple enjoyment of doing it made the process incredibly therapeutic for me, and if I liked the final product, all the better!

I don’t have an underlying message or ethos I want to convey with this collection. I created these works on and in impulse, and that, for me, is meaning enough.

  • paint on canvas, various sizes

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Let’s talk about baked dirt

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When I was in college (about a year ago) I liked to experiment with different art classes. I actually got my degree in Historic Preservation (a story for a different time!) but I have always liked making things. I’d never taken a ceramics course before, and boy let me tell you I am glad I did! I loved it. It was a beginners course, and the professor didn’t even teach us how to use the wheel until the last month of the semester. I’ll be honest, I was terrible! The last assignment for the final was to come up with a perfect cylinder to show that we had mastered the basics of wheel throwing. This video isn’t mine, but it still has some good tips and the basics of the thing. Take a look!

Special shoutout to Lark Crafts on youtube. Here is the link to the channel.

The big thing is to create a grounded mound in the exact center of the wheel, and using your fingers to bring the clay up while keeping your thumbs in the center of the mound. Hypothetically, this will give you a cylinder that you can then bring out to make bowls, plates, cups, whatever!

I never go that far.

ha.

I REALLY like what I made- I love the shape! I made so many of them! They are all dishwasher safe and right now they are sitting in my closet… *sigh* But don’t get me wrong- I am totes aware that I am far from being a ceramic artist! I just thought I’d show what I could make. During the final critique my professor said that they were, “representative of the process.” I think I understand the art speak for that. But I also know that they looked cool so I was fine walking out with my B grade. (I think? I actually don’t remember.) All I know is that on my sketchbook my professor wrote, “Hope to see you in Ceramics 2!”

Alas. Twas not to be. I had to finish my actual degree and didn’t feel like taking the course. Kinda wish I did, to be honest. Guess that just means I’ll have to find a ceramics studio close to home and get my fix!! I’ll upload more pictures of my ceramics when I get a chance! TBH there are so many of them it’s going to take awhile.

If anyone has any tips, hit me up. Like seriously.