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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right, okay soIMG_6507IMG_6523IMG_6524IMG_6499

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.

Fogged goggles

 

Sometimes I just take pictures for inspiration, and this is one of those times. I like taking a look at texture and a general “mood” of a place and time. For me, these pictures have a kinda dusty, nostalgic quality to them that are sort of reminiscent of soft, slow summer afternoons.

I took some of these images while I was out in the midwest visiting family- they are an outdoorsy, grounded group of people who enjoy family and good food. Like, I enjoy visiting the midwest for nostalgia’s sake, but I don’t think I would like to live there permanently. It’s like the nostalgia would go stale and would would rot to an absent minded melancholy.

On a lighter note, though, sometimes during those dog days of summer I get this urge to can and do house/kitchen DIYs. I’ve only canned once, and I made this strawberry lemonade marmalade that tasted AMAZING on scones and toast.

When I’m bored, I take a look at my inspiration pictures. They help create a mood for a lazy afternoon.

What I want to try to make is an orange raspberry cake I found online at foodnetwork.com… when I make it I’ll write a post about it to let you know how it went!

Ingredients
Cake:
Butter, for greasing the pans
Flour, for dusting
1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe)
1 large orange, zested, about 1/4 cup
1 1/3 cups no pulp orange juice
3 egg whites
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Frosting:
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup creme fraiche
1 pound powdered sugar
1/4 cup raspberry jam
Water, as needed
1/4 cup raspberry jam
1 (6-ounce) container fresh raspberries
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Directions
Watch how to make this recipe.
For the cake: Arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour the bottom and sides of 2 nonstick, 8-inch round, baking pans. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the cake mix and orange zest. Mix for 20 seconds at low speed until the zest is incorporated. Add the orange juice, egg whites, and vegetable oil. Blend at low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula, as needed. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake until golden and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 to 32 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely, about 1 hour.
For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and creme fraiche at high speed until smooth, about 10 seconds. With the machine running at medium-low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar until incorporated. Add the raspberry jam and increase the speed to high. Beat until the frosting is smooth and spreadable, adding water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if needed.
To assemble the cake: Arrange 1 cake layer, flat side up, on a cake stand. Using a spatula, spread a thin layer of frosting on top leaving a 1/2-inch border. Spread 1/4 cup of raspberry jam on top of the frosting. Arrange the other cake layer on top. Using a spatula, frost the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with fresh raspberries. Cut the cake into wedges with a slightly wet knife and serve.
Store the cake in a plastic container in the refrigerator. Allow the refrigerated cake to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

cake recipe!