As an avid concert goer who's been to many shows in venues across the country, I can tell you with confidence that my favorite venue in the world is right here in RVA, at The National.
I like to think the reason why I'm so loyal to The National is because of the countless memories created here: meeting A$AP Ferg and Jay Pharoh, seeing what goes on behind the scenes by setting up an event for The Bobby Bones Show, and almost passing out from heat exhaustion before seeing 2 Chainz.
I've seen countless artists perform along with my best friends, and have had crazy moments caught on camera and forever framed in my memory. I've even had funny uber moments after shows, including running up a 90 dollar uber tab that I am low key too embarrassed to elaborate on.
Almost every day I'm feverishly looking on their website to see what new dates are added and I'm okay with paying an additional 11 dollars in "convenience" fees if it means I'll be seeing my favorite artist. At this point of my life, I'll pay any amount of money to go to a show.
Recently, I finally worked up the courage to go to a show by myself and went to see Kevin Gates perform. I was scared to go, even though I'm an extrovert, but doing some things by yourself for the first time can be scary, and I'm allowed to be nervous. Luckily I was smart enough to kill time with a few glasses of Bombay at Penny Lane Pub , and had fun singing my favorite songs and dancing as crazy as I wanted. I even ended the night by indulging in some delicious Korean food from J Kogi around the corner. Check out my favorite picture from the show:
This post is really nothing more than me shouting my love for The National to the heavens and browsing their website contemplating buying front row tickets to Leon Bridges in October, but I want to know more about you: where's your favorite music venue?
Once you start traveling a lot, you come up with a set of rules you swear by every time you book a flight or a hotel room. Here's a list of 10 essential things I believe you must do every time you travel.
1. Make friends with the people who serve you.
These are the rules I follow no matter where I go, what are some things you have to do when you travel?
I recently came back from vacation to the Bahamas and Key West, Florida to celebrate my mom's birthday. Both of these islands put me in a dreamy mood and gave me a feel of the island life I've always dreamed of. To be honest, the Bahamas was a little too touristy for me, but I appreciated the vibrancy of the colors. If I go back, I'll be sure to experience the natural way of life the locals. Key West on the other hand, was amazing. The laid back style, the intimacy of the island and the influx of chickens walking around were just some parts of the island that really struck me. I'd love to go back in the future, but for now, I'll live through the memories from the pictures I took.
Key West, Florida
Museums are my favorite places in the world. They're free (usually), and the wanderer in me loves to walk around the halls and get lost in the history of every piece that's curated and on display. I've been to a lot of museums, but here's a list of my three favorite that really left a mark on me that I hope I get the chance to go back to soon.
The British Museum - London, England
This was my first stop when I went overseas this summer and it had been on my list of museums to visit for a while. The British Museum is known as one of the best museums in the world, and that's not a lie. I spent a little over 2 hours just browsing their Egyptian and Ancient Greece and Rome exhibits and fell in love with the pieces of art that I saw from the ancient cultures.
There's a lot of controversy surrounding the artifacts in the British Museum, because there's claims that the artifacts were stolen and never returned to their home countries.. I believe it, but do you really think Great Britain will return the artifacts? Probably not, however maybe in the future things will change.
Museum of Sex - Amsterdam, Netherlands
I paid 4 Euros on a rainy day in Amsterdam to see a stone dick, essentially.
But really, the sex museum was really cool. It was 3 floors of dick, vagina, boobs and ass, all throughout the centuries, and housed a steep spiral staircase that I liked. I saw a lot of things that made me uncomfortable in a variety of mediums: video, sculpture, photo and much more, but it was fascinating to see how past generations viewed sex and how freaky our ancestors were.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts - Richmond, Virginia
I'm an Art Hoe™ and the VMFA is my favorite place to go when I'm around Richmond. First, it's beautiful architecturally, and second, there's so much art that I usually can't fit everything I want to see in one visit. I love look at the different exhibits they have every month, and while I will never forgive myself for missing the Picasso exhibit in 2011, I'm looking forward to their Kehinde Wiley exhibit in June. Every time I go there I always find new works of art that I fall in love with, and I enjoy basking in the creativity of artists from past, current and future generation. In addition, they have a fun happy hour on the weekends and a beautiful grassy area to hang out in. I like chill and write in my journal on warm evenings in the summer; it's a good place to find inner peace with myself.
This is just a short list of my favorite museums, and I could list many more, but I want to hear from you. What are some of your favorite museums you've visited and what do you like about them?
Considering that I don't have a full time job where I'm sitting at a desk for 40 hours a week, and my part time job gives me a lot of free time, in my spare time I like to do projects that sharpen my PR skills. I figure nothing can be wrong with getting better at what you do, and the worst that can happen is someone would say no to me or in this day and age, no one will respond to an email. So ,in an effort to keep growing and pushing myself out of my comfort zone, I recently challenged myself to see if I can pitch a story to the media.
When the owner of The Faces of H.O.P.E., asked her staff to spread the news of the opening of their new location on Martin Luther King Jr. Day., I decided to lend a helping hand. I've been noticing a growing trend of newscasters actively posting on their Facebook pages, so I threw out the idea of an email pitch, simply because emails can get lost in a clogged mailbox, and Facebook messages are usually answered quicker. After a little research, I decided that WRIC Anchor Amy Lacey had a background that could garner interest for The Faces of H.O.P.E. and replied to messages frequently and so I sent a pitch via Facebook Messenger.
I wasn't expecting anything in return, mainly because I know how busy reporters can be, but luckily, she responded back to me, and after a bit of chatting, I sent her some good quality pictures that were not only posted on her Facebook, but they were shown on the 5pm ABC News broadcast on MLK Jr. Day.
Not only was this featured on ABC news, CBS6 picked up the event and listed it on their website as well. So not only did I surprise myself by getting a company featured on the news, I got two different networks to feature the story. On the same day no less!
When I think about this new way of pitching stories to the media, it reminds me of a conversation my friend and I had recently, about how a lot of PR people don't take younger people in the profession seriously because of their age. I know a lot of people probably don't take me seriously when I say that I have 6 years of experience, but don't take it lightly. It doesn't take years of experience in this field to get results that you want, you have to apply the basic principles of public relations over and over again. It doesn't matter whether you're a 24 year old who freelances or a 60 year old APR with numerous awards from the PRSA.
It's good to know that when you take a leap of faith you land safely as long as you take that first step. I'm looking forward to the new opportunities and challenges that I will face in my field in order to get ahead. When's the last time you took a leap of faith in your career and exceeded your expectations? Let me know your thoughts.
Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies because it's a fun creative outlet: if you throw the right amount of things together, it can create a delicious meal, however, if you season your food a tad too much, or if you leave your food in the oven for too long, it can produce disastrous results. I believe that cooking is sacred; it's a ritual in itself to spend so much time and energy for something to nourish you, and there's no better feeling than sitting down and enjoying something that tastes and makes you feel good.
I love the feeling of pretending like I'm on "Chopped" with ingredients I find in my kitchen to see what I can make out of them. This soup I created is a result of that. It's a blend of savory and spicy, and came about when I was searching for a recipe for tortilla soup on Pinterest. I instead added my own twist and with noodles and ginger for a kick. An avocado provides cooling relief from the pepper. This soup is perfect to throw together quickly if you're hungry and you want something filling. Add a slice of thick bakery bread and you'll be good to go for dinner!
2015 was a wild ride for me. I've experienced the highest of highs, and lowest of lows, literally and figuratively. Considering the amount of things I went through, I thought it would be fun to condense my thoughts and feelings on every month in the year in the only way my generation knows how to communicate: emojis and hashtags.
What emojis would you use to summarize your year?
The two may seem interchangeable, but depending on what you like, you might want to consider your options. Take the quiz below to find out!