So its been a few weeks but the following are the most memorable photos from SXSW and some explanations behind them…
Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category
Posted by livefastpartyhard on 03/16/2010
The clock has just clicked over to 12.02am on Wednesday so that means that later today I will officially be in Texas!! I’m so excited beyond words, I feel like my brain is going to explode.
It’s going to be five days of sun, music, parties and good times. The flight out of New York tomorrow afternoon connects with another one in Georgia (I will be in the actual South!!!!) that flies to Austin. I get in just before midnight but since I plan on catching up on sleep on the flights down, I will be ready for whatever happens as soon as I hop off.
I plan on taking a lot of photos and I promise I will try and keep track of all my adventures to write about on here once I get back on Monday afternoon!
Posted by livefastpartyhard on 02/03/2010
I was up early one morning last week and found myself around the East Side/Upper East Side of Manhattan up near the Queensborough Bridge. So far I’ve walked across the Williamsburg and the Brooklyn Bridge, I didn’t try the Queensborough Bridge this time because I didn’t have enough time before work BUT i did take some photos of my little journey. It was a really beautiful morning, it didn’t feel cold at all, – probably about 4 or 5C (trust me, that’s totally warm for New York this time of year!) when I was walking in the sun.
After walking along the river for awhile I came across the United Nations Building. Last time I was there was during the Summertime and for some reason they didn’t have all the flags hanging up outside then. Luckily this time, the flags were out and on display, proudly blowing in the wind.
Posted by livefastpartyhard on 01/29/2010
Posted in Life, Photos, Travel | Tagged: brooklyn, chrysler building, empire state building, MOMA, New York City, new york photos, the met, the natural history museum, washington square, williamsburg | 1 Comment »
Posted by livefastpartyhard on 12/04/2009
I arrived in Minneapolis and walked into a freezer.
Well, not really, but as our plane slowly pulled into the airport there was snow dancing on the wind going in all directions. Even though I’m not accustomed to snow, I could tell it was only a light storm but it still brought a smile to my lips. The sight of it and the apparent weightlessness it had against the wind was truly beautiful.
When I stepped out onto the air bridge though I was struck by a wall of freezing air. Even though the bridge was covered the cold still managed to seep in somewhere. For the minute that I was exposed to it, it really did remind me of being stuck in one of those huge walk-in freezers where grocery or liquor stores keep their stock.
The thermometer at the gate said it was 23F, translated to Celsius that’s a freezing -5 degrees. Pretty sure that apart from the day I spent snowboarding at Mt. Baker just outside of Seattle almost three years ago, that that is the coldest temperature I’ve ever experienced.
Luckily Minneapolis is only a transit stop for me. It seems like Minneapolis is a midway point for most of the people milling about the airport. I can’t really imagine living in a place like this, a place where (the lady next to me informed me) the snow starts in November and doesn’t let up until April. Here I was thinking I was deprieved of nice weather in New York because the temperature had been hovering in the early 50’s for the last few weeks. Next time I complain about the New York weather I’ll just remember the people that live in Minneapolis!
Posted by livefastpartyhard on 12/04/2009
Tonight I saw New York as I had never seen it before. Unlike the two previous times when I arrived in the New York; once by train and the other by bus; this time I left by air and was able to see the city in all its glory at night.
My plane took off from La Guardia airport at about 6.30 in the evening. Due to the winter season it was already full darkness outside. I had hoped to get a window seat and I did, I also hoped that we would fly out over the city but because I was unsure of the route the plane would take on its way to Sacramento (via Minneapolis St Paul) I didn’t hold my breath. After take off it took me a few seconds to discern exactly which way we were headed and then to take in all the lights that I was seeing. The plane flew horizontal to the Bronx and my seat offered a prime view of the island of Manhattan, all the way from the top right down to the bottom. What amazed me the most was the way the numbered avenues run in perfectly straight lines all the way up the city. As we flew directly over each one and our plane aligned with them it was as if each one had become a red hued corridor stretching for the 10 or 11 miles of the island (apparently every 20 city blocks equals a mile). It was truly an amazing sight. In the distance I could make out all the usual suspects, – the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, even the steady pulse of the blinding lights at Times Square.
Now after our plane has been in the air for less than 15 minutes, the lights of the city are just a distant glow on the horizon. Below me now only darkness stretches out, punctuated by the lights of a small town every few minutes. Maybe we’re over New Jersey now, maybe its Pennsylvania, my knowledge of the geography of the East Coast states is not as good as it should be. The distance between me and my home of the last six months is steadily growing as the plane moves forward but even though I followed the in-flight rules and did not take out any electronic devices during take off (namely, my digital camera), the sight I saw tonight will stay fresh in my mind for years to come.
Passing out over the countryside, the one thing that I desire right now is to see the stars. It’s been more than five months since I have seen a star-lit sky. It is not something I even fathomed missing when I arrived, there were too many other things that spring to my mind first, – friends, family, personal items left on the other side of the world, but it has been something I have found myself longing for. Maybe it’s because unlike seeing family and friends who are separated from me by thousands of miles of land and oceans, I know that seeing the stars is within my grasp. Already, as the plane pulled higher and higher into the sky I spotted a star rising above the horizon. In just a few hours I will be able to look up and see a sky full of them.
I have a memory of standing in a paddock at my Aunt’s property in the Hunter Valley a few weeks before I left Australia and looking up at a clear night sky scattered with too many stars to even count, – a sky so full that sometimes you had to look slightly away from a patch of stars just so it didn’t seem like one big blob of lights. The sky is different here in America, when I look up at it it doesn’t feel like its open and stretches forever, here the sky is capped between the skyscrapers and at night there is the illusion that you live within a dome, the city at the center of it, continually giving off a dull orange glow, like a warning that beyond the glow where darkness finally penetrates is a place you don’t want to go.
For me the darkness beyond the city glow is not unwelcome; it represents freedom and adventure and a chance to cast off and forget, even just for a weekend, the last five months and the love/hate relationship that I have had with the living and breathing entity that is New York city. Looking out of my cabin window now, all I see is blackness.
I welcome the darkness of tonight and the unknown of what this trip will bring.
Posted by livefastpartyhard on 07/16/2009
Milwaukee. Before these last few days, if you’d asked me what sprang to mind when I heard the word Milwaukee I don’t think I’d have even been able to tell you if it was a state or a city. From what I can vaguely remember, the television show “That 70’s Show” was set in Milwaukee.
So apart from learning that Milwaukee was actually a city in Wisconsin, these last few days have opened my eyes to the beauty of Milwaukee and made sure that I never forget the amazing experiences we’ve had.
Our journey to Milwaukee started all the way back in February when Jules and I went to see Misery Signals play at Manning Bar in Sydney Uni. After the show we went up to talk to the band and just kind of lurk because they were Americans and babes. Our conversation centered around us going to America in June/July and how we planned to go to make our way across from the West Coast all the way over to Florida and up to New York City. When they heard we wanted to go to Florida they completely shot us down and said we should go to Milwaukee instead. After a few more minutes of conversation we were semi-convinced and unfortunately because it was a Wednesday night we had to leave because of work and school in the morning. That didn’t stop us from mulling over the idea of Milwaukee though. Jules had already used her incredible cyber-stalking skills to find Kyle on Myspace so over the next few weeks they messaged back and forth and the rest is really history, – four and a bit months later we found ourselves in Milwaukee.
It turns out that the guys live in a massive house (a mansion really) right on Lake Michigan in the nicest neighbourhood I’ve ever seen and it’s been featured on MTV Cribs. The fact that Andy Hurley, the drummer from Fall Out Boy, is their housemate as well was something not lost on us either, but luckily (or unluckily, it can be seen either way really, but if he’d been there we probably would have made fools of ourselves in front of him) he was away on tour so we didn’t have the opportunity to completely fan out on him.
So after dumping our huge suitcases we got a full tour of the house by Kyle. I swear Andy has a shower bigger than my entire bedroom back home, completely crazy, you’d be able to fit 20 people in that thing. Then Kyle took us to a yummy restaurant called ‘Beans & Barley’. After the shocking food we had to endure in Las Vegas ‘Beans & Barley’ seemed like heaven on Earth. They had vegan options! And it was fresh and healthy! I ordered a dairy-free black bean burrito with home cut fries and I have to say it was one of the best meals I’ve eaten in a long time.
We made a quick pit-stop at Whole Foods afterwards and picked up some of Milwaukee’s finest beer, – Spotted Cow, for Kyle. Next stop was the liquor store for some drinks for Jules and I (turns out Whole Foods doesn’t cater for the vodka-drinking population) and on our way out we made complete fools of ourselves by trying to get into the wrong car. To be fair, it was a black jeep but about ten years older and more beat-up than Kyle’s car. We hadn’t even started drinking yet so we knew we were in for some crazy times ahead.
While we showered and made ourselves presentable for a night at a local pub, we drank and chilled out. One of housemates was dj-ing at the pub we were going to and one of Kyle’s friends was the bartender there so madness ensued. Free drinks, free shots, happy snaps of shakey faces and the appearance of rap hands made sure that by the end of the night I fell asleep in the bathroom. If we didn’t have the photos to prove it, I swear I wouldn’t believe everything that happened. One of the best quotes of the night was when Renee said to Jules “Oh did you lose your voice? You should have borrowed some of Kyle’s while you guys were making out”. Completely unforgettable!
I think we proved to the Milwaukee-ans (what do they call people from Milwaukee?!) that Australians can’t drink as much as they think, well at least these two Australians can’t! The drive back to the house is a bit hazy but I do remember getting to sleep on the comfiest couch I’ve ever felt in my entire life.
The next day I slept like the dead until almost 1pm, even though there were workmen there from the early hours bashing away at renovations. Our time in Milwaukee has been more like a food tour of the Mid-West because Kyle and Ryan took us to a vegan restaurant called ‘Comet’. We snacked on faux Buffalo ribs and hommus (a new experience for me, but I’ve been completely won over) with pita bread before our main meals all arrived. It didn’t seem as healthy as the ‘Bean and Barley’ meal from the day before, but it was still an awesome feed.
After lunch we went back to the house to chill for a bit before heading out to take in some of Milwaukee’s finest vintage clothing stores. Downtown Milwaukee isn’t like a normal downtown. All the stores are in quaint little buildings that look like they could have once been houses; the sidewalks are wider and the traffic lights are encased in yellow metal; every house has a front porch and most have porch swings and an American flag hanging out the front. I felt like I was finally experiencing ‘real’ America; that we’d finally found somewhere off the usual tourist path. I think that’s one of the main things I will take away with me from the whole Milwaukee trip, and judging from the places we are heading to after this unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be experiencing the small-town, real-America feeling again anytime soon.
Even though he was the only boy on the shopping trip, it turned out that Kyle was the only person to buy anything while we were at the vintage stores. There were lots of amazing pieces but everything I tried on was either too small or too big. Better luck next time I guess.
Another new experience was just around the corner for us, – kickball. Although we didn’t play, we sat on the sidelines and took it all in. Every week a bunch of Milwaukee kids all get together at a local baseball diamond and drink and play kickball. For those who are unfamiliar with kickball it’s basically the same layout and rules as baseball except instead of a bat and small hard ball, the pitcher rolls a large foam ball along the ground and you have to kick it. One thing that I really noticed was that everyone I’d seen in Milwaukee really gets into outdoor sports. Even on the drive from the airport to the house we passed the beach on Lake Michigan and it was jam-packed with people riding bikes and playing volleyball. I guess when it’s crappy weather for 8 months out of the year you have to make the most of the 4 sunny months you get. Coming from a place like Australia where even in the winter months you still get sunshine and bearable temperatures, I really can’t comprehend going days on end without seeing the sun and sub-zero temperatures.
The end of kickball saw us get excited over something else we’d been looking forward to all day, – vegan pizza. When we ordered the pizza I was a bit aprehensive, – between six people we were meant to share only two pizzas. To me, a large pizza is about 20-25 centimeters across. So imagine my surprise when we arrived at ‘Classic Slice’ and were greeted with two boxes almost half a meter across each! I’m usually pretty good at demolishing whole pizza’s but even with this one I could only manage to eat 4 slices. They were definitely some of the best four slices I’ve ever eaten though.
Our plans for the night were to have some pre-drinks, a few games of ping pong and then head to a bar past downtown called ‘The Cactus’. Pre-drinks probably killed our ping-pong playing skills because Kyle beat us both by a huge margin, much to his delight. While we were waiting for Ryan to finish tracking a band he was working with, a friend of theirs called Bridget arrived and it turned out she was to be our designated driver for the night as well. Bridget was rad, and she’s planning on heading out to Australia for a work abroad programme in January next year so I think we managed to sell her on the idea of living in Sydney.
Renee’s screams from upstairs alerted us to raccoons on the porch, – she was terrified but being the tourists we are Jules and I were really excited to see them. Apparently a lot of raccoons carry rabies but even that idea didn’t stop the sight of a mother raccoon and her four small babies running down the porch and dashing in and out under the cars in the driveway being just too cute for words for us. So far we’ve seen squirrels, raccoons and seals, so our American wildlife experience is going almost as well as our American food experience.
Upon our arrival at ‘The Cactus’ we were greeted with cigarette smoke and metal music, a classic dive bar. But instead of being filled with a bunch of drunk old men it was filled with scene kids. So it was pretty much a rad night. There were people there that we’d met the night before at the Irish pub Kyle had taken us to, so even though our memories were a tiny bit hazy they completely refreshed them for us. 2am rolled around eventually so we all got kicked out and despite our best-laid plans to break into a local water park we headed home instead. The last night in Milwaukee was just as fun as the first and we managed to capture Kyle’s laugh on camera, so we can forever remember (and torment him) how hilarious it is.
We slept in until noon again on our last morning in Milwaukee and headed to Whole Foods one last time to stock up on food for our train trip to Chicago. I have to say that so far, Milwaukee has been the hardest place to say goodbye to, and even though I don’t know if my travels will ever take me back there again, I will never forget the two days I spent there. So now it is goodbye to Milwaukee and hello Chicago, from one mid-west city to the next our adventures continue.
Posted by livefastpartyhard on 07/04/2009
As I write this we are hurtling down the Pacific Coast Freeway in a Greyhound bus away from Los Angeles and headed for San Diego. We crossed the San Diego County line a few miles back.
The view is amazing, on one side of the road are the rolling hills and then to our other side is the sparkling Pacific Ocean. In between there is nothing but the open blue sky. It seems appropriate that the selection on my ipod is tuned to Blink 182.
Once we get to San Diego we’re staying at a beachside hostel in the suburb of Pacific Beach called the Banana Bungalow. It will be interesting because even though Jules and I have been travelling for over a week now this will be the first night we’ve stayed in a hostel and not someone’s house. While our experiences have been nothing short of amazing and everyone we have stayed with has been so open and hospitable, it will be nice to know we can go and do our own thing and come home to the room whenever we want. Plus I’m pretty sure the hostel offers free breakfast, and free food is always a bonus!
The better part of our day has been spent travelling or packing up our suitcases so we haven’t witnessed the full glory of the Fourth of July celebrations yet. From what people have told us everyone has barbeques at whoever has the nicest house and gets super drunk, or if no one they know has the perfect barbeque house then they go to a park and just get drunk there. Basically people get drunk, but because they’re not used to drinking all day most people go to sleep (or pass out) by late afternoon. Hopefully there are still some people left standing by the time we get to PB!!!!