Texas, Summer 2017

Here are some photos I took during my trip in Texas.

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Backroad behind my grandmother’s ranch.

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Hopkins County Courthouse, Square and Veterans Memorial.

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Here are some photos I took of amazing photos from my Grandma Kay’s house.

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Wedding in Mexico, 1949. All the bridesmaids arrived a week before and sewed all their dresses in one day.

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My grandmother (left), her parents, and her older sister. My great-aunt Char loved to ride horses and was still wearing her riding boots.

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My dad and uncle john sporting some weird facial hair and silly faces in Europe circa early 1980s. FullSizeRender 116FullSizeRender 112FullSizeRender 96

Portrait from the Hopkins County? Hospital. They had the Medical Director’s portraits on the wall and gave my grandmother my grandfather’s portrait.

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Her Long Black Hair Audio Walk in Central Park

photo_cardiff_04_view1_321x244w{Courtesy of the Public Art Fund}

In September 2016, I was required to attend an audio walk for my Integrated Media class. It was called Her Long Black Hair and was first introduced to New York in 2004.  Philip and I headed to Central Park on a lazy Saturday, synced our mp3 tracks, and headed down the paved paths. We were not quite sure if it would be fun, but it forced us to trek around the gorgeous park for the first time in the summer (a crime!) and discover its hidden beauty. The entire tour took us about one hour to complete, which included breaks, switching between tracks, and heading 10 minutes in the wrong direction and then backtracking. Overall both P and I had a great time and even though it wasn’t planned, we definitely considered it a date.

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Spoilers: The tour itself was hosted by a woman narrator seeking exact park locations where an anonymous woman’s pictures were taken. She narrates and guides you around the park. On the way to each location, she asks you to notice the small things you might have missed if you had just walked by. At times she has you do “experiments” which are meant to heighten some senses while sacrificing others. Meanwhile , you are asked to view the pictures for the tour. You are in the exact spot of the photographer of when the pictures of the anonymous woman were taken. Throughout our narrator speculates about this unknown woman and her long black hair. This psychological and physical experience is something that is worthwhile.

If you live in the NYC area and would like to take a gander at it, I would highly recommend. Tracks and pictures here in the digital archive.

 

 

Sleep No More

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{Image courtesy of Sleep No More}

The Show Sleep No More isone of multiple experiences that one can enjoy at the McKittrick Hotel located in Manhattan, NY. The show takes place indoors, over multiple floors of the McKittrick Hotel, and lasts up to three hours. Traditional theatre performances have the audience sit and watch actors create a narrative in a predetermined space, with the actors disappearing behind the curtain when they are no longer needed to drive the plot. Sleep No More is instead immersive theater, where the audience is given a mask for anonymity and a sensory-driven show: they have the freedom to follow individual actors and their stories  undhindered (with no breaks or access to phones), and the ability explore the set which offers glimpses into the backstories of the characters.

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Philip and I went to this on my 24th birthday. All I had heard about the performance was that it was Macbeth inspired, but otherwise I was not really sure what to expect. I personally am a fan of film, TV, art, and theatre so I was excited to try something new. Sleep No More allowed me to choose my own adventure, and offered me background tidbits along the way concerning what I was seeing in front of me. The set reminded me of Disney World: everything had a place and offered a glimpse into the world of the characters. I could open drawers, read notes between characters, and could even be covered in blood if I wasn’t attentive

I loved this experience, and it is something that every person that attends experiences differently. Some of my friends have been bored with this performance, but I think any person could easily find something that their attention is drawn to for the evening.

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{Image courtesy of Sleep No More}

Tips for those interested in attending:

1.Wear practical shoes- some people choose to run to follow the actors, but there are uneven surfaces across the set.

2. Bring a sweater (with buttons or zippers), use your pockets, but leave your bags and coats at home. This will save you $4.00 per person at the mandatory coat check.

3. Read as many papers during the performance while you can! This will tell you a little bit of background information in regards to the performance if you want it.

4. This is not a haunted house- books will not open hidden rooms, no one will pop out at you, do not be scared to enter dark rooms. Actors might interact with one or two audience members to drive the plot, but mostly the audience members are ghosts observing only.

5. You may choose to just look around the amazing set and ignore the actors. Thats cool, but make sure you go to the stairwells and access all the floors. (I never made it to two floors because I didn’t realize they were there.)

6. If you get winded or tired, sit down and catch your breath. Water is always available in the Mandalay Bar on the ground floor free of charge.

7. Don’t get drunk before you go. You might throw up in the performance.

6. You can *take souvenirs. All of the papers are replaced each morning, candy in the shops are replenished, and only actors hold on to integral props. *Don’t steal real items of value from the set.

7. Wear your contacts. My glasses kept getting in the way and fogging up at bad times.

 

Quiet Ghost Tour of the Financial District

 

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Philip and I took an hour long walking tour with Quiet Events and New York Social Network of the Financial District in mid-October. Unlike other NYC tours, not only was our group mostly comprised of fellow New Yorkers, but we had the additional advantage of bluetooth headsets. These headsets played music throughout the tour (Green channel had disco, while blue had spooky music), and allowed our guide to project not only directions, but historical details to the entire group with ease. We could freely listen and look at the sights, instead of being squished in a tight circle trying to hear each word. Since it was a haunted tour, we not only had the tour at night but learned about the massacres, hauntings, and strange deaths in each of the locations.

{Left to right: Fraunces Tavern, Bowling Green, Bowling Green Fence Post Finails, 1st U.S. Customs House}

{Left: Trinity Church (famous resting place of Alexander Hamilton), Right: Original Subway Ticket booth that is still functioning today}

{Left to right: Wall Street, The Federal Hall, African Burial Grounds Monument}

Cheers from the UK

[Originally posted in August 2014]

I just returned this past week from an University Faculty-led study abroad class in the UK. Myself and 19 other classmates were in England for almost a month and did so much.

{LindisFarne}
The coursework itself was centered around fantasy fiction creative writing. Our instructor was amazing and integrated all sorts of excursions and trips for us that required us to travel, learn local history and experience the same experiences that famous fantasy authors might have generations prior.  Some of my favorite highlights from the trip include trekking four miles of Hadrian’s Wall, the High Teat at the Balmoral in Edinburgh, touring Oxford with emphasis on the lives of Tolkein, Lewis and Carrol,  and visiting the Vyne Estates just outside of London. Now back in the states the only thing left for me to do is upload my favorite photos to Facebook and plan my next trip back.
{Alnwick Castle: We lived here for two weeks}

 

{Lindisfarne Priory Ruins}

 

{Tour De France in Harrogate}

 

{Edinburgh, Scotland and some thoughts on the upcoming election in September}

 

{Hadrian’s Wall Outpost Ruins}

 

{King’s Cross Station}

 

{Raven at the the Tower of London}

 

{Statue in the British Museum}

 

{Cathedral in Bath}

 

{The iconic Stonehenge}

 

{A Children’s area at the Vyne modeled after a Hobbit Hole}

 

{The Vyne Tudor house}

 

{Parliament as seen from London Bridge}

 

{The Harry Potter Studio Tour}

Tourist in NYC

Right after New Years, P and I took our first official vacation together. Prior we had gone on trips with friends and family, but never truly alone. Of course FDR joined us, but otherwise we were isolated from reality.

P was there for a tour of Steiner Studios and the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, and tagged along after convincing him to extend his trip to about 10 days. It was my first time in NYC so we hit most of the tourist hot spots with the NYC CityPass, and P had never been to most before so it was an enjoyable experience for the both of us.