Archive for October, 2013

Home Sweet ATX

While in Chicago, the skyscrapers and the haste of the streets allowed me to feel the importance of ambition. I told myself I wanted more! More money! More experiences! Whatever, just more, more, more!  Essentially this ambitious greed created a desire to google “how to become a different person” (I did not actually google this, of course). Sometimes, it feels I could benefit more from being a focused and driven person rather than this leafy, distracted “creative” type that I was born into. Although, I have always been happy to be me.  As a child, I remember my best friend during 3rd grade giving herself a fake play name. She asked what I would call myself & I answered, “Audrey” stating at such a young age that I liked who I was just fine. I pondered what it would be like to take on a different life. Is such an urban setting as this a place for me to thrive? I questioned these types of things, as I always do. I try to enter the mind of the local, calculating a life style that Chicago would bring me.  After all, “The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Perhaps my recent realization of the disadvantages of a drifter city like Austin caused my mind to wander outside my city limits. I love that my city cradles unique persons from all over the globe. This city collects people, thus it seems rare to find someone actually from Austin. I continue to meet amazing people, only to hear of their moving plans shortly after. 😦 Before leaving for Chicago I was a little down on that notion of drifters that keep passing through me.  Then, I returned home. Home sweet, dripping sweat, salsa tasting, music at every corner, festival addicted, lone star brewing, cowboy boot wearing, where people don’t have cars they ride horses TEXAS.

The very night I returned I got an invite to a local band’s secret show stating in the invite to bring flashlights. Intrigued? I certainly was! A wooded landscape lay as the backdrop  with lit candles illuminating on the natural stage. People crowded round for a show set to feature three local bands. I raced my friends to hurry so we wouldn’t miss a strum, a line, or a chorus!  Funny that I am late for absolutely everything in life, but when it comes to concerts, gigs, or shows I am actually early. We can see where my priorities lie, huh? As always, Lord Buffalo is a soul releasing experience with their engaging stomps that force your head to sway to the beat. The violin places you in a trance and the thudding beat keeps you there. The pound of the drum raises your heart nearly out of your chest. On their last song, flashlights shined on the crowd and two cops approached saying, “shut it down guys” but Lord Buffalo increased their volume, projecting loudly ” go baby, go, go, go”. The cop said we all have 10 minutes to vacate this private property & those remaining will be arrested. The guy sitting in front of us turned around abruptly giving out the address of the new secret show location, Danny Malone’s house.  The crowd dispersed and only a handful showed up, making for an even more intimate gig. Danny Malone is a quirky, humorous & talented local artist that just returned from recording in a Denmark castle. “Balloons was recorded in Denmark, in a 15th Century castle called Engelsholm. The castle is widely believed to be haunted by the souls of tortured slaves housed there many hundreds of years ago, as well as those of the philosophers and Alchemists who freed the castle of slavery after buying it from the Danish King. Danny and co-producer Mattie Smith spent 10 days recording 10 songs in this castle.” – Another singer/songwriter there that night was Christopher Denny which up to this point is the most peculiar man I have ever met. His talent is enormous, thus comparing him to Sean Hayes or Johnny Cash is easy. Somewhere in the wee hours of the morning, each singer songwriter took their turn showcasing their work right there in the circle. I was in heaven! No, I was home. Home of the Live Music Capitol title, where I belong.

As always, I am off to listen. I listen with my ears, my heart and my soul in finding more music to love. Tomorrow night I will stand before Hanni El Khatib, and the following day I will be over the moon to see three of my favorites: Sarah Jaffe, Warpaint, and yet again Lord Buffalo!






Ukrainian sounds & Kayaking

After the game, we ended Sunday with finally making it out to the World Music Fest at the Cultural Arts Center. From the time the plane landed all I wanted was to hit up this event! I had read about it through and was happy to hear it would still be going on during my stay. Timing plays a crucial role in our lives so I made it when I was supposed to. I saw only one band, DakhaBrakha, and that is all I needed. I sat completely still, emotion coursing through my veins drawing out an articulating transient tone, the music climaxes to full range of vocals & instruments, then, just then, a whisper, “mom I’m bored.” Dylan was not on the same train, haha. 🙂 He did not dig the Ukrainians, but he has a mind all his own and he preferred the french speaking band that played next. DakhaBrakha has amazing talent! Check them out. I loved them so much that I bought two cds and shared them with friends immediately upon returning home.

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I have not gone kayaking before, so I was equally excited and nervous. I did not want to risk the potential regret of damaging my electronics, thus I have no kayak photos 😦 Dylan and I shared a kayak with him in the front. Chicago’s Urban Kayaks (  is the name & I would recommend this tour to anyone. The tour guide, an aspiring actor with that one day recognizable face gave fabulous illustrations of information along the way, giving insight to the local architecture and some of Chicago’s ghost stories.

One of my first thoughts walking across the bridge that first night was how grand it would be to transport back in time to see this very spot of this grand city in the late 20’s. Like most, I am fascinated with the roaring 20’s decade, thus am even dedicating a whole party on it by hosting a flapper themed holiday party near the end of this lovely year. For this intrigue into America’s past, I have spent leisure time on “Boardwalk Empire” lately. My goodness, I am addicted!  If you also have an obsession over Prohibition like me check out the film, “Lawless”(, just a side note since I got started on bootleggers depicted in film.

Chicago skyline in the 20’s chicago skyline in the 20s

Modernized Jazz Age music of the 20’s :

I cannot wait to hit up ATX kayaks & do it again and AGAIN and again!!! Right now there is a super cool art piece hovering Town Lake. Here is a brief article as to why there is a giant white tree dangled upside down over the water.

Remaining photos from the last day and maybe some lingering ones that belong from one of the five days:

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Wrigley Field

Some may find this surprising, but this was not my first baseball game to attend. I spent most my childhood  playing with other kids underneath bleachers, on empty fields or awaiting the next sugar rush from “Sour Punch” stringed candies during my brother’s baseball games.  Sometimes, the best of my imagination was spent near the beaming lights and echoes of cheers or pushy parent hollers. I jotted down notes or memorized license plates, exercising my Nancy Drew detective talents during those long nights. One day it was my turn to swing the bat. I joined in, wearing a pink shirt labeled “Lady Hawks”. I was horrible at softball, loving the practice of the skill more than the challenge of performance on game days. I wanted the glory of a thigh bruiser like the ball players I idolized in “A League of Their Own”. That movie, “Fried Green Tomatoes” and “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” characterized my pre-teen interests as being my favorite films for many years.  I left the fields of softball and soccer long ago. This Cubs game was my first sports event to not be the player, but the drinking bystander. It was paid for, provided variety, and was unlimited. Needless to say I had a grand time. When my mom said we would go to Wrigley Field on Sunday I did not know she meant a bleacher seated rooftop with bottomless food and drinks.  We met some great folks down in Wrigleyville of course. My new Colombian friend (the old man in the photo of us all) immediately developed a crush on me.  As he walked by the first time he kissed his hands to the air claiming me as “bella”.  Age nor attractiveness matters for this shy gal to blush at the thought of a compliment. I laughed and began to practice my spanish. He shared a sad moment in his pain of not seeing his son grow up from his decision to move to America, sending only his love home to Colombia for the last 18 years. Sin remordimientos, Felix, la vida es siempre bella. Wiping away his aging tears, he said “vamos, ven conmigo” leading us to the merchandise room where we kindly accepted the hats you see our smiles under during the game.

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20130920_233447_2The ROOF !! the roof! what R mean to youAraceli took me to a cool “rooftop” bar after I had asked if there are any rooftop bars. Once in the elevator I realized how my version on rooftop was very different from Chicago’s. I can only bring forward my schema of “roof” and “bar” where I imagine a bunch of people literally on the roof of bar, accompanied of course by live music. We proceeded to an improv show at IO.  We closed the night in Boys Town at a club called Hydrate, that should have been called Sauna. To hydrate was the correct goal to have after dancing in that sweaty mess.              IMG_20130920_203941_edited20130920_231010_edited

Saturday I went straight outside to take photos! Let’s see what was brought into the Finn’s focus…IMG_2036_edited sunking IMG_1933_edited IMG_1452_edited IMG_1444_edited redbicycle IMG_1448 IMG_1430_edited glowing IL flag_edited iDreamOfpAriS IMG_1432

Dylan loved the escalators! I love my tablet! We loved our hotel!

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Navy Pier

I was not excited about going to such a largely known tourist attraction and was only wanting to be a part of the World Music Fest, but photos speak a thousand words hence Navy Pier was definitely worth spending the day at. My son benefited most by overcoming fear. First he tackled the Ferris Wheel and was feeling brave enough next to try the swings. My mother and I laughed leaning on the fence watching his horrified face and stiff body on the swings, but to our surprise once the ride came to a stop he jumped off and proclaimed, “that was the BEST!” Then rode it 5 more times, eventually taunting the machine to go faster.

On the way there photos: IMG_1537_edited IMG_1530_edited

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