First I’m going to break things down into simple bullet points.
This is what my life has consisted of over the last 6 weeks:
- all of the music festivals that exist
- so much music
- having non stop fun
- literally not sleeping
- iced coffee
- the most fun ever
- things I can’t talk about on a blog because they’re illegal
Alright so if I never get any further, at least that’s a summation.
We’ll start with Sweet Life. Sweetlife is a music festival put on by 3 bros who are cool who live in D.C. who started the company Sweetgreen. Sweetgreen is the shit. If you live in DC you know it, if you live probably anywhere near D.C. you know it. If you don’t, it’s probably coming to your city soon so don’t worry. It’s a healthy salad company where you can just go and eat delicious food and be skinny and eat yogurt and salad and juice and like, do yoga and listen to music. It’s a lifestyle and the owners are awesome and really into music and and the good things in life. They started a music festival like 4 years ago and get major acts like The Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Kendrick Lamar. This the adorbs John Neman from Sweetgreen:
I was covering it for Refinery 29 so I got a press pass and VIP access to the whole festival so our photog and I could spot well-dressed peeps and take their pictures for the story. I utterly and completely love my job with R29. It’s so perfect for everything I am passionate about. I get to just talk to people, network, go to creative events and festivals, spot well-dressed people (what I do regardless of whether I’m being paid or not), talk to them, find out their info/ask them where they got everything on their body (what I do regardless of whether I’m being paid or not) and listen to music simultaneously. And then WRITE. Legit dream job.
Feast your eyes on the fruits of our labor:
This is what I wore:
I got that white cropped silk tie top from Style Etoile on sale for like $40 bucks, it’s Wren, and the softest thing ever and THE. PERFECT. LAYER. to throw on top of things for music festivals! I wore it on Day Three of Governor’s Ball as well:
(what up dude with a floppy hat, what up).
Sweetlife was INCREDIBLE. Gary Clark Jr. blew our MINDS, and yes I can’t see or think of him without comparing him to Jimi Hendrix, sue me; and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were out.of.this.world. Karen O is legit INSANE. Actually Holly, my editor, used the most brilliant word EVER to describe her——- deranged. There is no more perfect word. She is actually deranged. And it is AMAZING to watch on stage. I was losing it. Katie (the photog) and I pushed our way to the very very front because I will never go to a show and NOT find my way to the front, every time, and we could see the beads of sweat on her deranged face and everything about it was beautiful. But, she nor anything I’ve ever seen compare to Guns n Roses at Governor’s Ball so we’ll get there.
Actually before Sweetlife was seeing Kendrick Lamar at Cornell for Slope Day. It was an insane amount of fun.
Me and my bff Ellie after the show, where I also pushed my way to the front.
We went to a delicious healthy restaurant where I had the best kale Caesar salad of my life.
I love road trips, music, friends, sun, grass, Kendrick Lamar, and alcohol. So the weekend worked out well. Saw Kendrick again at Sweetlife one week later and he was like 40 times less good than at Cornell. The crowd was just small enough, the mood was just right enough, it was a way way different experience than at Sweetlife.
Aside from the music at Sweetlife, the other best thing was the FOOD OH MY GADDD THE FOOD. They had all these food trucks that were incredible. Erik Bruner-Yang, the head chef at Toki Underground– what is pretty much non-arguably one of D.C.’s top 3 restaurants– had collaborated with the team at Woodberry Kitchen, another mad-famous restaurant, on a special menu that will never be re-created again and it was THE. BEST. FOOD. I. HAVE. EVER. HAD. IT WAS SHRIMP-WRAPPED SUGAR CANE WITH CRUNCHY PEANUT SAUCE. OH MY GOD. I have seen Erik multiple times since then and all I talk about is the shrimp-wrapped sugar cane and he probably wants to murder me. He said I’ll never have it again and I said well then I’ll hire you to do the food at my wedding and he couldn’t argue with that. FYI, this is Erik:
Not long after Sweetlife, I had the PRIVILEGE, the HONOR, of working as the PA (<— production assistant) on Refinery 29′s “30 Under 30″ shoot in D.C. We are profiling the 30 most awesome, badass, doing-amazing-things people in our fine city and the team from New York came down for this incredible multi-day shoot and I got to meet/hang with such awesome people. The hair team, the make-up person, the photographer, the photo editor, the catering people (kraft services was from DGS – an amazing new ‘modern’ take on a classic Jewish deli, run by two extremely cool dudes who were ALSO one of the food vendors at Sweetlife so we’d met the week prior), the talent that we were shooting, the owner of the studio we were renting, every single person was amazing to spend time with. I ran the music so every day we balled out to Snoop Dog and Tupac and Nate Dogg and Skee-loo and The Dream and Miguel and The Knife and RAC and White Panda and Crystal Castles and Kid Cudi and Kendrick and Juvenile and Beastie Boys and all of the West Coast rap that ever existed between the years 1990 – 2000.
It was one giant dance party and one of the single best experiences of my entire life. Between that shoot, and Governor’s Ball, and Sweetlife, I have literally experienced the greatest 3 events of my life to date. Ever. It was AMAZING to be around such creative, talented, fun people, and just be creative and do fun tasks like posting crumpled paper to the wall and getting REAL REAL creative with giant rolls of colored seamless. It was the most fun e-v-e-r. And a lot of fulfilling work.
The owner of the photog studio, Josh Cogan, and Nick from DGS:
Laughing about how we are the “PVC’s” — positive vibe coordinators, otherwise known as hype people, and I realized for the first time ever that I geniously branded myself as The Hyperbalist without even realizing how awkwardly perfect the layered meaning applies to me because I exaggerate a lot, but I am also always the hype person, and hyper as an adjective, so being the “hyperbalist” is literally awkwardly perfect for me on 3 different levels.
My friend and BADASS jewelry designer Rachel Pfeffer being annoyingly adorable:
A series of Ryan Mitchell, my new favorite human on the globe, being the funniest person ever. His humor/personality reminds me Polly Shore, but like, 40000 times better. He named his hair salon Eastern Confederate because it was next to a Western Union. YES. #YES. Literally no other reason. He saw the Western Union and was like, meh, fuck it, Eastern Confederate.
Me and Ryan poppin’ champs
crushinngggg it –
Me and Sarah, the make up star
And a better one: Me, Sarah, and rapper Phil Ade – my new fave picture of all time with him mean-muggin like that –
John Wall, nbd:
If you don’t know who John Wall is, casually view this please:
Skyler Javier, menswear designer, dripping swag
The other best part is that I got to write 12 of the 30 profiles. I feel legitimately honored for the opportunity to do this kind of thing. The shoot began my bender of never sleeping. It was so much work and when I got home, I had more work, and then I basically started staying up until 4 in the morning to work on the 12 bios. It was SO fun to get to know the people, be there for their shoot, and get to write their stories…and now I cannot WAIT (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) until the “30 Under 30″ series goes live!! I am so proud of it! And grateful to my editor Holly who enables me the opportunity to do this. She is the bomb.com and a legitimately genius editor. And does the best “Stefan” impersonation e-v-e-r. She is better at Stefan than Bill Hader is at Stefan.
Me and Holly : ) She looks like “oops I ate the last delicious DGS cookie but sorry I’m not sorry smiley face” and my body language looks like “girlllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll, girl girl smh.”
Aside from work and music I’ve also been going to a lot of events around town, because summer brings out the absolute best in me. I just want to do things, live life, and enjoy hanging out with awesome people.
I recently went to the 52 O Street Open Studios — an event in D.C. that I HIGHLY recommend you bookmark for next year or whenever the next one is. I had written about it here, for Refinery 29, and wanted to go because one of the people who lives/works in the 52 O Street Studios is Kelly Towles, the badass graffiti artist whose work and essence and person I am obsessed with and did this piece for our house–
and his amazing wife Virginia, a knitwear designer, and their adorable baby and 2 dogs and just general amazingness. While there, I happened to meet Skyler Javier, the rad menswear designer whose profile I was writing for 30 Under 30. I walked in to his studio and was like oh this is cool, and then I was like, WAIT A MINUTE, you’re…it’s you! I’m writing a story on you! I love the creative scene here in D.C. So small and everyone is nice and supportive and loves our city. This was Skyler’s studio:
And the Saturday after the 30 Under 30 shoot, I went to the D.C. Meet Market – an event run by none other than Virginia, since she and Kelly are the ultimate entrepreneurs — a kind of mini-ish flea market type event on the first Saturday of every month down in the Logan Circle area where my friend Fitz lives. My friend Cameron who I’ve known since I was 12 and used to be my roommate started a jewelry line, Saint Clair jewelry, and she had a booth and I’d been meaning to go out and check it out, so I went and got iced coffee and just hung out at her booth with her for like 3 hours. And Libby Diament, my other jewelry designer friend (who I wrote a story about for Refinery 29 that will be coming out this Friday!), and Sarah Cecilia, my other jewelry designer friend (I met all these amazing female jewelers- Rachel and Libby and Sarah- when I used to work for NBC The Feast back in 2010!) and I basically just acted like I was a jewelry designer with a booth and chilled with the 3 of them in the hot sun for hours and then Cameron and I hula-hooped.
And then I left the D.C. Meet Market and met up with my friend Fitz and we walked past The Standard on 14th and they were selling their donuts and they are only one dollar and I bought one and it was the BEST. THING. EVER. OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am getting a Standard donut on Saturday every time. They’re a dollar! AYFKMRN? And FRESH and doughy and soft but fluffy and sugary. I. love. my. city. and neighborhood. I was so high on D.C. that day. Fitz and I caught up, drank, snuggled with her pug, and then went to the back patio at Vinoteca for hours and took shots of whiskey which is apparently something I do now. It was so fun.
And, weirdest coincidence EVER, Skyler, the menswear designer with the studio, who moonlights as a paramedic, literally had to come to Vinoteca, medically, to take care of some girl who had gotten sick, so we were drinking and I turned around and saw him in a Paramedic uniform and was like, oh wow, we were in the studio 24 hours ago taking your picture as a menswear designer and now you are saving someone’s life. THAT’S DC FOR YA.
after basically not sleeping for like 5 more days due to working on 30 Under 30 profiles late at night since that’s when I work, it was time for Governor’s Ball.
I CAN’T start on Governor’s Ball right now. I just can’t. It will take HOURS to write that post. I cannot start like this.
I will leave you with 1-4 pictures and then I will do a SEPARATE, beautiful, dedicated post to the insane GLORY that was Governor’s Ball. Axl Rose is Jesus. God. Michelangelo. He is religion and art and sex and love and beauty and legend. He is legend. He is a once in a humanity talent. Not a life time, not a century, and not a thousand years — a HUMANITY. No one since the dawn of time to the year 2013, including Mozart, exceeds his talent. He is better than anyone. He, and his band, and their music, are better than The Beatles or Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd or Frank Sinatra or ANYONE THE FUCK ELSE AND YOU CAN JUST COME OVER HERE AND TAKE IT UP WITH ME IF YOU DISAGREE BECAUSE IF YOU WEREN’T AT GOVERNOR’S BALL AND DIDN’T EXPERIENCE WHAT WE EXPERIENCED, THEN YOU KNOW NOTHING. It doesn’t matter what genre. I don’t believe in “oh well you can’t compare Axl Rose to….I dont know, Jay-Z or Kanye because it’s just so different.” Nope, you can compare talent. Whether or not it’s rap or opera. Talent is talent. Legend is legend. Truth is truth. It’s just TRUTH. Axl Rose is the fucking truth.
There was mud, there was love, there was friendship, there was food, and there was truth. Axl Rose will make you a believer. In once-in-a-HUMANITY talent. NO ONE. AND NOTHING. HAS EVER. COMPARED TO HIS AURA. HIS MAGNETISM. HIS STAGE PRESENCE. HIS TALENT. I WILL BE HIGH FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE OFF THAT SHOW. I WAS GRINNING LIKE A FUCKING IDIOT. IT WAS FACE MELTING. MY FACE MELTED OFF.
I AM FACELESS.
That’s what I’ll leave with you.
SORRY HE PARTIES. SORRY HE IS THE GREATEST ON EARTH. We should all probably just give up because nothing will replicate that experience. Nothing.
I’m going to do a separate post on music too, just the music I’ve been listening to recently and my favorite songs of all time, something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. Music runs my world.