girl about town

N.Y. Till I Die

Heart to heart I Love NY. Its one of those things you know, you just know. If someone asks me why, i stutter, I’m speechless, i draw a blank and have a million thoughts at the same time. Its special, like that guy  who has no money and  smells and but when people ask  why you’re with him you’re like “because i love him, duhh”. So yeah, New York is cool. Last week i spent time there for the first time in a year and a half (waaayy too long), I was on a semi-work trip, it was  fun, they took us out, wined us, dined us and such but when i think about my favorite memories as i often do i think about just walking down the street, admiring the graffiti that i fucking love so much and the convenience of a city where you can truly get your hands on anything you want whenever you want, Ethiopian food at 2 am? why not? There’s grime and natural beauty, a perfect balance that i haven’t found anywhere else and strongly feel that i wont, even if i tried. I had almost forgotten how beautiful Central Park is, how confusing the subway is (to me), and how much i love Italian food (TX is so deprived). Although the  leaves weren’t quite like fall  i could see a small change in color, another thing you take for granted when you move away from a place with seasons. One thing i couldn’t forget and immediately missed so much when i moved away was the attitude, the east coast attitude. You can take the girl away from the east coast but you cant take the east coast away from the girl. There’s something about not feeling like you have to be overly nice to someone that makes me feel so relieved, it doesn’t mean I’m angry or upset I’m just minding my own fucking business okay? I had an awesome exchange with this girl at a coffee shop one morning, i came in, she asked what i wanted, got my hot tea and muffin and then moved on to the next customer. She didn’t have to pull out the bells and whistles and do any magic tricks for me because that’s not a part of her job, fuck she didn’t even ask me how i was doing and why should she? I’m not her friend so why should she care? It warms my heart. Sigh. Its the little things. The big things were reconnecting with friends/old coworkers who have just moved to Brooklyn, meeting an awesome person in the park who inspired me and encouraged me about love and life, hanging out and bonding with my current coworkers and of course doing what i do, roaming.

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One of my favorite places

Sitting on a rock getting to know you, getting to know allll about you

Sitting on a rock getting to know you, getting to know allll about you

 

The best

The best

Andre the Great

Andre the Great

my MORE guys

my MORE guys

My favorite part of the trip, roaming around Brooklyn screaming at the top of our lungs with these fools

My favorite part of the trip, roaming around Brooklyn screaming at the top of my lungs with these fools

NY, I love you

NY, I love you

Anytime i try to think of my favorite place my mind can never be made up, but my heart knows.

 

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Dorothy Does Austin

Many moons ago in a land far far away i resided in not only the same state as my mother but the same city, and under the same roof for a time. Now that seems like light years ago but leave it to mommie dearest to never let you get too far away. My mom Dorothy came to visit Austin last month, this wasn’t her first visit but every time she comes she acts like it is, she’s so excited and happy to be somewhere new that it reassures my soul that not everyone is lame.

The first place we went to visit was one of my favorite places in Austin, the Hope Outdoor Gallery, or as its sometimes  known as Castle Hill or Baylor Street Art Wall. I try to come here at least once a month if not more, i obviously love graffiti so this is like a little piece of heaven for me.IMG_6948

My mom throwing up a hand, so proud of her

IMG_6960DSC_0646To my surprise she actually seemed to like it!

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After that we were starving so we went to the Lockhart,TX  otherwise known as “The BBQ Capital of Texas”. Lockhart is such an adorable small town about 30 mins from Austin.

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There’s 4 famous BBQ joints in Lockhart to choose from, my coworkers suggested Blacks.

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The food was amazing, I always get more than i can eat so i can look forward to it later. My  friend Shannon and her mom Estrella even came to join us! #momdate

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One of my moms favorite places to go when she visits is by far Barton Springs, not only is it beautiful its really relaxing and its so freaking hot here that you have no choice but to love the water.

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On our last evening we took a walk along Lady Bird Lake which is my #1 place to go in Austin. Its my favorite place because when i first moved here and didn’t have a lot going on i would come here all the time and sit and write A LOT. I never wrote outside of my bedroom before i moved here and i also never felt as lonely so Lady Bird Lake was a place for me to go and clear my head, it was literally and figuratively there for me. *cue Red Hot Chili Peppers “Under the Bridge”*

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We ended the night and her visit at The White Horse on the east side in my neck of the woods where my friend Claudia taught her how to two-step, it was adorbs, i still cant do it!

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This visit was especially unique because i  feel like for the first time i showed her my Austin, the first 2 visits we did the Soco things and 6th street, we  saw a movie at Alamo, ate from food trucks, now i like doing those things but i don’t find myself doing those things all the time. I wanted to show her my real life here.

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Although i was frustrated because that’s what she does to me i appreciate her coming here so much. I know that parents encouraging and loving their kids unconditionally seems so normal but its not, i am beyond words fortunate to have a mom that loves me and doesn’t push me to do or be any other way than myself, she is always supportive and so excited for any crazy thing I’m doing or any new place I’m going. We’ve def had our ups and downs, but i know that she really loves me because she is there for me, even though she isn’t here.

Albuquirky

Believe it or not i put more miles on my feet than my car today, i decided to spend the whole day in Albuquerque, partly because i got a bad first impression of it last night but mostly because me and Myra (my car) needed a rest! I took advantage of the free hot breakfast at the hotel and took a walk around, there really isn’t much to see downtown so i ventured off to the Rio Grande Botanical Gardens. I love botanical gardens, if i ever visit a city that has botanical gardens i have to visit because fresh flowers immediately raise my morale.

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The gardens are beautiful and sprawling, there is a butterfly conservatory,  Japanese gardens, and an apple orchard.

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A frog actually sitting on a lily pad!!! when does that ever happen?!! often i guess!

A frog sitting on a lily pad!!! #thatactuallyhappens

Old school farming

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Japanese Gardens

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fish being coy

fish being coy

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After the Botanical Gardens i walked over to quaint Old Town Albuquerque and loved it so.

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This area is exactly how i expected and wanted Albuquerque to look, the beige southwestern old look is so simple and takes you to another time, simpler times, sigh.

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Kokopelli!!!

Kokopelli!!!

After gathering souvenirs i dined at the Rt. 66 Diner, corny and cliche called and i just had to answer.

Don't get the chicken cordon bleu but the sundaes look amazing!

Don’t get the chicken cordon bleu but the sundaes looked amazing!

I walked a good 2 miles or so up to Nob Hill,  a cool area with lots of funky stores, restaurants aaaaand street art! Albuquerque you really want me to like you don’t you!

woe-is-me too girl i feel you

woe-is-me too girl i feel you

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True and simple

 

Spray Fresh

Spray Fresh

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Hey looky there!

Hey looky there!

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accuracy

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I realized a few things about Albuquerque today, first  there are grasshoppers everywhere, second that a girl simply cannot walk 2 feet without getting creeped on (GROSS!), and also the radio stations are the best!! Honestly ABQ, i know its random but i cliterally could not find a bad song on any station and for that reason Albuquerque i guess you’re not so bad after all. #heartonthehighway

Fashionably Surprised

When i bought a ticket to a fashion show for Austin Fashion Week i knew it would be fun but i had no idea how amazing it would actually be, yes ladies and gentleman Austin, TX is a fashionable city. Surprised? You’re not the only one, another surprising factor is the dress code to a fashion event!  This easy breezy girl was fashionably surprised.  You know in movies when someone shows up to a theme party and they’ve completely missed the mark? Yeah that was me Thursday night, as soon as i arrived i realized that when you go a fashion show you’re supposed to be fashionable. I felt like the i was on the cheer leading squad except i was the mascot but hey at least i was in the game!

Little farm girl with messed up hair got lost on her way to the prairie

Little farm girl with messed up hair got lost on her way to the prairie

The runway looked so fab and the models walking down it even better, the designers for Thursday night were Adrienne Yunger, Kucoon, M.E.Shirley, Ragg Dahl, Ross Bennett, Romey Roe, G.I.A.N., and s.t.e.f.

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Lights, camera, action! Time to sissy that walk!

Lights, camera, action! Time to sissy that walk!

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Not only were there fashions on display in the form of clothing but there was a marketplace with all sorts of accessories like handbags, shoes, and jewelry.

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By far my favorite was the shoes and accessories made by Teysha, they make custom shoes with awesome prints in Guatemala, I need to place my order ASAP!

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During the second half of the show i even got to move up to the second row when someone didnt return to their seat! She shoots, she scores!

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So after all the sashaying i witnessed i had no choice but to treat myself to some ice cream afterwards, as i sat there devouring my Irish mint decadence topped with brownie bites, gummy bears, pretzels, choc chips, almonds, and the kitchen sink i couldn’t help but  think about how i become more and more impressed by Austin everyday. There literally is so much happening that sometimes it can seem overwhelming but i guess an over abundance of fun isn’t a bad problem to have. Chante I’ll stay. (RuPauls Drag Race reference, you don’t know how hard it was to not caption every picture with “Werk Hunty!”) Okay carry on children!

 

From East to SXSW

My feet are throbbing, theres a knot in the back of my neck   between my shoulder blades thats  incredibly tense, the crevices under my eyes are dark and deep , my laundry hamper is projectile vomiting every garment i own, food in my apt is scarce and traffic is so heavily congested I’ve had to park a mile away and leave hours early to secure a spot anywhere in this town, this ladies and gents could only mean one thing……SXSW. Sure,  it was a week ago but my body is still trying to recover. I don’t mind sacrificing  for fun, I’ll die for a good time, in fact i have many times. I’m like a fun martyr. Fun is something i stand for, ill march in Washington, ill go to the the moon, i’ll do almost anything, just let my people rage! South by (that’s what they call it around here, saying the whole phrase South by Southwest is too much for laid back Austinites) so yeah South by is something of a clusterfuck, there’s tons of people coming to the city i live in which i think is pretty cool! *Insert corny thumbs up here* No honestly, I’m not one of those people who wears a shirt saying “Welcome to Austin, please don’t move here”. I hail from the east coast and 85% of the people Ive met are from somewhere else just like me so Ive come to realize that finding a real live Austinite is like finding a precious stone, a four leaf clover, or bad pizza, its just so rare. I cant complain about an over saturated environment because not long ago i was one of those visitors taken by this town so much that i had to stay, it happens. I intern for the Austin Chronicle and was able to snag a music wristband which makes a world of difference when trying to see specific shows so you can kind of plan out your south by schedule. The Chronicle has a booth at the Austin Convention Center for the trade show and it was so much fun walking around snagging free t shirts and checking out new gadgets and business start ups, an adult playground especially for techies!

The Austin Chronicle booth at the trade show! download our app people!

The Austin Chronicle booth at the trade show! download our app people!

 

Word Press booth at the trade show!

Word Press booth at the trade show!

i had no good reason to take a picture other than the backdrop made me feel like i was on a red carpet *coughs (where i belong) *coughs

i had no good reason to take a picture other than the backdrop made me feel like i was on a red carpet *coughs (where i belong) *coughs

 

Check out my little video i made at the New York Times booth!

http://social-gen.com/nyt/index.php?s=1&e=172&id=2295

The next day on my way to the bathroom i came across this and made $20!

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Although the trade show is really fun  i really enjoy getting lost and just being out there on these mean streets. There’s endless amounts of people watching, free food, beer, t shirts, stickers, cd’s, anything you can get your hands on. I wont have to buy another air of sunglasses for 5 years.

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Here i am trying to look cute with the Subway girls, eat fresh and free!

Here i am trying to look cute with the Subway girls, eat fresh and free!

More importantly than the freebies is the music, i mean we are talking about Austin right? I cant go anywhere without the smell of BBQ or hearing local live music and the music during south by brings in the biggest celebrities!

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Having a wristband or the even more coveted badge gets you into venues a lot faster than those without, it is a world of difference not having to wait in a mile long line.

I saw MGK and 50 cent on Tuesday night

50 Cent

MGK opened for 50, Ive known who he is for years but didnt hear his music until this show, he is such a talented performer who is clearly met to be on stage.

Caught the last bit of 2 Chains at Stubbs

Caught the last bit of 2 Chains at Stubbs

Tech 9, one of my favorite rappers from Kansas City! So happy to see him and Calico!

Tech 9!

This is Illya Kuryaki & Valderramas, they're from Argentina. I have no idea what they were saying but their sound was so amazing, i've never heard funk music in another language before, they were amazing!

This is Illya Kuryaki & Valderramas, they’re from Argentina. I have no idea what they were saying but their sound was so amazing, I’ve never heard funk music in another language before!

 

The Chronicle threw a day party and of course there was live music, this here is Magna Carda!

The Chronicle threw a day party and of course there was live music, this here is Magna Carda!

 

Bright Light Social Hour doing their thing!!

Bright Light Social Hour doing their thing!!

I even got my nails did at the party! Dont mind the wrinkled hands, check out those cool designs!

I even got my nails did at the party! Disregard the wrinkled fingers, check out those cool designs!

Pi in the Sky! Not sure of the significance but it was cool to watch!

Pi in the Sky!

I even got to see a living legend, a guitar god, rock royalty. SLASH.

I even got to see a living legend, a guitar god, rock royalty. SLASH.

#NEVERFORGET

#NEVERFORGET

 

Sharon Needles, winner of Drag Race season 4!

Sharon Needles, winner of Drag Race season 4!

Even at Home Slice where i work there was music! Right in our parking lot! #MXTS

Even at Home Slice where i work there was music! Right in our parking lot! #MXTS

For shits and gigs

For shits and gigs

The best part of South by for me wasn’t the planned out shows i saw, it was the serendipitous encounters with celebrities and its so weird because i NEVER see famous people ever! My first was Jimmy Kimmel at Home Slice, then Lady Gaga at Rain……

Hey Steph!

Hey Steph!

But the best and happiest moment came later on, after a late afternoon of stalking facebook, twitter, instagram, running all over the city (mostly the gayborhood) and bombarding a police offer that he had taken a picture with earlier i met him. HIM!!

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ANDY COHEN!!! Ive loved him for so long and was  practically on a scavenger hunt collecting clues  all over town trying to find him i finally got a hold of one of the only men who have held my heart. Desperation, shame, psychosis, all those things go out the window when it comes to true love! So yes my SXSW experience this year may have been exhausting  but it was one of the most fulfilling times of my life, and a fastidious girl like me cant say that too often. So the next time you are ready to poop out of the party just chug some Vitameatavegamin and stay strong (or conscious). Keep calm  and rage on!

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Going There, Doing That

Live if she wants to, and i don’t see why not. Here are some of the things i love and enjoy doing and have been fortunately doing a lot of! I’ve always loved to go out and dance, but i was beginning to think that my frequent dancing days were over, that was before i attended Tuesgayz at Barbarellas. Bumping, grinding, sweating, vogueing, prancing, living,  dying is what occurs and i love it! Great music, random drag queens walking about and the occasional dance off between two gay men wearing high heels??!! I can’t think of much else id rather see.

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i remember RuPaul being famous in the 90’s and  being so impressed at how much she did look like a woman but that was it, RuPaul was the only drag queen i knew of besides Divine only because Hairspray is one of my favorite movies. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago my friend Natalie turned me on to RuPauls Drag Race which is now one of my favorite shows. Until then i thought drag queens pretty much looked like men dressed up as women and that was it but on Drag Race those queens put us biological women to shame! I gag every time they sashay down the runway,  they are stunning and so creative and charismatic. My first drag show in Austin was about 5 months ago, there’s a thriving LGBT scene and lots of drag shows every week, just last Sunday one of the queens pulled me out on stage and danced with me! I am amazed, shocked, stunned, and  left for dead every time i attend a show. They’ve also provided me with a whole new vocabulary!

Althea Trix, my favorite drag queen in Austin

Althea Trix, my favorite drag queen in Austin

Poo Poo Platter is a quirky local drag group that performs once a month together and they’re hilarious, disgusting and inappropriate, if that’s not a recipe for a good time please enlighten me on what is? Local queens also perform gigs throughout the week at local bars and one thing that i didn’t know was that the audience is heavily encouraged to tip them. Its like theatrical stripping in a way, except if their clothes come off its most likely because their garment wasn’t sewed properly or the rhinestones weren’t glued on tight enough. Lets hear it for the ladyboys!

Obsessed with drag queens? Bitch i might be

Obsessed with drag queens? Bitch i might be

Corsets, feathers, and nerve, those are just a few things that describe a burlesque dancer. It’s what us shy girls do in the privacy of our bedroom that a burlesque dancer isn’t afraid to do in front of a live gazing audience. Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent don’t just describe the queens on RuPauls Drag Race it takes a lot of all of those things to perform the art of the tease. Its sexy, timeless, and engaging. It’s telling a story through dance by a woman who could be your next door neighbor, your teacher, or your mistress. Burlesque makes a girl feel sexy, brave, confident, bold, and in control, kind of  like Mae West.

Come up and see me sometime

Avant Glam burlesque troop in Austin

Avant Glam Cabaret

Avant Glam is one of many burlesque groups in Austin, they perform all the time and they are so incredibly talented and amazing. The dancing, costumes, and sketches make me want to run out and buy some feathers and tassles every time i see them perform!

Mee and Lilly LaFleur at the Christmas Cabaret

Me and Lilly LaFleur at the Christmas Cabaret

Okay so music, you can’t talk about living in Austin and not talk about music. I quickly realized that not only am i the only person without a bike i am also the only person without a band…or 3. Live music is everywhere and they’ll play it anywhere, i don’t think there is a place of business in this city that doesn’t have some sort of  a stage for a band to perform. The first band i heard play were my coworkers MegaBig, and they’re called that for a reason. It’s not country, it’s not easy listening, its  good ol fashion rock and roll. Check out their video, recognize anyone? hmmmmmm

Lastly (finally right! i always write so damn much) tonight although it was cold and rainy i went to Spiderhouse Ballroom because i heard theres a poetry slam every Tuesday night at 8. I sat in my room declaring that i wasn’t going to go because the weather outside was frightful and there was a$5 cover. BUT if there was ever a time i saw so happy i got off my lazy anus it was tonight, i seriously had the best time!! I even got to be one of the judges. Honestly i was nervous about that  because i believe that art is in the eye and in this case ear of the beholder but it was still a unique experience being a judge and such an overwhelmingly inspiring experience being there witnessing the raw emotions of these brave individuals exposing themselves for everyone to see and hear, most of them weren’t even reading from anything, they knew every word off the top of their head.

kkI’ll never forget tonight and not just because of the true, raw, relatable spoken words i heard but because i am so happy that i went out anyway even though i was tired, even though it felt crappy outside, i still went out and had a good time and took advantage of the awesome city i live in. It makes me wonder why not? Why not have fun? Why not experience something new? I’m not happy wondering, id rather just do it.