Tuesday, June 24, 2014

a week in milwaukee

It's that time again, summertime. And my last summer before I graduate next May. I'm not sure how I feel about that just yet. Needless to say I've saved my money to put together a few little trips and such over the upcoming holiday. The first of the summer was Milwaukee. Somewhat of an on a whim decision because tickets were cheap to this dance program I have recently been wanting to expose myself to. I had a whirlwind of a trip, from learning a new dance language that nearly changed the way I think while moving, meeting all kinds of amazingly unique humans, and spending much needed time getting to know a brand new city. 

The gaga language (the 'style' of dance) that I learned over the course of my week in Milwaukee changed me as a dancer. For one, I was sternly corrected that Gaga is not a technique, but a language. The vocabulary is different for each person's body and the language is constantly growing and changing. Secondly, it was a whole new insight to movement and the way one can think about movement. Absolutely brilliant. 

As for my trip, there were quite a few firsts. First time in this type of dancing. First time using the online hosting/renting service Airbnb. And first time going to a concert by myself. (I felt like there were more firsts, but they aren't coming to mind...) 

I've heard great things about Airbnb and was easily persuaded to use it immediately after I was verified onto the site. It was so thorough with security of who you are and the photos you post of yourself, as well as the photos you post of the space you are renting to others. I couldn't wait to test it out for myself (and with the girl with whom I was traveling). I had exceedingly wonderful experiences with both places I stayed. (I stayed in two places in one week because one of the places had a maximum stay of 3 nights while the other was booked the first two nights of my trip.) My first two nights we stayed with Helena, an awesome earthy girl who works at Whole Foods and is a yoga instructor. She was super chill and although the space we were sleeping was the living room, it was very homey (2nd photo below). We were only in the company of Helena for two nights. Then we transferred our things to Maggie's house (3rd & 4th photos below). Maggie was such a gem and we conversed so easily. She basically runs a hotel from her house! The lovely vintage-feeling tudor home was beyond eclectic and so my style. 

I also had an unexpected event of serendipity happen to me right in the middle of my week. One of the evenings that Katrina and I went out for dinner, I randomly came across this tiny flyer for Vampire Weekend on tour. When I noticed that the concert was during my time in Milwaukee, I nearly flipped my lid. I had to go. But Katrina hadn't heard of them and wasn't wanting to pay 60+ bucks to see them. However, come Wednesday night (the night of the show), she had been feeling sick all day and wasn't wanting to do much other than sleep. Pretty obviously, I got ready as quickly as I could, took her car, and made my way to the concert venue downtown. 
I got there and parked in $5 parking in case I didn't get a ticket; I didn't want to pay for useless parking. Parking was half a mile from the venue and the line to get in the gates ended not far from where I parked...yikes. I finally made my way to the box office and asked if they had any extra tickets. Just as I asked, some guys next to me had told me they accidentally bought one too many and would sell it to me face value (20 dollars cheaper than what I was just about to pay!) Once I got my ticket, instead of going to the back of the line nearly half a mile away, I made friends with some hip looking kids who looked around my age. We all got to know each other a bit before the line started moving and were planning on sitting together until a man at the gate stopped me with my backpack. I kept my dSLR in my bag because duh it's Vampire Weekend. Of course, I didn't realize "professional looking cameras" weren't allowed in the venue. I tried to argue and even pulling a crying sob story for letting me get in with my camera if I don't use it or take it out. Alas, I was not allowed in unless I put the camera in the car...half a mile away, each way. But I came back camera-less and got in with flying colors! And as I worked my way through the general seating looking for the best seat I could find, I met two girls who had an empty seat next to them. Fourth row! As for how the concert went: phenomenal. It was a chilly evening on Lake Michigan with Vampire Weekend and meeting many surprisingly friendly people. 

The end of my week was just as perfect as the start of it. Katrina and I found a jazz festival downtown and enjoyed more great music, enjoyed the amazing views over the lake and the old style (humongous) houses bordering the shore, and went out with some new friends from the intensive and they showed us the nightlife of Milwaukee..whew they stay out late... It was certainly a jam packed week full of memories I will always cherish.