After spending last weekend in Chicago (vlog here!), I headed to Milwaukee for the week to check out another Midwestern city and check off state number 36! While there will be a travel vlog and city guide coming soon (obvs), highlights included the design collection at the Milwaukee Art Museum, trying frozen custard for the first time at Kopp’s and watching the full moon rise from the top of the North Point Lighthouse.
Friday was a full day of bus travel (2 hours Milwaukee to Chicago, 6-hour “layover” in Chicago, 6 and a half hours Chicago to Cleveland), so when I arrived home I immediately fell into a deep slumber. Saturday morning I was up bright and early for a hair-cut (slowly achieving my dream Parisian look) and then spent the rest of the weekend catching up with my parents, eating Italian food at Cleveland’s Feast of the Assumption Festival, and just generally organizing my life. I am looking forward to having a productive week before I head to NYC for the weekend on Thursday night! I will fill you in on that in due time; but, for now, here is what else I am loving this week:
Thanks to years of using Spotify, I am pretty sure it knows me better than I know myself. Every week I am excited about my “Discover Weekly” playlist because I know – without fail – that it is going to introduce me to a new-to-me artist that I love. This week that artist was Million Miles, whose Insta bio reads “ʙᴏʀɴ ɪɴ ᴘᴀʀɪs, ᴛʀᴀɪɴᴇᴅ ɪɴ ʙᴏsᴛᴏɴ, ʟᴏsᴛ ɪɴ ɴᴇᴡ ʏᴏʀᴋ, ғᴏᴜɴᴅ ɪɴ ɴᴀsʜᴠɪʟʟᴇ, ʟɪᴠɪɴɢ ɪɴ ʟᴏɴᴅᴏɴ.” Similar to some of my other fave female artists (like Lianne La Havas and Nilufer Yanya), her bluesy sound and meaningful lyrics instantly struck a chord with me and made for many hours of easy listening. Start with Ice Cream & Cigarettes before moving on to her cover of Arctic Monkey’s Do I Wanna Know? (one of my all-time fave songs).
Anything you use day-in, day-out needs to work for you and, for me, that is my backpack. For the past couple of years, I have put up with backpacks that didn’t fit the bill, and that made my life more complicated than necessary. I knew that the next one I bought needed to be the one, so I spent a lot of time researching all the different options. From there, I compared and contrasted the features offered with those on my personal list. A couple of months ago (for my 6-month sobriety anniversary!), I treated myself to the Lo & Sons Hanover Deluxe Backpack, which has been everything I wanted and more. Last week I posted a full review of the backpack, and a little peek into what I carry around daily. So, if you are in the market for a new travel/work backpack (or are just nosy and like looking into the contents of others bags), you can find the video here.
For a while I collected coffee mugs on my travels then, when that got too heavy, I switched to patches. Considering those have yet to be sewn onto anything, I also gave that collection up as a bad job. Now I try to buy souvenirs that I can use regularly, but that still remind me of the place. Generally, that means vintage clothing or little home trinkets. In the case of Milwaukee, my souvenir came in the form of a La Croix Candle from Lit Mke. I was strolling around the city’s night market perusing the offerings when I came across their stall. Instantly, I was intrigued because I had never seen anything like it! The owner/maker told me that after decades of working in the bar industry, he had grown so tired of seeing beautiful bottles and cans being thrown away. So, he took matters into his own hands and started saving them and then filling them with handmade candle wax. They are so quirky and would make such a good gift for someone. Luckily, he ships!
Yesterday afternoon a girlfriend and I headed to the Cleveland Institute of Art’s Cinematheque to see the Cleveland premiere of The Raft – a documentary about a 1973 anthropological experiment in which five men and six women spent 101 days on a small raft drifting across the Atlantic. The scientist in charge wanted to study violence and sexual attraction and presumed that these human guinea pigs would provide him with plenty of material. Oh, how wrong he was. Described as ‘one of the strangest group experiments of all time,’ I had expected it to be filled with orgies and conflicts but was pleasantly surprised to see that these 11 strangers were able to coexist peacefully – even under these extreme conditions. While it didn’t have the drama we have come to expect from modern reality TV, I enjoyed the fact that the film is like an anthropological time capsule. And, that the women get all the shit done. I can’t seem to find it anywhere online in the USA, but if you are in the UK, you can rent/buy it on Amazon, Youtube, and Sky.
Last week I praised Libby for helping me read a wider array of books than ever before, but it turns out that it isn’t the only online library service with which I have fallen in love. Kanopy (with the sub-title “thoughtful entertainment”) is an “on-demand streaming video platform for public libraries and universities that offers viewers a large collection of award-winning films and documentaries.” Just as with Libby, you sign up for the service with your library card and then have access to more than 30,000 thought-provoking films! My library offers ten credits a month (this might be different depending on your locale), which is fantastic, and I can’t wait to tap into the selection. The service prides itself on its curation and only offers films that it deems “thoughtful and culturally significant.” Expect to see a lot more movies in future weekly edit’s…
Let me know what you have been loving this week in the comments below!