Day 422

Well folks, we've officially entered into the final week of #TGAA. I'm currently on my way back from a weekend trip to Las Vegas and I have to admit that I had a stellar time. I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy it, since I didn't plan on spending any money, but those buffets really sold me. I don't even want to know how many calories I consumed in the past 48 hours. Yeesh! 

Anyway, I wanted to post my final 'helpful website' blog today, because I think it makes for a good segue into my final 'project' blog on Thursday. Not to mention, I always get a lot of good feedback on them. So, before I start rambling on about crab cakes and salad bars, let's take a look at some of the sites I frequented over the past 5 months. 

Austin

Do512.com  — A list of all the wonderful events going on—in and around Austin. What’s cool and different about this calendar is that they regularly offer free tickets to shows, which is a very useful tool for the vast nightlife of the city.

Austin360.com — A more traditional site, Austin360 offers everything from sports standings and classifieds to concert photos and games.

C3Concerts.com — These folks have their hands in some of Austin’s biggest festivals, which means you’ll find the latest and greatest concerts here before anywhere else. An excellent site to bookmark, if you love live shows.

Seattle

The Stranger — City news with a twist. The Stranger is Seattle’s go-to site for all things music, art and culture. But they also have a rambunctious staff running the show and they know how to bring the fun into everything they do.

City Arts — Art is alive and well in the city of Seattle and if that’s your scene this is a site you’ll absolutely love. From lectures and comedy to openings and movies, they cover just about every creative endeavor you can image.

Seattle MET — This is a great site for new restaurant openings, the latest fashion tips and a lot of local giveaways. Personally, I found it extremely useful when trying to decide where to eat. They have some really great reviews over there.

Portland

Willamette Weekly — Arts & Culture, Food & Drink, Willamette Weekly is the city’s authority on everything happening in and around the city. Their print version can also be found just about everywhere too.

Eleven PDX — This one is all about the music. You can learn about upcoming concerts and even read up on the local and national acts who are making their mark on the scene.

Artslandia — Portland has a lot of stage performances going on almost every single night. This site brings you the good, the bad and the ugly of what’s going on and where.

San Francisco

Fun Cheap SF — If you’re living on a budget (and let’s face it, most people in SF are) this website is Internet gold. I had an extremely tight budget in December and this site provided me with a slew of free and cheap events to attend.

The Bay Bridged — If you love music, this site is for you. San Francisco has an incredible indie music scene and The Bay Bridged brings them all together for your concert-going pleasure. If it’s happening on a stage in the bay area, you’ll find out about it here.

AD2SF.org — This site is much different than any of the others I’ve posted about. AD2SF is dedicated to bringing young ad professionals together through networking events, learning seminars and mixers. If you’re under 35 and in SF, I highly recommend you check out some of their events.

Los Angeles

Art Scene CalLA has an incredible art scene, which shouldn’t really come as a surprise. This site is constantly updated with the latest openings, shows and news from the art world. It’s a great way to take in some culture any day of the week.

Buzz Bands LA — Have you always wondered how people hear about the ‘next big thing’ before anyone else? They probably frequent this site. It’s dedicated to highlighting the newest groups and letting you know where and when they’re taking the stage.

LA Weekly Calendar — I feel bad about putting this one on the list, but I’ll be damned if LA Weekly doesn’t get it right. They’ve got nearly every upcoming event listed and catalogued to help you make plans for the week ahead. 

I hope these sites help you as much as they helped me. It's nice to look back and remember how much I used them. As for now though, I'm going to take a nap and hopefully wake up back in LA.

See you soon!

-Steve-

 

Day 316

Day 316 says, “Hey, I’m in Seattle and things are going great!” And that’s the bottom line, because Stone Cold Steve said so.

Now that I got the outdated 90’s reference out of the way, I think it best to move on.

One thing I find rather interesting about Seattle is its ability to balance two very different personalities at the same time. On one hand, you have this quaint little harbor town, filled with specialty shops and a wide array of artisans and do-it-yourselfers. They push healthy living, farm-fresh ingredients and supporting all things local. Even when walking downtown, you could easily forget you’re in the presence of skyscrapers, because at street level, the whole area still maintains that ‘small town’, residential feel.

And the people? They’ve all adopted the punk rock mentality—one that says, “We can’t rely on others to do it for us, so we’ll do it ourselves". Heck, just take a stroll around Capitol Hill and I challenge you to find a single lamp post that isn’t covered in six feet of flyers, posters and event notices.

On the other hand, Seattle is extremely modern and if you ever take in one of the city’s stunning views, you’d think that mentality never ends. The cuisine is more upscale; the newer apartments offer bright colors, stainless steel appliances and a copious amount of amenities—all housed in neighborhoods that are seemingly popping up over night. There’s also a lot of new construction going on in the city—enough to rival that of Austin—and the blame seems to be squarely on Amazon.

Personally, I think you could equally blame Google and the wealth of other companies who are building offices here too. But given that Amazon is literally building its own neighborhood, I can understand the frustration. True, jobs aren’t a bad thing at all, especially for a city with a rather visible homeless problem. But if the city were to lose it’s charm and character in the shadows of high rises and glass buildings, you have to question if it’s worth it.

Despite these very disparate characteristics, Seattle maintains a balance that few cities are capable of. The residential areas offer more than you’d expect and the downtown areas still feel like home. It’s a place where people find happiness in their healthy lifestyles, but still have a tendency to go out and indulge on a weekly basis; a place where goths and punks can freely roam the streets, without seeming out of place. In Seattle, creativity is king and there’s no point in hiding it, because it’s on display in every corner of every neighborhood.

-Steve-

Day 274

Hello, Austin and happy Labor Day! I can’t believe we're already here. This stop is a pretty big deal for the project, because I can officially count our remaining locations on one hand. We’ve certainly come a long way from the frigid temperatures of Cleveland last December, huh? I thought a great way to kickstart my time here would be to once again share some of websites that have helped me along the way. So, here goes:

Charlotte

CreativeLoafing.com — A local guide to all things art, music and entertainment; this site kept me in the loop for festivals, restaurant openings and so much more.

CLT Blog — A catch-all of local news, CLT Blog covers everything from the latest development plans to sports scores and beer tastings.

Charlotte’s Got A Lot — The name says it all. This one encompasses the city’s wonderful tourist attractions, events and recreational offerings. 

Memphis

GoMemphis.com — Concerts, clubs, bars and dives—you can read all about it here. They have the latest news, events and happenings in and around the Memphis area.

I Love Memphis — If you want to know why the locals love their city so much, this should be your first stop. You’ll learn about what’s new and what’s great, all from the perspective of those who live there.

Choose 901 — There’s a lot to love about Memphis, from artists and musicians to filmmakers and chefs. Choose 901 brings them all together for your reading pleasure.

St. Louis

Riverfront Times — A standard for citywide news and updates, this site offers everything you could possibly want to know about what’s happening right now.

FeastSTL.com — St. Louis has a lot of great eateries and this is the place to go when you need to impress a date, dine on something different or locate the best prices in town.

ArtStLouis.org — This one is all about the artists, who bring the city to life through their colorful murals and eye-popping mosaics.

Chicago

Red Eye Chicago — Local news with a youthful exuberance, Red Eye brings you a different perspective on what’s going down in the Windy City.

Chicago Reader — From news and politics to arts and culture, you can discover just about everything there is to know about Chicago’s upcoming events and festivities.

UrChicago.com — If you’re looking for great mix tapes, interviews with local artists or reviews of the latest independent films, look no further than UrChicago.com.

Minneapolis 

Vita.mn — Winner of the coolest URL award, Vita.mn is your local guide to food, fashion and festivities around the Twin Cities.

Open Streets MPLS — Every year, Open Streets hosts a variety of events around the city to help people rediscover their neighborhoods and promote healthy transportation alternatives. I was lucky enough to stumble upon one such event during my time in MPLS and they certainly converted me to a believer in the cause.

Mn Artists.org — From the stage to the canvas, the Twin Cities have a lot to offer when it comes to the arts. This site brings you the latest news and updates on just about every style you can imagine. If it’s happening here, they’ll know about it.

As for my first weekend here in Austin, it was a great one indeed. I already have so many things I want to write about and I'm chomping at the bit just trying to keep it all under wraps for now. We're down to the project's final five months. So, let's keep this party a'rollin! 

-Steve-