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 415

Of all the cities I’ve visited on our journey, I’m coming to find that LA is far and away the oddest of them all. And I don’t mean odd as in quirky (I doubt anyone will ever top Portland in that regard). No, I mean odd as in ‘I don’t understand what is going on’. I mean… LA has to be the only place in the US where you can find valet parking in the back of a Best Buy. Plus, it’s the only stop I’ve been to that’s so expansive I can’t walk from point A to point B, even if I wanted to.

To me, it all seems rather silly but to the people living here it’s just another day. That’s the running theme I’ve encountered over and over again since arriving in California at the end of November. Having never been to this part of the country, I’m constantly coming to grips with the fact that everything here is actually real. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling when I realized this state really is going through a draught. Before I landed, I'd always heard about it on the news but in my head that’s all it was—a news story. Now that I’m actually here, I’m experiencing the situation first hand and trying to comprehend how people are adapting to it all.

In a way, this final stop has fully justified my initial desire to embark on the project. I’ve always believed that going somewhere can teach you much more about a place than reading about it in a guidebook or through a travel site. Every city has so many little quirks and characteristics that no one ever talks about and they can make all the difference. For instance, I can tell you that Uber drivers hate going to/from the valley; most of the area Targets are smaller than the ones you’ll find elsewhere in the nation; and there are very few ‘cheap’ dining options around unless you want to eat at a Subway or Carl’s Jr.

Of course, these are all reasons as to why I wanted to end #TGAA in LA. I had a feeling this place would be vastly different than my other stops and it turns out I was right. I’m pretty bummed that I just wrapped up my last weekend here though (I’ll be in Las Vegas this coming weekend). I feel there’s so much more to explore that I could easily spend another 3-4 months in town. Then again, once I’m sitting on the 405 on my way to work, I’m pretty sure I’ll rejoice in the month almost being over.

I’m also finding myself overwhelmed with emotion about it all. Mostly because the site is garnering more traffic than ever before and I’m getting congratulatory emails left and right. So, while I’m uneasy about the project coming to a close, I do feel grateful in the fact that we reached so many people along the way.

-Steve-

Day 397 (aka New Year's Day)

Happy New Year!

2015 has finally arrived and that means I hop a plane to LA tomorrow afternoon. 13 months down and only one to go. Can you believe how far we’ve come? Sometimes, it’s hard for me to even wrap my head around. I don’t really have much to share with you today, because over the past week I’ve just been out stuffing my face and running along the beach—though not at the same time (I don't want to cramp up).

I simply want to say that I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. I’m so grateful to those of you who has been following along on this little adventure from day one. There was a time when I wondered if such a project could even exist. Yet, here we are, 30 days away from the finish line and I owe it to each and every one of you. To the people I befriended along the way; to the sponsors who helped spread the word and kept me fed; to the agencies that took a chance on a young Copywriter from Cleveland, Ohio; to the people who have visited this site over and over again—I thank you.

I don’t know what this New Year has in store for me, but I’ll never forget the time we spent together in 2014. You’re the best. 

-Steve-