Wilmington, North Carolina, is one of those idyllic coastal towns peppered with rose-lined picket fences, friendly neighbors, an old-timey Main Street and, in David Lynch’s version of the city, the occasional severed ear chilling in a field. Located just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean, this town of 110,000 boasts a wonderfully weird arts and culture community nuzzled within 19th century storefronts and brick-lined roads.
I first visited Wilmington last year when our film played the Cucalorus Film Festival. Now in its twentieth year, Cucalorus has become an institution in Wilmington. Run by a colorful group of filmmakers and film champions, this interactive fest takes hold of the city for one week, with pop-up screenings featured across downtown. What makes this fest special is its seamless intertwining of the local community with visiting filmmakers. It is quickly jumping the ranks of top regional film festivals in the U.S., and filmmakers flock to attend. By the (more…)
Back in December, the Washington Post published a completely arbitrary list of what was in for 2014 and out for 2013. In addition to ridiculously passé things such as Russia and food stamps, Austin was also considered “out” for 2013. In its place? Buffalo, Mother-f’ing New York.
Oh, how I laughed!
How could Buffalo, New York, the city where a person’s umbilical cord freezes instantly upon exiting the womb, be the new “it” city?
Being from Upstate New York and having been to Buffalo several times as a child, I was confused by this tomfoolery. As far as I knew, Buffalo, much like where I grew up, was a sad city far past its prime. It was where dreams go to die in four feet of snow with a mask covering its frowning, pale face.
So, as punishment for erroneously poo-pooing Buffalo, the powers that be decided to strand me there over the holidays. I was traveling back to Austin by train, bus and car- ANYTHING TO AVOID THOSE FLYING DEATH TUBES!!!- and I found myself stuck for one night (more…)
At various points in my five years in Austin, I’ve heard several Texans poo-poo Dallas.
“Dallas has no character nor soul, but great food!” they say. Or, “Don’t Dallasify my Austin!” they shout as more and more condos sprout up around the ATX.
Needless to say, the picture painted to me of Dallas was not a pretty one. So, imagine my surprise when my first trip to Dallas was near perfect. YES, PERFECT I SAY!
Now, my experiences and this guide are going to describe one fraction of Dallas, a growing area located in the southwest corner of downtown known as Oak Cliff, so I know that there is plenty left to The Big D that I have not seen.
Dating someone from Dallas and having several friends from there as well, I know that many areas of the city leave a lot to be desired. Dallas may not be as liberal and down-to-Earth as Austin, but I don’t think that is any reason for Austinites to bemoan the area. It appears to have its charming and characterless areas just like any other city… (more…)
Hipsters and Arizona.
Two words you commonly don’t see in the same sentence.
For those of you who have been, Tucson, located roughly two hours southeast of Phoenix, has been a vibrant college town for decades. The city has the feel of Austin 40 years ago, but that vibe is slowly changing. The word is out, and Tucson is becoming a popular place to live and visit.
Before we embarked on our road trip to Tucson, Geoff, who has several musician friends in Tucson, told me that though cool, this southwest town with over 500,000 citizens is kind of sleepy. Imagine our surprise when we pulled up to the our hotel, the iconic Hotel Congress, and could barely make our way to the front desk. Hotel Congress, an old-timey lodge, popular music venue for local and touring acts and home to a gourmet diner (Cup Cafe), 20s themed hair salon (The Hive) and event hall (Copper Hall), has always been the epicenter of activity, but its popularity is only growing. The front patio, lobby, bar and stage (more…)