We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service

I know, I know. You don't have to tell me. It's been 9 months since my last post and I'm the worst. In my defense (which is weak at best considering this is 2018 and social media waits for no one), I have been working overtime at new design gig on top of keepin' it real at the cafe as your local barista, so your girl has been b-e-a-t. The first (and to this day last) vacation I had was getting the chance to visit my dad down in Oklahoma City for Thanksgiving. Obviously, having 5 days of no work and all play was almost too much for my over-worked brain to handle but I did manage to pick up my camera when an annual trip to the Plaza was mentioned... and as per usual, my expectations were met and exceeded...

I love my family. They keep me weird.

As you can imagine, it was hard to leave this environment of love, art, and precious long-distance family time, but reality (and work) were calling and I headed back to the land of beer and cream colored bricks. Assuming you caught my last post on the Plaza Walls, I'll skip my love letter to Oklahoma and the stigma several neighbors are working hard to overcome, and if you missed it, you should check it out. I love you OKC. Stay beautiful.

To Ride or Die in Milwaukee.

When I was little, all I wanted to do was be a skater kid with the big boys. Of course, I only had a little sister so access to a board was pretty limited and I was blowing most of my allowances on Pokémon cards. Nevertheless I continued to wear primarily skater skirts throughout middle school and longed for a lifestyle that would never be mine... minus the bloody knees, I still got plenty of those. Flash-forward to present day, you're down a couple of beers after work and your friend asks you if you wanna go skateboarding in his garage? Uh duh. And obviously you bring your camera.

Riverwest Follies

Got a new update to the website thanks to the 2017 Riverwest Follies. I was asked by one of the co-producers, and dear friend, Shelly Schauer, if I could lend my photographic talents to this year's event and I was only too happy to oblige.

I had never attended the Follies previously so I didn't really know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised to see neighbors of all ages filing in to enjoy the performances at the Polish Falcon that night. The acts were just as diverse as the crowd, from songwriters to comics to belly dancers. It was a great turnout with a record number of acts, and a write-up in the neighborhood paper, the Riverwest Currents, so I think it's safe to say the 2017 Follies pretty much nailed it. And I've got the pictures to prove it.

I've updated the LIFE section off my homepage with an appropriately titled "Riverwest Follies" section that you should check out the second you're done reading this but for now, here's a little teaser of what you may find...

Thursday Night Throwdown

We may not be as well know as Seattle, but Milwaukee definitely knows a thing or two when it comes to coffee, or at least has enough coffee snobs living in it to support all our local roasters and cafes. I've been working in the coffee industry for almost six years now, and personally, I feel like I have just scratched the surface of this crazy micro-culture. However, there is one time-honored tradition that I have had the pleasure of taking part in, and that is the art of the barista "throwdown."

For anyone who is unaware, a throwdown is a friendly competition where two baristas battle it out for the most impressive latte art. The two designs are poured and presented to the judges who vote for the best cup, typically defined by visual aesthetics, degree of difficulty, color infusion, and definition. The competition is whittled down to the final two (March Madness style), leaving the winner who gets the pot, i.e. the $5 entry fee charged for each competing barista.

Needless to say, the night was a roaring success with laughter abound and PBR cans littering the counters and the La Marzocco, in true Milwaukee style. Suck on that Seattle.

Milwaukee, I Love You

It's 60 degrees and sunny. In February. In Wisconsin. So yeah... definitely not thrilled about the whole global warming implications of today but then again, it's hard to stay mad when there's so much love in the air right now. And with that in mind, I dedicate this post to the love affair I've been having with the city I have called home for the past seven years. Milwaukee, I love you.

I know it's not on a lot of people's list of top places to be, but Milwaukee is seriously underestimated in it's ability to wow. We've got beer, street festivals, and an arts and culture scene that continues to inspire and amaze. Not to mention the fact that due to our harsh winters, most Milwaukeeans spend those cold months plotting and preparing to party-it-up the second the thermometer reads anything above 50. In one day you could hit up a beer garden, check out a neighborhood farmer's market, catch the Brewers at Miller Park, and probably have time to see some local music spilling out of Linneman's, Company Brewing, or Mad Planet. Milwaukee isn't the type of city to be want for entertainment.

I could ramble on and on so I'll just let these snapshots speak for themselves and just say, thank you Milwaukee. You keep doing you, and I'll keep doing me. You have been an excellent host to my burgeoning adulthood, introducing me to new experiences, and new perspectives. Till the next 60 degree day (and may it be a little more seasonably appropriate).