A Little Music, A Little Fashion, And A Little More

A Little Music, A Little Fashion, And A Little More

My experience at Ohio's Fashion Meets Music Festival.
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Over the weekend I attended, you guessed it, another concert! Well, a music festival. It was the Fashion Meets Music Festival in Columbus, OH. Several local and national acts played over the course of two days, bringing great music to several hundred people. The performers included big names like T-Pain, Tegan and Sara, and Third Eye Blind, as well as local groups such as Kid Runner and Liberty Deep Down. In between sets, fashion designers showcased their work on a runway stage.

Officially, I was at the festival as press. One of the coolest aspects about having press credentials was that I was granted access to the photo pit, which is something I've only done once before. If you're not sure what the pit is, it's where photographers stand to take photos of the person or group performing. If you've ever stood at the front of a general admission show in a venue with a barricade, the pit is the area between the barricade and the stage. Not only that, but I was able to do a mini photoshoot with the incredibly talented Cobi (pictured below).

The photoshoot was short, but nevertheless, I enjoyed myself. Cobi was easy to work with, and patient while I was trying not to let my nerves get the better of me. For the most part, he self-posed himself, which helped me feel a little more relaxed. And what a handsome guy, huh?

One encounter I had with a festival goer was with a young woman named Ayanna (pictured above) who mentioned she was there primarily to see Cobi. She was kind enough to do a brief interview with me.

Me: How did you find out about Cobi?

Ayanna: It was on Soundcloud, maybe a year or two ago.

Me: So you've been a fan of his for awhile.

Ayanna: One song, not gonna lie. Not gonna play like I know everything, but it was one song, and he was amazing.

Me: *after she mentioned not seeing him live before* This must have been really great for you.

Ayanna: It was amazing. His energy, the way he like stared out and made eye contact with the crowd, his guitar solos...He was amazing.

Another attendee I met was Kelly Williams (pictured above) after Zøya's set. She was the party of the audience, cheering and dancing. Zøya, who was already excited about playing, smiled and thanked Kelly for her enthusiasm. During a couple points during the set and after, Kelly said she just loved live music.


Speaking of, Zøya was one of my favorite performances from the festival. She gave a performance that showcased her talent and was full of life and passion. She spoke openly and genuinely about why some of her songs were written. Afterwards, she encouraged everyone to meet and chat with her by her merchandise table where she thanked everyone individually for taking time to listen to her set.

My top performance was undoubtedly St. Lucia. I was already a fan of their music, but hearing them live was absolutely astounding. Their music was meant to be heard live. I loved the energy of the crowd, and the energy of the group. During one song, Jean-Philip Grobler (lead vocalist, pictured above) sang almost an entire song in the crowd. He also ran along the barricade high-fiving the crowd up front. One girl (maybe 10 or 11) jumped up and down with excitement when she was one of the people who received a high five. Everyone was singing and having a good time. I'd see St. Lucia again in a heartbeat.

I didn't catch a lot of the fashion. To be honest, I don't care about fashion, so I'm not the best person to review a fashion show. I always thought the clothes models wear on the runway are often bizarre (I have since learned some reasoning behind it). However, what I did like about some of the lines I saw at the festival was that a vast majority of the outfits were surprisingly tame. The colors the designers used worked well together. Many of them also had designs with interesting but not over the top styles. I probably won't take time to look up more of their work, but I could appreciate what I saw at the festival.

Overall, I had a great time at the festival. I took hundreds of photos, and was able to experience something I always envied other photographers for. I loved hearing so many talented performers live and discovering some new music in the process. I talked to other attendees, and a couple of them remembered me from the first day. I met and talked with other photographers, who were most definitely far above my level, but were friendly to talk with, and never acted holier than thou in the pit. I even ran into one I met at a previous show. This year's Fashion Meets Music Festival was my first, so I have no point of reference to prior festivals. If you appreciate live music and find yourself in or near Columbus, the festival is certainly worth looking into.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Humphrey

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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The 7 Best Food Places Near UCLA You Need to Try ASAP

We have great dining food AND restaurants around us? Wow, we are #blessed.

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Westwood is the home to UCLA and offers plenty of interesting and diverse dining options for students and locals alike. Since the area is firmly Bruin territory, you will find lots of on-the-go, affordable eats along with a mix of more modern and upscale restaurants.

Though I definitely haven't had all the food Westwood occurs, being here two years now (omg already!?), I think I can safely recommend certain places to eat.

1. Shamshiri Grill

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South Westwood Boulevard is often referred to as Little Tehran, so most of that area is just Persian restaurants. Shamshiri Grill just makes the best meat and whenever I go there, I always order my meal with their special hot sauce, that is to DIE for. A must try.

2. Gushi

I can not tell you how many times I've been to this place. Located near Fat Sal's, you may be tempted to just miss it but let me tell you that is a mistake. I always get their Gushi Bowl which is just heavenly and the right amount to make me feel satisfied without being too filling. Be generous with the Teriyaki and Sriracha sauces on your meat and you are guaranteed to have a good time.

3. Pinches Tacos

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I know Mexican food is very common wherever you go but Pinches Tacos is aesthetically pleasing and their food? Even more so. It just tastes so good! I definitely recommend the Asada fries and any tacos.

4. Saffron and Rose

Saffron and Rose is a Persian ice cream parlor like 10 minutes away from Shamshiri Grill and the quality and variety of ice cream is truly impressive. I would not have known my weakness for Jasmine ice cream if I hadn't tried this place and as always, the Saffron and Rose (it's namesake) deserves to be the name of the restaurant because of how rich in flavor it is.

5. Maharaja

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I am very particular about my Indian food but the buffets in the afternoons at Maharaja definitely passes my checklist. I actually went there for my birthday so that just tells you how the food doesn't disappoint.

6. Nekter Juice Bar

I found out about this place very recently and I'm so glad I did because their bowls are so good. They also serve smoothies which I haven't had the pleasure to taste yet but I expect the same kind of quality. I am very partial to the Bruin Bowl and the Dragonfruit Bowl.

7. BJs

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They have $3 Pizookies on Tuesday.

I am always there on Tuesday.

Are these two facts connected? Maybe.

What can I say? I just love the restaurants here.

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