At the End of the Universe | Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

29 August 2016

I felt a mixture of awe and pure delight upon stepping foot into the end of the universe. Each tiny room was an infinity of possibilities - a never ending Wonderland. We twirled. We laughed. We Snapchatted. The world of Kusama is a memorizing playground for adults - the meaning completely in the eye of the beholder. 

Yayoi Kusama was born in Japan in 1929. Throughout her career she has captivated the world with conceptual art, a type of art usually experienced rather than stared at. Her work can be found from London to LA, each exhibition conjuring different outcomes. Her exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston was a highly anticipated event. Everyone in the city wanted to experience the End of the Universe, myself included. 

When I first saw the installations, two boxes in the middle of a giant hall, I was nervous. I have always been afraid of small spaces, my claustrophobia often the cause of rare panic attacks. We had bought our tickets for late in the evening and the mood was calm and quiet. Evenings at the museum have a different atmosphere during the day, which helped my fears turn into steady excitement. As we stepped inside the first room, Love Is Calling, I instantly felt like I was in Wonderland.

Everyone is bound to have a different experience, but for me I felt pure joy. The limitless room was full of possibilities. The voice of Kusama rang in our ears as she spoke of love in Japanese. You want to know what she is saying, but you have a feeling she is telling you everything is going to be okay.

The second room was even smaller. We stood on a tiny platform surrounded by still water. I wasn't really sure where the floor ended and the water began, so we all huddled together and watched as the lights around us steadily grew stronger. 

Aftermath of Obliteration makes you feel tiny in a sea of lights. With only a minute to take in our surroundings, I was left feeling somewhat empty. The docent opened the door and we were forced to step back out into reality. But I suppose that is how Kusama wanted you to feel. The beauty that the world could be vs the reality that actually is. 

Currently, there are three Kusama exhibitions running around the United States.
At the End of the Universe, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: June 12 - September 18, 2016.
Infinity Mirrored Room, The Broad, Los Angeles: September 2015 - September 2016
Narcissus Garden, The Glass House, New Caanan, Connecticut: May 1 - Novemeber 30, 2016

"If you can be happy with my artwork, if you can feel something from my work, there is nothing more joyous for me than that." Yayoi Kusama

My Favorite Travel Photos & the Stories Behind Them

16 August 2016

I take a lot of pictures when I travel. Hundreds upon hundreds of pictures for a single trip usually. A lot of these photos get lost amongst the rest, only to be occasionally stumbled upon some months or years later. Although these pictures tell stories I may have already shared with this blog in the past, there may be a few new ones thrown in that may put a smile on your face. Case in point: the Stonehenge Photobomber. 

The Stonehenge Photobomber: England
It was the coldest day of the year and my friend and I were on a tour of some of the most beautiful places in England. Despite the weather, when we arrived at Stonehenge it was a mad house. 7,000 people had already visited that day and everyone was trying to get up front to achieve that 'perfect picture'. Tired and cold, we took a quick selfie before moving around to the other side. It was only later we realized we weren't the only ones being silly that day at the stones. 

Stone Lover & The Devil's Chair: Avebury Stone Circle, England
Sometimes you just have to hug an ancient circle. Other times, you just have to stand on the supposed gateway to hell. 

Making Friends: New Orleans
I'm the first to tell you there are some major touristy scams in New Orleans. The carriage rides, although somewhat informative, are one of those. On a normal day I would recommend steering clear, but on this particular summer evening I had a drink or two in me and decided to make friends with one of the locals - a donkey named Zulu. 

The Next Supreme: New Orleans
It's no secret that I am a huge American Horror Story fan. Fiona Goode is essentially my spirit animal. While spending a little time in New Orleans I stumbled across (more like strategically planned a trip to) Buckner Mansion, the main location from Coven. 

Just Jump: La Fortuna, Costa Rica
When my friend and I signed up for canyoneering we thought it would be some cool hike thing. Boy were we wrong. Canyoneering is essentially rappelling down waterfalls, and it is awesome! You may not be able to tell in this picture, but I was experiencing a mixture of sheer terror and adrenaline before I made the decent down. 

Jumping Fail: Nashville, Tennesse
I'm a sucker for a good brick wall. This picture captures the moment I attempted to jump for the camera and my mom leaning out to photobomb me. 

Sometimes, looking through old photographs reminds you of the joy of traveling. If pictures are worth a thousand words, then I have millions of memories. 


How To Spend a Day in Galveston, Texas

02 August 2016

Unless you live in Texas, not many people consider Galveston as a tourist destination. With its mirky waters and extreme heat it can often be overlooked as a place to vacation to. I was recently given the opportunity to spend the perfect day in Galveston with the Galveston Convention and Visitor Bureau where I was introduced to some amazing thing Galveston has to offer - some I didn't even know about! I learned a lot about this amazing historic city, and would suggest a trip to anyone traveling to the Houston area! So if you do end up in Galveston, here is how to spend the perfect day!

Galveston has numerous beaches along the historic seawall, however Stewart Beach stands out more than the rest. Name one of the top ten family beaches in 2013, Stewart Beach is clean, has great parking, and is home to one of the Bucket Brigade Tours. Start the day off at Lifeguard Station 6 with  a few marine biologists learning all about beach wildlife. The Bucket Brigade's mission is educate the public on the nature on Galveston beaches, and rightly so! There is so much you can do to help save this ecosystem. This 45 minute tour takes you from the sand dunes to the water where you may discover something new and exciting!

After the Bucket Brigade Tour, make the short drive down to Pier 21. Here you can catch a Dolphin Sightseeing Tour with Galveston Water Adventures! Not only are you going to see dozens of dolphins, you'll also get an up close look at a variety of amazing ships! First stop is the SS Selma, one of only 12 concrete ships ever made. Although she lays in ruin she is still a popular spot for fishing.

Turn your head slightly to the east and you'll see one of the busiest ship channels in the country. The Houston ship channel sees a constant stream of cargo ships moving through, even the dolphins like to play with these big bad boys! On the way back to land you'll see another surprising ship to call Galveston home. The USS Cavalla is a WWII submarine best known for sinking a Japanese aircraft carrier. Lastly, you'll cruise by a few CRUISE ships. If you listen carefully you can hear the music onboard carry across the water.

By this time you've probably worked up an appetite. Pier 21 is full of fun seafood spots, but one of the most iconic is Fisherman's Wharf. Originally a shrimp factory, the restaurant developed over time into a fantastic seafood dining experience.

After that, leave your car at Pier 21 and walk a few blocks down to Post Office Street. Less crowded than the Strand, Post Office Street has a vibe unique to Galveston. From there you can explore the Grand 1894 Opera House.

Named the "official opera house of Texas", the Grand has survived every hurricane since its birth. This extravagant building is really like taking a step back in time. As it is not a attraction known to many you'll have the chance to explore this historic building all by yourself.

As a native Houstonian, I thought I had seen everything there was to see in Galveston. The Galveston Convention and Visitors Bureau proved me wrong! Although I was offered these activities free of charge, all opinions are my own. I HIGHLY suggest spending an afternoon in gorgeous Galveston if you're ever down this way!