NYC Goals

We’re headed to New York City today! Here are 5 goals for our visit.

1. Rent a CitiBike and ride everywhere!

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2. Take an NBC studio tour and try to get standby tickets for the Tonight Show!


3. See a free concert in the parks!


4. Go to Amateur Night at the Apollo Theatre.


5. Hang out at the Seinfeld Diner!!!

I Was Invited to a Secret Concert

Here’s what happened!

I got a text from my good friend, Sara, who asked if I wanted to go to a secret concert. We didn’t know where it would be or who we were going to hear, and we had to enter a lottery to try and get tickets. Of course I was game!

Sara entered our names for the Sofar concert, and we were selected to attend! Our tickets were $15, and we received an email 24 hours before with the location and rules.


Before the concert we grabbed dinner and went for a walk through the nearby parks. We visited this outdoor performance space with an exceptional turquoise floor.

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We had no idea what to expect at this event! The location was downtown Chicago, and when we arrived they checked for our names on the list and directed us to the correct elevators. We ended up in a beautiful workspace, partway up a building overlooking the Lake Michigan, dotted with sailboats as the sun was setting. We were handed a paper with media details for following the bands that would be playing that night.

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The view from the venue. Photo Credit: @SaratheWeiz

The floor was covered in cushions and pillows, and there were sofas and chairs lining the space. The whole thing felt relaxed and intimate.20170712_193532.jpg


They went over the rules with us again at the venue before the event started. In summary: respect the music. No talking during performances, don’t leave until all the groups have played. This organization, Sofar, started in a flat in London when musicians and their friends were tired of playing over talking at bars. They hosted a small house concert with 10 people, and this organization was born! They now plan similar house concerts for local artists in over 350 cities!

This was the venue packed full of engaged listeners.

The first artist was a singer/songwriter called The Regular. He had an incredible voice, and played this really unique bass drum + tambourine set-up along with his guitar, while singing. It was a contemporary one-man band.


The next artist was a very skilled saxophonist called Beatbox Sax. He combines professional level playing and smooth sound on the instrument with aggressive extended techniques, like slap-tongue and singing into the instrument. His set was very upbeat and engaging.

The last group was Man Wolves. They are very young, but are great players and have apparently acquired quite a following!

Check out Sofar Sounds! See if they are in your city. This was an amazing concert!

Saturday Check-In

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It’s the best kind of Saturday- full of spice and caffeine, color and nature.

Thoughts from today:

  • I am on track to meeting my goal of blog views for the month of June! I am so excited and intrigued by the world of blogging and the flexibility it provides as a hobby or career. Thanks for all of your support so far, friends, and please pass this link on if you enjoy The Wonder Of!
  • I have explored two of the best coffee shops in Chicago today. I’m kind of buzzing (if you’ve ever had 4+ cups of coffee you know what I’m talking about) but I am so glad that I visit the Currency Exchange Cafe this morning (table and chai pictured above) and I was so delighted by the hidden Pickwick Coffee Roasting downtown (pictured below). I ordered the Black Tiger, iced, which has ginger and chicory in the creamy espresso drink. Grateful to my friend Sara for the recommendation. I am currently sipping the spicy drink in the Art Institute garden!ls.jpg
  • Cool thing: my boyfriend has his bass lesson in Grant Park today, at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion! Very cool. In addition to hosting amazing concerts and festivals, the pavilion and other Chicago parks plays free movies on Tuesday nights! It is a really sweet experience, and you can pack your own picnic for the calmest evening downtown. I saw the movie Brigadoon here years ago, and it was a great experience. If you are into quirky films you should watch this bagpipe-laden time-travel feature.

I hope your Saturday is as blissful and peaceful as mine!


Pay Attention to these Musicians this Summer

Photo credit: Junk Host

Everyone is talking about Lorde right now. Either you are interested in her latest review of the best/the worst onion rings, you can’t wait for her album release this week, or you just bought tickets to see her at a music festival this summer. I am guilty of the two purchases and one guilty read. (But seriously, follow that onion ring account!)

First listen. Learn more.

I am going crazy for Sylvan Esso right now! Also appearing at summer festivals, also released an album. Get their new album, but also get their first album because it is still relevant. In Episode 1 of Season 5 of Orange is the New Black featured the wonderful “Hey Mami” in a scene of ethereal chaos. Highly relevant.

First listen. Learn more.