DEC: ALL THE TOURISM

If last week was one of my larger deviations from the trusty travel blogger formula, this week will be an enthusiastic overcorrection. Count on lots of cute pictures in front of noted landmarks with fun captions, hunger-inducing foodie pics in honor of Kira Weiss, and a steady stream of hygge (if that word does not compute, read blog from beginning), and good times.

So in order to make the most out of my time here, I decided to stay in London town over the holidays and was lucky enough to have a bunch of the team head this way. In the last Month, I’ve had Nick Weiss, E Choy, Chanteezy, Kira (Chippy), Papa G, G Weiss,  and mom all in the casa. Thanks for coming everyone!

Nick

Since Nicky came before everyone else, him and I did three days in London, and then four in Paris with some of the CMC crew. We did three days of London; one in the east, one in the center, and one in the west.

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I like Paris but honestly it all looks the same so I have trouble remembering individual events that take place (disclaimer: I really like how Paris looks.. it just all looks the same).

Strange story in Paris: Leaving a club at around 2AM.. get in Uber.. 2o angry men surround car… start screaming…. open doors… throw us out of uber… realize we are tourists…. stop yelling at us…. yell at driver…. say “uber.. no” while gesturing to their throats…. us shaken… walk around corner….. call uber… go home feeling victorious… Seriously strange experience though. While I feel for anyone who is replaced by an unregulated industry, harassing customers and drivers is definitely not winning you any goodwill.

I will say that there is something magical about Paris. From the parks to the museums to the long boulevards dotted with cafes,  the sense of grandeur makes everything feel fairy tale esque.    In terms of food, the Hot Chocolate at Angeline was the best thing I have ever tasted. Seriously, everything since has tasted bland. L’As du Fallafel definitely lives up to the hype  as best Falafel in Southern Europe, worth the line.Plus, drinking wine late at night with friends on the Seine is always wonderful. Squad finished with an accidental 4 AM night at a Jazz bar we just walked into. Huge Midnight In Paris vibes.

Once everyone left, I decided to go hardo adventure travel guy and see all of Versailles in 4 hours before my flight. So freaking worth it guys.

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Amazing history, amazing nature/outdoors, amazing tours, amazing place to throw on your running shoes and just walk for miles. Honestly can’t recommend this enough. One of the rare days 20s Kyle has been completely awestruck (see: Zion National Park, Havasupai Falls, Coachella, Koh Phi Leh).

One week of work.

Kira, Dad, Emmett

Those three all arrived the same day^ lol. Between eating incredible food (Dishoom on day 1), teaching Kira how to order a drink, and late night Shwarma/noodles, this time passed in a hilarious blur. Plus living 100 yards from #ZooBar is my curse and blessing.    Christmas Day stands out as one of the most eerie scenes ever.. No trains or busses so we just walked around ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ London. That night we had dinner with one our awesome South African family living in Britain, and took a classic tourist Abbey Road pic.

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The car behind us was NOT happy..

The next day was another crazy weird quiet London day, this time in Shoreditch where we played Junkyard Golf (minigolf course and bar but way funnier), and ate more good food. We ended up at Winter Wonderland where we may or may not have done 8 rounds each in the Oktoberfest Tent.

Garrett Chantal Kira Emmett Dad

Once Chantal (planned), and Garrett (suprise)showed up, we really had a dreamteam assembled. That night we finally had a MICHELIN STAR DINNER. Take THAT bucket list!   I will say no more and instead just show photos of food.

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It tasted exactly as amazing as it looks. Happy late Birthday Dad!

Sidenote: Since I am a devious puppetmaster, I suprise secured the flat next door to mine for the break, so we were able to have all these shenanigans at a close distance.

Garrett Chantal Kira Emmett Dad Mom

Next suprise was mom’s arrival, which although was somewhat known, still completed the massive holiday crew. I am incredibly thankful to you all for visiting ice cold London to hang out. Next day, we did some food at Camden Lock, and discovered a ski resort themed bar with an amazing live musician, as well as a massive 3 story rave store? Rave Rave Rave includes live dancers, pulsating beats, baby rave gear, and even a sex shop in the weirder levels. Fun for the whole family!

Dinner that night was a not-so-cheeky Nandos, a British favorite!

The 30th took us to The Brixton another  “grungy Hipster Neighborhood” and the worst possible day on the London Eye. Visibility was zero, and still people lined up and went for it. Gotta love tourism.

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Lok guys you can see the other pods!

News Years Eve stands out as another Kyle bucket list item complete. The whole gang went all the way east to the olympic park and took on the worlds tallest and longest tunnel slide. Basically they built this hideous structure for the olympics, and in a stroke of total genius, decided to put a build a slide on it to save face.

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Pretty smart actually. The world needs more slides. Dinner that night was a feast at Black Roe. Think 7 types of poke, champagne, and mac n cheese in a lobster. Divine.

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After a celebratory meal, Chantal Emmett and I jumped ship and went to a rave.

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What we didn’t realize was that the whole thing was a Drum and Bass show.Rookie mistake. 7 hours is a lot of drum and bass. 20 minutes is a lot of drum and bass. At 5 AM we headed home (with a quick detour at Buckingham Palace), got food, and EChoy headed straight to the airport. Legend.

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First week of 2017 saw Kyle and Chantal doing some serious Londoning..

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All the food, and  long walks across London, we did it all.

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On the last day we finally made it to Greenwich and having low expectations set by the internet, were pleasantly surprised with how cool it was. Imagine shrinking all of London into one adorable town, throw in a Maritime museum and some scientific legacy, and you have Greenwich. We even had traditional pies and mash at a local spot.

Also maybe the highlight of my tourisms, I ended up going with Garrett and Chantal separately on the Harry Potter Studio Tour in a 5 day timespan. I promise this is one of those things that is definitely worth doing, regardless of your HP fandom level.

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What really made this cool was just a look at how 8 films with essentially unlimited budgets get made. Example, thousands of wands were made for the cast, rubber wands for action scenes, Hero wands for close ups, etc etc.. 20,000 props are in the storefronts of Diagon Alley alone, 1000+ different “potions” fill up the potions class.

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You get to see the actual castle they filmed all of the castle scene with, etc etc.. Very cool and surreal experience for those of us who grew up with Harry. “It’s like being in a museum where the theme is just your childhood.”-Chantal  I really should do a full post on this, but this post alone is taking forever, so just go on the tour yourselves!

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Honestly could go on and on forever about the last month of life, in fact I completely skipped the cheeky Copenhagen trip I took two weeks ago, but at some point I need to push the publish button. I finally feel like I have some sense of ownership on London.. Granted I still haven’t seen HUGE portions of the city, but have definitely now hit the main spots. The fact that I got to spend this time with my favorite people on the planet, exploring such a wonderful place, is something I am beyond grateful for. Thanks to you all for making it out here! Ciao.

Tune in next week for your regularly scheduled program.

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One quote from each:

“So I want one night out to be themed around my love for Jaimie XX, and one night for The Smiths… Can you do that?”- Nick

“Does anyone else listen to hardo trap music to help them fall asleep?”-Emmett

“Buckingham Palace… tehe”-Chantal

“Officer I only had one butterbeer… I’m fine!”-Garrett

“Oooooh I should make a new Instagram for that!”-Chippy

“Picadilly line to Cockfosters.”- Dad

“Smile ungrateful children”-Mom

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COACHELLA Lineup 2017: A Summary

So unless your internet access was out until today, or your Facebook feed isn’t just music blogs for some reason, you probably know that last week the Coachella 2017 Lineup dropped. Playlists were promptly made, and time was wasted. I decided since I was already spending way too much time in dark corners of the internet figuring this thing out, might as well blog summarizing my thoughts and predictions. Spoiler Alert: This is a niche music post.
So first and foremost, let me just say this lineup is good. Very very good. Possibly the best in the five years I have been going (2012 was unreal and I cry each night realizing I missed it). So many awesome names and incredible performers.  That said, Goldenvoice basically fired a golden bullet straight into the heart of a couple of genres this year. RIP (for now) Rock, Punk, Trap, Future Bass, and Metal. Instead, they went all in on indie pop, basic EDM,  rap (oh my gawd so much rap), and techo. Luckily those aren’t my top genres, but I know that sucks for a lot of people. They also got a wee bit lazy catering to the flower-crown crowd. While I actually am a big fan of most of these; Grouplove, Bastille, Capital Cities, Empire of the Sun, the Head and the Heart, and even Kendrick Lamar definitely come across as sloppy bookings. Coachella prides itself as the  fresh and unique lineup to kick off festival season,  and a lot of this lineup feels safe and used. Still though, taken as a whole, this is a beautiful and eclectic genre mixing lineup that full of epic shows, and randomly fun acts. Also.. I am not a huge fan, but booking queen Bey herself is a power move that deserves mad props. Beyonce is at such a level of star power that she has absolutely no reason to play chella. In some ways a show like this can only hurt her, so all props to our Coachella overlords for convincing her to grace us with her anointed presence.

Can’t miss live shows

    • Hans Zimmer: Are you kidding me. This is absolutely legendary and could go down as the most epic and huge set of the weekend. Dude brings his 80+ member orchestra and plays the best soundtracks ever. Hello Pirates. Praying for a sunset slot on the main.
  • Bon Iver: According to an inside source whose last name rhymes with boy, this show is unbelievable. Bon Iver does not have a single bad song, and 22, A Million is easily one of the best and most unique albums of the year. Come be blown away.
    (he won’t even play this live:( )
  • Porter Robinson and Madeon: If you know me you know this is the electronic show I have been dreaming about. Porter is one of the greatest live shows on the planet, and all reviews of this combined live show with fellow wunderkind, Madeon, can be summed up with; ‘ELECTRIFYING’. Seriously don’t miss this. Porter specializes in slowed down, powerful, storytelling through music and art, and this show is no exception. (seeing it in 3 weeks in London as a warm up:)  
  • The XX: “It feels like they are pulling the notes out of my soul”- Julia K during the XX in 2013. These guys make beautiful, haunting, epic music.
  • Beyonce: I mean Bey is Bey. A ticket to one of her shows can cost more than your whole Coachella ticket. Only miss for Bon Iver.
  • Phantogram: One of the dopest groups out there. Fresh off a year long tour and album with Big Boi from Outkast, they will absolutely kill this set. Think indie pop meets  earth-shaking, nasty, beats.
    (ya we all want Big Boi to come out.. I know)

Other Big Wins

  • Mura Masa: Fun weird music with a great live show. Sorted.
  • Future Islands: So much props to these guys. Constantly good jams and the most passionate singer on earth.
  • Big Gigantic: Do you like fun or dancing? If yes to either one than this is your show.
  • Glass Animals: Used to be meh but new album is fire and supposedly new show is great. TBD.
  • Justice: D.A.N.C.E
  • Oh Wonder: Great live duo. Basic and I love it

New Discoveries I Hope Kick Ass

  • SOHN: Abstract electronic beats with soul music. IDK but every song I hear I like. Stoked.
  • Arkells: Just a good sounding band. Straightforward.
  • Goldlink: R&B/HipHop with fun beats and vibes.
  • Kungs: I mean tropical house is tropical house.
  • Joseph: Catchy folk music will be a daytime delight.
  • The Avalanches: Took 16 years to make their second album and this sound is fuuuuun.
  • Honne: This year’s ‘Pretty and pleasantly soft music that sounds like a chick but is actually a dude’ act. See Wet.
  • Francis and the Lights: I mean you don’t just feature Bon Iver on a track and not be great.
  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Toots and the Maytals: This years ‘Woah that feels like it is from a different era but will be pleasant A F’ acts.

Honorable Mentions (aka other acts I want to see or have seen and know are winners)

  • Lorde
  • Radiohead
  • Kendrick
  • Classixx
  • Jack Garratt
  • Kiiara
  • Capital Cities
  • The Head and the Heart
  • Broods
  • Warpaint
  • Two Door Cinema Club
  • Bonobo
  • Tourist
  • Nao
  • Zipper Club
  • Banks
  • Mac DeMarco
  • Kaleo
  • Bastille
  • Tove Lo
  • Anna Lunoe
  • Rae Sremmurd
  • Royksopp
  • Martin Garrix (That one song is so catchy:(  )
See you in April world. Also seeing the best live band on the planet Thursday night before Coachella. @SigurRos