The National

My fandom for The National came late in 2013 after I heard them live at The Ryman in Nashville. I had heard some songs and was definitely aware of them but something at that show clicked and I have been a big fan ever since. I can confidently say they are now my favorite band and there isn't a day that goes by where I don't hear at least one of their songs.

I was very fortunate to be adjacent to three of their shows in Columbus, Indianapolis and Chicago on their tour for the new album I Am Easy to Find. So I went to all 3 (4 shows if you count the secret show in Chicago at Revival) and brought my camera. What a great time and you can find some of my favorites below.

All photos taken with a Ricoh GR III point & shoot

Sacramento

Trips to California are usually welcome. But lately with my disillusionment with San Francisco and Los Angeles that has changed somewhat. Not with Sacramento however. This is my 2nd visit to the city in 4 years and now it is my favorite California city by far. Capital cities are always easy to love and this is no exception. It kind of reminds me of another favorite capital city Indianapolis.  

Sacramento even for California has a super laid back vibe. It’s got quiet streets and easy to walk around in. I was super impressed with the Electric Bike share there. Sacramento is really flat but having the E-Bike was such a easy way to get around the city. I could go on gushing about the city but will let the photos speak for themselves. 

As always check the end of the post for some of my favorite spots I visited in the city. 

California State Capital Park - beautiful green space surrounding the State Capital. Be sure to check out the steps on capital building for some good people watching. Also recommend the sunset here. Great view of the Tower Bridge as well. Bonus - you can pick oranges right off the tree! (I think this is legal, I did it anyway) 

Delta Breeze Records - cozy record shop in downtown. Bought a Willie Mitchell live album there. Memphis is everywhere!

Bike Dog Brewery - my favorite brewery and favorite t-shirt. Be sure to check out the Art Deco masterpiece Tower Theatre right down the street after. 

Drake’s the Barn - outdoor drinking area in West Sacramento. Chill spot and great views and really close to the River Walk Trail if you are riding your bike. 

Temple Coffee - I went here every day for 5 days straight. Great coffee, friendly staff. Be sure to find some freshly roasted beans to take back home with you.  

Hot Rods on Beale

Some of my favorite events to photograph are the Hot Rod and Bike Nights on Beale Street. Especially the first events once the weather gets warmer. Since this takes place on Beale Street not only are there tons of cars to look at but people watching is also at a premium. Here are a few photos from last night’s event.

New Orleans

Time once again for a trip to New Orleans in September. Soon after I book the hotel and it hits me I am going I have a hard time concentrating on anything in the months that follow because my mind is already in New Orleans. Definitely my favorite city to visit and on my short list of places to move. Although I’m not sure you should live in one of your favorite places. Might be taken for granted eventually.

Anyway on to the photos. These are going to be Second Line heavy but its my absolute favorite thing about the city. Also be sure to check in after the photos as I list and talk a little bit about some of our favorite places we went to during the trip.

BTW we saw Beyonce and Jay-Z on the OTR II tour. Was as amazing as you would think it would be. 

Here is a list of some of my favorite go-to places in New Orleans.

  • Spitfire Coffee - best coffee shop in the city IMO. One of my favorite things to do was get up and walk through the FQ early in the morning and get a Flat White here

  • Ace Hotel - everything in here is amazing. Go to the rooftop after being out all day in the hot humid New Orleans air. Go to Josephine & Estelle’s for good food and drinks. Stumptown is in here for coffee

  • Cochon Butcher - had the best BBQ Pulled-Pork Sandwich I have ever had here. Sorry Memphis!

  • Three Muses - Frenchmen street is a much better alternative to the French Quarter. Places are pretty packed but we were lucky and got a spot at the back of the bar and drank and listened to music all night. Was happy to go here after hearing about them on WWOZ all the time

  • Dat Dog - before or after Frenchmen stop in here for an awesome hot dog

  • Who Dat Coffee - in the Bywater, boozy coffee

  • LOA Bar - perfect spot for a last drink before bed. I have been here every time I’m in town and will go for as long as its open

  • Avenue Pub - favorite bar in the Garden District. We were here during a Saints game and while I don’t like football that much it was fun to watch the game and root for the Saints with the locals

  • Hot Tin Roof Bar - place was kinda fratty/amateur hour (drunks) but its got a great view of the city and good cocktails

  • District Donuts Sliders Brew - always our last stop before leaving town. Decent coffee and awesome donuts

East Tennessee

Spent the weekend in Chattanooga but most of the photos I took were of the beautiful surroundings outside the city. Be sure to stick around after the photos where I talk about some of our favorite places we went to this past weekend.

Some of my favorite places in Chattanooga

  • Alleia - italian dining in a cool art gallery type space

  • Matilda Midnight - diner style bar, cool ambiance in The Dwell hotel

  • Beast + Barrel - good beer, breakfast food was crazy good, make your own mimosa bar

  • Boathouse - ok food but sitting on the outside deck next to the river enjoying the view and breeze made this one of my favorites

  • OddStory Brewing - my favorite brewery of the trip. Reminded me of Wiseacre back here in Memphis

  • Velo Coffee Roasters - ‘hipster’ coffee spot that made an excellent Flat White. Believe me finding good coffee is important and places like these always have the best.