Weekend Wanderings – Around the City of Melbourne

Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY

Yesterday afternoon I spent some wonderful time wandering around the city with a couple of people just taking photos.  It is the best thing to do on the weekend.  We had no set agenda, and we really did just wander.  We started with coffee at Brunetti’s and were going to go to St Paul’s Cathedral, but we were shocked to find that it was closed.  So we thought we would head down to Hosier Lane and see what was happening there.

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This weekend they are having an art event on there, so you can go down there and do some of your own spray painting, I think.  They were handing out masks, rubber gloves, paint and stencils to anyone who wanted to have a go.  There were also lots of graffiti artists there working on their own pieces.  Great place to go if you want to see it happening.  Though be…

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Snapshot Wednesday: Solange’s Wedding Photoshoot

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Photos of Solange Knowles and Alan Ferguson’s wedding this past weekend took Instagram by storm. My personal favorite was the photograph of the bridal party, and all of the women were standing behind Solange in all-white. Very Coven-esque, too.

I liked the fact that it wasn’t traditional and I felt that each photograph was powerful. The wedding seemed to encompass the magic of New Orleans.

The adorable video of Solange dancing to “No Flex Zone” with her son was a hit too. Check it out below.

Music Mondays: “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift

I’ll start by saying I’m honestly surprised I’m writing about Taylor Swift.

When I first saw or heard anything by Swift, I was in my early years of high school or late middle school. I’m not sure of the exact year. I was watching music videos on one of those really high channels on Comcast, and Teardrops on My Guitar was playing. I remembered liking the lyrics, the pretty dresses she wore, and the tone of the song. I started looking her up and finding more music. I’m pretty sure I found whatever MySpace or music page her management was currently using.

Taylor Swift was all cute country love songs, and as a young teen, those love songs were there through my first ‘heartbreaks’ (what I thought was heartbreak, but what was actually just disappointment) and I poured my heart out along with her. My friends did too. My best friend would even leave me Facebook videos on my wall singing along to T.Swift’s songs. Everyone began to love her.

As the years progressed, she became more mainstream. I recall reading a Rolling Stones article about her, when she was on the cover for the first time, and that was what initially turned me off to her and her music. Rolling Stone painted her as a teenage girl with a 4.0, straight-edge, and virgin that was singing love songs for teen girls to swoon over.

You know why this made me like her less? Because I wasn’t that.

I wasn’t perfect in school, I’d made some mistakes, and was willing to accept the fact that I wasn’t perfect at an early age. Now they were making one of my favorite artists appear to be perfect, and this was something I could no longer relate to. The magazine also made this seem to be the ultimate goal: be the “good girl,” and I thought it was unfair to assume that young women had to be perfect and the good girl. Especially at such an early age. We are still learning! How can we already know what perfect and good is?

Why couldn’t we mess up? Why couldn’t we experience things and learn? Where were Taylor’s flaws? Where were her mistakes that we could say yes, I made that mistake too, but look, Taylor handled it so well? I wanted to learn from her, not be compared to her and realize I was failing miserably by comparison.

So I detested her music after that article. She went over to more pop music and I wouldn’t listen to it. To be fair, I was also growing up, graduating high school and going to college, and my music taste was changing. Her music still seemed appropriate for the age group I was growing out of. But when I turned 22, I did not blast “22.” Then recently, when Shake it Off came on the radio, I cringed. I thought this is why I can’t stand her. It was crap. I still do not like that song.

But then 1989 dropped, and I was impressed by the album sales. I liked the artwork and I liked her new look. I reminded myself that I used to like Taylor Swift, I used to like her positivity and smile, before the Rolling Stones article painted her to be this angel in the music industry. My friend played Blank Space for me, and for the first time in years, I loved a Taylor Swift song.

I like that it’s honest. I like the sound of it. It’s pop, still her new sound, but I didn’t hate it. I like turning it up in my car and singing along. I play it on repeat sometimes. It makes me happy and I need more music in my life that evokes happiness for no reason whatsoever. Taylor Swift is great at doing this.

I also really liked the music video too – it did not paint an image of a perfect girl with a perfect love story. It portrayed crazy. It portrayed jealousy. To me, that’s more human and raw. We are crazy when we are in love. Taylor Swift knows this.

To me, 1989 also shows maturity with her new sound. She seems more human to me now, the way she was when I first was introduced to her. She is definitely an icon of my generation. I want to experience that while I can. It’s amazing watching people become icons before your eyes.

I guess you can say I’m back on the Taylor Swift bandwagon.

Snapshot Wednesday: Kim Kardashian Breaks the Internet

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Kim Kardashian’s instagram post for Paper Magazine just HAS to be this week’s snapshot Wednesday. Kim Kardashian ruffled feathers and made a bold statement yet again last night when she posted this photo, as well as another, where she’s balancing a champagne glass on her behind. My personal reaction was “really? Really, Kim?” She’s definitely the only celebrity that could pull this off, if you want to call it pulling it off…no pun intended. If the world was wondering what her husband thought of this magazine spread, Kanye West tweeted the photo a few hours later with the hashtag #ALLDAY.

Guess the Kardashians and the Wests will never fail to shock the world.

Snapshot Wednesday: “Sandy” Tran & “Danny” Brown

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Halloween was this past weekend and the parties were popping. I personally dressed very last minute as a witch (unoriginal, I know), and hit the bars with two of my best friends. One of the funnest parts of Halloween is seeing what everybody else dressed up as. My favorite from the bar was a few guys who made huge cut-out boards of Tinder, and their faces were the photos. I thought that was pretty creative. Other than that, I saw a dozen or so cheetahs (I was going to be a cheetah at one point, so I’m glad I didn’t do that), a few minions, and the usual hoard of devils, zombies, and vampires.

Social media allows us to share our crazy costumes with everyone, and it also allows us to have a direct (well, almost direct) contact with celebrities who share their photos and parties with us. While this is entertaining all year round (watching Drake throw shade at Tyga by taking a picture with Kylie, Breezy fighting with an ex-Cheetah girl this week, Diddy and Cassie sharing their PDA – it’s like we can witness them living their lives) Halloween is especially amusing when we see our favorite celebrities come out in crazy and unique costumes.

My favorite celebrity costume this year goes out to Karrueche Tran and Chris Brown. Besides the fact that they are a favorite celebrity couple of mine, I loved how they dressed up as Sandy and Danny from Grease (which was the first “adult” movie I actually ever watched). They pulled it off, looked adorable, and took adorable pictures to flaunt on Instagram. Such cuties. Hopefully we’ll get to see them do other cute couple pictures in the years to come, along with wedding and baby photos? (wishful thinking)

Music Mondays: “Bed Peace” by Jhene Aiko ft. Childish Gambino

There are some days where I feel numb to the world. I want to sit and listen to music for hours. I want to write. I want to talk to the one or two people in my life that can make this hectic world still for just a little while.

And you know what? I’ve found that I have a hard time concentrating. Especially in class, and sometimes at work too. I don’t know if it’s because I’m so wrapped up in my head and in my thousands of thoughts that twirl, fall, and crash in my mind…or because I’m at a transition point in my life that doesn’t allow me to think of anything else. I have an obsession, like many people, with my future. I have begun reading the news daily, and I find myself growing cynical and bitter. On these days I want to be numb until I find the beauty in this world again.

Music does this for me.

“Bed Peace” by Jhene Aiko and Childish Gambino isn’t exactly deep. However, for some reason the beat and Jhene’s voice calms me. It does bring peace to me. I could play the song over and over again and be lulled to sleep. Childish Gambino’s voice is deep and the pronunciation of his words flows eloquently with the song. I’m also a big Yoko Ono and John Lennon fan, and the fact that the music video reflects the bed sit-in that they did makes me love the song and video even more.

On another note, I also think the song has a lot to do with slowing down and embracing the world around you. Embracing the people around you that make you feel good. The song makes me think of lying in bed with someone you love, with the sun peeking through the windows and the world falling away. I think people put too much importance on material goods, where you’ll be in five years, ten years, how much money you’ll make, what is success and what success isn’t.

What if my success is moments like that, lying in bed with music and being grateful that I’m given those moments? Is that acceptable? I think so. I think “Bed Peace” allows my generation to know it’s okay to slow down and embrace the world. To fall away from social media and the pressures to be a success right out of college and realize that things can wait, and you are allowed to enjoy each moment. That is success.