Wednesday, June 27, 2012

from wichita with [love]

back in april some friends and i attended a workshop put on by the wichita downtown development corporation called "for the love of wichita" hosted by peter kageyama.  to make a very brief summary, the workshop focused on recognizing different aspects certain cities posses making them "lovable".  being grouped by table, which just so happened to be my friends and i, we ran through several exercises, identifying the reasons we loved wichita as well as looking at our city through the eyes of different demographics, taking note of why other groups may like or dislike wichita.

at the end of the workshop each table was challenged to come up with a project or activity they could put on to help spread love in and around wichita.  every table would present their ideas and then all would be voted on by the attendees, with the winning idea receiving $500 to actually fund it.  our group discussed several ideas all focusing on ways to get the most "love" for the buck.  in the end our idea was to use the money to print as many postcards as we could and spread them through out the city, giving as many people the chance to send some wichita love.  the message on the card would be "wichita, wish you were here".  this would allow people to send it to friends and family living elsewhere, or to stores, companies, businesses, or bands who may have never considered coming to wichita.  hashing these rough details out in 20 minutes, we presented our idea.  as fate would have it our idea, as well as two others, was chosen.

that's when the real work began.

we started out with a very simple, romantic idea. living in this digital age, we wanted people to receive something tangible, something that when held, shows time and thought were put into it.  something valuable to send to those you really care about.  as personal, touching, and old fashioned as that idea is, the digital side of us kicked in and we wanted the ability to show the community where all this "love" was ending up.  this led to the idea of creating a website where those who had received cards could upload pictures of themselves holding the card showing everyone where this little tangible piece of wichita love had found them.  the site would be the central place for senders, receivers and other in the community to watch the love spread.  also, as a way to make this project more ingrained within the community and spread the love even further, we wanted the postcards to be available at local businesses.  if by some small chance, people head to a local shop to find the cards, and they happen to stay and purchase something as well, in a very small way, the project would be helping out the local economy as well.

we quickly enlisted the help of some of our highly creative and wonderful friends.  with a graphic designer, web developer, and several others talented people, we set to work.  after hours of volunteered time, talent, creativity, opinions, and leg work, we were able to design, print, and distribute 20,000 postcards as well as develop a webpage for $507.  last week our idea came to fruition, and i'm extremely happy to share it with you all.

so please visit the site fromwichitawithlove and watch all the wonderful places these cards end up.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

gin and [sprite]

last year, one of our non-native kansan friends introduced our group to a new style of drink/party called a [gin bucket].  as this is the second year for our friends to partake in this type of party, i feel it's well on it's way to becoming a full fledged tradition.

basically it consists of a large bucket filled with gin, sprite, ice, lemons and limes.  the end result is a wonderfully refreshing and chilled beverage perfect for enjoying summer.  there is no need for glasses or cups as you consume this concoction with turkey basters.  sanitary? probably not. entertaining? definitely! apparently this all started as a tailgating tradition at indiana university and has slowly been working it's way through the midwest.  as it was our missouri friend who introduced this to us, i can totally buy into this theory.

now, even though this beverage began betwixt binge drinking college kids, this really is a wonderful way for a group of friends to enjoy a party due to it's very social nature.  with everything being contained in a bucket, it requires guests to constantly move and interact, instead of the standard, sitting in a chair, sipping your own solitary drink.  secondly, who doesn't like drinking out of a turkey baster?  it's like a spirit squirt gun-o-fun, so much in fact that when one person goes in for a drink, several other friends are quick to join.  this also allows you to cheers everyone by hoisting your basters up like the knights of the round table. [gin] soldiers if you will.

so whether your summer nights involve gin buckets, or something more along the lines of ice tea and lemonade, i hope everyone is able to venture outside and enjoy the weather with the company of wonderful friends.

Monday, June 11, 2012

[minnesota, wi] [hinnom, tx] [lisbon, oh] tulsa,ok

the other weekend some friends and i traveled down to tulsa, oklahoma to watch bon iver perform.  having been cooped up in my apartment the past few weeks studying, i wanted to squeeze as much culture out of tulsa as we could in a short amount of time.

heading down early in the day, we met up with our gracious hosts, an aunt and uncle of one of our friends, who took us to eat in the cherry street district.  after lunch, and with it looking like a hip area of town, we spent the next couple hours exploring this nook of the city.  amongst the sites taken in were a few boutiques, a great irish pub, and a wonderful coffee house with the perfect random assortment of second hand furniture including one of the coolest mid-century couches i've ever seen.

gearing up for the concert we ate at el guapos cantina located in the blue dome district.  not only was the food fantastic, but they had margarita's named, "the lucky day" and "little neddy goes to war". if you don't get the reference don't worry, but trust me, it's hilarious.

the concert was at the brady theater and was nothing short of amazing. not only was the opening band, the staves, wonderful, but bon iver put on a great show and sounded perfect.  however, i do believe he was doing his best to dispel the rumors his music puts people to sleep as they had a beautiful stage setup and intense light show.  after the concert our friends recommended we stay in the brady arts district and hit up a bar called soundpony.  we were told it was a biker bar, and after stepping inside, realized the joke. bicycle parts, gears, wheels, racing jersey's and posters were everywhere.  as if this little play on words wasn't enough to make me stay, it also happened to be motown night.  needless to say we spent most of the night there dancing to james brown, sam cooke, and otis redding.  after ducking in a few more bars we called it a night.

the next morning, after eating an amazing pancake breakfast provided by our hosts, they took us to the philbrook museum of art.  it had once been a mansion built from oil money but was later given to the city and turned into a museum.  not only was the collection great, but the grounds and building itself deserved attention as well.  built in the 1920's the whole atmosphere had a great-gatsby-esque feeling to it.

with our time running short, we left straight from the museum and headed home, feeling we had experienced a good slice of tulsa.  on the drive home we listened to music on my "outdated" phone.  i only say that, because at the museum i spotted my phone behind glass on exhibit.  granted it was an exhibit on industrial design, but none the less, maybe it's time to upgrade.