Art Scene in Chicago

Art Scene in Chicago

Besides trying vegan food while I was in Chicago I went to two art museums and to a spoken word event. And I honestly fell in love with the artsy scene that is in Chicago.

The first art museum I went to was the MCA where I saw Virgil Abloh’s exhibit and also saw the prisoner of love exhibit that has a viewing of Arthur Jafa’s ” love is the message, the message is death” which was mind blowing, sad and motivating all in one. I cried multiple times and watched the film at least 5 times that day. It’s just really moving and I suggest everyone watch the film if they can (I’ll try and post a link of the video). It was motivating cause lately I’ve been really into black films and doing these videos myself as a visual for my monthly playlist. And just seeing the mashup of all these images that are both positive/negative dealing with black culture just solidified my wanting to continue making these little films.

The second art museum I went to was the Art Instivute of Chicago which always has the paintings of greats that I studied in art school and just seeing those paintings in person is moving in itself.

The spoken word event I went to was the red talk put on by red taps theatre. This event made me realize how much I love poetry and words even more than I was already aware. It also made me feel deeply it made me want to take writing seriously again and put in the time and commitment seeing so many black people perform and be okay in their selfness it was inspiring.

I would move to Chicago just for all the artsy things I’d be able to witness and experience and be apart of too. Already trying to figure out how to get back. Chicago truly is my happy place.

All photos from Virgil Abloh’s “Figures of Speech”

I can’t remember exactly what exhibits these photos were from but artists are (from first to last) Nicholas Africano, Deana Lawson, David Hammons and Ana Medieta.

Photos from The Art Institute:

tbh I rushed through this museum because for some reason we went on a Friday @2:30 I think it might’ve been later and the museum closed at 4. So I don’t remember every single artist from these photos. I know there’s a Dali, Rothko, Curin, Koons, but that’s all I remember.

I tried to upload a video from the spoken word event but the video I have won’t upload for some reason.

however here’s the flyer that was for the event.

Now I’m going to add in some links to stuff

Arthur Jafa:

Arthur Jafa Art News

Love is the message, the message is death

Red Table Theatre

Red Table

also thought these were cool.


Vegan in Chicago

Vegan in Chicago

I went to Chicago last week for 5 1/2 days to see my parents and go to the vegandale festival that was on Saturday 6/22. Chicago has a decent amount of vegan friendly places and just strictly vegan spots as well. I tried to try a few places but being the only vegan in my family it was kinda hard to go to strictly vegan spots but I did go to 1 while was there.

The one vegan spot I was able to try was No Bones Beach Club. I ordered the nachos with jackfruit on the side (cause my mom didn’t want to try it), the buffalo cauliflower wings, fries with old bay seasoning, the fried avocado tacos, the crab cakes, and the amaze balls. The nachos were and the wings were so good. The cheese sauce on the nachos was bomb. My family wasn’t super open to trying things so my experience wasn’t the greatest but the food was good and the vibe of the restaurant was pretty chill. Also the apps are pretty high up there in price about $13 a piece so the check was around $72.

I did attend the the Vegandale festival which was so cool I’ve never been to a vegan festival before and I met some really interesting people there everyone was so friendly and accommodating. I tried a vegan Big Mac, vegan Chicago style hotdog, sausage and peppers w/ spicy mustard, this rainbow cake (which was so good I’m still daydreaming about it), nachos, cauli wings, veggie tempura, deep dish vegan pizza, and the fried chicken which I waited 3 hours for. Also the kombucha that GTS provided was free and I drank like 4 of them. There was this water refill cart/ truck thing where you could fill up water bottles for free which I had never seen before and it was honestly the best thing vegandale could’ve provided. I saw a lot more ethnic vegans than what is shown on social media and it was just a good time. My family did however go straight to portillos when the festival was over and for everyone that doesn’t know portillos is a meat fest place hotdogs, polishes, Italian beefs. But atleast they came out to the festival and stayed all day 12-7 with me.

Besides the rainbow cake the fried chicken and the sausage w/ peppers were my favorite things I had at the festival I wish I had tried way more food but I tried a decent amount and the festival was packed so lines were pretty long.

The vegan food scene in Chicago is way better than I thought it would be – with Chicago being the meat packing city capital in the US. And the next time I go I’d like to try even more vegan restaurants that Chicago has to offer.

First time in Los Angeles

First time in Los Angeles

I went to LA for the first time last Wednesday. Stayed for 3 days. Ate lots of vegan food and went to the museum to see my best friends painting “Family Sized” in the California African American Museum. The museum party was a highlight of the trip and seeing so many black artists succeeding in their craft and celebrating blackness was inspiring to see, feel and be apart of. Seeing my friend flourish and be in her element talking to and engaging with people and other artists was both motivating and

The abundance of options there are for vegans in LA is almost unreal. I could have stayed in Lassens for hours looking at all the different offerings that they have that I cannot find in Atlanta. Being in California almost felt like a different world or country. The vibe was different the people were different (even though I’m not sure if I loved the attitudes from people out there) it was just really different from any other city I’ve visited.

I loved that there are so many thrift stores in LA even if they were a little on the pricey side. Everyone I saw in LA was fashionable but it’s was effortless fashion everyone was stylish and it looked like they weren’t even trying. We went and got tattoos on our 1 full day there. We had drinks we walked around a little – LA is not a very walkable city which made it tough to explore outside of Echo park where we stayed. We went to a club called the association. We ate at Sage, Montys, and a falafel place in Grand Central Market.

Already planning to go back in August for my best friends birthday to see her painting in the museum one more time before the show ends, to eat wayyy more food and to thrift more.

I am really grateful that I was able to go to LA and go with my best friend.

Here are photos from the museum and from thrifting. I made a separate blog post of just photos of food that went up yesterday.

all the art we saw at the CAAM.

Fun things. Los Angeles was so fun.

What I ate in Cuba for a week as a Vegan

I went to Cuba the first week of August for a week for my friends birthday 3 of us went including myself. It was my first international trip since I was a baby so it was special for me. I had so many life changing experiences that I feel completely rejuvenated and inspired about life and everything. So, Havana was actually a pretty okay place to be as a vegan there were options at most restaurants we went to even if it was just french fries. The french fries were actually really good with oil, salt, and lots of garlic seasoning. Plus the abundance of minty lime mojitos made up for the lack of options at some places (literally had toast for breakfast one morning with peach marmalade even though it was good I wasn’t satisfied). I loved the plantain chips (which even though we had them twice I forgot to take a photo both times) with this tangy mustard and this sweet but also tangy ketchup seriously the condiments there are just so good I could make a whole post raving about them. Of course we (my friend who’s birthday it was is also vegan) ate a few meals that were just arroz blanco and frijoles negros but even this in Cuba was bomb. Like the best black beans I’ve ever eaten. I really don’t know how they do it. It was super filling too – really rich with onions and peppers cooked into them.
I’ve had guava jam before but it didn’t compare to the fresh guava juice from a hotel (that I cant remember  the name of) it was really refreshing and I would have liked to just try fresh guava fruit too but even though we saw a couple fruit carts we didn’t get any fruit off them. Last but not least I had this one meal at Al Carbon actually on the same street of the Air BnB we stayed in that was just amazing and so simple. Grilled vegetable kabobs and they were seasoned to perfection with tostones with garlic it was amazing. And they give you this combination of like crusty rustic bread, bread sticks, and a flat bread before your meal with three sauces one was this salsa and another was this creamy bean sauce and a white sauce that we didn’t try (it wasn’t vegan) and the sauces were so good like 5 star meal hands down. There was also a place a street over called  5 Esquinas Trattoria that we went to the first night we were in Cuba and got veggie pizzas without cheese (I know not very Cuban also forgot to take pics of this pizza and another veggie pizza we got at Hotel Silvia) but this place actually happened to have a buffet breakfast that we continued to go to all week because it was $4.50 a person and included unlimited juice and coffee. Actually, most of the meals we ate were fairly cheap actually all of them were except Al Carbon was $53 for the two of us. But Habana 61 where we had rice, beans, and plantains was $27 I think for the 3 of us so everything’s fairly priced food wise. Mojitos were also really cheap like the first mojito I had was $3 the most I paid for one was $6 and that’s unheard of in the States. Like I would move to Cuba just for cheap mojitos. Anyway, enjoy these phots as much as I enjoyed the food!

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Bread and dips from Al Carbon

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Vegetable Kabobs from Al Carbon

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Al Carbon décor. It was a really beautiful restaurant

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Buffest Breakfast: papaya, watermelon, grilled veggies, jam pastry, mango, pineapple

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Habana 61 black beans, rice and plantains

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Mojito with all the fresh mint

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Fresh guava juice


Cuban Coffee

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The mustard I still can’t get over I even tried to find it on amazon with no such luck.

I loved Cuba so much that we’re already planning a trip to go back next year and I would love to also start traveling more with Sage – she’s been to Chicago a couple times and to Alabama a couple times. But that’s it. I really want to go to New York next year, New Mexico, and back to Seattle.