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NY and a Festival

Over the past few days, I’ve been at home in Charlottesville reminiscing about my recent week long trip to New York. As many of you probably already know – even simply from my social media usernames, I have loved visiting New York City since the first time my parents took me for my birthday in fifth grade. The high energy of the city translated to excitement and opportunity in my mind, and every time I return the feeling emerges once again.

Last year, as some of you may remember, I attended Firefly Music Festival. I absolutely loved the atmosphere and experience of seeing so many bands with my friends that I knew I would want to attend a music festival again this year. Unfortunately, things worked out in such a way that attending Firefly was not possible this year, so instead we decided on trying out Governors Ball in New York.

Despite having visited New York almost ten times now (maybe this was #10?), this was my first time experiencing another part of the state besides NYC. Subconsciously, I associated the state of New York solely with the city, so travelling farther upstate felt so foreign to me.

Poughkeepsie lies farther up the Hudson, so we transferred onto a commuter train that traveled along the river. The landscape felt to vast and green, it felt almost as if I had transported to a cute town right in midst of Montana (not that I’ve been there yet either).

Grand Central Station

Lake Minnewaska

The Hudson River

Locust Grove Estate

The view from the estate

Bowdoin County Park

I was luckily able to spend a few days in Poughkeepsie before taking the train back into the city to see a friend a few days before Gov Ball. Again the whole ride back was spent taking way to many blurry photos as I marveled at the transition from the beautiful natural landscape to the industrial, man-made one of NYC.

While in the city I got to live the urban life for a short time, eating the most delicious donuts and grilled cheeses, thrifting and shopping around the Lower East Village, taking the dogs out to the nearby park for exercise, finding a weekend parking spot in the city (which while mildly scary is way easier than I would've ever guessed), attending a Hippo Campus concert at Warsaw in Brooklyn, and eventually heading out to Randall Island for Gov Ball.

Urban Outfitters after finding a concert outfit from local thrift stores

View of Manhatten from DUMBO

As a group, my friends and I choose to buy day tickets for that Saturday at Gov Ball. As there were a couple of groups I personally was interested in seeing the first day of the festival, we compromised by attending an individual concert at Warsaw of one of the groups that was lined up to preform that Friday: Hippo Campus.

For those who regularly check the blog, you may recognize the name of the band, seeing as I have named a few blog posts after their songs. Their sound is very indie, and I personally love their unique lyrics. Also, their skill was well displayed on stage, and I would highly recommend them to those into bands within the alternative genre.

For the concert, I wore a navy high neck crop (found when thrifting) with a pair of Madewell jean shorts that I paired with a basic brown belt with a gold buckle from Princess Polly. The choker in the image to the left (if viewed in a normal browser) I changed to a brown choker my friend brought back from Greece a few years ago. My makeup I kept to orange and brown tones to match the warm brown accessories.

After the Hippo Campus concert, we took Friday to sleep in and rest before a very busy Saturday that began promptly at 7:25 am and lasted well into the night.

We arrived at the festival so early that the acts hadn't even started playing, which in addition to allowing us to not have to wait in a super long line, gave us a bit of time to explore grounds before the first act we saw (DREAMERS) began.

In summery, I saw so many amazing acts (in full or just a part from afar), including DREAMERS, Calipurnia, Elohim, Denzel Curry, Saba, Playboi Carti, King Princess, Vince Staples, The 1975, Zhu, and Florence + the Machine. Unlike Firefly, there were several sponsored booths on grounds that offered services, activities, photo backgrounds, and free products. For lack of a better term, the experience felt more "extra", which did help make up for the difference in the amount of acts playing at Gov Ball vs Firefly. I think the best tip for festival goers is to not plan too much in terms of acts you want to see. Be aware of who is playing, but also know that you might get tired or lose part of your group, which might alter plans and even allow you to see someone you might not have otherwise.

For this festival, I opted for a gothic inspired look, playing back to my early blog style. I completed the all black outfit with thick, black winged eyeliner, another choker, and hair rings. The shorts I wore are pictured above from Urban Outfitters. They feature a very high waist and looser fit. I’m glad to finally have a pair of black shorts back in my closet, and I do tend towards a looser fit. I borrowed the lace up body suit from a friend, and wore my old completely beat up Birkenstocks, which after so many years of use, I threw away the next day.

Due to my pale skin, I came in prepared to avoid sunburn. As a physical barrier to the sun, I threw on a light kimono (is this even one?) that I had bought for work last year to wear with tops without full sleeves. While it didn't 100% match my look aesthetic, it was useful both during the day and at night when it got a little chillier.

While many people avoid bringing backpacks, I do find them quite useful for festivals in order to hold bottled water, sunscreen, portable chargers, and a shirt if you decide to buy one. I brought the same one I did to Firefly, and unfortunately don't have any photo evidence of it, but my trusty black backpack did exist here as well.

For those interested in taking a trip to New York, I’m going to talk a little about money now. My train to the city was $100 each way with an additional $20 to make it up to Poughkeepsie. The general admission day pass along with the individual concert ticket totaled to about $180. The rest of my expenses were made up of cheap subway tickets, taxi rides, clothes, and pricey city meals. Luckily, I ended up not too far off my goal of participating in a $500 trip, especially if I had been tighter about not spending so much on clothes. This blog is, however, a fashion blog.

The night ended after Florence + the Machine and despite my legs being incredibly sore, choosing to save money and walk across the bridge back to Manhattan was worth it. After a short walk and subway ride home, we were back.

The next day, we went for brunch at a place close to the apartment we stayed at, and all too soon my trip ended as I hopped on another train back to Charlottesville. I'm so grateful to be able to have experiences such as these and can't wait til my next visit to New York. In the meantime, I will try to enjoy the consistently hot muggy weather of my cute hometown in Virginia.

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