Are the Ringing Rocks a Must-See Attraction?

If you’re trying to decide whether or not ringing rocks are something you should see in your lifetime, you’ve come to the right place. If you’ve curiously ended up here wondering what the heck ringing rocks are, then wonder no more!

Ringing rocks or sonorous rocks are rare and can be found in only a few locations around the world including Pennsylvania, Montana, England, Scotland, and Australia to name some. What makes these rocks so special is that when you hit them with something strong enough, you guessed it, they ring like a bell. The interesting thing about them is that the reason behind the sound has not been confirmed, but it’s most likely that they have a higher than usual amount of iron in them. It’s not only the sound that makes them unique, but how these boulder fields formed. It’s also semi-questionable, from theories of volcanoes to thawing out after the ice age.

Thankfully, I happen to live closest to Upper Black Eddy, Bucks County, Pennsylvania (about an hour from Philadelphia) to check these bad boys out myself and see if they really are a must-see attraction. As if the ringing rocks weren’t enticing enough, Ringing Rocks County Park is also home to the largest waterfall in Bucks County, High Falls.

Upon arrival you’ll find yourself in a parking lot about a 5 minute walk away from rock heaven. Once through the very short trail the first stop is Boulder Field, where you’re free to climb about very large rocks in search of the perfect pitch. Not every rock will resonate though, so you’ll have to do some moving around. Make sure to bring your hammer! Hammers

After about 10 minutes of banging on rocks, I kind of got the gist of it and moved on to the waterfall. Another short walk down the trail to High Falls, where I saw my first ever waterfall. Unfortunately, what I did not know is that it’s seasonal and turned out to be more of an open spigot than a waterfall at all.

In all, it’s worth checking out if you’re travel is no more than an hour or so out. Anything further and you might find the destination to be a bit disappointing. It’s great for children around 5 and up, there were many there, but none too small as the boulders are very large and they can slip through them. Also, make sure you see the waterfall during peak season. I went in August, so you’re most likely going to see a true waterfall around the spring when there’s lots of rainfall and it’s not so hot.

Check out my first hand experience at Ringing Rocks County Park and see why I rate this attraction a 5/10.

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Exploring the Abandoned PA Turnpike

Gearing up for Halloween, I thought it’d be fitting to venture through some of the creepy attractions Pennsylvania has to offer. This week I found myself in Breezewood, PA to explore what is now known as the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Rays Hill Tunnel - Abandoned PA TurnpikeThe turnpike was bypassed in 1968 due to it’s inability to clear traffic congestion and is now in the works to becoming a biking trail by non-profit organization, Pike2Bike. The entire highway is 13 miles long, but the accessible area or more tamed area, is 8.5 miles.

There are two tunnels along the turnpike, Sideling Hill Tunnel & Rays Hill Tunnel, both of which can be traveled, but at your own risk. There are warning signs stating such along with strongly suggested use of flashlights, which I quickly learned are much needed. The tunnels vary in length with the longest being 6,782 ft of pure darkness.

There is a way into the top of the tunnel, which was originally designed to house turbines that push air through them along with offices for workers. Though with no use for over 50 years, it’s now rusted over, in shambles, and just perfect for urban exploration.

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush and want to check out the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike, you can find directions to the start of the trail here. I found the Fulton County entrance far easier than its counterpart, since you don’t have to drag yourself or belongings uphill. It’s about a 22 minute walk to the first tunnel from here, so if you can bike, I would encourage it.

Follow me as I make my way through the creepy tunnels of the Abandoned PA Turnpike.

D.Cs Biggest Wow Factor

Having been to D.C twice before, traveling to our nation’s capital doesn’t quite present that wow factor for me anymore. Don’t get me wrong, the free museums and memorials are definitely something to experience in your lifetime, but there’s only so many times you can see the Lincoln Memorial with the same level of enthusiasm.

This time around I decided to venture outside of the touristy area and check out the surrounding neighborhoods, specifically NoMa. Short for “north of Massachusetts Avenue”, this up and coming section offers so many hip and trendy sights to see. Union Market, NoMa Summer Screen, and plenty of vegetarian eateries. Aside from great restaurants, Fare Well being one of them, the main attraction for me was hunting down the latest murals from this year’s Pow! Wow! DC.

Pow! Wow! is a non-profit event that was founded in Hawaii back in 2010 and has since expanded to Long Beach, CA, Worcester, MA, and Taiwan. With a mission to bring communities together using the power of art, this festival does just that. This year brought 20 artists together from all over the globe to brighten up the city and I was lucky to capture just about all of them.

Check out the amazing works in my latest video Street Art in D.C – Pow! Wow! Murals & More.

Mural Festival 2018: Best Street Art of Montreal

It wasn’t until after my first trip to Montreal, back in April of 2017, did I find out about their annual Mural Festival.  A week long event featuring music and amazing street artists from all over the world…painting murals…in real time…Darn! I’d been there two months too early. 

After realizing I had just missed what could be one of the best mural festivals in the northern hemisphere, it was only obvious that I needed go back to what is now my favorite city.

Montreal just breathes art. Street art can be found on almost every corner and hidden in every alley. The cleanliness of the streets, convenience of traveling, plus the people are just a pleasure to be around, it’s no wonder I love this place. There’s something about it that feels like home for me, despite the fact that I don’t know a lick of French. 

Nothing a little Google Translate couldn’t fix, so I booked my flight, reserved my room, loaded up the Nikon, and I can now cross Mural Festival 2018 off my bucket list.

Check out my recap of the festival below.

Philly’s Got “Good Medicine”

I’m beginning to learn that Philly’s actually not so bad of a place to live. We have a pretty big art scene and I’m not just talking about the Philadelphia Museum of Art. There are tons of smaller art galleries around the city that I’ve passed thousands of times without even knowing and so many new art installations. Let’s take South Street for example.

If you’re not one to venture to South St. often or are a first time visitor, upon first glance, it’s just a crowded street with an odd variety of people, where cars drive around blasting music, and the smell of Jim’s Steaks fills the air, but there may be some hidden treasures.

What you may not know, I sure didn’t, is that 4th & South St. actually begins what is known as Fabric Row. Apparently, this has been around for about 100 years and I never even knew about it, but I’m so glad I do now. Six blocks of boutiques, art supplies, restaurants, tattoo shops, and Paradigm Gallery & Studio.

Good Medicine - Alex Yanes & Dennis McNett

Dennis McNett, myself, Alex Yanes standing in front of “The Feels”

My discovery of Fabric Row came from my search for Paradigm Gallery & Studio, an artistic space for both the visual and performing arts, and its open to the public. I had recently seen a story on Instagram of Alex Yanes, Miami native and super talented artist, working on some new pieces for an art exhibit that would be displayed in Philly, so I HAD to go see it.

“Good Medicine” is the name of the exhibit currently on display. It’s a unique collaboration between Alex Yanes and Dennis McNett, both known for their wooden sculptures amongst other forms of art. If you haven’t heard of either, I strongly recommend checking out their work. A mix of vibrant colors and ridiculous detail, it’s a must-see.

Dennis Mcnett's Big Mary’s Resurrection

Dennis Mcnett’s Big Mary’s Resurrection

I was lucky enough to enter the studio with both artists standing dead center of this amazing piece. Of course, I geeked out and asked for a photo (don’t mind me, look at that work!). Their styles so drastically different, but they really found a way to fit them together.

Absolutely stunning work by Dennis McNett aka Wolfbat. I must’ve stared at this for a good 30 minutes. Some of these lovely pieces were up for sale for those lucky individuals with such a budget. I will one day own an Alex Yanes!

So, if you’re in the city between now and July 21, 2018, definitely stop by and take in some of the awesomeness.

Good Medicine Paradigm Gallery + Studio

The Perils of Perfectionism


Per·fec·tion·ist
noun
a person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection.


 

If you’re anything like me and see yourself as a perfectionist, this may be your biggest flaw. How could you take a word which basically translates to being the best and see it as such an imperfection? Well, it’s simple, nobody is perfect.

As a perfectionist you simply will not and quite frankly cannot settle for less than the idea of perfect. You’ll tweak and tinker, scrap and rebuild, doubt and critique until you’re left feeling unsatisfactory about something that may have been A1 from the start.

I recently did some nail art that was inspired by a street artist I follow, Adam Kiyoshi Fujita, and absolutely love his work. On a whim I decided to post it to social media and to my surprise he actually reached out and was impressed by it. Adam Kiyoshi Fujita Inspired NailsHe’d asked me to send him some more pics showing off my design and that’s when my anxiety set it. The curse of perfectionism strikes again!

Instead of jumping on the opportunity, I decided to spend the next few hours freaking out about how unsatisfied I was about my work and all of the pictures I’d taken. Rather than feeling gratification that he’d found interest in my work at all, I felt pressure, stress, and depressed I’m not 100% ambidextrous (talk about an adverse reaction).

After my nervous breakdown I finally decided it’s best to send something than nothing, so I sucked up my unrealistic high standards and sent what I thought was best out of what I had. Turns out he loved what I had to show!



“The only thing we have to fear is…fear itself.”
– FDR


Perfection is imaginary. It’s opinionated and varies from person to person, yet there are some of us who still try to attain the unattainable, and want to satisfy everyone and ourselves. Though it’s great to give yourself standards, it’s unhealthy to strain for an impossible standard. It’s the fear of creating something sub par to those around us, but we really are our biggest critics.

The truth is, in creation, there will always be room for improvement because an artist’s work is never really complete. The mind is ever-changing and new ideas and inspirations can stem at any moment. Whether it be the moment you were in when you began painting, writing, or recording, or in a moment shortly after or even years after. The important thing to remember is not to waste time scrutinizing and missing an opportunity trying to create the best version, when you could create a variety of amazing things. In the words of Shia LaBeouf and Nike, “Just Do It”.

The Best Worst Axe Throwing Competition

Ever consider axe throwing?

It had never even crossed my mind before a few months ago. A coworker had mentioned it to me and I immediately said, “That’s what I want to do for my birthday.”

Aside from laughing hysterically for a good 2 hours, I was able to get some clips of me and a few buddies attempting the sport for the first time. I also decided to put together a little spoof competition video, check it out…

Jason Richardson & Luke Holland Tour

The Jason Richardson & Luke Holland Tour is definitely one you should catch this summer.

Insane storm in Philly caused me to miss out on the first of the night, but I got there right in time for David Maxim Micic. I’d seen Jason Richardson and Stolas prior, so my anticipation laid in both natives, Plini of Austria and David Maxim Micic from Serbia. They did not disappoint. You could feel the love from David Maxim Micic on stage with his first time being in the U.S and it surely was reciprocated. Hoping to see his following grow after this tour and much more of him in the future.

Stolas is always fun to watch. Sergio (also guitarist of Sianvar) does a bang up job every time I’ve seen him. Watching this dude shred while spinning in circles on the ground is something to witness. I actually got to meet up with him after their set for a pic and some quick words. He informed me of their last minute decision to join the tour due to some van issues, but glad they got everything squared away in time.

Reign of Kindo, my first time hearing of these guys. Live they sound beautiful, lovely pipes on the vocalist, but just not my forte. Although the crowd did not agree, lots of positive feedback during their set. You can tell there’s a variety of influence from all genres for this band.

Sad to say, but in a slightly good way, Plini brought most of the crowd in at Voltage Lounge. It was a sold out show and I do believe this is where it went, seeing as how it cleared out a bit after his set. So many Plini fans, so many engaged. This wasn’t his first time in Philly, he’d been here a few months back at the Trocodero. Trying to make up for what I missed, there was no way I wasn’t seeing him this time. My only wish was that the sound quality was better. With a packed show the garage door was kept open, causing mega sound loss. All in all it was awesome to finally see Selenium Forest & Atlas played live. With serious technical issues throughout the night, many were nervous he’d would be cut short, but there was plenty of time for him to perform magic on stage.

Kinda glad it emptied out, helped me to get a much better view of Jason Richardson burning through frets. It got a little moshy during Tonga, which is always a good time. It’s so satisfying watching Jason sweep so clean. You can tell there’s lots of devotion in this dudes playing. I would have loved to see more of Luke Holland though. This kid is super talented and it would have been cool to see their stage setup facing one another. From Omni to Hoes Down, absolutely flawless. I honestly don’t think Jason Richardson gets enough credit, but credit is definitely due.

NEW RELEASE – The Contortionist drops new single, “Reimagined”

Less than a week after dropping their creepy mind boggling teaser, The Contortionist has just announced a release date for their newest album Clairvoyant, which is now available for pre-order!
We now have something to look forward to September 15th. Their first single, Reimagined is already racking up much views and feedback on YouTube.
There seems to be a mix of emotions for the new song ranging from utter excitement and anxiousness for more, but others are finding the new single just falling short.
Comments suggesting they’re moving in the direction of a much more “radio friendly” sound. Somewhat agreeing this is nothing of what we’ve heard from their previous album and definitely steps up from Exoplanet. I was personally anticipating a more Language-esque vibe for their new material, but all hope is not lost. 
Not only do we have the album to geek out for in upcoming months, but the start of them touring with headliner Between the Buried and Me with accompanying band Polyphia is going to be sick. Philly natives get the honor of being the first stop on this tour. Tickets now on sale and I’m sure we’ll see many sold out shows on this run. 
If you haven’t seen their newest video for Reimagined, check it out here.