Photographer Spotlight: Brandon Lua

The second photographer that I’m spotlighting on my blog (check out my first interview with HERE with Colin Gordon) is a newcomer on the scene.  He’s only been at it for a few months, but he’s already making a name for himself.  I came across Brandon’s Instagram account and knew that I had to do a shoot with him.  We did our session in the Old First Ward, and as you can see from the photos below, this is the exact type of gritty backdrop that I love oh so much.

I got the chance to work with him a second time at a pop-up photo shoot/music/model collaboration party at a local amazing Airbnb.  This party sparked the idea to create Locations…a project between Brandon and two other photographers Ryan Kell (one of my besties!) and Alexis Bandera.  This is a super exciting project that’s totally new to Buffalo and I can’t wait to share more details with you all in an upcoming blog post!

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I sat down with Brandon after our shoot and asked him a few questions about photography and life in Buffalo…here’s what he had to say!

How long have you been doing photography?

I’ve only been shooting for four to five months.  So not too long!

Have you always been interested in photography?

Actually, always.  I grew up, my father was always shooting.  He wasn’t exactly a photographer but he always had a camera on him.  He was shooting me, the surrounding area, his friends.  And then also growing up I had friends who were into photography, and then I kind of always envied them.  But I always felt like I was too old to start, but I don’t know…one day I just finally decided to pick up a camera and just shoot, and then next thing you know I was addicted to it.

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What do you love most about photography?

Oh man…everything.  I like capturing the moment.  I feel like every single time I’m capturing a moment, it helps me remember it.  For example, I was shooting one of my friends Denzel at an event that he threw, and his mentor that flew out from California, a really well known director, was telling a story and I remember him pointing his hand out towards Denzel and I captured that moment, and that’s something that I’ll always remember.

Which do you like more- the photography or editing process?

I like them both equally…wait, actually no. I like photography, capturing the moment more so, because I get to interact with the person and socialize.  It’s just all around fun.  I’m more hands on.

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Do you have a favorite location where you like to shoot?

I do, it’s in front of Shea’s at night.  On Main Street…I love the lights in the background.  I like to work with bokeh.  I love to work with lights a lot.  I like daytime, but at the same time, night time…there’s something about it, it’s kind of mysterious and magical.

Do you have a most memorable photo shoot that you’ve done?

I’ve had some crazy shoots!  I’ve done some pretty explicit stuff before *laughs*  Maybe it’s because I’ve never done stuff like that, it was almost natural, though. I didn’t think anything of it until after.  My absolute favorite moment was shooting my girlfriend.  She never likes taking pictures, but she’s very beautiful.  I somehow convinced her and it ended up being one of my most noticed photo.  It was in front of Shea’s, and it was just perfect, because the snow was falling lightly and she was looking beautiful as always and the light was hitting her perfect.

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Where do you draw your inspiration from?

From my lifestyle…that’s why it’s hard for me to find a niche. My life is very random.  One day I’m doing something that looks very innocent and the next day I’m doing a shoot for a rapper, next day I’m doing something for a model.  Basically, I’m not afraid to do anything, so I just do what I want to do.

What do you love most about living in Buffalo?

Most of my family is here.  I like how the city is in a resurgence and everything is coming back to life.  I like how people are taking something with so much culture and history and bringing something new to it, and not just destroying it.  The food here is so good, too.

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What are your favorite local restaurants?

That’s like picking your favorite kid…that’s really hard.  I like Pasion a lot…I’ve been working with them a lot.  It’s Cuban food, and it’s actually my first trying Cuban food and it tastes great.  I also like La Divina. I’m there too much.  They bring something authentic to Buffalo.  They have this drink called horchata which is amazing.  Well, that’s all I got…I guess I only have one kid.  I haven’t been trying many restaurants out recently.

Favorite place to grab a drink?

I like Vera Pizza.  And Pasion, their bar is great.  It depends on the mood I’m in.  I like Vera for original cocktails and Pasion has more tropical drinks.


Thanks so much, Brandon, for sitting down and chatting with me!  I can’t wait to work with you on the upcoming Locations event…it’s going to be a blast!

Also, here’s a bonus shot of the lovely Caralyn and I!

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Nickel City Gritty: Two Guys Good Buys

At the beginning of November, I attended a Two Guys Good Buys pop-up shop (you can view my post about it HERE)  This was my first time meeting the duo, Frank Fina and Tyler Annalora.  After talking to them for a short while, I quickly learned a few things: they were super passionate about their vintage clothing business, they loved traveling across the country in their van, and they were suckers for a good adventure.

After randomly running into them multiple times since our first initial meeting, I just knew that they had to be the next subjects in my Nickel City Gritty series (check out my first post about Elizabeth of Buffalo Black Book!)

After my interview with Frank & Tyler, I quickly learned a few more things:  Tyler’s spirit animal is a zebra, Frank is terrified of bears, and they are still suckers for a good adventure…and an amazing playlist.

This is Nickel City Gritty, and this is Frank & Tyler of Two Guys Good Buys.

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Describe your style to me.

Tyler:  Laid back, not trying too hard to be comfortable and relevant, always try to be fashion forward…it’s actually tough.  I don’t really think about it too much!

Frank:  Yeah, that’s it.  It’s like, I guess, pretty simple.  Not thinking too much about it.

T:  I try to stick with a timeless aesthetic…the basics.  You can’t go wrong with a nice plaid, but I think simpler is better for sure.  So solids, and right now I like neutral tones and earth tones.

F:  As far as clothing, for me, I’m pretty simple.  Ty is definitely more fashionable than I am.  Clothing wise, I’m most comfortable in jeans and a tee shirt and a jacket. I like stuff that works, I like stuff that lasts.  Especially with doing things in the outdoors, it’s worth buying something that’s gonna last you.  You’re using it every day and you want it to withstand the test of time.

T:  Yeah, that’s the thing, for us we don’t have so much space for clothes, so things that will work day in and day out is really what we’re looking for.

F:  With being on the road, style wise, it’s like you’re really falling in love with these few items that you have, you know?  Back home, I have way too many clothes, and when we spent the 9 months on the road I had a bin of clothing that I wore and everything was really useful.  There was a point about 6 months in where I actually sent some stuff home because we weren’t using it.  It’s like, now we know what works and what’s lasting and what we’re staying warm in. So we sent a few things home and simplified things even more.  So all this, and our personal style, also relates to the clothing that we sell.  Stuff that’s been around, these companies haven’t been around for 60 years because they don’t work.  People trust the quality.  We definitely wear a lot of what we sell, too.

T:  That’s what we’re going for.  A simpler lifestyle.  No frills other than the necessity.

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Do you guys have a favorite outfit or a favorite piece of clothing?

T:  This jacket, for sure.  I’m not sure what type of jacket it is…denim or maybe canvas.  It’s definitely warm.

F:  I’d say, for me, a Pendleton shirt as of lately.  The past couple years.  It always wasn’t my favorite piece of clothing, but now I think a Pendleton wool shirt is something I would not leave behind wherever I went.  I’m just like, so confident on how warm it’s gonna be.  I just trust it.  I actually have Ty to thank for liking certain brands so much.  He definitely has more of a fashion background.

T:  I think we’ve been more or less interested in a certain look or aesthetic.  Sometimes brand specific but just trying to understand certain fibers.  Very elementary level, but to understand, like, wool.  And what type of natural fiber that is.  And then understanding what brands now days still carry on the tradition that was started over a hundred years ago.  It might be made in a different place, but the integrity of the fabric…I’d like to think it’s the same.  Just trying to focus on that more.

F:  Even before we really started getting into the older, vintage stuff, just like in High School, Ty was always going to New York City and he was digging different clothing than other people.

T:  Just goofy stuff. Just being aware of what’s going on in places besides here in Buffalo, whether it be in Europe or Japan. People are doing different things and obviously style is different.  Keeping a keen eye on what’s going on in fashion and style. I’ve always been interested in big cities and like what they’re doing in New York.  So it just kind of opened my eyes to other things.  Going to New York was always fun.  We would do weekend trips quite often.

F:  We would take trips to New York, and at the time I was working full-time.  So I would work until 4:00, hop on a megabus after work, get there Saturday at 5am, meet up with Ty and we would pretty much just walk around the city for two days straight and I would leave Sunday night at like 10pm and get back to Buffalo Monday morning.

T:  Remember that?  We would stay at the hostel on 27th and 3rd. You’d call me at like 5:30 in the morning, wake up, get a coffee, and we’d walk like 60 blocks.

That’s so fun!

F:  We would just go and walk around and take photos.  It’s really sweet to think back to those trips, and this was probably 2010 or 2011, and just to look back and we were just like hanging out.  It’s just crazy how it evolves into this now and our love for photography and traveling and just seeing new things and seeing new faces and seeing new styles.  It’s always been there, just now it’s evolved.

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Do you guys have any style icons?

F:  *laughs* Yeah, Ty.

T:  I can’t say that I do, but I get my eye from my mom.

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Where do you look as your source of inspiration?

F:  Being on the road is a constant inspiration for me.  Just seeing so many new things, whether it is the scenic views  or just talking to different people from all over the country.  Just a lot of different walks of life.  It’s cool because the traveling community is a huge thing for me.  I didn’t know how amazing it would be.  It’s amazing to meet up with strangers.  Back home, before leaving, you know I had a group of friends but I wasn’t the type of person to like, go out to a bar and meet all new people.  So now I’m much more open to meeting new people and finding out similarities.  Automatically when you’re on the road, I feel like there’s just a connection right away that’s so much quicker.  We’re away from home, and traveling and sitting around the fire and cooking breakfast together.  You just automatically have the connection and that’s really inspiring to me.  We always say strangers become friends so quick.  I feel like you gain trust and grow to like these people.

T:  Yeah, and moving around, it’s not just “Wooooo we’re gonna go crazy and start driving somewhere!” You have to have a general plan.  Just being exposed to more is inspiring, because you see just so many more possibilities and different ways of life.  Not everything is so glamorous, but there’s different possibilities out there in other places than in Buffalo or New York or wherever you are.  I think once you move yourself from one specific place, it just opens your eyes naturally.  For me personally, that’s a huge inspiration.  I want to continue to push what we’re doing here because right now it’s working and I know we’re not gonna fail, and if we do there’s many more things that we can go and pursue and continue to do what we’re doing.

F:  Yeah, you just see all these different opportunities and all these different people that are able to travel full time and are doing all these different things.  Whether it’s a traveling nurse or substitute teaching or people running their own brands or blogging or photographers.  All these people are doing things and they have their shit together, they’re making a living, they’re traveling full-time.  They’re not just out there doing whatever.  It’s hard work to travel full-time, so there’s just other ways to do it and make a living other than working 40 hours a week 9 to 5.  There’s ways to do it.

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What’s on your playlist?

F:  Music is SO huge for us!  Obviously, anyone taking road trips, it’s huge.  We’ve definitely expanded what we listen to a lot.  We pick up music from the people that we met.  Our good friend Jackie took our iPod one day and put all this music on, this was one month into our trip, and filled it up with all new music and we started listening to all these different, completely different artists that we didn’t even know about.

T:  For a while I was listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers.  I listen to Foals.  We always listen to 70’s Smash Hits, that’s for sure!

F:  Yeah, that’s the playlist!  70’s Smash Hits.  The Lumineers are really good.  There’s just something about being on an open highway and certain music works so much better.

T:  Also been listening to a lot of J. Cole recently.

F:  I was always really really into hip hop.  Definitely went to a lot of hip hop shows and kept up on different hip hop blogs, so we continue to listen to hip hop music too, but we are listening to so much more.  I’ve always appreciated different types of music.

T:  Dan Auerbach, Black Keys, listened to Modest Mouse for a while.

F:  I listen to pretty much everything.  One thing that we don’t listen to though is country.  I don’t know what it is, I don’t know if it’s just in my head.  That’s one thing we just never listen to. Other than that we just listen to pretty much every genre.

T:  Beatles are great always and listen to the Stones for sure.  The Doors are great, listened to The Eagles for weeks.

F:  There would be long drives, I think Ty would put on a Beatles playlist, and there’d be like 25 songs and that would last a while, and I would doze off and then wake up and look over and Ty’s just jammin out to The Beatles and singing, and it’s stuff like that that’s just awesome.  We had some fun in those front seats of the van.

What was your favorite or most memorable concert you’ve been to?

T:  It would have to be your first concert…

F:  What, mine?

T:  Yeah, Billy Joel!

F:  The first concert I ever went to, my parents took me to a Billy Joel concert.  I don’t remember it so I wouldn’t say that it was my favorite. I was young.  Growing up, my parents always wanted me to play instruments.  Which I do too, but when you’re younger, it’s different.  My mom was always like “When you’re older, you’re gonna wish that you stuck with the piano or the saxophone.” So they took me, and that’s back when I was taking the piano.  But I say my favorite one…we would go up to Toronto for a show, and saw Jay Z and Kanye West, just a huge stadium concert.

T:  Does a music festival count?

Yeah!

T:  I think that would be my favorite concert…Hangout Festival.  Gulf Coast of Alabama.  3 days on the beach.  So many people performed.  On the last night, the headliner was Paul Simon.  That was a cool performance to see.

F:  I think my favorite live show…I went to New York to see Nas at Radio City Music Hall on New Year’s Eve.  That was a few years back…that was an amazing show.  Also, right here at the Ballroom, Atmosphere.  Have you ever heard of Atmosphere?  It’s like underground-ish hip hop.  It’s all real instruments and it’s awesome.  That was one of my favorite live shows.

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Who would play you in a movie about your life?

F:  Adam Sandler!

T:  *laughs* Yeah, for sure!

F:  I don’t know why, but everyone’s always joked around that I look like him, and as a kid he was my favorite actor.  Honestly, I’m not huge into movies, but that’s who came to mind first.

What’s your spirit animal?

T:  Oh man…hmmmmm…zebra.

Zebra?  Why?

T:  When I went to the zoo as a kid, I always wanted to take the zebras home with me.

Awwwwwwww…

F:  I’ve never thought of my spirit animal.  I’m like petrified of bears.  That’s a fear  that I have.  It’s not my spirit animal, but I’m definitely scared of bears.  The first time we were out in grizzly territory out west, and we were doing hikes all over the place.  That first hike where I knew there was a chance that there could be a grizzly bear around, I was like thinking about it non-stop. Looking up and always making sure I know what to do if I see one.  But I don’t know, I never really thought about the spirit animal.

T:  I don’t think you could skip that question.

F:  A bald eagle!

T:  Ooooh that’s a good one.

F:  Forever free.  Bald eagles are sweet.  I always wanted to see one so bad, and we went months on a trip without seeing one, always talked about it.  They’re way more common out west.  We were in Oregon one day, which was 5 months into the trip, and we were at Mt. Hood and we saw two bald eagles above us.  I was filming it, and in the background of the video I’m like “This is amazing!” and I’m bugging out.

T:  It was hilarious, I’m like looking at the bald eagles doing their thing and he’s like “Oh my god!”

F:  I wanted to send it to my grandpa.  He is a huge inspiration, and the reason why I like the outdoors so much.  He’s 90 years old and I would always keep him updated on the trip. And send him videos.  He’s somehow really good with an iPhone at 90 years old, so I took that video and sent it to him.  And after that we ended up seeing a few more.

Did you see a bear?

F:  We did see a bear, our first bear in Yosemite.  That was sweet.  It was far away and there was a lot of other people around.

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What’s your favorite childhood memory?

F:  I’d say, going to the ocean once a year.  My parents would take me on little trips to Myrtle Beach and Virginia Beach.  I’d say, trips to the ocean with my family.  That’s why I have the constant travel bug.  It was always something I looked forward to.

T:  I think probably doing things on the weekends with my dad.  My sister and I would go and do something outside.  Whether is be a day trip or weekend trip camping or something.  Do everything together and make dinner, start the fire and cooking out.  He would be in the country so we would go to his house and shoot bb guns and have fun outside. He was always adamant about getting my sister and I outside.

F:  I think my grandpa really got me into the outdoors.  He was the hunter and fisherman, so those were the times that we would do that- going out fishing and things like that.

What’s your favorite local place to grab a drink?

F:  So when I go out to bars, I like to have something else to do there other than just sit at the bar, whether it’s pool or darts.  I really like going to Frizzy’s  because I think the photo booth there is a blast.  So if we go there with a group of friends, I just like taking photos.  It’s such a cool little keepsake and you can have it forever for $3.

T:  Yeah, that’s the first thing that came to my mind.

Where do you go to de-stress?

F:  Nature, hikes, the Adirondacks.

T:  It’s been tough, I didn’t realize it.  Even just being in Buffalo, it’s fast enough and there’s enough lights and it’s loud enough where you can get rattled a little bit.

F:  Especially when you get used to living on the road, there really is a lot less stress, so coming back you’re just like “Woah!”

T:  We’d go to Public in the Lafayette Hotel, go around the corner and sit by the fireplace.  That’s a nice place to relax.

F:  For myself, and Ty too, just being out in nature is really calming.

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Okay, and always my last question is, what do you want to be when you grow up?

F:  I just want to be happy and successful in my own terms.  As long as I’m progressing every year in my life I’m happy with that.

T:  I think right now it’s kind of hard to put into one specific thing.  I think to be living by my own best means, I’ll be happy.

F:  You know, it’s interesting, when I was a kid and thought about that question what I wanted to be when I was growing up or what I thought I wanted to be doing 5 years from 21 even, I didn’t think I’d be doing this.  And this is what I want to be doing right now.  I want to be traveling.  It’s just crazy. I never thought it would be possible.  And it IS possible, for anybody.  Not just for us.  If there’s something you wanna do, and you just sit down and plan it and take your time with it and think about it, it’s so possible.

Nickel City Gritty: Elizabeth Siematkowski

I present to you, the very first interview in my Nickel City Gritty series.

Nickel City Gritty is a very special project of mine.  It is a series of interviews, videos, and photos of the very thing that made Buffalo what is is today- the people.  I’m interviewing and photographing those very people that run this city; those who are doing incredible things and living outside the box.

But these aren’t just any old interviews.  These interviews are getting down to the core of the person- their favorite music, food, memories, and things that they love about this amazing city that we call home.

This is Nickel City Gritty, and this is Elizabeth Siematkowski.

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If you don’t know who Elizabeth is, then you’ve probably been living under a rock.  Girlfriend has been EVERYWHERE lately.  Liz is the mastermind behind Buffalo Black Book.  If you don’t know what Buffalo Black Book is, then you are definitely living under a rock.  The BBB is a quarterly print magazine committed to highlighting and exploring culture, subculture, love and people through candid conversation and busting of social stigma.  Its very first issue, Bodies, has been wildly successful, being sold online, as well as in few select boutiques around Buffalo and even at print stands in New York City.

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From the moment that I met Liz, I instantly felt a strong connection with her, like we’ve been lifelong friends.  Her infectious personality draws you in and when you are speaking to her, you can tell that she she is really interested in your life story and what you have to say.  That’s why she’s so perfect at what she does.  She truly cares about the people that she interviews for Buffalo Black Book and knows how to make a person comfortable.  She’s super chill and the authentic “cool girl” that many of us women strive to be.

I recently dragged Liz out in the freezing cold and snow to my favorite restaurant Toutant for brunch.  We ate waffles and bonded over our mutual love of Hanson (she’s a Zac girl and I’m a Taylor fanatic) and I learned that she’s got a very interesting, yet dangerous, hidden talent.

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Describe your style to me.

That’s really tough.  Sometimes I can get a little wild in what I wear. I like to mix in pieces that are really classic.  I like the idea of having one really nice sweater versus ten semi-decent pieces that could get kind of weird in a year or two.

So you stay away from trendy?

Yeah, so something classic, like my grandmom’s sweater, something that somebody made that’s a classic piece.  But then I also love the bohemian street style.  So it’s not quite grunge, but it’s not like full boho.  I love heeled boots and nice tight pants.  It’s definitely a blend of the two styles.

Do you have a favorite piece of clothing?  Something that means a lot to you?

Yes!  Well actually, one of my favorite sweaters I just lost, which was really sad.  So now, probably my favorite outfit would be in the summer, it’s jean shorts and this vintage Police tee that I haggled in Toronto.  Like haggled it down from like $212 in a glass case, and I was like “This is ridiculous, how long has this been in there?” to like $30 Canadian.  And so that Police tee is just like, my heart. So probably that and jean shorts in the summer and in the winter, tights pants and what used to be my favorite sweater. So now I need to get a new favorite sweater!  But I have one that my grandmom made me and it’s fitted, white fisherman knit, and I like that a lot.  And boots.  I like my black Rainbow boots.

Rainbow.  Like the store Rainbow?

Yeah, the store Rainbow!  I’m like, I don’t know. I just LOVE Rainbow.  I have some bodysuits from there that are just out of this world.  And I was gonna get these really nice black leather boots a while back but they didn’t have my right size. So I walked into Rainbow one day and they had the exact thing for $15 and I was like DONE!

Do you have a style icon?

I love Nicole Richie’s style, oh my god I love her style.  I also love Gwyneth Paltrow.  Love her style.  And also Sienna Miller a lot.  It’s kind of like that simple but classic kind of look.  And of course Audrey Hepburn.

Where do you look for inspiration?  What inspires you?

I think what inspires me is seeing people do things that are kind of off the beaten path and do it with in amazing flair and just absolutely dominate. I love seeing people who are unexpected or people who are underdogs. Like they wouldn’t expect them to be crushing it or to do well.  Against the odds, crush it at life doing whatever they are doing. I think that inspires me because that is so great.  When people are themselves.  It’s really hard to kind of just be who you are.  Sometimes you are pigeonholed into a job or a profession or family expectation. I love people who are just like “We are out here, that’s it!” Just own it.  That is so cool to me.  I think that’s the closest you can get to somebody, when they are themselves and you are really having a genuine connection.

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What is currently on your playlist?

I just made a BBB playlist on Spotify.  I really love a lot of French 60’s music, like Francoise Hardy. She’s a French 60’s Pop artist and she’s radiant and I love her style as well.  She’s just absolutely flawless and her music is beautiful.  I was into Bossa Nova for a while.  But now on this mix there’s some Hip Hop and a little bit of Folk.  I love Folk music.  But I also love great aggressive Hip Hop music.  For Hip Hop, Wycleff is my man.  Like “Gone Till November.”  Ugh, so in love.  And then I like Dance music, but not too much of the EDM, just like what really makes you dance.  I love Tracey Chapman, oh my god. She’s one of my faves.  That’s one of the first artists that I remember when I was a kid. I played “Fast Car” over and over and over again.  You can just feel so much from her songs. I love Debbie Harry and of course Madonna and Michael Jackson.  My mom loves Cyndi Lauper and Dolly Parton so I know all of their stuff.  I liked Cher a lot when I was a really young kid!

What is your favorite or most memorable concert that you’ve ever been to?

Oh my god.  Okay, I was in Hershey, Pennsylvania  with my family and I was probably the only person that I knew who liked the Hanson brothers and I’m not afraid to admit that.

Okay, who’s your favorite?

Oh man.  I liked the young one. I liked Zac, you know that little “Lucy” song.  I named by dog Lucy, which now I’m just realizing I wonder if that was some subconscious thing from my Hanson days!

*Note from Lindsay:  At this point we both broke out singing “Lucy” and it was probably one of the top five moments of my life*

So  we were in Hershey Pennsylvania park and we were camping out and my parents had a pop-up camper and we heard that Hanson was playing.  So my brother and I stood on the roof of my parent’s van in a parking lot with my dad’s binoculars and watched the Hanson brothers and then I went back to the campground and was listening to their cd on my little walkman cd thing crying because I was so happy that I got to see them!  So I think that was definitely my most memorable concert.  Everyone was like, “Can we go home, we can’t see anything and we hate Hanson.” and I was like “Oh my god my life’s complete!”

What were you like in high school?

I was kind of quiet, I still am, which is surprising.  I’m generally pretty shy.  Which I may not seem like it.I love people, obviously, and I love interacting. But getting to know people, it takes me a while to get pretty comfortable.  So I was pretty quiet, and I was also a competitive figure skater.  I graduated high school and just went and figure skated.  I always just thought I would do that, and then one thing lead to another and I was like, meh, maybe I should go to college since I guess that’s what people do.  I was pretty much just skating and being quiet.  I didn’t like school, I hated it.  I just didn’t like sitting and I didn’t like homework and it was just so constricting.  I was just bouncing around and was a bit of a lone wolf and just did my own thing.  I liked everyone and appreciated everybody but also was just like “Get me out of here!”  I was always just weirdly trying to push boundaries, even in high school.  I would sit with different groups of people every day and try to just not do what everybody else was doing.

What made you get into skating?

I think just from where I’m from the Great North.  It’s cold, there’s nothing to do, and when I was a kid my dad would build an ice rink in our backyard and I think that made me love it and I just kept going with it.  I LOVE Canalside…that rink is amazing!  I actually got kicked off the other day.  It was one in the afternoon and I was like “I’m going down there” so I brought my skates and hopped over the thing and just started skating and then this security guard was walking after me and I was like “Can’t catch me!” and he was like “You can’t be out there.  I’m calling the police.” and I was like, I probably shouldn’t get arrested today so I said “Please oh please let me just skate” and he was like “No I really can’t.” but that was the best outdoor rink I’ve ever skated on in my life!

 

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Do you have a celebrity crush?

Oh god, I’ve got a couple.  Let me think…definitely love James Franco.  I love Sienna Miller.  I love Jake Gyllenhaal and I really love Ellen Paige.

Favorite local restaurants?

I really love Merge. I love how even in the early days they were doing beautiful vegan foods.  I’m not a vegetarian or a vegan but a lot of what I eat is and I love going to places where people make these beautiful creations with all sorts of cashew cheese and really cool things. Lloyd tacos are obviously incredible.  ABV’s chickpea burger is out of control good and I like their beer.  I love going to the West Side Bazaar and I always get this chickpea naan special.  It’s like $5 and the guys is so nice, and for some reason every time I go there I’m like having a hard day, so I’m holding back tears and I’m so upset.  But he’s always there and is like “Do you want the lunch special?” and I’m like “Yes!” and I just sit there and eat it by myself in silence and enjoy the atmosphere and end up feeling better.  You know what I love about it?  It comes on a tray and they use real bowls so it’s like a family feel and it’s just like off the grid and I really like that place for lunch.  I love Hydraulic Hearth…definitely one of my favorite restaurants in Buffalo! It’s the most beautiful.  I like Larkin a lot and the energy down there.

Favorite place to grab a drink?

I like Essex Pub a lot.  For a good beer, ABV is really good.  I like going to Vera and Buffalo Proper.  And Frizzy’s for some reason, I have no idea why.  I like some of the classic spots like that.  Essex and Vera are definitely my go-to’s.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I can do a cartwheel on roller blades!  Whipping that one out is always a good idea.  One of these years I’m gonna not have done it in so long and I’m gonna try it and actually break my neck. Like “Look what I can do! Just kidding, I need a hospital!”

Backstreet Boys or NSync?

Oh my gosh, I never got into either!  I was too hooked on Hanson, and Tracey Chapman.

Okay, so what about either Britney or Christina?

Britney forever!  Love, love…I will always carry the Britney torch.

Where is your happy place?  Where do you go to de-stress?

Definitely anything involving nature.  I have my dog, an 85 pound Golden Retriever Siberian Husky mix named Lucy and I love her so much. So I’ll go for walks with her. I love the new Outer Harbor trails so that’s our new spot.  I also love the Artpark Gorge and of course being from the North Country, the Adirondacks.  So anything like a walk or nature, that is my happy place.  Or rollerblading as fast as I can, really as I can.  I like going fast, as fast as I can!

Okay, so my last question is…what do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be somebody that my goddaughter will be proud of.  That’s it.


Thank you SO MUCH for the Interview, Elizabeth! You were so sweet to answer all of my questions and now I’m so happy that I have someone to talk about Hanson with.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Nickel City Gritty!