DSLR Diaries: Pittsburgh Vacay

At the end of February, I took a fun road trip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with my guy and had a blast. I honestly was so psyched to take my DSLR camera out of New York for the first time, and I had such a fun time taking pics and video during the trip. I did leave my camera behind during some parts of the vacation due to a few places not allowing professional cameras and whatnot (I’m also not great at night photography yet so I didn’t really bother taking my camera out after 6pm), but I am happy with the shots I got.

We stayed at the Oaklander Hotel, which is right near the University of Pittsburgh in Oakland, so at night there were tons of college kids out and about in the streets and the bars.

The hotel itself was a bit odd as the check in desk is not in the lobby on the first floor, but instead on the 10th floor (you read that correctly, TENTH) where the Spirits & Tales hotel bar is. Other than that, the room was great (the stand up shower situation was also odd but after a while you get used to it) and I would stay there again if I were to go back to Pittsburgh for another vacation.

Enjoy some of my favorite shots from my Pittsburgh vacay!

Chasing the sunset on the Pennsylvania Turnpike while traveling to Pittsburgh.

The Pitt Panther Statue

The Cathedral of Learning

Inside the Cathedral of Learning

Austria Nationality Room – The Cathedral of Learning

Israel Nationality Room – Cathedral of Learning (imagine sitting at one of these desks!)

Heinz Memorial Chapel

Inside of the Heinz Memorial Chapel

Dr. Thomas Starzl Statue at UPitt

Oakland Mural

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Oakland Ave

View from the terrace near Litchfield Towers at UPitt

Oakland Square

Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Church

Mad Mex Restaurant

Bouquet Gardens

Love locks on Schenley Bridge

Christopher Columbus statue in Schenley Park

Phipps Conservatory

Dinosaur statue wearing a scarf near the Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Downtown Pittsburgh

Heinz Field

PNC Park (Home of the Pittsburgh Pirates)

Wagner Statue at PNC Park

Birmingham Bridge

Heading back to NYC

Be sure to follow my Instagram @thewhisperboxpix for more photos!

A vlog featuring the footage I took during my Pittsburgh trip is up on YouTube as well:

Trails and Ways @ Mercury Lounge

Trails and Ways at Mercury Lounge on June 18th

Trails and Ways at Mercury Lounge on June 18th

So last week Thursday I went to my first 21+ concert at Mercury Lounge to see Trails and Ways! My friend Karina joined me, and we had so much fun.

Waterstrider opened the show at around 7pm with a song that started putting me to sleep (it was either “White Light” or “Calliope,” I really don’t remember. But then things got interesting when they played more upbeat songs like “Redwood” and “New Sun.”


Waterstrider’s lead singer Nate Salman’s high range vocals are pretty impressive, and the group’s conga player Brijean Murphy is so cool. (Side note: It wasn’t until a few minutes ago that I realized Nate Salman is the singer featured on Le Sins’ “Why”. I freaking love that song! His vocal range is lower in “Why” than most of his songs for Waterstrider, so I had a hard time believing it was him. I had to actually watch a live video to be convinced!)

Waterstrider ended at around 7:30pm, and that’s when Karina and I decided to go get some food in our bodies to then get some alcohol. I wasn’t the one who got the drinks, but according to Karina, we were served cranberry vodka with fizz and a lime. It was delicious!

Trails and Ways came on at around 8:15pm. I was super hype. They opened with “Jacaranda,” one of the last singles released from Pathology.

The band also played some of my all time favorites, “Nunca,” “Tereza,” and “Say You Will.” When they played “Dream About Me,” Karina and I went nuts because we didn’t realize Ian Quirk was the one singing on that one when we heard it on the album. He is now my personal favorite of the band.

At one point during the show, Emma stopped to tell us about how she and Hannah went to buy fanny packs at a store in NYC that they had bought the same item from a few years ago.

“It’s basically like a pocket for your waist,” she said. Keith thanked her for that fashion update and kindly asked to move on.

Trails and Ways was amazing, and even though I was kind of saddened that they played their cover of “Sure Thing” instead of “Lost” for the encore, I absolutely loved the concert. They ended with “Vines” the last track on their latest album, (making the show’s ending even more melancholy than it needed to be).

Karina was all, “It’s not over, is it?”

Couldn’t have asked for a better night to celebrate my new 21+ concert-going life!