So I Went To Atlanta

           So I went to Atlanta. The land of Waffle House, Chik Fil A, and trap music. Atlanta is like Memphis’ older cousin that went off to an HBCU and now dresses different. Not that Memphis is uncultured or lacking, Atlanta is just a little different. It’s got that big city vibe with the Southern charm we all love. I have a love hate relationship with the city. 

            The first day pretty much set the tone for the entire trip. I booked a room at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Downtown Atlanta on Peachtree. Looked very nice from the online pics on Hotel.com. We get there and it’s crazy booked with what appeared to several conferences. Check in took about 15 mins but there were only a few elevators and the wait times were horrible. The room was located on the 14th floor. The views from the room of downtown Atlanta were dope though. 

          Next up was a trip to Gus’ chicken. Yeah I know. I went to a spot in Atlanta that we had in Memphis. So what? Sue me! The experience was so trash I want even talk about it. Step your game up Gus in Atlanta. Y’all tripping mane. Next up was a walk to Centennial Park and an adventure to find a Walgreens. After that a trip to SunTrust Park to see the Atlanta Braves play. 

          Let me just say this. The area surrounding the stadium is amazing. There are shops, bars, eateries and even apartments all located inside this area. It was so dope. Memphis needs something similar. The stadium is amazing. I’ve been to several major league parks and this one was the best. They also had a Waffle House and a Chik Fil A inside. Naturally I had to find a bar inside. Come on you guys know me. 

           Day 2 started out great. We visited a market in the Edgewood area that was so nice. I loved that there were butchers, farmers and little shops to eat all in one. Memphis, take notice mane. We got there a bit too early so most of the shops weren’t open yet. Since I’m an avid bruncher, I decided to hit up a spot that was close by. It was called BQE Restaurant and Lounge. I think a Trap Brunch was going on when we walked in. It was packed as soon as we walked in at 10AM. We were told since we didn’t have a reservation that we could sit in a section but had to be done in an hour. An hour! A time limit on brunch? Not only that but their regular mimosa was priced at $13 each! Yes regular champagne and OJ in a glass was $13! They also offered bottomless mimosas for $28 per person and you couldn’t share. At this point I was done. The server let us split a bottomless but I was not too happy about it seeing how we still had that 1 Hour time limit. Thankfully the food was good. 

          Later that day I did a maternity shoot for a good friend of mine and tweaked my back a little. We went to a very nice steakhouse downtown called Cuts. Now this place was nice and our server Gary was amazing. He is from Montreal and gave some great life lessons. The evening ended with me laid out like an old man watching the new season of Stranger Things and still complaining about those $13 mimosas. 

           Sunday was check out day. I was so ready to get back to Memphis. Y’all do remember the mimosas were $13, right? Not sure if I mentioned that. We went to Waffle House because the Atlanta Breakfast Co was insanely packed then took a visit to the World of Coke. It was a good experience. Very crowded but it was nice. Here’s a pro tip. Don’t buy the surprise bags. You’ll be surprised by the money you wasted. We tried to go to the Trap Museum, but the line was about 3 blocks long. Maybe next time. 

           That was Atlanta! Nice place to visit but I could never live there. They will literally run you off the highway if you don’t go at least 120 mph. 3 days was more than enough. I do have to admit that the customer service at the Atlanta Waffle House is way better than anything I’ve experienced in Memphis. There staffed actually liked their jobs. While I did enjoy Atlanta, I’m still pissed the mimosas were $13. 

Life is for a Living,

Michael B. The

I Got a Philly in Philly and Caught a 76ers Game!

That title made me chuckle a bit, but we are just gonna roll with it anyways lol. I got a real Philly cheesesteak in Philadelphia and I’m so excited! I was super happy when I found out that I was going to training in Philly and began looking for places to get a cheesesteak. The people up here literally argue about who has the best cheesesteak. It reminds me of Memphians arguing about who has the best BBQ. I ended up listening to my friend Will Weeks recommendation of a spot called Tony Luke’s.

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A Thanksgiving I Will Never Forget

         Thanksgiving. A day for family and to be thankful. While some don’t like the history of the day, I still see it as a great day to enjoy family and stuff your face. As I’ve grown older, I’ve grown to appreciate being around family and making memories. Which led to one of the best Thanksgiving Days ever. 

Maddy and I take over Florida! 

Maddy and I take over Florida! 

            My mom has never seen the beach in her life and really enjoyed seeing the images from my last stay at the Shores Resort and Spa in Daytona, Florida. So I did what any son would do. I bought my mom a plane ticket from Atlanta to meet me and Maddy in Florida for Thanksgiving! I really want to thank everyone over at Shores Resort and Spa for making this day possible! They were so accommodating and even left us a special gift in the room! #swag 

Shores Swag! 

Shores Swag! 

View from our room

View from our room

            Upon arrival we got a s’mores kit from the front desk and headed to the fire pits. This was my first time ever making s’mores and we failed miserably lol. Marshmallows roast fast as heck, but hey we tried. They still tasted better than they looked. 

           Waking up the next day proved to be a super challenge. Don’t set a time while on vacation. It will never go as planned!! Maddy refused to leave the bed. I got up early to check out the sunset and it was breathtaking! I recently bought a 16-35mm lens and it was the perfect lens for this trip. 

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          We learned two very important things Wednesday. Disney World is very crowded on Thanksgiving and the tickets aren’t cheap. They were $129.....each! I love Disney like the next person, but those prices coupled with having to wait in line a minimum of an hour and supremely overpriced food, makes Disney not a vacation I would recommend  unless it’s something you absolutely have to do. We enjoyed our time, but after paying $409 after taxes for 3 tickets, we didn’t feel we got our money’s worth. That and we were only able to ride 1 ride. 

         We headed back to the hotel to change and hit the beach! My mom literally cried when she saw it. That was the highlight of the trip for me. Just seeing how happy she was made my entire year. I’m so glad I had the means and the opportunity to do this for her. Maddy, on the other hand, had to be dragged from the ocean each day. This little girl loves being in the water and on the beach. 

          This was just day one! I’m going to do a part two for the amazing brunch we had on Thanksgiving Day at Shores Resort and Spa. You’re going to go into a food overload! Trust me, it’s worth it. 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

Road Trippin’!!!

          It’s been so long since I’ve been on a road trip! There’s nothing like packing up the car with friends and snacks and hitting the road. I was recently headed to South Carolina to do a shoot for a hotel, so I decided to make the road trip a part of the whole experience. I recruited the super, crazy dope Kim Thomas to tag along and we hit the road. Our plan was to hit the Smoky Mountains and explore a bit before arriving at our destination. Things didn’t go exactly to plan, but we have a great time either way!

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           First stop on the trip was Nashville. I know I have my little beef with the state capital, but I will at least say the city is very clean. I think eating off the ground isn't frowned upon at all in Nashville. The streets are literally that clean. Seriously, Memphis take some notes. Nashville also has an amazing skyline that’s even more impressive at night. Take more notes Memphis. Ok that’s about all the nice things I have to say about Nashville. That took a lot out of me. 

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           While in Nashville, I had to try some of this Nashville hot chicken that I’ve heard so much about. Hattie B’s recently opened a restaurant in Memphis that is ok but not great. I heard Prince’s chicken was way better, so we decided to give the a try. I will have a full review coming soon, but just know it was better than Hattie B’s. 

          We spent way longer in Nashville than we should have. I swore it was only an hour but we actually spent 3 whole hours there! We were totally off schedule for our Smoky Mountains plans. I really wanted the opportunity, so I might have gone a tad over the speed limit. Just a tad. Lol. We cruised into Knoxville and started to see those mountains we came for.  I was once told the Smokies weren’t mountains, but just big hills. Well when you’re from Memphis and you don’t have any mountains, big hills count! I really wanted to fly the drone but it’s illegal in national parks. I normally would do it anyways, but I didn’t want any issues in East Tennessee. 

           The plan was to go up a mountain and get a dope portrait. Well, things went from exciting to scary really quick. We go up a road and it goes from two lanes to 1 then just a narrow path. Keep in mind there are houses scattered all along this road. We went so far up that we both got scared because we were literally on the edge of the mountain with very little room for the car. We got out and took the pics we could. 

            We had to wrap up early because we both kept hearing some very strange noises in the trees. We are both city folk and any noise outside of dogs barking, ambulances and planes flying will spook the hell out of us. We jumped in the car and got off that mountain as fast as possible! 

            We arrived at the hotel late that night. I was so happy to finally arrive! What was supposed to be an 8 hour drive turned into 11 and a half! Needless to say, we were both beyond tired. But not too tired to take some bomb pics! Check out that lobby!!! 

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          This wraps up the first leg of the road trip. Stay tuned for more updates and the actual hotel stay itself.  

Life is for Living,

Michael B.  

New Orleans Architecture

I recently made a visit to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. While the partying was insane, I wanted to do a bit more while in the Big Easy. So I took to the streets with my newly purchased Samyung/Rokinon 35mm F1.4 AF lens paired with my Sony a7ii camera. Before I go any further, I want to say this lens is an absolute beast and I'm so in love with the 35mm focal length.  

Ok I've gotten that out the way. I've been to Mardi Gras numerous times, but it's only been to party and come right back home. Seeing how I had a brand new lens, I decided to explore downtown New Orleans a bit. I quickly found out this city's architecture is simply amazing. Take a look at these images I captured. 

 Disclaimer: All images are copyright protected and the property of one901.com. Images cannot be used without written consent 

I loved every minute of my urban exploration. I wish I had more time because everywhere I went in the city, I ran into someone that was extremely nice and talkative. I definitely plan to go back when there's less Mardi Gras action. 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.