Summer Travel Recap!

Yo!

So sorry for the lack of updates, but I finally have a chance to update you guys on what I’ve been up to these past months. Aside from taking the GRE and getting my application together for PT school, I’ve been doing a ton of traveling! First stop was back home to Cincinnati in the middle of July to spin a wedding for my close family friend, Carl (congrats to him and his new wife, Arwen!). Despite a little rain shower, the ceremony was beautiful, complete with a full rainbow backdrop. Set in Ault Park, the reception took place in the famous pavilion space overlooking the plaza. This was the first time I have actually ever performed for my hometown friend’s and family so it was pretty awesome sharing my passion with them in such a great setting. Definitely an awesome time!

My family at the Ault Park Pavilion

A brief return to STL and then I was off to yet another wedding in northern California the next weekend. I got a chance to see my grandparents (who were coincidentally celebrating their golden anniversary that weekend as well) as well as my adorable cousins Nicholas and Grace. After venturing up to San Francisco to I catch an IMAX 3D showing of the Dark Knight with a few of my best college buds, I bummed a ride up to Wilbur Hot Springs resort to celebrate the union of my friend Xiaojing and her new husband, Vaughn. Two hours north of Oakland, the resort is entirely solar-powered and “off the grid”. I’ll admit it was strangely refreshing to be without my phone and gadgets during my stay; I can’t remember the last time I was without technology for more than 24 hours. But I guess in retrospect I was not completely cutoff, as the greatest part of the night was that they had brought a generator in order to power the amazing soundsystem that they set up in an outdoor veranda. I got a chance to witness some amazing house/soul DJs rock a dance floor from 10pm to nearly 5am in this awesome secluded resort and even threw down a short set as well. Shout out to DJ Cali for letting me use his tech12s and Rane MP 2016 (first time working with a rotary mixer, very cool!) HOUSE MUSIC ALL NIGHT LONG!

Grandma and Grandpa Huang!

After another short return to STL (and tackling the GRE), I flew out to the big apple for an amazing weekend, visiting old friends, eating way too much food and locking down all the details for upcoming fall cruise tour! The last time I was in NYC was about 5 years ago and I was not quite of age to experience all the goodness that the city could offer. This time, I made sure I got a real taste of the city: Columbia campus crashing, shopping in SOHO, brunching in West Village, late night falafel and hookah in East Village, Times Square rooftop chillin’, barhopping across Manhattan, boating on the Hudson and so much more. Huge thanks to my awesome friends Kate and Tommy for hosting me at their apartments during my stay, love you guys! The main purpose of the trip, however, was to visit Scratch DJ Academy, the umbrella organization that hired me to DJ these cruises I’ve been talking about for this fall. Located in the heart of Manhattan, the academy houses both the offices of SCRATCH as well as an impressive teaching environment laden with no less than 2 dozen DJ set-ups, several private session rooms and a production/teaching studio overlooking the city. I got a chance to meet some awesome DJs, including the budding TJ Mizell a.k.a DopeRoots (the late Jam Master Jay’s youngest son) and observe one of the DJ 101 classes. What an inspiration it was to see proper instruction on mixing/scratching to people who were genuinely interested in the fundamentals of the craft. I decided I will have to return to NYC for an entire week to take some intensive courses later this year!

My friend Julia in one of the teaching studios!

I am so honored and proud to be part of such a group and am excited to see where the future takes them. A humongous thanks to my good friend Julia for encouraging me to apply in the first place, I am forever thankful for your friendship!

So now I am finally back in St. Louis for a solid 5 weeks before my first official cruise DJ gig! Focus is now on completing my PT school applications and prepping for some of the wildest months of my life this fall 😀

For all my favorite pictures of the summer, check out my public facebook albums here: PART 1 || PART 2

Until next time!

John

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