Chronicles of Brooklyn Walks

pexels-photo-343469A year ago, I was blessed by the abundance of love for my date of birth.  I have to say that for the most part, my life is always packed with spontaneity, creativity, go-with-the-flow vibes and extraordinary moments.  Often, I’m asked what my favorite places are, and I never can come up with a straight answer and that’s because I don’t do ‘favorites’.  My reasoning behind it is everything I experience is my favorite.  I find beauty in it all and always enjoy each moment differently.  I wouldn’t be able to say that my walk through the Darien Jungle in Panama was more epic than my rides on a motorbike through the ‘barrios’ of Cali in Colombia.  Both these adventures were experienced at different periods in my life, with different things in mind.  I try as much as I can to live in each moment without discriminating by comparing it to another moment I’ve previously lived or will soon encounter.  I don’t think it would be fair, and to be frank, way too deceptive in my book.  All that to say, that my 2016 birthday weekend was one for the books…but aren’t they all.. sigh of joy.

As I’ve realized over the years, I’m a connector.  I tend to remember who? what? where? when? and how? when it comes to bringing people together.  I had this idea to get my friends on film in my neighborhood of Brooklyn.  Friends whom I consider family, and who made time to come spend my day with me.  New York City is most likely one of the most visited city in the world, where people from different walks of life mingle, or not, with the already heavy populated town.  These tourists come with an avid interest in the most visited places; Empire State building, Central Park, M&M store, just to name a few.  The ones who have been to the city many times, I would hope would be more interested in what the locals do.  As a traveler, I seek to discover a city by the way the people who live in it, LIVE IT.  I will take a night and go to a local movie theater, will grab a beer at a popular pub, will walk around town by setting a destination while referring to Google Maps.  I allow myself to get lost.  As a friend once told me, “the joy of discovering a city is to get lost”.  To get lost is to rely on your human sense, use your brain, your insight, your intuition, and learn the way you deal with the “stress” of being in a new place and figuring your way, all while absorbing the environment.  I wouldn’t’ dare to state my way is the best way, but I’ve allowed my intuition to guide me instead of a Lonely Planet.

It came down to combining these two concepts.  I phoned my good friend StillOne and asked him if he would be down to capture moments of me taking my friends around town, the way I would go around town if they weren’t here.  So on March 27th, 2016, we hopped in a car and went around a few spots in Brooklyn, shopped, conversed and danced.  I’m grateful for these moments and looking forward to creating magic with more of my visitors.  Chronicles of Brooklyn Walks.

Always Fresh, Never Faded

g&L

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Can You Feel It?

A few weeks ago, I added another project under my wings.  I was asked to co-host a party.  At first, I was a bit hesitant with the idea, since, if anyone has ever hosted a party, it’s not the easiest nor the least time consuming endeavor.  I remember when I was a kid, I loved having people over my house for family gathering or parties.  It was fun to be surrounded by love and laughter.  As much as it was tedious to clean up and fix up the place after, I couldn’t help but smile thinking of all the good times I had just had in good company.  So when the proposition fell onto my lap, I was excited about it but I needed to figure out how to time manage.  I remember when I first met Jon, we kept talking about projects we would get into, and one of them was to throw a party where people would come and have nothing but a good time.  A party where people would be excited about the music, the DJs, the dance floor, the company and the bar. ‘It’s A Feeling’ (I.A.F.) party was created.  So here I am, adding party promoter to the list of things I do.  I have figured out a system in terms of time management, and my goal is to get people bumping and grinding to the tunes of amazing ‘sound selectors’, as Loreto would say.

May 9th, we celebrated Nova’s birthday at the I.A.F. party.  We had DJ Eclektic and Taz on the wheels of steel.  The place was packed with dancers and non-dancers.  Drinks were bought, sweat was dropped but most importantly, love was in the air, as it should always be.  I took the opportunity to ask a few of my friends to explore their inner ‘funky-nasty-ness’, and I myself captured a few people whom I believe spoke through their clothes. Enjoy!

Oreo – Brooklyn Zoo Representative

Oreo

Georgios – Team Afro

Georgios

The Lady and her Hubby – TiffStar & Oreo – Brooklyn Zoo Crew

TiffStar & Oreo

Nova – NBK Representative – Birthday Boy

Nova

“Always Stay Fresh, Never Be Faded!” – Nubian Nene

The Funk Ain’t Always Nasty

SLANG.  Isn’t it THE most interesting thing in a language, better yet in a dialect?  In regions of the world, a few groups of people share the same language, but the vernacular is quite different.  In each respective dialects you find words that have a complete different meaning from their literal definition.  Now, we won’t go deep into the sociology aspect of things, but slang and dialects emerge with cultures, which are shaped through people, who, in turn, are a product of their environment.

Let’s look into some Hip Hop vernacular.

Dope which can mean good, fresh, cool, as in ‘these are dope kicks’, is also a reference to drugs.

Mad, usually used in NYC, is used as an adjective to describe something in a quantitative manner; ‘I got MAD love for you.’

Where I am from, we often use nasty to talk about something that is ill, dope, fresh, good; ‘That girl is nasty’ referring to her dance skills, but in most places of the world, nasty simply means discussing, unpleasant or nauseating.

Let’s talk about funky which has a few definitions.  Two struck me the most, one writes that funky is being “modern and stylish in an unconventional or striking way” – (Google definitions).  The second one, from Merriam-Webster, writes it’s being “unconventionally stylish: HIP.”  There you have it.  Two words with various definitions and used in many dialects but sometimes with complete different meaning.

A few nights ago, as I was capturing moments with friends, my homie Coco Motion pointed to this sticker that read ‘Funk Nasty’.  Interestingly enough, a few days before seeing that post, I came up with this crazy idea.  I was thinking how we live in the age of capturing every single moments and sharing them.  Taking pictures, that it is of thyself or of others, is possibly the most popular sharing-action.  Let’s be honest here, we all took a picture in a car, in a restaurant, on the beach, on the subway/plane/train and shared it on a social media.  Honestly, most of us have taken pictures in restrooms, bathrooms, stalls, tubs, etc., and shared it online.  It’s fascinating how so many of us take bathroom pictures with curtains in background, mirrors, toilet bowl, sink, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc.  Seems it’s the best place for lighting, space and decor. Smile.  I wonder if this is a cultural thing? Do people in all places of the world do that?  Some might just think that the bathroom is nasty, and doesn’t inspire self-photographing, while others get the best shots of their essence in the funk. Yuk!

So, I came to this conclusion, WHY NOT?  Why not take pictures in such a place?  I experimented while in Philadelphia, and it turned out to be challenging and pushed me to be creative in that tiny bathroom.  I shared  my camera with my ‘rhomie’ (homie who’s my roomie) July, and she also got mad creative.  So now I say: “LET’S MAKE IT FUNKY NASTY.”  I let my friends capture their essence, their funkiness, their nastiness, in that sometimes Funky Nasty Bathroom…

Funk Nasty Funky LPR Nasty Nene Funky Philly Nasty July Philly Funky Nasty Nene1

Next stop…the next stall..until then, always stay fresh and never be faded!!!