Carnival

Every individual on this earth must participate in at least one bacchanal (carnival). The experience is invigorating. Check out the "Carnivals" tab as I aim to accomplish my dream of participating in every worldly carnival before time's up.

¡Flamenco!

¿Tú entiendes español? ¡Buena! Amo el baile "Flamenco. Me gustaría para alguien enseñarme cómo hacer este baile. Amo las culturas de muchas diferentes países y religiones, incluyendo España, Muslim y más. Lean "Inside Culture" para más.

Studio 54

It is amazing how history can still make you feel like you were there, even if it occurred over 50 years ago. Any "Inside History" post will take you to my favorite topics of the past.

Hilarity At Its Best

Laughter is the cure to everything! The Office gives me life. Musicals and gangster movies are just two of the few of the types of films I love. Check out "Inside Film" for more.

Thanksgiving

I've grown up loving the idea of family and eventually assimilated myself into a small circle of friends. Quality time with my closest people is something very important to me. Check out any "Inside Holidays" for some of my most valuable times spent.

Fashion Week

I'm not the biggest fashion geek but I do enjoy it. Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is a very important week in the fashion world. I've enjoyed plenty of other events also. Check out "Inside Fashion" for details.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas has been one of my most life-changing experiences in regards to nightlife! Check out any "Inside Adventures" or "Inside Nightlife" post to uncover other life-changing trips, parties and events.

Learn A New Language!

Learning makes me feel worthy. Education is very important to me and as I age, I'm discovering its importance more and more. Check out any "Inside Education" post for my input.

No Music, No Life

Music has had one of the biggest influences on my life and still continues to do so. It became a big part of my childhood with my father active in the Reggae industry. Check out any "Inside Music" post for my outlook on this eternal phenomenon.

City of Champs

I have extreme pride in my city because of our sports legacy in America. Check out any "Inside Sports" for details in (as well as experiences outside of) Boston!

Rockefeller Center

There is always something to do in the city of no sleep! Join me in the journeys found in any "Inside Adventures" post or check out the "Festive Weekends" tab above for more.

Fabulous People: Boryana Yordanova

There are awesome people out there that the world in its entirety will never know about. I've discovered that I happen to personally know a bunch! Check out any "Inside People" post to learn more about them!

Bon Appétit

FOOD! Need I say more? I LOVE FOOD. I eat a lot PROUDLY lol. Check out just SOME of my Boston and NYC recommendations in any "Inside Restaurants" post.

Dancing With The Stars

It wouldn't be out of the ordinary to see me or my companany in the presence of celebrities, some of whom even happen to be friends. Olympic gold medalists Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell aren't the only ones that knew how to get down with the crew! Check out any "Inside Adventures" or "Inside Nightlife" post for more fun.

Easter in Jamaica

Love to travel and party? We have something in common! After reading a few posts on this blog, you'll be ready to pack your vacation bag with me!

En El Tiempo de Las Mariposas

"In the Time of the Butterflies' is a remarkable movie that shares the true story of 3 girls from La República Dominicana fighting against their country's dictator. This is my favorite heroine story to date. "Check out any "Inside Politics" post for more political opinions.

Live, From Radio City!

There are more perks being a city-girl than any other type of girl! Too many. Check out any "Inside Shows" to see which daytime, late-night, or cultural show I've gotten the chance to be apart of.

Spoken Word

If you browsed through this blog and couldn't pinpoint my love for art, I hope this is enough. Suheir Hammad (above) is one of my favorite Spoken Word figures. Check out any "Inside Spoken Word" post for more.

Show Me a Good Time

If you are genuinely happy in life, celebrate. Everyday day.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Inside Shows: Live with Kelly & Michael!

FINALLY!

Like The View and SNL, Kelly & Michael is difficult to get tickets for. You can get free tickets for most talk shows (I believe all) online. Some are just more difficult to get tickets for (David Letterman, Jon Stewart). Needless to say, I had a great time being an audience member for Kelly & Michael!



I had no idea that Kelly & Michael was actually a live TV show (dumb blonde moment). I was so entertained and shocked and inspired all in one. I developed a newfound respect for the two, especially for Kelly who is so naturally charismatic onscreen. She is excellent at being her and she's been doing it for years. Women like her keep the future bright.
Michael was hilarious. It's amazing how he can make such a smooth transition from the NFL to talk show host. He compliments Kelly's 'funny' well, and she in turn, his. They interact with the crowd more than average. It's an amazing experience worth a stop if you're ever in NYC.



If you're ever in NYC, sign up for tickets ahead a time on any of the shows' personal sites. You can use http://1iota.com/ to get more tickets for shows also.



Saturday, September 13, 2014

Inside Carnivals: Crop Over 2014, Barbados


So I met up with my friends from London, my friends from Boston, and friends from New York (except for Candice!) on this trip. I do not know where to begin with Barbados, because even after 3 weeks, the whole trip was surreal to me. Unbelievably phenomenal. I have been deeming Barbados as a better country than Jamaica to my friends and if you know me, you should be just as shocked as my friends after hearing that. There is a reason for everything and I have a reason, or rather reasons, to back my claim up.

"I don't care if di rain a come down, ah feeling ah feeling!"

Now before I go in depth, I don't want you to think that I'm comparing Barbados to any country, because you can't really compare too much. I'm just making judgements based on countries I've already been to. And, Barbados, being the only other Caribbean country I've been to aside from Jamaica, is the only country I have to compare to what I'm used to. SO no fear, Jamaicans! My shocking comments are just "in the moment" comments due to a lack of experience elsewhere! Nuttin' cya sweet like yard! Certain things of the Jamaican culture will always be irreplaceable, in my heart and in fact. 

Now back to the program!

I arrived to Barbados, ready to meet up with my UK friends already there. I have had very interesting taxi experiences, as you will later read, and this guy contributed to one of them! He advised me to not smoke any marijuana because of the laws (and the laws are very strict, more strict than Boston and NYC). I found that hilarious. "It pollutes the youth". But once you finish read this entire post, I'm sure you will agree with me on Barbados needing to reconsider some of their laws.  Trust me.



The Country Itself:
Descending onto land, I couldn't believe I was finally touching down on another Caribbean country other than my own; a country that produced one of my favorite women in the music industry. There was already too much to be excited about, especially because I came specifically to partake in the Crop Over festivities. However, I totally was not expecting ZERO VIOLENCE, for the Barbados crime rate to be as low as it is! You might be thinking, "this is the first thing she has to say about this entire trip?" YES! THIS IS WHAT AMAZES ME. I have never been in a country, in my entire life, where I felt as safe as I did in Barbados. In my taxi ride to the hotel after arriving at the airport, the taxi driver was giving me a lecture on ganja, as previously stated. I have no idea why lol, but he was trying his best to explain to me why ganja is bad for you and why Bajans look down upon it. He said it "corrupted the yutes". You could hardly find ganja there because it hardly grows there, if it does. Hence why they're not too fond of Jamaicans and other peoples that traffic the drug onto the island. But the safe environment was felt. I even met Jamaicans there that were shocked that they could walk down certain streets with their gadgets in their hands, a Haitian comrade said the same. It's just not something we're used to!



I don't know if it was due to it being Crop Over season, or if this is how Barbados usually is, but I've never felt such sweet, rhythmic vibes than theirs. The low crime rate definitely contributed to this. Even though it was Soca season, I heard Reggae, Hip-Hop, and Soca equally. The social class system wasn't as obviously bad as it looks in other countries. Everything was just right to me. I was feeling everything, everywhere, everyone. We even had a cool taxi driver that showed us all around Barbados, including the cool spots that aren't really advertised on the media. To the left is me at the most southern tip of Barbados.

The Shooting Star
My friends and I stayed at Little Arches, a very pleasant hotel by Miami Beach. One of the nights where it wasn't meant for us to go out, we decided to lay down on the beach and watch the stars. My girl Chrystian, on the trip with me from Boston, started to teach me and my comrade about The Seven Sister Stars. Immediately after this, we ended up seeing it as the three of us were laying down, gazing up. It was so cool to us. We were getting a unique history lesson shown right before our eyes. Chrys then went, "I wish I can see a shooting star." Actually, let me just stop here and share the actual post I made on Facebook shortly after this happened so you can get THE REAL DEAL PLAYA.

"Yoooooooo. This has been probably one of the best trips of my life. Me, Chrystian, and my boy were too tired to go out last night but we were trying to fight it by doing and researching certain things to motivate ourselves to leave, but we ended up just relaxing. So instead we decided to make the best out of the beach our hotel was on. So we go on the beach and we all sit down and start looking at the stars and the heavy waves, embracing everything. Literally reckoning that we can't even take a picture or video of this because the moment was meant to savor and take in. Real food for the soul. So I ask Chrys to tell us stories about stars because I'm feeling this amazing, powerful, intimidating view of the Atlantic Ocean. And we're in a private area so it's literally just us and the world. She starts telling us about the Seven Sister Stars. Shockingly, we see the triangle as we're just staring, both of us did. We're amazed. Then Chrys goes "I wish we could see a shooting star." So because we were lifted, we laid back down and started staring at the stars again. Low and fkn behold we see a fkn shooting star! I immediately freak the fk out. Chrys reminds us that we need to make a wish. I think i made the best wish ever. Then I told Chrys to wish for a mermaid because clearly the girl is speaking magic and she REFUSED. She knew! What a beautiful, unforgettable night though. Will never forget this trip. This is something me and Chrys saw and shared for a reason that we will remember forever. It honestly topped any other experience I had in Barbados."


Little Arches








The Submarine Experience
This was not in the plan but as they say, "No matter how much you plan, God will always be the best of all planners!" Had someone told me Chrys and I would be on a submarine adventure, I probably would've been more excited for that than Crop Over itself. How do I describe the experience? I went underwater, almost 200 feet! We took the famous Atlantis Submarine down under, where they showed us different type of sea life and a cool ass sunken ship. The experience was surreal and is still surreal, because the fact that I was underwater alive for over an hour still hasn't hit me. I only saw it in movies and for some reason, I never once thought I'd have the opportunity to go in a submarine underwater. I didn't even have it on my bucket list as yet! Blessings. 

I also got plenty of tours around the island with taxi drivers and family members of friends. I got to see the country side, the ghetto side and the tourist side. I even got to see where Rihanna comes from! This island is such a sweet little island filled with love, and the people are undoubtedly what makes the island as sweet as it is.






The People: 
What I  absolutely LOVED about Barbados was the diversity evident everywhere. I'm not unfamiliar with non-blacks residing in Caribbean countries, but it was the Bajan pride that non-blacks carried everywhere that amazed me. Honestly, it's the same in Jamaica, everyone has pride. I just loved it in Barbados because it was only my second time seeing it. 

The way of life there is enticing. Everybody, and I mean everybody is friendly. Now this is one thing that I am not afraid to bash Jamaica about, because not everyone is kind and welcoming as they are in Barbados. I think the coolest people in Jamaica are the Rastas, the country people, the people you don't see working in tourist areas. In Barbados, everybody was cool in the tourist areas. There were a few times where I believed some females had staring problems, but I assumed that that's just what they do. Can't knock 'em for it. All in all, the people left me with too many memorable experiences (and that's a great thing). 

Rum from Barbados
Mount Gay Rum


The Food:
I've always been a picky eater, and it took me less time than I thought to warm up to the Bajan food. I bucked up into the right places. Oistins is a popular food centre (spelled this way because I'm in UK mode lol), probably the most popular food centre in the island where everybody (including many tourists) enjoy the world-renowned seafood.  

I also ate at their nationwide food chain, Chefettes, and they were pretty good. Their KFC was ight, not better than Jamaica's lol! Nothing bad to say at all. Everything I ate was good! I was KILLING plates over there.










The Daylife/Nightlife: 
Okay, so, basically, the boat rides in Barbados are the best ones I've ever been to in my life. Omgosh! VIBES! BUCK! SUH TILLLLLLL! It got real every boat ride we went on, which is a very popular thing to do on the island for parties. I believe the boat we always ended up getting on was the Jolly Rancher. The Reggae, the Hip-Hop, the Soca, was always on point. Too on point! The vibes along with the rocking of the boat on the vibrant waves of the water collided with the musical vibes and gave us euphoric feelings every single time. It was amazing. And you have to go there to experience them. I met a lot of cool people on these boat rides also.







I visited tons of beaches, including Dover and Brown. Of course it's the Caribbean where there's beautiful water and landscapes everywhere, but I find it more common in Barbados then everywhere else I've been to always go to the beach! It's interesting and sensible at the same damn time lol. From restaurants to water sports to simply meeting cool people, the beach is the IT place. Dover was extremely popping everytime I went, including where I went to surf for the first time! By the way, check out Barry's Surfing School if you're ever in the area! I surfed for the first time ever! Another knockdown on the bucket list baby.









Another IT place in Barbados is the famous St. Lawrence Gap. POPPING. This is one of the popular places everybody in Barbados goes to party. Like I mentioned before, the DJs in Barbados were very good with juggling all different types of music. Everywhere I go I always itch for Reggae (or something Jamaican-related period lol) and had no problem finding Reggae clubs. The strip reminds me of a strip in Ocho Rios, Jamaica where there's also a number of clubs and food stands along the way, except St. Lawrence Gap was more hip and modern.






On a side note, it completely baffled me when I found out that Barbados has way more money than Jamaica. But then again, I wasn't surprised. You would think a country whose music, food, and even people, all world-renowned, would top all other countries in its lane. Impossible when in a state of corruption. I need to visit another Caribbean island ASAP if I only have my country to compare it to lol cause I'm going in. I hope it doesn't sound like I'm bashing my beautiful island, but I always keep it real when it comes to facts. Good and bad. Anywhere and everywhere.  

Anyyyyways! On a more positive note lol. 



**The Coke Story (LOL)**

Now the only thing I didn't like about my Barbados experience was my discovery of immense coke usage on the little island. Another taxi driver, who sniffed his coke right in front of me while dropping me off to my hotel (like it was completely normal -- hilarious), told me that so many people do it because of the laws on ganja. He even asked if I wanted some? I said, "no, not this time (lmao)." Hahahaha I didn't want to give him the impression that I'm looking down on him, especially while he was on it! You know? He said doing coke isn't as detectable as smoking ganja. The law is a little backwards to me when it comes to drug usage, but aside from that, everything that their government is doing is obviously right because it is a safe place! You guys need to easy down on the laws though man. I'm pretty sure ganja is 100x more safer to use than coke. The pictures above were directly after my experience. LOL my friend SWORE I, too, was high. Nah B, that's just TIREDNESS/DRUNKNESS. 

Crop Over!
I did Soca Titans. It rained out when Machel came on but of COURSE that couldn't and didn't stop the show from ending lol.




I did jouvert! For the first time in my life I participated with a jouvert band, and they had costumes! For some reason I always thought jouvert was simply a street party where any and everyone comes in their regular clothes and get painted/mudded up. Well, that is what it is, but I didn't know there were more ways to go in! Nah mean?












Crop Over itself? The actual carnival? Best carnival I've ever been to in my life. Were you expecting me to say that? Hahaha! I'm not kidding though, it really was. I jumped with Blue Box Cart and had an unbelievable time. I would recommend them in a heartbeat! The vibes was too nice. The band was diversified. And not one person was stush. Everybody was enjoying themselves. It reminded me of when we go to ghetto parties. Never have to worry about vibes in the ghetto, my yute!





In a specific taxi ride, I ended up accidentally meeting a known Soca artist called Statement. As I was walking back to the hotel drunk in my carnival costume from my friend's villa down the road, hardly any taxis were on site and the one that happened to actually stop for me happened to be him. After exchanging basic background info and realizing we both have Boston ties, the discovery of who he was was made. He even played his music and sung for me because I didn't believe him. He reminded me that he was the same taxi guy wanting to give me a ride the day before when me and my friends were waiting for one, but couldn't because he already had somebody and proceeded down the road to hail another taxi for us. We still stay in contact until this day. Lol there were just way too many cool stories for me to take back to The States with me. 


The biggest, sweetest, bestest song ever! Also the biggest song at Crop Over!
I LOVE THE Jazz/trumpet version!

There are tons and tons of different events that go on during Crop Over, especially that final weekend. Soca Titans is a signature show for Crop Over that has been running for years. World-renowned and local Soca/Calypso artists battle to win the Soca Monarch. Jouvert started at 10PM and ended at 7am. I kid you not, I was on the road for that long. I couldn't even believe I was going to do that (despite the fact that I'm always up for an adventure). I had too many NEW experiences which is what I'm always after.  I don't know how I can go anywhere else this specific weekend (Caribana in Toronto, Dream Weekend in Jamaica, and carnival in Antigua also occurs this weekend) knowing that Crop Over is happening. I try to never go to the same place twice but I KNOW I HAVE to go back. LIKE NEXT YEAR. Barbados has me f*cked up! I think that's why I want her back! Obsessed. Whippppped.

B