Archive for June, 2011

Belize it or not (Twenty countries in my twenties)

Words & Photography by Briana E. Heard

When I was 22, I was in college in San Francisco and working as a waitress in a Mexican restaurant. Of course in the moment I am never aware of this, but I think I was content. Life was manageable and with the structure of university and it seemed anything was possible as long as I applied myself. With lofty goals in mind I created a laundry list of them to accomplish my age 30. 8 years seemed forever away.

Well, it wasn’t and that day has arrived (almost). With just 5 short weeks until saying goodbye to my twenties I am able to put another notch in my lipstick case. There were several bullet points on this list that fell by the wayside, but my travel plans did not. As of last week, I traveled to 20 countries in my twenties. Perhaps for some of you more Euro-inspired folks this seems easy breezy, but for someone who didn’t leave the country until 24 and works three jobs regularly, this feels like success.


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In their 2004 feature on Tego Calderón, the Village Voice said:

“Equally an acolyte of Tupac Shakur and Ismael Rivera and an avatar of the Spanish dancehall hybrid known as reggaeton, Calderon made inter-island spice that seemed more reflective of current Caribbean cross-pollination than a dozen Buena Vista retreads.”

Calderón, who grew up on salsa and played the drums in a high school metal cover band, displays a versatility and willingness to experiment that has set him apart from his genre peers. He filters his diverse influences and substantive, socially conscious lyrics through a lens of pure reggaeton, making him a leader in the genre that others scramble to follow.

Joining him will be NYC’s own Heineken Mezclasonic DJ, DJ Willie, the currently reigning “Justo #1 Reggaeton Mixtape DJ.” He’s performed all over the country and internationally with high profile artists like Pitbull, Aventura, and Don Omar.

Tego Calderon: OfficialFacebookTwitter

DJ Willie: Official Site

For more info: http://www.remezcla.com/2011/latin/tego-calderon/

The Spot: Lineup from Remezcla.com on Vimeo.

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Splitscreen: A Love Story from JW Griffiths on Vimeo.

Shot entirely on the Nokia N8 mobile phone. Winner of the Nokia Shorts competition 2011.

Director: JW Griffiths
Producer: Kurban Kassam
Director of Photography: Christopher Moon
Editor: Marianne Kuopanportti
Sound Design: Mauricio d’Orey
Music composed by: Lennert Busch

Click here to see the making of the video.

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Due to the popularity of the program, the Office of Recycling and Education has extended the compost program until the end of the year! You can bring fruit and vegetable scraps, rice, pasta, bread, cereal, coffee grounds & filters, tea bags, egg and nut shells, pits, cut or dried flowers, houseplants and potting soil. Do not bring meat, chicken, fish, greasy food scraps, fat, oil, dairy, dog or cat waste, kitty litter, coal or charcoal, coconuts, diseased and/or insect-infested houseplants/soil or biodegradable plastics.

Store food scraps in plastic containers with lids, milk cartons or plastic bags and store in your freezer or fridge to prevent odors at home.

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BY Crystal Rodriguez

This past Saturday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Blooming Arts Festival opened with the bending, twisting and contorting of Anna Botts. She swayed in silence, captivating an entire audience with the story she told through movement.

Her arms extended out to the audience only to be pulled back in. Botts leapt mid air, her body spread across expanse then crawled and writhed on the wooden floors. The lack of music only strengthened the atmosphere, hearing your own breath and heart beat rise and fall as her body did.

The next performer was Lisa Higbee in collaboration with Cedric Penn and Kimberly Applewhite – Teiler.  No one knew what to expect and the title of her song The Olive Tree gave no clue as to what was to arise.

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Bago & Friends Fake Reality Show from Juan Bago on Vimeo.

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BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

Photo by Paul Lomax (@PaulLomaxPhoto)

This is written for anyone who has either never driven Uptown or those who have but didn’t make out too well. You have to understand; driving Uptown takes a whole different mindset. Whether you’re coming from New Jersey, the Bronx or even other parts of Manhattan, realize that once you enter Uptown territory, using whatever bridge, highway, street or avenue that got you here, you better have your A game, if not, it won’t be pretty. It’s not just the locals and cab drivers you have to watch out for but basically everyone on the road. The UPS dudes, the city bus drivers and even the ice cream truck drivers, all those people drive like maniacs.

The first thing you must do, and this is an important step, as bizarre as it may sound, is get your hands on some really hard, gutter Hip-Hop. Someone like Young Jeezy or Uncle Murder (you have to be gutter if your name is Uncle Murder) comes to mind. Believe me, even if you don’t like Hip-hop, the testosterone-laced music will put you in the right frame of mind to drive Uptown. Make sure you get the explicit version, you’re going to need all the curse words you can get to fuel the necessary fire to traverse the neighborhood. Make sure you put it crazy loud, as in the famous words of my dad, “a to le que da”. Seasoned Uptown drivers can skip the Hip-Hop tunes altogether. A dude like myself, could drive with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony playing whisper low and still handle things. But I digress.

The next step, and again, this is a big one, as it is a philosophical adjustment, is realize that you’re Uptown. You have left wherever you have come from and have entered uncharted territory. The comfort and solace provided by rules, regulations and niceties are in the rear view mirror, so its time to man up. The driving rules that exist in other places simply are not in effect here. Red lights, stop signs, one-way streets, anything and everything is up for interpretation. Shoo, up here, turn signals are for woosies. This is a place, where there is such a thing as a good triple parking. With this handy manual and a little chutzpah, you should be on your way. More to follow…..

I invite you to join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at ledblackNYC@gmail.com

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