Concerts in NYC: Summerstage, August Picks Feat. DJ Natasha Diggs, Blood Orange, Musiq Soulchild, & More!

August is creeping up on us, so I bring to you another list of splendid musical shows in New York City parks, and this time around, they are ALL FREE! The genres represented in Summerstage’s August line-up are quite diverse covering Hip-Hop,  R&B/soul, experimental electronic, funk, and jazz.

As I will be out of the country the majority of the month, I do encourage you music lovers to soak up the goodness, especially Blood Orange & Moses Sumney on the 16th. Have fun for me!

AUGUST

MOBILE MONDAYS LIVE THE SALSOUL EDITION FEATURING JOE BATAAN / FIRST CHOICE / DOUBLE EXPOSURE / INSTANT FUNK / LADIES OF SKYY /

Wed. 08/06 | 7:00PM – Wed. 08/06 | 9:00PM @East River Park | FREE


MYKKI BLANCO IN ASSOCIATION WITH MEANRED

Thu. 08/07 | 7:00PM – Thu. 08/07 | 9:00PM @East River Park | FREE


PASSENGER / LIAM BAILEY / DJ NATASHA DIGGS IN ASSOCIATION WITH GIANT STEP

Sun. 08/10 | 3:00PM – Sun. 08/10 | 7:00PM @ Central Park | FREE


JOE IN ASSOCIATION WITH WBLS

Tue. 08/12 | 7:00PM – Tue. 08/12 | 9:00PM @ Marcus Garvey Park (map) | FREE


BLOOD ORANGE WITH GUESTS MOSES SUMNEY / SEAN NICHOLAS SAVAGE

Sat. 08/16 | 7:00PM – Sat. 08/16 | 10:00PM @ Central Park | FREE


WBLS 6TH ANNUAL R&B FEST: MUSIQ SOULCHILD

Sun. 08/17 | 7:00PM – Sun. 08/17 | 10:00PM @ Central Park | FREE


THE NUYORICAN POETS CAFE’S 40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION / DJ RAHSAAN / SCREENING: OUR LATIN THING

Sun. 08/17 | 6:00PM – Sun. 08/17 | 9:30PM @East River Park | FREE


 

BELLATRIX!: A SOUL TRAIN TRIBUTE TO WOMEN IN MUSIC PRESENTED IN ASSOCIATION WITH: IMAGENATION CINEMA FOUNDATION

Sun. 08/17 | 7:00PM – Sun. 08/17 | 9:00PM @Marcus Garvey Park (map) | FREE


FANIA ALL STARS

Sun. 08/24 | 6:00PM – Sun. 08/24 | 10:00PM @ Central Park | FREE


CHARLIE PARKER JAZZ FESTIVAL: KENNY BARRON / CINDY BLACKMAN SANTANA / CRAIG HANDY & 2ND LINE SMITH / BRIANNA THOMAS

Sun. 08/24 | 3:00PM – Sun. 08/24 | 7:00PM @Tompkins Square Park (map) | FREE


 

Summerstage really outdid themselves with this season’s line-up! Be well and go where the music takes you!

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Travel Essentials: Caribana Weekend in Toronto Feat. JBL, Private Party, Ouidad, EOS & More

Later on this week, I hop on a flight to Toronto to experience Caribana weekend, and a wonderful opportunity to connect with the local creative community. I will be exploring the city and all it has to offer in the realm of food & drink, entertainment, retail, and culture. I will be staying for five days, and have decided to share some of the essentials I will be packing!

Clockwise from top, then making a little loop at the bottom:

Side of some of my travel wares for Toronto. Isn’t the Selena tee the best?

Close-up of everything. At this point in life I probably have more toiletries and beauty items than anything, but it’s fine, because I write about them! I’m super pumped for my trip, and will be documenting for a special A Life in the Day in Toronto series when I return right here on the blog! Keep an eye out. :)

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

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Event: Fire 4 Hire Presents “Ladies & The Trap”, Hosted by AKC & Girls With Gunz, Aug 1st At The Crawford

For some years now, I have been sharing the mixes and events of my DJ friends up North, Fire 4 Hire Soundsystem. The Toronto-based crew has a unique sound, blending hip-hop, reggae, and electro vibes in their sets and mixes. For all these years we have been discussing me doing an event with them in T.O., and the time has finally come!

I will be in Toronto for Caribana festivities, including my first hosting gig with Fire 4 Hire as part of their monthly “Ladies & The Trap” party. I have the honor of co-hosting alongside my new favorite sister duo, Estée and Felicia Mancini of Girls With Gunz, whom I’ve recently interviewed for the site.

The festivities take place on Friday, August 1st at The Crawford. All info on the flyer. $5 before 11:30 PM. You can RSVP via Facebook, where you can find more details, and guestlist/table info. Hope to see you there!

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Nailed It: A Regal Affair with FLOSS GLOSS “Picnic” & “Honey”

As we welcome Leo Season today, I felt it was fitting to show off a mani that best exemplified the boldness, and fiery disposition of the ruler of the Zodiac. July’s birthstone is ruby, and Leo is ruled by gold, so I figured a combination of these two elements would work together for a seamless, regal look.

I paired two shades from FLOSS GLOSS’s Spring/Summer ’14 “All The Fixins” collection. On my thumb and ring finger I used Honey, a holographic bronzy/gold glitter that is a homage to pop icon, Mariah Carey [remember the smash-hit "Honey", and the not-so-critically acclaimed film, "Glitter"? Clever, huh?]. The glitter polish is quite concentrated, but I used three coats to achieve the look in the photo above.

On the remaining nails, I used Picnic, a weathered cranberry creme that evokes feelings of glamour, lust, and…hunger? Maybe I’m just hungry, but this shade reminds me more of the holidays, specifically of wines and cranberry paired with a feast. The polish went on smoothly, and I used three coats to achieve the opacity seen in the photo above.

What do you think of the pairing? Does it scream “something regal”? I really hope so! Honey and Picnic both retail for $8, and can be purchased directly from FLOSS GLOSS. Happy painting!

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

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#WOMANday Watch: Zoe Saldaña on “The Conversation With Amanda de Cadenet”

Zoe Saldaña has been one of my favorite actresses/public figures for some time now, portraying strong characters on-screen, and embodying that spirit off-screen. There have been clips circling the internet of Zoe lately in an interview in which she passionately expresses how much she enjoys being herself, and learning from her own mistakes. With the help of Google and YouTube, I’ve found the full interview, which is part of a series entitled, The Conversation With Amanda de Cadeneta program highlighting the female perspective.

Press play to hear Zoe’s unique, expletive-filled story. I hope it can bring some positivity into your day!

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Watch This: Camille Safiya NXNE-Toronto MiniDoc

I introduced you all to Camille Safiya a few months back; a Washington Heights-based singer/songwriter and protege of my homie Frankie P. Together they released Safiya’s debut EP Island Blues, produced entirely by Frankie P. The tape has gained momentum on the inter webs, being blogged by the top music sites, and in-turn, Safiya has been doing more shows in various cities.

Just last month the team participated in NXNE (North by Northeast) in Toronto, and performed at various showcases. The mini-doc below gives us a glimpse on the road to NXNE, and shows the growth of a talent I’ve been happy to meet with from the very beginning. Press play to get into it.

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EVENT: Alifeinthedayofandrea.com Presents: Grooves & Tunes Birthday Edition, @ Juke Bar Wed. July 23rd

As Leo season approaches, that means it is time for yours truly to celebrate another year of the gift of life! On Thursday, July 24th, I enter my 28th year, and in celebration, I am bringing the birthday vibes to my Wednesday party, Grooves & Tunes! I will be celebrating alongside my fellow Leo-love, Desire, a fellow writer and blogger, who recently did a feature on me for Global Grind, holla!

DJ JFuse will be providing the tunes as usual. Juke Bar is the location. They now serve bomb-ass food (Andrea approved, so you know it’s real). Crazy drink specials all night, and not to forget, FROZEN RUM PUNCH while it lasts. Act like you know, and come through (*Drake voice*).

*Flyer by Marjua Estevez

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#MANday Exclusive: .Bk Founder Teghvir Sethi Talks The Evolution of Menswear, Production, and Being Brooklyn-Based

.Bk founder Teghvir Sethi [left] and guest at the #InventorsGarage launch event

As a lady who loves menswear, I’m constantly on the lookout for brands and designers that are fresh and cutting edge, not only for my male readers, but for the ladies that love to rock menswear themselves. About a month or so ago I was introduced to .Bk  [said "Dot BK"] by the lovely women at Janine Just Inc. The Brooklyn-based brand designs and produces limited-edition mens shirting in a cool palette and size range, fitting for both sexes.

I loved the concept, and wanted to learn more about the brand and the man behind it, Teghivir Sethi. Read on for the full story on .Bk, and what we can expect from the brand in the future!

 

Tell us the story behind .Bk.
In September 2012, I was commuting from Bed-Stuy to Midtown & running the menswear division of my father’s small independent brand. Back in the 70s, a production run fit in the back of my father’s Dodge Colt — he’d drive around the Midwest selling to boutiques & regional chains. Where there were once thousands of local boutiques, there are now a handful of mass-retailers dominating the globe.

Generally, online retailers are out to solve a simple problem for customers. Generally, the benefit breaks down to a value proposition (low overhead –> low prices) or convenience (let us choose for you). These retailers claim to “reinvent” fashion (echo:”Silicon Valley”) when they’re simply repackaging mass fashion through the tools of online retail. It’s business as usual for everyone except the customer.

I started .Bk to solve a complex problem for designers & customers alike: scale. We produce clothing at a run of a 100. At a better price than mass-produced “designer” clothing. Why is this different from a typical online retail value proposition?

Aside from saving our customers money, “cutting out the middleman” allows us to operate at a revolutionary scale: limited edition design, artisan-scale production & in-disposable clothing. We’re out to turn back the clock on mass production, mass retail & mass appeal.

A selection of .Bk shirts from the #InventorsGarage launch event

 

We love that you feature women in your shirts on the website? Will you be doing women’s pieces soon?
It’s one of the many things we do differently when it comes to our branding. We’re not out to sell machismo, or any traditional sense of a men’s brand. We design for individuals. The women & men featured on our site have all founded something unique & different.

With that said, we design to our strengths. So, no womenswear soon. Women’s fits & sizing on menswear? It may be in the works.
What lifestyle does the Dot BK consumer uphold?
Our customer doesn’t want to be told what to wear, or who to buy a basic tee from. They want to know more about the clothes that they’re wearing: who made it, and what inspired its design. And, they’re constantly evolving their own personal style.

Why did you decide to have your business headquartered in Brooklyn?
Our designs are inspired by 21st century subcultures. And, Brooklyn’s got the highest population of “live your own, unique way” kind of people. If it was anywhere else, we’d run out of material after two collections.
What can we expect in the future on the business-end for Dot BK?
This isn’t your typical scale-able startup. Regardless of demand, we won’t be increasing our quantities (60-100 per shirt) any time soon. Right now, we’re focused on expanding the lifestyle collections: look forward to items beyond button-down shirts. And, the Dossier (our spy journal on subcultures, written by the best writers & photographers in Brooklyn & Austin) will be launching in the next week!


It was a pleasure speaking with Teghvir Sethi of .Bk. Stay on the look out for more #MANday features!

*Photos courtesy of Janine Just Inc.

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Video: Curly Girl Collective’s CURLFEST, The Ultimate Summer Picnic Re-Cap

The lovely coiled ladies of the Curly Girl Collective hosted their first annual Curlfest in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park a few weeks back. The event hosted ladies of all hair textures and the men that love them in a carefree environment, complete with a DJ, snacks, and major haircare swag.

They have unveiled the re-cap of the event in video form, which you can view below. Looking forward to next year’s event!

CURLFEST™: The Ultimate Summer Picnic from CurlyGirlCollective on Vimeo.

 

*Photo by Shawn A. Lawrence

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Nailed It: Bubblegum Sweet Nails in “Kirtridge” by ZOYA

Another week, another opportunity to share a new nail color review with you all. This time we have Kirtridge by ZOYA, part of the Summer 2014 “Tickled” collection. I received the color as part of ZOYA’s sampling program for bloggers. I would describe Kirtridge as a bubblegum pink with a fluorescent undertone. As I have gotten a bit of sun, the color really pops on my hands in a subtle way. I photographed my hands in natural light, but the color can appear lighter in incandescent lighting situations.

I applied three coats of the polish to achieve the coverage seen in the photos, even though two is fine. I like to put an extra coat as my hands can be a little shaky when I paint, so the extra coat covers any spots I have missed. I really dig Kirtridge because it gives me throwback ’80s vibes, color wise. I also like that it is extremely feminine without being juvenile. For those that are really into nail art, I believe this color would pair well with aquas, lavender, and lime green.

Kirtridge retails for $9, and can be purchased directly from the ZOYA website. Here’s to happy nails!

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

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Keeping It Real: Please Do Not Put Me On A Pedestal. I Did Not Ask To Be There.

THE CARIBBEAN SEA IN BELIZE

There comes a time when you just need to stop, reflect, and be real with yourself. That time for me is right now. I like to use this platform to fill your internet reading space with cool music, fashion, beauty, art, and food treats, but now, I feel the need to share a bit more about me, as a person.

Back in 2008 or so when I really began the road to creating my internet presence, I knew exactly what I wanted. I first knew that I wanted to brand my full name, and make it seamless across all platforms. At that point, for some reason, I projected my name being important for some reason. This was pre-blog, pre-Instagram, pre-celebs following me on Twitter, pre-being fake famous on the internet. In having the same name across all social media platforms, I use the same avatar, a professional photo that I believe to be polished. From an outsider looking in solely at my web presence, I appear to really have it together, I wouldn’t say “flawless”, but close to it.

This is the complete opposite of the truth. I’m a real ass person, with real problems, and real feelings, and real struggles. I am terribly far from perfect, but I am completely aware of this, and I accept it. I know that as a person in conversations, I have this sense of familiarity, which allows me to connect with all types of people from all walks of life. This is the main reason why I love interviewing people; I just love to hear and learn about the stories of others. I also believe this is a gift. I am often asked how I do certain things, and how I connect with certain people, and I often give the answer, “I just do”. I believe I can, therefore I can. I would say I am hardworking, and have a strong will, so I make it my duty to put my thoughts into fruition. Because of this, I am often placed on a pedestal for some reason, and this, I don’t really like.

When you are placed on a pedestal, you are not allowed to fall. Falling may be failing at a certain biz venture, execution of an event, a badly reviewed piece of writing, anything that is less than perfect than what is required to be on said pedestal. I’m extremely hard on myself as it is, and for others to have this inflated view is not what I want. I just want you to see me as someone who is working towards doing something that they truly love; that is allowed to make mistakes until she reaches her highest goals, and in turn, achieves her dreams. LET. ME. DO. THAT. That is all I ask. I’m in a rut financially, following my dreams and such, and if I can give any piece of advice, it would be this.

Don’t assume until you ask. Ask your friends, mentors, family, and those you admire about their path, and what they are doing, and have done to get there. You never know what hurdles people have to overcome until you ask.

 

Photo by Andrea K. Castillo

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Book Review: “Blow Me A Kiss” by Alice Harris

 photo bmak180_zps172aee0c.jpgI love lips, and I love to see how lips have been portrayed over the years, in everyday life, advertising, and more. Personally, I am a fan of a bold lip as it brings attention to my face, and it forces the observer to focus in on the words that are coming out of my mouth. This is why I love to wear a nice bold lip for on-camera interviews and shoots.

Author Alice Harris explores lips as a symbol of beauty in pop-culture in her latest offering Blow Me A Kiss published by powerHouse Books. The coffee table book’s 103 pages are laden with gorgeous images with lips as the focus from yesteryear up until present day. We see the works of famous artists and photographers, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Mario Sorrenti, as well as famous faces including Elizabeth Taylor, Cindy Crawford, and Tina Turner. Along with this, there are also contributions from street-style photographers Tommy Ton and Scott Schuman, which I felt rounded out the image mix perfectly.

I believe Blow Me A Kiss is a must have for those that love gorgeous imagery, with a keen eye for fashion, photography, and style. Harris curated an unforgettable grouping of images in this book, which is certain to keep you turning the pages. For that alone, I highly recommend it.

Blow Me A Kiss is available now for $35.00 from powerHouse Books. Proceeds from the book are to benefit Library For All, a “a non-profit organization that exists to unlock knowledge to those without access to books in developing countries”. A great addition to your style book collection!

 

*Photo courtesy of powerHouse Books

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Nailed It: “Caribbean Sea In Belize” Nails With FLOSS GLOSS “Wet” Starring Mama Cas <3

My mother was born in Belize, Central America, and is also a Pisces. She loves all colors that remind her of home, and lets this be known in the clothing that she wears, the way in which she decorates our home, and on rare occasions, the way she paints her nails. Prior to our recent trip to the local nail salon, she asked me for a greenish blue, and I presented her with “Wet” by FLOSS GLOSS. Here is Mom’s review in her own words.

I like this color because it reminds me of the sea in Belize. The color shows up like this with two coats.

I personally like this color a lot because it’s the ideal Caribbean blue, matching the calm waters, and mentally putting me on island time. It has the perfect blend of blue and green with the right amount of brightness to evoke feelings of happiness, and the urge to go on a vacation. I suppose I will use this color for my trip to Belize next month. What say you?

You can purchase this color directly from FLOSS GLOSS. I think you’ll dig it!

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Saturday Sounds: Usher “Good Kisser” (Disclosure Remix)

We hope you are having a lovely, safe and fun-filled Fourth of July weekend (for those in the States). Time with friends and family always warrants food, drinks, and good music! We have a treat for your Saturday in the latest remix from our favorite brothers from the UK, Disclosure. The boys have re-worked Usher’s hit “Good Kisser” to their groovy likening.

The mix is HUGE! Press play below, and wait for your life to change at the 1:07 mark. Happy jamming!

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Event: Target First Saturdays @ the Brooklyn Museum 7/5, with Music by Nina Sky

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Target First Saturdays returns to Brooklyn Museum for July, with a full line-up of interactive hands-on art, talks, film, and music performances! Check out the full line-up below, including a screening of Do The Right Thing, and a musical performance by Nina Sky.

Visit Ai Weiwei: According to What? at the discounted admission price of $10 (regularly $15) during Target First Saturday.

Interactives

4:30 p.m.

Add your mark to sidewalk chalk drawings led by The City Kids, and hula hoop away with members of Hula Nation.

Music

5 p.m.

Matuto fuses Afro-Brazilian beats with folk and bluegrass.

Talk

6 p.m.

Curious tales from Brooklyn’s history are told by a local historian. Free tickets (25) at the Visitor Center at 5 p.m.

Film

6 p.m.

Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989, 120 min.). On the hottest day of the year, on a street in Bed-Stuy, racial and social tensions meet head-on, with tragic consequences. Free tickets (310) at the Visitor Center at 5 p.m.

Hands-On Art

6:30–8:30 p.m.

Sketch from a live model to learn the art of figure drawing. Free tickets (330) at the Visitor Center at 5:30 p.m.

Interactive Talk

7 p.m.

Filmmakers Paul Trillo and Landon Van Soest discuss their Brooklyn in 3,000 Stills project. Bring your smartphone and contribute to a crowd-sourced portrait of Brooklyn. Free tickets (25) at the Visitor Center at 6 p.m.

Talk and Music

7 p.m.

Michael July on his book Afros: A Celebration of Natural Hair. Co-hosted by Malik Yoba, and Michaela angela Davis. Anu Prestonia of Khamit Kinks leads a natural-hair show. Book signing follows.

Music

7 p.m.

In his only NYC-area summer show, Blitz the Ambassador blends African popular sounds, vintage soul, and hard-hitting beats and lyrics. Opening set by DJ Ushka and DJ Beto (iBomba) at 6:30 p.m.

Comedy

8 p.m.

Erica Watson hosts a showcase of hilarious female comedians. Free tickets (310) at the Visitor Center at 7 p.m.

Music

9 p.m.

Remember “Move Ya Body”? R&B duo Nina Sky performs their biggest hits.
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