EVENT: Intro To Boxing W/ Overthrow x Recess, Tues. 7/30 @ Recess IRL!

Zine_trainer1

So, you say you want to take a boxing class, but you haven’t made the first step? Perhaps the imagery, marketing, or overall grit of the sport is overwhelming, and you just need a cool intro class? Well look no further, Overthrow New York x Recess have the PERFECT one-two punch for you.

Join me on Tuesday, July 30th for an intro to boxing class led by one of our world class trainers at Overthrow. The class will be held at Recess IRL, the super-fun pop-up space for the Insta-worthy hemp extract-infused beverage brand.

recess-7-15-2019-77

The session will begin promptly at 6:30 PM to ensure that folks can make it after class or work. All attendees will be guided through a dynamic class, including warm-up, learning the five punches that are the foundation of boxing, gloving up for partner drills, and ending with ab work.

Recees3131(1)

Want in? Tickets are $20, including wraps. Here are all the details and purchase info:

Intro to Boxing with Overthrow x Recess
Tuesday, July 30th @ 6:30 PM
Recess IRL
680 Broadway
New York, NY 10012

*Purchase tickets here*

Looking forward to getting active with you during LEO SEASON!

Eating Good In My ‘Hood: Thai Farm Kitchen

Untitled

Menu

In this life I live, I am always in search of great experiences in the realms of food & drink, music, and fitness. When I am not in a bind for time, I thoroughly enjoy walking through different neighborhoods to see the offerings of local small businesses. As a lifelong resident of Kensington, Brooklyn, we have many mainstays on the business-front, but as of the past few years, I have noticed a few new spots popping up on the larger strips of Church Avenue, Coney Island Avenue, and Cortelyou Road.

Late last year, I noticed the opening of Thai Farm Kitchen on Church Ave between East 4th and East 5th Streets. I believed it was incredibly convenient, as I live just two blocks away, but as the NYC dining market is inundated with Thai restaurants, I quickly thought that perhaps, they were just like the others.

I continued passing the restaurant on my way to the subway as I was constantly in a rush, and one day, seemingly out of nowhere, I saw that I had been followed on Instagram by the @thaifarmkitchen account. I decided to stop in one sunny Saturday afternoon post-nail appointment next door, and I am so glad that I did.

Untitled

Thai Iced Tea

Upon entering, I immediately noticed that nearly all seats at tables were full, a feat in itself for a new restaurant in the hours between lunch and dinner service. I was greeted by co-owner Jess Calvo, and informed him that I noticed the restaurant had followed me on Instagram, so I wanted to pop in, say hello, and try out some dishes. He quickly brought over his wife and chef, Elizabeth Kanyawee Calvo,  and sat us all at the single unoccupied table to chat about their business, culture, and journey to the States.

I told them a little bit more about myself, the fact that I have lived in the neighborhood all of my life, and that on my blog, I enjoy reviewing local restaurants in my neighborhood, and beyond. I ordered a Thai iced tea, and we began our conversation.

Untitled

Interior view from the entrance

As written on the cover of the menu, Thai Farm Kitchen offers farm to table Thai cuisine. The Calvos opened the restaurant in October 2018, and quickly gained recognition from The New York Times. But this isn’t their first rodeo. The couple and their family owned three farm to table restaurants, along with a farm in their native Thailand. They decided to sell it all in search of their American dream, which conveniently set up shop right in my stomping grounds.

Untitled

Chicken Satay

I started my food tasting with the Chicken Satay, seen in the photo above. Made with “free range chicken, marinated with lemongrass, turmeric, spices, served with peanut sauce”, it was a perfect beginning as all flavors were well-balanced and not overpowering. I really enjoyed the sauces on the side as they added another layer to an already delicious appetizer.

Untitled

Decor

The interior of the restaurant is very thoughtful, featuring decor from Thailand and various plates, flatware, and dishes from the collection of Chef Kanyawee Calvo’s grandmother’s kitchen. Many of the dishes on the menu are also her grandmother’s recipes, which give the dining experience a very homey vibe. Although it was my first visit, all of these factors made me feel very welcome, and at home.

Untitled

Tom Yum Noodle Soup

Mr. & Mrs. Calvo presented me with my main dish, the Tom Yum Noodle Soup, which they insisted to me was incredibly delicious, and could not be found at any other Thai restaurant in NYC. The soup consists of rice noodles, fish meat balls, lemongrass, galangal, ground meat, and a spicy sauce. I must say, the spice level of this dish made me shed a few tears, but it is by far one of the most unique and delicious soups I have ever had. The flavors were so complex, which kept me guessing what the next bite would be like. I enjoy the adventure of trying new foods, and with this meal, I unlocked a new level.

If you find yourself in Kensington during the afternoon or evening, be sure to stop into Thai Farm Kitchen. In addition to their dinner offerings, they have a lunch special which is a bang for your buck. Tell them Andrea sent you. You won’t be disappointed!

 

Menu & food photos by Andrea K. Castillo

Interior/decor photos courtesy of Thai Farm Kitchen

I received a complimentary meal from the restaurant

So, Refinery29 Shared One Of My Tweets On Their Platform, But I’m Not Here For It

It’s a Monday afternoon in NYC on a warm June day. I am feeling the lull of the post-2PM blues, and I see a notification on my Instagram account. I see one of my girls commented on a post with my handle, @andreakcastillo, and a bunch of exclamation points. I see that the post is on the Refinery29 Instagram account; they had screenshot one of my tweets and used it for a #mondaymotivation post. At first, I am flattered they chose me, given their reach, but as a blogger/freelance writer/content creator in the social media space, I immediately comment on my friend’s comment “woooooow! Can ya girl get credited tho @refinery29?” And so it began.

Minutes after the comment, I see multiple friends IRL and on social media adding my post to their stories, commenting, and pushing the fact that Refinery29 should tag me as it is the ethical thing to do. 24 hours go by, and at this point all the top comments on the post are my friends telling them to properly credit me. During this time, I personally DMed the post to Refinery saying this was my tweet, and how I would like to be credited. No response.

I then go on a bit of a search, scrolling their IG page to see similar “inspirational tweets” and check to see if the authors were credited. Indeed, a few of the authors were credited; one that had over 20K followers, and another that had over 1 million. I scrolled further down the page to find posts similar to mine that were not credited. The linking factor? We all had less than 5K followers.

Riddle me this. As a publication focused on women and their overall empowerment within career, sexuality, self-esteem, beauty & style, just to name a few, why WOULDN’T you tag those with a smaller following? That would be a pretty diplomatic decision, no? But instead, you shine more light on those already in the light. How is this helpful, and how does this contribute to your ideals as a media enterprise?

I am not just upset for the basic fact that my words were stolen and not properly credited, but for the story behind those words in the first place. Here is an image of my tweet that Refinery29 posted:

The date and time of the tweet was April 2nd at 8:50 PM (oddly enough, the time I was born). I wrote this tweet because I was at an extremely low point emotionally and spiritually. Rapper & entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle had been murdered in cold blood 48 hours prior in Los Angeles, and I, like many of my peers across the world were having a very difficult time grasping our new reality. I find myself lucky at this point to have crossed paths with him in 2013 when I worked at an entertainment website, but so much was unnerving to me. How can an individual in the spotlight with such deep ties to his community and the betterment of the advancement of his people be taken from us in such a heartless way? I was particular shaken, as through watching his many interviews, I connected deeply to his ideology, that of speaking the truth. It made me think to myself, “If I continue to speak the truth on social media, and in public spaces, will that be the cause of my own demise?”

Here is the rest of the thread I wrote that evening:

AKC_Tweet

I was overwhelmed by the response, quickly receiving likes and retweets at such a rapid rate that I could hardly keep up. So many personal stories were shared with me, specifically the fact of how timely my posts were in a time when we were hurting en masse. It brought me back to this idea of that I create some of my best works at my lowest points, so for my tweet to be stolen by Refinery29 feels like exploitation. I understand that as a freelance writer, I should be political and not make efforts to burn bridges, but in the words of Erykah Badu, “I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my shit.” I have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

SEE Eyewear Lands in Williamsburg for Their Newest Retail Location

SEE-Williamsburg-EXT

SEE Eyewear in Williamsburg. 156 Bedford Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11249

Being a wearer of spectacles since 1989, I like to call myself an eyewear aficionado at this point in life. I have been very intentional in choosing my glasses since I was a little girl, so having the opportunity to discover different brands through my blog over the years has always been a treat. For the past few years, I have been purchasing a new set of prescription glasses with a visually interesting frame. I love a style that is made of sturdy materials and unique; not seeing others in my frames actually makes me feel REALLY good.

When SEE Eyewear invited me to come into their latest Brooklyn location in Williamsburg (now open just a few weeks) for a custom fitting of eyeglasses or sunglasses, I was super excited as I had been hip to the brand for a few years, but never saw their product up close and personal. I came in for my appointment on a gorgeous Wednesday afternoon, with a rather simple commute as the shop is only one block away from the Bedford Ave L-train.

SEE-Williamsburg-INT

Interior layout of SEE Eyewear in Williamsburg.

Upon entering the facade, I was warmly greeted by the store’s staff and PR team, given the rundown on the location, eyewear styles, materials, and where product is sourced from. My eyes gleamed when I was told all product is made in limited quantities, so the odds of someone else having my exact frames was quite low. I am like a kid in a candy store when it comes to eyewear, so I meticulously looked through all the styles that piqued my fancy, tried a few on, and made an informed decision to not get a pair that looks like any of my older frames.

see-1549-c1-angle

SEE 1549 in Gold/Tokyo

I decided on the pair above, SEE 1549 in Gold/Tokyo. I’ve wanted a pair of aviators for some time, but wasn’t ready to commit to the style as my sole pair of frames, so now was the right time as I have some variety in the spectacles. As soon as I tried them on, I knew they were the ONE! I got the pair fitted with my current prescription and anti-reflective lenses. I picked them up a few days ago and am really digging them!

19 Williamsburg Influencer 20 Off

You know I wouldn’t share this story if there wasn’t something in it for you, my readers, so here goes! Now until the end of May, SEE Eyewear is running a promotion at their Williamsburg location. Say the code word “BEDFORD” in-store to receive 20% off your prescription eyewear purchase. Happy shopping!

*Photos courtesy of SEE Eyewear

Lead An Active Lifestyle? CBD Living Has The Goods You Need To Relax & Relieve Your Muscle Aches

Untitled

Up Close & Personal

So you’ve committed to your fitness goal. You are staying active as much as possible, trying new activities along the way to keep your mind and body moving. But with all that movement, we encounter a few hiccups along the way in the form of soreness, tightness, and even minor injuries. Since fully committing to my own active lifestyle which consists of running, boxing, Samba dance, and yoga, I have had more than a few hiccups, which have usually led to breaks in my training schedule. I fully believe in and practice holistic remedies, so when I was contacted by CBD Living to review some of their products, I was all in.

Untitled

Drip Drop

If you haven’t been hiding under a rock, you may have noticed that CBD (cannabidiol) is all the rage now. Derived from the cannabis plant, CBD has a relaxing effect and contains no THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) the chemical which causes a psychoactive effect on your body (AKA what makes you high). I personally wanted to try products to help with my muscle aches as well as to help me sleep because I tend to be restless at night.

Untitled
Full line-up: Sleep Aid, Freeze, and Tincture

I requested the CBD Living Sleep Aid Grape Flavour, CBD Living Freeze, and CBD Living Tincture 500mg. Here is my experience with each product:

  • CBD Living Sleep Aid Grape Flavour: Very cool packaging. Flavor of the syrup is almost identical to any grape cough syrup you may have had in your life, so a very familiar taste. The sleep aid contains 120mg of CBD and 16mg of melatonin to prepare for a restful sleep. My first few nights in a row did prove to be a bit more restful, but I believe my body got used to it quickly, so nights after, I still had some issues with sleep. Perhaps a higher dosage of CBD & melatonin in the formula would be helpful for people like me? MSRP $26.
  • CBD Living Freeze:  A roll-on pain reliever with cooling properties containing 120mg full-spectrum Nano-CBD, along with menthol, aloe vera, arnica montana, and tea tree oil, among other ingredients. Reminiscent of other roll ons I have used whilst in physical therapy, I find that the relief does not last as long as I would like. So far I have used it for menstrual cramps directly on my lower abdomen, lower back, knee, and hip. MSRP $30.
  • CBD Living Tincture 500mg: A 500mg full-spectrum Nano-CBD tincture to be taken orally, formulated with organic MCT oil. The oil formulation of the tincture can be taken on its own via the 1ml dropper, or added to food or beverages. I have used it a few times in its own, and a handful of times in a beverage. The relaxing effect has been very slight on me, so I will consider upping my dosage. MSRP $60

Untitled

Casually Chilling On The Roof

My conclusion is that CBD on its own is not a cure-all. As I am incredibly active with a now increased appetite, I believe the oral products may not have been as effective on me because of my high metabolism. For the topical products, I believe using them alongside extensive stretching, foam rolling, and massage would be the method to fully reap the benefits of the products.

In addition to the products I tried, CBD Living’s range includes water, teas, lotions, bath bombs, and more. All in all, I definitely believe CBD is a natural alternative worth trying.

 

Photos by Victoria Morris

I received complimentary product from CBD Living for my review.

EVENT: Fight The Stigma, A Mental Health Awareness Class + Discussion @ Overthrow NYC 4/20!

420-stigma-2019

Mental health awareness is a topic that is very important to me, having struggled with anxiety and depression, and having many friends and family members who live with these conditions and more, each and every day. My cousin Ashley introduced me to NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness a few years back when she was fundraising for their annual 5K Walk and Run in NYC. When she mentioned her idea to me of holding a fundraiser for her NAMI Walk team this year at Overthrow New York, the boxing gym that I currently work at as Event Manager, I was all in. Together we bring you Fight The Stigma, A Mental Health Awareness Boxing Class + Discussion. We will begin with a high-intensity boxing class, followed up by a panel discussion fighting the stigma of what mental illness looks like, as well as highlighting the therapeutic uses of CBD for anxiety, depression, and muscle aches.

Panelists include:

  • Ashley Johnston- NAMI Advocate + Athlete
  • Ida Lomibao-Kashif – Former Bodybuilder + Raising Awareness for Postpartum Depression
  • Cynthia Scott- NAMI Volunteer
  • Steven Phan- Owner of Come Back Daily
  • Moderated by Andrea K. Castillo (me!)

All info is below. You may register here. Looking forward to fighting the stigma with you!

 

FIGHT THE STIGMA

Date + Time: Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 4:20 PM

Location: Overthrow New York | 9 Bleecker St., New York, NY 10012

CBD demonstrations by Come Back Daily

CBD cocktails by Care Division

Refreshments by KeVita & KIND

Benefiting: NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness

Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving, Now On View At The Brooklyn Museum

EL176.167_FK_Frida_&_Idol_Muray_Archive - Copy

Frida & Idol. Nickolas Muray.

Late last year when the Brooklyn Museum announced they would be curating a full exhibition on Frida Kahlo, I was overjoyed. Those that know me know how much I love the remarkable Mexican artist and iconoclast of a woman. Since my schedule was a bit off around the holiday season, I completely forgot to RSVP to the press preview (I know) but scheduled a time to visit with the help of the Press team at the museum. Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving opened on February 8th at the Brooklyn Museum. I visited on a Tuesday afternoon in what I would call one of our NYC “slush storms”, but the weather did not deter me from seeing a full exhibit dedicated to one of my favorite women.

I arrived a bit early and sat in the lobby, staring fondly at the LED screen wall at the exhibit’s entrance that blinked “FRIDA KAHLO” in all caps in an energetic color pairing of coral and cobalt blue. I received a complimentary timed ticket (price $20) for the exhibition, which allows patrons an hour to walk through the entire collection of works. Untimed tickets are available as well for $35. The clock struck 12:15 PM and it was my time! I walked into the technicolor reception area where a flavorful soundscape of Latin tunes pumped, curated by Remezcla.

Matilde Calderón025

Ricardo Ayulardo, Family of Matilde Calderón y González, 1890. Silver gelatin print, 8 x 10 in. (20.2 x 25.2 cm). Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera Archives. Bank of Mexico, Fiduciary in the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museum Trust.

Upon entering the exhibition in the Robert E. Blum Gallery, I was amazed at how large and expansive it is, including intimate family photos & those of her with husband and fellow artist Diego Rivera, relics from indigenous tribes in which she decorated her home, her surrealist paintings, and her vast collection of elaborate garments, mostly inspired by the Tehuana women in Oaxaca state. I felt right at home with the myriad of colors and indigenous items on display, at times a bit emotional whilst reading through the life experiences of Frida; having contracted polio at age six resulting in one leg being shorter than the other, was a victim of a major car crash at age eighteen, resulting in wearing a body cast (photo of one below), and her passionate, yet tumultuous relationship with Diego Rivera. It made me think, “how can a woman who has suffered so much, make herself up and create such beautiful works of art?” The thought is one that stuck with me on my tour.

VAFKJH_0038

One of Frida’s adorned body casts

Just imagine suffering a terrible car crash which fractured your ribs, legs, collar bone, pelvis, and displaced some of your vertebrae, resulting in bed-rest and a body cast, and still finding the will and energy to paint said body cast, as well as other canvases from bed? Her works are a true testament to the human spirit.

0148GELMAN_A.1_BM

Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907–1954). The Love Embrace of the Universe, 1949. Oil on Masonite, 27 ½ x 23 ¾ in. (70 x 60.5 cm). The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art and the Vergel Foundation. © 2018 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

The surrealist nature of her paintings draw you deeply into her world. Take the piece above, The Love Embrace of the Universe, where we see Frida embracing a naked Diego in a style similar to a Madonna and child painting from the Renaissance. They are embraced by what appears to be Mother Earth, whom is embraced by the cosmos, or the Universe. Her multi-layered style really makes you stop and think about her inspirations, and how her mind works, in general.

Frida_Dresses

A Myriad of Frida’s Dresses

Frida’s personal style of dress, adopted from the Tehuana women of Oaxaca state, was a deliberate homage to the culture of her mother, as well as a protest of Eurocentric/colonial ideals. It expressed her “radical politics and artistic sensibilities.” The many layers of her clothing, and long length of skirts enveloped Frida in gorgeous silhouettes, while hiding her physical ailments. This idea of “Appearances Can Be Deceiving” is also the title of one of her paintings in which we have almost x-ray view of what lies beneath her clothing, showing a detailed depiction of her limp, and medical corset to support her deteriorating spine.

NMuray_Frida_Kahlo_Bench

Frida Kahlo on White Bench. Nickolas Muray

Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving is on view at Brooklyn Museum until May 12th. Tickets may be purchased here. You can experience a Frida Kahlo-inspired First Saturday on April 6th at the museum. Tickets for the exhibition must be purchased in advance.

Brooklyn Museum

200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, New York 11238-6052

Carnaval Kanaval Carnival!! A Diasporic Celebration & Party @ Cumbe, Sat. March 2nd

Carnival Celebration Flyer side 1 (1)

I started off 2019 expressing my thoughts as an artist, and now, I am putting it all into action. In the month of January I was contacted by the wonderful team at Cumbe: Center for African And Diaspora Dance to take a class and learn more about their organization. As of now, I have been taking Samba class on Tuesday evenings with Danielle Lima, and am very excited to announce that I will be performing!

On March 2nd, Cumbe will be holding Carnaval Kanaval Carnival!! A Diasporic Celebration & Party. The format is an informal dance party with pop-up performances by Careitha Davis, Danielle Lima, Azriel Wallace, Cumbe students (me!), and DJ THECAINMARKO. Food and drinks will be available.

Tickets are $10 in advance, and $15 at the door. You may purchase here: http://bit.ly/CarnivalMar2. Come out and get your carnival fix in Brooklyn!

Thoughts of An Artist

akcgoffscaye

Relaxing by the Caribbean Sea, at Goff’s Caye

At the time this is published, this post has been in my drafts for several months. I have a lot to say, so here goes.

The experience of being a multi-disciplinary writer, and overall human being, is the daily struggle of my existence. The simple way of explaining who I am is that of an artist, but it is a title I often do not feel comfortable with. I see every aspect of my life through an artistic lens, from expertly matching a textile to the paint color on my bedroom walls, to aligning the elements of a homemade meal perfectly on a plate, to creating the playlist that properly sets a mood for the occasion, to listening intently to others before I speak as I want to make sure the words I utter are pleasing to the ear, and impactful. I know no other way, so why is it so hard to call myself an “artist?”

I write this with a fire in my chest, for many reasons. I often think to myself what my legacy will be, and at the ripe age of thirty-two years old, I really don’t know what that would be. I often beat myself up for being so unfocused, but am I really unfocused? Or is it just that I am very passionate about many things, and quite good at them, so it does avert my attention on the regular? It becomes very hard for me, because I can never give anyone a clear answer when I am asked “what do you do?”, the question that is so quickly asked in cities like NYC and LA before you are asked your name, or how you are doing. In my adult life, I have called myself the following, as I have actively done all of these jobs:

  • fashion designer
  • sales professional
  • music & culture journalist
  • prep cook
  • rum beverage crafter and bottler
  • live events professional
  • freelance bio & copywriter
  • natural skincare & candle crafter and producer
  • on-camera personality
  • events producer

My resilience is seen as a strength, but I am resilient because I know no other way. I am used to making something out of nothing. I am used to creating something beautiful when I am in a dark place. I am used to gathering all my resources to create an incredible experience for others. So why do I continue to take a back seat to myself? Why do I continue to question my abilities when I am SO GOOD AT SO MANY THINGS? Self-doubt is a helluva drug, and I do admit it is hard to ween oneself off of. It is as easy to not do something as it is to do something. The issue with not doing it is having the looming thought of “what if” following you wherever you go.

Not writing is probably at the top of my “not-doing” list. Having been a freelance writer for so many years, brainstorming and pitching and submitting to various outlets, I began to feel that my words were not my own. When you submit a piece to any publication, you go through an editor, and depending on who that person may be, there are a few outcomes that may occur. You may have the opportunity to work with an editor who really sees you and hears your voice for what it is worth, and maintains that voice in the finished, published product. You may also work with the editor who really doesn’t edit, and that finished, published product may have errors you did not notice upon submission. Finally, you may have the unfortunate circumstance of working with the editor who not hear your voice, and edits your work to uphold their voice. I have worked with all three types of editors over the years, and in doing so have had triumphs and disappointments alike.

It is easy to not just write, but when your vocation is one of an artist, particularly a storyteller, the writing must continue. As I kick off my 2019, I am constantly reminded of how important it is to learn, question, and research the stories of others that I so feverishly want to tell, knowing that such passion is the impetus for truly sharing my own story with the world.

Welcome to my world.

#SoulofaNationBKM is Now Open at the Brooklyn Museum! A Glimpse Into Some of My Favorite Works

EL162.50_SOAN_Carolyn Lawrence (2 of 3)

Carolyn Lawrence (American, born 1940). Black Children Keep Your Spirits Free, 1972. Acrylic on canvas, 48 1/2 x 50 1/2 x 5 1/4 in. (123 x 128 x 13.5 cm). Courtesy of the artist. Carolyn Mims Lawrence. (Photo: Michael Tropea)

Soul of A Nation: Art In The Age Of Black Power is now on view at the Brooklyn Museum. Organized by Tate Modern in collaboration with Brooklyn Museum and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, the Brooklyn Museum is the only east coast venue for the exhibition. Featuring over 150 works by more than 60 artists, the exhibition gives an encompassing view of the artistic response to the Black Power movement across the United States, displayed in groupings of Black artist collectives in various regions across the States. I have been patiently waiting for this exhibition to arrive at the museum, as the focus is one that is very important to me, specifically the dynamic of Black artists creating works in some of the most challenging times in our society.

EL162.52_Lorraine O'Grady

Lorraine O’Grady (American, born 1934). Art Is (Girlfriends Times Two), 1983/2009. Chromogenic print, 16 x 20 in. (40.6 x 50.8 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Alexander Gray Associates, New York, NY. 2017 Lorraine O’Grady / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

I had the opportunity to attend the press preview of Soul of A Nation and was elated to see familiar faces in some of my peers. The exhibition begins on the fifth floor and continues down on the fourth floor, with works ranging from photography, sculpture, large scale paintings, textiles, mixed media, audiovisual presentations, writings, and archives from The Black Panther newspaper. I was able to walk through the entire exhibit almost solo at times (which is a big deal for me) to take in every piece of art and the stories behind it. There were many favorites, but as I do not want to spoil it for you, I have compiled a short list of a few of my favorite works in the exhibition.

Black Unity

Elizabeth Catlett (American, 1915-2012). Black Unity, 1968. Mahogany wood, 22 1/2 x 20 1/4 x 12 1/2 in. (57.2 x 51.4 x 31.8 cm). Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Catlett Mora Family Trust. Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY

Born in Washington, D.C. to parents who were the children of freed slaves, Elizabeth Catlett’s Black Unity, sculpted from mahogany, depicts two conjoined Black faces on the front, and a fist on the back, a central Black Power symbol.

EL162.64_Ringgold United States of Attica

Faith Ringgold (American, born 1930). United States of Attica, 1972. Offset lithograph on paper, 21 3/4 x 27 1/2 in. (55.2 x 69.9 cm). 2018 Courtesy ACA Galleries, New York. 2018 Faith Ringgold, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Born in Harlem, Faith Ringgold is a legendary multi-disciplinarian whose art ranges mediums from paintings, to quilts, to sculpture, to children’s books. An educator first, there are many teachable moments in her works. United States of Attica is a poster made in tribute to the men who died in the prisoners rebellion at Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York, in which the men fought for better living conditions and political rights. Ringgold will be live at the Brooklyn Museum for Brooklyn Talks on September 27th discussing her artistic career. Tickets available here.

EL162.141_DeCarava couple walking-hr

Roy DeCarava (American, 1919-2009). Couple Walking, 1979. Gelatin silver print on paper, 11 x 14 in. (27.9 x 35.6 cm). Courtesy of Sherry DeCarava and the DeCarava Archives. 2017 Estate of Roy DeCarava. All Rights Reserved

Roy DeCarava is another Harlem-born artist, whose specialty was black & white fine photography depicting African American life. His early focus was that of jazz musicians, including the likes of Mahalia Jackson and Miles Davis. He was the first African-American photographer to win the Guggenheim Fellowship, and with this win, he was able to photograph his community, as seen in the above photo, Couple Walking. Sherry Turner DeCarava, publisher and art historian will be live at the Brooklyn Museum on November 8th for Brooklyn Talks. She will be discussing and celebrating the new edition of the 1955 best-selling book The Sweet Flypaper of Life, which features words from Langston Hughes, and photos from her late husband, Roy DeCarava. Tickets are available here.

2012.80.18_PS9_edited

Wadsworth A. Jarrell (American, born 1929). Revolutionary (Angela Davis), 1971. Acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 64 x 51 in. (162.6 x 129.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of R.M. Atwater, Anna Wolfrom Dove, Alice Fiebiger, Joseph Fiebiger, Belle Campbell Harris, and Emma L. Hyde, by exchange, Designated Purchase Fund, Mary Smith Dorward Fund, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, and Carll H. de Silver Fund, 2012.80.18. Wadsworth A. Jarrell. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

Born in Albany, GA, Wadsworth A. Jarrell was an instrumental figure in the Black art movement in Chicago. He co-founded AFRICOBRA: African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists in 1969. The collective would become internationally known for their politically-themed art in very vibrant colors. Revolutionary (Angela Davis) is a perfect example of this style, featuring an abstract, color-drenched depiction of Angela Davis composed almost entirely of words and sayings that are powerful to the Black community.

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power is on view at the Brooklyn Museum September 14, 2018–February 3, 2019 in the Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing, 4th and 5th Floors.

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, New York 11238-6052

Hours

MONDAY Closed
TUESDAY Closed
WEDNESDAY 11 am–6 pm
THURSDAY 11 am–10 pm
FRIDAY 11 am–6 pm
SATURDAY 11 am–6 pm
SUNDAY 11 am–6 pm

Tone Up That Body for FREE at The Sweat Sessions in The Meatpacking District

IMG_7733 copy 2

It is the most wonderful time of the year in NYC. We are in mid-May, meaning without warning we can experience anything from torrential downpours to sweltering heat at the drop of a dime. For natives like myself, May signifies the beginning of pre-summer ’18, and you know what that means? Tons of opportunities to explore the city on the cheap, and get that body in check with so many different fitness classes that are FREE 99.

One of my favorites, The Sweat Sessions, held every summer in the Meatpacking District at 14th Street Park, is back with their Summer 2018 line-up, and of course, they are bringing heat (pun intended) with their class offerings. The sessions kick off on Tuesday, May 22nd, and are held every Tuesday evening, with the exception of holidays, with 45 minute classes held at 6PM, 7PM, and 8PM. Check out the lineup below for the first two weeks, and be sure to RSVP ASAP!

 

Introducing #TheFeelGoodProject Talks, Featuring DJs Olivia Dope, Tiff McFierce & Twelve45, 4/18/18 at Canal Street Market

The Feel Good Project, Talks

On April 18, 2018, A Life In The Day of Andrea will celebrate its 7th birthday. Over the past seven years, I have used my platform to share, converse, highlight, and connect with some of my favorite brands, people, locales, and experiences. As a blog, my focus has been the written word and photographs, but I have always yearned to make the experience one that can be lived out in real life. With that being said, I am launching #TheFeelGoodProject as a means to bring my online experience offline.

I love having conversations with people, and have done this on the blog via my #MANday & #WOMANday features over the years. #TheFeelGoodProject will be a series of live offline conversations and self-care sessions. For my first edition of #TheFeelGoodProject , Talks, I will be producing a conversation entitled “Last Night The DJ Saved My Life”. Alongside DJs Olivia Dope, Tiff McFierce, and Twelve45, we will discuss why we love music so much (this blog started off as more of a music site), and how important it is to create community on the dance floor. Details below.

A Life In The Day of Andrea Presents:

#TheFeelGoodProject Talks

“Last Night The DJ Saved My Life”,

A Conversation Celebrating the Women Behind The 1s & 2s

Olivia Dope | Tiff Mc Fierce | Twelve45

Wed. April 18, 2018 | 6-8 PM

Canal Street Market | 265 Canal St, NYC

RSVP HERE!

Refreshments provided by KIND Snacks & Harmless Harvest

Can’t wait to see your beautiful faces there! 🙂

EVENT: Wukkout!® x Athleta Friends & Family Class & Shop Party With Cas Rum Beverages Fri. 3/9/18

Wukkoutcasrum

Your girl has been a little quiet on the blog front, but it is all for good reason. If you have been following my adventures on Instagram, you would have seen that I have been traveling a lot more, maintaining my fitness, and pouring up dranks. For the past few years, I have been testing out Cas Rum Beverages, a line of bottled rum cocktails with Belizean flair. My goal in creating these beverages has been to share it with the community, and in doing so, share my Belizean heritage with each glass.

For the past month, I started taking the Wukkout community class at the Athleta flagship store on 5th Ave. Founded by Krista Martins, a dancer and choreographer of Guyanese descent, Wukkout is a Caribbean dance fitness class led by soca tunes to have you feel like you are “pon di road” (aka marching on the road for Carnival). I really love the energy of class and immediately thought it would be great to collaborate on an event with Krista, and HERE WE ARE!

To kick off Women’s History Month, Wukkout is holding a special class and shopping party, with ya girl providing delicious rum punch to chill out after class, and encourage purchasing of lovely fitness apparel from Athleta. You may RSVP here. Class spots may already be gone, but you can definitely slide through for the shopping party and fashion show!

Wukkout!® x Athleta Friends & Family Class & Shop Party

Fri, March 9, 2018, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST

And if all that wasn’t enough, and you can’t make it, all friends of Wukkout receive 25% off their purchase at Athleta.

Wukkout!

See you there!

#ALifeInTheDayInBarbados: Jammin On A Catamaran Atop Crystal Blue Waters

catamaransail copy

Sail

#ALifeInTheDayInBarbados. In my last post, we explored the natural wonder of Barbados’ Harrison’s Cave, and in this final edition, we are back on the water having some good old fashioned island fun. I am always up for hopping on a boat and taking a little trip on the waters, so when Lauren mentioned that there was a catamaran day trip, I was on it. In a similar fashion as Harrison’s Cave, we signed up for the Jammin Catamaran Cruise via our hotel activities desk, and placed our deposit. We chose the Sun Blast Cruise, with a length of 5 1/2 hours starting at 9AM, serving breakfast, lunch, unlimited rum punch, and proper Caribbean tunes.

catamaranbikiniclose

Close-Up

On the morning of our trip, a van greeted us at our hotel and picked up other guests along the way until we reached the dock of the catamaran. Once out of our shuttle, we paid the remainder of our package in the company’s office on the dock, and were then set to board our home for the next 5 1/2 hours, the 63 ft Jammin catamaran. The girls and I immediately found our spot on top of the net, and placed our things down for maximum sun exposure. We applied our sunscreen and proceeded to have a light breakfast of a muffin and some juice.

catamaranhills

Hills are Alive

I love the sea and ocean immensely, so to be sitting on top of the catamaran with the deep blue water in perfect view was icing on the cake. We made a few stops along the way. Our first stop was snorkeling with the turtles. Unfortunately on our day, the turtles were not out in plain view, but we were guided to sites of shipwrecks in the area which was awesome to see. I kicked myself as I did not bring my GoPro to capture the underwater moments, but seeing with my bare eyes was probably more special.

Continue reading

#ALifeInTheDayInBarbados: Exploring Harrison’s Cave

hccoconuttree

Coconut tree at the grounds of Harrison’s Cave

#ALifeInTheDayInBarbados. In my last post, I introduced you to the beautiful Rockley Beach, and shared some lovely photos romping around the seashore. I love the beach immensely, but aside from R & R, what is a vacation without a little adventure? Travel without adventure is something that I do not do. It is so exhilarating to experience natural wonders in various locales, even if it involves getting a little dirty or wet in the process.

On day three of our trip, we ventured to Harrison’s Cave.  Named after Thomas Harrison who was a prominent landowner in the area in the early 1700s, the cave is a limestone underground live formation in St. Thomas Parish in the heart of Barbados. I am fascinated by the natural design and history of caves, so I was really excited to partake.

harrisonscave_1

Spiky ting

We had booked our outing in advance via our hotel front desk, and were all set to go with a tour guide on that bright Saturday morning. We met our van out front of our hotel at minutes after 8 AM, joined by a few other tourists, mainly families. We took an approximately 30-minute drive out to the site of Harrison’s Cave, all whilst getting a little local history of the nation of Barbados from our driver and tour guide.

Continue reading