The Girl Mob x Twitter Present: “They Mean Business”, October 1st, Feat. Cas Rum Beverages!

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Since 1988, Hispanic Heritage Month has been held every year in the United States from September 15 – October 15, as this time period encapsulates the independence of several Latin American nations. To celebrate here in NYC, The Girl Mob has teamed up with Twitter to present They Mean Business: A Celebration of Latinx Businesses & Entrepreneurial Spirit.

On the evening of October 1st, the doors of Twitter HQ will be open to guests who want to meet with likeminded folks in a format that is part speed-networking and part community building. I am so happy to announce that Cas Rum Beverages will be on site as one of the event’s brand partners. In addition to being one of the official beverage partners of the evening (get ready for glasses of #casrumpunch ya’ll!), I will also get to speak on my business, and be a part of the speed-networking round.

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Cas Rum Beverages lineup. Photo by Victoria Morris.

I am so thankful for Yari & Britt from The Girl Mob bringing me on to what is likely to be a very engaging and successful event! Here are all of the details:

They Mean Business

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

5:30 – 8:30 PM

Twitter HQ

249 West 17 Street

New York, NY

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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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: Exploring Harrison’s Cave

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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.

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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.

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#ALifeInTheDayInBarbados: Shout Out to CARICOM & Rum Punch!

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The view of Rockley Beach from Accra. Photo: Accra Beach Hotel

Travel for me serves so many purposes. For one, it is to get away, to break the monotony that can be everyday life in NYC. On the other hand, it can be a search for what is the same, for what feels familiar, and like home. In the beginning of December, I went on a tropical escape to Barbados with my cousin Lauren for her 30th birthday along with her lifelong friend LeAndra. I was extremely excited to go Barbados, as I had never been, and it was my first Caribbean (CARICOM) nation outside of Belize that I visited. I usually do a lot of research for new travel destinations, but I knew Lauren had it handled as she consulted co-workers and friends of Barbadian/Bajan descent. It was different for me, and a bit of travel anxiety lifted from my plate as I did not have to plan our trip day-to-day.

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A cool view of Lagoon Bar. Photo: Accra Beach Hotel

We had a non-stop Jet Blue flight from JFK to Bridgetown, the capital of the country, and arrived in the early afternoon. Barbados is on Atlantic Standard Time (AST), so we were an hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). Upon landing and walking down the stairs to the ground with the sun beaming on my face, I immediately felt at home. The airport was small and reminiscent of Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize City, and I was so excited to flash my Belize passport on arrival. Belize and Barbados are members of CARICOM, the Caribbean Community, and with a CARICOM passport, travelers are able to wait on a shorter line and stay for longer periods of time in Caribbean nations sans visa.

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LeAndra & I being proper millennials, Instagramming our food

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For Proper Tequila Cocktails & Healthy Mexican Bites, Visit Cítrico In Brooklyn

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L-R: Luis & Noor (Owners of Cítrico), Me, Kortnee, Erica, Jason

This Monday, July 24th, was and always is, a special day. For one, it is my birthday, and secondly, it is #NationalTequilaDay. Last year I brought in year 30 with a huge brunch courtesy of Patron, and for this year, I brought in 31 with some close friends, and the team at Cítrico.

Cítrico is a fresh Mexican restaurant & bar in the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, opened in 2014. Owners (and married couple) Luis & Noor modeled the menu off of some of Luis’s family recipes, as well as the cuisine of the southern states of Mexico. As the topic of conversation was tequila, I spoke to Noor about margarita alternatives that Cítrico offers, as well as testing a few out with the help of my girls Kortnee and Erica.

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Salsa Platter. Photo courtesy of Cítrico

To help soak up the drinks, we started with the salsa platter, which included house-made tortilla chips, pico de gallo, guajillo salsa, salsa de arbol, and tomatillo salsa. In addition, we snacked on chicharrines, not to be confused with pork chicharrones, which is made from a flour base and has a similar consistency to Funions.

Our feature cocktails were the following:

  • Citrico Tropical: Tequila (or mezcal); pineapple and mango
  • Tlaxcalita Bella: Tequila, cranberry juice, lime and fresh mint

  • Guerrero: Espadin mezcal, tequila, hibiscus, lime, orange and agave

 

Dive into our live session, and see how we rated the cocktails and snacks in the video below!

 

Be sure to LIKE our Facebook page here-> A Life In The Day of Andrea.

Hanging With Mack Wilds At Canal Street Market

Chilling with Mack at the Market

Since December, I have been moonlighting, or I guess in this circumstance “daylighting” at the Canal Street Market. Located at 261-267 Canal Street in Chinatown, the space is a massive multi-vendor marketplace, housing various small businesses, designers, and makers, most that are local to New York. The market opened in December 2016 to the public, just in time for the holidays, and just this month, opened a Food Hall on May 15th. I have worked sales booths for EIR NYC, Upstate Stock, Kindred Black, as well as the market’s Design Shop, and even on my days off, I find myself coming right back to the market.

In addition to all the shopping and food offerings, the market hosts a multitude of multidisciplinary events (product launches, magazine parties, talks, etc.), and it becoming a hot spot to shoot content, giving its clean design and Instagram-worthy murals by Alex Proba.

Look at these kids! LOL

A few weeks back on one of my days off, my boy Jason asked if I wanted to be second camera for a VIBE Magazine shoot with Mack Wilds at Canal Street Market. I have known Mack and the VIBE team since 2013, back when I was at Concrete Loop and I interviewed him for the site (still one of my favorite artist interviews to date that you can view here), so of course I said yes. I walked in that Friday afternoon to the market and my peeps there were a bit confused. They knew I was not scheduled to  work that day, so as I walked further back into the lounge, they knew I was there for the shoot. We had a full team, Mikey Fresh interviewing, Jason L. Chandler filming, and Karl Ferguson Jr. shooting behind-the-scenes photos. In my words, “Black Eyed Peas with Fergie.”

As we had to wait on Mack for a little bit, I was the light tester for Karl, meaning it was like a mini fake photoshoot for me, which I am totally cool with. More content! We set up the lounge area that was curated by West Elm, to evoke maximum cozy + cool factor for the shoot, and I think we did a pretty good job.

Album cover or nah?

Once he arrived, I received the biggest hug in the world, and we got down to it. I helped mic him up and make sure no wires were visible on camera. Once he was ready, I got behind the second camera to ensure we got a clean second angle while Jason was on the main camera, and Mikey interviewed. It was really awesome to see how much Mack has grown as an artist, just having released his second album, After Hours, with the accompanying mini-series on TIDAL, and starring in not one, but two television series, VH1’s The Breaks and FOX’s Shots Fired, respectively.

After the conclusion of the interview, we chopped it up a bit and Karl took all the super-fun photos of us together that you see above. It was an awesome afternoon, and a reminder that no matter how crazy life can be, I always end up in the right place at the right time.

Portrait by Karl Ferguson Jr.

Watch a clip from his interview with VIBE’s Mikey Fresh below, and stay tuned for new tings and collabs from yours truly!

*Photos by Karl Ferguson Jr.

Yes, You Can Have A Plant-Based Meal With Flava at Urban Vegan Kitchen

Urban Vegan Kitchen as seen from Carmine Street

When it comes to food, I am always up for an adventure. When it comes to dining out, I prefer a sexier environment that is chill with unique design elements. When these two things are combined, I am a happy camper, and this is the case with Urban Vegan Kitchen. I attended the grand opening event in late October directly after a hot yoga class, ready to eat, drink, and learn more about the new culinary outpost. As I have many friends and family members that are vegetarian (some vegan), I am always in search of restaurants that have plant-based meals that I can equally enjoy.

The brainchild of co-founders Pamela Elizabeth, of Blossom Du Jour fame, and David Tianga, Urban Vegan Kitchen serves up vegan soul food in the former space of Blossom on Carmine. Once crossing the threshold inside, I was immersed into a super cozy space of white-painted exposed brick walls, standard table & cocktail table seating, lounge chairs, with framed photographs and posters hung on every wall. The lights were dim, evoking a sexy, but not too sexy nighttime vibe, with sounds spanning A Tribe Called Quest to salsa hits played by the DJ of the evening.

Menus & cocktail table seating

The dining area was separated from the kitchen with a glass block wall (seen above), offering a distorted, light-filled peek into where the magic happens. Passed hors d’oeuvres were served throughout the evening, my favorites being the Fried Okra served with ranch dressing, and the Chickpea Hush Puppies served with a house-made remoulade. I saw folks with drinks and realized there was another level below. I arrived quite early, but once I found friends and was able to put down my gym bag, I headed downstairs for a cocktail.

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