As we all know, all-star weekend took place in Los Angeles, CA this past weekend. This is the biggest event for the NBA organization and I was elated to participate in some of the festivities. My first all-star experience happened to be in New York and I thought to myself, now what’s going to be able to top when I met Paul George. There were a number of events going on that weekend so you had to make yourself an itinerary and stick with it; discipline is key people. Trust me on this 😊
To kick off the all-star weekend, I went to see Black Panther. Although this has nothing to do with the actual all-star event whatsoever, the fact that it was released during this weekend meant I had to go and see this. I mean, I think everyone put this on their agenda for opening weekend. Now back to the NBA. I had the pleasure of meeting both Andre Drummond and Lou Will at the Kia Loft space. Their setup was cool as you could take on a match of NBA 2K, try to beat the escape room within the 10 minutes allotted or post to your social using their hashtag and get an instant Polaroid printout of that picture. Pretty cool stuff, right? I also was able to check out the American Express event in partnership with Shaquille O’Neal. It was cool to see the converted bank safe that stored a few of the Lakers prized possessions including and autographed Shaq’s jersey, a replica of the championship trophy and the king’s chair with the crown made perfect photo ops. Not to forget the infamous slam dunk gif that I had way too much fun with.
Of course, there were events like the rookie game, the dunk contest and celebrity basketball match-ups. I was able to catch the celebrity game at the convention center which was cool to see people with other talents showcasing their basketball skills or lack thereof lol. Overall still something cool to catch to be a part of the festivities. In addition to that, I was also able to stop by an event sponsored by Spalding that showcased customized basketballs and featured Demar Derozan and my favorite, Damian Lillard aka Dame Dolla, in a 2K match.
As if the sporting events weren’t enough, there were also a ton of exclusive releases happening as well. From the Dame 4 Bapes that dropped at the Adidas 747 St Warehouse, to Russell Westbrook’s pop-up featuring his new fashion collection ‘Inner City’, to the Kobe Protos made available at Nike’s own ‘Makers of the Game’ and even a pop-up from the NYC-flagship store, Kith; soon to have a home in LA as well. If you’re a fan of the NBA, all-star is definitely something you would want to experience at least just once. Checkout some of the shots I was able to capture during this LA All-Star weekend.
What happens when Tupac envisions his own restaurant and leaves the blueprint for the concept? Sweet Chick, nestled in the Lower Eastside of Manhattan, brings this idea to life 20 years later and becomes Powamekka Cafe for you to enjoy over a 3-day stint. It was time for yet another much needed catch up and I’m so happy she suggested going to this.
The cafe was filled with pictures of Tupac from childhood to adulthood, portraits of what I took to be some of his musical influences and even newly designed restroom signs for the “playaz” and “divaz”. Handwritten notes from Tupac about the restaurant concept, infamous quotes from the artist himself and never seen before poetry also lined the walls of this pop-up cafe. Classic songs from Tupac flowed throughout and definitely made you feel his presence. Although I knew this was not going to happen, it felt like at any given moment Tupac was going to appear surprisingly and thank the patrons for stopping by and supporting his vision. That’s just how much the ambiance made you feel his presence even in his absence.
The menu was made up of the artists’ favorite meals so for my entree I went with the meatloaf. This wasn’t just ordinary meatloaf; it actually was made with duck and short rib. The dish also came with mashed potatoes and a creamy mushroom sauce. Delicious is an understatement for this one. I cannot recall what was in my mixed drink but I definitely picked it solely based on the name “Queen of Cali”. Overall I was very happy with my experience at this Tupac inspired restaurant and Sweet Chick did a phenomenal job of executing the concept that was laid out for Powamekka Cafe. Enjoy the pics below.
When one of your favorite girlbosses comes in town, you must be where they are right? Despite the rescheduling due to the snowstorm and the brittle cold, I made my way to see Mrs. Tia Mowry-Hardrict in support of her newest venture. She released a cooking/lifestyle book titled ‘Whole New You’ and the book signing was held at Barnes & Noble in the Tribeca area.
This wasn’t just your typical book signing. Like buy the book, hey guys I’m here, sign the book and then that’s pretty much it. Tia had an intimate conversation with us and did a brief Q&A as well. She discussed her new book of course, her battle with endometriosis which was a huge contributing factor for the book and gave helpful cooking tips. I definitely wouldn’t consider myself an executive chef over here but it was nice to hear that these recipes weren’t that intimidating or hard to make. I absolutely love Tia and everything she stands for. A successful actress, very family oriented, shows there can be true work life balance, host of her own cooking show and overall a real go getter. Tia is the epitome of a true girlboss and an inspiration to many many people, including myself. It was such a pleasure to finally meet her. I always thought I would see her randomly while in LA but New York you made it happen! Hopefully we will cross paths again soon as the journey of this citygal continues.
On July 22nd, the world was finally able to hear the long awaited album ‘Everybody Looking’ from Atlanta’s own, Gucci Mane aka Guwop. Before there was knowledge of this album and its release date, upon Gucci’s return home, he announced the ‘Gucci and Friends Tour’ that would be hosted at The Fox in downtown Atlanta. My bestie, whom I love soooo much, purchased a ticket for me and just stated do my best to try to make it back down home. I immediately thought if Gucci’s home, I’m home and of course, I made it happen so I could be in attendance to this. The anticipation of what he would start the show with, which friends would also be performing, how many of my favorites would he perform, were all thoughts that I had until the lights dimmed and there he was.
In true Gucci fashion, it was only right to open the concert with one of my personal favorites ‘First Day Out’. Zaytoven, a highly renowned producer for many of Gucci’s classics, played the piano and we all started rapping the words. The show continued with many other hits, some mainstream and others for true fans of Gucci, such as Freaky Girl, Trap House,I’m a Dog, Go Head, Photoshoot and So Icy just to name a few. Now to the guests. I was overwhelmed with pure joy when I saw Future come out to one of his DS2 tracks, Stick Talk. Shortly thereafter he was joined by the one and only Drake. They performed Jumpman together from their #1 album, What a Time to be Alive and Drake also blessed us with Enemies and joined Gucci for their new summer tune, Back on Road. As if Future and Drake weren’t enough, Gucci’s friends also included OJ da Juiceman, 2 Chainz, Young Dolph and Peewee Longway. To say the concert was great, would be an understatement. Seeing that I was born and raised in Atlanta and love all things about my city, Gucci Mane was definitely a huge part of my lif, especially back in my college days for sure. To be home for this and to rap along to all of my favorite Gucci classics right alongside my best friend was definitely a night to remember.
Pop-up stores are definitely making a good stint this year in NYC. Bleacher Report teamed up with the owner of Kith, Ronnie Fieg, and hosted one of their own here in Soho called BR99. There was tons of merchandise from tees, shorts, towels, hats, hoodies, etc. Some items were branded with 99 for this specialty pop-up and other things simply kept the KITH name or enlarged K. Since Bleacher Report is sports based, there were a lot of other activities one could partake in at this pop-up, particularly in the lounge located upstairs. Being a big fan of air hockey, I was definitely excited when I saw this and decided to play a few games. You could also play NBA 2K or even create a meme using popular viral videos that we’ve seen so far this year.
The pop-up wouldn’t be complete without Kith Treats. The Kith store in Brooklyn, NY offers Kith Treats which includes their ice cream cereal swirl and a good handful of cereal and candy toppings; perfect for a hot summer day right? This pop-up offered 2 specialties. One created by none other than the #1 NBA draft pick, Ben Simmons, which included captain crunch, cookie dough and Twix for the toppings. The other one was created by the Bleacher Report team and included fruity pebbles, captain crunch berries and blue marshmallows for toppings. Sugar rush indeed!
This was definitely a great pop-up to say the least. Its open until 6/30 so if you are in the area, stop by and check it out. More pics below.
There are often times I cannot keep up with all of the things that go on in New York City but when I heard about Trey Songz doing a NYC takeover, I had to get involved. Last Friday after leaving work I decided to stop by the event where Trey is making an appearance to promote SX Liquors. I have been a fan of this guy for years so I went a few stops up on the train from my job to check this out. There was a good selection of SX Liquors to chose from and they actually taste pretty good. It was a pleasure to meet Trey Songz and he was one of the nicest people I’ve met so far. A true Friyayyy moment pictured below.
Many may be asking just who is this Bryson Tiller guy? The one who has pretty much taken over the R&B lane and everyone’s girl in the process. The melodic tunes over somewhat harder trap beats, for lack of better words, creates a sound that is perfect for today’s genre of music and what we now characterize as an R&B artist. Very similar to the soundof Partynextdoor, you cannot deny that Bryson is indeed one of the best in the game right now and headed to the top at a very fast pace. I had the pleasure of attending the Trapsoul tour in New York at Webster Hall and this was an unforgettable show. Me, along with the other attendees of the first sold out show, sung nearly every word of each track as he performed the Trapsoul album in its entirety along with a few other tunes that he has released this far. I am so glad I was able to attend this concert in such an intimate setting. There was a recent interview with Bryson in which he was in fact enlightened about the big deal it was to be sold out at Radio City Music Hall in New York city. I will probably not see Bryson so close and personal again for the price that I did so I definitely showed my appreciation by joining in on all of the songs and lived in the moment of this frenzy behind this humble R&B crooner that has for surely won the hearts of many.