Thursday, December 25, 2008

WINTERY - a new mix by me

WINTERY - by dj take 5
a short, 30 minute interlude for your holiday.

a jazzy stocking stuffer, if you will...

even if - well, especially if - you were naughty...

all the best for a stellar 09.

grab it here::::

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

nova jazz : new jazz : jazzanova >> ("of all things")

this song "I can see" is off Jazzanova's new album "Of All things" - it features blue-eyed soul rising star Ben Westbeech. Ben was signed by the mastermind Gilles Peterson to his label (Brownswood) about 2 years and has already captured the attention of many. for more on ben westbeech, check out:

the video is pretty cool - and the first i've seen offered by JAZZANOVA a power-house of nu-jazz, broken beat and other soulful loveliness over the past 15 years! for more on them, go here and here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Dan showing his announcer skills! :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

solid as a rock!

Esta noche (Nov. 11) i'll be spinning up some tunes at TILLMANS. a really dope lounge spot owned by Ashford and Simpson. (26th street between 6 - 7 Aves)

i've been djing a long time - about 11 years now - and it's been interesting to see music and our lives evolve. i now use a system called Serato to play out. it allows a dj to utilize a laptop - and pull down tracks digitally onto platters that resemble traditional vinyl. same look and feel, without lugging 200 lbs worth of records around. a saviour. there are a whole bunch of other things you can do with the program, but i don't. i think it's kinda cheating. see, i had always used wax until 2 years ago, when the digital djing revolution really took hold. the problem is, with some of the technology out now, it makes anyone think they can be a dj. simply put - djing is 20% tactical (the actual mixing was never the hurdle). djing is 80% listening/ feeling/ knowing the music and what the flow should be -- and of course, reading the crowd to see if they like the vibe or whether it needs a shift. as such, technology should just better aid our journey to that place - that feeling - that music can deliver us to. through serato to marvin.

anyhow, i look forward to rockin' it for an hour-and-a-half tonight for heads who enjoy soulful music blended together to create a journey, and not just a doling out of hit-pop mickey-mouse tracks. despite the state of hip-hop right now -- soul music remains SOLID... SOLID AS A ROCK!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

my cousin's account of Election Night - Nov 4th, 2008

for those who know me well, you know i'm not the best of writers - i choose instead to share my feelings through music or imagery. my cousin, Antonio, encapsulated last night better than i ever could. his email to our family and to his friends is below. enjoy.

From the early morning, as Cheryl and I were some of the first people to vote at our polling place, I saw excitement and hope on the faces of so many people I'd never seen come out to vote before. This was my 3rd presidential election living in my current house and 5th presidential election I could participate in. In all of those elections, I had never seen so many people out and voting. So many Americans inspired to do what so many other Americans have often taken for granted - participating in our election process with a feeling that their actions would mean something and their voices would be heard.

All through the day and into the evening as polling places began to close, I could sense the truly palpable feeling of joy, just under the surface as everyone began to celebrate the unthinkable happening. Myself, I walked around in a daze much of the day and early evening. Unlike my wife, I wasn't moved to tears in the voting booth, thinking about the historic moment I was participating in. Unlike my friends and coworkers I wasn't practically dancing on air as I went about my day. I couldn't get past the divisions brought out in the last 2 elections and the unethical lengths people have and continued to go to, trying to undermine our democratic process.

I wouldn't let my hope and adulation overtake the feelings of dread and fear as I heard in the last days of this election, the terrible things that some people were doing. The fliers being handed out in urban areas urging Democrats to vote on Wednesday, the day after the election. The phone calls that were being made to first-time Latino voters telling them they could just vote over the phone. The calculated, un-American actions of some, gripped my emotions and kept me stoic.

So as I made my way to Grant Park in Chicago it was in small steps that my fear and unease were washed away.

4 miles out I began to see clusters of police officers on every block. Not Chicago's 1968 police officers, but happy men and women casually waving to passersby, laughing with each other. I hoped we'd have a pleasant, peaceful celebration this night. I felt a little better.

3 miles out I encountered throngs of people waiting at bus stops, riding their bikes alongside mine, walking all eastward towards the lake. Joyous people, cheering, high-fiving everyone, and waving flags. I felt a little better.

2 miles out I could see search lights lighting up the sky next to Chicago's skyline. Car horns were blasting, city buses 50 deep, were parked along the roads waiting to help with the crowds. The energy around me was like the victorious post-game euphoria I felt at Soldier Field after a recent Chicago Bears football game. I felt a little better.

1 mile out and all the roads were blocked to motorized traffic. Crowds burst the boundaries of all the sidewalks and were filling the lanes of the street. Young and old, in strollers and wheelchairs, people of every age, race, and color made up the massive wave of humanity. People in elegant evening wear next to whole families in giant fuzzy Uncle Sam hats lit up with red, white and blue lights. Everyone coming together. I felt a little better.

As I began to walk up Michigan Avenue from Roosevelt, just across from the Field Museum and Soldier Field, I was taken aback by the sheer enormity of the celebration. The lengthy downtown park was filling up with people. The length of Michigan Avenue, for as far as I could see northward, was full. As I passed block after block, I'd look westward and see for half a mile that all the roads were closed and completely full of people. An endless wave was washing into Grant Park. In a true Democratic capitalist fashion, people were selling tee-shirts, flags, blinking pins, photos, anything to commemorate the moment. People were dancing, shouting, laughing, hugging. I walked my bike around in a daze for quite a while, unsure of where to go and just taking it all in. It was incredible.

Eventually I locked up my bike and followed everyone up the Congress Parkway, over the bridge and into Grant Park. Columbus drive was closed and filling up with people. There were massive television screens in every direction with tens of thousands of people gathering in all corners of the park and everywhere in between. I milled about and settled into a spot that afforded me a nice view of a couple large screens showing live CNN.

In almost too short of time, CNN announced Barack won Virginia and and people everywhere around me were cheering ecstatically. Thousands of cameras and cellphones were raised in the air, recording the moment American politics changed. In a flash they project Obama the President elect of the United States of America. While the quarter of a million people around me went crazy, I sat stunned. I still couldn't believe it was happening. I still couldn't believe that this was possible. I didn't cheer yet. I just looked around me confused.

That's when I noticed near me, 3 generations of African American men standing together. The youngest a 8 or 9-year-old boy next to what must have been his father. On the other side was his grandfather, an elderly black man with white hair, wearing a full tuxedo with tears in his eyes. In an instant I imagined the incredibly different lives they've had and will have. I got goose bumps as I understood in a way, how this marks a change in America and the American experience for each of them. More personally I came to the stark realism of what has been helping hold my enthusiasm back and how this affects me.

In that instant I was taken back to being a 3 grader in a working class neighborhood in Lansing, Michigan. My 2 best friends, a boy who's family recently immigrated from Mexico and an African-American boy who's grandparents came to Michigan from the south. My friends would often repeat what their father's told them about racial injustice. They would look at my white skin and my friends would parrot their father's anger over the history of the US and Mexico or the history of slavery and segregation, and they would blame me. I'd come home in tears confused about complex situations I had nothing to do with and little to no understanding of. As I entered high school and struggled with a divided family, I was forced to struggle with a divided sense of self. In my new rural school, I was no longer the minority white kid battling my friend's parent's racial misunderstandings, but the minority latino kid, singled out for being a foreigner and different. No intellectual argument about my family's American story, education or achievements could stop the taunts or ridicule. Even my "friends" took to calling me "bean dip," "wet back" and "taco bender."

Thankfully I was able to put my childhood behind me and as I went to college and into my adult life I have defined myself as I chose. Over these last couple of decades I've worked and lived in communities and with a generation of Americans that don't see the world in the black and white terms that still plague some parts of the US. I look around at my friends and coworkers and we aren't so quick to see anyone as one racial group, ethnicity, or social group. Like Barack Obama and myself, so many of us are made up of multiple cultures, religions, ethnicities and beliefs. We are the emerging America that is rising above the baggage of the Baby Boom generation and taking the reigns of government, business and community leadership. A generation that is looking to the American Millennial generation, which came out in such force this election and more then 40% of which is comprised of a ethnic minority, to help us all move into a post-racial era. An era when the latinos, black, asians, people of different religions, and cultural groups can all work together to create an America that is really for all humanity. Where all men and woman ARE created equal. I look forward to coming generations of ethnic or religious minorities feeling as much a part of America as the descendants of once ridiculed and persecuted Irish, Italian or Catholic immigrants now feel.

I felt all of this in that moment in the park, looking at 3 generations of an African American family besides me. The realization that the young black boy won't have to live in the same America that his grandfather had to, gave me chills. While I still struggle with racial intolerance and anti-immigrant feelings with people I know and love, in that moment I felt joy. Hope and joy that my son won't grow up experiencing what I've experienced. He'll grow up in a better America even closer to the ideals set out in the Declaration of Independence.

As I struggled with all of this, the Star Spangled Banner began to play. All I could do was stand and cry. Even now I'm moved just writing this.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

twenty-six point two

my pops ran the nyc marathon twice - both times when i was in grade school. i believe it was truly one of his biggest accomplishments (1st time his time was 3:56:09 -- the second time, slightly over 3:30). running 26.2 miles is an awesome task, no doubt about it.

today, two friends of mine were off to the races. Colin is straight up a gifted runner. he finished in 2 hours :53 minutes :44 seconds. ridiculous pace! only 550 finished ahead of him out of over 40 thousand. (his splits are listed below - in 5k increments until the 16th mile - then mile-by-mile). dooley has run several marathons, and i'm sure has many more in him. (pictured in the purple tank)

Gabe (the big guy in the grey cut-off sleeveless tee on the left) was running his 1st marathon ever! props to him for embarking on the torturous journey and finishing strong. gabe ran approx a 9 minute mile for the twenty-six... very impressive - as i run a 9 minute mile but must stop after my 3rd mile for fear of death. ha!

anyhow, CONGRATS guys! you are an inspiration - my dad told me after completing the NYC marathon, he felt all other obstacles could be tackled with relative ease. may you jump over your impending hurdles, as well as those yet unseen / unknown.

Friday, October 31, 2008

HAPPY HALLOWEEN (from Napolean Dynamite and the MAD ANT)

The Ft Wayne Mad Ant of the NBA D-League gets funky fresh for you with some killer dance moves - a Napolean Dynamite re-enactment - to help you celebrate this spooky, and nutty holiday!

Check it out: here

Sunday, October 26, 2008

mash it up!

as some of you know i've been dabbling in photography - and am still considering investing in a really nice camera as my christmas gift to myself. we'll see. well, i took some shots of the city in the last few days - mostly of buildings. this prompted me to begin experimenting with doing mash-ups (my use of music word to explain this imagery). i think it's called "photo-stiching" officially. anyhow, have a look - you'll get the idea.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

music for CHANGE

dj Z-TRIP put this mix together in support of Barack Obama. It is a treat. Please download it - listen to it - share it -- and please VOTE on Nov. 4th.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

food. food. and more food!!!

i took a quick stroll through the San Gennaro Festival on saturday. wow! that's a lot of food. it was goooooood too!!! :)

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

HILARIOUS!!!!! a translated rap freestyle

I remember back when I was in college (wow - over 10 years ago) -- and email went around where university students were asked to take lyrics to a Biggie Smalls song and 'translate' them for those who didn't understand slang. the result: a wonderful soliloquy of proper english breaking down Chris Wallace's incredibly genius rhyming.

Consider this part deux! An erudite freestyle battle - GREAT STUFF!!!!

thanks to Dj Herbert for sending this over. Oh - and if you have never been to his weekly party FREEDOM at Canal Room, i require your attendance there before Halloween. I mean it. It's truly one of the best parties ever.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

fly the 'change we can believe in' skies

on the way to miami we were slightly delayed on the runway, as a "VIP" landed at LaGuardia. the pilot came on and said he couldn't say who it was yet, but that the side of the plane had the slogan 'change we can believe in'. :) (my shot is the second one. i found better one, so you can see the intricacies of the plane)

the staff at LGA were remarkably efficient, as the plane pulled off to a special section of the airport - where approx 20 vehicles immediately circled to collect the passengers as they deplaned. pretty cool stuff. i continue to feel like part of history during this campaign. i just hope and pray that we can come together as country and recognize that Barack will do wonders for this country's economy, improve the face of the USA across the world, and help get us out of Iraq - where we should not be in the first place.

my friend rahsaan is running an Obama office in harlem - and in the coming weeks i plan to volunteer. money isn't enough this election. we democrats have to put in the time to ensure Obama/ Biden go the distance.

i'm straight volleyballin'

this tuesday, i will once again trek to west 56 street to play go to the Big City Open Scrimmage. each volleyball season, they do a night for people to come and play and try to get together with other folks of similar skill level and create a make-shift volleyball squad. two years, this didn't work out so well for me - i ended up on a team filled with scrubs. then last year, we had a really great team, but we ended up getting ranked at too high a level and got pounded every game. good learning experience watching and learning from our opponents though. so, in a little over 48 hours, i'll go back to well.

i hadn't played in a while, except at my uncle/ aunt's 25th wedding anniversary in the backyard. so, last weekend i went to Central Park, and help my own - i'm happy to say. my jumping ability has fallen off, but i'm going to actively try to rectify that.

yesterday, here in miami, i went to see the beach volleyball championships. awesome stuff. it is soooo much harded to play 2's on the beach than you might expect from seeing Misty May/ Kerri Walsh on tv at the Olympics. enjoy a few shots of central park & south beach bumping-setting-spiking below.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

a deconstruction

check out this wonderfully crafted blog entry on NaS' classic album, Illmatic.
it features a deep-dive on each of the tracks.
read more here.

Monday, September 1, 2008

detroit is jazz

dan's father invited me to join he and kate at the detroit jazz festival this weekend - and i had no plans for this long weekend - so i jumped on a plane. we went to 3 days of great music at the largest free jazz festival in the country.

DAY 1:
*dianne reeves - wonderfully jazzy, and a great rendition "just my imagination"
*marvin gaye tribute featuring christian mcbride, jose james, rahsaan patterson and layla hathaway - good stuff. jose was the stand-out.

DAY 2:
*philly/detroit summit featuring mcbride, karriem riggins, randy brecker, geri allen, perry hughes and bootsie barnes - great straight ahead jazz.
*sonny fortune quartet - check out his arrangement of "you and the night and the music"
*rueben wilson and grant green jr. - hard bop at its finest.
*latin jazz allstars!!!!! - FANTASTIC! ray vega was great on trumpet, arturo o'farrill was superb on piano, and steve turre put down his trombone to seashells in the finale!!!

DAY 3:
*brubeck institute - quintet of students from dave brubeck's school in cali. great young jazz musicians took the house down.

a great weekend of jazz music --- and friend food. :)
also in this photo array, you'll find scenic shots of detroit - and some shots of harvey & kate's lovely home.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

a lil' S.A.T. verbal section action for ya

as you all know, i'm supporting Barack Obama for President. he speaks tonight to accept the nomination of the Democratic Party. and some of the invited bloggers had some extra tickets -- so they did this: ... IS TO...

great stuff.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I don't watch music video shows anymore...

i remember when i was young and MTV actually played music videos - i know - what a crazy concept for a channel whose name stands for MUSIC TELEVISION. Anyhow, now that the hiphop game is horrible, i don't bother watching rap city either. so i only really see videos when i occasionally blog-surf and find new treats. here are two i found today. enjoy.

Friday, August 15, 2008

the Real Live Show at Nublu

My guys, the REAL LIVE SHOW rocked it last night. Visit their myspace page to hear some of their tracks and learn how to buy their music. It's great - I promise.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

?uest @ Love

last nite i went to see ?uestlove at a club famous for hosting underground house parties - the spot is called 'Love'. perhaps they booked him for the cache of the name?... to be honest, who cares. i went to hear some tracks either i haven't heard in a while - or maybe never. he did not disappoint. from 'the show' -- to 'the fat boys are back' -- to 'hit it run' : gotta dig a nice beatbox set. and the new busta track is just plain nutty - and he played a remix of a new kelis song called 'junkie for your love' -- not sure who produced it, but i hope to find it. the roots drummer also played a nice dose of Dilla - some obscure ones, like "eve - the dilla rmx" by spacek, and 'disco' by slum village. it was hot! -- no i mean literally, it was like a sauna in there -- and very appropriately, i ran into two guys from finland (famous for their saunas). they were impressed i knew where they were from - see, i learned something while at nokia besides geek talk. ;)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

a world away - yet as close as 14th street

i remember directly following the tragedy that was SEPT 11, 2001 Union Square in NYC was, for me, the center of the grieving city. thousands of "have you see this person" posters and folks mourning both quietly and outwardly. tonight i was walking home and came to that same spot, where hundreds of people sat and stood, in a meditative chant protesting China's hosting of this year's Olympic games.

i must admit, i don't know much about what is happening in china and tibet, but i read an article in Newsweek today, at my dentist's office, that mentioned there may be protests. the writers' stance was that the protests may be counter-productive to the process of integrating our world. he mentioned that china is cracking the door to be open to new thought and idea -- but protesting their way of life will directly counteract that. there are obviously two sides to this story.

currently, i don't have enough info to formulate an opinion -- so please tell me your thoughts on this topic.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

music and dancing in the park - with special shout out to jamie lidell

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

this afternoon i made my annual pilgrimage to central park summer stage. today giant step hosted - with gilles peterson on the decks and a host of talent on stage. i arrived a bit late for the festivities and unfortunately missed jose james, who opened. however, i was treated to a crazy performance by up-and-comer janelle monae, recently signed to bad boy, and whose album is being produced mostly by big boi from outkast. wow! she's a trip - to say the least. her whole band in 1950's tuxedos - she has a fo-hawk-afro - she crowd surfed - and threw her kicks (converse all-stars) out into the crowd following her set. after those shenanegins, a group out of brooklyn called little jackie appeared. not as high energy as janelle, and no screaming bad boy interns at the front of the stage for them, but a nice set nonetheless. gilles spun his usual wonderfully eclectic mix of soul and world jams in between the singers. he played a fabulous remix of i heard it thru the grapevine', which he skillfully mixed with marvin's original.

but the bestest part of today's performance was jamie lidell. someone had given me his first record many years ago, and to be blunt, i was unimpressed. but i'd heard that he'd put out some great stuff since then - and that his live shows were not to be missed. 'they' were right. he has a crisp voice, and a magnificent band. what takes me up two-to three notches from others, though, is his self-production during performance. he beat-boxes, adlibs, sings and squeals to literally create new tracks on the spot. (see video below) super!!! if he's in your town - do not pass go, do not collect $200, go directly to his show. he won't disappoint.

after jamie concluded, sabrina and i went to meet up with her beau, sebastian, and his friend who was also in from france. upon leaving summer stage, within 100 feet on one another, we encountered a drum circle with dancers doing their best to mimic traditional african dance -- the famous roller-dancing circle with thumping house music -- and a pack of mid-40 year olds doing double-dutch to swing tunes. only in New York. it's a helluva town.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

dad's visit

my dad has been visiting the states with his wife for the last few weeks. whenever he comes, we try to get together for dinner and events, as much as our schedules will allow. this trip - we've been out to some lovely meals at cafe deville, atlantic grill, vezzo, le colonial and buddakan -- and we got the opportunity to go to a yankee game, in this, their last season at the current stadium. (thanks, Al!!!) it was great hanging with him - especially since now that i don't travel internationally for work anymore, we see each other only once or twice a year. fun times, though - no doubt!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

a break for some wonderful foolishness


This is awfully clever editing.
M.O.P. would be proud.

(thanks for sending this over, Daina!)

Friday, July 11, 2008

...on the road again.

this past week was reminiscent of my life while working at old navy. you see, i was a marketing manager concentrating on grass-roots efforts in the midwest of the US. at the time, i was living in san fran - which made for a whole lotta non-direct flights to towns like dayton ohio. i don't mind travel - as long as it runs relatively smoothly.

so... this week, the nba d-league took me to tulsa, ok -- and erie, pa. 6 flights total -- and 5 of them were delayed. the trip featured my running thru the cleveland airport to have the door being closed as a ran up to the gate (impromptu 3 hr lay over)... and a 5 hour mechanical delay in tulsa, from which i got an unexpected free night to see my aunt and uncle in detroit....
and WOW; i ate horribly. good thing i bought a 6-pack of protein bars, or else i'd have been sunk. ok - so back in the gym this weekend - will try to play some volleyball in central park - and try to get some sleep. nice to be back in the big apple. no doubt.

Monday, June 30, 2008

double-fisting ... I mean blogging.

this weekend the NBA Development League hosted our PreDraft Camp in Georgia - giving 200 prospects a shot at playing in front of D-League execs, coaches, and scouts and some NBA former players and coaches as well. I blogged on the NBA D-League site - live from Suwanee, Georgia.

check it out : here.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

yes, they cannes.

last year, i ran Nokia Nseries' sponsorship of the Cannes Lions Ad Festival - with the capable help of my friends at Local Theory. this year, nokia & local theory went back without me. once again, young creatives had 48 hours to make a spot for mtvswitch to spur the world's youth to help the planet. read more about what they did there (and see the winning clip) - here.

my favorite spots from this year's Young Lions competition :

Team Canada Final Film
catchy tune.

Team Germany Final Film
the ending line makes it.

Team Italy Final Film
nice find on the talent - and nice integration with the message.

Team USA Final Film
brilliant editing.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

live music around town (the REAL LIVE SHOW)

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

TIMEOUT, my go-to events publication, has made finding great free live music in the city allows you to sort by genre, type of performance or borough-neighborhood to find your perfect offering. i'm headed to the outside block party this saturday in williamsburg to peep my guys: the REAL LIVE SHOW! here's a brief description of the event. I'll be doing a brief set on the 1's and 2's at ONE PEE-EM (1pm). so come on by - hope see you there!

The Real Live Show

June, 21 2008 at MAKE MUSIC NYC- Outside Block Party- Williamsburg
bedford, Brooklyn, New York
Cost : free

Make Music New York is a new live, free musical celebration across the city that takes place each June 21—the longest day of the year. On that day, public space throughout the five boroughs—sidewalks, parks, community gardens, and more—become impromptu musical stages, dance floors, and social meeting points. Thousands of amateur musicians, in every genre, perform on sidewalks for the biggest crowds of their lives. Professional musicians perform for new audiences, who come out from under their headphones to hear unfamiliar groups risk-free. And everyone is invited to sing along and enjoy the first day of summer. Our event will be on North 12th & Bedford @ McCarren Park. GLACEAU drinks will be served at our free catering table.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

new mix from me - for you.

i haven't made a mix in awhile -- so consider yourselves blessed. :)
it's been incredibly hot here in NYC this week - thus, this mix is entitled : SCORCHER.

you only have until JUNE 18th to download from this site. so, get to it!

(two files - parts 1 & 2)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

jazzified in NYC

this year, for the first time in 4 years, my dad and i will not be going to the north sea jazz festival. :( they pushed the date back from prior years - and my dad and his wife had planned on being here, in the states, during the time frame when the festival will take place this year. as a result, i am trying to visit more jazz venues in the city - hoping to soak in what i'll miss...

tonite jamal and i saw terence blanchard and his quintet at the jazz standard. terence composed many of spike lee's scores - and is considered a 'young lion' -- the new guard bringing incredible straight-ahead jazz to the masses. it was my first time to the small venue a mere 10 blocks from my house - inexcusable, i know! terence was a delight and his band was stellar - stand out performances by all. pianist from cuba, bassist from philly, sax player from tucson (tucson, i know!!!) - and drummer from houston. a wonderful combo, who ended the night with an ode to shaft (he's a bad mutha - shut yo' mouth)... you could tell they were having a good ole time on stage - the best kind if performance - and a wonderful end to a saturday night.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

wake up!

now here's a serious branding play from our friends @ A/S. wake dat a$$ up!!! only question is if the tablets do more damage to the lining of your tummy than the alcohol the night before! ;)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

eat mor chikin

this past weekend, i went back to philly for my reunion - more on that in the next entry. this one i want to dedicate to chick-fil-A. first thing i did when i pulled into philly on the bus was to go to the Gallery Mall to grab the chick-fil-A strips with waffle fries and polynesian sauce. darryl and raffy thought i was jokin' when i called and offered to bring them some after just having gotten off the greyhound, in the rain. but it is NO laughing matter. :) wow -- it was good. their advertisng, speaking of laughing, is pretty cute. it centers around cows urging us to eat chicken, not burgers. (outdoor ad pictured above - some guerilla mktg clips on youtube). if you live in the northeast, you may not have ever seen an ad though...

ya see, they don't really have locations in new york - or north of it. apparently there is one at an NYU dorm, but i'm not sure if you have to a student/ faculty to get to it... i'll explore it more and report back. so as a result i go whenever i can. i even convinced dan & afia to head to a chick-fil-A directly after jamal/ jess' wedding ceremony in south carolina last summer. i think i might have also opted to fly through atlanta once, in order to score more tasty treats. i'm addicted. anyhow, if you find yourself in any close proximity to a chick-fil-A, stop in. it's good eatin'! -- and PLEASE bring me some.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

brilliantly executed clip

Man in elevator for 41 hours.
Video of his Oct. 15, 1999, ordeal in an elevator in New York's McGraw-Hill building.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

just a hobby

i have a number of friends, and several cousins who make their living as photographers. i enjoy photography immensely and must admit i'd like to focus on learning more about it. for now, i amble through city streets and take snapshots with my Nokia Nseries device, which some may call a phone - much to the dismay of many people at my former employer. here are a few of those shots.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


it's been interesting these last 2 and a half months working at the NBA. i feared i may get sick of talking basketball - ya know... that has always been part of what has kept me away from the music industry as a profession. i love music soooo much that i would hate for it to become my source of income, and therefore a necessity, as opposed to a pleasure. but to my pleasant surprise, the job has only compounded my love of the game!

last weekend i was walking around the city with only de la, common, stevie and miles keeping me company, as usual - and decided to go to the new BR Monogram store on Bleeker. dope gear, by the way. on the way, i strolled by the the WEST 4th (cage) courts - a NYC basketball mecca. I remember when my dad and i used to walk around on weekends and stop and marvel at the leaping ability, dribbling skills, and quick temper of the players there. now, as i watch the players in the NBA D-League, i realize that only the TRULY talented make it to the NBA. wow - i thought the guys on West 4th were good... but Mike Taylor was automatic in the NBA Development League Finals friday - lifting his team to their first Championship. better, faster, stronger than those cats in the village and in most every gym around the country.

but, if you think you or your boys got the goods - we'll give you a chance to prove it. we are holding what is tantamount to open try-outs : NBA PREDRAFT CAMP in Georgia. $500, a dream - and legit talent is all you need. last year, 10 players of the 200 who showed up ended up playing in the NBA D-League. not bad odds, right? better than throwing hands with cats in the cage.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

dumplin' good!!!

right before i left old navy for nokia in 2004, i discovered a lovely place on 23rd between 5th & 6th aves for grabbing a quick bite. rickshaw dumplings features wonderfully crafted sets of little goodies. for the non-purist dumpling eater, like myself, it's a wonderful twist on the traditional - as rickshaw features different dips and accompanying salads or soups to complete your dumpling experience. i prefer the chicken and thai basil, myself. but the shrimp and duck are awfully good too! so as to give you the public's view, as opposed to only my own, i offer you a link to YELP. if you don't know about Yelp, well, now you know. it's a 'regular peoples' zagat. you can log in - read and/or write reviews on eateries, cafes, lounges...etc. if you're in the flatiron district, and are looking to avoid the suburban blight that has supplanted itself (outback, olive garden...) in our fair city, try rickshaw - cheap and cheerful.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

only in new york... bike polo

i was walking around in LES (new york's Lower East Side) today with carrie, and encountered the coolest urbanized version of a sport i'd ever seen. men & women on bicycles playing polo with augmented metal canes... like the ones that visually impaired people use -- they affixed a metal piece to the end of it, as a "mallet" - and used a tennis ball. cones were set up as goals. gotta love the ingenuity!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

impromptu yankee game

alvarez sent me an sms at 11:30am, as i was getting ready to show patti's apartment (which she found a sub-letter for today - congrats!). the text msg read : "yo - some yankee tickets fell into my lap for today. any interest in going 1pm game?" -- to which i responded, HELL YEAH! it was beautiful day for game - sunny but not too hot - and they gave out commemorative yankee stadium calendars to all in attendance. this is the last season in which the Yanks will play at the current Yankee Stadium. They will open the '09-'10 season across the street - literally - in the 3rd iteration of this, the mecca of baseball.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

what's in a name

many of you may not know why i go by "dj take 5" when i spin... the short version of the story is that the first piece of music i remember my father playing for me was Dave Brubeck's 'Take 5' from his legendary 'Time Out' album. so, when i found out that Mr. Brubeck was coming to Jazz at Lincoln Center to perform, along with Ramsey Lewis, i HAD to get tickets. it was tough - the concert had been sold out for weeks, but i called in a favor - and got one ticket. thank you, polly!

to my surprise, Brubeck came out first, along with his quartet, all of whom were seemingly in their 60s and 70s -- Brubeck being 87 years young. He spoke prior to the first song, and never again, but was engaging and funny when he did. he spoke of the trio that was performing in the atrium prior to the show (pictured) - young guys trying new things... hearkening back to when he was young and enjoyed trying something different. he mentioned that what helped jumpstart his career was making jazz more accessible - specifically when he did a Disney album, and created his own version of 'someday my prince will come'. he also mentioned that sales soared because Columbia put the album in their music club -- so "people got it in the mail, and if they didn't return it in 14 days, well -- they bought it".

Ok, on to the music - they began their set with "someday my prince...", followed it up with a beautifully crafted harmony-filled trance-like slow piece, then with what i could only describe as a hiphop influenced nob your head track. after a few other wonderfully constructed intricate-meter pieces (brubeck's signature), to the crowd's delight, they ended with TAKE 5!!!! - which included a spirited drum solo that was a fitting end to a wonderful hour of jazz. i must say the saxophonist in the quartet, who also played the flute for one piece, was absolutely stellar - and stole the show a bit. but, like myself, most in the audience were there to see one of the most renowned pianists in music - and mr. brubeck did not disappoint.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

the new hulu hotness

so, lets say you forget to tivo something, or (my gripe with Time Warner's box) you can't select a show six days in advance and you're on the road for awhile... a savior has arrived. that savior is called HULU. peep it! watch almost live tv shows on your computer. oh, i heard about it on UNCRATE -- my fav gadget and 'newness' site. free plug for those cats.

shots from PR

just a few shots from my first trip to puerto rico. i did not have too much time to explore the island this time, but i will be going back -- no doubt!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

learn somethin' new everyday - beer pouring

Last night Patti and I enjoyed a coupla beers at BUA, a bar/ lounge that I was introduced to by my friend Trevor, the Irishman. Apparently, T.Madigan knows the owners and was their first customer ever when the spot opened 3 years ago. Anyhow, I ordered one of the my favorite beers, Hoegaarden - and was going to have the bar-keep use the same glass for the 2nd pouring (doing my part to save the environment) - but was told that the instructions say not to. A freshly washed glass is always needed.

Wait. There are instructions on how to pour the beer???? Yup.

On the back label (pictured above) it reads:
1) Use Hoegaarden hexagonal glass (line drawing of someone cleaning it with water)
2) Pour 2/3 into glass (drawing of glass being filled)
3) Swirl bottle (bottle in motion)
4) Pour rest to form head (pouring)


Note: no mention of adding a lemon to it, which many bars do -- as Patti might say - "no fruit in my beer!"

Sunday, March 9, 2008

the answer to "where you been, dawg?"

this map shows places i've traveled to in my 30.3 years on this planet. i'm headed to puerto rico, for the first time, this coming week. any suggestions on where to visit next?

Saturday, March 1, 2008


this collage will eventually be on my wall - not just mocked up on my bed. for a time now, i have wanted to change the art above my tv. it's been several months, but i've completed steps one through four:
- selecting photos
- buying frames
- placing photos in frames
- laying out the design the hanging must occur, but my sprained ankle is not conducive to climbing up a ladder right now - so i guess the wall will have to wait a bit longer for its update.

the photos included were all taken by yours truly, and detail some of my travels over the last few years. locations included are london, firenze, berlin, helsinki, tuscany, and of course some shots of NYC. points to anyone who can match the cities with the photos.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

periodical of choice

my uncle sent this email fwd to me. it's kinda funny...


The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.

The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.

The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country and who are very good at crossword puzzles.

USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don't really understand The New York Times. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie charts.

The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn't mind running the country -- if they could find the time -- and if they didn't have to leave Southern California to do it.

The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country and did a poor job of it, thank you very much.

The New York Daily News is read by people who aren't too sure who's running the country and don't really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.

The New York Post is read by people who don't care who is running the country as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.

The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country but need the baseball scores.

The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.

The Oregonian is read by people who have recently caught a fish and need something in which to wrap it.

The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren't sure if there is a country or that anyone is running it; but if so, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are handicapped minority feminist atheist dwarfs who also happen to be illegal aliens from any other country or galaxy, provided of course, that they are not Republicans.

Monday, February 18, 2008

hey now - you're an allstar

on my first week on the job, i had a wonderful opportunity to travel to the NBA Allstar Game in New Orleans. the basketball was great - both from the NBA Allstars, and those from the NBA Development League - but hey - i'm biased. :) i also wandered around with afia to experience some of the dynamic art galleries - and encountered a superb photography exhibit - and certainly did some shopping on the Riverwalk.

more important than the play or the shopping, though, was how we banded together to do community service in the new orleans areas that still need help rebuilding as part of the NBA Cares initiative. despite the rain, the work we did was very fulfilling - and i was pleasantly surprised that the star players who turned up actually worked, and did not just stand around for photo opps. Steve Nash and Jason Kidd came to the house we were painting to lend a hand.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.