Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays from The Native Creative

Thank you for all your support thus far; here's to Abundance, Prosperity, Joy and Gratitude in 2013!

We've reached another end. But the only thing ending today is autumn. We welcome the winter season and a new age of consciousness.

What's on
your To-do I-WILL list for 2013? Please share.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

NY Post "Subway Death Cover" Should Not Have Been Published

My first thought upon seeing the cover of the NY Post on December 4 was "whoa". I peered deeper at the image trying to get a look at the face of the train operator, physically empathizing for what Ki Suk Han must've been feeling, wishing it were merely a scene from a movie in which at the last second the man would hoist himself up on the tracks narrowly missing his real fate.

And I was disturbed that the NY Post chose to publish that image on it's cover (not to mention it's choice of headline). R. Umar Abbasi, freelance photographer, took the photo. I heard the story on WCBS 880 yesterday before I saw the image -- onlookers screamed and ran from the scene as the photographer tried to use his camera flash to warn the train operator. I can see the logic behind his decision -- a split second panic-driven decision perhaps (Malcolm Gladwell explains this well in blink). But what remains is that photo ended up on the cover of the NY Post.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

What are you thankful for?

The 5, 6, 7 dishes you get to choose from for dinner today? The egg nog? The pie? Maybe you're thankful for the opportunity to put your feet up and order Chinese food.

Working today? Be thankful for the job and the double or triple overtime pay. I've gone from no job to the choice of 3. I'm thankful.

Be thankful for the big and the little things. Great and small. Expressing joy and gratitude attracts more to be joyous and grateful for.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Home For My Nude Men

My Bare Men photo series features 7 men, ranging in ages 22-51 in art, editorial and erotic nude images sharing moments of joy, release, ecstasy, vulnerability and angst. It is also a book.

"Cover Boy", Bare Men, Abigail Ekue Photography

I'm currently seeking a place to exhibit and it's been a uphill battle. Any rejection I've received has been about the content of the photos, not the quality of the images, the level of my work etc. I've been told numerous times, "I/we love your work, we just can't show that here", the reason given being the clientele or they feel it's too raw.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Personal New Year

I celebrate my Personal New Year today. My Solar Return.

All day I can't help smiling from ear to ear when I hear the newscaster announce the day and date on the radio - Thursday, November 15.


My vision board consists of post-its on my wall. I add and subtract as needed. I've never had an "official" board, but I always make lists or write notes, have certain themes that recur in my journal entries and things I wish for constantly.

This year I will continue to exercise, learn new skills (je suis etudient francais pour quand je visite Paris), push past my comfort zone and fears, live by my moral code; be my authentic self. I also have a million dollar check to cash as a reward for following my dreams. Yes, travel is on the board too.

The past few months, Buddhism has been popping up all around me. I realized there are parts of that philosophy that I am familiar with. I started my new year celebrations by visiting a Buddhist center. A friend was gracious enough to show myself and a friend around. It coincided with the solar eclipse new moon.

I'll use synchronicities as guides. I will remain aware of them, open to them and proactive with them. Two minutes after my solar return, I received an email about the release of an erotic photography book. They continue.

I might add that at the moment of my return, I noted it in my journal and continued doing something I truly enjoy -- eating.

*   *   *

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

50 Shades of Rope Burn

I watched the trailer for Fifty Shades of Chicken earlier this week. I enjoyed the narration. I enjoyed the eye candy. As a writer who tackles different genres and styles, I'm glad that there's a market for a cookbook for what I think is the most common of meats -- all sexed up.

You know my stance on food, enjoyment and sex, already. Plus, I love to laugh. I've delved into kink and BDSM only a handful of times; I've relinquished power for play and art.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

He's Too Short For Me

He answered my ad, which was more of a rant on folks going online to meet people then never actually meeting.

He told me he was "quite young", in his 20's. In any capacity, I avoid them. But since this wasn't a date-date, I was my usual open-minded, adventuresome self. I sent the message, "Quite young"? Oh boy. But I'm not looking to date so I guess it's ok." I could go for some witty banter and a drink. What I did like was that he chose the place and time. I have declared to no longer deal with lazy men -- you ask me out then have a plan if I say 'yes'.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Presidential Election 2012 - Voting in Brooklyn, NYC

Brooklyn voters wait in line at the polls

I arrived at P.S. 6, on Snyder Avenue in Brooklyn, at about 2pm on November 6, 2012. The above photo is what I was met with. The line was about 2 blocks long. Thankfully it was moving swiftly. But the closer I got to the front of the line, the less we moved. I heard from a few people who made their way past us after voting that things were not orderly on the inside. Certain district tables were completely empty while others were backed up.

Voters wait at poll site PS 6, Brooklyn, NY, Election day 2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Lower Manhattan, NY Post-Hurricane Sandy

CAAAV Hurricane Sandy relief effort in Chinatown, NY

On Friday, November 2, what turned out to be hours before power was restored to most of Lower Manhattan, I took a second trip to see what was going on and how residents were managing in the New York neighborhoods of Chinatown and the Lower East Side, TriBeCa, Battery Park and the Financial District 5 days after Con Ed had cut power below 34th Street.

Residents search through donated clothing

Friday, November 2, 2012

Abortion and Uterine Politics

Abortion is a violent act? A woman shouldn't be able to have an abortion after being rape because that would be more violence? Pregnancy as a result of rape is what God intended? Abortion is as immoral as slavery?

If abortions are restricted or made illegal again and we return to the days of knitting needles and hangers, that will be violent. Pro-lifers killing doctors who perform abortions, bombing clinics and terrorizing their patients with Photoshopped images, that's violent.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Random Communications During Hurricane Sandy

Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY, October 30, 2012, the morning after Hurricane Sandy

On Monday, October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New Jersey. The  post-tropical superstorm (it was no longer a hurricane at that point) had joined forces with a Nor'easter and was generating blizzards, torrential downfalls, winds up to 100 miles per hour and very impressive and destructive storm surges, which were made even worse by the full moon, along the Eastern seaboard of the US.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Delicious Nasty Bits

If anything can make you fall in love with a man it would be reading him wax poetic about the tastes, sights, sizzles and textures of food from around the kitchen and around the world. That's what Anthony Bourdain did to me. I recently finished reading The Nasty Bits (which I bought a few weeks ago). Good lord, he's diddled my culinary travel nub exquisitely. He doesn't consider himself a writer? Well damn. He must have really good editors. I watched old episodes of No Reservations while I read it, adding to the experience.

Food is wonderful. It's a necessity. Yet I also love the process of cooking and preparing, presenting and consuming. Sharing a meal with someone is so enjoyable and bonding. I'd recently met someone and I have yet to see him eat. I later found out he eats one meal a day or a little over every 24 hours. We may never be able to "go to dinner", "share a meal" and that idea physically upset me.

Bourdain: good food does lead to good sex. As it should. 

On an subconscious level maybe I'm anticipating my time in dry dock will continue. But consciously, I know damn well I like to eat with people I like. The way someone eats is as telling as what someone eats (remember the Neanderthal?). I'll see if I can have a meal with said male to figure out what, if any, attraction there is between us.

Anthony Bourdain is releasing a chocolate bar. If it's dark chocolate, I may jizz in my pants. Yeah, baby. The love continues.

*   *   *

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Argument Over Street Harassment

Courtesy of Cats Against Catcalling

After a male friend said, "Nice glasses" to a woman as we walked by he asked me if that was harassment. Recently, and repeatedly, I've called him out on his behavior in the street. He harasses women. He doesn't see it as such. The latest explanation from him to me was that woman like the attention and if they don't want it or don't want anyone to say anything to them they should stay home.

This is where I grind my teeth, clench my fists...

He continued: that those women should go home and play with themselves because if you (meaning men) don't say anything to them, they get an attitude that no one is paying attention to them. I countered that motherfuckers who harass women are the ones who need to go play with themselves because it's sexual harassment; it's a need to objectify and gain power or even a release over these women.

This is where he says I'm getting all feminist on him.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Mania (VIDEO)

I've never given a fuck about celebrity sex tapes. It's 2 (or more) people we're used to seeing on camera doing something else on camera. But this latest leaked sex tape sucked me in. Hulk Hogan. I grew up on that guy. I was never big on saying my prayers, but I did eat my vitamins and dreamt of being a better valet than Miss Elizabeth (RIP).

So yup, I clicked the link and hit play when I found a site that had some of the footage. Was it really The Hulkster? Yeah, without a doubt. It's only about a minute and a half long, spliced together so don't soil yourself. A.J. Daulerio of Gawker gives a very entertaining play-by-play of the entire 30 minute encounter. It would've been outstanding to watch Hulkamania run wild on her but they elected to have her on top -- I mean the man is almost 60 and has had back, knee and hip surgery. I did lean in closer to see Hogan's pipe -- nothing out of the ordinary. The male star complains about having eaten too much before the "hook-up". I wonder if Hogan let out any sex belches.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Random Moment with TastyKeish

TastyKeish, media personality, professional hobbyist

When I was invited to participate in A Monthly Bondfire's Ladies Night in 2009, I met her backstage to go over my place in the line-up and the pronunciation of my name. I remember she was wearing "sexy time pants". Since then we've become fast friends over boot camps and rum cake and gchat brainstorming sessions. She still amazes me with the extent of her DIY life. No stranger to the interview, TK!, as I affectionately call her, sat down with me after a Rise Up Radio show on a Friday night. Then we hit the streets.

~   ~   ~

My name is TastyKeish, also known as my regular name, Keisha Dutes. My craft… media personality, professional hobbyist. I have lots of hobbies that I enjoy and I also enjoy making money off of them. So radio, video, web and all hobbies that don’t fit into that circle.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Random Moment with Gregory Mulkern

Gregory Mulkern, lead vocalist, banjo, Sold Only As Curio

Saturday night. LES, NYC. I ventured to Pianos for a friend's gig. Second on the bill was who I described on sight as a "lean gypsy". He proceeded to wow us with Turkish songs and The Wire. Solo. On September 12, I had the opportunity to experience the entire band at Jalopy. Before they hit the stage, I sat down with the lead vocalist for this interview.

~   ~   ~

My name is Gregory Mulkern. I’m from Portland, Oregon and I play banjo and sing with the band, Sold Only As Curio.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Another Random Moment with Tom Hatton

Tom Hatton interviews Julianne Moore for the Red Carpet Premiere of Game Change

In June, I met up with Tom Hatton before his gig at LIC Bar with the band Gandhi in our first Random Moment. We focused primarily on his music and inspirations during that conversation. However, Tom Hatton is also an actor, TV host and New Media pioneer who has worked with major media brands and outlets Sony, Sky TV and Warner Bros. Read on to find out more about this multifaceted talent.

~   ~   ~

What is your definition of "New Media"?

New media refers to on-demand access to content any time, anywhere, on any digital device. For example web, broadcast, mobile and console devices.

How do you prepare for an audition?

It depends what it is for. If I am playing a character like I did by hosting the Harry Potter YouTube Channel, I primarily make sure I know my lines really well. If I am playing myself such as with hosting for Sky TV or for Sony's In the Qube, then I focus more on grounding myself in the material to be covered. For example, although not an audition, when I interviewed Julianne Moore I did a lot of research on her role in the movie. Then it's all about connecting person to person.

Tom Hatton hosts the Harry Potter YouTube Channel

Monday, September 10, 2012

Masturbating To The Thought Of You

"I'm gonna take some alone time before work...taking you with me ;)"  I received that text yesterday. I asked if he was texting with one hand. After a long break he said he was, that "I did quite well" and sent visual documentation of proof of work.

Without even being physically present, the thought of me aroused a man to the point of erection, masturbation, orgasm and ejaculation. We kid that anything can get a man to that point, but it's something else when he tells you it's you.

I'm currently reading Sex, Sin and Zen by Brad Warner. Beyond the adolescent footnotes about sex there's something to learn about how modern-day Western Buddhists view sex, relationships and the concept of sin (there is none for sin is a Christian thing). Warner tells of a time when he dated a born-again Christian who believed masturbation was a form of cheating because of the Bible quote "that to lust in your heart is the same as committing adultery."

Good Lord.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Michelle Obama and My Teeth

The day after Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention, I was in the dentist's chair at NYU College of Dentistry. Once the student dentist completed my examination she informed me that she'd bring in a faculty member (any one that she could find that was free) so they could examine me and determine whether or not they agreed with her course of action.

My student dentist is a young Nigerian woman. The faculty member she found is a Black woman of about 50. The DDS lowered my chair, and reclined the back, so now I was practically lying flat on my back. She examined my tooth in question and the rest of my teeth -- commenting that I have nice teeth and I obviously take care of them -- and agreed with the student dentist's findings and treatment plan and signed off on it.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Porn(ification) The Way I Like It Redux

Whether for visual appeal, study or elements that receive the most arousal points, there are certain things I like about porn. Last year on this blog, I shared how I like my porn. I participated in VICE magazine's Pornification series where I discussed what I like and what I've learned from porn.

Watch the video after the break~

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Random Moment with Maya Azucena

Maya Azucena, artist, humanitarian, entrepreneur

A few years ago, she was the feature performer at Symponics Live at Bowery Poetry Club. I was moved enough by her music to chat with her after the show. I fell in love with her music because it is emotionally charged. I love her stage presence and, of course, her hair. When I attended a later show; she remembered me, always had a warm, welcoming energy.  Last week between a recording session and before her guest DJ gig at the Nu Hotel she sat down with me for this interview.

~   ~   ~

Hi, I’m Maya Azucena, I am from Brooklyn, New York—that always comes immediately after every description of myself—I am an artist, a humanitarian and an entrepreneur. Business woman, basically.

Do you blend a lot of your humanitarian work into your music? Is that the message behind your music?

My social activism work is extremely integrated into my music. I think it all started with feeling that my songwriting was a way that I could help people. I have very strong convictions about injustices in the world and my heart just goes out to those that struggle. I’ve had my own struggles. I think what followed writing songs that had cultural and socially relevant themes was representing those themes at benefit events and branding it in a way where it’s me as an artist meshed with me as a humanitarian.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Wow Factor of Synchronicity

I finished reading What a Coincidence about 10 days ago. I decided to take some time to process it while continuing to notice a lot of synchronicity in my life and the ways my intuition leads me. I take that as a sign that I'm on the right path. Some moments of coincidence and synchronicity are truly "wow" moments. Also like Watkins, solutions are dropped into my lap if I make a definitive statement but don't dwell on it; once an intention is set, the pieces fall into place!

Recent examples of synchronicity and coincidence:

I want to include Faye in my interview series and made a mental note to send her an email about it. The next morning on my way to the dentist, I get off one train and cross the platform to wait for the next one. Seconds later, Faye appears on the platform from behind one of the sets of stairs at the West 4th station! I actually stand in shock for a while then gather myself and go over to say "hello". We chat for a while and it turns out we're both on our way to the dentist!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Power of the Ball

What started out as a question about my outfit turned into a discussion about the Olympics. I miss the Olympics. A lot. They should be extended to a month-long event. But like my other lover who only returns every 4 years, both the World Cup and Olympics last a  mere 2-weeks. I've learned to adapt.

Almost 2 months before the Olympics, I started reading The Ball: Discovering the Object of the Game by John Fox. I'd received a copy for The L Magazine Literary Upstart event. Fox travels through time and around the world to answer the question his son asked him 4 years prior to completing the book -- Why do we play ball?

Why do we play ball? What is it about football and football, baseball, cricket, basketball, tennis, water polo, lacrosse, rugby, handball et al. that enthralls us? What is it about the ball that leads to endless hours of practice and play and bouncing? Balls of all sizes and shapes are the center of drama and wars, form alliances and create enemies, decades-long bragging rights, hand-eye coordination, speed, agility, power, strength...

Alas, like the Olympics, The Ball is "over". It was an enjoyable and entertaining read. A documentary based on the book is in the works. Now I have yet another reason why I want to visit Brazil - Altinha.

*   *   *

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Random Moment with Jay White

Jay White, DJ

I can never blame anything on the alcohol. It was the music. It took his sets for me to learn who Adele is, choose a Franki Valli song for my burlesque routine and discover The Supermen Lovers. Always an hospitable host, I had to get up with him for a interview even though he claims he's not as cool as everybody thinks he is. DUMBO. Halcyon. He rolled up on his motorized scooter and we got to it.

~   ~   ~

My name is Jay White. Brooklyn. I am in the hospitality industry. I’m also a student and a DJ.

A DJ. That’s why I chose you, that’s how I met you… but what do you do in the hospitality industry?

I’m a maître d' at Apothéke, in Chinatown. I was also a general manager for the same owner's previous business, The Wall Street Burger Shoppe and was a hospitality specialist during my college years at Starbucks—that’s where the hospitality background comes from.

Ok, with the DJ’ing, what was your first gig, your first break?

My first gig, DJing, believe it or not, was at the Chelsea Hotel. I was nervous, I was sweating, I didn’t know what to play next. I had a friend who was trying to mentor me through the DJ process, Richie Beretta, and he was telling me, “play this next, play that next” – my set was like an hour but it felt like the whole night to me. But that’s when I realized I wanna do it, everything clicked.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Subjectified: Nine Young Women Talk about Sex -- Giveaway

Subjectified: Nine Young Women Talk about Sex Trailer May 2012 from Melissa Tapper Goldman on Vimeo.

Women have sex. But, why? How? Why do they choose the partners they choose?

Subjectified is a documentary that asks the question that is often answered by everyone else but the women in question. Women are often sexually objectified for men or by their standards. As a result other women develop their own views on the sex and sexuality of their sisters. Real expressions of female sexuality are few and far between -- now here's Subjectified.

"While our culture is saturated with images of female sexuality, the real voices of women themselves are frequently missing.  Through in-depth interviews, Subjectified lets women do the talking, trading easy answers and stereotypes for brutal honesty.  The stories may sound familiar: young moms, abstinent Christians, lesbians, survivors of assaults and STD’s.  But outside the world of reality TV and sound bites, women approach their lives in complex and unexpected ways: sometimes hilarious, sometimes sobering, and always heartfelt.  Subjectified will change the way you think about female sexuality. "

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Random Moment with Ijeoma Iheanacho

Ijeoma Iheanacho, fine art photographer

I answered her casting call that was posted on SocietyHAE. We've kept each other abreast on our shutterbuggery. Last spring, her series, "Faces of the Great Recession", was a featured in the Faces of the Economy show held at the Art for Change Gallery. I finally made it to the Bronx, where she was gracious enough to grant this interview.
~   ~  ~

My name is Ijeoma Iheanacho. I am a fine art photographer.

How long have you been doing photography?

I’ve been doing photography since college. Graduated high school in 1996 so… ’96 to 2012… 15 years? I’m trained as an architect, I don’t do math [laughs].

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Great Finds from bookbook

 Went to a bookstore today and bought 3 books. Topics: travel, food and sex. Hey, you love what you love.

I tweeted that on Saturday evening.

It felt good to be in a bookstore, to see the covers, to read the blurbs, to flip through the pages. I was at bookbook on Bleecker. These are the 3 titles I walked away with.

Smile When You're Lying: Confessions of a rogue travel writer by Chuck Thompson

The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones by Anthony Bourdain

Bonk: The curious coupling of science and sex by Mary Roach

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Random Moment with The Hired Gun

The Hired Gun, Hip Hop MC, writer, critic, arts educator

We totally dated ourselves when we realized we knew each other since the heydays of Myspace. Yes, that Myspace. Since then we've been connected through the music and poetry circles and the occasional hot button race issue. At the Ace Hotel, on a Saturday afternoon we discovered we were neighbors in Brooklyn, kindred in the artist lifestyle.

 ~  ~  ~

My name is Mikal Amin Lee AKA The Hired Gun, Fresh Roots Music, Nomadic Wax, Urban Word. I am a Hip Hop MC, artist, writer, cultural critic and arts educator. I’ve been based in New York City now for the last 13 years—born and raised in New Jersey—been reppin’ Brooklyn since 2000, officially. Unofficially, I’ve been reppin’ Brooklyn since Big Daddy Kane in 19- [muffles his voice] I’m not gonna say when cause I look very young.

As an MC and artist, what is the message behind your music?

My influences have been people like Chuck D, KRS-One, Brother Jay, The Native Tongues, Freestyle Fellowship and regardless of the political message or the artistic message, the thing that I took from them and what I try to carry on is I want you to think. I want you to ask questions. That’s what my music is—it’s to inspire thought, it’s to provoke thought—what’s going on with you, what’s going on with the community around you, what’s going on with the world around you, why are things the way they are, where do you fit in all of that. So that’s really what my music’s about regardless of what the topic or the concept or the theme is ... I’m not afraid to say I love Black people, so I try to celebrate us as much as possible in my music and I try to show a different angle because I’m not what this country or what people think are stereotypical of us so I try to represent that as well in my music.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Random Moment with Terry Castro

Castro, jewelry designer, creator of dreams

He scored points simply for being at my favorite restaurant, 2 years ago. Once I struck up conversation, I noticed the bear claw around his neck; he told me about his jewelry, I told him about my "dirty" writing, we discussed race. Since then there were run-ins in SoHo and the LES when he wasn't in Europe or Asia racking up buyers or in Paris (le sigh) for Fashion Week. A few blocks away from the Art For Change Gallery, we met at his studio for this interview.

~   ~   ~

My name is Castro, like Fidel Castro, like Cuba. I’m a creator, a creator of dreams. At this point in my dreams I’m creating jewelry, leather accessories—whatever comes to my mind. Before that, I did clothing, women’s clothing.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Random Moment with Damali Abrams

Damali Abrams, interdisciplinary artist

We met at the opening reception of her exhibit at A.I.R. Gallery in DUMBO. In person she was quiet and humble, on the video screens we viewed 365 of her characters. Summer of 2011, I watched a video she exhibited addressing the hot button issue at that time - unattractive Black women destined for lifelong singlehood - at an event at Bluestockings book store organized by her sister, Abiola Abrams. On July 18, Columbus Circle was under the deluge of a summer thunderstorm storm so we took refuge in the Time Warner Center for this interview.

~   ~   ~

My name is Damali Abrams. I’m an interdisciplinary artist but I work mostly right now in video and performance but I also do collage and mixed media.

How long have you been involved in the arts?

Well, I’ve pretty much been involved in the arts all my life; I studied dance growing up, I’ve written poetry since I was a little girl and then I started getting into more visual art as I got older.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Random Moment with Robin Glasser

Robin Glasser, author

We were both on the bill for a literary reading event in 2010. She enjoyed my excerpt on fellatio, I was sucked into her excerpt on being seduced in Paris. She informed me about Word Up bookshop the opportunity to have copies of my book sold there and we later shared the stage at an event she organized. Then along came a nude young man and my camera. On a sultry Saturday, we met in Chinatown while passersby listening in on our conversation.

~   ~   ~

My name is Robin Glasser, like Batman and Robin, R-O-B-I-N, I’m not fancy, and I’m a writer. I’m an author. I have one book called Men At Work, which is fully illustrated and it actually comes with a guarantee to put twinkles in your eyes and sparkles in your pants. Somebody gave me a video camera to make little movies and I put them on YouTube and the very first poem they have now taken off so I’m at war with YouTube. My other book is My Life as a Concubine which is actually a roman à clef—I lived in Paris for 3 years—I changed the names to protect the guilty. Besides a love story, there’s recipes, there’s tips of France and great places to visit. I’ve just finished my third book, The Brain Exchange, which I call a "Sex-Fi" and the punchline is, “If you could walk in someone else’s shoes, would they fit?” It takes place in the not-too-distant future and the latest thing is instead of taking a vacation to an exotic land you can actually exchange brains and take a vacation in someone else’s body. And the whole plot revolves around a bodybuilder and a super plus size woman and what ensues.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Random Moment with Mecca Woods

Mecca Woods, writer, filmmaker, astrologer

We met at A Monthly Bondfire in 2009 during the annual Ladies Night Event. She rocked the mic with powerful poetry about life and love. That same night she announced she was making a short film. Sure enough, it came to fruition. I attended a screening of the film, lived vicariously through her as she touched down on French soil and recently she read my natal chart keeping me on the right path. This past Friday, the 13th, despite Mercury Retrograde energy looming, we met in SoHo for Batidas and lots of laughter.

~   ~   ~

My name is Mecca Woods AKA The Meccanism. I am a writer, filmmaker and astrologer.

How long have you been a writer?

I wanna say it’s one of the things that has been with me all of my life. It’s funny ‘cause my Dad actually has laminated stories that I wrote back when I was like 7 years old. People would always ask me what I wanted to be when I grow up and at that time I would tell them I wanna be an author, that was my big word for it. As time went on, it was one of the things that stuck with me no matter what I did. There was a brief time when I thought I wanted to go into science but I suck at math so I ended up going back to what I always knew best and that was writing.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Random Moment with Michael Cinquino

Michael Cinquino, photographer

Within minutes of meeting one another, we were naked. He's the photographer for the upcoming book, Asana Exposed by ISIS Phoenix. I love the images we created, and it was only a test shoot -- that's saying a lot. I appreciate his feedback on the development of my male nude series, we've shared self-portraits and are overdue for a Hapkido class. It was hot and humid day and thankfully his Williamsburg studio was air-conditioned when we got together on Friday.

~   ~   ~

I’m Michael Cinquino, I’m a photographer here in New York. I live in Brooklyn. I shoot just about anything with people. The frequency I would say is headshots first, then fashion, portraits and then also events and weddings. I work mostly in the consumer market. I’ve started to move more towards editorial and publications in the last 6 months to a year.

How many years have you been doing this?

It’ll be 3 years July 7 or something like that.

Do you have an image that you’ve captured or one that you saw that let you know,  "I want to be a photographer"?

I don’t know if there was a single image. I will say though that I’m most attracted to the face. I love doing actor headshots. Even with models or whomever, I’m most attracted to the face because there’s so much to it. I like to make and like to see compelling images; images that I look at and I instantly have some sort of visceral response to.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Random Moment with StarPower

StarPower, hip hop artist

I had a crush on him in 7th grade. He was a bad boy with too much brainpower for his own good. A few years ago when I reconnected with many old junior high school friends, I learned he stuck with hip hop and was also a teacher. I went to a few of his shows and was sold on his in-your-face lyrics. I added him to my "Men of May" UrbanErotika lineup. Now he's taking those skills to teach in Qatar. We fueled up with burgers and soccer at Bill's Bar and Burger then headed over to The High Line to discuss.

~   ~   ~

Introduce yourself and tell us about art, your discipline.

Rod, R-O-D. I always spell it out because I went to a workshop one time and the guy told me I don’t enunciate well enough he said, “It sounds like you’re saying ‘Roz’” so I always say, Rod – R-O-D. Yeah, Rod AKA StarPower. My art is hip hop – writing and performing. My discipline is discipline; discipline’s changed my life, discipline has made me the person I am ‘cause I had none of it and now it’s an addiction. So yeah, that’s me.

So, you’re a hip hop artist. Is there a message to your music?

Yeah, definitely. The message is to be an individual. A lot of hip hop used to be dangerous, it used to be about “I don’t give a fuck” but it was not give a fuck for a reason. Now they’re not even trying to not give a fuck anymore so I’m not gonna give a fuck for all of us. My message is you’re here once, don’t leave anything on the table, don’t regret anything. There’s a million things that you could be rapping about but they don’t do it. And if you’re in a position, like in my position, I’m just a no-name rapper somewhere, I can say what the hell I want and I’m gonna rap about it. My message is just you’re beautiful, the world is beautiful, it’s also ugly and disgusting and you need to speak about all of it, in detail, that’s how I feel.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Random Moment with Davi Russo

Davi Russo, photographer and director

"I'm usually the one asking the questions," I said at some point during our conversation at the bar. After exchanging a comment about the song that was playing and commiserating over both being a dying breednative New Yorkerswe drank and talked about art, photography, sex and beauty ideals. We saw each other again at his exhibit and book release, "Turns" at Munch Gallery. Returning to the restaurant where we first met, it was my turn to ask the questions.

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I’m Davi Russo and I work as a photographer and director and I make pictures. I guess I like to think of myself as someone that is a maker of things.

How long have you been a photographer?

Well, my mother gave me photography but in like a natural way. When I was 7 years old, she gave me my first camera – she gave me actually 2 cameras – she gave me an old Kodak 110 camera, the film looks like a little telephone, and she gave me a Polaroid 600 series camera. My job was to kinda be the family photographer because my father was incarcerated around that time and so my mother realized that we’d be sending photographs to him through the mail. I think she was very smart about understanding that if she gave me this assigned role it was probably an ego boost for me as a young man, you know, and it gave me something good to do. I’m sure that my father adored having those pictures sent … so that’s how I was introduced to photography. It wasn’t like I studied it or something like that.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Random Moment with Nimesh Gandhi

Nimesh Gandhi, singer/songwriter, actor

Only a few minutes after meeting him I knew I wanted to interview him. He expressed humility, a willingness to learn and shared part of his process all in our 5 to 10 minute chat. I was encouraged by a friend to hang around and listen to his set at the Nuyorican Poets Café that night, and I'm glad I did. His vocals and the band backing him that evening really effected me with its rich sound. At his gig at LIC Bar on June 27, he granted me this interview despite his usual "pregame" rituals.

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My name is Nimesh Gandhi, I am a singer/songwriter and I also do some acting. I’ve recently created an act around my last name—Gandhi. My ancestors, my parents are from outside of Bombay, so that’s my origins, and I was raised in Indiana (laughs) From India to Indiana. My New York story is – I focus on singing and songwriting and working with a lot of quality rock and jazz musicians.

How long have you been a singer/songwriter?

I’ve been developing as a singer/songwriter for over 9, 10 years and it began to mature in the work with the producer, William Moses. His and my work together put me on the map as a singer/songwriter. Before that I was experimenting with guitar and my voice; I would play with bands and I would not really focus on my voice. He helped me shift to a focus on my voice and a focus on storytelling. All of what I had been working on up until I met him in 2005 was developing stories, songs, and by the time he and I got together, we realized all the material together.

Friday, June 29, 2012

A Random Moment with Tom Hatton

Tom Hatton, musican, songwriter

I met "Sir Hatton" by way of "France". I frequented Les Enfants Terribles, a lot, in 2010. Tom was the gracious bartender with the piercing eyes who wore his Oxfords unbuttoned to the third button. I'd known him as an actor. I learned of his other artistic endeavor, music, when I ran into him at a friend's gig recently. I met up with him the following week before his own gig for this interview.

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Hi, I’m Tom Hatton and I play in the band, Gandhi – rhythm guitar, harmonica and background vocals.

When did you get involved in music?

I’ve been playing casually since I was about 15. But really in terms of performing, I started when I met Nimo – Nimesh Gandhi – we’re close friends so we started playing together and now we’re performing on a fairly regular basis.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Random Moment with Tiffany McGuire

Tiffany McGuire, plus size fashion blogger

I'm fascinated at times at our Monica and Rachel relationship. I do not have the passion for the fashion I "fall into" that she has. But I've definitely learned a lot about fashion and sewing from her. The physical vision boards from her Katharine Gibbs days have been replaced by virtual ones on Pinterest. And she's recently taken the plunge into blogging her trials and tribulations as a Glamazon and sewing her own clothes. And her clothes are wearing her (I learned that term from her too).

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My name is Tiffany McGuire. I am a seamstress, if you wanna call it that, and a selfish sewer, you can definitely call it that, and a newfound fashion blogger for the plus-size diva – that would be me. I’m still in my developmental stage, I’m still learning. I’m like the only person who actually sews and runs a fashion blog for plus-size women- it’s a whole new element. I think it will give me an edge up.

Do you have any idea when you got into fashion? Was there a “moment” or an “era”?

Yup. I always said as soon as I start making any kind of money, I was gonna change my look. So that has to be my earliest memory of it cause god knows the first 3 years of high school were disastrous. They were life-changers. And looking back I’m the extreme opposite of it—I mean my face looks the same, I’m probably around the same size but no one recognizes me. Ever. I’m that different.

Your look is that different…

I wore granny square sweaters and mid-calf skirts, opaque tights and old lady shoes. Come on. Totally different.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Random Moment with Vid Son Doz

Vid Son Doz, painter, sculptor, art explorer

I eyed him curiously at the Artists Wanted "Cosmic Architecture" opening reception in late May 2012. When we finally spoke, he introduced himself as being from a rainforest in Puerto Rico. It wasn't the wine, I had heard correctly. This past Monday, June 18, 2012, his work was among the many showcased at Art Takes Times Square. It's only fitting that after a tremendous thunder and lightning storm, which produced hail and snow, we'd meet again.

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I have lots of names. My sister, lately’s been calling me Videous Termite but I’m Vid Son Doz which is short for David Peterson Albandoz, but I shortened it, I like that everything happens in threes and the last letters of my name became Vid. My friends call me Vid. I sign my work Vid Son Doz—that’s my artist name. It’s important to me that we share our art, that we share our experience. That’s why I’m here.

So what’s your title? What do you call yourself?

I’m an artist—painter, sculptor. I am more like an art explorer. I mean I have lots of variety of art.

Inspiration struck! Vid Son Doz paints the latest in his Vegetative Translunary collection 

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