Star Harbor, Their Debut Album

The Sun The Moon and The Open Road - Star harbor's Debut AlbumThe Sun, The Moon & The Open Road, is the debut album of Star Harbor, a home-grown 7 piece Long Island band on December 1st 2019. The first song on the album, “Bad News on the Doorstep” is a very intense song with shades of “Alice in Chains meeting Pearl Jam” and a few other 90s bands. It brought me back to the days when “MTV” was actually cool. The chord progressions along with Dave Sacrestano’s bass-line are syncopated perfectly. Lead singer Mike Mallamo is a breath of fresh air compared to some of the other so called rock band singers emulating intensity. This song along with a cup of coffee will definitely get you going in the morning.

The fourth song on the album, “Cheyenne” shows how versatile this band actually is. A country music depiction mixed with deep heartland soul at its finest. Guitarists Tom Comerford and Jason Rind come up with a series of classic licks and riffs of southern blues that are pleasing to the audio palette. It’s an impeccable blend of two of the most beloved musical styles, with unsurpassed outlaw rebellion, putting one on the run from the establishment.

Finally, the last song, “Early, One Sunday”, is a psychedelic trip through a style that rivals some of the best of the “British Invasion”, making one want to lite up and toke. All players on this song are on point. The percussion of Ken and Fred Grau are phrased in the style of some of the past masters of the craft. Truly a great way to end an excellent album.

In conclusion, the entire album is a must listen, each song is solid and the ones that I mentioned are an added bonus. What I like about this album, is that it really hits all sides of specific musical genres. From the days of listening to grunge in you parent’s house watching them shake their heads in confusion because they just couldn’t understand the trials and tribulations of teenage drama, to the more mature years of life. I really don’t dislike anything about this album at all, it’s music and message are timeless which will be enjoyed by all generations. Each song starts off cool and mellow, builds to a dramatic crescendo of epic proportions and then ends softly.

Have a listen for yourself ->Debut Album

Tamron and Abby’s Fashion Error or is It

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in the Mount Sinai out patient wing, New York City, waiting for a friend’s small procedure to finish, I take a glimpse at the TV and see the “Tamron Hall Show” is on.  This happens to be the episode where Mathew Knowles introduces his new wife to the world.  Whatever, as I am trying to make headway through Knowles’ pomposity, I can’t seem to get over Tamron’s outfit.  I’ve been inspired to critique once again.

Tamron Hall | You Me NYCDon’t get me wrong however, I love Tamron and absolutely love her style.  Nevertheless, this time around something went completely wrong.  She is wearing a pinkish-purplish print, poofy dress, with a high neckline and a pair of suede leather tassel boots.  Sort of like country western meets baby-doll chic.  OK, top it off with a pair of hoop earrings and you completely have the trifecta of fashion crime because it doesn’t work out.

Now seriously, Tamron is drop dead gorgeous and I know she just recently had a child.  She’s also a former national news correspondent and I understand that she has to get a little more conservative in her dress.  However, conservative is one thing but it doesn’t have to be the only thing.  Therefore Tamron get’s a pass on this one and who knows if I’m ever going to watch her show again anyway.  Either way, would love to see her spice it up just a bit.

Moving on, to “The View”, what is Abby Huntsman wearing?  Casual awful.  An off turquoise blazer with mixed metal buttons, white top and blue jeans.  Luckily we can’t see the shoes.  Do we even want to see the shoes?  Well, apparently and I am really just guessing on this.  She’s trying to do the so called “New York Chic” or “New York Thing”.  Oops, oh know, I just saw the shoes.  Really, stilettos.

Abby Huntsman | You Me NYCThere is really nothing more to say about Huntsman except for the fact that she is really trying to get away from the “Fox News” brand of conservatism(everything skin-tight).  However, stilettos and jeans with a blazer, I don’t really know what to say with the exception, that’s it’s not a “New York Thing” or “New York Chic”.  It’s and always was a “New York Thing” according to and created by Hollywood.  In all of my years living in the city, anyone I come into contact with, male or female wearing a blazer with jeans is usually from out of town.  Let’s get with the program Abby.

I would love to go on more about this, however I am out of time.  My friend is in recovery.  By the way, if you ever have to go to Mount Sinai’s out patient services on west 59th st, it’s a great facility.  It’s really been built for anyone wired to technology.  Very comfortable surroundings with electrical outlets everywhere.

 

Café Medi

Café Medi, is the restaurant associated with the “Hotel on Rivington” and you guessed it, it’s on Rivington Street in New York City.  Normally I don’t do referrals when it comes to a hotel eatery.  However, I did receive quite a few tips about their breakfast and how good it is.  Full speed ahead to the “Lower East Side” and Café Medi for my favorite meal of the day, breakfast.  Upon reaching my destination I came across a chalkboard already setting me up for what I hope is a good breakfast experience.

Cafe Medi | You Me NYC

As I enter, I see a nice layout.  There is a sky-lit atrium and the main dining area comes with a view of a brilliant Spanish tile mural.  I finish the short tour, head towards the dining room and the host of the establishment approaches me.  He asks if I’m a guest of the hotel or a regular customer.  After confirming that I am a regular customer, he ushers me over to a side annex where there are a few small tables.  Instead of sitting in a luxurious dining area with pleasant surroundings,  I get a tiny table overlooking an empty bar.

Café Medi | You Me NYC

Strike one, a customer is a customer, whether they are a guest at the hotel or not.  What’s even more aggravating, is that the place is totally empty except for a few people strewed about.  As soon as I sit down the host who is also the server asks for my order.  I look over the menu and deliberately ignore him at this point.  After a few seconds, I ordered a cup of coffee and continue to peruse the breakfast menu.  My coffee arrives just as I put my menu down and am ready to order.  However, the server decides to walk away.

Strike two, I’m ready to order, don’t walk away from me.  The menu is clearly out of my hands and laying on the table.  This is “Restaurant 101”.  If the menu is closed or not being read go take the order.  As I sip my coffee and wonder what just happened, I realize that the coffee is very good.  Some time passes and the server returns.  Before he asks about the order, “I’ll have the three-egg omelet with  bacon, cheddar, and mushrooms, Rye toast, butter and another cup of coffee.” I said.  One of the associates arrives with the coffee and pours a much-needed refill into my cup.  I continue to sip and a few moments later my food is in front of me.

Café Medi Three-egg Omelet | You Me NYCThe presentation is almost perfect.  The butter packets are on the plate with my meal, I hate that.  I’m not a big fan of toast being on the same plate either, however, I can deal with that.  I take my first bite of the omelet and WOW, this is good.  The right amount of seasoning is there, along with a perfect melding of the cheddar, bacon and mushrooms.  The mushrooms are marinated to perfection and the cheddar is sharp.  I dive head-first into the potatoes and there is no disappointment at all.  What bothers me, is my coffee cup is empty.  No one came to refill my cup or to see how I am doing.

 

Conclusion

That is a big strike three.  Café Medi needs some serious fine-tuning on very basic serving skills.  The breakfast is fantastic, everything is cooked to delectable superiority and the coffee is exceptional.  However, that’s only part of the experience.  It’s hard to enjoy a meal with service that is less than adequate.

 

 

Millennial Dating in NYC

I’ve been in a relationship for the last 5 years. No, it hasn’t been just one relationship in the last 5 years, but two separate relationships. Relationship one was right out of college. For me that was it, he was the one. I’ve been in love with him since the third grade and we both were finally at a point in our lives that it made sense and it was the right time. The first few months were hard as I lived in DC (finishing up my last semester) and he lived in Brooklyn. Little did I know that moving home would be such a bittersweet thing for us. That relationship lasted for about a year and a half.

Then, I found myself all in love all over again and this time this person would be the one I share my life with. We met at work and started a flirtatious friendship that grew into something beautiful. I felt like I was dating my best friend. We experienced so much together from tragic losses, major moves and vacations just to name a few.  When that relationship ended it really took a lot out of me. I didn’t only lose a lover I lost my best friend.  Like any normal person (or female depending on who’s reading and interpreting lol) I hit a state of feeling lonely and a little depressed. 3 months later my mother decided to put me on a dating app. Yes, I said it a dating app. I was super against it because I thought it was weird, but hell I figure anything is better than being sad. Well here it goes newly single and a millennial dating in NYC – what’s the worse that can happen, right?

Date 1: Anxiety got the best

“How’s work?” he texted.

“I’m ready to go home I’m aggravated now,” I responded.

Two simple messages led to what in my opinion might have been the WORST first date I could have been on. We agreed to meet at 8:30pm at a restaurant not far from where either one of us lived. I was so nervous leading up to the time, I had pep talks with myself, my cousin, my mom and my boss (listen a girl needs some reassurance after being off the market for 5 years).

I arrived and parked my car down the block, I didn’t want to park close because you never know who’s legit, weirdo or not, safety first. When I got there he was already there waiting for me so we can be seated. When he stood up to greet me, I was definitely taking back about how tall he was. His 6’6 muscular frame seemed really large next to my 5’7 slim frame. I was starting to relax, but after seeing him all those nervous feelings came back and I think I wasn’t prepared for how tall he was. But I gathered myself and my thoughts (so I thought) and we sat down.Millennial Dating NYC | You Me NYCThe restaurant was dimly lit, tables were close together and the AC was in full effect. We sat across from each other and started to talk, you know a basic conversation trying to get to know each other. About 5 min in, I started to feel a little tight chested and light-headed. The waiter came and took our drink orders, I got a margarita and I honestly forgot what he ordered, but we did end up ordering calamari as well. About 15 minutes into the date, I had to excuse myself from the table, my anxiety started to get the best of me and I needed a minute.

I went to the restroom to breathe and recollect myself so I could finish this date. When I got back to the table, I took a sip of my drink and tried to resume like nothing was wrong. Unfortunately for both of us, I was not successful at that. After being there for all of 30 min – I had to leave the entire date. I couldn’t sit there anymore – I needed fresh air and I needed to be out the situation. I felt extremely bad and embarrassed, but I did not tell him it was my anxiety, instead, I said I wasn’t really feeling well. Not a total lie, but I just knew I had blown it. He told me it was ok and not to worry about.

I left and instantly called my mother to tell her how embarrassed I was. Again she reassured me things happen and reach out to him. He’ll either genuinely be understanding or not and of course, she was right, but let’s never tell her that. He was genuinely understanding and eager to have a make-up date.

Goodbye Petroleum Jelly, Hello CoCoMe

Petroleum Jelly | You Me NYCDitch the Petroleum Jelly, an oil-based product that was first discovered on some of the earliest oil rigs, in the mid to late 1800s. Petroleum jelly now uses more friendly names like Mineral oil, Petrolatum, or Paroleine. It is found in over 95% of all makeups, soaps, and hair care products.  We all know of the many products that contain Petroleum Jelly.   People have been applying it on their lips, face, hair and on their cuts for years. Short term relief, is the temporary comfort, however, over time, the effects can be quite damaging. It creates a false facade of hydrated skin and actually suffocates your pores by building a barrier between your skin and the very air you breathe.

CoCoMe is an eco-friendly skincare brand derived from all-natural ingredients wrapped in a package of organic virgin coconut oil and a touch of bees-wax.  It caters to your skin by nourishing each layer with a healthy and refreshing covering, all while protecting your skin from the free radicals that can damage it.  The bees-wax allows the application to glide easily and evenly as the organic virgin coconut oil is absorbed quickly into your skin.  The unique properties of CoCoMe leave your skin soft and hydrated as well as repair and restore exuberance to those tired and dry areas.  Blemishes and scars are less noticeable after incorporating CoCoMe into your skincare regimen.

CoCoMe | You Me NYC

The product also has anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-itching, and anti-inflammatory properties and a whole lot more.  No more annoying mosquito bites, Eczema, and athlete’s foot.  After removing makeup, with traditional cleansers, there are still a lot of chemical remnants left on your face from both the makeup and these traditional cleansers, which can cause breakouts and irritation.   Used as a makeup remover, CoCoMe cleanses a majority of those chemical remains away with its all-natural ingredients preventing breakouts and irritation from occurring.

CoCoMe is a universal product for both men and women.  Now we all know that women are more inclined to take care of their skin and men kinda have skincare on the backburner.   However, both men and women can agree on one thing, they are both age-conscious and CoCoMe aids in slowing down your skin’s aging process.  It’s safe to use from head to toe, even safe enough for a newborn baby.  This is just a brief synopsis that I put together about this product, there are many more uses and benefits to take advantage of.  I use CoCoMe every day as a lip balm and a moisturizer and I absolutely love it and you will too.

CoCoMe | You Me NYC

Frost Williamsburg Brooklyn

As we all know, Brooklyn has really blown up over the last couple of years.  Highrises going up all the time as well as cool and trendy shops popping up all over the place.  Williamsburg and it’s sought after real estate is old news.  The original fabric has pretty much dissipated in Brooklyn, except for a certain demographic that continues to profit off the “Brooklyn Boom”.  At one time Williamsburg was pretty much known for the “Peter Luger” steak house and that was it.  I can remember getting off the train and making run for it.  However, in the same neighborhood, there’s another restaurant that has stood the test of time as well.

Frost is a neighborhood Italian restaurant that all of the natives know.  It’s hard to believe that there is still a neighborhood restaurant in Brooklyn.  The fact that it’s been around since 1959 is a pretty good determinant.  It’s a family-style restaurant which is a concept that escapes most eateries in the 5 boroughs today.  Whether it’s the first time you’re walking in or you’re a longtime customer, the family atmosphere attaches itself to you.

As my readers know, I’m a big fan of Fettuccini Alfredo.  I use that dish as my deciding factor when it comes to trying out new Italian Restaurants.  However, all the menu items at Frost are delicious.  For my appetizer, I had the Portobello Mushroom, which was cooked to absolute perfection.  My entree was Frost’s “homemade stuffed shells”.  Frost also makes their own pasta on a lot of their signature dishes.  Service is another influencer when it comes to my dining experience and Frost never disappoints.

Conclusion

Frost | You Me NYCFor a true Italian Neighborhood dining experience, Frost is where you want to be.  Named after the street it’s on, you can pretty much ask anyone in the Williamsburg area where it’s at.  However, with the rapid changes happening in Brooklyn, especially in Williamsburg you better call or Google for directions.

 

193 Frost St,
Brooklyn, NY 1121

 

Barbie’s 60th Anniversary a Universal Figure

Have you ever stepped into Barbie’s Dreamhouse? As we all know, New York City has the best pop up events, with themes that are astonishing to people.  Leaving everyone wondering what events will be next.  Barbie’s 60th anniversary takes no backseat to the other popups appearing throughout the city.  Barbie has been honoring female achievement since 1959. There were many iconic females that were represented by their own Barbie dolls.

Barbie’s 60th anniversary paid tribute to real-life women and the positive roles they portrayed in their existence. Women like Amelia Earhart, Frida Kahlo, Bindi Irwin, Katherine Johnson, Yara Shahidi, Dipa Karmakar and many more. 60 years of female empowerment through a doll, making Barbie a universal figure.

This event wasn’t specifically for kids, many adults attended and participated in the event dressed as Barbie. Each wearing the loud color pink from shoes, dresses, shirts, and accessories. The event showed an overview of Barbie’s career, her fashion and the use of other miniatures to represent the diversity of the female personification today.

Barbie has evolved, coming in all shapes and sizes. It was a day of celebrating the nostalgia of one’s childhood. From entering through her closet, then her bedroom, and eventually her kitchen, made you think you were one of the Barbie Dolls as well. The dream house you’ve always admired on television, at a friend’s house or the one in your bedroom,  has come to life, right before your eyes.

This pop up was to render the last generation of firsts for young women to follow their dreams and creativity. Becoming the first of the first or the last of your generation is most inspiring. Barbie isn’t just a doll; Barbie is the person you’ve always wanted and needed to become when you were younger. She is you. The Barbie doll is a representation of you.  Like Barbie says “You can be Anything” and by the way, I participated too.

Barbie's 60th Anniversary | You Me NYC

Priyanka Chopra: The International Star

 

Before entering Hollywood with Quantico and Baywatch, she was one of the mainstream Bollywood actresses that starred in many Indian films. Chopra had die-hard fans all over the South Asian countries.

After being crowned Miss World in 2000, she had already done over 40 movies in India. She is known for her performances in the movies Dostana, Salaam e Ishq, Bajirao Mastani, Mary Kom, and many more. However, her big break happened with her role in the 2008 Bollywood movie Fashion.

The plot renders a small town Indian girl who wanted to pursue her dreams of modeling but her parents had other ideas in store for her. She takes a risk by herself to be in the world she’s always wanted to be in. The story goes on to where she had to face many obstacles into becoming a model in what seemed to be a glamorous world.  However, it wasn’t what she really expected.

At the beginning of filming the movie, she wasn’t quite sure if she wanted to be a part of the film. Her directors helped build her confidence to continue shooting. As the movie premiered, viewers were noticing how her role immensely affected her career in a serendipitous way.  She’s had a tremendous influence on other female actresses in India. A few years ago she also debuted in her first songs, In My City and Exotic featuring Pitbull and Will.i.am.

Aside from film and music, she was the national UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She is also associated with the Girl Up campaign. The campaign’s objective, no matter where a young girl lives, they should have the opportunity to become educated, healthy, and safe. Chopra wanted to build awareness for every child to have an education and skills to acquire jobs in different fields. Priyanka Chopra taught many girls around the world to follow their dreams through hard work and ambition.

The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul: Jazz

The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul You Me NYCSaxophonist Branford Marsalis and his quartet have been playing rebellious and unapologetic Jazz for the past three decades.  Anyone familiar with this group is definitely aware of their high-flying improvisations that can launch at any given moment.  “The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul” is a perfect example of freeform at it’s best with each instrumental voice being defined with purpose.

For 20 of those years, piano player Joey Calderazzo and bassist Eric Revis have been a staple in the group.  Drummer Justin Faulkner has been with the band for about 10 years respectively.  I have to say that the band has reached another pinnacle tending to a collection of moods with motivating commitment.  Faulkner’s chops are crisp and smooth.  Calderazzo goes ahead and smokes the ivories and Revis’s bass line is fluent and on point.  Marsalis outdoes himself on this album, his phrasing is sharp and endless.  Each member of the quartet compliments each other the way an improv band should.

“Life Filtering from the Water Flowers” is Marsalis’ one and only composition on this album and it is of true Marsalis form.  This arrangement displays a cleverly organized instrumentation with very moving and contained sax riffs only Marsalis can phrase.  Calderazzo’s piano playing and Faulkner’s drumming help convey the message Marsalis is bringing across.   “Life Filtering from the Water Flowers”, compliments the album as a reflective tribute to his late mother Delores Marsalis.

“The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul” is a definite must-have for all Jazz fans.  The creativity of the improvisation tangents in each song is truly an original compilation that cannot be duplicated.  This album is an enjoyable and innovative listen that features some engaging moments of Jazz Improvisation.  This album serves as a perfect example as to why the Brandfors Marsalis Quartet is held in such high regard for the past 30 years.

Help You Move Out

As I sip my coffee and eat my breakfast, there’s a kid in his mid to late 20s sitting next to me, totally beside himself letting out a random depressing sigh as he’s going through his phone.  I pretend not to notice, however, after a while, it was really starting to get to me.  Now I know when you sit at the counter in a city diner, you are at the mercy of anyone that sits next to you.  As I take another sip, I hear another sigh, as I take another a bite, I hear another sigh.  This is just too much.

“What’s the matter with you,” I asked as I dropped my fork on the plate.  “I got a phone call from my father earlier this morning that really bummed me out,”  he said, as he goes through his phone.  “Oh yeah, so what’s got you all bummed out,” I asked.  “My father lost his job, he called me to let me know that and that he’s not going to be able to pay for my apartment anymore,” said the kid.  “Pay for your apartment, how old are you,”, I asked.  “I’m 26,” said the kid.  “You’re 26 and your father is paying for your apartment, how old is your father,” I asked.  “He just turned 62,” said the kid.  At this point, I am rather aggravated and I  say “C’mon man, your father is probably looking to settle down anyway, where are you living”?  ” I have a one bedroom in Murray Hill,” he said.  “A one bedroom, really, man you have got to be shitting me, do you work,” I asked.  “Yeah at a coffee shop in Soho, that’s how I get by,” he said.  I started laughing looked down and read my paper.

“I am trying to be an actor,” he said.  “Oh yeah and for how long has this pipe dream been going on,” I asked as I continue to read my paper.  “Ever since I can remember,” he said.  “Where you from originally,” I asked.  “Why,” he asked.  “Because you are definitely not from around here.  You would’ve told me to fuck off as soon as I asked ‘What’s wrong with you’.  Besides, I wanna see if this is one of those I am going to move to New York City and become famous types of stories,” I said.  “I’m from Nebraska,” he said.  “Oh, it’s a midwest story, leaving the midwest to come to New York City, the city where dreams are made, whatever that means.  Yeah, there’s a lot of that going around,” I said.  I started to laugh, then I asked, “Are you any good”?  “You wanna see some of my clips, ” he asked.

Just then the server came over and dropped my bill next to my coffee.  I picked up the bill and looked it over.  I look at the server and asked her “Would you be interested in looking at this kid’s clips”?  “Clips,” she asked.  “Yeah, he’s an actor, trying to live the New York City dream, you know, move here from some small town in the midwest and become famous,” I said.   “Sure,” she responded.

The kid goes through his phone, chooses the clips he wants us to see and puts his phone on the counter.  We gather around and start watching his reel.  I glance at his face and he is so proud of his work.  I look at the servers face and she is watching and showing no sign of any emotion or enthusiasm whatsoever.  After about 15 minutes the show was over.  I looked at the server and she looked at me.

“What do you think,” asked the kid.  “Can I bring you anything else,” the server asked me.  “Yeah, bring me this kid’s check,” I said.  The server walks off.  “So what do you think,” again asked the kid.  Before I could say anything the server came back and dropped the kid’s check next to me.  I handed a bill to her and asked, “Does this cover both”?  She smiles “Enough for you too,” I asked.  She smiles and nods, “Good, then keep the rest,” I said.  The server rushes off.  “Damn, she didn’t even tell me what she thought,” said the kid.  “She feels the same way I feel,” I said.  “How do you know,” he asked.  “She and I are born and raised New York, even better, born and raised Brooklyn.  We can read each other’s thoughts just by facial expressions,” I said.  “Really so what did she think,” he asked.  “You suck, I took care of your check so you can save your money and go back to Nebraska.  Go help out your father.  How long have you been trying to do this acting gig anyway,” I asked.  “I don’t suck and for your information, I’ve only been at this acting gig for 4 years.  What do you know and what does she know, she’s a waitress in a broken-down New York City Diner,” he angrily said.  “I know a hell of a lot and I know that you need to go out and get yourself a real job so you can keep that apartment and stop exploiting your old man, you fucking jerk off, ” I said as I gather the rest of my things.  “I don’t need to do any of that, I’ll just talk to my landlord and ask him for some help,” he said.  “The only help your landlord is going to give you is help moving out and if you show him your acting reel, he’ll throw you out you lemon,” I said.

At that moment the kid stormed out of the diner.  A few moments later the server came back.

“So what’s on your agenda today, ” she asked.  “I’ve just been inspired to write an article today,” I said.  “Great, what inspired you?  I hope it wasn’t that kid’s acting because he sucks, he’s terrible,” she said.  “Funny, I told him the same thing and  he told me that he doesn’t,” I said.  “Really,” she exclaimed.  We both had a good laugh and went about our day.