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.

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

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.

A Leader for the People of The People

Image Courtesy of Vulture.com

When the news of Nipsey Hussle’s murder broke, I couldn’t believe it. I was honestly a little confused and it took a while to understand. Looking at all the social media, comparing his death to Tupac’s. I didn’t really get it but now I do. It does feel the same in a lot of ways emotionally. Even people who have never heard of him were affected by his death.

I was in the nail shop the other day as the conversation came up between a few customers. Everyone had nothing but amazing things to say. I remember hearing about the rapper who sold the first 1000 copies of his mixtape for 100.00 and made over 100,000.  Hussle was one of those rappers who were on the scene but not in it. He came up around the blue-collar rap.  He was part of the XXL freshman class with the likes of Freddie Gibbs, Jay Rock and Wiz Khalifah. 

You could tell he wasn’t in it for the perks of rap.  He was using his voice to teach a new message, by showing a different side of rap, the entrepreneur side and the mental state. Nipsey was the first rapper I heard talk about investing and buying land. He recognized the value in the message and what it would mean for his neighborhood and others. Shortly after he took a trip to Africa, he made it his mission to provide, uplift and invest in the community.

He was one of those guys that could go into any neighborhood and be good anywhere. Nipsey had that kind of respect and gave that same kind of respect in return. He knew and recognized the fact, that there are Crenshaws everywhere all over the world.  I don’t know why but when you lose someone in the Hip Hop community especially in the Black community, it feels too close to home.  The fear for black men in this country is as real as fuck.  It’s too easy to become a stain on the sidewalk always in arm’s length of that terrible phone call. It’s one of my biggest fears and I don’t feel alone on that.

With this tragedy, he brought people together and sheds light on a topic that fell upon deaf ears unless you were vegan or a conspiracy theorist.  At the time of his death, he was promoting and working on a documentary about the New York Trial in which Dr. Sebi won against The Attorney General of New York.  Dr. Sebi was being sued for not having a license to practice after advertising his cures of multiple diseases including Cancer and AIDS in 1988. He proved that you didn’t need medicine; holistic, natural remedies and a change in diet is the cure and of course, this didn’t sit well with the medical field. He brought attention to the sad truth, there’s more money in the disease than the cure.

Conclusion

I would like to thank Ermias Joseph Asghedom A.K.A Nipsey Hussle for his contributions to Hip Hop, his community and community’s worldwide. A man who truly understood his purpose and voice. A man for the people, of the people. May his soul Rest In Peace 

Getting to Know ToniSteelz

Toni Steelz You Me NYCToniSteelz, Brooklyn born and raised, adult-contemporary hip-hop artist has been performing ever since she was a kid.  Considering she comes from a long line of performers in her family, performing comes naturally to her.  As busy as she is, she took a few moments out of her day to allow You Me NYC to get to know a little more about her.

A day for Toni starts with an early rise and a prayer.  Then she lets the dog out to take care of his business.  Next, she dedicates an hour or two to social media and emails.  Then breakfast, yoga to follow and then she takes a walk around the neighborhood to prepare for the day and kick off her creative flow.

Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and Queen Latifah are her musical inspirations when it comes to creating her work.  Her process requires meditation, water, snacks, trees, a pen, paper and space.  Toni Collaborates with other artists as well and finds the process to be a bit more simple.  According to Toni, it’s easier to bounce ideas off of someone else.  She will definitely work with other artists in the future.

Toni loves her work, she loves to create, meet new people and adores her fans.  When her fans reach out she reaches back.  She can’t acknowledge all of her fans, but she does try her best.  She does, however, dislike the backhandedness and the judgments that come with the territory in this industry.  However, when asked if she ever thought about leaving the performing arts and starting a new career, she replied with an emphatic “No”.  Hence why she involves herself with other aspects of the industry such as acting, writing and producing.  She is also considering other genres, like, RnB/Soul and fake singing(jokingly) as well.

With all that is going on in her life, we asked if she ever has time for herself and her response, “I make time for myself”.  Unfortunately, she learned that the hard way, after she was hospitalized for dehydration.  Toni relaxes by going to theme parks, comedy shows, traveling, hanging out, enjoying a nice bowl of pasta(her favorite food), watching television(The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is her favorite show) and occasionally takes a “hit” of “weed”.

Toni Steelz You Me NYCConclusion

Be consistent, relentless, focused and always remember to have fun which is her advice to anyone trying to get into the game.  According to Steelz, “ToniSteelz” is the future and she plans on bringing her lady friends with her.  She sees herself creating and starring in films along with a few other business ventures.  Toni is traveling on a long road and she is excited to see where it brings her.  We at You Me NYC are delighted to be a part of that journey.

 

Check out ToniSteelz’s “Welcome to my Hood” and share with all you know.

Piasha Barua College Student Petite Model and Activist

Piasha Barua You Me NYCWake-up, go to school, then to work on certain days, go to the gym, hang out with friends or come home to a cat and watch television, sounds like an ordinary day for a full-time working college student.  Now couple that day with modeling and an “Anti Skin Bleaching” campaign, you have full-time working college student,  petite model, and activist, Piasha Barua.

Piasha is a Queens-born native of Bangladeshi descent and before modeling, she was heavily involved with the “Queens Library Teen Radio Podcast” two days a week.  Working at the podcast taught her valuable skills on how to interview people.  As her skills progressed, she landed a gig to interview the author of “Black Girls Rock”, Beverly Bond.  It was her first interview and although she was extremely nervous Piahsa did an excellent job.  Ever since her first interview, Piasha’s team gave her more people to interview for the popular podcast.  Jaquae from “Love and Hip Hop”, Puma from “Black Ink Crew”, Julito McCullum from “Brotherly Love” and Angela Yee from “The Breakfast Club” are just a few of the celebrities Piasha interviewed.

When asked why she chose to concentrate on modeling and if she received any adversity from her family and friends about her decision, her family was surprised yet embracing regarding her decision.  Piasha’s family is very conservative and no one in her family has ever been able to do this. Piasha chose to pursue modeling because it’s one of the ways she can promote the “Anti Skin Bleaching” campaign.

Piasha Barua You Me NYC

Skin bleaching creams are sold all throughout South Asian countries including Bangladesh where her family is from.  According to Piasha, being fair skin is a common beauty trend which displays a “higher class”.  “I want to be a part of that change, where having a dark complexion, is acceptable and beautiful and be a role model for others,” says Piasha.   It’s not just about walking and showing off, it’s about walking with power and purpose.   She wants to set an example to young South Asian girls and all girls of color, that they don’t need to bleach their skin to feel beautiful and to embrace the beauty that comes from within themselves.

When asked what she likes and dislikes about the modeling industry, Piasha loves the diversity amongst the models in the industry.  However, there are certain high-end shows that still portray a certain physical type.  She believes that models should be seen in a different way.  Every model seen has a pretty face, with one unique feature.  According to Piasha, models should be allowed to showcase, their own individual traits so people can start to recognize their own unique features, along with how their traits were made for them.

In addition to modeling, Piasha also works with the non-profit organization “Purposely Pretty” which teaches young girls how to identify their purpose in life.  The objective is not about a pretty face, it’s more than that.  It’s all about self-love, overcoming doubt, conflict resolution, money management, recognizing relationships and the impact of social media.  “Purposely Pretty” provides mentors to young girls to look up to and learn how their mentors have become strong successful women.  Piasha is the social media manager of “Purposely Pretty”, which is one of the most important roles in the organization considering how influential social media is today.  Diamond Craig, the program director of “Purposely Pretty” gave the position to her and she is proud and honored to be working with such an amazing organization.

Conclusion

Piasha Barua You Me NYCWith all that being said, we asked how Piasha balances school, work and her social life.  Her schedule is a balanced one, with work twice a week and school four days a week.  When she actually has a moment, she likes to hang out with her friends, usually over a plate of Chicken Alfredo, that’s her favorite dish.  However, when she has a moment alone, Piasha likes to watch a lot of “Disney-Pixar” movies along with a plethora of cartoons that she can watch all day.  However, right now she is binge-watching “The Real Day Time” show on “YouTube”.  They put a lot of emphasis on “Girl Chats” and the show’s theme is purple which happens to be Piasha’s favorite color.

When asked if there are any other career paths she might be entertaining down the road, Piasha has a genuine interest in companies, brands or organizations that have a purpose and be part of a great movement.  Considering that she is a young adult, she is discovering new things about herself and what she is capable of doing.  She has a passion for television, film, and pop culture as well as an eagerness to learn about marketing and advertising on multi-media platforms.  Either way, whichever direction she chooses, we at You Me NYC are absolutely positive it’s going to be the right choice.

 

 

 

Hip Hop Started out in the Heart

Hearing the theme music to Wayne’s Brother’s play for the first time changed my life forever. Electric Relaxation by the Hometown Heroes, A Tribe Called Quest. I guess you can say that’s when I decided to make it official with Hip Hop. No doubt about it, I was in love and couldn’t wait to tell everyone about it. I’ve had crushes before but nothing like this, nothing I could put into words. Just a feeling I couldn’t and didn’t want to describe. Kind of like the first time you have great sex. A Tribe Called Quest You Me NYCA Tribe Called Quest in the early days. From left to right,
Jarobi White, Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Phife Dawg.
Ernie Paniccioli/Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

That’s what Hip Hop is to me, a feeling with such a vast everlasting stamp on this world. Too much to box in but just enough to recognize. However with any and everything, we need reasons to classify and define. If it doesn’t fall into the guidelines regulated by individuals not even responsible for its creation; it’s seen as blasphemy and should be punishable by law. Funny, I haven’t been on this earth as long as most people, however, I have never heard anyone debate so passionately about who’s the best country singer. Especially when it comes to content. There’s a certain kind of freedom allowed in other genres that I don’t see in Hip Hop. It’s always who did it first, who’s the king or queen? Who’s the strongest lyrically? No real room for growth, variety or inclusivity. Unless it’s being used for advertising purposes, then the lanes and streams are endless.  

Hip hop tends to get treated like the troublesome teenager with talent and promise that needs to be disciplined and watched constantly. That one kid all the students love and the teachers can’t stand. The kid with straight A’s who lived in detention really out of boredom unless you needed to show diversity on campus. Hip Hop is almost 40 years old and should be treated as such including the artists who continue to strive and create in this genre. 

I love hip hop but I hate having discussions about it sometimes. If you say more quote on quote conscious artists like Kendrick and J Cole then you get some form of respect but if you say Migos or Kodak then your musical choices are in question when there’s room for everyone to have a seat at the table. Like for BET to trash Nicki Minaj while congratulating Cardi B on her Grammy was disappointing. I’m actually not a fan of either personally but both women worked hard, created their lane and succeeded in it. That’s what Hip Hop is all about. Take out the competition, find the beauty in that. Get back to the heart.