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

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.

A Pretty Face with Nothing to Back it up is Null and Void

Purposefully Pretty You Me NYC“A pretty face with nothing to back it up is null and void”, according to PurposefullyPretty Inc. a nonprofit organization seeking to reach, teach and inspire young women to identify and pursue their purpose in life. Their goal is to teach them about beauty and the importance of having a purpose, by helping them become the inspirational and determined individuals they are destined to be.

Like any other teenager, many deal with insecurities and obstacles in their life.  PurposefullyPretty founder, Diamond Craig and the PP team are women who have struggled with some to many of the same issues that young women face today.  It is their desire to mentor, guide and inspire them to reach their personal and professional goals as well as overcome the various struggles that confront them.

Purposefully Pretty You Me NYC

PurposefullyPretty implements its mission through mentorships, community service, empowerment events, and the #IAmPurposefullyPretty workshop series. Through this workshop series, the PurposefullyPretty team travels to schools, libraries and other organizations that cater to young women; providing all the tools that they need to become the next generation of leaders and dedicated women.  This workshop series gears itself towards young women between the ages of 11-18; to help them achieve their confidence and character necessary to pursue their goals and to acquire the tools needed.  Therefore, by the end of the series, they have a better understanding of what their purpose is.

Conclusion

Some of the workshops apart from this series include ‘Identifying My Purpose’, ‘Radical Self Love’ ‘Social Media’, ‘Conflict Resolution’ and a host of others.  They can also join the PurposefullyPretty organization, by becoming a registered member.  Members benefit by establishing relationships and networking with all of its members.  Purposefully Pretty has such great opportunities from prom makeover contest to summer leadership programs.  They also collaborate with other organizations to focus on what young women are interested in!

Shortstack: Breaking the Rules and Setting New Standards

They go by the slogan “Breaking The Rules and Setting New Standards.”  Starting out as a small fashion show straight to a mission, Shortstack is a nonprofit modeling agency for young teenage girls.  Their objective is to create opportunities for the teens, by encouraging them to embrace their inner and outer selves and helping to achieve their aspirations of becoming a model.  According to program directors, Patricia Budhan and Frannelys Frias “Shortstack is not just a modeling program, it’s also a self-esteem program. We want to help girls overcome their struggles.” This nonprofit program is a space for young girls to blossom into young women. It is also a sisterhood where anyone can reach out for advice or have a shoulder to lean on.

Throughout the program, the agency renders life lessons such as time management, networking, and how to communicate with others. Many have come out of this program finding their lifetime friend. Together the girls go through auditions, workshops, and segments, while simultaneously creating a bond with each other. Hal Eisenberg is the CEO of Windows of Opportunity Inc., which is also the parent umbrella that Shortstack 501©(3) is under.  Eisenberg, the Executive Director of Shortstack, Tracy Mangan Mignone, along with program directors Patricia Maria and Frannelys Frias steady the course of the curriculum.  Considering it takes about nine months to prepare the girls for the runway show, the Shortstack team works very hard to provide the models with their outfits, photo-shoots, sponsors, the production overall and the audience. 
As people hear the word about Shortstack, this leads to a conversation.  According to Tracy Mangan Mignone “We walked through Roosevelt Field mall and sent out packets giving people a chance to see their clothing on our runway.” As the years went by, it was easy for people to reach out and get their clothing line into the fashion show.

Conclusion

Shortstack is the vessel that advises a young girl on how to use the power of confidence to their advantage.  They want the best for these teens by showing them, they can be whatever they want to be in life.  They still continue their mission for many that were in the program.  Once a Shortstack always a Shortstack. We wish much-continued success with their mission in helping young girls build their confidence and self-esteem.

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.