What I Learned From Blogging on The Buzz

Hi everyone! You probably know me best as the crazy, passionate foodie on The Buzz and you were probably looking forward to a blog post about food, well today’s post is going to be a little different. This is my last post with The Buzz as next semester is my last semester and I will need to take care of other obligations. I just want to take the time to reflect on how far I’ve come with food blogging on The Buzz and what I’ve learned.

  1. It’s been an honor to be a part of a team at City Tech particularly for blogging because I am passionate about blogging and I always love to meet other bloggers no matter age, sex, niche, major, and etc. Although I haven’t had much opportunity to meet the other bloggers because I go to school and work part-time, I still felt a connection.
  2. It was nice to show another side of me in front of City Tech, besides as a Hospitality student. I was able to share my love and passion for food and restaurants through The Buzz, something I haven’t been able to do too much of in my degree/department.
  3. I learned how to remain determined and motivated to stick to a blogging schedule and even though at times I had hundreds of topics I can blog about, it always came down to – what do I think everyone else would be interested in or what haven’t I blogged about yet?.
  4. I learned a lot from other students just by reading their blog posts and looking through their pictures they post. I really felt everyone’s creative juices coming together.
  5. One last item I am very fortunate about is to be able to build up my blogging/writing portfolio and I will have the opportunity to show it to future companies of the work I’ve done and how far I’ve come.

If your interested in keeping up with me and my food adventures, you can always read my food blog – Ambitious Eats¬†or keep up with my Yelp reviews. ¬†Thanks to everyone that has helped me and supported me while I was on The Buzz! It’s been a great pleasure to blog for this community.

For Future Openlab bloggers: If you ever need advice on starting a blog or blogging itself, you can contact me through school e-mail and etc. Most importantly when you blog for The Buzz, be yourself

Anything You Want OR Need … for FREE!!

What is something you want to do or have? Did you know you can get it free, especially when you are motivated and put in the research for it.¬†For example, Have you ever walked into a food court of the mall and¬†was¬†offered cinnabon’s sugar donuts, or asian cuisine on a stick? Not only can you get free food but you can request samples from those mall restaurants. At the end of your “food court smorgasbord”¬†you may have¬†a fulfilling snack. Well, that is similar to just about anything you can think of.

colored letters that spell "FREE"

Here’s How:

  1. Events & Activities:¬†You can get free tickets to movies, preescreenings, fashion shows, fundraisers, community events, and celebrities events on sites like EventBrite.¬†And of course many events have goodie bags of freebies.¬†Try looking in¬†Timeout NYC, searching for¬†free concerts in the parks and beaches, download “local” themed apps on your phone, visit Meetup.com hobbies and networking events. Get on tv by searching casting companies like OnSetProductions.
  2. Knowledge Training / Experience: Ask those you know for advice. You can ask companies to volunteer or go on VolunteerMatch. Of course Youtube helps, but there are also sites that allow you to bartering services. Look in the news papers where most jobs offer free training on the condition that you work with them for a time period. I love the DIYnetwork and places, like HomeDepot, that offer free classes.
  3. Food / Clothes:¬†Besides growing a garden and sewing your own clothes, there are organizations and churches that provide free food and clothing. You can even inquire on 311 (for those in NY) for help or on your¬†governments’ website
  4. Shelter Companies like Habitat for Humanity help you own a home as long as you volunteer some labor, but there are other non profits and private funded organizations that provide shelters, rooms, help with mortgage, rent assistance, and utilities (i.e.: heap. There are even grants for new home owners are being energy efficient.
  5. Money¬†Who doesn’t love free money! Apply for government grants, signup with crowdfunding websites, ask those you know, and/or¬†apply for¬†scholarships.
  6. Childcare РMost schools are free, even some pre kindergarten are with programs like Head Start. Some schools and jobs have daycares, just ask. If not contact you local government assistance providers.
  7. Insurance: Contact non-profits, private organization or your government website.
  8. Entertainment Services: There are companies like Vive Entertainment Enterprises LLC or non profits like BRIC Arts Media. You can also find people by looking up hashtags, posting and messaging on sites like Model Mayhem, craigslist, Instagram, and Facebook.
  9. Business Help: Organizations like SBDC at New York City College of Technology, Small Business Association, NYC Business Solutions, NELP (lawyers), and government websites will help small business and entrepreneurs. Go on sites like idealist.org or businessmentor.org to find volunteers and help. The best thing to do is network.
  10. Freebies & Goodies For cosmetics, accessories, cleaning products, and the random, there are nonprofits or organizations that are the middle man like Freecycle. Some places provide free toiletries, others sites give away based on their sponsors.  Hey you might get free stuff for being a loyal customer, like a sephora. where you can also get free samples of cosmetics when ever you want and bigger samples with purchases. There are even sites like Beautystat, and you tubers who have contest and giveaways for their subscribers.

If your need or want isn’t listed here, some of the same sites may still help you. If not, googling the service you need and adding the word free at the end, by putting up post on social media and inquiring with those you know.

Now that you know how to find free necessities and wants, try it for yourself. Get your freebies and tell me all about it.

DISCLAIMER: I am not being paid to share this data or information. Everything is my opinion and I do not take responsibility for what you may encounter during your search.


QUESTIONS TO THE READERS: How do you get freebies? | Have you tried any of the methods? Did it work? | Has anyone got a free iPad or electronic by participating in offers? | Was this information helpful?

Summer is FALLing into its Place

a young woman with the words "Straight Outta Summer"

Model Amoni B, Photographer: Heaven Sent Photography, Overlay: straightouttasomewhere.com

¬†Welcome back students, faculty, staff and visitors. My name is Amoni B and its an honor to be blogging with City Tech for another semester. I hope all of my readers are enjoying their summer, whether you were traveling, learning in school, giving back to your community, splashing in water themed parks, visiting galas and museums, enjoying sport events like the US Open, dancing at the Labor Day parade, and even¬†working. I must also shine light on the #BLACKLIVESMATTER movement. Although the years of damnation and recent events in the US and Dominican Republic aren’t much to smile about, I am happy that there is more awareness and even more self-embracing being spread.

Gallery above : Images of how me and my readers spent their Summer. 1. Stacey Brown celebrated her award with a meal 2. Lawrence Brown Paint-balled 3. Leona Brown-Straus is loved 4. Sam James worked construction 5. Leslie Brown posed in New Orleans on vacation 6. Steph Dashian attended a wedding 7. Genesis & Derek stayed cool 8. Amoni B takes flight 9. Stacey Brown went to the pool 10. Omari plays in the pool 11. Robin Pugh and Derek in the yard 12. The grill

Today I am spreading love. I love you all and hope you will enjoy my post to come. You can check out my past post here: Amoni B on The Buzz. In the future I will be covering events from fashion to being social responsible. I will also show some awesome DIY done in the past and future, because what’s better than being self-sufficient and awesome. And my readers can feel even more awesome when they give ¬†back.

an illustration of a black hand and a white hand forming a heart shape

Heart Hands by TakeEverythingBack

Amoni, What is giving back?

Well, giving back is like paying it forward, a term used when one person helps another so that in return they¬†help 3 others. Ways to pay it forward include helping others, donating your time, and building your neighborhood whither physically or by giving knowledge. ¬†It helps your social growth, helps to spend your time wisely, and it makes you feel all warm inside. During the summer I traveled and participated and promotions and events. I also gave back by donating my time, donating my material and technology, helping people with their ideas and business forming, and participating in non-profit organizations, like Habitat for Humanity. On my downtime, and ¬†if someone hasn’t already came to seek my help, I look for open opportunities to volunteer. Such opportunities can be found on volunteer.org, idealist.org, at your local schools and community center, or by looking up your favorite organizations. Hopefully this upcoming fall you can find time to spread the love as well.

Disclaimer: All information is solely my opinion and I am not being paid to promote organizations and companies mentioned in this post.


QUESTIONS FOR THE READERS: How did you spend your summer? | Do you volunteer? | What are some ways you give back/pay it forward? | What topics would you like to see me discuss? | What events would you like me to cover?

 

CUE Conference with “The Buzz”

a decorated cake made for "The Buzz" team

Image by: Brianna Vasquez

Last week was the Coordinated Undergraduate Education (CUE) Conference which is an annual event that was held at City College of New York this year. The theme of the event was used to show the catalyst for change to engage for impact within CUNY. The conference explores the innovations, collaborations, and actions in undergraduate education that will prepare global citizens for the 21st century. And I was gladly able to attend the conference on behalf of the Openlab ‚ÄúThe Buzz‚ÄĚ bloggers team. I was so honored to be chosen to represent the team since the conference conflicted with many of the other bloggers‚Äô schedules; I felt a certain responsibility to the fellow bloggers as well as the Openlab team. The conference was amazing as we were able to share the benefits of having a internet based haven for all Citytech students to not only use academically but for recreational interests as well. Honestly, the Openlab has been a great asset to me to complete specific class projects and to be able to connect with my peers. Through the daily struggles of school and balancing it with all the other happenings in our lives, it truly allows us to connect to our peers who are experiencing similar collegiate lives.

an edible camera

Image by: Brianna Vasquez

Being a hospitality management major and my aspirations of becoming a pastry chef, I instantly felt a need to bring a dessert to the meeting which was used as a preparation to the conference. I continuously thought about what the best appropriate dessert to represent the Openlab‚Äôs success would be and I eventually decided on a cake. As always, I wanted the cake to have a certain complexity to it. So, after making the cake and decorating as well as crafting the other pieces with the help of my sisters, we delivered the cake on the day of the meeting, unfortunately, late. But the cake was an absolute hit and received such great feedback. Everyone was captivated by the realistic appearance of the cake with its added features and began taking numerous photographs with their mobile phones. As a pastry chef, that is one of the most fulfilling moments of making a dessert, is to simply see the reaction that it causes to all of you as I enter the room with this edible masterpiece. The cake took about three days to put together which was pretty short notice yet it came together really well. The cake truly evoked the sense of the Openlab‚Äôs ‚ÄúThe Buzz‚ÄĚ not just by the logo but by connecting to the bloggers with the camera to appeal to the photo-bloggers and the tablet to appeal to the other bloggers. The cup of coffee was originally a joke as my sisters and I were joking about how drinking coffee is almost an essential to our lives and it was simply added to the cake. And although it might sound crazy the whole cake and all of the side pieces were all entirely edible.

a themed cake with an edible coffee cup and tablet

Image by: Brianna Vasquez

I would just like to say thanks to Jill Belli, Jody Rosen, Andrew Mckinney, Scott Henkle and all of those from the Openlab for inviting me¬†into the Openlab family. It was a pleasure to speak on behalf of ‚ÄúThe Buzz‚ÄĚ team and I am truly happy to have such an encouragement when it comes to my blogs as well as being truly understanding and attentive to not only my major but all of the other bloggers, it simply shows us how much you care about all of our work. And to the fellow bloggers, I appreciate how truly connected we are despite only meeting a few times; I look forward to reading your future posts and love when you comment on mine. We are all a part of a big family of something that is truly special and I am in awe of how far the outreach has been, I cannot wait to see what the future holds not only for us but for the Openlab after we graduate and others have their chance to begin sharing with the college on this amazing haven.

8 Steps Towards a HAPPIER Life

Be Thankful: Whether you are stuck in a rut or basking in the ambiance of success, you should practice thankfulness. Not being content with something is okay, obviously we must progress in life. However, amongst whatever seems to be going around you, take time to thank your creator or fate or what/whomever you believe caused you to be where you are today. Let’s not forget to thank yourself for breaking through strides, gaining¬†wisdom, and having the strength you’ve acquired along the way.

Have Me-Time: Somone meditate and¬†can someone say “Woo-Sah”. Maybe it has been¬†a long day of progress or a day of caos, either way take at least 15 minutes to yourself and reflect on the day, your situation, your goals, and the world around you. Being spiritual or not, meditation is a great way to remain calm and at peace. Use that time to gain clarity, overcome a creative block, and realize your future endeavors.

SMILE: Like Duh! Smiling is a way to show you are happy but when you laugh, or perceive to be laughing, it triggers “happy” chemicals in your body. Your body will become so used to it, that you will crave happiness and become¬†addicted. Watch comedies and be silly. Just smile and laugh. Caution: people will think you are crazy. j/k … or not.

Just Say NO: Saying “no” seems to be such an easy task. Many people struggle with saying “no” to things that really do not want to do, to things they have no time for, to places that they¬†hate being around and to tasks they dislike to do. Saying “yes”¬†to something you wouldn’t put your effort into is a waste of time. You will dread every moment and procrastinate. IF you do end up completing the tasks it’s half a.. job. IJS. If you were to say “no” that will be a much heavier weight off your shoulders. Do things that makes you happy or you are comfortable doing.

Have Goals: ¬†For those of you in the clouds, there is this thing called having a goal. A goal is something you want, hope, and/or will accomplish. You can over come said goal in the near future or within a longer time frame. It’s great to section the off by short, medium or long term and put a timer on yourself. Create goals and take steps to accomplish them. Keep track of progress and check off once complete. Make steps to complete each goal in whatever order you wish. Write them down and revisit or constantly to remind you of your place towards them. The magic in manifestation is YOU.

Treaty Yourself: … for good behavior no matter how small the accomplishment. Now that you are accomplishing goals, treat yourself. Or shout “Yes, I did it”. Condition yourself to yearning happiness and success. When you get a promotion or even cook a tasty meal reward yourself in what ever way you see fit. For example, Tweet: I just wrote a blog #GOme

Think Happy and Be Happy:¬†It’s not rocket science. Think about ice cream or fun childhood memories. Think about the date you had on the weekend or those awesome shoes you just brought. Don’t take time dwelling on any negativity in or around your life.

Give Back: To some this maybe a hassle, maybe why they are miserable. Lol. But when you help others, not expecting something in return, you will feel great about yourself and in general. How about volunteering at a school, hospital, local walk for a cause. Give back on crowd funding sites. Teach a skill to someone interested. Revisit people in your life and ask if they need help with anything help those not as privileged. Don’t litter. Be social responsible.


QUESTIONS TO THE READERS: How do you remian happy? | How do you cheer yourself up?

 

Your Network Determines Your Net Worth

I know it is 4-20 and it would be cool to read about all type of hemp influenced products or why/why not weed should be legalized, but there are much more important subjects to blog about.

cans of Chillo drink

Hemp Energy Drinks by AudioVision via CC* License 

Such as …

“Your network determines your net worth.” To the growing hemp producers ¬†that phrase might be all too familiar (lol), but for you younger folk it may sound very new. And thats okay, but after today I want you to never forget it.

cartoon images of blue stick-figure men

3D Social Networking by Chris Potter via CC License

According to Dictionary.com A network is an association of individuals having a common interest, formed to provide mutual 

assistance,¬†helpful¬†information,¬†or¬†the¬†like. When you meet people on your career path or those in your hobby-generated groups you may automatically connect them with your “network.” Although those people have common interests, they become apart of your network, and vice versa, only when you put actively add them to it. Of course that is figuratively speaking, you cannot actually pick people up and put them in a physical network. But just think if you collect business cards, phone numbers, and emails from everyone you meet, even those who do not seem to share common interest with you, you may have thousands of contacts within a few months. After you converse and exchange contacts, you must personally follow up with people and even subscribe them to your monthly mailing or email list if you have one.¬†If you walk by people, choose to bail on networking, and refuse to attend all¬†social events, you are missing a possible life alternating opporntunity.

a woman in a white dress holding out her hand

Helping Hand Edited by Stormgirl via CC license

Some may not know, or even believe that I can be a shy person. It’s true. I would choose to opt out of a phone conversation or even a face-to-face chat unless I know a person very well. THIS IS DISASTROUS for anyone. ¬†How can I be successful in real estate, let alone in the entertainment industry, if I can not socialize or speak to a person or a crowd. Most times I pump my self up or just brush away the fear, but it is a skilled that can only be mastered¬†if practiced. So people, next time you are about to send a mass text/email try sending it personally to someone or calling them directly. That will help build a trusting relationship. You may even spark a conversation that inquires about each of your skill sets and interests, which in return build a network that will allow for exchange of services, sharing of¬†knowledge, or even referrals.

people in suits shaking hands

Business Meeting by thetaxxhaven via CC license

And thats where you build your net worth, which can be thought of as the total assets of a business minus its total liabilities (Dictionary.com). A person can be a brand, or business, as well. Theoretically, your net worth can be calculated by actual financials or based on those connected to you in someway. Those connections can be a direct link to leads, future income, knowledge, and more.

 a word cloud of business terms

Business by Gerald via CC license

*CC: Creative Common

Dedicated to some of the men in my life who practice and preach this concept:

  • My Dad Larry, personal trainer & (Co-Owner of Brooklyn Billionairez)
  • My Uncle Dave, business owner in the Automotive & Entertainment industry
  • My Uncle Sammy, mutli-business owner including We Have it ALL
  • My Brother-Cousin Samar, Owner¬†of Made Realty & Made Capital Corp.

Happy Birthday Samar, you will continue to add on to your network and success.


QUESTIONS TO THE AUDIENCE: Are you nervous when networking? | Do you leave events early to avoid feeling awkward when talking to others? | Do you have stories of success based on your network? | Do you feel having people in your network is similar to using people? | How do you network? | Can you give me advice.

 

 

Protect Yourself This Spring Break

a nude woman covering herself

I originally wanted to blog about perception, showing how different images, such as the “Mooney Faces,” by Craig Mooney, and how different people will see situations differently. Perception can depend on timing, awareness, and knowledge, among other elements. Since that is common knowledge and most students are partaking in Spring Break, I have decided to blog about protecting oneself in whatever reality you may live in.

the sun shining over foliage

“In the beginning God created the heavens and earth.” And since the beginning there has always been a battle between the Good and Evil. For those who aren’t monotheistic, you still may notice there have always been lies, greed, deceit, betrayal, jealousy, and sometimes war between individuals and groups of people. ¬†Many blame these misbehaviors on a variety of factors. Such factors may include the following: mental illness; neglect as a child; upbringing; selfishness; “bad DNA;” seeking attention; imitating the actions of a idol; and be admired or rewarded for misconduct. People you meet, even some you’ve known for years, can seem to be trustworthy under their corrupt facade.

a statue of Abraham Lincoln

Because there are people in this world that favors wrongdoing, you must protect yourself, especially on vacation. You can do that in many ways. The first way is to gain knowledge and understanding of what ever you decide to do. Whether you are staying near home or going away you females AND males must remain be smart.

people on a sidewalk

Follow these simple Do’s and Don’ts in order to protect yourself

DO

  • Let someone, not with you, know of your location
  • Keep your phone charged and bring your charger
  • Keep a clear mind
  • Know your limit
  • Do self defense is provoked, take self defense classes if you do not know techniques
  • Maintain proper awareness
  • Be responsible
  • Analyze where are you are and think of possible situations
  • Have a backup plan
  • Buy your own food & drinks, keeping a close eye
  • Carry lightly as to not misplace or lose items

DONT

  • Don’t Abuse Substances
  • Don’t yearn for drama and to be around unsafe environments
  • Don’t set your cup down then drink from it again
  • Do not fight
  • Do not cause too much attention to yourself
  • Do not be really flashy
  • Don’t provoke someone who already shows aggressive behavior
  • Never depend on someone else for your safety, especially if they are partaking in the same activity as you
  • Don’t panic, instead think quickly on your feet
  • Never sleep in an unfamiliar place
  • Never go to places alone, if you must let someone know where you are going

Take this knowledge into consideration even¬†when you are not on a Vay-Cay. Trust me,¬†the more you know, the safer you are, the better you’ll be.

Dedicated to K-Fashion, for we can be so naive and trustworthy and whenever we get together we sometimes become so engulfed in our own fun that we neglect to keep our awareness.

a baseball cap that says "Reckless"

IMAGE CREDITS: All images provided by Heaven Brown of Heaven Sent Photography


QUESTIONS TO THE AUDIENCE: What do you do to protect yourself? | Have you been in a situation that would have been avoided by following these steps? Describe it if you are comfortable. |¬†Do you keep distance from people who show misconduct? | Do you feel there is a such thing as “bad DNA?” | Why can’t we all get along? | Stay tuned on the next episode of Dragon Ball Z … lol ūüėČ

Seriously, let me know what you think.

Is the Digital Age Killing Art or Enhancing it?

Art is a something that evokes a feeling. This can be true for someone who views art as paintings and someone who views art as a choreographed ballet. Throughout centuries, people have used art for a variety of situations: to share their feelings; to release stress; to state facts; to show history; to tell stores; to cause controversy; to make a living, etc. However, with the change of the times, was a change of the methods to make art. People went from drawing on an easel to copying-and-pasting on an app, and even to allowing the computer to draw for them entirely. The creativity of today seems to lack a great tangible feel.

Since the dawn of the ages there have been some form of art, not including architecture. You can see that with Ancient Egyptian’s Hieroglyphics and other “cave men” drawings. Since then, there has been a progression based on materials available and change in knowledge.

I wanted to know what people thought of the change. I decided to go around and ask a few people what they thought on the subject.

VIDEO RESPONSES

I asked some students What is Art? Here are their responses:

Credit: Cody, Eije, Al, Mike

Answer from a professional: Prof. Libby Clarke, Department of Communication Design, Co-Advisor of the Printmaking Club

I asked students Has Technology Damaged Art? Here are the responses:

Answer from a professional: Prof. Libby Clarke, Department of Communication Design, Co-Advisor of the Printmaking Club

*BACKGROUND: I have been drawing all my life, starting with pencil drawings, water colors, and coloring books (as most people). I started to progress, of course, as I got into middle school, having tried a variety of mediums like mosaics, charcoal, color pencil, and painting. By time I got to High School I was enrolled in advanced art/drawing and painting. I also held a leadership position in Art Club, doing activities in the neighborhood like Holiday Window Painting. Although I originally wanted to go into Graphic Design, however, once in college for Computer Engineering, I only took Art History and African Art & Architecture with no creation what so ever. Outside of school¬†I¬†started creating on faces and bodies as a makeup artist and became more technical savvy. I began¬†creating websites, blogs, editing photos, and using photoshop. The most I drew was doodles on my school work. Today I am getting back to my roots while still using my technical skills. I have found my happy place :). I am excited to have found the Printing Making Club, using hands on art methods, which meets Thursdays at 12:45 in N 1119 or N¬†1104. I am also in the process of designing a poster using photoshop and my original art drawings for the City Tech’s Production “Fallen Sparrow,” showing April 1st at 7pm and April 2nd at 1 pm in the Atrium Television Studio.

To me, Art is in so many forms, music, performance, and visual creations. I believe it has damaged some art but has created a platform and a place to enhance art for the new and old generation. I do feel people need to come back to the basics and learn to use their bodies for expression.

QUESTIONS TO THE AUDIENCE: Do you believe the digital age have took the definition of art away from its original meaning? |  Have new age technology made people less hands on? |Are you an artist, if so how have the times changed you?

The Hot Wings of Willoughby

The Most-Made-Dish-for-Events award goes to….. HOT WINGS

¬†¬† ¬† ‚ôę [Wings] [wings], their good for the heart…The more you eat, the more… ¬†‚ô™¬†

… If not, at least, they will make you happy.

I eat hot wings at least once a week, regardless of the after affects. : ) Besides home cooking, I’ve tried the spicy poultry meat from various restaurants, groceries stores, and pop-up-shops. However, today we will analyze¬†the different hot wing dishes that can be found in a small sector, Downtown Brooklyn on Willoughby Street and Jay Street, right down the block from our home at City Tech. (Disclaimer: I am not advertising for any one, just giving you my thoughts and a simple DIY recipe. I have also took all images featured in the post)

the outside of a wings restaurant

Buffalo Boss Organic Wings & Things usually has long lines of people waiting for their orders. This is its second location Downtown Brooklyn, originally it sat on Fulton Street and Flatbush Ext. ¬†I tried it a few weeks ago for the first time at this new location on Willoughby and Jay St. The service wasn’t the best. They are known for their wings and they have a lot of sides, including sweat potato fries.¬†I was allowed to choose from¬†variety of sauce types. When¬†I was also told I had to pay for dipping sauce, I was¬†turned off and I didn’t buy the ranch. I decided to get rice, hot wings, and a drink, which totaled about $7. ¬†The 5 spicy wings, served in a small black styrofoam, tasted okay. They were fried hard and dipped in hot sauce. I remembered a better tasting experience before.

the outside of a restaurant

Yummy Taco always come through with my craving for asian-mexican-american dishes. (laugh) They, also, usually have long lines and hit-or-miss service during lunch time. Thankfully I got there early. Their $6 wings (8) and fries really filled me. The wings were fried slightly hard with a hint of spice. wings with French friesIt may have been more then a hint, considering the nose drool.

the outside of a restaurant

Super Taco is another great asian-mexican-american spot. I frequent there as well when Yummy Taco lines are long. The wings there were about $6 and came with celery. The taste seemed strikingly familiar, it seemed they have shared the recipe with Yummy Taco. ūüėČ

the outside of a restaurant

The Dining Room seemed to be a whole in the wall. I must have passed it several times before realizing it was there. It is a restaurant/bar. Inside is usually quite unless there is a group of friends that comes on their lunch break. You can sit at the bar or tables. I sat at the bar. I order wings, water, and fries, which totaled 9.80. The 8 wings was boiled, fried lightly and soaked in mild hot wing sauce, my choice of sauce type. It came with vegetables as well. The wings had so much meat on it and more juicy compared to the other places. wings and friesa cooked chicken wingMaybe thats the reason it costs more. It was like no experience I have ever had, I revisited two more times.

the outside of a restaurant

The 99¬Ę Fresh Hot Pizza’s¬†hot wings is currently a¬†mystery to me. But I thought I’d add them in since they, too, rests on Willoughby Street. If you know how the hot wings taste please share. After my Dining Room experience I was addicted. Don’t Judge me.¬†¬†¬†


TRY YOUR OWN:

Hosting and need a delicious homemade meal? Try making your own Hot wings.

Ingredients / Precursors:

  • Separated precooked chicken wings (can be boiled or fried)
  • D.I.Y Your OWN Sauce (optional ingredients you can use: dry pepper, hot sauce, honey, bbq sauce, ketchup)
  • Metal pan (aluminum) big enough to lay each flat while baking
  • Bowl for sauce
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place your pre-cooked wings in your metal pan
  3. Coat the sauce throughout the wings
  4. Bake for 10 minutes
  5. Flip the wings, coat the chicken and bake for another 10 minutes.
  6. Continue to flip and bake until the chicken reaches creates your desired crisp.
  7. Serve while hot with a side of ranch dressing. (…Or blue cheese I guess, I am being bias.)

NOTE: It’ll taste so good, you can serve them cold.

 

 

“Don’t Take it Personal”

six runway models

Boston FW by Luke Aaron/Jenny via CC license

February isn’t only Black History Month or a time for¬†award and sport shows. It’s¬†also about¬†FASHION. This Winter’s month is when designers and artist show their latest styles for Summer, creating a constant flow of castings and events.

I have been modeling since Winter 2010 and partaking in entertainment since youth. I’ve appeared¬†on local television, national television, independent films, and local modeling/fashion circuits. Now-a-days I cherish the few gigs, or jobs, I obtain here and there, especially being enrolled full-time. (Fun fact: I will be in the CityTech’s Spring Production “the falling Sparrow”)

.                         704664_10151360682268921_2078211220_o                      a model

 Amoni B | Photography Credits L-R  Garden of Bathsheba & Entertainment Vibes

Last year I joined a booking agency for natural hair models. They emailed about a casting for $500-$1000 to be apart of a DVD or Webcast. Models allowed to attend would be considered for the job. I was confirmed and I was excited! I even avoided getting my hair done with my newly purchased internationally imported hair wefts.

I went to the casting after class, traveling to Lower Manhattan Gansevorts’ Meatpacking District on the West side near 14th street. It was snowing, I was cold, I got semi-lost, yet very determined. I managed to arrive before call time. To my surprise, because of the STORM, the casting¬†was delayed. I canceled my¬†sub-sequential appointments.

Models of various shapes and sizes poured into the mini elevator, then headed to the penthouse suite. I saw some familiar faces and several new ones. There were models conversing with new found friends; models sitting on couches dreaming away; models standing against walls; models sitting and gazing at those walls; models on their phones avoiding looking up at the surroundings, models preparing their newly painted masks in the restrooms, models changing garments from their winter-barriers to runway ready attire, and models disappearing due to the wait.

A couple of hours later, a male appeared. He laughed at the site and asked for some more organization. He separated us by our current hair length: those with long hair went to the right and those with hair above the shoulder went to the left. Having my hair in its tightly curly state I went to the left. He disappeared and there was a large waves of chatter. 20 minutes later he reappeared with a female¬†companion. She further grouped us by hair color: brunettes to the right; blondes to the left; red heads to the back center; those with bobs or who will cut their hair to the back left; an those who would color their hair in any of the previously mentioned go to that group. I didn’t want to cut my hair so I went to the rouges, showing an open mind.¬†The pair looked in the crowd of eager faces. They walked the room choosing those they saw fit. They ran their hands in models’¬†heads before¬†putting them on a¬†lifted platform. ¬†They disappeared and deliberated, upon returning they dismissed us. Of the 30 models on stage, all were female, Caucasian, long hair, straight, maybe with a slight wave on some. Most were brunettes, 3 blondes, and one model had short gray hair in a bob.

two models

Backstage by Barnadette via CC license

The minorities looked at each other and at those on the platform. Some faces looked upset, others looked used to the turn out, and other visages remained blissful. I hoped at least one any minority,¬†long or short, straight or curled, would be chosen. I felt even though we was allowed to attend this “equal opportunity” casting, there wasn’t an authentic place for us.

When leaving, it was as if we were on 42nd street during rush hour packed in a cramped corridor. People went to the elevator and some searched for stairs. While I waited online for the elevator, a feminine Greek-like statuesque¬†consoled her tribal match, yet curly red-haired friend. She said, “Don’t take it personal… they usually go for people with straight hair.¬†I’ve been chosen several times before when my hair has straight so I won’t¬†[take it personal].”

I was conflicted. I was taking it personal. I thought of how I was screened for the casting and had hopes of being chosen. I thought of discrimination. I thought of being of color during Black History Month. I thought of breaking out of the African-American circuit and being internationally accepted. I thought of straightening my hair.


QUESTIONS TO THE PUBLIC: Do you feel there is a STILL a gap in the beauty industry?  |  Have you partook in fashion shows, what was the casting process?  |   What is your take on Mercedes Benz Fashion Week vs. Couture Fashion Week vs. Brooklyn Fashion Week vs. Urban Fashion Week?  |  Should models take castings personal or should the artist choose their subjects?  |  Should castings be regulated?

a young woman

Amoni B by Heaven Sent Photography